Elevate Difference

The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures

They say that life doesn’t come with a handbook, but the authors of The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures would disagree. Their new and improved text on how to manage your relationships is an excellent guide to running your sex life.

The authors, Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy, released this updated text a decade after the first edition came out, and the reader is very aware of this passage of time. The authors write in a very personal, pop psychology voice and point out additions and edits along the way. The most significant one is the addition of exercises scattered throughout, so the reader has an opportunity to reflect on their own relationships and feelings alongside the authors'.

Clearly intended to serve as a soapbox for two women celebrating their sexual prime, there are hints of age and longing for times gone by peeking through. There’s an otherworldliness to it, as if they recognized the need for the update, but failed to break the barrier they laid for themselves.

The content itself is sound, almost motherly advice about communication and honesty—all of which is an excellent reminder of how to treat a lover like a person. Sometimes it spells things out a little too much; I sporadically had these “duh” moments. Then again, there were times when I completely commiserated with the authors and would hang on each and every word. It strangely depended more on the circumstances when I picked up the book than the specific content.

One thing that annoyed me, though, was the frame of reference they chose to continually come back to, simply because it is their own. For a guide on polymaory relationships, it seems slightly ridiculous to use examples from one style of relationship (having a primary partner and other lovers) over and over again. The limited perspective took away from the feeling of openness of the piece. It was as if they were saying that you can have lots of partners, but only if you maintain a primary partner (and fulfill the heteronomative niche).

This aside, the book makes for a great emotional refresher on building happy, healthy relationships and as an added bonus serves as window into the lives of old hippies. What more could you ask of a couple of ethical sluts?

Written by: Nicole Levitz, June 7th 2009

I actually never read the "original" Ethical Slut (but I always recommended it) because I thought it would have too many "duh" moments for me. I come from the community that the book was written from within.

I was happy to meet the authors and if you don't mind sorting through my own blogginess, check out my interview with the authors themselves: [here at my blog"](http://www.missmaggiemayhem.com/2009/08/interview-with-authors-of-ethical.html" rel="nofollow) so see what they kept, what they tossed, and what advice they had for my jealous cat.

most definitely! It has lots of good advice for all relationships including those with family and friends.

I'm interested in this book, but, I am in a monogamous relationship. Do you think this book would still be useful even for those who are not in polyamorous relationships?

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