If you’re thinking about an open or polyamorous relationship — or you’ve already taken the plunge — you might be looking for resources. When I first started exploring open relationships, there were not nearly as many resources as there are today. I’ve read, watched, and listened to dozens and dozens — the good, the bad, and the strange so that you don’t have to — and today I want to share my top 6.
People have A LOT of ideas about polyamory. And now that it’s so easy to start a website or podcast or post a rant on Reddit, there are A LOT of ideas out there about how to do open relationships or polyamory “right” — or if they’re a good idea at all.
But there are shockingly few resources out there for and by gay and bisexual men which is why I started this writing, coaching, and producing YouTube videos. Subscribe on YouTube (or by email below — I send some more personal updates and insights only to my email friends) for new videos and articles every week. If you have a specific question about how to have a successful, fulfilling, and fun relationship, ask me here.
Ok, now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive in.
The Bible of nonmonogamy. If you’ve done any Googling, you’ve probably heard of this. It was the first book I read and was super helpful for me. In general, it’s geared toward folks already in a relationship who might be considering opening up their relationship
It’s also a bit more of focused open relationships — with friends with benefits, long distance lovers, going to play parties, and all of that jazz than long-term multi-partner polyamorous relationships — although it definitely has info about that in it too.
What I love about The Ethical Slut is that it gives you SO MANY OPTIONS of different ways to configure your life and relationships and a bunch of exercises to go through by yourself or with your partner to help guide your process. It just feels like it’s bursting with possibility.
More Than Two, as the name implies, is about polyamorous relationships. It’s more focused on polyamorous relationships and making a more than two relationship work than The Ethical Slut. They pair well together so that you can get a sense of all the options that are available to you and your potential partner or partners. There’s also a bunch of space dedicated to work that you need to do on yourself: how to communicate, how to work through uncomfortable feelings, how to negotiate agreements. It might not seem as exciting as how to go to a sex party, but it’s just as important!
More anthropology, less “how to” this book is great if you want to stand the biological and anthropological origins of nonmonogamy. It dispels the myth that monogamy is somehow the natural or default or only option for humans. If you think open or polyamorous relationships are “unnatural” this is a good one to check out. Or if you want science and history.
Queer Theology’s Christianity & Polyamory
This one isn’t going to apply to everyone but if you’re Christian — or you grew up Christian — and want to figure out how open relationships or polyamory fits into your value or faith, this is for you. It’s one part online course, one part group discussion, and one part relationship coaching. It’s not in session now but will be coming back soon. You can hop on the waitlist here.
3 young adult co-hosts. There’s a good mix of discussing issues and offering practical tools
My all-time favorite episode is about a Relationship RADAR which is their framework for having a regular check in with your partner. It’s been super helpful to me and I recommend it to literally everyone in any type of relationship: monogamous, polyamorous, open, or otherwise.
I also really appreciated a more recent episode called “Ghosts of Normativity Past” about relationship patterns and behaviors that our culture says are normal but are actually unhelpful or even toxic.
Hosted by Cunning Minx and Lusty Guy
This podcast has been around since 2005 and had over 500 episodes (WHAT?! that seriously blows my mind!)
The hosts are a bit older than the Multiamory co-hosts and Poly Weekly dabbles in kink issues sometimes so I feel like I’m getting a bit of a different perspective