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 page-turning 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.
Rachel Krantz is a journalist and one of the founding editors of Bustle, where she served as senior features editor for three years. Her work has been featured on NPR, The Guardian, Vox, Vice, and many other outlets. She’s the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Radio Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and the Peabody Award for her work as an investigative reporter with YR Media. Open is her first book.