The Ethical Slut*: Some Thoughts

31Dec09

*I have only read the first edition of the book (my library doesn’t have the latest one), so these comments stem from that reading. If there are issues raised below that are solved in the updated edition, please let me know in the comments!

1) Do you think this book explains consent in a way that is useful, or does it take for granted an understanding of the term? In first reading, I couldn’t help but make comparisons to an essay found in Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape. I almost would recommend reading Yes Means Yes as a pre-req in order to fully understand sexuality and its power and influence in our culture before exploring more nontraditional relationships where consent and consideration of others’ feelings is not only important but necessary. After this is understood, the book serves as a very practical 101 for those considering polyamorous/nonmonogamous relationships.

2) Did reading this book make you consider trying nonmonogamous relationships yourself? Or if you’re already in one, did you learn anything new or look at your relationship in a different way? Shortly after reading the book, I was speaking to a friend about a relationship I had in college that fit this mold. “Oh, everyone is polyamorous in college,” she mused. And yet, the relationship in question followed closely to the model of this more responsible, adult relationship. We had our main relationship, and we cared about each other very much, but allowed ourselves to see other people, whether we took advantage of this or not. If one of us did hook up with someone else, we told the other person, and we were able to function without any jealousy. In fact, in some instances we encouraged the other relationships and hoped the best for each other. This was a safe way for us to explore different relationships with different types of people with different levels of sexuality while maintaining the caring bond we had for each other. It certainly helped that we were at an age where this type of behavior is encouraged, and where we didn’t have any shared life responsibilities, such as a marriage, kids, mortgage, etc.

3) Okay, I have to add…Did anyone think of this?

Posted by Amanda of The Undomestic Goddess.

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