I just recently purchased this book at a great Seattle store called Toys in Babeland. They are absolutely great, sex positive and male friendly. (Toys is run by all females, so naturally its primarily female oriented with respect to the toys the carry).
I have only read the first 8 chapters or so, but so far I am quite impressed and enamoured with the book. Some key concepts:
A slut is a person (of any gender) who believes that sex is fun and pleasure is good for you. A slut does not believe in sexual exclusivity as the only way of existing, but a slut respects those who choose to be sexually exclusive.
There are 4 sections to the book:
- Within Ourselves - Skills sluts need to develop, how to respect the self.
- Between One Another - How to interact with fellow sluts.
- In The World - How to interact with non-sluts.
- Having Fun - Other things that dont fit
In chapter 6, entitled "Slut Skills", there is the following list of skills that sluts need to have:
- Communication - Learning to talk clearly, and listen effectively.
- Emotional Honesty - Being honest with emotions and letting others know what you need.
- Affection - "We recommend lots of hugging, touching, verbal affection, sincere flattery, little "love ya" gifts." - Good all around advice anyways.
- Faithfulness - Faithfulness is about honoring your commitments and respecting your friends and lovers, about caring for their well-being as well as your own.
- Limit-Setting - When to say "no"
- Planning - Plan your relationships
- Know Yourself
- Own your feelings - empower yourself by owning your feelings. If you own your feelings, you can deal with them.
- Go easy on yourself - everyone is human.
- Tell The Truth
As you can see, Slut Skills are really relationship skills, its just that with less assumptions about what is "normal", these skills which are less important in assumption-based relationships (ie: I assume you wont have sex with others, etc) become extremely important when there are no expectations of behaviour.
The Ethical Slut does not pretend to say being in non-monogamous relationships are easier than strictly monogamous relationships. It says that all relationships are hard, and that we have to work on our relationships, of any kind. Furthermore, the only way to good relationships is good communication and honesty.
I would have to highly recommend this book to anyone who questions basic societal assumptions of relationships and is interested in alternate ways of relating.