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

  • by Elisabeth Sheff
  • Narrated by Johanna Oosterwyk
  • 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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. They do it 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 audiobook explores how polyamorous relationships come to be, how they grow and change, how they manage the ins and outs of daily family life, and how they cope with the challenges they face both within their families and from society. 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 polyamory, and especially people who wish to better understand polyamory themselves or explain it to their potential partners, adult children, or in-laws.


What the Critics Say

"The Polyamorists Next Door is an amazingly comprehensive book.... Poly or mono, you'll find successful ways to navigate relationships interspersed in this fascinating read. I particularly loved Elisabeth Sheff's personal story for its unabashed frankness." (Allena Gabosch, Executive Director of the Center and Foundation for Sex Positive Culture)
"This book is a rich resource packed with fascinating portraits of people living, loving, and learning in nontraditional relationships. It gives us a window into worlds previously hidden and unknown which is invaluable to both scholars and the general public. (Tristan Taormino, author of Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


As a psychology student interested in alternative relationship studies, I found this book to be very interesting. I've also tried poly with really bad results and this book showed me a few reasons why that could be.

All in all, I found it to be very interesting. It is great for understanding the different ways poly can shape a family and does provide some tips on how to manage problems but not a lot.
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- Juan Burris

This is non-fiction, based on wonderful research

I've completed this audible book and have ordered the hard copy for our lending library. Elisabeth discusses her contemporary research on modern polyamory relationships, she reports on the experiences of persons within these new relationships, including those with a long term family unit structure, but of a non-monogamous style. There is a growing library of how polyamory works, but few have taken the time to do skilled and ethically based research into this not so new type of relationship, dare I say family structure, that is coming our of the shadows. Please give it a read. Share with others.
Anne R Harris, LCPC
Executive Director of the Montana Family Center
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-08-2015
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks