The Ethical Slut: A practical guide to polyamory, open relationships & other adventures

Kunvuth MonyKanchna / Khmer Times No Comments Share:

Do you believe in soul mates? Do you believe there is someone out there destined for you? Do you believe in fairytales? Do you feel, deep in your heart, that you and your lover or potential lover will end up together for the rest of your lives?

Imagine how you would feel when, out of nowhere, find out that the “love of your life” is cheating on you or is leading a double life. Say you confront them and they end up telling you they are still in love with you but also admires another one. What would you do?

Now imagine you, yourself, in a loving relationship, but without intention, meet someone else and fall in love. You know you’re going to be seriously heartbroken if you break up with either of them. Now, what would you do?

Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy, authors of the book “The Ethical Slut: A practical guide to polyamory, open relationships & other adventures” have committed most of their lives to polyamorous relationships and open sexual lifestyles. They have co-authored the book since the first edition in 1997, and been romantically and sexually involved while maintaining their ongoing relationships with other partners.

I understand this type of relationship and lifestyle are hard to comprehend, let alone accept. Most of our lives, we are ingrained to believe in monogamy, the type of relationship that consists of one partner at a time. The idea of multiple sexual partners is frowned upon and even considered sinful.

The book helps guide readers who have considered or already been involved in open relationship to explore ethical ways to make such relationship work. People from all backgrounds have made this type of relationship work for them.

On the one hand, being involved in a polyamory lifestyle may expose us to a lot of unexpected risks of pain, but do we really believe a monogamous relationship can keep us and our partner away from emotional and sexual desire towards other people? “Sluts” do get jealous, but we are humans inevitably exposed to jealousy. Jealousy is only natural; it only indicates we are in love with our partner, or else why would we feel jealous?

The book also presents and explains ways people can choose their styles of polyamory, brief about safe sex and the perks of saying “no”.

Like any relationship, polyamory requires communication to make all the relationships work. However, some couples avoid too much information of other relationships in hope for minimum pain, and would choose “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Personally, this book made me realize and somehow understand the unusual kind of relationships. We can’t really judge which relationships are wrong, and which ones are right. I believe what’s important is that we do not hurt the people we have promised our love to.

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