Published by Createspace Independent Pub on January 12th 2015
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Non-Fiction, Personal Memoirs, Sexual Instruction, Sexuality, Social Issues
Starting with a first date with a couple of swingers, followed by working through social anxiety and shyness, recognizing the importance of touch in life, evolving feelings about love and expectations, having threesomes, orgies, and prostate orgasms, going through a divorce, and leveling up in life and sexuality. For five years, Cooper S. Beckett has written for Life on the Swingset. The website was born out of the feeling that he'd learned enough in his whole year of swinging to tell other people how to live their non-monogamous lives. His hubris can be seen from space. Here he has collected personal essays, stories, erotica, and prescriptive "how-tos" into this memoir of his life on The Swingset. He may be biased when it comes to swinging, polyamory, and other forms of ethical non-monogamy (in fact, he most certainly is) but he doesn't sugar-coat it. He speaks honestly and earnestly about a unique way to live life, one that allows for sexual and loving growth and experimentation, a strong sense of community, and the ability to do what we all crave whether we know it or not: Be honest with ourselves and others about what we want sexually. And out of life.
My Life on the Swingset is a fun first person account of non-monogamy & swinging. Cooper S. Beckett is a fun writer who always includes wit and humor while keeping things honest. I enjoyed this series of articles about all things non-monogamy. Cooper has loads of advice for any couple curious about the lifestyle, and even had some new topics for the very experienced, like me, who has done/heard it all.
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.