“Designer Relationships” – Book Review

Is it really possible to design a relationship? One in which my desires, both emotionally and sexually are met? Well, according to Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, the authors of the recently released, “Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships,” not only are designer relationships possible, but are in fact empowering because they encourage, as the authors say, “partnerships based on a couple’s own sexualities, understandings, and agreements.”

I am always on the lookout for new books and articles in which sex positive, open, swinging, poly, or designer relationships (as they are sometimes referred) are the topic. So, when I was introduced to this book, I happily added it to my collection, eager to see what the authors had to say.

Mark and Patricia do not disappoint. What I loved about this book, is even though it is succinct in its approach (less than 150 pages), you come away feeling as though you have been given a mountain of information. Information you can actually put into practice. One of my favorite quotes in the book, deals with relationship skills:

“Relationships are co-creations: it is always helpful to bear this in mind, in good times and in difficult ones. When things are going well, this awareness will serve to nurture your connection. If you can remember that you are not operating in isolation when you encounter difficulties, you may be able to look at your partner(s) and whatever you are facing with more compassion and less reproach.”

What I love about this statement, is this “co-creation” teaches unity, responsibility, and communication, which as we all know are valuable building blocks towards a solid relationship foundation. I also felt as though Mark and Patricia were taking me on a guided tour through all the relationship options available, while at the same time tackling the myths and misconceptions about consensual nonmonogamy. The other thing I loved about the book, is the authors celebrate ALL the different types of unions out there today. Whether you have a couple in a monogamous, swinging, poly, open, etc… Mark and Patricia focus on all the assets each style of partnership can and do bring to the table. The authors want to make sure the readers know, there is no “wrong” way to have a relationship, but there is also more than “one” way to have a relationship.

John and I have recently added this book to our Sexy Minds section of the Openlove101 site. I would encourage all my readers to order this insightful book and spend an afternoon designing a relationship that works for you.

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