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Swinging in America: Love, Sex, and Marriage in the 21st Century

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0313379666
ISBN-10: 0313379661
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  • Swinging in America: Love, Sex, and Marriage in the 21st Century
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Specialists in swinging, Bergstrand (sociology, criminal justice, and anthropology; Bellarmine U., Kentucky) and special education teacher Sinski explore the phenomenon of established couples having consensual sex with each other's partners, and ponder its implications for society and monogamy. Their topics include who are swingers (no phone numbers!), entering the lifestyle, effects on marriage, monogamy and the moral architecture of the law, psychological science and the therapeutic narrative, and the heretical narratives regarding sexuality and monocentrism." - Reference & Research Book News

"Swinging in America is an excellent read for those interested in alternative relationships and the social institutions that work against their success. … I wanted to read the first half for the same reason I shamefully buy People magazine before a plane flight. But it was the second half of the book that really made me think, and which I strongly recommend to marriage and couple therapists." - Contemporary Sexuality

Review

"Dr. Bergstrand's new book Swinging In America: The Social Deconstruction of Monogamy, is a welcome contribution to this little understood but growing social-sexual recreation. Swinging or 'The Lifestyle' as many adherents use in conversation, has impacted our culture in a variety of ways from the marriage relationship to where and how to vacation. Dr. Bergstrand provides clarity through fact and detail not previously published." (Robert McGinley, Ph.D.
President, The Lifestyles Organization
Founder, NASCA International)

"This highly readable book represents a huge step forward not only in the analysis of swinging but in questioning our strictly monogamous view of the family. The authors present a thorough review of the extant theory and research on the topic of swinging, a topic that has not been widely investigated in recent years. Incorporating their 2000 study, they not only looked at the responses of almost 1,100 swingers, but added a much needed dimension - a control group in order to compare swingers with non-swingers. The authors then discuss the institutional arrangements which have supported the moncentric view and conclude with applying three of Loevinger's nine stages of growth to the swinging movement. Using a non-judgmental approach they argue that the basic institution of the family in our society needs to be reassessed and that swinging (along with other forms like polyamory) should be included in a discussion of how the family should look in the future. I would highly recommend this book not only for the general reader but for courses in sexuality, the family, and social problems." (Richard Jenks, Ph.D., Professor of sociology at Indiana University Southeast and nationally recognized expert on the swinging lifestyle)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (November 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313379661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313379666
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,416,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book once again demonstrates the old adage that you can't tell a book by its cover. This new book by faculty of Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY is a little gem although badly mis-titled. The cover, a titillating image of three people in a bed, is designed to sell books but does not adequately reflect the scholarly nature of this important work. Bergstrand is an academic sociologist who has studied the swing community as well as marriage for the past 20 years.
This book is a delightful deconstruction of monogamy exposing all of its weaknesses. With great detail it covers conventional monogamous marriage and its components and how we are all taught to unthinkingly subscribe to emotional monogamy, sexual monogamy, and practical monogamy forever. Most importantly it explores two alternatives to monogamy -- swinging and Polyamory from an academic sociological viewpoint.
I am sure one day this book will be considered a major support document for the Polyamorous and swinging communities.
Part one of the book titled, Swinging in America: The New Monogamy? describes the swinging community and how well swinging works for some, by allowing for emotional monogamy while permitting sexual exploration and variety. It compares the demographic data from 1100 members of the swinging community with the results of the University of Chicago's General Social Survey. Not surprisingly swingers are just like everyone else. They are sitting next to you at church, or on jury duty. Many personal narratives of swingers describe how their lives had been enriched, and marital happiness improved, by opening up their marriages to sexual nonmonogamy. For seasoned swingers, the data seem to indicate both improved quality and strength of marriages.
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Format: Hardcover
Thanks to these authors for a fascinating and thorough book on the swinger culture in America. Not only do these authors delve into the thoughts, feelings and motivations of sexual partners in the US and the UK, but they also explain monogamy in a way that no one has ever thought of it--is it really natural for us to have one partner for our entire life; and is it realistic to believe that one person can fulfill all our needs. Written with an engaging and sort of academic approach, this book is beyond interesting, eye-opening and makes swinger culture palpable to those who are swingers and those who are in traditional closed marriages. A brilliant read and a book that I will always recommend.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A long read. Too much emphasis on statistics.
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