Rewriting the Rules: Out now!

“We all struggle with relationships but now the rules have changed. We need a new rule book, and this is it.” –Dorothy Rowe, Psychologist and Writer.

“Meg Barker reveals, step by step, how unpacking and rewriting the ‘rules’ can not only free our relationships from the ties that bind us, but also offer a path to deep self-knowledge and acceptance. A beautifully explicated journey to the heart of loving.” – Dossie Easton, Marriage & Family Therapist, Co-author of The Ethical Slut.

“To tackle the dos and don’ts that flood intimate relationships advice, Meg Barker’s sharp, insightful, open-minded and friendly guide is here to help you navigate the mazes of modern love. Meg’s pen is like a benevolent friend who’s hand you don’t want to let go. Hold on to Rewriting the Rules.” – Esther Perel, Author of Mating in captivity.

Rewriting the Rules, is out this week, published by Routledge. Rewriting the Rules provides an alternative to the many self-help books about relationships by locating relationship difficulties in the cultural messages which people receive rather than in their individual psychology or biology. In addition to this, the focus is on questioning and exploring various possible rules of love, rather than putting forward one single set which will work for all people and relationships.

The book examines the rules around attraction, love, sex, gender, monogamy, commitment, conflict, break-up, and the ways in which we treat ourselves. In each chapter dominant social rules are considered, and there is an examination of the ways in which these might be challenged, the alternatives that various groups have put in place, and what it might be like to move beyond a rules-based model. Drawing on interdisciplinary research on love, sex and relationships, Rewriting the Rules aims to be both academically informed and accessible to the general reader.

Meg-John (MJ) Barker (they/them) is a writer, zine-maker, collaborator, contemplative practitioner, and friend. They are the author of a number of zines and popular books on sex, gender, and relationships, including graphic guides to Queer, Gender, and Sexuality (with Jules Scheele), and How To Understand Your Gender, Sexuality and Relationships (with Alex Iantaffi).