Pub. Date:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families

The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families

by Elisabeth Sheff


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The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families

Marriage and monogamy are not what they used to be, and today many couples are opting to start families before getting married, or deciding not to get married at all. At the same time, gay couples in states that recognize same-sex marriage are getting married in droves. Some people prefer non-monogamy and have relationships that include swinging and polyamory. The landscape of American marriage and relationships is changing, and a variety of family systems are developing and becoming more common.

The Polyamorists Next Door introduces polyamorous families, in which people are free to pursue emotional, romantic, and sexual relationships with multiple people at the same time, openly and with support from their partners, sometimes forming multi-partner relationships, or other arrangements that allow for emotional and sexual freedom within the family system. In colorful and moving details, this book explores how polyamorous relationships come to be, grow and change, manage the ins and outs of daily family life, and cope with the challenges they face both within their families and from society at large. Using polyamorists' own words, Dr. Elisabeth Sheff examines polyamorous households and reveals their advantages, disadvantages, and the daily lives of those living in them.

While polyamorous families are increasingly common, fairly little is known about them outside of their own social circles or of the occasional media sensationalism. This book provides information that will be useful for professionals with polyamorous clients, educators who wish to understand or teach about polyamory, and especially people who wish to better understand polyamory themselves or explain it to their potential partners, adult children, or in-laws.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442253100
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 07/16/2015
Pages: 324
Sales rank: 818,945
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Elisabeth Sheff, PhD, is an educational and legal consultant who specializes in the families of sexual and gender minorities. She is the CEO and Director of Legal Services at the Sheff Consulting Group in Atlanta, a think-tank of experts specializing in unconventional and underserved populations. One of the foremost experts on polyamory and polyamorous families with children, she has presented her work at national and international conferences and has lectured widely on the topic.Sheff's second book, Stories from the Polycule: Real Life in Polyamorous Families, is an anthology of work written by polyamorists, with cartoons by Tikva Wolf.

Table of Contents

Part One: Understanding Polyamorous Relationships
1.What is polyamory?
2.Who does polyamory, and why?
3.Polyamorous Communities in the United States
4.Common issues facing polyamorous relationships

Part Two: Polyamorous Families with Children
5.Children in Polyamorous Families
6.Adults in Polyamorous Families
7.Benefits of Polyamorous Family Life
8.Difficulties in Polyamorous Families
9.Overcoming Obstacles

10.Implications for Serial Monogamy and Policies

Appendices a. List of frequently appearing respondents b. Research Methods c. Notes d. Bibliography

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The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
Having read many of Dr. Sheff's online articles, I was expecting the style to be light and conversational. This is not such a critter; it's a scholarly work, compiled over a number of years, full of references to methodology and qualifications and quantifications. That's not a bad thing. But chatty and humorous bits like this: "Tacit Campo reiterated this point with tongue planted firmly in cheek when he said, 'Poly newcomers tend to make the same mistakes, and I’d like to think that at this point in life, I’m ready to explore the exciting world of advanced, sophisticated relationship mistakes that waits beyond that field.'" are few and far between, if delightful, when they pop up. It's still well worth a read, if you identify as polyamorous, or love someone who is.