My Adventures in Polyamory, Open Marriage, and Loving on My Own Terms
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: New Harbinger Publications
At a time when society no longer imposes many sexual taboos, why is open marriage still considered beyond the pale? Written by Gracie X, Wide Open is an enthusiastic, honest, and sometimes raw account of one woman’s experience living polyamorously within the context of her average American family.
Gracie X—a suburban mother of two—has been married to her loving husband, Hank, for 25 years. The problem is that their once-vibrant sex life has shriveled to nothing. Meanwhile, she has fallen in love with another man, for whom she has an overwhelming physical yearning. Frustrated and conflicted but determined not to give up her hard-won home life and wonderful husband, she is desperate for a creative solution. Can she somehow keep both men in her life without resorting to divorce or dishonesty?
A friend introduces Gracie to polyamory: loving and being faithful to more than one person at a time. “Poly,” it turns out, is a whole new world, with dedicated counselors, parties, and dating sites. Convincing Hank ended up being the easy part: he quickly found a girlfriend and accepted Gracie’s terms. Their children, although upset at first, adjusted to having their parents’ “special friends” around, and having Hank and his girlfriend in one duplex, with Gracie and her new boyfriend, Oz, next-door, seemed like an inspired solution. But would trying to go poly create as many problems as it was trying to solve?
In her candid and provocative memoir, Wide Open, Gracie details the years she has spent exploring the poly lifestyle and creating her “chosen family.” A fiercely intelligent feminist, she challenges traditional ideas about monogamy, fidelity, and sexuality. From swinger parties and strip clubs to sex toys and pornography, this is an edgy and thought-provoking read. Yet erotica and tenderness share space here, with Gracie’s true love for both Hank and Oz—as well as her two children—coming through very clearly.
Wide Open reveals—with humor, integrity and heart—how one woman blended love, sex and marriage in unconventional ways and found the fulfillment she was looking for.
“Vulnerable and vivacious, Wide Open is a deeply personal, beautifully written tale of one woman’s erotic journey to find herself and keep her family together. Gracie X bares her soul in this gripping memoir filled with pain and pleasure, growth, endings, and new beginnings. I couldn’t put it down!”
—Elisabeth Sheff, author of The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and Families (2014), and editor of Stories from the Polycule: Real Life in Polyamorous Families (2015)
“Gracie X has written an honest and engaging memoir about taking one of the biggest risks of her life—opening up her marriage despite warnings from friends and loved ones to not ‘rock the boat’ and her own fears. While honoring both her deep commitment to her husband and children and her reawakened sexuality, she shows us that, yes, we are capable of loving many people and receiving love back, as well as creating a marriage that is unique to our needs—a valuable lesson for all of us, whether polyamorous, monogamous, or monogamish.”
—Vicki Larson, award-winning journalist and coauthor of The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels
“For anyone who’s curious about how to approach polyamory or open relationships with your partner, Wide Open is a must-read. Gracie X graciously lays out her complicated journey in a funny, honest, and relatable way that will inspire others to follow their heart. Redefining the family and relationship model is not an easy task; however, Wide Open gives you hope that through honest communication, emotional maturity, and patience, anything is possible.”
—Natalia Garcia, director and creator of Showtime’s Polyamory: Married & Dating
“I was moved by Gracie X as she shared a tender, passionate, and vulnerable memoir that inspires as it warns. This book is a must-read, authentic addition to the literature on open relationships and polyamory. As an intimacy counselor, I recommend her book for those who wish to experience the real-life joys, sorrows, challenges, and gifts of alternative relationship.”
—Francesca Gentille, contributing author of The Marriage of Sex and Spirit, radio host of “Sex: Tantra and Kama Sutra,” and relationship and intimacy counselor
“This is a remarkable book. At a time when liberals and conservatives alike are embracing marriage and the nuclear family, Gracie X sends us a life raft—the bold chronicle of her quest to create a family configuration that works for her, her husband, new lover, and children. Gracie X is not only creative and brave—she is also a consummate storyteller. Be prepared for a riveting tale of her journey into intense new love while her marriage simultaneously evolves and realigns itself. For anyone weary from the dry, didactic tone of poly how-to books, this memoir provides a wealth of information about the triumphs and tribulations of exploring polyamory. And it is an indispensable resource for those seeking to forge a new way with their partners and families, expanding the bounds of even polyamory itself.”
—Ann E. Tweedy, poet and author of Beleaguered Oases (CreativePress 2010) and White Out (Green Fuse Poetic Arts 2013)
“To open her kimono and share how one woman and two families made sense of the paradox that is love, sex, family, intimacy, and honesty in our modern lives, is an act of tremendous courage and generosity. Her sassy, relatable, sexy truth-telling burns away the tarnish that convention can leave on our hearts. Even if our journeys look different than Gracie X’s (as indeed they should), let us stand up and shout out: Viva the moxie of Gracie X to open her heart and her mouth. Say it, sister!”
— LiYana Silver, mentor for Women’s Embodiment: Bringing Your Feminine Genius to Life (http://liyanasilver.com)