I started Opening Up midway through reading The Ethical Slut. Slut just wasn’t doing it for me. I kept putting it down and finding reasons not to go back to it again. So, a poly friend of mine recommended that I read Tristan Taormino’s book, and I’m glad I did. Besides having a more appealing cover, Opening Up has more chapters relevant to me as a single individual, like chapter eight: Solo Polyamory. It had sections that answered my questions like how to have a poly lifestyle with children (ch 17) and how to have safe, nonmonagomous sex (ch 18), and information on things that I would have never considered like polyfidelity and non-sexual poly relationships.
One thing that I was on the fence about was the author’s decision to use the term “nonmonogamy” when referring to, well, nonmonogamus relationships. I agree with The Ethical Slut that that [non-] term is making monogamy the norm, but on the flip-side, it is more all-encompassing than simply “open” relationships. I say that without knowing your definition of an “open” relationship. For one of my friends, being in an “open” relationship means that she and her boyfriend can play with other people once or twice as long as love is not allowed to be a factor; whereas I used to equate “open” with only polyamory.
Don’t think that this book stops being open at, er, relationships. It also rejects heteronormativity and made me, as an LGBT person, confident that this is a lifestyle I can choose. Sitting here, writing this review, is making me miss reading that book. It was full of insightful, well researched information and it left me wanting more (thanks to a brimming reference section I’ll be well-read by the time I’m 80).
I was especially pleased to find this book after going through a breakup myself and realizing that there must be (and are!) more options than monogamy. It’s just not right for everyone and this book is guidance for some and educational for others.