Let’s face it: we’re all in Open Relationships.

Via elephant journal
on Mar 15, 2013
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You know that Facebook relationship status drop down menu?

The one where you get exactly eleven choices to tell all your ‘friends’ who’s rockin’ your world—or not.

Of course, the implied relationship we’re talking about here is intimate relationship. We all want to know if you’re engaging in sex with someone, other than yourself.

Head-scratching moment: Isn’t every relationship intimate?

(Just suspend that knee-jerk reaction and stay with me here for a few minutes. And please enjoy this brief PSA from our friends at Merriam-Webster):

intimate (adjective)  \ˈin-tə-mət\

1. a: intrinsic, essential

    b: belonging to or characterizing one’s deepest nature

Now, back to our inquiry: What is ‘one’s deepest nature?’ What’s primal to our human experience? Aren’t we social animals by nature? Am I only in intimate relationship with you because I have sex with you? If that is true, who made sex the delineation between what is intimate and what is not?

Am I separate from you? Are you separate from me?

What about my relationship with food? That feels pretty intimate to me. It feels ‘essential.’

And, what about your dog? Would you say you’re ‘intimate’ with your Lab?

What about the sunlight? Or water? Or the air you breathe? I mean, it is keeping you alive, right? Do you have an intimate relationship with your environment? With nature?

Isn’t our human nature really one and the same, intimately and intrinsically interwoven with our natural environment?

In our wild state, weren’t we one with the Earth? How has human civilization (through the ubiquitous overdevelopment of technology and culture), in fact, separated me from you? How has it separated us from each other? From relationship, in general?

What if we were not only in relationship, what if we are relationship itself?

I wonder about these questions. I’m passionately curious and soaked to the skin in contemplation. This is no ordinary existential or mid-life crisis.


Because, in case you haven’t noticed, human beings could be the next endangered species. True? If so, this is crisis of epic proportion.

And it’s an enormous wake-up gong.

Here and now, as the birds sing, the grass grows greener and the warm soft breeze of Spring fills the air, I am emerging in verdant glory myself. Bursting forth from underneath the snowy winter of my soul, sifting through questions that have blanketed my mind for years now.

And, I’m in love!

Quite literally, I fell in love with myself. Not a narcissistic, self-gratifying ardor. But a cultivated widespread harmony within myself, as a sovereign being, saturated in the purity and beauty of life. Deeply nourished by basking in the joy of the wondrous life that I have been given.

This gift…this resplendent gift that we all have been given!

I am falling in love with life itself, with the world. Each newborn calf. Every blade of grass. The caress of a sparkling sunbeam. The sacred formation of geese in flight. An innocent smile. An unsolicited hug.

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want —oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~ Mark Twain

I want open intimacy, to be deeply steeped in permeable love.

In the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, according to Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the warrior renounces anything in her experience that is a barrier between herself and others. In other words, renunciation is making yourself more available, more gentle and open to others. Any hesitation about opening yourself is removed.

Now that’s intimacy. That’s open relationship.

What does this have to do with your sex? Everything. Because how you show up in life is how you show up in sex. More importantly, consider the converse: how you show up in sex is how you show up in life.

Allow yourself to fall in love with yourself…with life, and the world. Surrender to love. You don’t have to look very far at all to find wonder and pleasure, joy and ecstasy in each moment.

There is a flip side, of course. I would be remiss to speak only of the “up” and not the “down.” If I am this intimate with my world then I also am familiar and open to its pain: anguish and grief, anger and rage, deep brooding and ennui.

Having just lost my mother to cancer on the first of March—mere weeks ago—I am viscerally feeling my darker emotions, too. Gracefully learning to attune to both the first symphonic strains of life and the somber requiem of death.

All of it. As above, so below. What a blessed paradox to integrate.

To me, this is what it is to be undeniably human.

So in truth, I firmly believe there is only one choice: ‘in an open relationship.’

Because love is the revolution. And quite literally, that is what may save us all from extinction.

ej-amy-ferry-100x100Jenny Ferry is an emerging leader in the field of conscious sexuality and author of Soul Sex: Creating the Conscious Connection You Crave (2014). She facilitates public workshops and private client sessions throughout the U.S. and Canada. She’s passionate about human liberation, in every incarnation – especially sexual. An eclectic culture junkie, she loves erotic photography, traversing the Salish Sea (preferably by sailboat), and artisan goat cheese on a sturdy gluten-free cracker. For workshop or coaching inquiries, visit jennyferry.com. Find her on Facebook or on twitter at: https://twitter.com/jennyferry

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Ed. T. Lemieux/Kate Bartolotta


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28 Responses to “Let’s face it: we’re all in Open Relationships.”

  1. Antoinette Kunda says:

    Absolutely beautiful – thanks and especially in light of your grieving process being so raw

  2. Bradley Holcomb says:

    Gorgeous. Thank you Jenny!

  3. Carla Hummingbird says:

    I love this! You write so beautifully and speak from the depths of your heart and soul. I agree Jenny, we are all in relationship to each other, and if we don't put love first, with compassion and empathy for all, then we will no doubt be the death of us…

  4. Carolina says:

    Thank you. Much love!

  5. Jenny Ferry says:

    Thank you, Antoinette. And I appreciate your acknowledging my loss. Blessings.

  6. Jenny Ferry says:

    Thank you, Bradley!

  7. Jenny Ferry says:

    Thank you so much, Carla! I feel you + see you. And I am grateful for your kind words + aligned heart.

  8. Jenny Ferry says:

    Thank you, Carolina. Much love back!

  9. Heather says:

    Beautifully written and wonderful message. In spirit with you, I lost my father to cancer on March 1st, 2004, and I still remember every detail of that time very clearly, even though the years have brought peace managing the loss. As a coping mechanism, we celebrate him by dining on his favorite meal every year in his honor. Wishing you comfort and strength in healing.

  10. Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful and thought provoking talents. Good stuff.

  11. Jenny Ferry says:

    Thank you, Heather! I really appreciate your thoughtful note + feeling you in spirit with me. I love your ritual honoring your father with a favorite meal. I dedicated my workshop yesterday to my mom + felt very loved + supported by sharing that moment with community. Many blessings.

  12. Jenny Ferry says:

    Thank you so much, Lisa! Good stuff when we connect to ourselves, others + our world. : )

  13. John says:

    " …love is the revolution!" Thanks!

  14. Jenny Ferry says:

    Indeed, John! Thank you. : )

  15. Awesome, Jenny! This too is what I've been telling people for years! So beautiful!

  16. catnipkiss says:

    Jenny, I think I need to print this out as a reminder. There is so much love in life itself, maybe the pesky little relationship status stuff doesn't matter after all. I know more unhappy relationships than wonderful ones. I'm sticking to intimacy with my dog for now! – Alexa M.

  17. jim fry says:


    You've nailed it all, in eloquent sagacity, here:

    "What does this have to do with your sex? Everything. Because how you show up in life is how you show up in sex. More importantly, consider the converse: how you show up in sex is how you show up in life."


  18. Nick Myers says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this part of you Jenny. Its good to be reminded that our human spectrum is what makes us completely who we are and worth loving.

    Also being reminded that by loving ourselves are we completely capable of seeing others for who they are, and loving them completely as well as there no longer becomes a distinction of the too.

    This article reminded me of the great love i have for myself and thus the great love I have for you. So thank you, again, for sharing you with me.

  19. Jenny Ferry says:

    Thank you! And keep telling people. Yay! <3

  20. Jenny Ferry says:

    Alexa, that is a profound compliment. Yes, so true: there IS so much love in life itself. Intimacy is everywhere. Hugs to you + your dog! 😉

  21. Jenny Ferry says:


    Thank you! Wow! I'm really honored by your kind words + praise. And I know you get this stuff. Keep on doing your thing. Love your shares on FB!


  22. Jenny Ferry says:

    Thank you so much, Nick! I really appreciate your thoughtful + loving comments. And it makes me happy that you have great love for yourself. That's how we change the world. Lots of love to you. J

  23. Erica says:


  24. taracatalano says:

    Hi Jenny! Great to see your heart-based intelligent writings here at my fav publication. Keep up the fantastic work and empowerment! Namaste!

  25. Luiz says:

    Ahhh, no. Great words about love yourself and the world. but I dont agree with any words of open relationship. Great text anyway. congratulations.

  26. Monika says:

    Loved this…thank you!!! Hit the bulls eye with me on so many levels!!

  27. meaningfulsock says:

    Thank you for the inspiration and affirmation that love doesn't need to be hoarded.

  28. Lady Lorelie says:

    Great!!! Really really liked reading this. Thankyou