On the face of it, a sincere rather than prurient inquiry into the way we live now--since adultery became extra-marital sex, to the benefit or detriment of those involved? After surveying examples in life and literature from Phaedra to Erica Jong, the author talked to a great many women of all ages--those engaged in long-term affairs or shorter flings on the side, as against those who are presumably following the freer options of open (once called honest) marriage. One cannot altogether overlook the peeping Thomasina or just plain confessional interest here: the woman who finally spent the day at her lover's office several times a week to ""domesticate""the arrangement--did her nails there, etc., and avoided the unpleasantness of the one-hour hotel stand. A few very vague conclusions emerge: ""playing around"" can be hard work, masochistic in all that fear and subterfuge it engenders, merely a detour to adivorce; or it can for a time restore that first flush although for most of these women, there was little romance, little love, merely the option of exploration or ""good sex"" or an anodyne against depression with few permanent results. And it is the ""instigator""rather than the ""accommodator"" who usually benefits. Essentially a media treatment at the upper middle-class level accomplished with reasonably good intentions and good taste.