The Versatile Husband by Peter Benn

The Versatile Husband

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A straightforward, practical guide for men in heterosexual relationships who’d like to explore sex with other men.

In this slim, accessible book, Benn aims to reach the “typical sexually restless married male.” For him, this man is likely between 40 and 60 years old, and though married for more than 10 years, he secretly longs for man-to-man contact, perhaps including sex. While maybe not quite ready for, or even interested in, leaving his wife and family, he can no longer hide his desires. That’s where Benn steps in. In sympathetic, nonjudgmental prose, he advises readers on how to conduct private relationships with other men, exploring first why certain men may want to stray from their normal path. He’s encouraging and yet realistic, letting men know that while they’re hardly alone in their gay fantasies, acting on these fantasies will likely wreak havoc on their marriages. Nevertheless, the decision is up to them. The book will be particularly useful to those looking for practical advice about how to enter into a gay lifestyle, with chapters on where to meet men—including sex shops, adult cinemas and gay bars—how to react if you encounter a man from your “other life” in one of these locations and how to engage in safe sex. In a time when gay lifestyles are increasingly accepted, the book has a slightly retrograde feel to it. One wonders why Benn didn’t simply write a manual about coming out, as he writes so emphatically about the relief and joy of unearthing the desire. Most likely, it’s due to the fact that Benn appreciates how difficult it can be to turn away from the notion of a traditional marriage. “He doesn’t want to hurt anybody, least of all his wife or children,” Benn writes. There are also other practical concerns, like finances, that may make it even harder to change. To Benn’s credit, he acknowledges that committing adultery is an ethical decision not to be taken lightly.

Frank, honest and understanding.  

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1481099677
Page count: 120pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2013




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