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My Life on the Swingset: Adventures in Swinging & Polyamory Paperback – 12 Jan 2015
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About the Author
The man in charge of Life on the Swingset, a website and podcast by and for the sexually open. In addition to writing for the site and hosting the weekly podcast about sexuality and non-monogamy, he travels the globe throwing play parties and teaching classes to help people open themselves up and color outside the lines of their sexuality.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
I really could relate to most of the issues Cooper tackled. He offered his experiences in first hand accounts. He talked about the good and the bad. His admittance to feeling like a rock star, or some sort of genius for figuring out how to make an open relationship work, were very relate-able. Although his view is from the male persuasion, he is a very open minded individual. I am so glad he penned his experiences. It was very refreshing to see such honest sexual exploration being described so openly with loads of tact.
The only problems I had with this book, and they are minimal, is that a newbie may not be ready to tackle such subjects in the order they are delivered. Chapter two jumps right into the double standard, and I thought that should have come later. Maybe more gushing over the ups before we get down to it and talk about the problems. Some people will never be ready to hear that, and it may turn off readers. He comes across, at times, as preaching that his lifestyle is the best and that will not be well received. (although, I completely agree with Cooper on this, I know that some people won’t. Let’s not forget that the recent show Neighbors with Benefits was cancelled because it wasn’t selling, even though it was more about voyeurism then actually swinging. Sex always sells, people were scared. That’s all.)
This is not an erotic novel about Cooper’s conquests. It is more an open dialog about what it means for him to be open sexually. He also includes what he and his wife Marilyn get out of it. Even today some of his topics will be seen as taboo, but it is my hope (and indeed his) that more conversation and sharing of information could occur before judgement is passed. One in seventy Americans identify themselves as swingers, on average. That number is small in my experience compared to the reality I know. It has become common to be more sexually open. I loved this book for the open and the curious. When you are ready, it is there for you to find.
It's hard to put down. Reads very smoothly and is brutally honest. It's a fun ride that is hilarious at times, sexy at times, and very personal all the time. You get an account of real- world swinging (and a little polyamory) from a guy who has been there, is still there, has done (almost) it all, made mistakes and still enjoys it. Not only do you read the account of adventures into S.O.P., but you'll also see the story of a typical "shy midwest guy" who becomes a powerful voice and a force in the sex-positive, Swinger, Open relationship and Poly communities, almost overnight. It's no wonder the acknowledgments and the positive comments read like a who's who of the Sex Educator/Sex Positive universe. I firmly believe that this work deserves a place in the library of any sex geek, sex educator, sex nerd, swinger, open, polyamorous, kink positive person and/or ally. It is a fun read and will be read more than once. Very much worth the effort. Also, worth the effort of sharing.
He doesn't set himself up to be some kind of swing god, but as an experienced human. He doesn't say, "Don't do XYZ. It's a bad idea," but more like, "Don't do XYZ, because I did it once, and here's what happened..." He's spent years in the world of non-monogamy, learning from mistakes, gaining knowledge in success, and writing a whole lot of hilarious, true stories and serious essays on important matters. He talks about how to find people, body image, orgasms, jealousy, orgies, private dates, parties, STIs, sex toys, and safer sex practices, just to name a few of the many subjects he discusses. He goes over a lot of practical information, but does it with humor and charm.
The book is never boring. I had never been partway through a chapter and wonder how much more I had left. I always wanted more. Further, it's not just entertaining for people interested in ethical non-monogamy, but would be entertaining for everyone, regardless of relationship orientation. Even monogamous people can learn from his thoughts on body image, jealousy, and self confidence. And that's part of what makes this book so awesome: priceless for non-mon people, but great for *everyone.*