Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review: My Life on the Swingset

The podcast and site Life on the Swingset is an Eldorado of information, advice and resources on Swinging and Polyamory. Newbies and the experienced alike can glean some excellent life philosophies by listening to the podcast and romping through the playground. And the book written by co-founder and host of the podcast Cooper S. Beckett is a lovely extension to the spirit set forth by the Swingset.

My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging and Polyamory is a collection of autobiographical essays that follow Beckett from his first Swinging date to opening up his experiences to Polyamory.

Those new to the lifestyle of swinging or the philosophy of non-monogamy will appreciate that the book includes early an explanation of terms used in the sex-positive community and the niche lifestyles within (Poly folks, swingers, practitioners of kink and BDSM). He also spends time reevaluating self-confidence and what it means to have a “successful” sexual encounter.

Those experienced in the life style will appreciate the breadth of topics tackled: From orgasms and divorce to subspace and dick pics.

While the book begins with a concentration on swinging and ends with a concentration on Polyamory, the essays flow easily through the author’s experiences and transitions and he looks to include all types of relationships instead of focusing on the differences.

Beckett was interviewed on Sex Out Loud where he spoke about how he writes on being a bisexual male and the stigmas that still exist in the community regarding this orientation. I found these essays important and enlightening and was happy to see them included.
The narration of the book is strong throughout, down-to-earth and rife with humor. For those opening up their relationships who are wary and looking at their situation with apprehension and a little fear will find the narration refreshing and encouraging.

The length of the essays are also easy to absorb. Since the book is not broken up into traditionally longer chapters, the book offers hits of philosophy at just the right length to digest and discuss. So allow yourself time to take in each essay independently – reading too many at once might be a bit overwhelming. I found I had to take a break rather than read too many sexy, bratwursty morsels at once.

But if you’re opening up, have opened up, or have an open mind, I highly recommend perusing the pages of My Life on the Swingset. You’ll learn things like “Having Great Goddamned Expectations,” “How to Hide a Sex Swing,” and “Taking Yes for an Answer.” And who doesn’t want that?  

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