Leaving Societal Norms Behind

Part 10 – Best Resources (The “Our Story” Series)

Part 10 – Best Resources (The “Our Story” Series)

*Part 10 of a 10 Part Series of articles showing the diversity and authenticity within the Polyamorous Community.

Resources can be extremely helpful with self-growth and learning about different options and terms. They can also help foster a sense of identity or community, which can greatly benefit your psychological health and keep you from feeling completely outcast or alone. Whether your resources are online, in books, podcasts, through person-to-person discussion, or anything else…they can be beneficial. Each kind of resource helps you learn in different ways, however. Take into account your learning style or preference, because using visual vs. auditory vs. kinesthetic resources can make a difference in the way that you perceive or retain the information. That being said, nothing will make up for personal experience.

Please be conscious that you will continue to learn as you go. There will always be personal growth that is needing to be done. There will always be things you don’t know and people you can learn from. Soak up all the information you can, but make sure you actively put it into practice, as well. And take all information with a grain of salt, as not everything works for everybody. What’s most important is your willingness to accept two things: 1) That there are multiple options out there, and none of them are right or wrong; and 2) You won’t get anywhere if you’re not willing to put in the effort to do your own self-work. Whatever resources you choose to use, just remember to never stop living, loving, and learning or allowing others to do the same.

We personally recommend the book “Stepping Off The Relationship Escalator: Uncommon Love and Life” by Amy Gahran because it is a good jumping off point as it offers information on a wide variety of options with hundreds of personal accounts, as well as professional insight. This book can help you start to figure out who you truly are and what you truly want, and can lead to healthy discussions with loved ones about which direction you’d like to go in. We like that it doesn’t focus solely on the sexual nature, like other books such as “The Ethical Slut” (though that book is also a great resource). We feel that “Stepping Off The Relationship Escalator: Uncommon Love and Life” can appeal to a wider range of people, and can give you options for all kinds of non-monogamy, as well as options for a diverse range of monogamous styles. Besides the grammatical errors, this book is fantastic, and definitely #1 on our list of recommendations!

We asked our respondents what resources best influenced, impacted, or benefited them. Obviously our website and YouTube channel and FB Page and associated groups are all resources available to you, but here are the resources our questionnaire participants have provided:

Online Resources

  • Polyamorous Living group on Facebook is huge support group.
  • The YouTube couple, Conor and Brittany, was the first place I started to learn about polyamory. A previous partner and I met them when we lived in Austin, Texas and everything just clicked. They have an amazing number of videos about tons of different topics around open relationships, love, sex, etc.
  • This group (PL) is our first venture out into the public world of poly
  • Honestly just joining some polyamorous Facebook pages, such as Polyamorous Living.
  • The best resource I’ve discovered is a Polyamorous Support group I joined on Kik. I’ve learned more from talking with others and their experiences than anything else.
  • Poly communities/groups on Facebook
  • I’ve found more than 2 website quite good. I’ll read almost anything on a specific topic if I’m interested
  • The website morethantwo.com has been a great help.
  • MoreThanTwo.com (This website has a great glossary of terms that is very useful. It also has a lot of information about how to deal with jealousy. It was a super big help when I first came upon the concept of Polyamory, it breaks it down really well.)
  • Legitimately I couldn’t get more specific than social media. More than two has a nice web page based terminology list that was helpful when I decided to talk to other poly groups online but we just did it on our own.
  • Joining groups on Facebook has been the most help. I’ve been able to see real life polyamorous relationships in both the good and bad sides. I feel more connected and more at ease seeing there’s other people out there experiencing the same or similar things as me.
  • “More Than Two”, various polyamory Facebook groups.
  • Honestly facebook Polyamorous groups have been the biggest help for me!
  • The only website I know of right now is fetlife. Besides the poly Facebook group.
  • Facebook groups have been beneficial.
  • Polyamorous FBgroups
  • Fetlife! I have been on there for years and have a pen pal from Michigan that we have wrote almost daily for five years. It is a true community, especially for us that are very much closeted.
  • The Polyamory Toolkit. Facebook-Groups. Online Resources like Psychology Today.
  • Believe it or not, Beyond the vanilla lifestyle
  • YouTube and meeting actual people in the community has been a great resource for me. If I’m able to see how other’s are developing and navigating their polycules, it gives me inspiration and hope for mine.
  • Groups on Facebook have been amazing. Being able to read about what others have gone through and learned has helped me stop problems before they exist.
  • Conor and Brittany. Com The ethical slut, book Esther Perel, books and pod casts Polyamorous uncensored, pod cast
  • Facebook groups and friends.

Books

  • I think that the books The Ethical Slut and More Than Two (along with it’s accompanied website) are my go-to’s about poly life. But reading Robert Greene (especially Art of Seduction) has really changed my game. Understanding human psychology and social dynamics is KEY to enjoying this lifestyle to the fullest.
  • More Than Two was important, as well as the 5 Love Languages. More than anything else though, is various online communities where I could read about other people’s situations and dynamics.
  • The ethical slut More than two Group links
  • The ethical slut More than two
  • Definitely “More Than Two”. We read this together, as a couple.
  • The book “sex at dawn” has been a nice conversation starter between my new to poly partners. It has really helped us feel like we aren’t broken for feeling the way we do, despite all of us having lived in the Bible Belt.
  • Many Love: A Memoir of Polyamory and Finding Love(s) by Sophie Johnson & Wide Open: My Adventures in Polyamory, Open Marriage, and Loving on My Own Terms by Gracie X (Both of these are amazing first person accounts about opening up to polyamory and the non-monogamous lifestyle. It was great for me because I didn’t know what to expect when opening up a relationship, and this really helped me understand all the work that has to go into it and just the reality of it.)
  • The ethical slut More than two.
  • Jealousy Workbook and the Ethical Slut.
  • More Than Two (book) A Smart Woman’s Guide to Polyamory (book)
  • What Love Is: And What It Could Be by Carrie Jenkins (This book really helped me develop a new perspective about love and relationships, which was really beneficial when I was first opening up to non-monogamy.)
  • I miss the Usenet group alt.polyamory. For books, I think *Opening Up* is too couple-centered and *More Than Two* is too anti-couple, so they complement each other.
  • The ethical Slut
  • More than two, the book and website
  • Still reading.

Other

  • Polyamory Weekly was one of the first podcasts I ever listened, more recently I have found Multiamory
  • Various netflix documentaries
  • My primary is a relationship coach trained in orgasmic meditation, she’s been a fantastic resource.
  • Therapy. Not enough people go, and I don’t date anyone who hasn’t anymore (and often can’t even befriend them). It teaches boundaries, communication, coping skills, etc. It should be a requirement for entering a relationship.
  • Polyamory Weekly Podcast: polyweekly.com
  • Book, Conversations with God. Facebook groups: polyamory.
  • I’ll be honest here, most of what I know has just come from experience. You can read every book, every article, watch all of the YouTube videos and documentaries, listen to the podcasts, and you’re still not going to be prepared until you live through it. That being said, there is a polyamorous blog I like called poly.land but it isn’t perfect.
  • Experience. And discussions with fellow poly people.
  • Medieval reenactment groups and ren faires! Once started realizing that a lot of people I knew and were friends with in these groups were poly but it really isn’t talked about. But once they know you are poly the flood gates open and they have been a wealth of information.
  • Word of mouth.
  • To be honest, life experience, not guides or books or documentaries has influenced me best. Learning to listen to myself, and what my needs are, and then meeting people who have similar wants and needs for their relationships. Learning to listen to others, and be open-minded about the possibilities, while also being true to my boundaries and the boundaries of others. Resources can be and often are terribly prescriptive, and often only advocate for one or two forms of poly, generally at the expense and shaming of others.
  • Living this lifestyle has been my best influence. You have to make some Mistakes along the way to make things better. Ethical slut was a great learning book as well.

Check out our Media Representation page for a list of movies and books that may interest you.

Thanks for reading our 10 part “Our Story” Series!

***

Stay tuned for the “Our Story #2” Series (which will focus on creating and maintaining healthy relationships within the constructs of polyamory). If you’d like to participate, there is more information below, and a link to the questionnaire.

*For Polyamorous terminology, we recommend reading through this list created by More Than Two: Polyamory 101

Community Projects

Our Story #2

If you’d like to be an anonymous participant for our next series of community representing articles (titled “Our Story #2”), please complete the following questionnaire:

“Our Story #2” Series Questionnaire

Your responses will help showcase our community’s diversity, promote a positive polyamorous representation, and help give advice/guidance/support and information to those newly coming into polyamory, as well as those currently living polyamorously. Our main focus for the “Our Story #2” series will be how to create and maintain healthy relationships within the constructs of polyamory, whereas our focus for the 1st “Our Story” was a more general overview of polyamory.

The new series “Our Story #2” will be published after the last piece of our 10 part “Our Story” series is complete. Stay tuned for all 10 parts of the “Our Story” series, as well as the upcoming “Our Story #2” series.

**THIS QUESTIONNAIRE IS COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS! DO NOT PROVIDE ANYONE’S NAMES OR ANY OTHER PERSONAL INFORMATION!

Our Story – was a series that covered general topics in order to both introduce the world to polyamory, as well as normalize it and showcase its diversity. (The article series will be available on our website starting January 1st…each part of the 10 part series will be published 2 weeks apart.)

Our Story #2 – is a series that is focused on how to create and maintain healthy relationships within the constructs of polyamory.

ALL submissions are anonymous, and will be combined to create a comprehensive guide to help polyamorous people maneuver the ups and downs of relationships. Everyone is different, and therefore everyone deals with their emotions in different ways. Emotions affect the way in which we communicate, act, and love. Sharing your own suggestions, for things that have benefited or helped you in some way, will greatly impact our Polyamorous community as a whole in a positive way. The best advice FOR the Polyamorous community, comes FROM the Polyamorous community!

If you’d like to participate in this questionnaire, please click HERE.

“The Art of a Polycule” Project​

We are starting a new project to artistically represent the relationship dynamic diversity within our community. This project will be art based, and will showcase the way in which a variety of community members construct their relationship dynamics. In order to be an anonymous contributor to this project, you must send in an image representation (something self-drawn; by hand, or other media means) that details your polycule structure.

Rules for art submissions are displayed below:

  1. You may include as many people as you feel best represents your polycule (including partners, metamours, metamour’s partners, platonic relationships, etc.); but NO friends, family, children, pets, or the like.
  2. The polycule must start with YOU, this is a representation of YOUR structural relationship dynamics.
  3. This is anonymous! As such, no names shall be given for any of the people in your polycule.
  4. Your drawing must be designed in the following way (Each person drawn must be a shape, and each connection between them must be presented as lines.):

-You will be a black dot.

-Your partners will be red hearts.

-Your metamours will be blue triangles.

-Additional partners (of your metamours, or of their partners, depending on how far you feel your polycule extends) can be drawn as green squares.

-The lines between romantic partners will be solid pink.

-The lines between platonic partners will be dotted yellow.

-Do NOT draw lines between you and your metamours, unless you consider them to be a romantic or platonic partner.

ALL SUBMISSIONS will be re-constructed and formatted into a new design that will be extended to all pieces so that the arrangement and visual product is smooth and congruent. So don’t worry if your artistic abilities aren’t the best, it’s the information about the polycule formation that matters most, not how well you can draw it. Your original product will not be on display, only our finished product with the polycule dynamics we have collected from the community. This isn’t a contest, we are looking for contributions from everyone (no matter your level of artistic ability).

**Send submissions to our CEO:

Jauni@PolyamorousLiving.com

**Thank you to all who have chosen to contribute to our polyamorous projects!

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J

I am a gender fluid pansexual vegan Wiccan mama who is polyamorous (and forms connections through the freedom of relationship anarchy). I love writing, photography, dancing, travel, hiking, cooking, kissing, and motherhood.


Reader Comments

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