To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I would take from Tristan Taormino’s new book Opening Up – A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. That’s not to say that I wasn’t excited about reading it – I’m fascinated by how people navigate different relationships and don’t think monogamy is always the best choice. However, I am in a monogamous relationship, because that’s what works for us. I assumed that I would learn more about different kinds of open relationships, but didn’t think Taormino’s wisdom would be applicable to my life.
The good news is, I was wrong. Taormino has really outdone herself and created a resource that will be many things to many different people. Within this one book, the author offers the reader a brief history of non-monogamy, details the numerous types of open relationships, and offers advice for dealing with everything from coming out to raising children to legal problems. Whether you’re trying to work the kinks out of your own open relationship, contemplating non-monogamy, or simply trying to better understand how other people live, you’re sure to find help in this exhaustive guide.
Besides being packed full of information, Taormino’s accessible style of writing makes this an enjoyable read. She also interviewed over 100 people who are non-monogamous. Their personal stories give an inside view into the ups and downs of open relationships, which sound often similar to those I’ve experienced in monogamy. By offering a glimpse into the lives of people who choose to have multiple partners, it’s easy to see the similarities and relate.
I was also surprised to find our choice of monogamy completely validated in a book that is about healthy open relationships. It makes sense that core principles like trust, communication, and respect would be the foundation of any relationship and in her discussion of these things I found that sense of validation. In fact, about a quarter of the way through this book I had a sneaking suspicion that I was not only reading, but enjoying, a self-help book.
While non-monogamy isn’t for everyone, as Taormino point out throughout, the author has written a guide that offers honest advice on sustaining fulfilling relationships. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s the least bit curious!