Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

by Tristan Taormino

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Overview

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships by Tristan Taormino

Relationship expert and bestselling author Tristan Taormino offers a bold new strategy for creating loving, lasting relationships. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over a hundred women and men, Opening Up explores the real-life benefits and challenges of all styles of open relationships — from partnered non-monogamy to solo polyamory. With her refreshingly down-to-earth style and sharp wit, Taormino offers solutions for making an open relationship work, including tips on dealing with jealousy, negotiating boundaries, finding community, parenting and time management. Opening Up will change the way you think about intimacy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781573442954
Publisher: Cleis Press
Publication date: 05/01/2008
Pages: 346
Sales rank: 107,045
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Tristan Taormino is an award-winning author, columnist, editor, and educator who has been featured in publications including the New York Times and Entertainment Weekly.

Jo Anna Perrin is an accomplished actor who has appeared in film and television, as well as on stage in New York, Los Angeles, and regionally. The narrator of numerous audiobooks, Jo Anna has garnered critical praise from AudioFile magazine, Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Opening Up to the Possibilities: Challenging Monogamy and Revolutionizing Relationships     XIII
The Decline of Marriage and Monogamy
Monogamy's Mythology
Nonmonogamy as an Alternative Choice
My Research
Reading Opening Up
Choosing an Open Relationship
Pilots, Parties, and Polyamory: A Brief History     1
Swinging
Open Marriage
Multilateral Marriage
Gay Bathhouses and Sex Clubs
Lesbian Collectives and Sex Wars
Polyamory
Myths about Nonmonogamy     13
Is an Open Relationship for You?     19
Self-evaluation
Why People Choose Open Relationships
What Makes an Open Relationship Work?     33
Consent
Self-awareness
Communication
Honesty
Boundaries
Trust
Fidelity and Commitment
Styles of Open Relationships
Partnered Nonmonogamy     51
Definition
Examples
Potential Issues and Conflicts
Swinging     61
Definition
Beliefs and Attitudes
Swinging Styles
Community
Etiquette
Potential Issues and Conflicts
Polyamory     71
Definition
Beliefs and Attitudes
Hierarchical Poly
Nonprimary Partners
Nonhierarchical Poly
Nonsexual Poly Relationships
Solo Polyamory     87
Definition
Potential Issues and Conflicts
Polyfidelity     95
Definition
Benefits of Polyfidelity
Negotiation and Potential Issues
Monogamous/Nonmonogamous and Mono/Poly Combinations     111
Definition
Consent and Agreement
Potential Issues and Conflicts
Creating and Sustaining Your Relationships
Designing Your Open Relationship     121
Drawing the Outline
Filling in the Details
Negotiation
Rules and Agreements
The Myth of Equality
The Relationship Contract
Jealousy and Other Intense Feelings     153
Jealousy
Envy
Insecurity
Possessiveness
Feeling Excluded
Coping with Jealousy
Fear of Abandonment
Resentment
Compersion     173
Common Challenges and Problems     183
New Relationship Energy
Time Management
Miscommunication
Agreement Violation
Seeking Help
Opening Up Again: When Something Changes     203
A New Desire
A New Orientation
A New Relationship
Falling in Love
From Monogamous to Nonmonogamous
From Nonmonogamous to Monogamous
From Primary To Nonprimary
Coping with Change
Coming Out (or Not), Finding Community, Creating Families     227
Benefits of Coming Out
Risks of Coming Out
Deciding What's Right for You
Your Coming Out
Finding Community
Families, Tribes, and Networks
Raising Children     249
Benefits and Risks of Coming Out to Children
What to Consider Before You Tell Them
How to Tell Them
Practical Issues
Safer Sex and Sexual Health     263
Safer Sex
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Legal and Practical Issues     285
Housing Laws
Property Ownership
Employment Benefits
Legal Designations and Documents
Children
The Future of Relationships     295
Appendixes
Notes     301
Resource Guide     311
Books
Conferences and Events
GLBT/Queer
Local and Regional Organizations
National Organizations
Online Groups and Lists
Poly-friendly Professionals
Research and Activism
Spirituality
Websites
About the Interviewees     337
About the Author     345

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This is the book you want to read if you're looking for a voice that is balanced, sensitive and sensible when tackling the thorny question of sexual boundaries in love relationships. Opening Up is sure to open up your mind." —-Esther Perel, author of Mating in Captivity

Customer Reviews

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Opening Up: Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Ravenquill More than 1 year ago
I read this book when it first came out, and found it to be a very good read. I was already well-aquainted with polyamory, but this book offered such a wide variety of perspectives on the broader category of open relationships that I learned a lot from it. Very good as an introduction for the curious as well as a good way for those already practicing open relationships to expand their views.
bellykiss More than 1 year ago
Shared a lot of my views on this, and I think it will help me in my current relationship.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tristan Taormino is an over-achiever, a multifaceted woman with an impressive breadth of expertise and talent. To her long list of accomplishments she now adds this latest book on open relationships. At almost 350 pages, it leaves nothing out. This is a book of amazing diversity with personal stories of people from a wide range of sexual orientations, lifestyles, and styles of open relationship. It was thoroughly researched and includes references to a significant number of well-known alternative relationships experts, sociologists, anthropologists, researchers, therapists and communications and relationship skills experts. Far from a dry technical manual, throughout the book Taormino includes compelling quotes from and the personal stories of many of the 126 people she interviewed. These lend a valuable perspective by which the reader can identify and connect with the information and advice offered. She includes checklists and questions for negotiating the terms of open relationship and explains terminology to help people who are new to open relationships get a handle on what kind of open relationship they want. Chapters that particularly impress me are the chapters on compersion, which is the most comprehensive I¿ve seen on that topic, coming out, raising children in open relationships, safer sex - also excellent - and legal and practical matters. The book is thoroughly annotated and includes statistics about the age, locale, gender, sexual orientation, etc., of the interviewees. There is a comprehensive and up-to-date resource guide that includes a lengthy book list - I have the impression that she¿s read everyone of them! - a list of conferences and events, GLBT/queer resources, local, regional and national and international organizations, online groups, listservs and communities, professional directories, resources on research and activism, spirituality resources, and so on. Opening Up will quickly become a mainstay for those learning how to successfully conduct their open relationships.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
Recommended to me by people in the know, this book examines the many different shapes a non-traditional sexual or romantic relationship can take, from an open marriage where both partners have outside lovers, to swinging relationships, to closed triads or quads, and more arrangements that I never even heard of. How are boundaries set, when, seemingly, there ARE no boundaries? What makes people happy in these relationships, and what kinds of issues arise? Fascinating, provocative, packed with nuggets of solid information, my only beef with this is the pool of interviewees seemed a little small (126) to draw solid conclusions from. But every angle seems explored, from emotions to sexual health and frank talk about STI's. My take-away is that like any marriage or traditional monogamous partnership, every relationship differs according to the individuals in it, and they ALL take hard work, self-examination, and strong, healthy boundaries, in order to be successful. I would recommend to anyone considering a non-traditional relationship, either for him/herself, or for writers looking to include such characters in their work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this explains very well the variations of poly relationships. Very well written. It ans a lot of questions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book provide a comprehensive overview for anyone considering open partnerships. A must read. Tristan is a phenomenal writer
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Well-researched survey about contemporary polyamory issues. Authorative references. Many resources and web sites in all national regions. Taormino is a regular columnist for the Village Voice, and attends shows and seminars all over the world.