From Terry Gould--the winner of 38 awards and honors for investigative journalism
No.2 on Amazons Movers and Shakers Bestseller List
Terry Goulds THE LIFESTYLE: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers is the only thorough exploration of the worldwide sexual subculture popularly called "swinging," but known to millions of insiders as "the lifestyle." THE LIFESTYLE takes the reader on a two-year, 3,000-mile journey through the much-discussed but little-understood world of spouse sharing and open eroticism between couples.
To Order THE LIFESTYLE: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers, by Terry Gould. Order online, through: www.amazon.com or www.amazon.ca
Published in the United States & Canada by Random House Canada
, (2004, Thunders Mouth Press), a true-crime tale which has a chapter on male and female police officers in the swinging lifestyle.
THE LIFESTYLE: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers is set against a backdrop of American "playcouple" conventions, swing club parties, and a luxury tour in Mexico. Its wide-ranging analysis includes the nature and evolution of sexuality, monogamy, and erotic love, and is backed by extensive research and numerous interviews with the leaders of the lifestyle movement and its participants.
The Lifestyle offers answers to such intriguing questions as:
* Is it possible to experience sex with other partners while happily ensconced in an emotionally monogamous marriage?
* Is swinging an invention of sexually permissive modern times, or can open eroticism between consenting adults be considered "natural" sexual behavior?
* Why has the
word "morals" always referred almost entirely to sexual matters, and why has sexual self-sacrifice always been seen as morally superior to sexual indulgence?
Gould points out that the rituals of lifestylers have roots that go back thousands of years. "Erotic rites were common in Canaan when God made His covenant with Abraham. As late as the 1940s extra-mateship liaison was an approved custom in 39 percent of cultures studied throughout the worldfrom the Himalayas to the South Seas and from the Arctic to the Amazon."
The lifestyle phenomenon seems to combine the two biological imperatives that paradoxically have governed the sex lives of humans for eons: the drive to seek long-term partners for raising children, and the equally powerful drive for genetic and sexual variety
The surprise is that the majority of lifestyle participants are married and middle-class. Indeed, substantial segments of the lifestyle community come from the ranks of law enforcement and the health professions. Today there are more than 400 formally affiliated lifestyle clubs in 24 countries, and thousands of informal clubs worldwide. Swingers have their own multimillion-dollar travel industry and over a dozen four-star holiday resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean. Hundreds of magazines and thousands of Web sites and chat rooms keep them connected. Large lifestyle conventions are held a dozen times a year in eight U.S. states, monopolizing entire resorts for four days at a time. A recent Lifestyles Convention drew 3,500 people from 437 cities in seven countries. One-third of the participants had post-graduate degrees, almost one-third voted Republican, 40 percent considered themselves practicing Protestants, Catholics, or Jews
"The lifestyle has grown so quickly in recent years that, wherever you live, you wont have trouble finding it. It is not an underground movement or a cult. It is a public, grass-roots, heterosexual orientation among mainstream couples who claim to have overcome the kind of loneliness, jealousy, and shame adulterous marrieds endure."
Terry Goulds probing book attributes the growth of the lifestyle to several factors:
* the sea change in the North American publics overall attitude to unconventional sexual behavior (witness the publics tolerance for the private sex lives of individuals);
* the sexual, s
ocial, and economic empowerment of women;
* the greater commercial and electronic means of communication that swingers use to get in touch with one another;
* the high-profile raids of private swing clubs and the suspension of liquor licenses of major hotels which hold swinger dances; far from suppressing the lifestyle, they have made the subculture more widely known.
THE LIFESTYLE: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers is sure to stimulate exciting discussion about a practice that has kept cropping up throughout history among remarkably different populations, from the Neolithic hordes who danced naked on the heath to the modern revelers of Brazil during Mardi Gras.
PRAISE FOR THE LIFESTYL
E FROM CRITICS AND SCIENCE WRITERS
"Investigative journalist Gould paints a fascinating and sympathetic portrait of swinger culture..... Gould's approach is tasteful, and his book is one of the few descriptive works in print on consensual non-monogamy. It can serve researchers well. General readers will be riveted." -- Library Journal of the American Library Association
Gould has drawn our attention to a form of sexuality that has escaped social scientific notice for the past several years, and he does so in a way that neither belittles or glorifies. He is to be congratulated. --Journal of Sex Research
"Almost everything you wanted to know about swinging sex, but were afraid to ask.... [Gould] brings swinging out of the closet as he argues that consenting adults should not be denigrated for engaging in private behavior that (he claims) harms no one. Through a history of the Lifestyles Organization and interviews with swingers (mostly married couples), Gould depicts a world refreshing in its sincerity, openness, and normality in spite of such apparent contradictions as swinging Mormons or Republicans. The view that emerges of the Lifestyle is one of hedonism, but an ethical hedonism in which individual choices are respected and boundaries never crossed without permission.... Gould humanizes a marginalized community and demonstrates that sexual expression does not automatically equate with deviance."-- Kirkus Reviews
"If you thought swinging went out with the 70s, guess again. The lifestyle is three million strong in North America, according to Canadian journalist Gould, with crowded conventions, an anti-defamation league and thousands of Web sites. The investigative magazine reporter tells us that he initially approached the topic with the same suspicion he employs for his usual subject--the shadowy underworld of organized crime. But after spending a few years exploring Americas swinging playgrounds and interviewing scores of playcouples, he now vigorously defends the lifestyle against the charges of feminists who say its demeaning, religious leaders who say its immoral and a press that looks down its elitist nose at the suburban phenomenon."
"If you think that mate-swapping, orgiastic festivities went belly up after the 1969 film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, think again. The subculture referred to as the lifestyle, is thriving, according to Terry Gould, author of THE LIFESTYLE: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers.... Lifestyl
ers are a paradox: They marry, have children, are emotionally monogamous but seek sexual variety as couples." --The Los Angeles Times
"By taking the subject of non-monogamy seriously, Terry Gould shines a warm light on a large and fascinating middle-class subculture that almost no one knows anything about. Clearly, this is a group with a lot to teach all of us."
"We consider The Lifestyle to be the best reportorial work yet produced on swinging.... This most uncommon book is a must-read for any person who likes to think about or talk about the social, psychological, or cultural implications of swinging." --Theswinginglife.com
"It will not convert you to becoming a swinger, or to joining a club, but it will make you think about monogamy, fidelity, and sex as a form of recreation within a marriage. If youre curious, if youve always wondered about it, if youve got friends involved in swinging and you think you might like to try it, do read The Lifestyle." --Sue Johanson, R.N., host of "The Sunday Night Sex Show," Womens Television Network.
"Gould has fashioned his extensive research on the phenomenon into a timely, serious, useful book." --Toronto Star
"The Lifestyle is a delight to read--a groundbreaking and honest work of journalism that thoroughly explains why millions of people are part of this subculture called 'swinging.' Indeed, Terry Gould has accomplished something rare: his extensive research into the anthropology and sociobiology of spouse exchange has allowed him to broaden his descriptions of swing parties to include deeply significant explanations for what takes place at them. Few journalists have gained permission to enter that world, and none have explained it in such depth. The Lifestyle is an entertaining, on-the-scene narrative, but it is also a serious work which should be read by all who want to understand what this growing phenomenon is all about."
THE LIFESTYLE: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers, by Terry Gould
, by Terry Gould
Published in the United States & Canada by Random House Canada
, by Terry Gould (which has a chapter on male and female police officers in the swinging lifestyle):
Order online, through: www.Amazon.com
, by Terry Gould