Review: Love’s Not Color Blind

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Love’s Not Color Blind by Kevin Patterson

THIS…..BOOK……RIGHT…HERE!!! (inserts slow clap) I’ve been waiting to read this since hearing about it last year. I thought, Finally Yesss, someone talking about the problems of race within polyamory and other alternative communities which I do belong in.

First can we just talk about the Forward by Ruby Bouie Johnson though??!!! Sis, really came through. Yup I’m about to be real black on this review. I already admire her from just hearing her speak on previous occasions within the poly community so when I read her forward it set the tone for the whole book. It fed my soul and made this atheist want to go back to my old church and do a praise dance and run a few laps around the sanctuary. That’s just how good I felt throughout this WHOLE book. Some of her quotes that got me were:

“A book about the polyamorous experience written by a black man just happened in 2017. This is a historical moment.”

“Black people have been spectators to the white experience long enough. Kevin fills a much needed gap in the literature within the poly community.”

I made a status update just 22 pages in about how this book was making me get my whole entire life, and it was. I had to nod my head to SO much in this book. So much that most people in the alternative communities don’t know about inclusion. I’ve personally experienced in the BDSM community both online and in real life. I’ve been one of the only few black women there who just so happened to have a friend (another black women who I refer to as my “sub sister”) there to support and have fun, but of course I’ve been met with the fetishization of me and my body as a black woman. Kevin speaks about this at length in his chapter on fetishization.

I’ve dogeared several pages that I wanted to talk about that really resonated with me like always being the “ambassador” of polyamory to my non-poly or mono relatives. It’s really irritating that I’m always that one, the face of polyamory so to speak. I know a few of my friends or relatives may say yeah Jai’s into that “white people shit” which he discusses in the book as well. I nearly died laughing when he said that because I’ve heard that about almost everything I like to do, but, oh well, I won’t take up too much time on that topic.

A few things that Kevin does that I absolutely love about this book is he says in the first few chapters of the book about how much privilege he has a cisgendered heterosexual male. He recognized the privilege he had right there, and that’s very important. Sadly, most non-POC can’t recognize how their racial privilege affects people. For the most part it’s a negative effect. I seriously wish I could post every single quote and thing that hit home. I just nodded my head through so much of it, like yup he gets it. He absolutely gets it. Some of the other topics he discusses are intentional communities, othering, white feminism in polyamory, and fostering inclusion in poly to name a few.

These topics definitely need to be addressed all the time, not just in polyamory and alternative communities. I don’t know how many countless discussion, journal entries and group posts that I’ve read in online forums about racism, stereotyping and fetishization. It’s a sad, sad state of affairs, but it is pretty common and of course those people who do it don’t even realize they’re doing it, and, when confronted, they make up every excuse not “to own their shit” as stated in the book. Hey, everyone can’t and won’t grow, I learned that a long time ago.

I’m going to end this review with another quote that resonated with me. “If you aren’t being actively inclusive, you are being passively exclusionary.”

Buy the book here.

Kevin’s on tour!

Review: The Polyamorists Next Door

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The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple Partner Relationships and Families by Elizabeth Sheff

In my ever growing thirst for knowledge on polyamory and non-monogamy, I came across this book while browsing Audible. I have a monthly membership, so I’m able to purchase an audiobook with a credit. When I first saw the title, I was like Yessss! They’re finally talking about polyamory within a family setting and how real people navigate it.

Here’s a slight blurb from the Goodreads website about the book. “Dr. Elisabeth Sheff examines polyamorous households and reveals their advantages, disadvantages, and the daily lives of those living in them. While polyamorous families are increasingly common, fairly little is known about them outside of their own social circles or of the occasional media sensationalism. This book provides information that will be useful for professionals with polyamorous clients, educators who wish to understand or teach about polyamory, and especially people who wish to better understand polyamory themselves or explain it to their potential partners, adult children, or in-laws.”

After listening to it, here are my thoughts on the book:
This book came about from 15 years of research in the poly community by the author. For those who continually say, “What about the kids?” when it comes to poly people, Elisabeth gave those real life questions important answers. I felt like her research was groundbreaking in the sense that very few books focus on poly households and the day-to-day lives of those families. I really liked that the author included LGBTQ people and their families in her research as well. One thing I was disappointed with is that there was virtually no representation of poly people of color, which I brought up to a friend who’s doing research on poly people of color. He stated, and I agree, that the poly community is divided along the color lines. Which I feel is very sad. All in all I’m happy that I read this book.

I personally don’t have any small children so this issue doesn’t affect or bother me but it’s important because of my other partners have children and this research and discussion is much needed.

Read a Q&A with the author.

Review: The Game Changer

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The Game Changer: A Memoir of Disruptive Love by Franklin Veaux

“There is no yardstick for measuring love; nevermind that the heart doesn’t follow rules.”

This quote caught me off guard, and, once I truly understood it, it resonated with me. The author, Franklin Veaux, is the grandfather of modern polyamory in my opinion. His memoir highlighted all his struggles with navigating non-monogamous relationships when there was no such thing. He made errors that I’m grateful for, sad to say. Those errors made a lesson on how to treat your partners ethically and with compassion while not losing who you were ultimately.

His wife Celeste,was a classic example of someone who had a lot of insecurities about herself. Later on in the book, it pointed out that she never considered herself polyamorous, but monogamous, while having sexual relationships with men that she never loved. Sadly, I know someone who deals with this. While I read it, I grew angrier and angrier, because this scenario is what someone I care about is experiencing.

I really would like to one day speak to Mr. Veaux and thank him for his contributions. Thank him for breaking down barriers and societal norms. Anyone who challenges mainstream society and monogamy is my hero.
I’d suggest this book to any poly newbie looking to gain perspective on a more personal level than some of the other nonfiction books on polyamory. While More than Two and The Ethical Slut are great reads for those that are just coming into non-monogamy, The Game Changer is for those of us that have made mistakes and want to know how real people fixed them, while unlearning all the toxic things that monogamy has taught us to be.

Buy the book from our shop.

Book Review: Ayana The Return

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A book review of Ayana: The Return. This book contains adult content.

Peter Mack’s Ayana: The Return is a fascinating book about love, sex and intrigue. At its center are characters that have appeared before in Mack’s books, including the exotic Prada, a transgender escort with expensive taste. This was the first Peter Mack book I’ve read, but even though I was new to the world, it was easy to enjoy the plot and characters.

It’s hard to know what to expect from self-published eBooks because they usually don’t have the quality of popular authors who sell first edition hardcovers. This is true for Ayana; a good editor would have polished the formatting and insisted he write in past tense instead of present tense. Despite the flaws, Peter Mack has crystal clear characters, a solid style, and a sense of what makes a good story.

The characters include the aforementioned Prada, the main character Ayana, a grieving pastor with his own history, an evil villian straight out of the Bayou, and more than enough colorful secondary characters. Instead of each person being a stereotype, they have clear motivations, backstories, and personalities. I appreciated this, especially when I learned Prada was transgender. The black community can have a lot of hurtful stereotypes about transgender women, but I saw a lot of truth and thoughtfulness in her story. Ayana is similarly thought out and well written, and their relationship jumps off the page. I don’t know anything about Maserati or Gucci, but I’d love to be their friend. And just in case you were wondering, Prada and Ayana have multiple relationships (some ethical, some not) that make up the sweetest parts of the story. I’m happy to see a male author write multi-dimensional female characters, and I’ll forgive him for mentioning their breasts so often.

The plot seems to be part three in an Ayana series, but I don’t think I missed a lot by jumping into the middle. The story starts out with a bang (literally) and keeps up the momentum until the dramatic conclusion. I only wish I could have spent a little more time with the good guys after the bad guys were vanquished, instead of the climax and denouement being squashed into the same scene. That points back to Mack’s strength in writing characters. Luckily, they all appear in multiple other books. I’m interested to read the Licks trilogy, set in Los Angeles with the drug dealers we only got a glimpse of in Ayana. I don’t know if any of the lifestyle is true, but, just like any thriller, it’s more fun to watch the drama than to wonder about accuracy.

Peter Mack has written 16 books, all available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. I recommend him if you’re looking for exciting and sexy reading. Peter Mack is the pen name of Isiko Cooks, a member of Black & Poly. You can find links to his books, social media, and website below.

https://twitter.com/filthyconfess
http://facebook.com/petermackpresents
https://www.instagram.com/Novelist_Peter_Mack/

Website: http://petermackpresents.com/

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