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The Lifestyle: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers
     

The Lifestyle: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers

by Terry Gould, Terry Gould
 

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"The Lifestyle is a delight to read - a groundbreaking and honest work of journalism that thoroughly explains why millions of people are part of this little-known subculture called 'swinging.' Indeed, Mr. Gould has accomplished something rare: his extensive research into the anthropology and sociobiology of spouse exchange has allowed him

Overview

"The Lifestyle is a delight to read - a groundbreaking and honest work of journalism that thoroughly explains why millions of people are part of this little-known subculture called 'swinging.' Indeed, Mr. Gould has accomplished something rare: his extensive research into the anthropology and sociobiology of spouse exchange has allowed him to broaden his descriptions of swing parties to include deeply significant explanations for what takes place at them. Few journalists have gained permission to enter that world, and none have explained it in such depth. 'The Lifestyle' is an entertaining, on-the-scene narrative, but it is also a serious work which should be read by all who want to understand what this growing phenomenon is all about."
- Josef P. Skala, m.d., ph.d., frcp(c), Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

"It is clearly the most objective and well-researched work on the subject we have seen."
- a swinging couple interviewed for EXTRA

The lifestyle has grown so quickly in recent years that, wherever you live, you won't have trouble finding it. It is not an underground movement or a cult. It is a public, grass-roots, heterosexual orientation among mainstream couples who claim to have overcome the kind of loneliness, jealousy, and shame adulterous marrieds endure.
(from The Lifestyle) )

"I hate when jerks call the lifestyle wife swapping," Jim averred. "I hate that term and what it implies. By that I mean a woman being forced into something because her husband says, 'Look honey, let's go.' To me that's abuse. That's opposite to what the lifestyle is all about."
(from The Lifestyle)

What are millions of middle-class couples getting up to this weekend? Is it possible to experience sex with other partners while happily ensconced in an emotionally monogamous marriage? Is swinging merely an invention of sexually permissive modern times?

As award-winning journalist Terry Gould discovered, the phenomenon has roots that go back thousands of years and also seems to be motivated by a deeper biological urge: the drive to seek long-term partners and the equally powerful drive for sexual and genetic variety.

Part expose and certainly a debunking of the 'wife-swapping' myth, The Lifestyle is a serious examination of a taboo subject, brought forward intelligently, compassionately, without sensationalism or judgment, and backed by extensive research across North America.

It includes numerous interviews with the originators and leaders of the Lifestyle movement. It is also a wide - ranging inquiry into the history and nature of monogamy, sexuality and erotic love.

Editorial Reviews

Rob Hardy
A book that is going to pique some curiosity ... It is an intelligent explanation of the movement.
The Times of Acadiana
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If you thought swinging went out with the '70s, guess again. The "lifestyle" is three million strong in North America, according to Canadian journalist Gould, with crowded conventions, an anti-defamation league and thousands of Web sites. The investigative magazine reporter tells us that he initially approached the topic for his first book with the same suspicion he employs for his usual subject--the shadowy underworld of organized crime. But after spending a few years exploring America's swinging playgrounds and interviewing scores of "play couples," he now vigorously defends the lifestyle against the charges of feminists who say it's demeaning, religious leaders who say it's immoral and a press that looks down its elitist nose at the suburban phenomenon (although the author claims he has never joined in himself). Drawing examples from anthropology, biology and history, Gould repeatedly claims that lifestylers--from "soft swingers" to "fast lane couples"--are more moral than others because they don't sneak around on their spouses; they are usually middle-aged, middle-class, tax-paying professionals who are happily married, defend monogamy and more often than not believe in God. Though we get an occasional peek behind the curtain, Gould generally avoids graphic descriptions, giving us a tour of the fantasy rooms of a hard-core swinging playground only when they're empty. Despite the author's intent, in the end, the lifestyle, with its toga parties, conga lines and ice-breaking party games, comes off as more goofy than anything. Agents, Perry Goldsmith and Robert Mackwood. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Martha Cornog
Investigative journalist Gould paints a fascinating and sympathetic portrait of swinger culture ... Gould's approach is tasteful, and his book is one of the few descriptive works in print on consensual non-monogamy ... Many general readers will be riveted.
Library Journal
From the Publisher
"I t will not convert you to becoming a swinger, or to joining a club,  but it will make you think about monogamy, fidelity and sex as a form of recreation within a marriage." - Sue Johanson, host of WTN's "Sunday Night        Sex Show"  

"In this intelligent approach to this taboo subject — without advocating the heterosexual lifestyle or promoting it — Gould explains what has always only been exposed, and thus wildly      misunderstood."  - The Toronto Sun

"Gould presents a plethora of intriguing and engaging arguments for re-examining some of our most deeply held beliefs about sex, morality and ethics."  - Quill and Quire

"Gould has fashioned his extensive research on the phenomenon into a timely, serious, useful book— you can read it tonight and still respect yourself in the morning."  - The Toronto Star

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781552094822
Publisher:
Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date:
03/04/2000
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

The lifestyle has grown so quickly in recent years that, wherever you live, you won't have trouble finding it. It is not an underground movement or a cult. It is a public, grass-roots, heterosexual orientation among mainstream couples who claim to have overcome the kind of loneliness, jealousy, and shame adulterous marrieds endure.

I hate when jerks call the lifestyle wife swapping," Jim averred. "I hate that term and what it implies. By that I mean a woman being forced into something because her husband says, 'Look honey, let's go.' To me that's abuse. That's opposite to what the lifestyle is all about.

What People are Saying About This

Josef Skala
Josef P. Skala, m.d., ph.d., frcp(c), Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

The Lifestyle is a delight to read—a groundbreaking and honest work of journalism that thoroughly explains why millions of people are part of this little-known subculture called 'swinging.' Indeed, Mr. Gould has accomplished something rare: his extensive research into the anthropology and sociobiology of spouse exchange has allowed him to broaden his descriptions of swing parties to include deeply significant explanations for what takes place at them. Few journalists have gained permission to enter that world, and none have explained it in such depth. The Lifestyle is an entertaining, on-the-scene narrative, but it is also a serious work which should be read by all who want to understand what this growing phenomenon is all about.

Meet the Author

Terry Gould is an investigative journalist who has won many National Magazine Awards for his articles and has been nominated twice for the Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Investigative Journalism. He is currently a contributing editor to the national magazine, "Saturday Night." He lives in Vancouver, and will make numerous appearances in America through 2000.

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