Stepping Off the Relationship Escalator


Stepping Off the Relationship Escalator showcases real-life experiences of:

– Consensual nonmonogamy: Polyamory, swinging, open relationships or being monogamish.
– Going solo: Choosing to live alone (or at least not with intimate partners), to not surrender individuality to couplehood, or to remain single by choice.
– Avoiding hierarchy: Not prioritizing a particular adult relationship by default, simply because it includes sex/romance or started first.
– Asexual and aromantic love, which emphasize forms of intimacy and bonding that our society often discounts.
– Relationship anarchy: Where all aspects of a relationship are based on negotiation and consent.
– Valuing relationships that often get discounted: Ones that don’t feel very intense, continue without interruption, or last forever.



Love and relationships are not one-size-fits-all. Most people assume that healthy or serious relationships which involve romance and sex are supposed to follow this path: from attraction and dating, through exclusivity and living together, to marriage that ideally lasts a lifetime. However, there are plenty of other great ways to do relationships. The “Relationship Escalator” is the traditional bundle of social norms for intimate relationships: monogamy, cohabitation and much more, ideally until death do you part. Beyond this, it might not be obvious what other options exist.

This book is a fun, intriguing introduction to unusual relationship options. If you want to explore unconventional relationships, or simply to understand your options, you’ll find guidance here. If you want to help people you know understand relationships that don’t follow the norm, this is a friendly starting point. This isn’t just one person’s opinion. Journalist Amy Gahran surveyed 1500 people about their unconventional intimate relationships: how those relationships work and feel. They shared moving, in-depth personal stories and insights.

About the Author

Journalist Amy Gahran lives in Boulder, Colorado. Her day job is covering geeky topics. Her passion is, well, passion: talking to people (and writing) about the kind of love, tenderness, connection and support that make life worthwhile. A big believer in resilience, Amy always keeps her options open. For a few years she published the blog under the pen name Aggie Sez – which has since stuck as a nickname. So she answers to both names, and to her feline overlords.

Additional information

Weight 25 oz
Dimensions 8 × 11 × 2 in


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