by Gracie X
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. 328 pages, 2015.