LOVE AND FREEDOM: TRANSCENDING MONOGAMY AND POLYAMORY


In Love and Freedom, Jorge N. Ferrer proposes a paradigm shift in how romantic relationships are conceptualized and lived, a step forward in the evolution of modern relationships. In the same way that the transgender movement surmounted the gender binary, Ferrer defines how a parallel step can—and should—be taken with the relational style binary.


This book offers the first systematic discussion of relationship modes beyond monogamy and polyamory, as well as introduces the notion of “relational freedom” as the capability to choose one’s relational style free from biological, psychological, and sociocultural conditionings.

After discussing the monopride/polyphobia and polypride/monophobia that shape the contemporary “mono–poly wars” (i.e., the predicament of mutual competition among monogamists and polyamorists), Ferrer articulates three relational pathways to living beyond the mono/poly binary: fluidity, hybridity, and transcendence. Moving beyond that binary opens a novel and plural relational field that Ferrer calls novogamy.  

In this groundbreaking book, readers will learn practical tools to not only transform jealousy, but also enhance their relational freedom while being aware of key issues of diversity and social justice. They will also learn novel standards to evaluate the success of their intimate relationships, and be introduced to a transformed vision of romantic love beyond both monocentrism and emerging polynormativities.

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Woman Writing
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

  1. Relational Freedom and the Crisis of Modern Relationships

  2. Mononormativity, Polypride, and the “Mono–Poly Wars”

  3. Sympathetic Joy: Beyond Jealousy, Toward Relational Freedom

  4. The Dawn of Transbinary Relationships

  5. Relational Freedom and the Transformation of Intimate Relationships

Coda: After Covid-19

Appendix I: Ten Theses on Intimate Relationships

Appendix II: The Alpha Male Versus the Omega Man

Notebook and Pen
 

ADVANCED PRAISE

"Jorge N. Ferrer's Love and Freedom is a powerful, thought-provoking book, and a very welcome addition to the literature on consensual non-monogamy, and relationships more broadly. Written in a highly engaging and well-informed style, this book contains much of interest to the academic reader while being accessible to activists and general readers as well. Ferrer provides a timely overview on the relationship literature and the ways in which monogamy and polyamory have generally been framed, before heading into binary-busting territory. The  divisions between monogamy and non-monogamy, jealousy and compersion, and love and freedom themselves, are all opened up for enjoyable and important exploration and challenge. Drawing on theory and research from biological science through to Buddhist philosophy, Ferrer suggests ways in which we could all occupy more fluid and transbinary positions in relation to love, engage in contemplative practices in order to experience love differently, and cultivate relationships which enable both interconnectedness and personal freedom."


Meg-John Barker, senior lecturer in psychology at Open University. Former editor of Psychology and Sexuality, co-editor of Understanding Non-Monogamies, and author of numerous books, including The Psychology of Sex, Rewriting the Rules, and Life Isn’t a Binary.

"Like previous groundbreaking works that have suggested a blurring of established and cherished identity categories, Jorge Ferrer’s Love and Freedom boldly introduces the notion of “relational freedom” into the collective consciousness. The central premise of this book is refreshing: the idea that style of connection—monogamous, polyamorous, even asexual or aromantic—might not be fixed or essential personality categories, but rather stops along a long, personal road, perhaps even (for some) facets of more complicated orientations (e.g., monogamish, ambisexual, or Ferrer’s proposed frame of the fuzzy, liminal, queered relational space of novogamy). This provocative volume cuts across multiple politics and investments in a way that might cause both monogamous and nonmonogamous alike to clutch their pearls, and for that alone it is worth the read."


Nathan Rambukkana, assistant professor of Communication Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University. Author of Fraught Intimacies: Non/Monogamy in the Public Sphere.

"I read this book with a sigh of relief and renewed energy that the study and living of consensual non-monogamies is not heading down the monogamist track of binary, division, fixity and hierarchy. All too soon social movements meant to enlarge and embrace fluidity and possibility in our intimate lives may become entrenched in having to pick a new term for one's relationship and stick to it for life. We know where that too often ends up for too many relationships in coerced monogamy, and we don’t want to repeat that in the exploration of relationship diversity across the lifespan, place, and contexts. Bring on what Jorge calls novogamy with its freedoms and ethics, its possibilities and care!"


Maria Pallota-Chiarolli, senior lecturer in Social Diversity in Health and Education at Deakin University, Australia, and author of Border Sexualities, Border Families in Schools and co-author of The Politics of Recognition and Social Justice.