The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love (英語) ペーパーバック – 2017/8/15
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The classic guide to love, sex, and intimacy beyond the limits of conventional monogamy has been fully updated to reflect today's modern attitudes and the latest information on nontraditional relationships.
For 20 years The Ethical Slut has dispelled myths and showed curious readers how to maintain a successful polyamorous lifestyle through open communication, emotional honesty, and safer sex practices. The third edition of this timeless guide to communication and sex has been revised to include interviews with poly millennials (young people who have grown up without the prejudices their elders encountered regarding gender, orientation, sexuality, and relationships), tributes to poly pioneers, and new sidebars on topics such as asexuality, sex workers, and ways polys can connect and thrive. The authors also include new content addressing nontraditional relationships beyond the polyamorous paradigm of "more than two": couples who don't live together, couples who don't have sex with each other, nonparallel arrangements, couples with widely divergent sex styles, power disparities, and cross-orientation relationships, while utilizing nonbinary gender language and new terms that have come into common usage since the last edition.
“The Ethical Slut is a classic, a book that helped launch the modern non-monogamy movement. Updating a book of such historical significance is no easy task, but The Ethical Slut, Third Edition succeeds beautifully. Where the original broke radical new ground, this edition is more nuanced, a book for a more complex age. In the third edition, we see the wide variety of forms ethical non-monogamy, and indeed human sexual relationships, can take. This new version brings a new focus on consent, talks about the many wonderful and varied ways ethical non-monogamy happens, and shows an appreciation for the vast range of human sexuality. This is The Ethical Slut for a new era, and cements the book’s place as one of the cornerstones of modern non-monogamous thought.”
—Franklin Veaux, More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory
“In the two decades since the first edition of The Ethical Slut has been published, polyamory has expanded into a practice that, if not outright mainstream, is at least much more widely accepted and understood. […] The 20th anniversary edition of The Ethical Slut, has been significantly updated and expanded from its humble debut, including sections to poly pioneers, black poly activism and yes, shifting attitudes towards polyamory within a new generation. They acknowledge that millennials reading the book today will not have been raised in the same context that Hardy and Easton were – before the sexual revolution, when saving oneself for marriage was considered the norm.”
—Anna Fitzpatrick, Rolling Stone
While they pay lip service to the fact that monogamy might be right for some, the entire book has an underlying tone of condescension insinuating that if you do not embrace non-monogamy you have been brainwashed by society into unnatural confines and if you don’t break free from those confines you are not adventurous or revolutionary enough.
The authors share a bit of their dysfunctional past that led them to swear off monogamy and become ethical sluts. They make a lot of effort to rationalize their hedonistic lifestyle. It seems most of the anecdotes in the book are based on lust and not love. There is no discussion of emotional commitment, basically when you fall out of lust with someone; it’s time to move on. Oh, but those previous lustful relationships can evolve into business partnerships or friendships! So that’s good news.
A large portion of the book focuses on the idealistic notion that all the lovers should live in harmony and create a tribe in which to raise children. The authors use the word “tribe” on more occasions than necessary to describe this “extended family.” News flash: you can still have a community to raise your children without all the adults screwing around with each other.
The situations described seem like unnecessary drama and exhaustion; creating a shared calendar, your lover drinking the last of your husband’s milk, figuring out other ways to be intimate because your partner used up his erections on someone else, dealing with your feelings of jealousy while your partner is on a date with someone else, ad nauseam.
My biggest pet peeves in the book were the authors’ statement of facts without citation and the recurrent use of the word “many” without quantification.
The authors are all about “going where your libido takes you” and evidently they apply the same stream of consciousness approach to their writing style. The book could have easily been 50 pages less and got the same message across.
If I hadn’t personally known polyamorous people prior to reading this book I would have left with a bad taste in my mouth about the entire idea because of the authors’ haughty idealism of “abundance” and “free love”.
I can understand how polyamory might be sustainable to some but not without a cost (emotional, physical, time, financial). Of course neither is monogamy without cost, but the more stakeholders at play, the more complicated balancing competing desires and priorities becomes. I can understand how other forms of non-monogamy can have a season in one’s life as well.
But at the end of the day, as a mature adult, one must decide who and what they want to go home to.
Amazingly they DEFINE EVERY unusual term they use, and they point out when popular usage has been changing recently, and when some people use the term differently. Few authors manage that. It's very readable, even by anyone new and clueless like me, so it's a perfect introduction. But its CONTENT is so detailed and comprehensive that it would be a great college-level textbook, if any college gave courses in how to achieve and maintain marital and deep-relationship bliss.
I recommend it unreservedly for anyone interested in keeping a monogamous or other serious relationship happy and healthy, WHETHER OR NOT either of you are also attracted to others. (And I usually want to ARGUE with authors.) When I've discussed ideas from this book that "I wish were not so", experienced poly people just nod or shrug and say "Yeah, it IS like that.")
It's even readable by old, inhibited sticks-in-the-mud like me! You have to decide whether you could give it to your mother to explain "This lifestyle is not like you think it is!" but the only way the book could be made more accessible to squares would be to sissify some of the language. And I think they made a good choice to call a spade a spade.
Truly, it is a book for all Humans.