New, third edition of The Ethical Slut coming out in two weeks
The Ethical Slut, first published in 1997, introduced poly relationships to audiences far beyond the movement's New Age and Pagan wellsprings — although the word "polyamory" barely appeared in it. Authors Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy (as "Catherine A. Liszt") gathered up much poly and sex-positive wisdom, won by many people's hard experience, and the book helped to establish much of this as standard poly doctrine. But it spoke mostly to people of the "independent agent" variety, who might now call themselves solopoly.
The first edition read like a romp and became a runaway word-of-mouth hit. Enough so that in 2009, Random House took it on and reissued it through Ten Speed Press in a second edition, revised and expanded 35% by the authors, with the new subtitle "A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures." To me, the second edition seemed to have a toned-down style for a wider audience. It also, for the first time, spoke directly to established couples seeking to open up. By that time these had become the most abundant form of poly newbies.
Now comes The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love, with authors Janet Hardy and Dossie Easton now listed in reverse order. It will be available August 15th (I haven't seen it yet). The publisher's description on Amazon says it has been redone to align with today's hot concerns:
For 20 years The Ethical Slut has dispelled myths and showed curious readers how to maintain a successful polyamorous lifestyle through open communication, emotional honesty, and safer sex practices. The third edition of this timeless guide to communication and sex has been revised to include interviews with poly millennials (young people who have grown up without the prejudices their elders encountered regarding gender, orientation, sexuality, and relationships), tributes to poly pioneers, and new sidebars on topics such as asexuality, sex workers, and ways polys can connect and thrive. The authors also include new content addressing nontraditional relationships beyond the polyamorous paradigm of "more than two": couples who don't live together, couples who don't have sex with each other, nonparallel arrangements, couples with widely divergent sex styles, power disparities, and cross-orientation relationships, while utilizing nonbinary gender language and new terms that have come into common usage since the last edition.
Franklin Veaux, co-author of the competing guidebook More Than Two, praises the new edition to the skies in a blurb:
“The Ethical Slut is a classic, a book that helped launch the modern non-monogamy movement. Updating a book of such historical significance is no easy task, but The Ethical Slut, Third Edition succeeds beautifully. Where the original broke radical new ground, this edition is more nuanced, a book for a more complex age. In the third edition, we see the wide variety of forms ethical non-monogamy, and indeed human sexual relationships, can take. This new version brings a new focus on consent, talks about the many wonderful and varied ways ethical non-monogamy happens, and shows an appreciation for the vast range of human sexuality. This is The Ethical Slut for a new era, and cements the book’s place as one of the cornerstones of modern non-monogamous thought.”
—Franklin Veaux, More Than Two: A practical guide to ethical polyamory
Here's a 7-minute audio excerpt from Janet Hardy's "The Ethical Slut Then and Now," a workshop she presented in June at the Festival of Really Good Sex in Melbourne, Australia.
You can pre-order.
Update August 15: The Multiamory podcast, by Dedeker Winston, Jase Lindgren, and Emily Matlack, interviews Hardy (Episode 132, August 15, 2017).