Ten years ago this week, I was staying at a bedbug-infested hostel in Tampa, Florida, putting the finishing touches on the manuscript of the first edition of More Than Two to send to the editor. I had no idea how well the book might do, and was wondering if a 3,000-copy print run might be way too ambitious.
Well. A lot has happened in 10 years. I know I don’t need to tell you—we’ve all been through a lot, and most of us are a bit worse for wear. My own life looks pretty different these days. So do my relationships, and so does my relationship to nonmonogamy. For better, and for worse. I’m still nonmonogamous, but I’m also solo and singleish, and pretty much expecting (and content) to stay that way.
The book More Than Two was more successful than I could have possibly imagined. For awhile it was the go-to resource on polyamory. And then, it wasn’t. New books came out, new ideas came forward, and the scene, along with the rest of the world, grew up and got a whole lot messier, and folks mostly moved on from More Than Two.
A year ago I acquired full, sole copyright to the book, and had to decide what to do with it. People close to me encouraged me not to give up on it, saying it had, and has, important perspectives not represented elsewhere. And yet I dreaded the thought of opening a manuscript I hadn’t touched in nine years to try to update it. I have a, shall we say, tense relationship with my creative works at the best of times. Revisiting one from 10 years ago sounded like the worst kinds of hell.
Enter Andrea Zanin, co-author of the second edition of More Than Two. Andrea is a long-time kinky, queer and nonmonogamous educator and writer, and I was a fan long before we met, ever since they published their excellent blog post ”The Problem With Polynormativity” in 2013. Turns out, not only were we professionally aligned—they’re an editor and I own a publishing company, nice how that works!—we share a lot of the same ideas about nonmonogamy. Originally I hired them as an editor for the book, the idea being that they’d make it ready for me to dig into. But as they worked, it quickly became clear that they were taking on a much bigger role in the project, was contributing original content, and deserved their name on the book, and co-author status.
And oh my god, it’s going to be a great book. I am so excited.
We’re tackling a bunch of issues with the first edition: the sexism, cisnormativity (and binary language), heteronormativity, and just general issues with privilege, and a lot of the concerns that I and others have raised about problems with the book’s ethical framework. But it’s so much more than just “the first edition but with problems fixed.” There’s lots of new content, lots of cut content, substantial rewrites, and just a general overall change in perspective. There’s much less focus on personal narrative—both of us feel much more inclined these days to keep our private lives private, coincidentally, in keeping with what seems like a shifting zeitgeist around personal disclosures.
And yes, there are absolutely some hills I am prepared to die on. Which ones, you’ll have to read the book to find out (though if you know my work, you can probably make some educated guesses). My (and Andrea’s) views may have matured and developed more nuance, but you can still count on us to hold to the core values that probably brought you to our work in the first place: empowerment, agency, and dignity, but also kindness, compassion, honesty and integrity. If you loved the first book, I think what you loved about it will still be there.
You can read Andrea’s thoughts on the new edition on their blog. And by the way, they have their own book coming out this year, too! They’re writing Post-nonmonogamy and Beyond, ironically a book about what happens when you’ve been nonmonogamous your whole life and then find yourself…not. I’m the editor, and it’s out this summer, just a few weeks before More Than Two. You can read more about it here!
More Than Two (second edition): Cultivating Nonmonogamous Relationships with Kindness and Integrity, by Eve Rickert with Andrea Zanin, will be out on the tenth anniversary of the first: September 2, 2024. Oh, and it has the most gorgeous cover art ever, created by the amazing Ukrainian papercut artist Eugenia Zoloto. It’s so beautiful, we decided we have to bring it out in hardcover (don’t worry, there will be an ebook and audiobook, too). I can’t wait for you all to read it.
Pre-order More Than Two here.