Read Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships Online

Authors: Tristan Taormino

Tags: #Non-Fiction, #Self Help, #Sociology

Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships

 
Opening Up
A GUIDE TO CREATING AND SUSTAINING
OPEN RELATIONSHIPS
 
Opening Up
A GUIDE TO CREATING AND SUSTAINING
OPEN RELATIONSHIPS

Tristan Taormino

I dedicate this book to
every person who has the courage
to live and love outside the box

 
Acknowledgments

I MUST ACKNOWLEDGE some of the pioneers in this field whose
work has made it possible for mine to exist: Deborah Anapol, Joan and
Larry Constantine, Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy, Raven Kaldera,
Ronald Mazur, and Ryam Nearing. I had my first light-bulb moment
about this topic at dinner with two friends after a panel discussion by
Jill Carter, Queen Cougar, and Vi Johnson-they all unknowingly
played a part in the early germination of the idea. Throughout the
years, I have learned a great deal from classes about polyamory taught
by Jon and Carin, Dossie Easton, Sarah Sloane, Anita Wagner, and
Lolita Wolf. Several years ago, I worked jointly on a book proposal on
this topic with Dr. Winston Wilde, and although we ended up not collaborating on the project, I am forever grateful to him for his knowledge,
experience, mentoring, and love.

I would like to thank Jennifer Ferris of Kelsey Transcripts, Helen
Boyd, and Emily Salzfass for their transcription work. Helen Boyd also
provided invaluable research assistance. Tey Meadows assisted me in
finding transcription help, located important legal articles, and sparked
inspiration in me when it was greatly needed. Valerie White of the
Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund was generous with
her time and wisdom. Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson had a huge
influence on this work; they shared rare books from their collection,
discussed their experiences as Tantra and relationship coaches, and
had innumerable conversations that helped me conceptualize key sections. Anita Wagner was an integral part of this book: she spread the
word far and wide, distributed interviews, shared her insight, and on top of all that, single-handedly compiled the majority of the Resource
Guide. Members of several Livejournal communities helped get the
word out as I searched for interviewees. The incredible people who make
up the Dark Odyssey community inspire and teach me year after year.

My agent, Andrew Blauner, helped kick-start this project after it
had been shelved and gathering dust. He is my cheerleader, my gentle
reminder, my advocate, and my friend. Thanks to everyone at Cleis
Press for their support. My publishers, Felice Newman and Frederique
Delacoste, accepted delays with grace and continue to be a joy to work
with; Felice edited the manuscript herself and, as always, provided
thoughtful, invaluable editorial advice.

My friends mean so much to me and have cheered me on in this
project. Thanks to Arielle, Barb O'Neill and Dylan Bosseau, Clyde, Helen
Boyd and Betty Crow, David Aguilar, Ira Levine and Nina Hartley, Kate
Larkin and Johann vanOverbeek, Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnston,
Mary DiStefano and Dana Wegener, Tey Meadows, Toni Amato and Opn.
Thanks to my mother, who continues to support me unconditionally

Many writers' partners feel "widowed" when the writer starts a new
book. My partner, Colten Tognazzini, is no different and yet he was an
unbelievable support to me. I literally could not have researched and
written this book without him. He organized responses from my
LiveJournal posting for interviewees; he rewired the phone line, set up
the microphone, and figured out the software so I could record all my
interviews on my laptop; he fed me so I could keep writing; he edited
the bibliography; he allowed me the time and space to dive headfirst
into the project and let it consume me; he listened while I bounced
around ideas; he picked up the slack and ran our businesses so I could
concentrate on the book; he made me take short breaks so I wouldn't
go insane; he let me work until my brain was fried and my eyesight
blurry, then he gently told me to put the computer down.

And finally, my undying gratitude goes to all the people I interviewed. They took time out of their busy lives to answer my written interview questions, and some took even more time to talk to me on
the phone or in person. They were truly excited about the book and
willing to talk about nearly anything and everything. Their candor and
courage is amazing; what they said and how they said it was invaluable. I learned so much from every single one of them. Their words,
their voices, their struggles, their opinions, their successes, and their
challenges make this book what it is.

 
Contents

x
i i i Introduction: Opening Up to the Possibilities: Challenging Monogamy and Revolutionizing Relationships

The Decline of Marriage and Monogamy • Monogamy's Mythology • Nonmonogamy as an Alternative Choice • My Research • Reading Opening Up

SECTION 1:

CHOOSING AN OPEN RELATIONSHIP

1 CHAPTER
1. Pilots, Parties, and Polyamory: A Brief History

Swinging • Open Marriage • Multilateral Marriage • Gay Bathhouses and Sex Clubs Lesbian Collectives and Sex Wars • Polyamory

13 CHAPTER
2. Myths about Nonmonogamy

19 CHAPTER
3. Is an Open Relationship for You?

Self-evaluation • Why People Choose Open Relationships

33 CHAPTER
4. What Makes an Open Relationship Work?

Consent • Self-awareness • Communication • Honesty • Boundaries • Trust • Fidelity and Commitment

SECTION 2:

STYLES OF OPEN RELATIONSHIPS

51 CHAPTER
5. Partnered Nonmonogamy

Definition • Examples • Potential Issues and Conflicts

61 CHAPTER
6. Swinging

Definition • Beliefs and Attitudes • Swinging Styles • Community • Etiquette Potential Issues and Conflicts

71 CHAPTER
7. Polyamory

Definition • Beliefs and Attitudes • Hierarchical Poly • Nonprimary Partners Nonhierarchical Poly • Nonsexual Poly Relationships

87 CHAPTER
8. Solo Polyamory

Definition • Potential Issues and Conflicts

95 CHAPTER
9. Polyfidelity

Definition • Benefits of Polyfidelity • Negotiation and Potential Issues

111 CHAPTER
10. Monogamous/Nonmonogamous and Mono/Poly Combinations

Definition • Consent and Agreement • Potential Issues and Conflicts

SECTION 3:

CREATING AND SUSTAINING YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

121 CHAPTER
ii. Designing Your Open Relationship

Drawing the Outline • Filling in the Details • Negotiation • Rules and Agreements The Myth of Equality • The Relationship Contract

153 CHAPTER
12. Jealousy and Other Intense Feelings

Jealousy • Envy • Insecurity • Possessiveness • Feeling Excluded • Coping with Jealousy • Fear of Abandonment • Resentment

173 CHAPTER
13. Compersion

183 CHAPTER
14. Common Challenges and Problems

New Relationship Energy • Time Management • Miscommunication • Agreement Violation • Seeking Help

203 CHAPTER
15. Opening Up Again: When Something Changes

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

227 CHAPTER
16. Coming Out (or Not), Finding Community, Creating Families

Benefits of Coming Out • Risks of Coming Out • Deciding What's Right for You Your Coming Out • Finding Community • Families, Tribes, and Networks

249 CHAPTER
17. Raising Children

Benefits and Risks of Coming Out to Children • What to Consider Before You Tell Them • How to Tell Them • Practical Issues

263 CHAPTER
18. Safer Sex and Sexual Health

Safer Sex • Sexually Transmitted Infections

285
CHARTER i9. Legal and Practical Issues

Housing Laws • Property Ownership • Employment Benefits • Legal Designations and Documents • Children

295 CHAPTER
20. The Future of Relationships

APPENDIXES

301
Notes

311
Resource Guide

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