Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage - book by Seal press - review by Airen Wolf

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If you are truly curious about what it is like to experience an open marriage from the inside out then this is the book for you. This book is honest, brave and a wonderful read. The author touches on all areas of her life that lead up to her desire to have an open marriage and on how it impacted her marriage. There is also a special afterword by the author's husband where he assures the reader that he does indeed exist and that he is happy, fulfilled and looking forward to the future.
Well written, personable, easy and fun to read, thought provoking.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
I was anxious to receive the book "Open" by Jenny Block and when the truck delivering it pulled up I favored the somewhat bemused driver with a brilliant smile. He handed the package to my daughter and waved as he drove away shaking his head, no doubt wondering what was so special. I tore open the box and was surprised that the book was hardback (silly me for not reading the advertisement!) The cover of the book displays the word Open and an engagement ring. Nothing provocative, it's just simple and clean looking. I didn't have to use a book cover with this book to read it in front of my kids or in public, which I did. This book hooked me quick and I devoured it speedily! It has 252 pages and the book reads easily and fluidly. In short, it was a pleasure to read.

I ordered this book because it had been very highly recommended on a yahoo group list I belonged to for many years. One of the members actually knew the author, Jenny Block and was amazed at her bravery in writing a book about a very controversial subject. It is a subject that is very dear to my heart as it is about open marriages. My husband and I opened our marriage fully nearly two years back but we had flirted with the concept for many years. We had never been totally happy in our monogamous marriage, we realized that both of us wanted the freedom to be completely honest and open with each other.

The author writes from the perspective of her own journey and the book is very personal and yet it doesn't read like a sordid diatribe on the "evils" of monogamy. She simply lets the reader know what was in her heart and mind when she approached her husband about her unhappiness, which like most of us, happened after she had cheated on him. She is very frank about the struggles she, and he, went through during the time they worked to build their unique relationship. Ms. Block doesn't give the opinion that everyone should be non-monogamous rather she seeks to enjoin us to realize that there should be, and indeed are other options. She shows us that it is possible to have a loving and honest relationship and partnership that meets ALL the needs of the parties involved. She doesn't downplay the work and emotional turmoil such a road entails but clearly the reader can see that the struggles are not unlike those faced by any marriage. In short this book is everything it is cracked up to be and is a book I would recommend to anyone regardless of their marital beliefs or status. It is an honest portrayal of the highs and lows of an open marriage, from the pressures faced by she and her husband and the pressures exerted by society on people who seek non-traditional marriages or partnerships.

The book is very well documented and the author draws on many different sources in presenting her story. Frequently, She quotes popular authors or speakers to better illustrate a point. Ms. Block does indeed have friends who are sexually satisfied and monogamous which helps to present her idea that monogamy isn't bad or wrong, it simply isn't the only option out there...and shouldn't be. I found myself agreeing frequently and was even amazed to suddenly receive an insight into my own situation with my husband. It lead to a very satisfying and meaningful discussion with him that allowed us to put to rest many issues that had be plaguing our relationship. It lead to a deeper understanding of what he was going through during all of our aborted attempts to be "normal".

I was very happy to see that Jenny also stated emphatically that being in an open marriage doesn't mean that there is a sex swing in the living room and the couple are sex fiends, doesn't mean there isn't a sex swing in the living room either! We have children, we attend PTA meetings, church, shop for groceries and plan budgets. We are just normal people carving for ourselves a happy fulfilled life.
Follow-up commentary
I wrote the review in an excess of joy at finding an Author who presented this material with research, care and with an eye to explaining all the hard issues with open marriages. She also has many, many resources for people who are curious to read more or just connect with other polyamorous or swinger couples.

This is really the complete story of one couple's struggles to find a workable partnership. While this isn't a "how-to" on open marriage it is worth reading if you are curious about how it can work and if it might work for you.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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  • Tuesday
    I'm curious. Does she mention agreeing to an open marriage and acting on it but not being open about letting your partner know who and when? I can see someone agreeing to it but not wanting to know details.
  • Airen Wolf
    She actually was the one who brought up the idea. She was the one who unhappy and he agreed that they should try to work out an arrangement that would make them both happy. It was a mutual decision after cheating occurred, much like my situation actually. Like my husband and I they will disclose details of their lovers if asked, though her husband doesn't currently have an outside lover he remains open to the idea. That is actually quite common, for instance I have a lover that I am exclusive with and my husband is currently between playmates. No two marriages are exactly the same and the same is true about open marriages!
    There are quite a few open marriages where the partners will take other lovers but not disclose details...most in my experience will disclose if it is genuinely asked and won't hurt the relationship. It's a personal decision and if it works for the partners then that's what is good for them!
  • Oggins
    It sounds like I could really gain a lot of understanding from this book. It's going into my wishlist and thanks for the review!
  • Airen Wolf
    Np, I wish it had been around when the three of us wandered into this lifestyle! Her insights and frank honesty would have been immensely helpful to us.
  • TinyTease
    Sounds like a great read! Hopefully her book has brought some insight into a very controversial subject.
  • Airen Wolf
    Well to be honest I live in the fisheye lens, so to speak, being in an open marriage myself. Yes though I did gain some understanding even still and I hope that one day this won't be so controversial a subject. Smile
  • Adriana Ravenlust
    Although my marriage is not open, this book sounds like a VERY interesting read and your review was quite good.
  • jedent
    I just started reading this book and I'm so glad I read your review, because I read a similar book once and it turned out to suck pretty bad and I felt like I wasted my time. I'm liking the book so far, and I'm glad that I know I can continue with it. It is in fact very interesting so far!
  • bodymodboy
    Love the review! I have been keeping an eye for this book for a while now Smile
  • Chou Wang
    Good review!
  • Love Buzz
    I would absolutely love to read your full story one day too.

    Great Review I'm adding this to my next order
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