Thursday, May 29, 2008

Opening Up

Well known sex journalist and blogger, Violet Blue, gets advice from award winning writer, and sex educator Tristan Taromino, on coupling with 'eyes wide open'.

Here's an excerpt from an interview in the article Open Relationships Demystified. Go here for the full article printed in the SFGate:
Tristan Taormino: One of the most significant things I learned as I researched this book and talked to so many different people from diverse backgrounds is that while people's open relationships may have things in common, no two are alike. They are as individual as the people involved in them. In my book, I identify and discuss six of the most common styles: partnered non-monogamy, swinging, polyamory, solo polyamory, polyfidelity and the mono/poly combination (where one partner is monogamous and the other is polyamorous). But I emphasize that within each style, there are plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle differences. For example, the way that four people in a quad practice polyamory and a straight spouse and a queer spouse practice it will differ greatly and depend on lots of factors.

Violet Blue: What's the biggest myth about open relationships?

Tristan Taormino: There are so many myths about open relationships. I think one of the most popular is that people in open relationships have intimacy issues and trouble with commitment. The assumption underlying this myth is that true intimacy can only be achieved between two people in a monogamous relationship. In other words, if you are emotionally and physically intimate with more than one person, it somehow dilutes the intimacy of each relationship. This is based on the notion that love is a quantifiable thing, like, if you have 100 pounds of love, you can give 100 pounds to your partner. But if you have multiple partners, you have to split the 100 pounds between them. Intimacy is about being willing to be open, honest and vulnerable with your partner and bonding on a deep level. Monogamy does not automatically equal intimacy and non-monogamy does not automatically equal lack of intimacy. Plus, non-monogamous relationships often involve the same level of commitment as monogamous ones. People in non-monogamous relationships are not avoiding intimacy or commitment, they are cultivating a relationship style that meets their needs and works for them.

Tristan Taormino's newest book is called Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships.

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