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A guide for adventurous couples in an exploration of a more open relationship.

The idea of open relationships seduces more and more men and women who wish to foster a healthy partnership while maintaining multiple lovers. The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory helps couples who want to better understand, or to begin an exploration of, the emotional, sexual, and intellectual mores of polyamory.

Françoise Simpère, an expert in the area of romantic relationships, discusses polyamory and what it involves and describes the practices that make it ethically and emotionally sustainable. This guide provides proposed rules and suggestions on how to keep the love and trust of your partner alive while successfully entertaining other lovers and enjoying the infinite possibilities open relationships have to offer. Couples and individuals interested in entering a polyamorous relationship will be able to use this book as a resource on the art and etiquette of poly-dating, covering a range of questions, including: Should we use a calendar? Can I ask my husband to babysit while I’m with a lover? How can I prioritize my time between two lovers? How can I stave off any jealousy?

Through her years of correspondence with couples interested in open relationships and her own personal reflections and experiences, Simpère is convinced that polyamory opens up many possibilities for a gratifying and healthy sex life.”

So I bought this book to help someone I know adjust to being in a polyamorous relationship. I figured I should read it first and point out things that he should be paying attention to. I went the entire book without marking anything for him to read and I threw the book out when I was done (I was tempted to use it to start a campfire). This is the only book I have ever thrown out in my life.

The author is not qualified to be giving the advice that she is giving. Her only qualification is that she is in a polyamorous relationship and people praise her for it. There are better books out there (like The Ethical Slut to name a book that actually has merit). The author sees herself or at least acts like her way and view are the only that can matter. So if someone disagrees with her, though clearly that doesn’t happen in the letters she chose to have published in the book, she just dismisses them as not being as sophisticated as she is. She bashes monogamy and anyone who wishes to be monogamous.

The author also gives bad advice. In one chapter she tells the readers that they should be open and honest about how they feel, but respect what their partner feels a.k.a. if the partner says don’t sleep with Jim, don’t sleep with Jim. In the next chapter, less than five pages away, she tells the reader that as long as they have warned their partner then that’s all they can do and they can do what they want a.k.a. sleep with Jim after being told by their partner that they shouldn’t sleep with Jim. The author starts out saying “respect and communication are key” and ends with “go ahead and cheat, it is your partner’s fault for trying to limit you” (not direct quotes). The author constantly harps on the idea that any boundaries (things like no sex in our bed or don’t bring him around out kids) or objections from your partner are bad. She says this is your partner trying to limit you and you shouldn’t listen to people who try to limit you. This goes against everything that I know about polyamory (I have over 5 years experience with people who are polyamorous and have read many other guides on polyamory). So unless everything I have ever been taught such as communication, respect, trust, and honesty are lies this author is wrong, or at the very least very not right.

Despite all of her terrible views (such as all gay men are switches), in the poly etiquette chapter she is right. For one whole chapter the author is not pretentious, wrong, and self-promoting long enough to make a point that every person in a relationship should know. That point being “talking, listening, and respect are needed”. Now if she didn’t then tell people that if their partner disagrees with them that they should hide the other relationship and/or lie about it because your life matters more than anything to do with your partner then I may have found one redeeming quality for this book.

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1 out of 5 stars (only because I can’t rate it lower). I do not recommend this book to anyone ever, it isn’t even funny how bad it is.

You can buy this book here, but why would you?

~Isaiah

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