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My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I really could relate to most of the issues Cooper tackled. He offered his experiences in first hand accounts. He talked about the good and the bad. His admittance to feeling like a rock star, or some sort of genius for figuring out how to make an open relationship work, were very relate-able. Although his view is from the male persuasion, he is a very open minded individual. I am so glad he penned his experiences. It was very refreshing to see such honest sexual exploration being described so openly with loads of tact.
The only problems I had with this book, and they are minimal, is that a newbie may not be ready to tackle such subjects in the order they are delivered. Chapter two jumps right into the double standard, and I thought that should have come later. Maybe more gushing over the ups before we get down to it and talk about the problems. Some people will never be ready to hear that, and it may turn off readers. He comes across, at times, as preaching that his lifestyle is the best and that will not be well received. (although, I completely agree with Cooper on this, I know that some people won’t. Let’s not forget that the recent show Neighbors with Benefits was cancelled because it wasn’t selling, even though it was more about voyeurism then actually swinging. Sex always sells, people were scared. That’s all.)
This is not an erotic novel about Cooper’s conquests. It is more an open dialog about what it means for him to be open sexually. He also includes what he and his wife Marilyn get out of it. Even today some of his topics will be seen as taboo, but it is my hope (and indeed his) that more conversation and sharing of information could occur before judgement is passed. One in seventy Americans identify themselves as swingers, on average. That number is small in my experience compared to the reality I know. It has become common to be more sexually open. I loved this book for the open and the curious. When you are ready, it is there for you to find.
This was opposite, thankfully. Beckett is non-monogamy’s everyman: the voice is neither the twinkle-eyed auntie like Ethical Slut, the scholarly one of Opening Up, the visionary nerd-brilliance of Sex at Dawn or the sexy confidence of Open. Beckett’s voice is geekier, ramblier, bloggier, He is neurotic and overthinks. He has anxiety spirals. He battles with depression.
And he totally won me over.
What I love about this book is the honesty. A collection of blog posts spanning from the beginning of his journey in 2008 to 2014, “My Life On the Swingset” chronicles the excitement and the anxieties he felt as a swinger. He writes candidly about the adventures he and his wife had as young, married swingers and again about the end of the same marriage.
As a marriage therapist that has worked with many non-monogamous people, I appreciate this. Swinger and poly marriages do end (just like monogamous ones.) In fact, he and his ex got into swinging at a crisis point in their marriage when they both realized they wanted more from life, sex, and marriage. Rather than see non-monogamy as a desperate attempt to save a relationship that ended up doomed anyway, Beckett sees their swinging as giving it another four years of life.
The shrink in me wanted to hear more about the details of the breakup of his marriage and what he has learned in configuring his current relationships. I was also getting sort of worried reading about some of his anxiety spirals and wondering about depression when I got to the point where he brought it up himself.
There was a passage about feeling overwhelmed and needing to cease extracurricular activity while he caught his breath that I wanted to know more about from a mental health perspective. I understand that I don’t get to know all of this, but it’s something I would like my clients and readers to consider as applied to their own journeys. The author describes not only the jealousy of seeing his partner’s attention elsewhere, but also the stronger-for-him envy of seeing his partner get attention while he received none.
As the story progresses, you watch him grow and become more confident and sure of himself. Beckett moves from identifying as a swinger to exploring polyamory to end up with an identity somewhere in between and takes the reader along as he transitions from sex dates to romantic dates.
The other thing I liked was the diversity of alternative sexualities, and the attempt to tie together members of a diverse spectrum. Before this book I had not heard of the acronym SOP (Swinger-Open-Poly) and I like the attempt to draw parallels between these three relationship styles that mix and match and bleed into each other. He calls out ageism in the swinger community, explores BDSM and kink, experiences pegging, comes out as a bisexual ( within a climate of homophobia towards bi men in the swinger community) and rebels against pubic hair norms. He did not have to do any of that and would have sold just as many books.
(Amazon wont let me put my public name as "Jiz" Lee in this review... haha. Also thanks Coop, for helping me finally pop my Amazon review cherry.)