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Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage Hardcover – May 27, 2008
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About the Author
Jenny holds both her Bachelor’s and her Master’s in English from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she taught composition for nearly ten years. She has also taught at the University of Richmond and Strayer University, as well as lectured at academic conferences across the country. Jenny has written numerous academic ancillaries for the Newsweek Education Program, Addison Wesley Longman, and Simon and Schuster.
Top Customer Reviews
I have no issue with the practice of polyamory. My issue is with the messenger. Jenny is a clever woman who easily wins people over with her warm demeanor and self-deprecating wit. However, I cannot take what she says at face value. Her book is supposed to be about open "marriage", but it has been (rather sheepishly) dedicated to her girlfriend. This subtle but cavalier gesture underscores the self-centered attitude that drives the story within.
We learn of Jenny's amazing power to attract youthful lesbian lovers who previously identified as straight ("whee"). We learn how she cheated on her spouse for the simple reason that she really, really likes having sex with other people (who doesn't?). And we learn how her husband is "the rock" in a marriage where he seemingly only exists to help her reach "the sky"... her girlfriend. How nice. I'm sure every spouse, male or female, aspires for such a role.
I agree with Jenny that our culture is overdue for a reexamination of monogamy. This simply isn't the book to accomplish it. Jenny is bisexual and has an arrangement that allows for male and female lovers if she so decides. However, other bisexuals practice a form of "gender monogamy" in which only partners of the same gender are allowed. Still others consider themselves sexually monogamous but engage in extramarital emotional relationships. Essentially, we can live as we please as long as it is for the betterment of everyone involved. Which is why it would be nice to hear the argument from her husband's perspective instead of exclusively from a person who is so gung-ho about wanting it all, at any cost.
If mainstream America is ever going to buy into this lifestyle, we need more than lip service and a ring on the cover.Read more ›
I will say this against the book: it fundamentally mischaracterizes Iris Krasnow's Surrendering to Marriage as a throwback to the 1950s "women submit to men" culture. This is simply wrong; Block has not read Krasnow carefully, or intentionally misread her. As Krasnow states (explicitly on page 14, implicitly throughout the book, including dust jacket and subtitle), the book is meant for both men and women. Krasnow (like Block!) writes about marriage from a woman's perspective simply because she is a woman.
I wouldn't make a big deal of this, but Block does: 7 pages are given over to an anti-Krasnow crusade. At one point, Block likens her to a "crackpot", and claims Krasnow has set back "countless years of fighting for women's rights." Nope. Block's misunderstanding.
This saddens me, because both Krasnow and Block are reacting against the romantic, harmful idealization of marriage, and I think they represent two wise perspectives which need to be integrated in any relationship which tries to be open.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read Dan Savage who recommended this book on his blog, so I bought it. Was hoping for some kind of deeper insight into open marriage, but it was all pretty basic information, and... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Andrew D.
Pretty interesting I love that her husband also validated her story. I want to all trusting all living like her!Published 9 months ago by sara talachy
After reading this book, I felt as if a lot of the feelings I`ve been having are here written down in this amazing book that gives me a view of someone else`s journey to personal... Read morePublished 10 months ago by D.
I enjoyed the book's review of relationships (both one's own, and how we view and value the relationships of others). I found Open to be full of honest and valuable insights. Read morePublished 10 months ago by R. Campbell
Against the nay-sayers who have reviewed this book, I'm going to say that this book is utterly fantastic. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Roy Waidler
I found it to be extremely informational. Well written and very easy to follow.Published 18 months ago by robert glenn jr
"Open" is a breathe of fresh air! Thank you, Jenny Block for this readable, accessible and so insightful book. Read morePublished 20 months ago by R. Jackson-Paton