Writer and journalist (and wonderfully supportive, positive person) Jenny Block has a new book coming out in June called Open: Love, Sex & Life in an Open Marriage (Seal Press, 2008). According to her website, in her book,
Block explores the nature of the open relationship, why it works for her, why it makes sense for her and her husband, and why it makes so many people uncomfortable. This is not a memoir of cheating and regret, nor is it a glorification or cure-all. It’s a frank discussion of a practice that’s more common and popular than most people are willing to acknowledge. Open also touches upon swinging (which Block doesn’t do), polyamory (she is currently in a polyamorous situation with her existing relationships), and the various ways in which open marriage works for different couples.
One of the quotes on her website also points out that Jenny is part of only a minuscule group of women who write about their sexuality under their own names. While it is sad that so many of us even in the blogging world (myself included) find it necessary to shield ourselves behind pseudonyms, I am glad that there are people like Jenny out there who have the guts (and the freedom) to lay claim to their own stories, good or bad.
The first chapter of the book is available as a PDF here. I read it recently and had to stop halfway through to go tell Jenny how spot-on I thought she was in her analysis of the conflicting messages imparted to girls. The way she does it is wonderful as well. She uses her own story extensively – the book is, after all, about her own experience – but she relates it to the larger experience of growing up female in a certain strata of society (in global terms). In doing that, she nevertheless avoids solipsism and turns out what I think will prove to be an extremely relevant exploration of a subject that, as her website points out, everyone seems to think about but nobody actually addresses head on. I, for one, am glad she’s stepped up to the challenge and I look forward to reading her book as soon as it comes out.