Polyamory Books, Magazines, Websites

redpepper

New member
poly book list I got from a group I'm in

Polyamory Bibliography

compiled by Reverend Teri D. Ciacchi MSW for Living Love Revolution!

Polyamory Weekly : http://polyweekly.com/

Gaia and the New Politics of Love: Notes for a Poly Planet by Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio 2009

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open relationships by Tristan Taormino 2008

Open : Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage by Jenny Block 2008

Eros: A Journey of Multiple Loves by Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio 2006

Plural Loves: Designs For Bi And Poly Living by Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio 2005

Spiritual Polyamory by Mystic Life 2004


Polyamory: Roadmaps for the Clueless & Hopeless by Anthony D. Ravenscroft 2004

The Sex & Love Handbook (Polyamory, Bisexuality,Swingers, Spirituality & even Monogamy) : A Practical Optimistic Relationship Guide by Kris A. Heinlein & Rozz M. Heinlein

Pagan Polyamory: Becoming a Tribe of Hearts by Raven Kaldera 2005

The Lesbian Polyamory Reader: Open Relationships, Non-Monogamy, and Casual Sex
By Marcia Munson, Judith Stelboum 1999

The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities by Dossie Easton, Catherine A. Liszt 1997 ( revised & reprinted in 2008)

Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits : Secrets of Sustainable Intimate Relationships by Deborah M. Anapol 1997

Loving More: The Polyfidelity Primer by Ryam Nearing 1996

Lesbian Polyfidelity by Celeste West 1995

Breaking the Barriers to Desire: Polyamory, Polyfidelity & Non-monogamy- New Approaches to Multiple Relationships by Kevin Lano and Claire Parry Editors 1995

Stranger in A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk


Excellent Relationship Books

Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships: Healing the Wound of the Heart by John Welwood 2006

Spirit-Centered Relationships by Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks 2006

Attracting Genuine Love by Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks 2004

Radical Honesty, The New Revised Edition: How to Transform your Life by Telling the Truth by Brad Blanton 2005

Transcendant Sex by Jenny Wade 2004

All About Love by bell hooks 2000

The Conscious Heart : Seven Soul Choices That Inspire Creative Partnership by Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks 1999

Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships
by David Schnarch 1998

Conscious Loving by Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks 1992

Learning to Love Yourself by Gay Hendricks

Rilke On Love and Other Difficulties By John J.L. Mood
 

RickPlus

New member
BOOK REVIEW: "Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality", by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha', HarperCollins Publishers, (c) 2010, ISBN 978-0-06-170780-3, 400 pages, $25.99.

This is a very powerful book that I believe will transform how our society thinks about polyamory. I give it my highest recommendation. I have just read the public libraries' copy and intend to buy a copy for my own. The book, particularly the last chapter, is very poly friendly.

The book basically explodes the 'standard narrative' of human sexual evolution. (Namely, primitive women traded sexual favors for the support and protection of a single man. Thus monogamy is built into our genes.) Since sexual practices don't leave artifacts for archeologists to find, I did not expect there to be much hard evidence to support their thesis. I was wrong. There is a surprising amount of data which suggests that humans evolved using multi-male with multi-female social groupings as our standard behavior.

I don't intend to recap the arguments in the book. (There are too many and the arguments are too subtle for a short review to do them justice.) But I wanted to explain why I feel that the book will transform society.

Now many people who are putting the most effort into 'defending monogamy' are going to be unaffected by this book. For example, a typical radical Christian is not likely to hear about this book. If they do hear about it, they are unlikely to read it. If they do read it, they are not going to change their opinions based on scientific evidence which they don't understand and don't respect. They reject evolution for gosh sakes, where the evidence is many times stronger. If you can reject evolution, what weight will you give this book that takes evolution as its starting point of discussion? Given my opinion above, why do I think this book won't vanish with out a trace?

First of all, it is a wonderful read. It is funny, lively and literate. At times the author's anger at the sloppy science defending monogamy comes thru. At other times, they seem loving and encouraging by turn. Like the best books, the sense of the author's personality(s) shines.

Tho it is carefully documented (there are 66 pages of small font print giving notes and references supporting their arguments) it is not aimed at a professional anthropological audience. The book is for interested lay people, and it includes plenty of examples and jokes from popular culture to help it connect with every-man.

Sex at Dawn is wonderfully organized. Step by step, foundations for later idea are laid. So when some truly exotic material is presented, the ideas building to it are already in place and documented. I consider the arguments iron clad. Some small bits may be adjusted with new data, but I can't see the major thesis of the book being overturned.

It has already reached critical mass. It will be very hard for any student of Evolutionary Psychology to ignore this book. (Someone reviewing a PhD thesis simply has to say, "your argument does not address the issues raised in "Sex at Dawn". Redo your thesis.") It is being read by professional psychologists and social workers who DO believe in evolution and WILL take the arguments of this book seriously. Therefore I think that we will soon see a lot more poly friendly marriage councilors. Two professionals I know each have PhD's in Psychology own this book. One of them does social work and she takes what is in this book very seriously.

Expanding on my last point, revolutions in scientific thought (called paradigm shifts), are greatly helped if there are 3 things:
-- A critical number of scientists supporting the new idea.
-- Some key work which organizes and promotes the new idea.
-- A theory that explains the evidence better than the old theory.

I feel that Sex at Dawn fulfills all three of these, and will be a touchstone for years to come.

Finally the arguments of the book are honest. Weak points, where evidence is missing, are explicitly highlighted in the text and the author's call for further research in these areas. This demonstrates the integrity of the authors.

I suggest you read the book and encourage your local libraries and poly friendly groups to get copies.

Warm regards, Rick.
 
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AutumnalTone

New member
"Ten Days to Self-Esteem" by David Burns, heard this was really life changing :)

Yes, it is. I'll recommend this for pretty much everybody, as it contains material that is reallyreally useful for *any* relationship.
 

GroundedSpirit

New member
BOOK REVIEW: "Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality", by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha', HarperCollins Publishers, (c) 2010, ISBN 978-0-06-170780-3, 400 pages, $25.99.

Yes - I second this recommendation !
A must for those who have been exposed to the thought train that monogamy has evolved out of the natural selection process - a manipulation of the real facts of human sexual and sociological history.

GS
 

greeneyes

New member
wiring?

I don't mean to stray from the book topic, yet this wiring question intrigues me. So...

Which books talk about the neurological science behind the "wiring?" I'd be interested in seeing that... I tend to not think that humans are very hard-wired when it comes to constructing sexual practices, aside from the reproductive aspects. Most behavior (and the physiological processes behind those behaviors) lie within the brain, whose wiring is far too complex (and wet!)(and soft) ;) to be analogous with something like a household fusebox. This is just my take on it, though, and I am curious to read/study more about this theory... can someone point me in the right direction?

Thanks!
 

redpepper

New member
I don't mean to stray from the book topic, yet this wiring question intrigues me. So...

Which books talk about the neurological science behind the "wiring?" I'd be interested in seeing that... I tend to not think that humans are very hard-wired when it comes to constructing sexual practices, aside from the reproductive aspects. Most behavior (and the physiological processes behind those behaviors) lie within the brain, whose wiring is far too complex (and wet!)(and soft) ;) to be analogous with something like a household fusebox. This is just my take on it, though, and I am curious to read/study more about this theory... can someone point me in the right direction?

Thanks!
If you don't get a response, you might want to PM Loving radiance. She seems to have a handle on anything to do with the brain these days. Could be wrong, but worth checking with her... :) good luck and please let us know what you find!
 

RickPlus

New member
I don't mean to stray from the book topic, yet this wiring question intrigues me. So...

Which books talk about the neurological science behind the "wiring?" ...

Thanks!

Sex at Dawn discusses this a little bit. (Look up the 'plasticity' of sexual desire.) However, there is not that much in here. If someone knows of
more detailed discussion I would be interested in knowing about it.

Warm regards, Rick.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
Hardwired?

Best I can tell-it's all still pretty controversial.


A thought from a psychologist on the topic:

http://www.examiner.com/open-relati...-psychologist-david-ley-s-answer?render=print

Opinion from a science writer (her training details available on same site)
http://www.gunjansinha.com/popsci_vole.html



This is a major thing starting that may take some of the "I wonder" out of some of these questions-but unfortunately it hasn't BEEN done, it's just BEING done. ;)

http://www.medicaldaily.com/news/20100916/2012/30-million-project-will-map-the-brains-wiring.htm
 

zinc

New member
BOOK SUMMARY: Sex at Dawn

Rather than review this book, I'd like to share what I understand of it's core theses. I'm not going to defend them nor present the variety of supporting arguments; read the book! But I think a terse summary of the points (and yes I'm going to miss some or even "a lot", sorry) presents a Very Interesting Picture. Here we go:

- For 95% of human existance as "humans" (the period of human history prior to the rise of agriculture), people lived in small (100-150 person) nomadic hunting/gathering groups.

- Possessions in such groups were next to none; they moved frequently. There was little to no "ownership" of anything.

- These groups were very well fed and suffered far less from malnutrition and/or starvation than mankind has since the switch to agriculture.

- Average lifespan once childhood was survived was a very robust 62 or more. Many children died and infanticide was probably common. The short lifespan commonly attributed to prehistory humans is due to averages skewed by high child death rates (average lifespan at birth, vs. average lifespan for someone making it to adulthood).

- The people were substantially taller than we commonly believe: 5'9" was an average height. Mankind shrunk in size dramatically after the agrarian shift, and is still "recovering". In some areas of the world human height averages still haven't reached prehistory norms.

- Pair bonding was not generally practiced. The culture was one of sharing, of everything.

- Women engaged in sex with multiple men, frequently. Men engaged in sex with multiple women, frequently.

- The basis of evolution was "sperm competition", rather than externalized "the better man gets the woman and thus the better man's attributes win out".

- Many many physical and social elements enabled (or came about to enable) sperm competition.

- Men's penis's are designed to create suction in the female's vagina to suck out sperm left by previous partners. The head of the penis decreases on male orgasm to release the suction, so the male's sperm deposit stays in place.

- Women cry out far more during sex then men to signal to the surrounding men that she's ready, available and willing.

- Women have multiple orgasms to encourage them to take multiple men, thereby enabling the sperm competition.

- Human male penis's are relatively huge (to body size). Why? Because with sperm competition, larger (width and depth) penis will "win out" more often by depositing the sperm more deeply, and suck out the competitive sperm more reliably.

- Men's sexual "style" of quick sex followed by a refractory period helps to enable a system of the women taking on multiple partners and collecting a wide variety of sperm. Women's sexual "style" of warming up more slowly but then having the ability and desire to go and go is the other side of this asymmetry.

- We are not the like apes, where a single dominant male "gets the ladies". That has led the apes to have huge male size (the biggest is the winner and passes on his traits.) It's also led to the ape having a relatively small penis, about 1". Once he wins with his size, he has no competition with his penis. No genetic/sperm competition drove larger penis size in apes.

- Human society's general failure around monogamous relationships is fundamentally due to human's not being fundamentally monogamous.

- Men get eroticized by seeing/hearing other men sexing a woman. This is validated both physically in a variety of ways, and socially by such evidence as the huge disproportion of interest in multi-men/single-woman porn vs. single-man/multi-women porn. Also, this explains the relatively common desire of married men to have their wife engage in outside sex (the "cuckold" phenomena). The reason for this erotic response is to encourage multiple inseminations in a woman by different men to create sperm competition.

- The hunter/gathering social groups were generally peaceful, as the world was extraordinarily sparsely populated, and there was no need for competing with neighboring groups. Either there was enough for both, or one would move to another area. Additionally, fights between men for access to women were unusual, as all men generally had access to all women within the group. Hoarding in both the physical domain (food) and sexual domain was taboo.

- The multi-partner sexual culture, as with bonobos, helped to create and support social bonds, relax the males, and generally helped ensure social order.

- Human female breasts are far, far larger than necessary for milk production. Their function seems to be to generally attract "a lot" of males, as well as signaling fertility.

- Human's engage in sex far more often and for much longer time periods than any other species. Sex is relatively speaking a major focus of time and attention for us.

- External male testes represent a major evolutionary compromise. They are horrible from a self-protection perspective, so why are they there? They enable men to have lots of ready to go sperm, and enable the ability to have effective (high sperm count delivery) much more frequently.

- Male testes DNA are highly flexible re: adaptation. Prehistory males probably had much larger testes that we have today. Testes size in humans are shrinking very very rapidly, along with sperm counts by volume. Why? The effect of switching to monogamy. With the prehistorical multi-sex partner culture, the "best" sperm won, so men evolved towards more sperm via larger testes. With monogamy, less effective delivery systems win because they have no competition. Monogamy is literally making men's balls shrink generation to generation.

- Women as highly sexual and promiscuous beings is highly contrary to the social structures that arose out of the switch to agriculture and the rise of patriarchal culture. The result has been and continues to be the repression of women in general, and the repression of women's sexuality specifically.



What strike me about this is it's incredible "self consistency", even without considering all the specific supporting evidence for each individual point.

What it says about us is pretty amazing too.

I apologize again if the list above is incomplete or not 100% accurate to the book; correct away if so inclined.

-Zinc
 

greeneyes

New member
It sounds like the authors of this book have found very clear ways to express some theories that have actually been around for a while. I am very curious to read the book, even though its focus seems to be only on sexual expression as a reproductive measure and less on the cultural dynamics surrounding the sexual expression (which is what I am more interested in due to the gayness.)
I've read vague theories about how women and men lived relatively separate lives before the implementation of agriculture, and I have my own theories about the beginnings of male supremacist culture and how they relate to the practice of animal husbandry, etc. (I have a degree in Anthropology, which is why I tend to nerd-out and over-intellectualize these things.)

I did a paper once on the sexual culture of bonobos vs. common chimps and compared that with human sexual cultures, mostly to illustrate that among humans, sexuality did a bit of a hairpin-turn from something that was more like what the bonobos do to something more like what the common chimps do, and my opinion on that is that it was largely maladaptive in an evolutionary sense.

Oh, let's face it, this proto-critique is just a ruse; what I really *want* to say is, "what was life like for those bands of women before they were infiltrated by male-biased monogamy? I want details. Juicy ones." ;-)
 

zinc

New member
What was life like? Who can really say.

That said, think about the situation a bit. About every 3 -4 days, it's "hunting and gathering" time. After that day...lots of food! Time to kick back for a few days.

And do what? Ain't got no disco, ain't got no youtube, ain't got no records to play! Maybe there's some kind of makeshift ball to kick around...or not! No possessions of any consequence at all. WHAT IS THERE TO DO?

"Socialize." And...screw.

As a result, humans became the most sexual animal on the planet. And probably as a result (or in synergy with them already having lots of smarts), the most self aware and smartest by far on the planet.

Why wouldn't the men "fight" over the women? I think the answers are (1) no need (no lack of availability, the women were happy to screw, after all they knew everyone and there was probably no inhibition about it at all), and (2) not in the survival interest of the group. You can't hunt well if your best hunters are routinely getting maimed in battle with other hunters.

So they'd socialize, eat a lot, screw a lot and sleep a lot. Until the food got low and it's time to hunt and gather again. Food getting scarce? Time to grab the few hunting and gathering tools and take a hike.

I'm a bit suspicious that the required infanticide to allow the group to migrate around (can't do that with piles of babies and toddlers!) eventually created the pressure to switch to agriculture. Just idle speculation but it would seem there would eventually be anti-infanticide pressure, and the solution would be "don't travel around", leading to agriculture.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I'm a bit suspicious that the required infanticide to allow the group to migrate around (can't do that with piles of babies and toddlers!) eventually created the pressure to switch to agriculture. Just idle speculation but it would seem there would eventually be anti-infanticide pressure, and the solution would be "don't travel around", leading to agriculture.

I sure as heck haven't studied this-so I don't know.

But I'm wondering why one would think that infanticide would be necessary in order to allow for migration (understanding of course that this would be on foot).

The reason I wonder is that when SpicyPea was born, I had no car and no access to public transportation. I had to get groceries, pay bills, all of those things. I had no phone either and I lived in a town where I didn't know anyone. I also didn't have a stroller. I did have a sled in the winter that I could pull her in.

I walked. Up to 1 year, I carried her when I walked. I had to walk MILES daily to get where I needed to go.
She started walking at 8 months and was proficient by a year.
At a year-she would walk with me. She would get worn out after a mile or so and I'd carry her for a bit, then she'd walk more.

By the time she was 3, she was easily and comfortably walking upwards of 5 miles with me, without any break.

I had a car before any of the others were born, but often don't use it.
It's roughly 2 miles to town, and until 11/09 I walked into town and back out 5-6 times a week with all of the kids (no other adults). The "little one" was in a stroller after she was too big to fit inside of my coat. I did this all winter and summer (winter temp -10F to 30F)....

(From Nov '09-April '10 I was on bedrest due to surgeries)

The youngest is now 3. She walks when we go somewhere. She can easily RUN for over a mile without a break, at that point she just needs to drop to a walk for 5-10 minutes and then is able to run again for a mile.... She could do that all day.
It's not unusual for me to walk 5-10 miles a day in the summer...


So-in watching the kids in my life (Most of that time I babysit as well, so not just my biological children); it's my experience that at a VERY young age they are capable of walking and that especially if the mother is used to doing that sort of physical labor, the mother is capable of doing it whilst carrying a baby/toddler as much as they would need-presuming that both parties are healthy...


:confused:

Anyway-I know that people DON'T tend to live this way-at least in America. But-I'm still finding it hard to believe that they COULDN'T...
 

nycindie

New member
I'm a bit suspicious that the required infanticide to allow the group to migrate around (can't do that with piles of babies and toddlers!) eventually created the pressure to switch to agriculture. Just idle speculation but it would seem there would eventually be anti-infanticide pressure, and the solution would be "don't travel around", leading to agriculture.
Don't assume that all that fucking always resulted in pregnancies. I am sure the mothers nursed their children much longer than many modern mothers do today. You can nurse a child for two years, five years, whatever - it's natural birth control, and enables a few years' spacing between offspring. Many native cultures still do this intuitively. The prevalence of children born close together began when birth control (which has always been around) became a sin, and later when it became fashionable to use formula, and wean babies after just a few months.
 
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greeneyes

New member
...well, with my limited armchair-anthropologist credentials I will say that I do think forcing weaning has been one of humanity's most sad mistakes; when I think about the rise in agriculture it seems to be more like a knee-jerk reaction to scarcity (starvation during ice ages would lead new generations to try and find a more static food source, one could guess...) Of course, as I said, that's just speculation. But it makes more sense in my head than any other theories I've read.
 

angeleyes

New member
^^ makes sense to me, just as the Green Revolution in agriculture has actually resulted in more starvation, even as it has produced ever higher yields of food. Management is always to blame.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
Why would I complain about social evolution that provided the stability to create modern society? I like cities, technology, homes, medicine and organized protection for people. I don't see stepping back in time just for the sake of justifying sexual freedom as any positive move for a civilization.

I'll stick with agriculture thank you very much.
 

greeneyes

New member
I love technology (not such a big fan of "organized protection"...) and I'm fond of cities myself, from a cultural standpoint.

I don't think anyone's proposed "stepping back in time," but more that if we understand why and how our past evolved we might have better insight into what we do now. I'm not so much a fan of agriculture, as I think it's led to slavery and crappy food, among other forms of oppression.
 

redpepper

New member
I found this quote in a book I bought yesterday, which I want to recommend highly. The book is titled Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With The Heart Of A Buddha, by Tara Brach, PH.D.

Most, if not all, relationship difficulties and challenges have some of their roots in self-esteem issues. This book shows how to shine the light of compassionate awareness on one's own self, thus liberating the powers of self and other loving. I can't recommend it too highly! The author has a real knack!
Pasting this from another thread... I will be getting this I think... PN can read it and tell me what its about ;) (its our thing)
 
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