• Open

  • An Uncensored Memoir of Love, Liberation, and Non-Monogamy--A Polyamory Memoir
  • By: Rachel Krantz
  • Narrated by: Rachel Krantz
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An unprecedented exploration of polyamory and gaslighting, from an award-winning journalist chronicling her first open relationship with unflinching candor as she explores this fast-growing movement

“[A] sincere and curious reckoning with the cultural messaging we all receive about gendered expectations and power dynamics in romantic and sexual relationships.”—NPR

Can we have both freedom and love? Comfort and lust? Is a relationship ever equal? And is the pleasure worth the pain?

When Rachel Krantz met and fell for Adam, he told her that he was looking for a committed partnership—just one that did not include exclusivity. Intrigued and more than a little nervous, Rachel decided to see whether their love could be open and coexist with the freedom to date other people. Could they strike an exquisite balance between intimacy and independence, and find a way to feel passion for one another once the honeymoon phase ended?

For Open, her extraordinary debut memoir, Rachel interviewed scientists, psychologists, and people living and loving outside the mainstream as she searched to understand what non-monogamy would do to her heart, her mind, and her life. From exploring Brooklyn sex parties to the wider swinger and polyamory communities, Rachel and Adam attempt to write a new plot for their love story. But as the miscommunications and power imbalances mount, Rachel finds herself anxious, emotionally isolated, and seeking solid ground in a relationship where the rules seem to be ever-shifting. In Open, Rachel casts new light on the unique ways coercion and gaslighting manifest in open relationships, and finds herself wondering what liberation really looks like.

With an unflinching eye and compelling storytelling, Open is groundbreaking in both its documentarian approach to polyamory and its explicit subject matter. From debilitating anxiety spirals to heart-opening connections with the men and women she dates, Rachel puts her whole self on the line as she attempts to redefine what a relationship is—or could be.

©2022 Rachel Krantz (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“In Open, Rachel Krantz invites us into her deepest privacy as she explores her body and soul, fears and ecstasies, desires and disappointments. This is a starkly naked story of a young woman’s adventure of self-discovery, told with a striking lack of shame or apology. Highly recommended.”(Dr. Christopher Ryan, author of Sex at Dawn)

Open is a smart, original, ambitious, and deeply absorbing memoir, in part because Krantz wants no less than to help us rethink the concepts of love, sex, and power as we know them. She succeeds by bringing us deftly and irresistibly into her most intimate pains and joys, stretching our understanding of what commitment and autonomy mean.” (Dr. Wednesday Martin, author of Untrue and Primates of Park Avenue)

“Don’t look for easy answers in Rachel Krantz’s thrilling meditation-cum-memoir, Open, in which the political gets very personal indeed. Seamlessly shifting from a critique of evolutionary biology to the first touch of his hand on her thigh, this polyamorous coming-of-age story crackles with equal parts erotic energy and searching commentary. A perfect guide to our new world, the only problem I had picking up this book was putting it back down. Open compels, entertains, and may ultimately transform its readers.” (Dr. Terry Real, internationally recognized family therapist, author, and founder of the Relational Life Institute)

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I’m proud of myself

I think I did a good job writing OPEN, and I definitely enjoyed the process of recording this audiobook immensely. Please get it touch @rachelkrantz with any kindness. Thank you!

1 person found this helpful

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A 1st for me

The very 1st book in any area will inevitably enjoy an over rating due to ignorance bias. I apparently do not agree with the author's way of thinking and dealing with things but listening to it did open up doors for me and helped me at times in need. The 4-star rating, is a thank you for that.

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Thought Provoking

Even though Rachel is a young woman, she gives thought provoking ideas and concepts on alternative lifestyles as she tells her life story. She also gives the reader valuable information on concepts of non-mongamy, sexuality, human biology, polyamory, jelleousy, depression, gas lighting and other topics associated with her experience with non-mondamy and kink. She never truly says that she was in a Dom/sub or hot wife relationship, but believe the components were there. She just chooses not to put a big label on it through out the book even though she does mention concepts of kink. Rachel also did a wonderful job with explaining terms on alternative lifestyles and how different elements can impact these different types of relationships. Even though, she expressed in the book that many people hated Adam, I never felt that way. I always felt that he cared and loved her in a non traditional way, but over time, his style became toxic to Rachel since she struggled to be comfortable with his other relationships and how he treated their relationship. This resulted in jelleousy and pain for rachel which was understandable because of his inability to truly make her feel valued at times. This obviously affected their relationship and over time, their situations became toxic for Rachel. Looking at Rachel's relationship with Adam, helped me evaluate my life a bit. This book was truly informative and thought provoking. 5 stars.

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Well written, honest, and thoughtful.

I enjoyed it. I found it to be a brutally vulnerable and honest exploration of a lifestyle and a particular person's place in it. Well done!

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Nuanced exploration of polyamory with diverse academic references

What a moving, nuanced memoire that serves to educate the reader about contemporary research on relationships, power dynamics, psychology and gender studies (that happen to feature some queer and non-monogamous subjects and many that are not).

I blushed, I laughed, I shook my fist in righteous feminist anger…and came to view even the most harmful people in the book with complexity and compassion.

An insightful and helpful read for anyone who has struggled with abusive relationship dynamics, although it could be triggering. In listening to this book you’ll get the author’s take on a range of books and podcasts that offer theories, data and practical guidelines for diving into non-monogamy.

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Really relatable

I really like how honest this came across and loved the moments that as someone in the life style there were parts were I'm like "That was totally my exp too!" reg little things that are talked about that are details that only someone that has been in the life style would be familiar with and it really brings home this is someones account it's not just fiction. Totally worth the read

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Monogamous or not, this can help the open minded reader

Live long enough, and we will all experience a chunk of this book. Whether or not your decide to be monogamous, there are incredibly true statements about life, learning, and vulnerability from which we can all glean knowledge. The way in which relationships come and go, grow and fade, blossom and decay, or the way in which a partner may manipulate a situation, or a lifestyle, teaches the reader about intimate truths about themselves and others.

The book may require a certain level of open mindedness if you subscribe to the traditional (stereotypical??) western view of relationships, sex, and marriage. Nevertheless, those who struggle with the taboo topics should read this book, too. Maybe this book will help a few more people fly their freak flag, and we will all be better for it.

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Whew

Well, that was intense. But worth it. It reminded me so much of previous toxic relationships I've been in that my own trauma was triggered multiple times. (I'm made thankful that I only stayed for a few months, not years...) But I'm glad I pushed through to the finish and the healing process. Very relatable, well written, and inspiring!

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Kudos!

Krantz is a wicked smart person. Wow, what a powerful book. I finished it a couple of days ago. I am still digesting it. I believe people should be able to love and have sex how they authentically love and have sex, without being shamed, as long as it's done with consent. Krantz had a long-term relationship that involved abusive behavior. This is not a mark against consensual non-monogamy (CNM). Plenty of monogamous relationships also involve abusive behavior.
I like that Krantz included enough footnotes to substantiate that many of her points were not just opinions she conjured up. I listened to the Audible version. I may need to buy a hard copy to follow up on her references. Yes, it's that good.
I liked how Krantz breaks the fourth wall and writes directly to her future readers at times. It's like she's writing a letter to a friend. This really personalizes and makes more intimate the connection between Krantz and her readers.
Krantz joins Gracie X and Sophie Lucido Johnson and other amazing talented women who have written books about CNM relationships. We need more books on this subject. These books are stories that expand the imagination of the possible and encourage people to live more authentic lives without shame. We definitely need that.
Kudos Rachel Krantz, kudos!

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Just So Good

She spoke so many of my thoughts and feelings, made the crazy I've felt and experienced seem so much less mine or mine alone which was a beautiful experience. I have kept so much internalized that she powerfully, vulnerably, and knowledgeably shared...truly allowing her painful experiences to heal herself and others through this book. I couldn't stop listening and thank the universe for sending me this book when I needed it, and thank Rachel for writing it!