There’s no denying that polyamory and non-monogamy are concepts that remain taboo in the eyes of most people. They’re not usually portrayed in or given visibility by the mainstream media, which only fuels the misconceptions about them.
If you want to learn more about this type of relationship, in fact, we recommend turning to books instead of television series or feature films.
There are books out there that center on polyamorous relationships and everything in between. Aside from educating readers on how to navigate a non-monogamous relationship, the goal of these books is to break the stigma surrounding them.
Anyway, if you want to dig deeper into ethical non-monogamy, here are the books that you should add to your reading list:
The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton
The Ethical Slut is probably one of the most prominent books about polyamorous and open relationships. Some even consider it the bible of sexuality and ethical non-monogamy because it reveals and teaches so much about unconventional relationships.
Instead of viewing sexual freedom and polyamory in a negative light, the authors talk about how a person can achieve liberation by challenging societal norms that dictate that monogamy is the way towards a happy relationship.
It’s also a recommended read to couples who are thinking about transitioning their relationship into a more open one. It features guidelines on building a culture of consent and respect between your partners for the benefit of your relationship.
The Ethical Slut also talks about how non-monogamous relationships can manifest in different ways, like swinging, open relationship, throuples, polyfidelity, monogamish, and more.
As of writing, it’s currently on its third edition, proving that more and more people are willing to educate themselves about non-monogamous relationships.
Building Open Relationships by Dr. Liz Powell
Another book that we want to recommend to those who want to explore open relationships, polyamory, swinging, and beyond is Building Open Relationships. It’s actually written by a doctor, so it’s quite a popular read among doctors from other specialties.
In fact, we were surprised to find out that even some of the specialists at Rheumatologist Singapore have read a few pages of Dr. Liz’s book. You’ll be shocked to discover how applauded it is by doctors from various specialties, not just psychologists and therapists.
Reading Building Open Relationships is like personally talking to and sharing your desires with an actual therapist, which explains why it’s been read by medical doctors.
Basically, it’s an interactive book that comes with communication prompts and worksheets on different topics like sex, romance, jealousy, and even relationships in the age of social media.
Eight Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory Before I Tried It and Frakked It Up by Cunning Minx
As with any type of relationship, navigating polyamory is not easy. You’re bound to fall and make mistakes, just like what happens when you’re in a conventional, monogamous relationship.
If you want to read a personal account of how a person struggled in a non-monogamous setup, then we recommend checking out Eight Things I Wish I’d Known About Polyamory Before I Tried It and Frakked It Up.
It’s a quick read that reveals everything you should know before entering polyamory or turning your relationship into a non-monogamous one. Some readers even use it a resource for some situations they might encounter while in a polyamorous relationships.
It’s a book that will come in handy in situations that can only happen if you have multiple romantic and sexual partners.
More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert
Polyamory is often perceived as a betrayal to your partner, but in More Than Two, the authors posit the idea that it’s possible to be in a loving, consensual, and committed relationship with more than one person.
According to the book, being in a polyamorous relationship is not going to be easy because no relationship is. It’s not because you’re engaged with multiple people, but because being in any type of relationship is never easy.
As implied by the authors, the key to being happy in any type of relationship is maintaining open and honest communication between your partner(s). If there are issues, all people involved should be willing to listen and offer a solution.
The thing we love about this book is that it’s written in a straightforward, candid manner, as if the authors are talking about something that’s common. In a way, it aims to guide couples who are considering turning their relationship into a non-monogamous one.
A Happy Life In An Open Relationship by Susan Wenzel
A Happy Life in an Open Relationship offers a closer look into what makes a successful and fulfilling non-monogamous relationship. It’s a valuable self-help book recommended to every couple who’s curious about exploring open relationships.
It’s written by Susan Wenzel, a relationship therapist who’s in an open marriage herself, so you’ll receive tips and advice from a professional who’s in a successful non-monogamous relationship herself.
Aside from being a guide on navigating open relationships, A Happy Life defines the important terms related to polyamorous relationships, allowing readers to have a deeper understanding of the type of relationship they want to explore.
The Polyamory Breakup Book by Kathy Labriola
Like monogamous relationships, there are times that a non-monogamous one will not work out, so it’d be nice to have a book that can help you deal with the breakup.
Kathy Labriola’s The Polyamory Breakup Book is definitely the book for that. It’s about the common causes of a polyamorous breakup, from unresolved jealousy down to managing time and money with multiple romantic and sexual partners.
It even comes with a comprehensive guide that can help you avoid ending polyamorous relationships. If the breakup really is inevitable though, then you’ll find some tips that can help you survive the first few weeks and months of the breakup.
We love that it’s mainly an anecdotal book, where the author shares her own experience in being in a non-monogamous relationship and the struggles that come with it.
You don’t have to be clueless upon deciding that you want to explore non-monogamous relationships. There are books out there that not only destroy the stigma about unconventional relationships but teach people how to navigate them as well.
Books like these allow topics like non-monogamy and polyamory to be talked about without shame and censorship, so we’re glad that more books like these are getting published.
If you want to recommend other reads about ethical non-monogamy, don’t hesitate to share them with us! If we find them worthy, we’ll definitely add them here.
One thought on “Top 6 Books about Ethical Non-monogamy”
Please consider Open Deeply: A Guide to Conscious, Compassionate Open Relationships by Kate Loree, LMFT. I’m the author. The book has a 4.9 Amazon rating. Here is what Janet Hardy said about my book, “
Alternative relationships – all the hundreds of options beyond lifelong monogamy – are more in the public eye than ever before, and a huge number of people are opening their minds and hearts to such options. Yet even the best-meaning adventurers grew up in a culture that values monogamy over all other forms, which means that few of us have built-in skills for navigating our options with self-awareness, good ethics and empathy. Kate has written the perfect primer for anticipating and coping with the inevitable roadblocks that most of us experience along the road to the relationships we want. Clear, direct and well informed, this is an excellent book for explorers and would-be explorers of the pathways that lie off the edges of our culture’s tidy Ozzie-and-Harriet map.” Thank you!