Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Open + Book

A while ago, I sent around a shout-out for people in "alternative" relationships and had some amazing interviews as a result. The article was published in New York Spirit Magazine's April/May Issue (www.nyspirit.com) titled, "Beyond Monogamy." One of the women I interviewed was Jenny Block (not to be confused with Jenny on the Block, the infamous J-Lo), an articulate, impassioned woman in a self-defined "Open Marriage." Jenny is married to her husband of over 10 years, has a young child, and has a "serious" long-term girlfriend, who does not live with them. Jenny was in the process of writing a book back then, and now the book is out and flying off the shelves. Check her out.

There are as many ways to structure an "open" relationship as there are people in the open relationships. Which, as far as I can tell, are increasing like flowers in the spring. Non-monogamy, in all its possibilities, is a hot, hot topic. And once you are tired of what I've got to say on the subject, I invite you to check out Jenny.

Jenny's relationship set-up includes (my term) emotional monogamy with her husband and her girlfriend. Or perhaps another term (not mine) would be "polyfidelity" – a cool term coined in the 80's by an experimental commune in the bay area called Kerista, where 15 men and women lived together in lifetime sexual fidelity, to all 14 others.

But I digress.

Jenny is not only a champion for re-defining relationships, but also for un-imprisioning women's sexuality. She says a mouthful in a recent blog posting (http://www.open-marriage.blogspot.com/)

"I used to be upset by the people who called me a whore and said they pitied my husband. "Who are you to think you deserve to be happy?" their comments seemed to say. "How dare you want to be fulfilled sexually? You're just a woman," I heard them whispering between the lines. But now I simply pity them. Sexuality has gotten a bad rap. It's great in the movies and in the glossy magazines, but when it comes to real life, it's supposed to be ignored for "higher" pursuits. Well, hell with that. My sexuality is part of me and it is no more nor less of a part than anything else.

For as far as I'm concerned, redefining marriage and validating relationships outside of heterosexual, monogamous marriages is one of the many ways we can work toward returning a woman's sexuality to its rightful owner. And, trust me, she wants it back."

Her book: "Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage"
http://www.amazon.com/Open-Love-Sex-Life-Marriage/dp/158005241X/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205465450&sr=8-1

Her website:
http://jennyonthepage.com

That's the OPEN part. Here's the BOOK part: I'm writing one, so watch out! I am in the proposal stage, which is fantastic and hard, so it won't be "out" until 2009, but I am giving you fair warning, so you can save a 2-inch space on your bookshelf and cheer me on in the epic, grand process I'll be undertaking this fall and winter.

Live and love as big as you can, LiYana

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Posted by LiYana at 9:22 am  | 1 Comment

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