Manual Beyond Monogamy: Polyamory and the Future of Polyqueer Sexualities

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What does this mean for their relationship?

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More importantly, why is there such a strong cultural taboo against this kind of triangulation and what does it reveal about the social organization of gender and sexuality? In Beyond Monogamy, Mimi Schippers asks these and other questions to explore compulsory monogamy as a central feature of sexual normalcy.

Schippers argues that compulsory monogamy promotes the monogamous couple as the only legitimate, natural, or desirable relationship form in ways that support and legitimize gender, race, and sexual inequalities. A serious look at the intersections of society and sexuality, Beyond Monogamy takes the reader on a compelling and accessible journey through compulsory monogamy, polyamory, and polyqueer sex and relationships.

Access this eBook from one of our digital partners Table of Contents Introduction.

Description Authors Praise A man and woman are in an open relationship. Beyond Monogamy begins with an extensive introduction to the topic of the polyqueer sexualities to situate them within the already established theories of queer sexualities and normativity.

Beyond Monogamy: Exploring Polyamory and Open Relationships

Schippers claims that until this point there have not been critiques of mononormativity, a gap she intends to fill with this book Schippers She address research into incidental cases of non-monogamy within both the straight and queer communities such as male-dominated polygamy, but the author notes that these are examples of isolated exceptions to monogamy Schippers proceeds to identify four situations that take place specifically between two men and one woman that reflect the effects compulsory mononormativity: open-relationships, standards of respectability, competition between men, and a fear of non-heterosexual relationships.

Each of these issues is dedicated a chapter in which the author explores the complexities of polyqueer relationships more closely. To do this, she uses research and theory established in the introduction to critically examine fictional narratives that exemplify the relationship at hand. Some of these narratives are creations of the author while others are taken from scenes of movies and play so as to provide concrete examples of non-monogamous relationships that are accessible to a more general audience.

The balance of academic theory and research with analysis of tangible examples is one of the greatest strengths of Beyond Monogamy.

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Presentation of other research clearly positions Schippers in the academic conversation and helps frame her theory. The conversation with other respected academics and theorists such as Michael Foucault legitimizes her argument and asserts her authority to critique mononormativity.


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At the same time, the use of concrete narratives caters to both academics and non-academics as a point of entry to her argument. Examples substantiate vocabulary and concepts that are otherwise very specific and theoretical. Even though the introduction is rather dense, the following chapters strive to actively engage a variety of readers who can relate to different situations.

This increased accessibility to her book opens up a wider audience who can read and appreciate it.