Cooper S. Beckett: Swinger Extraordinaire
Perhaps you’ve heard: Polyamory (or poly) is pretty hot right now.
If you’ve read My Life on the Swingset, then the set-up for his new novel A Life Less Monogamous will seem familiar to you: A married couple in their 30s – the Lamberts – decide that their sex life is highly lacking, and they’ve had enough. They try seeing a couples therapist who doesn’t seem to be of much help at all2. Enter: The Shepards3, a hot, swinging couple a bit older than the Lamberts who are ready to show them The Way.
As a novel, A Life Less Monogamous is neither a how-to guide to poly and swinging, nor is it a non-stop raunchy sex-fest. Instead, it’s an exploration of one fictional couple’s journey through their first few months in The Lifestyle. Beckett doesn’t shy away from writing gripping sex scenes, but he also makes it clear that that’s not all there is to swinging. Rather than pure fantasy fulfillment, the Lamberts’ lives are believable. They could be you, your neighbors, or your in-laws.
The book contains quite a few teachable moments, and I thought that Beckett handled them well. To an educator, they’re somewhat obvious. To your average reader, though, they might just sneak in under the radar. For example, the issue of consent is raised in the Lamberts’ vanilla circle, where some seem to have a tenuous grasp on the idea, and again at the Lamberts’ first play party. The difference between the two crowds is stark. And, notably, Beckett never takes a swing at monogamy as a choice – which is something I appreciate, as a monogamous gal.
A Life Less Monogamous: The Final Verdict
Overall, I thought that A Life Less Monogamous was a sweet, thoughtful, and sexy look at swinging. I flew through it, and I found myself more attached to the characters than I anticipated. Still, I think MLOTSS gets my top vote, with A Life Less Monogamous pulling in as a close second.
Many thanks to Cooper S. Beckett for providing me with a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. You can purchase your own copy from SheVibe (through the links above) or on Amazon.
- Which also features other great voices in poly and swinging like Dylan Thomas, Chris Pent, and Kat Stark. ↩
- As someone who’s pursuing a degree that should allow her to practice couples’ counseling, I wasn’t thrilled with the therapists’ portrayal. But not everyone’s therapy experience is the same. ↩
- Laid it on a little thick there, Coop! ↩