For me, My Life on the Swingset has been one of those books that has been in my ‘To Read’ pile for a while. Though I never quite got the time. An avid fan of the podcast that shares the same name I have been listening since it started way back in 2010. It was my podcast of choice for riding on the bus every day to work and still is! Reading books for a little while taking a back seat in my life. Though when Cooper offered a chance to review the book, I took it as a sign that I needed to dive back in head first.
So of course, I did. Reading it on the bus every day. Which was hard, because at about 3 stories in I wanted to devour all of it.
The stories within My Life on the Swingset represent the first five years of Cooper S. Beckett‘s writing on non-monogamy from his former blog and some new content as well. The stories cover so many different facets of non-monogamy. Swinging, kink, community, sex, dating, and I could go on. Though unlike many non-fiction books about non-monogamy this is written like stories you hear when hanging out with a friend. You can feel the passions and opinions that he holds. Each story, had me feeling closer to a person who I had never met. Though we lived in the same cityland area.
Each story had me swinging from one emotion to the next. At times nodding my head because I agreed. Other times wiping my eyes and wishing that I had worn my waterproof mascara that day. Even a couple that made me wish I was not headed to work on a bumpy bus because I was suddenly rather hot and bothered.
While I enjoyed the whole of My Life on the Swingset. From chuckling while reading about traveling with sex toys to nodding as I read what he has learned through all the jokes and punnery. There are the ones that stood out. The first that hit me that way was The Brown-Eyed Girl, a story of a whirlwind of a story about a weekend chance of meeting one person who you will remember even if you never see them again. This one left me anxious and heart pounding as I recounted my own moments like this. The urge to go back and take chances I never did and to push myself to do it in the future. I think I read it three times in a row just so I could really absorb it.
The other one that had my attention was Taking Yes for an Answer. The feelings it evoked was the solidarity of someone else who had gone from monogamy to this. The fear of the word fine even now when I know full well my partners are happy for me. Knowing that this was also something that other (who I consider role models in the Polyam circles) dealt with.
Life on my Bookshelf
For me, My Life on the Swingset fills one of the many holes I feel we have in books that people who are looking into non-monogamy. Real life accounts. Yes, we can get that from following people on social media or subscribing to blogs. However, the intimacy that Cooper writes from is something I was drawn to. It was like hanging out with a best friend or a big brother who wants to help you. Sharing antidotes of his own life in order to help you with problems you might be having. Even though I have never been a Swinger, reading many of those stories reminded me the community is far larger than Polyamory alone. This is a book I would happily suggest to newbies and those who have been part of the community for years.
Thank you, Cooper, for sending me a copy in exchange for this unbiased review! You can find his book and the others he has written over on his site Cooper S. Beckett.com