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Uncommon Lives (Plume) Paperback – April 30, 1991

5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Interviews with 1000 men and women who have formed "alternative" family units reveal that many deliberately chose their unorthodox arrangements and, in addition to facing problems associated with traditional marriage, often must deal with social disapproval. "Whitney is a commendable fact-finder, remaining objective in presenting controversial material," said PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

"Dedicated to men and women who wrestle with tradition, invent new options, take risks and live creatively," Whitney's book will be of aid and interest to those men and women who defy the strictures of approved societal relationships. Whitney explores a number of unique, loving relationships, which may include children--not an option for gay men at one time. That is now changing, and Whitney looks at how the disclosure of homosexuality affects relationships between gay dads and kids. Further, as she points out, some gay men realize that though they are more sexually attracted to men, their primary emotional relationships are with women--a stance once thought of as exploitation or a comfortable front. It is this struggle between the physical and emotional that Whitney emphasizes. Surveying more than 1000 people, she comes to no grand conclusions yet finds that there are many who must create new ways to live and love. A subject of wide interest. Highly recommended.
- Kevin M. Roddy, Oakland P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Plume
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (April 30, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452265908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452265905
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,791,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By citygirl on April 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
I recently discovered that my long-term relationship has two sides to it. Instead of ending the relationship, I was interested to learn more about bisexuality and find examples of successful couples in similar situations. I found them in this book. I have also read [other books]- none of which were very positive on the issue of *dealing* with my personal feelings and fears while *keeping* the relationship. I understand that it is supposed to be "just" sex, but it is never that way for women. This book addresses concerns, gives examples of happy couples, and different options they have chosen. I questioned why a few of the stories were included, but many rang true to me. As someone who wants to continue my relationship with the person I believe to be my "soulmate," this book calms the nerves and sharpens the blurred lines. One thing this book makes note of is the fact that the woman in the relationship is often the one to make the sacrifices in order to keep the relationship going. These sacrifices include sharing her partner/spouse with men and choosing to make the relationship "non-sexual." These seem to be unfair "compromises" that only the [other book] has addressed as well. Hardly any literature that I've found has addressed the woman taking on a lover as well - or better yet, finding another bisexual male to share! I'd sooner my partner have sex with another man in front of me than going off who knows where and doing who knows what.... But the women in this book seem to be happy with their chosen paths and their partners. I hope that with the guidance of this book (and hopefully there will be others like it) we will be as happy and comfortable as Whitney portrays these couples to be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MissDipQueen1999 on October 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
I came across this book literally by accident and was astounded at how relevant it was for me (having been written about 20 years ago). My best friend, a homosexual man, and I fell in love with one another and had many questions we set out to answer for ourselves. Whitney explains an incredible study without bias. After reading it from cover to cover, I was relieved to know that these human relationships do occur, the couples choose to commit to one another and create terms so that all of their needs may be met.

Certain aspects of the study have lost the relevancy they had when the study was published--notably the AIDS scare (still highly relevant, but not to the level of irrational fear) and homosexual families. Nevertheless, this study is perfect for anyone else out there who lands in an unconventional relationship and could use a few examples.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alex Hutchinson VINE VOICE on November 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that deserves far more credit than it will ever get. Author Catherine Whitney strikes a nerve so close to the hypocrisy of American family values that few would dare acknowledge the truth behind her findings. The number of marriages that exist beyond the false simplicity of monogamy is astounding. Often times the deeper a person tries to hide their arrangements, the more likely that the secret will come out. Those who embrace their unusual lifestyles tend to experience fuller and more satisfying relationships. Had I not met many such people personally, I might not have embraced this book so firmly.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By susan gossiaux on January 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Knowing a couple who are mixed orientation, I wanted to understand. However, I realized even after reading about this that no one can truly explain how such a relationship evolves and works. Love and sex are two different things. There have always been mixed orientation couples in the world for many different reasons. In today's world, there still are. However, I think they are probably the most misunderstood and outcasted by all sexual groups. I wish there was more research on this topic and a fair understanding w/o any discrimination for them. You love who you love is what the couple I know told me.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By City Girl on December 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Mort0mer here, 3 years later. How naive I was! Despite my best efforts, allowing my bi husband to have sex with other men, and tolerating the gay porn, it didn't work. The only relevance this book has to the real world is if you are willing to either completely give up sex with your mate OR if you are willing to go out and take another, straight lover. In either case, you might as well give up before you get too hurt. Trust me, it can't work. So, Ladies, do yourself a favor -- forget buying this book and save your money for your divorce attorney.
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