Opening up - erotic book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Airen Wolf

Opening up

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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Opening Up And Explaining It All

For people who are interested in understanding open relationship or those struggling to swim the shoals of the love style this is the definitive guide to understanding and maintaining open relationships. If you have questions, are just curious or need some serious help this is the resource you should own. Ms. Taormino has a gentle but plain speaking manner of presenting her ideas that can't help but spark her readers to take a long and cleansing look at their own relationships.
Well written, informative without being preachy, non-judgemental, discreet cover art
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
Tristan Taormino has given my family a rare and unique gift. She has given us a well written, well reasoned and gentle resource we can give people who are curious about how we make it work in our poly family.

Ms. Taormino's book was born out of a desire to study this new love style and she went about learning from the most successful people she could find. She also sent out a questionnaire to as many people as she could find that live successfully, in varying degrees, with open relationships. She takes her reader on a journey through just a small part of the dizzying world of what exactly constitutes an open relationship.

The author begins her fairly exhaustive look at open relationships with a wonderful introduction to her thinking at the time she wrote the book. She introduces her work in a gentle, humorous at times way that draws the reader in despite their preconceived notions about the subject matter. She doesn't attack monogamy as being 'unnatural' or inherently wrong but rather encourages her reader to understand that whatever relationship style he/she prefers it should be a choice. It should be a commitment that IS spoken and clearly understood and possibly even negotiable. She encourages letting go of the 'mythology of monogamy' which leads to so much heartbreak and learn to live in reality. Her mythology of monogamy is not what most people would assume from the wording, but rather the notion that without speaking two people will suddenly not ever need or desire anyone else on ANY level. The truth is temptation and desire are always present and dealing with those temptations and desires in a healthy, mature manner is what characterizes successful relationships regardless of the number of persons involved.
She continues her in depth introduction with a list of her own credentials. This assures the reader that she is not just a bystander with some good ideas but instead a well read and researched person with some knowledge to share. It also allows her to share her manner of data collection with her reader, for while this isn't a scientific study it is knowledge culled from people actually living the love style and willing to share their troubles, triumphs, and strategies for being successful.
Concluding her introduction Ms. Taormino gives her reader a strategy for reading and using the book to best advantage based on what they are trying to achieve.

The book is broken up into 3 sections which have chapters of varying length and number which keeps the book feeling very organized and well thought out. Ms. Taormino tackles as many types of open relationships as she can while admitting that all the permutations of relationships could never be fully explored in any one book. She gives a description of what each relationship looks like, a description of how it works and some strategies and examples of how the participants make it as successful as it can be. True to her other works she also offers some pertinent advice to anyone who might be wanting to explore these types of relationships. The reader is not left floundering around, wide eyed and wondering. Tristan provides checklists and other tools with which to both educate her reader and enrich their current relationship. The tools for supporting and maintaining a polyamorous are no different than the tools for supporting a monogamous relationship. For this reason I think this should be on every person’s bookshelf, if only to build some bridges of understanding between those of us who love more than one other partner, those of us who have a core relationship and add others as playmates, and those who are perfectly happy with one partner.

Offered at the end of the book is a resource guide and the tabulations of the various questions the author asked on her questionnaires for the reader to form his/her own impressions of the data as well as more research material should the reader need more. Also at the end of the book is an ‘About the Author’ section where the reader can learn a bit more about Tristan Taormino and her other works.

This book is offered by Cleiss Press in soft cover with acid resistant paper guaranteeing that with reasonable care it is a resource that is going to grace your bookshelf for as long as you can keep your friends and relative’s hands off of it! The cover is very discreet beginning with a beautiful tangerine color which fades to a lovely cream. The cover art is simple a picture of a pair of hands as though it is a couple walking happily forward.
I was looking forward to reading this book since I have never read a book by Tristan Taormino that didn't wow me with her gentle humor and plain speak. This book turned out to be so much more. We are successful in our relationships mainly through trial and error and a steadfast determination to succeed. Sometimes it's nice to have a resource for those times when it all seems too much and lonely. Opening Up has become that for me.
It is the first book I reach for when people are really interested or wanting some advice.
Follow-up commentary
I have had to buy a total of four copies of this book just to be able to keep one on my shelf! It is such a great resource for people either looking to understand this lifestyle or those looking to deepen their own poly or open marriages. If you are curious about what this is really all about then I highly suggest that you read this book!
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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My Opening up tags
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    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Anyone
    • Everyone
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    What kind of features does this product offer?
    • Travel friendly
Do you like this review?
  • Kayla
    I was impressed by this book - a lot. If I wanted to go into an open relationship, this was like the bible of it all. Great review. It's awesome knowing it's a good book from someone actually in an open relationship.
  • ~LaUr3n~
    Who better to offer a review of this book?! Excellent Airen!
  • Airen Wolf
    I will be honest I wish I had had this book about 20 years ago. It would have saved my first poly relationship, prevented the heartache that the breakup caused and healed the damage Sigel and I were doing to each other. This book is that good.
  • Maiden
    Great review!
  • Emma (Girl With Fire)
    This sounds like a fantastic read, and this was a great review. I will definitely be adding this to my wishlist. Thanks Airen
  • the bedroom blogger
    Thanks for the review...sounds like a good, interesting read.
  • Airekah
    I want to read this. Thanks Airen. =)
  • Jessica Elizabeth
    Awesome review, thanks!
  • jankit
    Very thoughtful and organized review! Well done! I'm not a fan of open relationships, but I'm curious to read this book because of its, as you say, lack of bias and intelligence in presenting such a taboo subject.
  • Airen Wolf
    I truly feel that even if you don't care for another relationship style it never hurts to read about why other's do! Education is always a good thing, as is making an informed decision.
  • liilii080
    Your book reviews are always amazing, Arien. They are informative without giving away so much of the book you don't want to read it. Another one for my wishlist!
  • Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
    Thank you for such a great review. I'm really confident that this is the book I need right now.
  • JessCee
    oh wow, sounds like a wonderful book! I just added it to my next order, great review!!
  • Screaming Violet
    If you say this is that good I absolutely must read it
  • Airen Wolf
    I most definitely recommend this for ANYONE who is curious or looking for answers.
  • oldman
    Good for you Airen! It sounds like you are in a relationship that makes you happy, and that alone is wonderful!!
  • thisisadeletedaccount
    Thanks for your review! Sounds like you had a wonderful experience with this book, I'm definitely even more interested in reading it now.
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