Cheers Sexy People!
It is with great pleasure that I share this post with you: a discussion and overview on the latest book from Thorntree Press – “Stories from the Polycule: Real Life in Polyamorous Families”. Let me start by saying that I am an incredibly lucky girl indeed as I had the privilege of being one of the contributing authors to this incredible book. To share the pages with the likes of essays from Dr. Elisabeth Sheff, my friend and esteemed colleague Louisa Leontiades, and the beautiful poetry of a member of our own community here Robert Beveridge is such an absolute honor! I am blown away by the opportunity and the awesomeness of this entire endeavor, and so elated to be a part of it. Just awesome. Yay!
I started perusing the pages of this book with no expectations. I had no idea what to expect yet I was so very excited to hear everyday people sharing their stories and their journeys traversing the often unusual and difficult path that many of us find ourselves on along the ethical non-monogamous journey. I definitely was not disappointed by any stretch. I marvel at the task of putting this piece together and am so happy the effort was put in by Dr. Elisabeth Sheff to do so. She rocks! Let me break this down for you.
The Big Idea
The purpose of this piece of work is to give others the opportunity to peer into the minds and worlds of those around us who are living (or have lived) polyamorous lifestyles and have in some cases gone before us carving a path of the road less traveled. Each story is written authentically by the author(s) in their own voice, sharing as deeply as they decide to about their trials as well as joys and triumphs with ethical non-monogamy. What a gift to be able to enjoy such an incredible overview with so much depth across this particular topic.
This paragraph from the book cover helps sum it up:
The first of its kind, this anthology brings together stories, poems, drawings, and essays created by real people living in polycules. Children describe life with more than two parents, adults share what it’s like to parent with more than one partner. We hear from triads, solos, people who have felt polyamorous their entire lives, and people exploring poly for the first time. Some whimsical, some hilarious, some heartbreaking, some mundane, some life-changing – all pieces reflect the diverse reality of polyamorous families.
What You Will Get From It
The realization that there are SO MANY ways to live a polyamorous life, to create intentional families, to continually re-invent yourself after loss, heartache and self reflection. We are a resilient and diverse bunch of people who have a ton of courage and heart, as well as an endless way of expressing love and sexual fulfillment. I personally found alot of cameraderie among the pages. For example, I was surprised to see that many other couples that shared throughout the book did the same as my husband and I did: They wrote their own vows and intentionally left out the “…and forsake all others” language, anticipating some form of an open marriage. And here I thought we were all unique and creative in that endeavor. Haha! Apparently great minds think alike.
“I think it’s no accident that so many historical examples of ethical non-monogamy involved artists, writers, and musicians. Creative fertility depends on fluidity. And the freedom to keep falling in love, not just with new ideas and projects but also with new minds and bodies, is a core part of my life.” — The art of falling in love by Kala Pierson
“The distance doesn’t diminish the love we have for one another; it spurs us on to make the most of each beautiful and fleeting moment. Our family shape is flexible and ever-changing, with love as the bond that sets the rules for how it moves and morphs. I could not ever have this sort of intimacy, joy, and growth without being the queer and free weirdo that I am. There are so many facets of a person and it’s difficult to discover them on your own when you lock yourself inside while it’s raining outside. Take an umbrella if you need to but don’t fear getting wet. Because you just might miss your rainbow.” — My rainbow by Michón Neal
“Many monogamous relationships can ignore nagging feelings of jealousy, insecurity, lack of boundaries, etc., because the construct of monogamy, an accepted social structure that provides a measure of safety and security, inherently puts these concerns at ease (at least for some). Polyamory offers no such net to fall back on, so jealousies, insecurities, boundaries and the like have to be explicitly and continually worked on (both personally and in the relationships). Polyamory offers a certain level of personal and relationship freedom that I adore and cherish. But with that freedom comes the hard work of forging your own way and facing your limits and edges. You must discover who you really are and expand as a person, which is a beautiful and challenging thing to do.” — The long haul: Over thirty years in a polyfidelitous triad by Rami Henrich
Why You Should Read It
If you are looking to gain a broad perspective on polyamory, or looking to answer the question: “How does this all work” or “How CAN this all work”, then I would recommend that you consider reading this book. There is a wealth of knowledge amongst the pages, as well as a way to broaden your mind about what is truly possible when one decides to go down this polyamorous path. It can also give you hope for how to heal after a breakup or trauma, and how to evolve and change and broaden your family over decades of time. There is alot of beauty, love and self-discovery among the pages of this book.
I’ll end by sharing one of our community members Robert Beveridge’s poem:
The scourge of the internet: duckface
You see if everywhere, in selfies,
on politicians, burned onto toast
in the manner of miracles. I give thanks
every day you never developed the habit,
selfie-loving wife. The look in your
pictures is earnest, forthright, clear
eyes, lips curled in that private
wicked smile that seduces. The other,
after, was our secret. You call it
your melted-butter smile, when after
love you are so satisfied your bones
have turned to margarine, your brain
I got home last Sunday,
found you naked, sprawled atop
the sheets. You and your lover
had been so eager you didn’t stop
to pull them down. I stripped,
slipped in behind you, asked if you’d
had a good time. When I kissed
you, my tongue turned to toast.
Just awesome, Robert. Beautiful. So peeps, please consider checking out Stories from the Polycule. You can get a copy here. Please feel free to write in the comments below and tell us what your thoughts are on the piece. If you are one of the contributing authors, how did you enjoy the experience of helping create this piece of work? Was it epicly cool to see your words in print perhaps for the first time? I would love to hear your thoughts! Do tell! Sharing is indeed caring.
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)
Thanks for the ‘great minds think alike’ comment.???? I very much enjoyed seeing my words in print. It was in part my inspiration to try to write a book myself. You have been another part of that inspiration. It may very well be a good while before I get it written, though.
Jim! Which piece is yours in “Stories from the Polycule”? I don’t see your name. It is “How I arrived at being poly” by Anonymous? If you were here right now, I’d mark you with a pen. 😉 I love you, man! Thanks for being one of my biggest supporters over the years. You inspire me too. You will write a book. Remember today is the first day of the rest of your life. I’m about to write my first book (a short e-book) and I’m so excited. Let’s do it together! Come on, let’s go. I believe in you and your writing ability. And your passion just to do it because you can. You’re awesome.
It has been way too long since I have been marked with a pen. 😉 I appreciate your encouragement.
You are very welcome. 🙂
To know that some have made this lifestyle work for them for decades is beautiful. It takes mature, unselfish love to do that. Giving must be more important than the getting, for all involved. I especially love the insight by Kala Pierson regarding creative people. It so perfectly seems to describe my own orientation and experience. I’m only sorry I came to ethical non-monogamy so late in life, although I had read Heinlein in my teens. I didn’t know anyone other than he and I thought that way. Im happy to know I’m not weird, but if I am, im not weird alone. 😉
I plan to make this lifestyle work for me for decades as well. I’m only in year five, but going strong. I agree that mature, unselfish love is key, as well as massive amounts of quality communication of course. Very wise words with the “giving must be more important than the getting.” Well done. Yes, Kala Peirson’s piece was amazing. As a creative myself, I really identified with it and it truly resonated with me as it did you. When did you end up coming to ethical non-monogamy? How old were you? I was 41 years old. I have not read Heinlein yet. Is it worth it? You are so not weird, and so not alone. You are part of this amazing, growing community! Yay! <3
Thanks, everybody! 🙂 It is a really diverse anthology! I wish our kid had been old enough to contribute too – all we could get out of him at age 4 were a couple of funny one-liners that were too insubstantial for an entry (my favorite was him talking about “that time when we all got married”).
Kala, I really enjoyed your piece! You are awesome! I agree that it is a diverse anthology. I loved reading it all.