A Life Less Monogamous

      17 Comments on A Life Less Monogamous


Swinging Will Totally Save Your Marriage(!)
{and I will happily sell you my oceanfront property in Utah}

A short while ago, I was approached by Cooper S. Beckett (founder of Life on the Swingset) with a request to review his book, A Life Less Monogamous.  In typical Feverish fashion, I responded to his request with a big long email that basically said, “Make sure you’re sure you want ME to do this.  I have opinions and I’m not afraid to use them.”  I even gave him links and little summations and such, because…  Well because, really…  I mean, REALLY?!

But he was all, “Yeah, you coo,” (I might be paraphrasing) and sent me a PDF copy of his book.


So I was asked by an author to review his book.

I was asked by an author to review his book.  (Did you catch that?)


As a side note:  Both my loves had the identical response when I told them of this book-reviewy thingy.  They were all, “You’re FAMOUS!”  So now I waltz around the house doing everyday things and realize that famous people do these things too.  Whoa.  So I shout affirming statements to the universe (read: I shout things for my cat and my husband and any neighbors who might have their windows open to hear) like, “Famous people have peely sunburned skin!” and “Whattaya mean I should shower?  Famous people stink and wear yesterday’s pajamas all day!” and “OMG, Famous people poop!”  (Heh.  The last is my favorite.)


On with the reviewing!

Meet Jennifer and Ryan:  

He and Jennifer had never been one of those couples that couldn’t keep their hands off each other, not even in the beginning when they’d first started dating. Young when they got together, only eighteen and nineteen, with Ryan older by just a few months. They’d been good kids. They’d waited a couple months before the first fumblings, first blips of fluid, first trembling fingers down pants, perhaps stymied by the fear of pregnancy instilled in them from overzealous sex ed classes.

Jennifer had never seen a penis before she unzipped his jeans in the basement of her parent’s house one warm summer night. She’d told him of her one and only prior sexual experience, which had taken place in total darkenss with an excess of clothing. Her wide eyes and open mouth betrayed fear when she unsheathed Ryan.  He knew his penis measured just on the happy side of average, so it couldn’t have been fear of size.  Instead, he read her surprise as dislike and didn’t talk about it, beginning to wear that pattern of noncommunication into their relationship, setting back their progress around the proverbial bases by another four weeks.

Ryan had learned, through hand jobs from his previous girlfriend, how to keep things from exploding on contact and managed a respectable, though unremarkable, nine minute showing before the end of their first time. The tenor of their sexual encounters was set that day, respectable though unremarkable ever since.

Jennifer and Ryan are a young married couple.  They were inexperienced when they met, and since neither of them knew how to talk about it, they basically stayed that way.  Their communication around sex is terrible, and it’s been that way from the beginning.  After many years together, they are essentially great roommates, with a half-dead bedroom and a seven-year itch.  They’ve been to a marriage counselor whose mantra coaching (Repeat this daily:  Today is the day we change our lives!) is just.not.helping.  Now they are at a crossroads.

Enter Bruce and Paige.

An older couple long in “the lifestyle” (I really hate that term – everyfuckingbody who does anything slightly deviant from the perceived sexual norms thinks they are in a goddamn “lifestyle” and that everybody else is “vanilla” — as though vanilla isn’t the best ice cream flavor EVAR.  But I digress…), Bruce and Paige take a liking to Ryan and Jennifer, and introduce them to swinging.  And, with a complete lack of communication about boundaries or expectations, Jennifer and Ryan jump right into the deep end with Bruce and Paige.  Which, if you’ve never been in the scene, is pretty much like going through an olympic backstroke competition without ever having first learned to swim.

Hmmm…  Danger, Will Robinson!

Initially, because this is fiction, everything is happy-happy, fuck-fuck.  (This, of course, made me roll my eyes because that’s not the way it works in real life.)  But then reality sets in, and it’s not long before everything is a drama-llama goat-fuck.

Drama Goat

Let’s see…  How shall I put this?

Pretty much, after the Easy Peasy Newbie thing wears off, Jennifer and Ryan start to fuck {each other} up {and over} every which way, without lube.

To me, that’s when the storyline gained traction.  (Because, reality.)  Not that I thrive on dramatic bullshit, but the mistakes this couple makes in their swinging explorations are realistic (if a bit excessive), and it’s through Ryan and Jennifer’s strike-outs (a ‘swing’ and a miss! – get it?; baseball fans, anyone?) that the author addresses the “shoulds” of swinging:

  • You should have rules/limits/boundaries
  • You should talk about the “what-ifs”
  • You should put your feelings of jealousy and/or fears of exclusion on the table
  • You should not drink yourself to assholery
  • You should not have double standards, a la whore/stud
  • You should not expect other people to read your mind
  • You should communicate with your partner

One thing that happens in the book that really stood out to me is that there is a huge misconception on Ryan’s part about What Swinging Means where his dick is concerned.  I’ve said this before, but it’s a common story for hetero coupled men to get excited about swinging (or any form of non-monogamy) because they think it means they will get All The Pussy, All The Time!!!!!  Well guess what?  It doesn’t really work like that.  Sometimes (I’d go so far as to say most times) it’s the female member of the M/F couple who receives the most attention.  The idea that everything is “equal” is total bullshit.  Two women and five men might want to fuck her, while maybe one or two women want to fuck him.

As a related side note:  The ‘expectation’ of F/F bisexuality among the Swing Crowd is addressed in this book.  It’s only side commentary, but it was nice to see someone say it {write it?} out loud.  It’s one of those things that pisses me the fuck off about the swing community.  But that’s another topic for another day.

Another thing I appreciated about the book was a discussion that took place, post-apocalyptic-marital-meltdown, between Ryan (the noob) and Bruce (the experienced elder-type zen buddha of swing) about the concept of If you love something, set it free.

“. . . that phrase isn’t correct, really. It’s not about letting people go on their own personal Rumspringa from their relationship. It’s about allowing your partner, your spouse, this person you love, the freedom and trust to do what’s best for them. In return, I’ve found, they often will do what’s best for you. No one has control over anybody else.  We only control ourselves.”

And once Ryan and Jennifer get control of themselves, that’s when All The Changes take place.

I won’t tell you how it ends.  If you want to know, read the book.  😉

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What I liked about this book:  It has a simple, engaging hook and an easy pace.  The short bursts of humor lighten the heavier content.  The sex scenes are vivid enough to be compelling and varied enough to be entertaining.  There is a good mix of fantasy (zero jealousy when Ryan and Jennifer are first starting out, jumping into the “deep end” immediately regardless of lack of sexual experience) and realism (imperfect bodies, excessive alcohol consumption, emotional roller-coastering). While at the beginning, the message seems to be Swinging Will Save Your Marriage!, the clearer truth of Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! comes through loud and clear by the end.

Who should read this book:  Swingers, anyone who supports the representation of non-monogamy in standardized media (books, movies, etc), people who enjoy reading about or experiencing sex between multiple partners, readers of romance (I’ll explain that if you want; just ask), sunbathers, frequent flyers, gas pump jockeys, curious kitties, and relatively reasonable adults who are not related to me.

You can purchase A Life Less Monogamous here.

Any questions?
I can totally answer them. That’s what famous people do. 😀 )

17 thoughts on “A Life Less Monogamous

  1. Dawn D

    Ok, one book for me to add to my reading list then.
    You’re FAMOUS! Good for you!
    I didn’t have much time, so reading this was really not a priority, but the ” I will happily sell you my oceanfront property in Utah” made me laugh, and I’m all about learning more about swinging, so… I sort of felt compelled to!
    And I totally agree about two things: if you love someone, set them free.
    And swinging will NOT save your marriage, but communicating will.
    Also agree on the F/F expectation. It so happens I am bisexual, though I hadn’t figured it out before meeting the man who decided to accompany my explorations. But I always try my best to accept a no from another woman. Because No means No. No matter what your gender.
    Ah! And I was wondering why the comment luv thing didn’t work. Had almost forgotten I had to go private! :-/

    1. mrsfever Post author

      Yes, I think this story will resonate for you. 🙂

      The bisexual thing… I just find it ridiculous that it’s expected of females in swing environments, especially when, for MEN, the opposite is true. Sometimes to an extreme. And often, in my experience, if you’re a woman who’s interested in *one specific other female*, it’s assumed that you’ll automatically be open to ALL THE WOMENZ.



      Yes, the whole “Let’s start swinging to save our marriage” mentality makes about as much sense as “Wow, our marriage is in big trouble, so let’s have a baby!”


      Now about that oceanfront property… 😉

  2. Pingback: A Life Less Monogamous | LifestyleGambler

  3. Kate Quinn (ktz2 WP)

    Do I need to re-follow? Because I get you in the WP Reader but this post had no Comments section there but had the Share & Like.
    I totally love your writing. The intro to the review was clever, articulate and funny. I’m a sucker for those qualities and don’t forget snarky. . haha The book sounds delicious and worth the reading time.
    Love the Drama Goat pic and did you know they can SCREAM just like people? It’s hilarious.

    1. mrsfever Post author

      What lovely compliments! Thank you. 🙂

      You do not need to re-follow; if I’m showing up in your Reader, it means the transition happened as it was supposed to. 🙂

      I think you will have to actually click into the post (click on the post title from your Reader) to leave a comment. I’m assuming that’s what you did here? I know it’s an extra step. I appreciate your feedback.

      I can’t remember where I found that drama goat meme, but it’s awesome. And so ME. 😀 😛

  4. cb

    You should not expect other people to read your mind
    You should communicate with your partner

    What an amazing concept. Shame it takes us (all of us) so long to figure this out (if ever)

  5. K. Eddy

    I am an eager student sitting at your feet! Although I have pretty good instincts, there is so much more to learn and from who better than an experienced teacher?! I bought the book…thank you for your synopsis, I probably wouldn’t have taken the time otherwise…XO DWD

    1. mrsfever Post author

      Oh, that’s great! I’d love to discuss it with you while/after you read, especially the fact vs fantasy aspects of the story. If you’re interested, let me know. 🙂

  6. Joel Williams

    I wouldn’t want you to review my book … LOL!!! 🙂 No seriously, I’m not an author or anything close to being a writer. Most of these kind of books are written like scrips to a bad porno movie. Too predictable and driven by lust. That’s what I like your blog. It is REAL and you do tell it like it is …

  7. Bill Rice

    I’m fairly certain porn titles are written first and the selection of a plot and cast are mere afterthoughts. That’s how I would do it.

    When I started dating my wife she asked me how I felt about 3somes about 5 minutes into our second date. I wasn’t expecting the question and she didn’t seem to like my answer about there being a difference between fantasy and reality.

    That also applies to non-sexual fantasies as well. I’m sure winning the Powerball would not be nearly as nice in reality as it is in fantasy. BUT, I would really like to test that hypothesis.

    I had never seen a drama goat or heard the expression drama llama before. One never stops learning.


    1. mrsfever Post author

      I think the drama goat bears a slight resemblance to Shakespeare. Maybe his name is Willy.

      There is most definitely a difference between fantasy and reality. Though the latter, once experienced, can become future fodder for the former. Say *that* three times, fast. 😉 )

      I’ve been in a couple videos. Untitled. Un-plotted as well, but that didn’t stop me from making it up as I went. Or as I came, as the case may be. 😛


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