Interview with Dossie Easton, Ethical Slut coauthor
The long-awaited second edition of The Ethical Slut, the classic poly handbook first published in 1997, finally came out in March. The new edition is 30% bigger (by word count) and rather more polished. And it includes the benefits of 12 more years of the authors' experience living with and counseling the poly and kinky communities. Get it especially because you've probably loaned out your first edition once too often and lost it.
An interview with co-author Dossie Easton has appeared in The Daily Beast and was picked up by AlterNet:
The Ethical Slut Returns
by Marty Beckerman
Into threesomes? Foursomes? Moresomes? The co-author of a cult classic about open relationships talks sex communes, romantic one-night stands, and offering chicken soup to lovers.
...By “slut,” you don’t mean someone who detaches sex from emotion, or who selfishly takes advantage of others; instead you urge readers to seek love — genuine emotional connections — in “abundance,” rejecting the notion that our affection is a pizza with only so many slices.
This idea started way back in the communal era in 1969 when I was in Haight-Ashbury. I said, “If I want to change my world in terms of how relationships are, and be non-monogamous forever in my own personal life, it should be about warmth and affection.” One of the very first things I learned was how to be affectionate toward many lovers, which is very hard to do coming from New York where things are very cool and detached.
There was no precedent but it worked; I could love them, be there for them, care for them if someone was sick I’d bring them chicken soup and be loyal in a new way that fit for a lot of people, including other women and single mothers. We were the love generation, and we were very new to sexual freedom. There was a lot of idealism. Very quickly I had a community of people excited about raising our children. We created the proverbial village long before It Takes a Village.
Young people in the 21st century seem much more utilitarian about hooking up, whereas emotions are reserved for relationships, so it’s bizarre to think of one night stands as romantic.
My primary partner is of your generation, actually. People who prefer polyamory are very into the notion that these relationships can be connected and full. I have a whole bunch of lovers whom I have dates with once per year. We’re dear, dear friends. . . I have a primary partner — my life partner — whom I live with, and a secondary lover, and some playmates locally. Essentially what you are creating is a very complicated, interconnected family. It’s a community, and if someone has an illness or a breakup, everyone is there to offer support. I can’t go around in the Bay Area though because I’ve ceded it to my clients; I’ve ruled out sharing sex with my therapy clients....
Liberal states famously have fewer divorces and out-of-wedlock births than conservative states. Why is that?
...The more you attempt to stifle sexuality the more likely it is to be done without thought.
...An orgy is a great way to get over stage fright?
It is! It is! And bad body image.
Read the whole article (April 24, 2009). Here it is on Alternet. Comments are piling up in both places.
Update: The kinky YouTubers Mayhem and Trouble do a pleasant little 10-minute interview with co-authors Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy.