Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners” as Want to Read:
Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  259 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Unlike other books on this topic, Polyamory in the 21st Century weaves together research and facts to provide an informed and impartial analysis of polyamory as a lifestyle and as a movement, and to place it in a psychosocial as well as an historical context. Anecdotes and personal experiences allow the reader to develop a better understanding of polyamory and the people w ...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published July 16th 2010 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (first published January 1st 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Polyamory in the 21st Century, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Polyamory in the 21st Century

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  259 ratings  ·  34 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners
Bastian Greshake Tzovaras
Dec 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Reading this book immediately made me regret using the term polyamory in any self-description and made me want to exclusively use relationship anarchy instead… There's so much to criticize that it's hard to know where to start. The executive summary would be: promotion of shaky evolutionary psychology 'evidence', cherry picking in the interpretation of survey data, too big a focus on spiritual/religious stuff and last but not least a holier-than-thou mentality.

For the religious/spiritual stuff,
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up-on, sex
I gave up on this book, yes, but I jumped around and read the sections I cared most about, so I feel perfectly qualified to write this review.

Where to begin with this book?? This author earned her Ph.D in clinical psychology, allegedly??? Despite this, she either makes the following claims or passes on the following claims without voicing dissent:

* It is a worthwhile goal for humanity to stop feeling bonded to individuals and start feeling that same level of bonding with all of humanity (this is
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Deborah Anapol describes polyamory in this way: "I use the word polyamory to describe the whole range of lovestyles that arise from an understanding that love cannot be forced to flow or be prevented from flowing in any particular direction. Love which is allowed to expand often grows to include a number of people. But to me, polyamory has more to do with an internal attitude of letting love evolve without expectations or demands that it look a particular way than it does with the number of part ...more
Erika Nerdypants
Very well researched and structured book on open relationships. Not so much a how to or guide book, as it is an explanation of why some folks chose this relationship style. The author gives lots of examples from her practice as a therapist, and doesn't push her point of view. I absolutely agree in principle with the philosophy of polyamory, but am not at all sure that I personally have the communication skills, self-awareness and flexibility needed to make it work. there are lots of reasons why ...more
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've both read and written enough on this topic to discover few new things on any book about polyamory and non-monogamy. Still, I found this to be a good survey on relatively current issues on non-monogamy. I certainly don't agree with all of Dr. Anapol's assertions or opinions, but I don't expect that to be the case for any book I read on the topic. Compared to the other "bibles" on open relationships--The Ethical Slut and Opening Up--I found this one to be an equally balanced and more interest ...more
Daniela Aviña
Oct 19, 2014 rated it liked it
What a very insightful book, in a historical background sense to polyamory. I wouldn't recommend this book to someone unfamiliar with the subject, this is more of filler to make you feel rooted in polyamory. It touches base with communes, short personal testimonies of family dynamics, and a look back on ancient cultural acceptances and paradigms of love, that make you say, yea, I'm not alone, it's been right here in human history all along. -Currently at the moment, society does not validate or ...more
Dec 25, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: the monogamish
Recommended to Kate by: 306.8423 A
Shelves: sex-gender
"The new commandment is that we love one another, not by pairs, as in the world, but en masse." ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I didn't go into reading this book but I was pleasantly surprise! The author, Deborah Anapol, has taught me a few things about myself as a poly person. This isn't a how to book, or a book for someone who is new to the lovestyle, it's for people who have experience and want to strengthen their knowledge on the subject. The author, who was a clinical psychologist, did a great job of using case studies to give examples of topics that were discussed. I was surprised that there was a full chapter on ...more
Amanda Peterson
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I have heard about the concept of polyamory online and thought it was something that could only happen in the 21st century. While it is more talked about in our time, the concept of multiple partners has already happened throughout history. What is interesting about this book that while clinical it does not try to paint polyamory as something perfect. The author does list some noted problems with the concept. Not a bad read.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too much of what I feel is 'self help'-type talk. I skimmed a lot, especially when reading interviews and sample cases because they were very repetitive - i.e. the same thing gets said three different ways by the same person within two paragraphs. Some not bad moments but overall this book didn't work for me. ...more
Robert McTague
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Better than most books of this type. Anapol has her facts straight, doesn't sugarcoat or overly-advocate. She's a clinician in analysis and knows how to write, so this is a worthwhile book if you want to know WTF "poly" is... ...more
Mindi Rosser
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Have you ever deliberated to click the "It's Complicated" relationship status on your Facebook profile? A twinge of guilt masked with exhilaration swirls through that impending keyboard click. Depending upon your reasons for hesitation, you might unconsciously subscribe to a polyamorous lovestyle.

What is Polyamory? Author Deborah Anapol defines polyamory as “having an intimate relationship with more than one person at a time.” As opposed to swinging, which is consensual exchange of partners for
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
the verdict is in: i am in fact brave enough to read this book on the train. i only got one dude asking, "so girl, how do you like the book hur hur," which is fewer than the number of dudes who hit on me while i was reading my analytical chem textbook.

anapol articulates some really fascinating viewpoints about polyamory from an ecological and scientific perspective. the book is delightfully heavy on philosophy; she answers the question "why?" more than "how?"

unfortunately, anapol definitely nee
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing. Anapol's book Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits, was the very first poly book that I ever read way back in high school and helped me to get some direction for my thoughts about it.

Polyamory in the 21st Century continues the high standard, taking perspectives from a number of different scientific and spiritual fields to investigate polyamory, its costs and benefits, and how to make it positive and sustainable.

I truly love the author's approach to trying to understand
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it
The writing of the book is as if it were written in the 1980s or 90s, as opposed to the 21st century, which it is supposed to be about. It focuses largely on cishet poly relationships, though it does touch on bi and gay ones. The author seems to think, incorrectly, that being transsexual is a third sex, when in fact it is not. The author does a little better when it comes to ethical, moral, and psychological issues relating to polyamory, most notably jealous. Passive trans erasure is found throu ...more
Apr 07, 2013 rated it liked it
While I feel like I've grown some by reading this book, I also feel like it could have been written in a more engaging manner. For those looking for a more clinical view of polyamory spiced with some personal experiences and the history of the relationship models, this book is a good one. I prefer a book that does more than present the data to me. Overall, the information was presented well and I greatly appreciate it, I just didn't really enjoy reading it. ...more
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Not only is Anapol a great writer, but her vast knowledge of all things polyamory (or should we say "all things relationship?") is immediately evident upon beginning this book. One of my most dog-eared books to date, and definitely in my top favorites, period. Fascinating, informative, and well-researched. ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
So much more honest than the Ethical Slut. If you are new to poly and just trying to understand different ways of doing it, this book is a great introduction to looking at the many styles of poly relationships and families that exist. It is written plainly, not self-indulgent or pretentious, unlike the Ethical Slut which is provocative, impractical and slightly ridiculous.
Apr 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Wow. It's a wonderful introduction to polyamory. I'd recommend this book to anyone who is interested in knowing more about polyamory. The book is a real eye-opener, even for someone who isn't new to polyamory. ...more
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good book on polyamory, well-written and exciting. Unlike the other polyamory books, this one focuses on heterosexual relations and emphasize the importance of love in these relations. I liked this aspect the most.
Dec 20, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a book that I didn't read from cover to cover, but would pick up and put back down from time to time. I am not personally interested in this lifestyle, however, I do find it interesting.... if that makes any sense -_- ...more
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's a good, rational, scientific, take on a topic that is usually handled with whim and emotion. Not a whole lot of new information, but a good read. I'd recommend it to anyone in a new relationship, polyamorus or not. ...more
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: editura-atman
This is a very good book on polyamory, well-written and exciting. Unlike the other polyamory books, this one focuses on heterosexual relations and emphasize the importance of love in these relations. I liked this aspect the most.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reasonably informative if a bit idealistic in some parts.
Among Others
Sep 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blog-list
This is one of the most level-headed books on polyamory, its history, and what it offers to people examining their relationships.
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This a good introduction to the concept of polyamory, for the nerdy and curious.
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good overview of the concept of polyamory - well organized and thorough. It fits well into my recent interest in the subject of sexuality in general.
Okay, but should have been written in layman's terms ...more
Mar 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Not bad for a sort of hippie-dippy Poly 101 book. Read for a paper. Mildly useful.
Ken Breadner
Jul 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Good chapter on jealousy, but a tad academic for my taste.
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities
  • Seksuolożki. Sekrety gabinetów
  • Piekło kobiet
  • Die Herrenausstatterin
  • Bullshit Jobs: A Theory
  • When Someone You Love is Kinky
  • Tyrmand warszawski. Teksty niewydane
  • Zły
  • Escape from Freedom
  • Liryki najpiękniejsze
  • Tako rzecze Zaratustra
  • Propaganda
  • The Revolt of the Masses
  • Ukradzione miasto : kulisy wybuchu afery reprywatyzacyjnej
  • Kłopot z chrześcijaństwem. Wieczne gnicie, apokaliptyczny ogień, praca
  • Dead Souls
  • Hopscotch
  • Un homme qui dort
See similar books…
See top shelves…

News & Interviews

Hanya Yanagihara’s latest novel is actually three tales of New York.   In To Paradise, the highly acclaimed author of A Little Life and The...
186 likes · 22 comments
“Dr. Helen Fisher divides love into three categories that correspond to different hormones and brain systems. Her analysis of the data suggests that high androgen and estrogen levels generate lust, romantic love correlates with high dopamine and norepinephrine and low serotonin, and attachment is driven by oxytocin and vasopressin. To make matters more complicated, these three systems interact. For example, testosterone can “kickstart the two love neurotransmitters while an orgasm can elevate the attachment hormone,” according to Fisher. “Don’t copulate with people you don’t want to fall in love with,” she warns.4” 2 likes
“The fact is that it’s extremely rare to find anyone who has had only one sexual
partner for his or her entire life. These days, it’s increasingly unusual to
find anyone who has only had one “significant other” throughout his or
her life. So the question is not so much whether to love more than one
but rather whether it works better to have multiple partners sequentially
or at the same time. There are definitely some people who are far better off taking it one at a time, and there are some situations that cry out for other possibilities.”
More quotes…