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Publisher's Summary

For anyone who has ever dreamed of love, sex, and companionship beyond the limits of traditional monogamy, this groundbreaking guide navigates the infinite possibilities that open relationships can offer. Experienced ethical sluts Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy dispel myths and cover all the skills necessary to maintain a successful and responsible polyamorous lifestyle - from self-reflection and honest communication to practicing safe sex and raising a family. Individuals and their partners will learn how to discuss and honor boundaries, resolve conflicts, and to define relationships on their own terms.

©1994 Celestial Arts (P)2012 Dossie Easton & Janet W. Hardy

Critic Reviews

"I couldn't stop reading it, and I for one identify as an ethical slut. This is a book for anyone interested in creating more pleasure in their lives...a complete guide to improving any style of relating, from going steady to having an extended family of sexual friends." (Betty Dodson, PhD, author of Sex for One)

Featured Article: The Best Sex-Positive Books to Empower and Inspire You


Sex is a natural part of life, but it can sometimes feel like a taboo subject—which is a bit preposterous, considering how sex is linked to politics, gender, mental health, literature, and how we navigate the world. This list of the best sex-positive nonfiction books (with a few provocative fiction titles thrown in for good measure) is all about exploring the intricacies of sex with intelligence, humor, and insight. Discover these cross-genre voices.

What listeners say about The Ethical Slut

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A Practical Guide that is wholly impractical.

What disappointed you about The Ethical Slut?

It lacked depth, citing itself to be a practical guide to polyamory for everyone. Telling the reader to write a journal in felt marker, buy sexy feeling underwear and recite mantras of self-worth felt less like a guide based of facts and more of a subjective set of recommendations from a couple. It glosses over some major pitfalls that I have personally seen in polyamorous relationships with recommendations that consist almost solely of "talk it out". It takes a scenario for a specific type of couple, in a specific dynamic and applies it elsewhere.

What was most disappointing about Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton ’s story?

It defined sex as a ubiquitous thing (equitable with being turned on) towards the start of the book. Later, it narrowed good sex to being a spiritual oneness with another akin to a state of nirvana. Those of us not looking to achieve transcendence when being fellated by an acquaintance don't need to be told to strive for enlightenment. Sex can be a powerful bonding experience between intimates. It can be a meaningless release between strangers. Neither is invalid.

What didn’t you like about Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton ’s performance?

It felt juvenile. Maybe it's the writing style, but there was this tittering tone to it that lost its appeal well within the first chapters. Maybe I'm being unreasonable, but I like my practical guides to be practical. You know, no-nonsense. I don't need an eighteen minute story about a woman finding love amidst a fisting at an orgy.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Wrath.

Any additional comments?

If the concept is completely foreign to you, if the book is free, then go for it. Cannibalize the useful information from the chapters that apply to you and discard the rest. I assure you when I say you'll have missed nothing.

19 people found this helpful

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I loved this book!

I was raised to be a monogamous minister's daughter and really appreciate the open minded and broad horizons they laid out in this book. Normalizing the freedom to love and have healthy relationships outside of the past limits was a much needed thing for me. The speaker was calm and gentle. It made it a very easy listen for me. I have already referred many people to this book.

13 people found this helpful

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Fantastic wisdom for every person!

This is my second time through the book, first time through the audio book and I have to say I loved it! This is a fantastic book that covers communication extensively! I highly recommend this book for couples and singles whether you're gay straight or whatever to help you on your path at whatever level you practice love making. I love that this book was written by two women and the reading of it as well! Very engaging stuff very intriguing stuff filled with tons of information to put in your toolbox of communication, compassion, understanding, Joy Etc
I wish everyone could read this regardless of their sexual proclivities. please look past the title if you have any judgment around it whatsoever. There is so much good stuff in this book I promise you will be pleased!
B1YOGI

4 people found this helpful

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  • LD
  • 07-10-18

Conceited and reads like a cult manual

Read "Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory and Optimistic Open Relationships" instead.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This novel was eye opening and very informative.

I felt that this author spoke of and disccussed controversial taboo topics in way that made them acceptable and perspective changing .

4 people found this helpful

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The information and advice is 100% totally solid!

Where does The Ethical Slut rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The open mindedness, sex positive approach, and enthusiasm was enjoyable.

What did you like best about this story?

Good solid read, with enough examples to use in everyday life.

What didn’t you like about Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton ’s performance?

Having a younger, more modern adaption would have enhanced my experience. Their performance was good, my extreme reaction was more toward the grandma-like reading from Hardy and Easton - describing hardcore sex acts in detail to 20 and 30 something’s leaves a little bit to be desired.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Hire a much younger staff and make it relevant to our modern time.

Any additional comments?

I don’t want anyone to misinterpret this review, this book is great! – all the information herein is solid, well delivered, and 100% on point. I have been in a relationship for 8 years where my wife and I love to take women home for 3 way sex, bondage and discipline, top/bottom sex – or whatever you want to call it. This book is specifically geared to relationships like these. Some of the ladies we hook up with end up staying around for a while because it just works - some don’t. This book is very good at looking at the dynamic of relationships like these and also very good at offering advice for this type of situation.My critique lies in the delivery, and approach. No offense to the authors who also speak the audio commentary (read the book to you), but the experience is like having my hippy grandmother tell me very detailed stories about how her and all her old friends used to get it on back in the day. A lot of the material doesn’t translate well to someone who is, say in their 20’s or 30’s; it just doesn’t – I feel our generation is way more open than those of the past. So even though, all the information in the book is absolutely great advise for a kinky relationship or a vanilla relationship. They push good, open values that stress on the importance of communication, it's just weird having it told to you by an older person. So I would suggest this book to everybody – just be ready to have it read to you by a nice old woman who loves to use terms like cunt, cock, & ass fucking.

68 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Like a "Choose your own Adventure" book about sex.

Would you try another book from Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton and/or Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton ?

No, I do not think their viewpoints and spectrum of knowledge are helpful to me.

Would you ever listen to anything by Janet W. Hardy and Dossie Easton again?

No

Which scene was your favorite?

The chapter on sex parties and group sex were the most useful.

Was The Ethical Slut worth the listening time?

At a mere 10 hours, you would think it would have been easier to handle. But I found this book to be a trudge through monotone voices and delusional sexual utopia.

Any additional comments?

I really looked forward to this book. All the reviews and feedback from friends and colleagues, I expected a revelation and what I got instead was a book that was constantly telling me to refer to another chapter for more information. (A little hard to do when you are listening to an audio book.)

The authors speak a lot about their own personal lives and their existence within a sexual utopia where there is no jealousy and everything seems to fit like a glove. It is a hard lesson to simply tell someone, "You're feeling jealous? Well don't."

If it was that easy I would simply choose not to feel that and save myself the credit for "The Two Towers" by Tolkien. At least that will not be constantly sending me back on an adventure on page 69 to find out more.

30 people found this helpful

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Great for all but really great for beginners.

This was the sixth book I’ve read on this subject as I attempt to move from monogamy to a open relationship. The idea was completely scary and foreign to me however this is one of my favorite books that really gave me some relevant information and tips on how to manage through this transition. I feel I’m well on my way to understanding where I sit in on different relationship styles. I highly recommend this book for anyone considering or currently in this lifestyle. I may return to monogamy eventually however I feel this book helps me get a good understanding of my other options leaving me feeling non-judge and free to make a choice regardless of what that is. The authors are very kind and gentle however direct in the information provided

32 people found this helpful

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Great for all relationships

Definitely a good read for all relationship types. Read by the authors which makes it super personal and comforting. Loved every minute of hearing this.

7 people found this helpful

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fairly decent

the information was fairly decent, the reader a little bit boring for my taste. Listening to this book was almost like listening to some Christian book, except with a complete opposite point of view. Where Christianity tells you any kind of sex before marriage is a terrible idea, this book makes it sound like any kind of rules in regards to monogamy, or heterosexuality are the worst ever. In my opinion either extreme is narrow-minded and above all, untrue.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 01-08-14

A wonderful book - and perfect as an audiobook

What did you like most about The Ethical Slut?

Much of the writing is done as if you were being spoken to. So naturally, when narrated as an audiobook, you often are being spoken to directly. A wonderful book and the perfect subject of an audiobook.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ethical Slut?

Listening to the narrator describe how she fell in love with a woman who at first intimidated her.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I very often laughed out loud in public. Quite embarrassing.

Any additional comments?

A great book. Even though it may be targetted at women, there is no reason a man cannot enjoy it and glean a great deal of wisdom from it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • soozeekyoo
  • 04-01-18

Essential reading for all

Inspirational and thought provoking. Wish I'd read it sooner. Narration was also excellent. The true stories were particularly helpful and I believe I'll approach relationships, intimacy and sex differently (healthier!) as a result of this book. I'm going to buy the hard copy to to refer back to, to do the exercises and to share with partners. Thank you

5 people found this helpful

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  • rox
  • 04-19-18

What a book... thank you!!!!

Such a great book, it made me feel that I am not alone. I loved that it wasn't completely serious, it had many funny little moments which made me even giggle at times :) Learned so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you..

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-01-18

amazing book definitely one of my favorites

this is an amazing book for all of those looking for in alternative relationship.
started on the bus yesterday evening and the super today at 5 pm took only one break of two hours today that is how amazing I found this book

2 people found this helpful

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  • Tiago C.
  • 12-23-18

Very enlightening

One of the best books about polyamory and open relationships I every read. Everyone who’s in a relationship should read it, it’s a must!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Annabella Twort
  • 12-20-18

Must Read! Brilliant!

A brilliant and insightful book into the world of polyamoury, a must read on the subject.

1 person found this helpful

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  • XY
  • 07-11-18

Very good, though a bit patronizing at times

I very much enjoyed this book, lots of good hippies and feminist spirits, though I definitely prefer "more than two" in terms of Polyamory as it has -in my opinion- a better stance with regards to veto rights and hierarchical relationships (both of which are dealt with more critical in MTT). I also found TES slightly more rebellious, but perhaps that's perhaps because it is a newer book, faced with the challenge of introducing a new concept, whereas MTT most likely built upon that knowledge.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lisa
  • 04-23-18

Truly a practical guide

Hilarious and entertaining, even as I read it a second time. Great advice that I enjoy putting to practice in my relationships.

1 person found this helpful

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  • K. Notley
  • 11-09-15

Fantastic Don't Let The Title Put You Off!

Read it cover to cover. Be you whatever gender and whatever status there is ultimately something here for all. Even those not seeking the title of the book. Wise words and ones to live by, be free and be happy read this book and keep an open mind before you do!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Suzanne Cooke
  • 10-11-15

Great guide to not being a dick when multi dating

Beautiful! Real and practical guidance for loving love mindfully. How to have your cake and eat it without being a dick.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Borchard
  • 07-26-20

An absolute must read, non-monogamous or no. <3..

whether single, taken, monogamous, poly or anything else this book is an absolute brilliant read/listen with many awakening insights.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 10-17-17

inspirational and enlightening, thankyou

I have waited so long to find these beautiful women and their knowledge. I embrace their values as my own

1 person found this helpful

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  • Catherine
  • 06-05-17

Great for any relationship

Loved it, completely amazing information on dealing with jealousy and opening up communications that can be used in any and all circumstances.

2 people found this helpful

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  • paul middleton
  • 09-07-21

A must read for Everyone :D

This is a joy of a journey and it's just the beginning of the story for me. Ty Janet and Dossie 😘

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-10-21

Great for everyone

Loved it.
Completely mind opening. For a straight woman who always had the 'marriage and monogamy' mindset ingrained, it has given me a lot to think about since I started playing the field as a single.
Have listened to it twice so far.

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  • Ganticdotco
  • 07-05-21

Should be mandatory reading

Much of the content of this book should be mandatory reading for ANYONE in ANY kind of relationship, monogamous or otherwise. The way the authors convey ideas around communication, boundaries, and building and maintaining connection is something many “traditional” (hetero-monogamous) relationships could really benefit from as much as anyone. The content on polyamory/ENM and other more progressive relationships and sex is even more helpful for those interested in these lifestyles.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-30-21

10/10 would listen again

excellent material! a good book for ANYONE who is poly, thinking about becoming poly, know anyone that is poly and anyone who is exploring the options outside binary relationships. the narrator's were very easy to listen too. I can recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-14-21

Fantastic guide but narration could be better

This book is a fantastic source of information for those interested in non-monogamy, polyamory or just wanting to improve relationship skills. The narrator was good, except she has a very annoying habit of undulating her voice from normal to an imperceptible whisper, making it hard to hear some parts of a sentence while in anything but a perfectly quiet environment.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-01-21

I recommend this for EVERYONE

Whether you are single, coupled, open or poly. this book is invaluable for the insight in to self care, negotiation, communication and intimacy in every aspect of life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-04-21

essential reading whether you’re interested in open relationships or not

Obsessed with the beauty of this book, and even if monogamy feels right to you, without reading about and understanding the other options available, how could you know? Such a beautifully crafted and written book, I adore it!