An excerpt from Elizabeth Bachner’s delightful review of Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy’s self-help The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Adventures. Published on Bookslut, June 2009.
Also, although Bookslut is my favorite website, I’m not even a bookslut. I’m more of a bookprude or a booktease. Sure, I read alone in my room late at night, or — when the mood strikes — in a frenzied, solitary bout in the bathroom on a sunny afternoon. Who doesn’t? But, although I freeze a little when it happens, I don’t like it when you push your latest Jonathan Safran Foer or Zadie Smith or Ann Patchett book all hard up against me and tell me I’ll love it, because you love it. I won’t love it. But, even if you’re right and I would love it, I have to be in the mood. God, I hate pretending I’m enjoying your stupid book! And, I don’t want to go out and have coffee with a book just because your friend wrote it and your friend is such a nice person and you think it’s a nice book. You are misunderstanding what I want. You think because I’m in my thirties and newly single, I’m just desperate to settle down with a nice book. I don’t like nice books any more than I did when I was fifteen. Sure, sometimes I open myself wide and let a book pound itself deep inside of me till I’m ravenous for more, till I can’t control myself, till I’m shaking and flushed and so transformed that I want to experience the book again, that believe I love the book, that I want to live with the book forever. No matter how bad for me it is. Do you really think that’s going to happen with your nice friend’s nice book? It isn’t. Go away. I do know it seems alluring and delicious to talk about books with me, especially after I let you do it just a little tiny bit, and then the next time just a little tiny bit more. I know it might seem like I want to. I guess I’m just not ready. It’s not that I don’t love books, it’s that I love them too much to share the secret flower of my love with just anyone. It has to be with someone special.