Los Angeles screenwriter Stern penetrates the unconventional world of swinging.
Aiming to educate readers on an exclusive community he’s made a large part of his own life, Stern starts at the beginning, where, as a youth, his carnal education was awkwardly stunted by anxiety and hair-trigger orgasms. In desperate need of “sexual batting practice,” he embarked on a mission to shed his naïveté (and abandon monogamy altogether) through hookup websites, the Craigslist “crapshoot” and an immense amount of social networking with swinging couples looking for spicy interactions. The bounty of his titillating exploratory research into “the Lifestyle” forms the foundation of the book’s 13 lessons/chapters featuring explicitly graphic, casual sexual encounters and erotic arrangements. These include Stern’s first (disastrous) group-sex experience, which ended with a ceiling fan hitting him in the forehead. Most of these threesome sexcapades are carefully predetermined and, to Stern, gloriously NSA (no strings attached), which are just a few of the many benefits the author touts about this highly promiscuous subculture. Stern’s prose is appropriately authoritative and spares no carnal detail; he wants the reader to reap the benefits of his years of experience. For the curious, the author includes sections on varying scenarios like the hard versus soft swapping of partners and a thoughtful list of must-have items for the neophyte. Elsewhere, he explains the types of couples most encountered and the social etiquette required at play parties. With revealing material similar to Suzy Spencer’s Secret Sex Lives (2012), Stern still rejects the notion that his book technically violates the swinging community’s strict “code of discretion,” and he further implores readers to get out and explore the multifaceted pleasures of an alternative lifestyle tailored to “the right people with the right reasons with the right attitude.”
A unique, voyeuristic expose of a taboo bedroom counterculture.