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Polyamory Politics

Corvid College, Boston

Fall 2010

This collaborative study group will discuss various aspects of polyamory, a contested term generally referring to open ethical non-monogamous relationships. Topics for discussion will likely include:

  • the history of monogamy and its alternatives
  • relevant material from psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other social sciences on relationships, sexual identity and practice, and “human nature”
  • political perspectives on monogamy, polyamory, free love, the nuclear family, intentional communities, and other parts of the terrain
  • online and face-to-face polyamory communities
  • connections and disconnections between polyamory and other sex-positive communities such as swinging, LGBT, and BDSM
  • related efforts to enhance personal growth, interpersonal communication, intimacy, sexuality, etc.
  • common issues such as jealousy, insecurity, safety, stability, scheduling
  • legal and other considerations

If interested, we can attend various local polyamory events as a group.

Course details will depend on student interest.

Among the many books on polyamory and related topics are these recent ones:

  • Dossie Easton & Janet W. Hardy (2009) - The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures (2nd ed.)
  • Tristan Taormino (2008) - Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships
  • Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jethá (2010) - Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
  • Deborah Anapol (2010) - Polyamory in the Twenty-First Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners

The instructor's personal interest in polyamory is consistent with his academic work in critical psychology as well as in anarchism, but he is not a therapist. Although some personal discussion is likely, it is not required and this is not a relationship-counseling or therapy group. The class is open to students regardless of relationship status, goals, or assumptions.

Method/Procedures: collaborative study group

Schedule: Tuesdays at 7 pm for 90 minutes for 8 weeks

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Page updated October 20, 2010