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    • Review: The Swinger Manual by JustAskJulie




      My wife and I are familiar with swinging and are active to the extent of considering it to be a lifestyle. Having read other books on this subject, some good, others not so good, we were wondering if there was really much more to be learned or anything that could actually surprise us. Well, there is and we were. Both of us regret that we did not have access to a book like this when we first discussed the possibilities of jumping in. We might have avoided some early mistakes and have been a little less puzzled by some of the situations we encountered.

      This book is organized into chapters that roughly follow a hypothetical time line for prospective swingers. So in addition to being stimulating it is easy to read. In more than one small sense it is a how-to-do book. It also contains warnings for people who should really not be doing it as well as how to know when it is time to quit. It would certainly be a good reference for mass-media journalists who so often incorrectly apply the label "swinger" to people in the news. It has a lot to say to beginners but also explains a lot to those who are experienced.

      Hoping that nobody will perceive a complicity in the fact that I am a moderator at this bulletin board and the book is a creation of the bulletin board’s hostess. I had received some forewarning that a book was going to be published and that it would contain excerpts from material posted at The Swingersboard. So I think, why do I need to relive what I have probably already seen at the board. There is, however, real synergy here – the whole is more than a collection of its parts. The observations provided by the author stitch the real-life stories and observations of swingers together such that the narrative is seamless. There is no doubt. Experience salted with insight gives it all a ring of truth.

      I like The Swinger Manual and I recommend it without reservation.

      ~Michael
      This article was originally published in forum thread: The Swinger Manual by JustAskJulie started by SW_PA_Couple View original post
      Comments 28 Comments
      1. JustAskJulie's Avatar
        JustAskJulie -
        Micheal,

        Thank you for the great review. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Hopefully, others will enjoy it as much when they have the opportunity to read it.

        The book is available in both paperback and digital versions. You can get more info and order the book at The Swinger Manual - your guide to all things swinger lifestyle
      1. Wailea07's Avatar
        Wailea07 -
        Just finished reading my copy. Wow! Everything anyone would ever want to know about swinging. It's all there! Whether you are just thinking about it and need solid information or if you have been swinging for many years this is a MUST HAVE book! I expect to refer to it often when we run into something new or need a little advice on the spot. Superb job Julie! OH, and thank you so much!
      1. dragonblade's Avatar
        dragonblade -
        I too have just finished reading The Swingers Manual. I found it to entertaining and very informative, while filling in some blanks that I still had after a few years of very seldom swinging situations. I love that Julie goes into detail about all the different aspects of swinging and types and gives warnings where people tend to make the mistakes. If I had seen this book before a few situations we encountered, I'm sure things would have gone differently. I loved seeing a lot of comments from members of SwingersBoard that are known and trusted, and I love that it covers parts for people who are more experienced as well.

        Julie you did a phenomenal job, and I couldn't believe how quickly I read it! I thought I'd want to skip over "the parts I already knew" but I found myself immersed throughout the whole thing. There are good reminders in there that are intended for the "newbies" but are great even for those that have been in the lifestyle for a while.

        I too would recommend this to anyone who might think about swinging. It will save them from some potential issues that crop up for almost all of us in the beginning but most people don't really talk much about.
      1. good times's Avatar
        good times -
        I recently finished reading it too. I agree with what the others have said, very good book.

        The most notable thing I noticed is how often I would think while reading it that Julie should have covered a certain point better, and then reading on would find the next chapter totally devoted to the point I had in mind.

        Good read, I give it two thumbs up.
      1. JustAskJulie's Avatar
        JustAskJulie -
        Quote Originally Posted by good times View Post
        I recently finished reading it too. I agree with what the others have said, very good book.

        The most notable thing I noticed is how often I would think while reading it that Julie should have covered a certain point better, and then reading on would find the next chapter totally devoted to the point I had in mind.

        Good read, I give it two thumbs up.
        That's good to know. If you (or anyone) does find a point you feel I should have covered better - PLEASE let me know. I'm sure I probably missed something.
      1. JustAskJulie's Avatar
        JustAskJulie -
        We've had the opportunity several times here to peruse articles by Rebecca Ammon in Creative Loafing and now she's given us a mention (or two) as she just posted a review of The Swinger Manual on Creative Loafing. You can check that one out here: Book review: ‘The Swinger Manual’ | Daily Loaf

        From her review it's clear that she's not overly familiar with this site, in that she doesn't realize who those swingers are that are quoted in the book.... but you all know

        Likewise, newcomers to the swinger podcast/blogger scene LifeontheSwingSet have posted a great review of The Swinger Manual at The Swinger Manual review by Life On The Swingset | Life on the Swingset

        Both will give you a much better idea of what to expect from the book, if you haven't already received your copy.
      1. swingsetlife's Avatar
        swingsetlife -
        Glad you liked my review, Julie! Loved the book...
      1. SW_PA_Couple's Avatar
        SW_PA_Couple -
        The reviews are certainly favorable. Bet that makes you feel good. Both Web sites look interesting in themselves. I bookmarked both and have explored them a little.

        ~Michael
      1. JustAskJulie's Avatar
        JustAskJulie -
        Cooper - yes the review was great and I really appreciate it. Funny one of the comments you made was identical to what another member here had said about how they'd think that I hadn't covered something well enough only to find the next chapter completely devoted to that topic. I also really appreciated you sharing your thoughts on what you felt could have been better covered.

        It is great to see the reviews being so positive... I'm just waiting for someone to totally pan it, so I know what I need to do next time
      1. swingsetlife's Avatar
        swingsetlife -
        Julie, I've read a great deal about swinging in the last year, most were poorly written and severely biased at the virtues of the lifestyle, or were academic thesis...yours was perfect for what it needed to be...
      1. The Fuse's Avatar
        The Fuse -
        This is a great book. I loved it. I know much (if not all) of the material is available in one form or other on this Board, but having it in book format is much easier for many people to deal with. Many people don't have the time or the inclination to pore through threads on the Board looking for what interests them, but would spend the time with the book. Also, there's a lot to be said for reading a book as a way to facilitate clear, deliberate thought as opposed to reading a lot of threads.
      1. DavidHeather's Avatar
        DavidHeather -
        I just finished the book and I think it is an excellent primer for the lifestyle. I have also read Ethical Slut (Eaton & Hardy) and Opening Up by (Taormino) and both were excellent books with differing perspectives
      1. ncmd_couple's Avatar
        ncmd_couple -
        Well, after moving the Swinger's Manual around on my desk for the last couple of months, I finally took it out by pool and read it this weekend. Excellent book Julie!

        S
      1. sweet_tna's Avatar
        sweet_tna -
        I read it a few months ago, and have already loaned it out to a friend (and haven't gotten it back). It's definitely a great resource for swingers, new and experienced alike. I would have loved the chance to read it when we were first thinking about swinging, as it would have better prepared us for some of the situations we were likely to (and did) encounter.

        Kudos!

        Sweet =)
      1. funcoupledayton's Avatar
        funcoupledayton -
        I've read several books on swinging. This is one of my favorites. It's quite comprehensive and the quotes from the board are fun and relevant. It was well-organized and easy to read. I'd highly recommend it! I have the e-version for the Kindle.
      1. NCfuncouple98's Avatar
        NCfuncouple98 -
        We're over halfway through it, but we had company for the last 6 weeks and hide to hide all our goodies.... Ready to dust it off and continue reading!
      1. SW_PA_Couple's Avatar
        SW_PA_Couple -
        A suggestion, for those at least who have purchased The Swingers Manual from Amazon. Write a customer review at Amazon Books. Amazon customer reviews can be left under "Real Name" or a screen name.
      1. JustAskJulie's Avatar
        JustAskJulie -
        Quote Originally Posted by SW_PA_Couple View Post
        A suggestion, for those at least who have purchased The Swingers Manual from Amazon. Write a customer review at Amazon Books. Amazon customer reviews can be left under "Real Name" or a screen name.
        Yes, please. I'd really appreciate it. You can do this whether you purchased your copy from Amazon or not.
      1. rdy46227's Avatar
        rdy46227 -
        JustAskJulie operates swingersboard.com, a support and information source for swingers. Generally, the swingers are couples who have recreational sex with other couples, either on a hook-up basis or at a swinger's club.

        Swinging means many things, but the active people on swingersboard are not cheaters or players or fictitious. Successful swingers have an excellent relationship with their spouse, and believe that everyone involved should be aware of what's going on. Other than sharing no strings attached sex with almost strangers or with long time acquaintances, they are like everyone else. Their activities are kept low-key only because their behavior offends the morals of many in society.

        There are many groups of swingers; some couples, married but not to each other, or even just partners in swinging, and even a few singles. Most do not want a relationship or friendship with those they play with. A few are polyamorous, where they seek friendships or more with their sex partners. Swingers just want guilt free sex with others to enhance their own sex lives.

        What swingers actually do also varies a lot. Some expand their experiences by participating in 3-way or multiple partner encounters, and a few even met one on one for dating. Same room swingers always stay in sight of their spouse, some will will have sex separate from their spouse. Some swingers (soft swap) do not go all the way with another couple; after foreplay they return to their spouse. Some couples just want to watch and be watched.

        Swingers may meet other swingers using online systems (swingersboard discourages its use for hook-ups), or at social functions for swingers, or by personal contact, just like people find other people to date. The only difference is that the objective is sex, not a relationship. It's not an obsession; many swing only a few times a year, and some are still cautiously looking for their first encounter after months and months.

        Swingers clubs are night clubs, some of which allow sex in another area on the premises. Others clubs (off premise) are a meeting place from which people go to a hotel or other location for the actual sex. Other swingers meet potential couples for a drink, and if they click, then set up a date to play at a hotel, or even at homes. Swingers, like other people, may organize a party or cookout where most know each other, the only difference being that everyone expects that they may have a sexual encounter.

        So what problems do these people have? Dates go bad, new swinger have trouble coping with feelings following their contacts, profiles on hook-up sites need review, new people have questions about what might be expected at a club (nothing; all participation is optional), where are the clubs and what are they like, how does one handle logistics like baby sitters and long distance meet-ups, how can someone start swinging, what is the etiquette at parties or clubs, what acts are and are not common, information abut sexually transmitted diseases, problems performing, are couples ready to swing, what to do when swinging is a bad experience, you name it.

        The Swinger's Manual is a guide to the process and problems of being a successful swinger. All the topics addressed (including what is swinging, discussing it with your partner, risks, getting started, problems, knowing when to quit) are richly illustrated by posts (on swingersboard) from real swingers.

        There's a lot of wisdom and experience in the postings over the many years, and the patient and friendly answers and shared experiences. Posters are not afraid to tell people that they should not be swinging. They value honesty and the spousal relationship the most. Their advice is golden.

        This book offers a good view of the swinging community through statements from its members, excellent experienced based real world advice in many areas, and information such as definitions and web sites. It's hands on, relationship oriented, and deep, with both good and bad experiences. It's very informative, and not rah-rah promotional material from some swinger evangelists.

        If you wonder what couples swinging is like, or want advice on entering the swinging world, or dealing with problems that come with swinging, the on-the-ground advice in this book is invaluable. While JustAskJuile is the author, many, many others contribute to the discussion of her topics, and they are the real writers.

        I'm hoping the next edition will be a little prettier with sidebars, key points, summaries, and maybe even illustrations. But this compilation is the best I've found about how things actually work in real life.
      1. SW_PA_Couple's Avatar
        SW_PA_Couple -
        JoAnn gave me a new Kindle 3G+WiFi as my birthday present. I'm enjoying it for many reasons but one is the fact that I can have one of the synthesized voices read the book to me. I select the female voice, of course, for the parts that Julie wrote