Review: “Opening Up” by Tristan Taormino


Review of  Opening Up by Tristan TaorminoHey everyone, this is Cooper here from Life on the Swingset with a book review for you. The book I’m reviewing for you is Opening Up, a Guide to creating and sustaining open relationships, written by Tristan Taormino an all around renaissance woman in the field of sex.

Opening Up is a very detailed account of open relationships, it focuses more on the emotional and interpersonal relationship aspect of it instead of the sexual aspect of open relationships, though this is also dealt with as well.  She has interviewed over 120 people who are in open relationships and throughout the book uses statistics and quotes from these people to further her points and to demonstrate the wide breadth of opinions and feelings on it.

Bottom line, what she’s trying to get across is that once you open your relationship you realize that unlike with monogamy, there is a wide variety of experience and types of open relationships out there, things that you may not have considered otherwise.

Opening Up is an excellent book for people considering opening up their relationship in any way shape or form, be it in terms of bisexuality, or if what you’re really going for is a six couple inter-house relationship where you share full relationship duties. The bottom line is that it’s about reshaping our thinking about relationships and reshaping the thinking we have about the difference between monogamy and nonmonogamy. She does deal extensively with swinging though it seems like polyamory and the things that go along with polyamory are her main focus in this book.

I think when you get right down to it this book is more a philosophical approach it’s can you open your relationship not physically but mentally and I think this is a very important thing for people considering opening their relationships to go through to determine whether or not the mental aspects of it will work for them, because so often people rush into it for the sexual aspect but they don’t think about what’s going to happen with jealousy and hurt feelings and all those things.

One of the concepts she really goes into is the idea of compersion  which is the opposite of jealousy. Compersion is the idea that you can derive pleasure specifically from someone you love or care about deriving pleasure and it is the cornerstone from having open relationships without the jealousy that society expects you to have.

So overall I would rate Opening Up very highly and give it a 4 out of 5, pretty much a must read for those who are just beginning on their journey or considering a journey into open relationships. Those who’ve been doing it for a while like myself  may find a lot of this is things that you already know or have figured out yourself, but I personally would have liked this roadmap before we got started on the journey so I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Tristan Taormino is an amazing writer and very very thoughtful, humorous, and hits all the right notes in putting together a book that makes you feel better about your decisions about opening up your relationship when so much of society is designed to make us feel bad about that decision.

Buy the book HERE

Visit Tristan Taormino's website at

Full Disclosure: We did not purchase this product, it was sent to us specifically for review. Our policy is to, regardless of how we acquired a product, review it fairly and openly. No writer for Life On The Swingset will ever deliberately mislead our readers into believing that a product is good because of anything we received from the company. We are open and honest, and cannot be bought or bribed. If we love a product, we'll tell you, if we don't, BELIEVE us, we'll tell you that too. End disclaimer.


About Cooper Cooper S. Beckett is the co-founder and host of Life on the Swingset: The Podcast since 2010, author of swinging & polyamory novels A Life Less Monogamous and Approaching The Swingularity, and memoir My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory. He teaches and speaks on swinging, polyamory, pegging, play parties, and coloring outside the boundaries of your sexuality. He is a graphic & web designer, photographer, and voice over artist, has been a guest expert on Dan Savage’s Savage Lovecast, & is the announcer of Tristan Taormino’s radio show Sex Out Loud. He is currently working on two instructional non-fiction books, one about beginning non-monogamy, and another about pegging.

1 Comment

  1. Loved this book. Would definitely recommend it to everyone. wether or not your in or looking for an open relationship.  It can be very helpful source of information for those looking to understand open relationships.  Even sent a copy to my mom’s Kindle for her to read.  Wonder if she ever did? lol

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