I have been a long time fan of Tristan Taormino. She has done amazing work in the area of sexual positivity. She writes insightful books, creates a witty blog, and presents workshops. She was here in 2008 (and brought together our own locals like Minx and Gray ) so I wasn’t sure she would be here as part of her book tour or not. But she is going to be the keynote speaker for UW Madison Sexual Health Week — Date: Friday April 24, 2009 at 7pm. Location: 2650 Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison Admission: Free
Tristan’s most recent book Opening Up is a great look into the why, how, and real life approach into an open relationship — everything from jealousy, honesty, and reality of exploring non-monagamy. Having read just about any and all works that are out there on polyamory, I feel a specific connection to Taormino’s work. She takes on multiple perspectives on the topic. She is not out to convince anyone that open relationships are easy or perfect.
Many people feel the need to shout the virtues of open relationships as if there is nothing but glory to be found within the relationship dyanmics. On the other end, it seems as if many want to villify the the alternative sexual/relationship approach. It is hard to find a balance and I believe that Tristan manages to strike it.
Without going into the details of pro and cons of non-monagamy here in this post. I will say that I think that Taormino provides a great look at open relationships. If you are curious about if you might be interested in an open relationship, looking for basics on the ideas, or just wondering what the topic is all about then Opening Up is a wonderful book to start with!
Here is a quote that I specifically enjoyed because I often need to help clients through the understanding that they create their own relationship that works for them not set by standards of others:
“Some people have confused equality with symmetry, making the assumption that everyone should have the same thing…. Sometimes setting the same rules for both partners simply doesn’t make sense because you are different people who want different things. In attempting to give each person equality you could lose sight of what each person actually wants. Work to achieve balance rather than equality.
I would highly recommend you go and see Tristan speak. She is fun, energetic, honest, and very smart. You will enjoy yourself if you take the time to go hear her speak this Friday.
One small side note, with all relationships, if you are looking for support, direct help, or specific questions then seeking out an alternative sexuality therapist, like myself, is a recommended.