Resource Guide

Recommended by the Off the Escalator project

To suggest a resource to add, please use the Contact page.

Asexuality and Aromanticism

Couple Privilege


  • No Dick Pics: Your Guide to Creating an Irresistible Online Dating Profile. 2017 book by Cunning Minx and Lusty Guy (hosts of the Polyamory Weekly podcast)
  • OK Cupid. Free online dating service known for being especially useful for, and friendly to, people seeking unconventional intimate relationships. The free Google Chrome web browser plugin OkCupid (for the Non-Mainstream User) by Ben Jaffe makes it simpler for people seeking unconventional relationships to find each other.

Gender Spectrum

  • The ABC’s of LGBT+. 2016 book by Ashley Mardell.
  • Gender Spectrum. 2013 article on that gives an overview of gender diversity issues, vocabulary and resources.
  • A Guide to Gender: The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook. 2014 book by Sam Killermann.


  • FetLife. Free membership-based social network for the BDSM, fetish and kink community.
  • Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities. 2012 book by Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams.

Living Apart (non-nesting relationships)

  • Apartners Live Happily Ever After, in Places of Their Own. Article by Bella De Paulo, Ph.D. Published in Psychology Today, April 5, 2016.
  • Apartners: Living Happily Ever After, Apart. Documentary by Sharon Hyman, currently in production. Includes monogamous and polyamorous relationships.


Nonmonogamy, General

  • Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships. 2015 book by Mark Michaels.
  • The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Adventures. Book by Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton. Second edition, 2011
  • Investigation of Consensually Nonmonogamous Relationships: Theories, Methods, and New Directions. Research paper by Terri D. Conley, Jes L. Matsick, Amy C. Moors, Ali Ziegler from the University of Michigan. Two studies: first into general relationship satisfaction for monogamous vs. consensually nonmonogamous relationships, second into how consensual nonmongamy researchers tend to be perceived as more biased and less reliable.
  • Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. 2008 book by Tristan Taormino.
  • Redefining Our Relationships: Guidelines For Responsible Open Relationships. 2002 book by Wendy-O-Matik.
  • Rethinking Infidelity: A Talk for Anyone Who Has Ever Loved. Video of a 2015 TED talk by psychotherapist Esther Perel.
  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships. 2012 book, from the perspective of evolutionary biology, by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

Norms, Social (and privilege in general)

Personal Growth and Introspection


Sexual Health

  • CDC Sexually Transmitted Diseases. U.S. Centers for Disease Control information resource.
  • Coming Out To Your Doctor. Episode 499 of the podcast Polyamory Weekly, by Cunning Minx, Jan. 5, 2017
  • STIs for Dummies. Poly Weekly podcast interview with Jenn Stauffer, a medical testing lab professional who summarized her RelateCon presentation, The Sensible Slut: a review of the transmission and testing methods of the top four STIs: chlamydia, HPV, HSV and HIV.

Skills/Tools for Unconventional Relationships (and traditional ones, too!)

  • Checklists for designing your relationships and intimate connections. Included in chapter 11 of Opening Up, a 2008 book by Tristan Taormino (see Nonmonogamy, General)
  • Getting Negotiation Going. Advice on how to manage relationship negotiation and renegotiation, in a practical, positive, actionable, friendly way. Includes tips for more and less traditional relationships. Blog post from The Pervocracy, Feb 5, 2013.
  • Relationship Agreements: A Simple and Effective Guide for Strengthening Communication, Reducing Conflict, and Increasing Intimacy to Design Your Ideal Relationship. 2016 book by Eri Kardos

Solohood and Singlehood

  • Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone. 2012 book by Eric Klinenberg, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University.
  • Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics. 2004 book by Sascha Cagen. Covers solohood, mostly in the context of people who prefer monogamous relationships or conventionally uncommitted dating.
  • Polysingleish. Blog by Mel Mariposa about solo polyamory from a relationship anarchist perspective.
  • Single at Heart. Blog by psychologist Bella De Paulo.
  • Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. 2007 book by psychologist Bella DePaulo, Ph.D.
  • Solo Polyamory. Facebook discussion group focused on solo polyamory. Co-moderated by the author of the Off the Escalator project.
  • Blog written 2012-2015 on solo polyamory, by the author of the Off the Escalator project, under the pen name Aggie Sez.


  • Are Swingers Freaky and Deviant? Also: Women, Swinging, Sex, and Seduction. Articles about swinger culture by Edward Fernandes, Ph.D. Published in Psychology Today, 2013. Based on research that Fernandes published in scholarly journals.
  • Cooper S. Beckett, books. This member of the Life on the Swingset podcast team has published three books sharing the journey into swinging and toward polyamory. He shows show how these two popular styles of consensual nonmonogamy are not in opposition, and can overlap in individuals and relationships.
  • Kasidie. Membership-based social network to facilitate connections and promote events in the swinger community
  • Life on the Swingset. Podcast, part of the podcast network.
  • The Lifestyle: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers. 2010 book by Terry Gould. Offers a history and overview of swinging culture.
  • Swinging For Couples, Beginner’s Guide. Also Intermediate Guide and Advanced Guide. 2015 book series by Natalie Robinson.
  • Swingtowns: Swingers section. Articles explaining the basics and intricacies of swinging, from a website about sex, dating, and relationships.

Transitions and Breakups

Unconventional Relationships and Identities, Other Resources

  • 60 Sex-Relevant Terms You May Not Know – and Why You Should. April 6, 2017 Psychology Today article by Bella De Paulo, author of Singled Out (see Solohood and Singlehood above).
  • Glossary, Useful list of terms, about polyamory and much more.
  • Online service that facilitates in-person local gatherings for any community or interest. Many local groups exist around the world focused on polyamory, asexuality, sex-positivity, and unconventional relationships. Free to search for and join local meetup group; fee required to organize a meetup group.
  • Mixed-Orientation Marriages: Pathways to Success. Guidance for married couples where spouses have different sexual orientations (i.e., one spouse is straight, the other is bisexual). Includes some discussion of consensual nonmonogamy and other ways to adapt the structure of the marriage to accommodate this difference.
  • Rewriting the Rules: An Integrative Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships. 2012 book by Meg-John Barker.
  • Savage Love. Sex and relationship advice by longtime columnist Dan Savage. Frequently addresses issues of nonmonogamy, kink, and much more. In addition, Savage’s weekly Savage Lovecast podcast is available in free “micro” and subscription-based “magnum” editions. Published by The Stranger, a Seattle-based alternative media outlet. Probably not the best resource on polyamory, but pretty good about other off-the-Escalator relationship styles.
  • SexLab. Blog of the University of Michigan Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities, which has conducted substantial research into the stigma surrounding unconventional sexualities and relationships.
  • What Love Is: And What It Could Be. 2017 book examining the nature and role of romantic love, by philosopher Carrie Jenkins.