"Making honesty the cornerstone of your relationship": Open marriage advocated on China coast
Jenny Block gets around. The author of Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage visited Macau on the coast of China last year and ended up being interviewed by the glossy women's magazine Macau Closer for its annual wedding issue. She spoke on a wedding topic close to her heart:
The Open Alternative
Can you briefly explain why you feel so strongly that open relationships should be considered an acceptable alternative to conventional marriage for those who choose them?
I believe that individual choice is the cornerstone of the human experience. There are so many different kinds of people. So it only makes sense that there would be all different kinds of relationships too. I feel strongly about the rights of consenting adults to live and love in a way that feels authentic to them. (As long as it does no harm to others, of course.)
How do you think local culture impacts on the social acceptance of open relationships, particularly in Asian countries, which tend to be more male dominated and conservative?
I think culture plays a huge part in the acceptance of less common relationship styles. I do think it will be difficult for open relationships to become widely accepted in a male dominated conservative culture. Change can be slow, and it can even be painful, but it is necessary. And, in the end, in this case, I believe it will also be good. Very good.
...Being open is about communicating with your partner, evolving as a couple, and making honesty the cornerstone of your relationship.
...What advice do you give individuals or couples who are considering the idea of open relationships? Does this advice differ depending on whether a person is currently single or currently in a relationship?
The advice is the same. If you are interested in pursuing an open relationship you need to arm yourself with as much information as you can. Read everything. Join online newsgroups, and be prepared to talk, talk, talk with everyone with whom you are involved or want to be involved. Being in an open relationship is just like being in any other kind of relationship. If it’s going to work well, you have to commit to making it work well....
Read the whole article (April 2010 issue). It's available in English or Chinese; Macau is a port city that, like larger Hong Kong nearby, is a former European colony (Portuguese) and now a semi-autonomous "special administrative region" of China.
Also: Block writes that she's gotten a regular gig writing two columns a week for "Fox on Sex" at the Fox News website. Fox News gave her a trashing when she appeared on the show last year — but no hard feelings; Rupert Murdoch's properties don't care about their collapse-of-civilization rants, they know sex sells and are happy to bring their trashees on board accordingly.
And here's a brief TV appearance Block had earlier this year on "Virginia This Morning" (WTVR in Richmond, Virginia).