Polyamorous Elders: Aging in Open Relationships

Backorder (temporarily out of stock)
1 other format in stock!

Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
7.09 X 10.08 X 0.79 inches | 1.5 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Kathy Labriola is a counselor, nurse, and hypnotherapist in a private practice in Berkeley, California, providing affordable mental health services to people in nontraditional relationships for the past thirty years, including the polyamorous, kink, LGBTQ, and sex worker communities. She is the author of Love in Abundance: A Counselor's Advice on Open Relationships, The Jealousy Workbook, and The Polyamory Break-Up Book: Causes, Prevention, and Survival. She has been a political activist and a card-carrying bisexual and polyamorist for fifty years. She is "extra crunchy" and lives in a housing cooperative, where she bikes, raises chickens, and grows organic vegetables. Her personal website is www.kathylabriola.com.


A monumental work by a well-seasoned polyamory counselor that explores a little known segment of the burgeoning polyamory lifestyle: GETTING OLD. I loved the detailed case studies that amplify the complexity of polyamory. This book is destined to become a well-deserved polyamory classic.

--Kenneth R. Haslam, MD, Polyamory Archive Collection, Kinsey Institute and polygeezer

Kathy Labriola's new book Polyamorous Elders: Aging in Open Relationships is well-researched, highly engaging, filled with excellent information, and comprehensive. It draws on the author's extensive experience as a counselor working with polyamorous clients, and offers up many accounts of real-life personal challenges related to aging in open relationships. The author's deep care, respect, and expertise shine through, making this book a substantial support to an ever-growing and underserved population while also giving all readers a rare lens into what well-functioning polyamory looks like.

--Martha Kauppi, LMFT, CST-S, author of Polyamory: A Clinical Toolkit for Therapists (and Their Clients)

Kathy Labriola's book is a must-read for 'polyamorous "elders,"' helping professionals serving them, and supportive friends and family members. Through case studies drawn from her decades of counseling experience, Labriola illuminates the challenges that can confront polyamorous seniors. But just as importantly, she demonstrates the unique resiliency of this community and the ways they can rise to the occasion and overcome these challenges. As a researcher, educator, and 'poly geezer' myself, I consistently found myself nodding in recognition as Labriola laid out the life experiences of her clients. I know I'll be sharing it widely!

--James R. Fleckenstein, relationship researcher, educator, and coach, and author of Love That Works: 38 Awesome Hacks for Amazing Relationships

In Polyamorous Elders: Aging in Open Relationships, Kathy Labriola gives us an intimate window into the lives of older individuals whose zest for life still burns bright. Whether for love, sex, companionship or all of the above, older individuals know they have earned the right to choose the path that fits them best and enables them to enjoy levels of satisfaction and bliss that often elude the younger and less experienced. My wish for you, dear reader, is that these personal stories will inspire you to live your life to its very fullest regardless of your age.

--Veronica Monet, ACS, author, coach, and founder of The Shame Free Zone

Having enjoyed Kathy Labriola's previous work, I was delighted to read her latest. She approaches polyamorous relationships with an accessible, thoughtful, and deft sense of compassion and thorough research.

--Rosie Wilby, author of Is Monogamy Dead? and The Breakup Monologues

Polyamorous elders are a fast-growing, yet under-represented group of people who hold gems of wisdom that can benefit the rest of us. Aging outside of the nuclear, mononormative family template has its challenges, but also distinct joys and advantages. No one would be in a better position to provide a uniquely informed window into this territory than Kathy Labriola, a member of the polyamorous community for nearly half a century and a pioneering counselor to folks in non-traditional relationship styles.

In this book, Labriola leaves no stone unturned in describing the lives of those she affectionately calls 'poly geezers.' This includes sex, health concerns, time management, legal protection of aging polyamorous families, intersectionality, death and grief, the COVID pandemic, and more. She punctuates the book with engaging and colorful stories of real polyamorous elders--making this an approachable read for scholars and non-scholars alike.

--Marie Thouin, PhD, dating and relationship coach, Love InSight

This text is a readable and engaging look into the lives of polyamorous elders. It is suitable for researchers or clinical practitioners hoping to apply the work, but would also serve well as an entranceway for academics and students investigating sex and aging and looking for more data and overall consideration of polyamorous relationships. A timely topic deserving of more attention.

--Jeanne Marie Kusina, interim director of The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; Distinguished University Lecturer, The University of Toledo

As a Relational Therapist who works with polyamorous clients, I was delighted to read Polyamorous Elders. This book offers a comprehensive and evidence-based guide to better understand the lived experiences of aging polyamorous folks. I believe that after reading Polyamorous Elders, practitioners will be more equipped to facilitate effective individual and relational therapeutic services to polyamorous clients.

--Carling Mashinter, MSc, registered psychotherapist, Relationship Matters Therapy Centre

This book is engaging, accessible, expansive, and detailed. Obviously, it helps that the topic is fascinating, but Labriola presents these issues and cases in a straightforward and non-judgmental fashion. I routinely had my assumptions challenged even though I consider myself open-minded and have studied polyamory and human sexuality for several years. The strengths of this text include the author's expertise and clinical experience, the broad variety of polyamorous relationships presented, sympathetic attention to their challenges, and the good faith effort to honor intersectionality so as to sufficiently represent as many polyamorous people and relationships as possible.

--Albert Spencer, communications director, Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy and assistant professor, Department of Philosophy, Portland State University

This book uniquely considers the special needs and outlook of people fifty-five and older who identify as polyamorous. Not just an overview or a self-help book, the approach and information are very well-supported from the author's deep knowledge of polyamory, polyamorous communities, and her ongoing work with aging clients.

--Annalisa Castaldo, associate professor of English, director of gender, women, and sexuality studies, Widener University

This is an essential guide for counselors, therapists and healthcare professionals working with polyamorous clients. The author has managed to address so many issues, from sex life to retirement to facing death and grief, and has done so insightfully, drawing on several case studies. As a family therapist and an openly polyamorous person over fifty, I am thrilled to see this book finally out in the world!

--Alex Iantaffi, PhD, MS, SEP, CST, LMFT, award-winning author of Gender Trauma: Healing Cultural, Social, and Historical Gendered Trauma and independent scholar

As both an aspiring "polygeezer" and CNM (consensual non-monogamy) psychologist, I feel that this volume spoke to my heart and my practice. Labriola's work opens up the often-untold stories of polyamorous elders and allows us to learn from their lived experiences and worlds. The accounts Labriola shares are multifaceted and honest portrayals of the distinct challenges polyamorous elders face and the ways that they are navigated!

--Elizabeth Duke, PsyD

The author is a front-line therapist with direct experience working with the polyamorous/CNM (consensual non-monogamy) population, and the approach leans heavily on this direct clinical experience. This qualitative review is likely to stimulate further research in this area and is particularly useful for practitioners seeing elders in non-monogamous relationship structures.

--Mira Krishnan, clinical assistant professor, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

A one-of-a-kind primer on the subject of polyamory and aging. The writing and style is very accessible to a wide audience, and Kathy Labriola gives her interviewees a lot of space to speak. A collection of unique stories not only centering on consensual non-monogamy and relationships, but indeed the meaning of aging itself.

--Jennifer Schneider, MSW, LICSW, LCSW, therapist and consultant

This book is a fantastic addition to the conversation on polyamory and non-monogamous relationships and a helpful and validating tool for both young and old polyamorous folx who want to know more about aging in open relationships. This book is also a wonderful introduction to the unique experiences of 'poly geezers' for anyone who is interested--especially therapists, coaches, sex educators, lawyers, and other helpers.

--Stephanie M. Sullivan, MS, LMFT, CCTP-II

Polyamorous Elders: Aging in Open Relationships is an essential addition to any affirmative therapist's library as this fills a much-needed gap regarding 'poly geezers'. Kathy Labriola's fun and quirky writing style allows the reader to fully engage across a wide range of complex and sometimes difficult topics in clinical work. The extensive number of examples effectively highlight the wide range of experiences, both in terms of challenges and advantages of multiple partners while aging.

--Cadyn Cathers, PsyD, licensed psychologist; CEO of The Affirmative Couch; and teaching faculty with LGBT specialization, Antioch University Los Angeles

Readers gain valuable insight into the unexplored world of polyamorous elders and the unique situations they encounter during life transitions. Using their lived experiences, Labriola provides expert advice for any clinician wanting to dive into the intersection of sexuality, aging, and consensual non-monogamy.

--Ashley Ramos, MA, AMFT

Polyamorous Elders is a treasure trove of lively, detailed anecdotes from the population documenting their experiences, frank attention to serious issues around aging, and suggestions for how aging polyamorous people might navigate life challenges. The section on the trials posed by COVID-19 is especially timely, and this book fills an important gap in the existing scholarship.

--Jeana Jorgensen, lecturer in Departments of History and Anthropology, Butler University

This book is one that polyamorous elders will instantly find to hold many recognizable themes, as well as comfort around our shared experiences in those realms. The author has a very accessible, down to earth, and humorous approach to discussing some serious topics, with vignettes that are very relatable.

--Geri Weitzman, PhD

Polyamorous Elders is essential reading for people who hope to grow old with multiple partners, as well as for the therapists, social workers, hospital and nursing facility leaders, doctors, and nurses who will need to help them along.

-- "Greater Good Magazine"