My good friend Sadie Smythe and co-producer of Bedpost Confessions, has recently written a book, a memoir of sorts about her experiences with love, sexuality and opening her marriage. I have had the privilege of reading and reviewing this work as well as working with Sadie over the past year.
Open marriages are perhaps becoming more in vogue these days, when the divorce rate seems to be climbing through the roof. Or perhaps there have always been explorers and it’s only been the advent of the internet that has allowed sites like Poly Weekly, Wikipedia, and books like Sex at Dawn to shed light on other possibilities than cheating, serial monogamy (and divorce) or the slow long death of intimacy in a marriage.
There are also writers and explorers like Sadie Smythe, whose blog has provided an invaluable resource for readers who are also in open marriages and seeking guidance but also monogamous sex positive folks who feel a particular kinship with her.
Open All The Way chronicles the path of Sadie and her husband Scott, who discussed non-monogamy as early as the first days of their marriage. It also details Sadie’s battle with alcohol addiction and her ongoing realization that intimacy (not only with lovers and partners) but with herself, is the key to any successful relationship.
Written in a wonderfully familiar and personal prose, reading Open All The Way is like having coffee with a friend, hearing amazing stories with both happy and sad endings. She produces a pace and rhythm that is syncopated and alliterative which only increases the readability of the book.
Open marriages are not for everyone. Certainly ample time for dating, and location of romantic hideaways are necessary from a practical standpoint (logistics are more important than one would think!), but the levels of honesty required to communicate with one’s partner(s) about potentially difficult and disruptive topics (jealousy, feelings, motivations) are damn high.
Sadie makes a good case though, for the benefits of that honesty, of those conversations not only with one’s partner but with oneself, and that in my opinion, makes the exploration of intimacy, both monogamous or non, a vital and important pursuit. In fact, I think the pursuit of radical intimacy, in seeing one’s partner as a whole and separate person, is vital to the growth of the partnership. Open relationships, when done well, can be one way to do that work.
You can purchase Sadie’s book, here. I hope you enjoy it and glean powerful tools from it as I have.
–Looking for one-on-one coaching on relationships, sexuality, life passages, or need support with personal or career goals? Seeking seeking a facilitator for your group or team to help promote healthy group dynamics and effective communication? Contact me here!