Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships – Book Review

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It's an open secret that one of my areas of specialty is alternative relationships and sexuality. Opening Up is one of my go-to book recs.

While monogamous myself, I consider polyamorous and open relationships as a leveling up because of what it requires of its practitioners.  To be successful, a tremendous amount of communication and emotional regulation skills must be in place.  It is also enormously rewarding to work with members of the polyamory, kink, and BDSM communities.  These groups occasionally intersect but not always.

Opening Up - Book Review
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…

Whenever a new couple or struggling poly family comes to my office for therapy, I'm interested to know what boundaries and negotiation they've managed.  Opening Up is a great starter guide for both those who are looking to open their relationship and for those who want to strengthen ties within.  Straightforward and illustrated with the boundless array of connections humans may make, the book is a staple for any poly person or therapist who seeks to be poly competent.

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“There is no one ‘right’ reason for deciding to create an open relationship; however, there is a common theme in what inspires people to step outside monogamy: making a conscious, thoughtful choice to do what works best for them, even if what works best goes against society’s norms. If you decide that nonmonogamy is worth looking into, the next step is to figure out what your version of nonmonogamy looks like, then try it. Various forms of the nonmonogamy could work for anyone, in theory. The true test is to jump in with both feet and see if it works for you in practice.”

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