26 March 2013

Book Tour: Polyamory and Pregnancy

This Book Tour is a bit different from the ones we've hosted previously...
The book being featured today is not a work of fiction. It is a guide about polyamory and pregnancy. Most of us know what the word "pregnancy" means, but I would be extremely surprised if the same amount knew what "polyamory" means (Oi! No googling in the back!)...

There is no need to be embarrassed if you don't know what it means. And there is no shame whatsoever in not knowing everything. As "they" say, "we learn something new everyday."

Don't worry, everything is conveniently explained in this post, with info about the guide and its author as well as a very informative guest post written by Jessica Burde herself.on polyamory in fiction. 

So, take a seat, have some coffee or tea and... enjoy!

 Loup Dargent

Book Synopsis: 

The first complete guide to pregnancy in polyamorous relationships, Polyamory and Pregnancy covers every step of welcoming a new life into your polycule. Whether you are planning ahead for future children or are on your way to the baby shower, you will find something here to help on your journey: 
  • Unexpected pregnancies 
  • Planning for pregnancy 
  • Important decisions during and after pregnancy 
  • Poly-friendly prenatal care 
  • Birth certificates and paternity 
  • Custody and co-parenting 
  • And more...

About Polyamory: 

Polyamory can be defined as the practice of having or desire to have more than on sexual/romatic/intimate relationship at one time, in an honest and ethical manner. A person in a polyamorous relationship might be part of a group marriage, a swinger, a single person with several SOs, dating a person in a married couple, in an open marriage or any combination of the above. The central focus of polyamory is that these relationships occur with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.

Poly folk face some unique challenges in a culture designed for monogamy. Polyamory on Purpose was started first as a blog and now as a book series to discuss some of the daily-life challenges and ways to navigate them.

Polyamory in Fiction
By: Jessica Burde

I have to admit this is one of my favorite topics. While my first book turned out to be non-fiction, I am a fiction writer at heart, and like a lot of people, I love seeing things in stories that reflect my life. Most often polyamory is found in science fiction and fantasy, but once in a while it will pop up in contemporary fiction or historical fiction. There is also a lot of polyamorous romance coming out from small, independent presses these days.

Robert Heinlein is famous (or infamous) for the wide variety of relationships in his books. Many people in poly communities were introduced to ethical non-monogamy through Stranger in a Strange land, Time Enough for Love and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Heinlein’s books included group marriages, triads, and the rarely heard of “line marriage.”

Current best selling authors Mercedes Lackey and David Weber have also included polyamorous relationships in their books. In Mercedes Lackey’s Bedlam’s Bard series, the main characters end the first book forming a triad. The triad lasts through two books and has a child, then ends as one of the members drifts away from the others. One thing that polyfolk tend to be very open about is that not all relationships are expected to be life long, and Lackey’s characters give a wonderful lesson in how the end of a relationship can be a healthy step, even if it is a sad one.

David Weber has a polyamorous relationship in his Honor Harrington series. Actually, he takes his readers on a tour of non-monogamous relationships, healthy and unhealthy. About midway through the series, the main character, Honor, falls in love with a married man. The feeling is mutual, but both characters are honorable and refuse to act on it. Finally, the man’s wife tells both of them they are being ridiculous and making themselves miserable for no reason. While she appreciates their trying to respect her, they should stop dancing around and have a relationship. Eventually the three of them end up in a three way marriage.

Stieg Larson’s well know trilogy, starting with Girl with the Dragon Fly, includes a triad. I have to admit I haven’t read it, but it has a decent reputation in poly communities.

In contrast, the movie Savages, which came out a few years ago, wasn’t very well liked. But for what it was, it wasn’t bad.

I think polyamorous relationships appear most often in sci-fi/fantasy, because sci-fi fantasy authors like breaking cultural assumptions and exploring what life would be like if something we think of as a fact of life (magic is a myth, interstellar travel is out of our reach, monogamy was not mandatory) got turned on it’s head, either in another world or another time.

The reality is that throughout history non-monogamy has more common than monogamy, and in most cultures it was at least was at least as healthy as most monogamous relationships today. Fiction reflects truth, even when it doesn’t reflect reality. And the truth of polyamory in fiction is that it works.

But in a culture built around monogamy, those of us exploring polyamory can benefit from some road maps as to how to make it work – after all there are dozens of books on relationship advice, parenting, pregnancy and so much more for monogamous folks. In polyamory, we are making it up as we go along. Fictional depictions of polyamory are important, just as books like Polyamory and Pregnancy, because they start creating those road maps.

About the Author:
Jessica Burde is an author, freelance writer and poly activist. She has been in polamorous relationships for nearly 10 years and is a member of the Polyamory Leadership Network and Yahoo PolyResearchers group. Jessica is also the author of the PolyonPurpose blog, which covers topics such as STIs and safe sex, children in polyamory and religious views of polyamory. Much of her freelance writing has been for medical and parenting websites, including advice for new parents, the stages or pregnancy and more.

Jessica has several future books planned for the Polyamory on Purpose Guides series, including Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous, The Poly Home and Raising Children in Polyamory. She plans to publish one guide a year. Jessica also writes fiction, and has a novel-length erotic fantasy that she hopes to release as a webserial in October 2013.

A mother of 3 children, all born into polyamorous relationships, Jessica currently lives in western Tennessee with her long-term partner and youngest son. She misses the Appalachian mountains and hopes to move east in the next few years.

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