- Paperback: 364 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (January 12, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781502868985
- ISBN-13: 978-1502868985
- ASIN: 1502868989
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 87 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,698,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory Paperback – January 12, 2015
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About the Author
The man in charge of Life on the Swingset, a website and podcast by and for the sexually open. In addition to writing for the site and hosting the weekly podcast about sexuality and non-monogamy, he travels the globe throwing play parties and teaching classes to help people open themselves up and color outside the lines of their sexuality.
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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.
I would have loved to read this book a year ago when I realized that I wanted to give openness a try. I would have been far more patient with myself as I made my initial mistakes. One of the best things about this collection of essays is that Cooper places swinging, open relationships, and polyamory on an equal footing so that it becomes possible to imagine them as more similar than I would have imagined years ago. The second best this about this collection is the honesty with which he is willing to share his adventures on the way. I can already think of a number of people that I will recommend the book to because it helps answer the questions, "so what is this thing I'm thinking of getting into? Does it work?"
He doesn't set himself up to be some kind of swing god, but as an experienced human. He doesn't say, "Don't do XYZ. It's a bad idea," but more like, "Don't do XYZ, because I did it once, and here's what happened..." He's spent years in the world of non-monogamy, learning from mistakes, gaining knowledge in success, and writing a whole lot of hilarious, true stories and serious essays on important matters. He talks about how to find people, body image, orgasms, jealousy, orgies, private dates, parties, STIs, sex toys, and safer sex practices, just to name a few of the many subjects he discusses. He goes over a lot of practical information, but does it with humor and charm.
The book is never boring. I had never been partway through a chapter and wonder how much more I had left. I always wanted more. Further, it's not just entertaining for people interested in ethical non-monogamy, but would be entertaining for everyone, regardless of relationship orientation. Even monogamous people can learn from his thoughts on body image, jealousy, and self confidence. And that's part of what makes this book so awesome: priceless for non-mon people, but great for *everyone.*
Insightful and funny, you get a glimpse behind the curtain of The Lifestyle with Cooper as your guide. He writes pretty much exactly as he talks, and that makes the reader comfortable.....like you're sitting over beers hearing him tell stories and expounding (oh boy, is he good at expounding!!).
If you're in the lifestyle, or just curious, or just like reading about naughty and lascivious things, read this book. The power of Cooper compels you.