Mickey Schulz's Reviews > The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities

The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton
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Jul 22, 14

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read from December 01, 2011 to July 22, 2014

This book is lauded as a sort of "Poly Bible." I don't know how I feel about that. It's a little twee in parts, but includes a whole lot of good information about how to communicate that can be used by everyone, not just people looking to practice open or polyamorous relationships.

I do have a couple of bones to pick, though. I don't agree that "anyone" can do poly or open relationships. Some people just don't have the psychological wherewithal, and THAT'S OK. And the book does actually say that if you don't want to, that's ok. It still has a sort of inference that you should want to, but at least it does throw monogamous folks a bone.

I think that asking the wronged partner in a cheating situation to be mindful of the feelings of those who cheated on them is kind of weird. I'm also highly skeptical that an open relationship founded on the basis of one partner already cheating can grow into a healthy relationship. I'm sure it's not impossible, I'm just highly skeptical.

Also, I would not recommend introducing a monogamous partner to the concept of poly or open relationships by just giving them this book without prior conversation. Really. Like as not that's going to just get it thrown at your head. I think you need to broach the subject first and ask (beg or plead) with your partner to read it. Not just spring it on them. Granted, probably better than coming home and saying, "Guess what? I already have another partner, you need to adapt," but still.

I stress again, that the book has a LOT to recommend it. Excellent communication tips, and advice to challenge views about sex and sexuality that you did not consciously form, but were instead indoctrinated in you by society/parents/church. They also discuss being more mindful of your partner(s)'s feelings, and making sure you take the time to find out what makes them tick emotionally and sexually. And while they do stress that this will be hard work, I don't think they emphasize this enough, and instead spend most of their energy telling you how AWESOME it will be when you are sexually open. And granted, part of that may just be my annoyance with the bulk of poly evangelists I've known IRL, who annoy the piss out of me, because they tend to leave a string of broken people behind them who wonder what's "wrong" with them that they can't do poly.
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Reading Progress

07/22/2014 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Gary (new)

Gary I'm waiting for the book entitled, Polyamory: Really, Really Hard Work but Usually Rewarding in the Long Term.


message 2: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I'm also highly skeptical that an open relationship founded on the basis of one partner already cheating can grow into a healthy relationship.

Yes, and isn't that the sort of behavior that leads monogamous people to believe that open relationships are really about one partner not loving the other enough?


message 3: by Ron (new) - added it

Ron Amen


message 4: by Ron (new) - added it

Ron Amen


Beverly Diehl "I'm also highly skeptical that an open relationship founded on the basis of one partner already cheating can grow into a healthy relationship. I'm sure it's not impossible, I'm just highly skeptical." I would agree, that it's a dubious proposition on the surface. But at the same time, many monogamous couples with cheating in the picture, do manage to work things out and go on to have (what seems to be on the surface) a successful relationship.


message 6: by Josh (new) - added it

Josh Enguito Ditto to the quotes above. :P

"I think that asking the wronged partner in a cheating situation to be mindful of the feelings of those who cheated on them is kind of weird."

Mindfulness has many facets, and though it is kind of weird, I think it is important to be mindful of your cheating partner while still being mindful of yourself, therefore the statement or the point made in the book is probably an incomplete point.

"I stress again, that the book has a LOT to recommend it. Excellent communication tips, and advice to challenge views about sex and sexuality that you did not consciously form, but were instead indoctrinated in you by society/parents/church. They also discuss being more mindful of your partner(s)'s feelings, and making sure you take the time to find out what makes them tick emotionally and sexually. And while they do stress that this will be hard work, I don't think they emphasize this enough, and instead spend most of their energy telling you how AWESOME it will be when you are sexually open."

Cool. Good to know. :)


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