Open to open marriage
For instance, watch sexologist Dr. Nikki Goldstein covering some good bases during her TV appearance on "The Morning Show" in Australia (despite the dippy hosts). She stressed basic requirements of "Honesty, Trust, Boundaries, Communication," and the station displayed this list onscreen. You can also watch the segment via her website (approx. Nov. 10, 2011).
Meanwhile, last week I stepped into another massive online debate about what qualifies as "polyamory." The definition of "swinging" was brought in, and "love," and "commitment." Little was decided.
One participant was Franklin Veaux, whose funny and insightful Diagram of Non-Monogamy at right (source and background) went viral last year.
A simpler slice through this complex space, say I, would just show non-monogamy including a "Responsible Non-Monogamy" subset, which includes the smaller box "Open Relationships," which includes most of "Polyamory." The smaller boxes would extend a little outside the next larger ones, and the borders would be gray areas, not sharp lines.
Each of these boxes is smaller than the ones above it; there are certainly more open relationships than poly relationships. Open relationships are also more mainstream than polyamory. They're less paradigm-breaking and more widely understood.
What's the difference? What do people mean when they use one term rather than the other?
"Polyamory" carries a certain radical subtext: that when three or more of you are linked by romantic relationships, to some degree you are all in this together — whether intimately, or even if some of you are barely acquainted. Polyamory implies this closing of the loop of connections, no matter how tenuously. "Open relationships" do not. They're about two people agreeing they can be nonexclusive.
Several opening-your-marriage books have come out in the last three years. Here are the ones I know about. The titles link to my review if I've written one:
● Open All the Way: Confessions From My Open Marriage
by Sadie Smythe (Kindle only) (2011)
● Love in Abundance: A Counselor's Guide to Open Relationships
by Kathy Labriola (2010)
● Love Unlimited: The Joys and Challenges of Open Relationships
by Leonie Linssen and Stephan Wik (2010)
● The Art and Etiquette of Polyamory: A Hands-on Guide to Open Sexual Relationships
by Françoise Simpère (2011)
● Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships
by Tristan Taormino (2008)
● The Ethical Slut, 2nd edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures
by Dossie Easton and Janet A. Hardy ("Catherine Lizst") (2009)
● Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage
by Jenny Block (2008)
BTW, here are all nine of my poly book reviews so far.
Labels: open marriage