Category Archives: PolyonPurpose Guides

Back to the Drawing Board: Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous

As some of you know, my next book was supposed to be Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous and I had planned to release it in November.

Unfortunately/fortunately (take your pick) in the last month or two my view of what safer sex is has changed pretty dramatically. Which means I have a book about safer sex due to publish next month that I don’t think accurately or completely covers safer sex.

Which means I no longer have a book coming out next month. After thinking about it a bit, here’s what I’m doing instead.

For now I’m going forward with the writing for Polyamory and Kink. I’ve already got a lot of the prep work done and the ideal schedule plotted out and such. While the schedule for Safer Sex just got thrown out the window.

While I’m working on Polyamory and Kink I’ll take some time to review what I have so far in Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous. I’ll be reviewing what needs to be changed, what needs to be added, and generally figuring out what I need to do encompass my new and expanded understanding of safer sex.

When I’m done writing Polyamory and Kink and have sent it out to the editors, I’ll get to work fixing Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous. With luck, Polyamory and Kink will be released on schedule in Fall of 2018, and the revised and expanded Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous will be out the year after that.

Why the big change?

The usual view of “safer sex” focuses exclusively on STIs. But “safety” is a much bigger concept than “not getting/managing illness.” A safer sex discussion to be complete should include things like latex allergies, low-strain sex positions (because throwing your back out is the opposite of “safe”), recognizing manipulation, healthy consent, contraception, and other things I’m just beginning to sort out.

When we reduce “safer sex” to “avoiding STIs” we both reinforce stigma against STIs (by acting like STIs are only thing relevant to sexual safety) and fail to address other important safety issues.

In the mean time, check out the Polyamory on Purpose Guides that have already been published.

Next Polyamory on Purpose Guide: Polyamory and Kink

After a lot of thought I’ve decided to make the next Polyamorous on Purpose Guide about mixing polyamory and kink.

Why Polyamory and Kink?

I’d originally planned to make the next book about raising kids in polyam families, but then my custody case blew up. Since polyamory was a reason the kids were taken from me, this topic is currently hitting a bit to close to home.

Polyamory and kink has been on my to-do list for a while. Not only is it near and dear to my heart, but, as both kink and polyamory have become increasingly popular, it’s a topic I see a lot of questions about in polyam groups and discussions. Still, I know that Raven Kaldera had a book out on polyamory and D/s relationships. So I thought I’d focus on topics that hadn’t already been covered.

On a whim this spring I picked up Kaldera’s Power Circuits. And well, the truth it isn’t really written for polyamorous people. The whole focus of the book is on helping people in M/s relationships figure out how to do polyamory. Which, don’t get me wrong, is a book that was needed. But it’s actually very different from what I think of when I think of writing about polyamory and kink.

So since I was shelving writing about children for another time, I decided to dust off polyamory and kink as my next topic.

What Will Polyamory and Kink Cover?

Since my main audience is already familiar with polyamory, I’ll start by introducing kink. We’ll look at kink as an activity vs kinky as an identity, the jargon of the kink community, and some of the common kinky activities.

From I don’t have a clear outline yet, but topics will include:

  • how to find polyam & kinky partners
  • navigating kinky/vanilla relationships
  • introducing a vanilla partner to kink
  • safe ways to explore new kinks
  • making D/s and polyam relationships work outside the bedroom
  • advice for a vanilla polyam person who has a partner in an outside-the-bedroom D/s relationship
  • probably other stuff too

Will You Share Your Experience?

I actually have more years in kink than in polyamory, which is saying something. But no one person will experience everything.

  • What would you like to see in a book about polyamory and kink?
  • What do you think polyam folks who are new to kink or are trying to understand a kinky partner should know about kink?
  • Would you be interested in contributing an essay or personal story to the book? ($10 for each accepted contribution, paid on publication)

Since I’m not a sub and have no experience with Big/little dynamics, I’m especially interested in input from folks who are subs and/or littles.

Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous, Blog Hiatus, and Personal Stuff

I keep saying I’m going to start posting snippets from Safer Sex on my Patreon page. Time to finally get my shit together and do it. For the next several weeks I’ll be sharing sections from Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous 3 times a week. These will be Patron only posts and the snippets won’t be final drafts. So expect typos and such, but they’ve been through first round edits so the general content shouldn’t change much between now and publishing.
I am, as usually, running behind schedule. But if I can keep on my current pace I can be ready to send the manuscript out my sensitivity editor in June, for an early August publication. So I’m not yet at my goal of a book every 6 months, but I’m getting closer.
Re: the blog.
As predicted, custody shit has stirred up all my mental illnesses, so posting went to hell. Rather than scramble to catch up, I’ll be writing/editing posts as I can and holding them to build back the buffer I lost a couple month ago. Once I have a two week buffer again I’ll resume posting on the website.
And since I mentioned custody shit–let me just say that it is going far better (and fast) than I expected. Court in is two weeks, so fingers crossed!

The Polyamorous Home, now in paperback!

Okay, it took me way longer than it should have, but I finally fought my way through the formatting. The Polyamorous Home is now available in paperback on Amazon.

Here, for the first time, is a guide to how polyam folk can create homes and living situations that suit our lives and our relationships. Whether you live alone or with a dozen of your partners, friends, and family, you can create a home life that works for you.

-Alternative living arrangements
-Budgeting for dates
-Moving in together
-Sleeping arrangements
-Holidays
-And more…

The Polyamorous Home by Jess Mahler

The Polyamorous Home out in ebook!

The Polyamorous Home by Jess MahlerHey folks, it’s official. The Polyamorous Home is now available in ebook at Amazon and other online retailers.

Some technical glitches have delayed the paperback, but expect it later this week.

Polyamorous relationships challenge the way mainstream society expects people to live. Mainstream assumptions about who sleeps where, how a family manages their money, and even who lives together, fail before the sheer variety of ways polyam folks build our relationships.

The Polyamorous Home is practical a guide for polyam folk on creating homes and living situations that suit our lives and our relationships. Whether you live alone or with a dozen of your partners, friends, and family, you can create a home life that works for you.

Alternative living arrangements
Budgeting for dates
Moving in together
Sleeping arrangements
Holidays
Prioritizing the individual or the community
And more…

Going Forward

I know the posting and everything kind of went to hell the last few months as I finalized getting The Polyamorous Home together. I expect to be more on the ball going forward, with regular posts Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. Thanks for your patience while I dealt with both this book and release and various personal upheavals.

I’ve also managed to get a start on the next book in the Polyamory on Purpose Guide series. I’m currently about 13,000 words into the first draft of Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous. Check out my Patreon campaign for irregular updates and early access.

The Polyamorous Home First Review

The Polyamorous Home is now up for preorder as an ebook. I’m working on getting the paperback up. In the meantime, Dr. Elizabeth Sheff just shared her review with me. Check it out:

Review of The Polyamorous Home by Jess Mahler

With a great discussion of individual versus group needs and lots of helpful examples, Mahler’s new book The Polyamorous Home is a thoughtful and informative look at how polys can structure their living arrangements. From negotiating boundaries, sharing a kitchen or bathroom, working out finances, managing holidays, and dealing with changes like the onset of a disability, to personal/relational space, sleeping arrangements. legal hassles, solo poly homes, sharing housework, and exit plans, The Polyamorous Home is chock full of useful tips for new and long-time polyamorists.

Elisabeth Sheff, author of The Polyamorists Next Door (2014), Stories from the Polycule (2015), and When Someone you Love is Polyamorous (2016).

 

The Polyamorous Home by Jess Mahler

Draft of Poly Group Home is Finished

Thanks in part the generous contributions of the PolyonPurpose Patrons, I’ve been able to spend some solid time each week on the next Polyamory on Purpose guide, The Poly Home.

The current plan is for the book to be divided into five sections

  • General information for poly group homes all poly homes
  • Issues and ideas specific to poly group homes
  • Issues and ideas specific to poly couple homes
  • Issues and ideas specific to poly folk living apart from all their poly partners
  • Moving In Together

With the additional time I’ve been able to spend working on the book, last Wednesday I finally completed the section on group homes. If I can continue working at the current pace I anticipate finishing a section a month from now until the first draft is finished.

To wet your appetite, here is the introduction to Poly Group Homes as currently drafted:

 

I read recently that intimacy is really “in-to-me-see.” A reminder that being intimate isn’t just the things we do together, but mostly in seeing and connecting with each other.

The home is the most intimate part of our lives. It is where we let go of our public masks and be ourselves. Our disgusting habits, residual childishness, inner naivete, and everything else that is “us” can come out to play. Living together is an intimate experience. That’s true whether you are lovers, friends, roommates, or strangers stuck in the same dorm. For poly groups living together, sharing that intense intimacy can be a joy and a challenge. There is an old English saying about two women in a house never being in accord. Whether women, men, or non-binary, more people in the house definitely increases the chance of discord.

Nothing can prevent problems cropping up from time to time, but I hope within this section, you will find practical advice on living together that will help avoid some of those problems–as well as just make day-to-day life a little simpler.

And however much risk of discord there is in living together, the “in-to-me-see” of sharing the little day-to-day bits of your lives together is pretty damn awesome.

 

If I can continue working at the current pace, and if editing and formatting don’t give me too many headaches (they usually do) I’ll have the finished book published next January or February. Or if you can’t wait for more, sign up to become a PolyonPurpose Patron and read the drafts as I write them.

The Poly Home

Now that Polyamory and Pregnancy is making its way through the world, I’m starting work on the next Polyamory on Purpose Guide: The Poly Home.

As we all know, the variety of poly relationship structures is nearly endless – as is the variety of living arrangements. I order to make this guide as comprehensive as possible, I’m asking you to share your story. Tell me about your Poly Home. Tell me about the challenges you’re faced, meal planning, sleeping arrangements, how the transition when people move in or move out, or anything else you like. I am particularly interested in hearing from single polies, whose experiences have largely been overlooked in the community.

In case it isn’t clear: I am not talking or writing about only group living situations. Whether you live alone or in a commune, unless your poly partners never come to your home, polyamory affects your home life. And if your partners never come to your home, then you are dealing with the same issues from the other side when you visit their home.

So please, share your thoughts, your stories, your challenges. And what you want to see in a book about the Poly Home.

Uncharted Love Interview with Dawn Davidson

[Sorry, this post should have gone up yesterday!]

Dawn Davidson of Uncharted Love decided she wanted to interview me about Polyamory and Pregnancy as well as delve into my personal life a bit (What kind of baby gear is my relationship most like? Really Dawn? Where the hell did you come up with that one?!)

You can hear the interview, or read the transcript on Uncharted Love.

The Polyamorous Misanthrope Reviews Polyamory and Pregnancy

Several awesome folks are blogging about Polyamory and Pregnancy this week. If you missed them, please check out Alan M.’s write up on Poly in the News and Olivia Grey’s post on Caught in the Cogs, which went up last week.

Today, the Polyamorous Misanthrope shares her take on Polyamory and Pregnancy. If you are not familiar with her, Misanthrope is a advise blogger “wielding the stick of grandmotherly kindness.” She will share her thoughts straight up and doesn’t pull punches. Check her out.