The Frisky Fairy Reviews favorite toys, books, blogs, and other fun sex education reviews!
First things first, a HUGE congratulations to Adriane, Sarah, Bradley, Danielle, Liz, Jamie, Patrycja, Crista and Victoria for winning my holiday giveaway! Thank you for everyone who entered, I really adore that you’re supporting me!
So before I got to interview Cooper S. Beckett about his awesome, awesome book, I got to read it, and hot damn Cooper has a way with words.
I don’t often have so many feelings during a book (partly because I read them so fast, and partly because of the content), but I definitely got to enjoy this one in so many ways. I read the majority of My Life on the Swingset on a bus ride from DC to New Jersey. It took me about two hours to read through the entire, majestic thing, and frankly, I should have saved it for a time when I could be alone.
You see, Cooper has given me a lot of feelings surrounding his first book. Feelings that are not always appropriate for public places.
Feelings that make me laugh out loud, until I gigglesnort and the gentleman across the aisle gives me a sharp look over his newspaper. Feelings like the happiness I feel when I see someone using nested parenthesis because I absolutely love that someone else has so many thoughts in one sentence that it doesn’t feel right unless you can break it into so many beautiful parenthesis!
Cooper filled me with the feelings of pure joy and amusement when someone else voices the things I think about when it comes to having children!
“Nor does the Starvation Economy Theory apply to love. You don’t love a first child any less when you have a second, after all.
(You don’t love them less right? I just have dogs by the way. Children confuse and frighten me.)”
Not all of these feelings are fit for public consumption. Like when I was reading an essay that gets me so hot and wet because of the way that Cooper words his exploration of his dominant and submissive side (all in one night), that I’m squirming on the bus in desperation of getting to my destination and spending some time with my We-Vibe Tango, or my newly acquired nJoy Eleven, or both! (Special thanks for that incredible Christmas present Bobby!) The essay was so hot that I was left wiggling and trying to choke down any whimpers I might have on a bus as the cute guy in the leather jacket behind me catches a glimpse of what I’m reading and I notice him craning his neck through the crack in the seat for the rest of the ride.
Cooper knows what he’s talking about in this book, and he knows how to wrap his words around you and breathe new life and a new lust for exploration into you, regardless of the exploration. Somehow, while reading this book, I’ve wished I had a prostate, wished I could be a switch, wished I could lay naked at a resort with a bunch of beautiful people and an nJoy Eleven, before falling in love with myself at a hot tub, I wished I could swing and love my life the way that Cooper does.
But beyond the joy, beyond the arousal, beyond the (book)lust, there is so much more. There is a vulnerability to the things Cooper says, and to what he writes about. There is a levelheadedness in the way that he gives his advice. He’s like a big brother who will hug you and tell you stories of the times that he’s fucked things up in the past, not just so you can learn how to avoid them yourself, but so that you can share this piece of his life with him. You know that you’ll laugh, but that you’ll also hear that under the laughter, under the jokes, he’s giving you the parts of his stories that he learns from.
“I believe that even our worst anger, our worst jealousy, the most angry and selfish thoughts we have towards our partner are optional, even if they don’t feel that way at the time. We can decide that yes, I feel this way, but I’m going to own and stop it. That I’m going to change the dialog. That I’m going to decide to be alright.”
Cooper also offers some excellent commentary on LGBT members of non-monogamous communities in a number of appealing ways. He talks loudly about the way bisexuals are treated in the community. From the blatant mistreatment of bisexual men in “The Lifestyle” to the offensive way that “girls don’t count”. He talks about these issues and he does it with a fury and a frustration that inspires and reminds me that the work we do in the communities to make these issues, these people, like me– like us, more visible is good.
“Let me throw the thing that infuriates me right the hell out there. “It’s fine as long as it’s not the opposite sex.” What the fuck? How do the women in The Lifestyle not let themselves be offended by this one? This doesn’t imply, this outright says that two women kissing is less important, less “real,” less intimate than a man and a woman kissing.”
Beyond all of these things, Cooper just gets me. He gets the way that I feel that there should be people to welcome the newbies to communities. He gets the way I feel about helping people to ensure they don’t have bad experiences. He gets the way people feel as beginners. He understands, and he cares. He takes his experiences as a beginner and applies it to the way he treats newbies with so much kindness and compassion. We could all use a little more of that these days.
“I realize what I’m saying may not sound the most appealing. The main reason I like newbies is because early on in our swinging lifestyle, Marilyn and I were lucky enough to meet great people who were patient, answered our questions, and took things at our pace. We hear so often about bad first experiences ruining things, or sending people out of the swinging lifestyle altogether, that I like being there, offering a welcoming hand for the newbies.
To show them that they needn’t be afraid.”
And at the end of it all, Cooper understands. He understands what it is to explore, and encourages it. Cooper manages to take the fear and stress of exploration and give it a humorous, charming, compassionate turn wrapped up in a book full of essays that will touch you regardless of where you are in your relationships or personal exploration.
“Experimentation and pushing boundaries is the bread and butter of a happy life. The mantra that “I’ll try anything twice (in case I did it wrong the first time)” is so very important because that’s how you learn who you really are.
You know what? It’s fucking okay if you try something you don’t like. That moment is not a failure. That’s a moment you learned something new about yourself. If you never try these things for fear that you may not like them you cut yourself off from the possibility of discovering something exciting. Something you never thought you’d like. And you might really like it.
The SafeZone is about allowing yourself to fuck it all up, to destroy it and rebuild it, without fear of retribution on the outside. It’s within that freedom that catharsis can happen, and it’s within catharsis that true learning lives.” Cooper S. Beckett, My Life on the Swingset
Needless to say, I absolutely adored this book. My Life on the Swingset gets the Frisky Fairy seal of approval. You should pick up your copy here, and then fall a little in love with the wonderful Cooper S. Beckett.
Until Next Time!
-The Frisky Fairy