Sex from Scratch: Boundaries Unbroken

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Sex from Scratch is the latest “do it yourself” book for those looking to make their own relationship rules. I’m always interested in what these books choose to include content wise, because there are a lot of subjects you can stick to or stray from. For instance, The Ethical Slut and Opening Up cover a lot of the same material, but leave certain subjects out while they focus more on ethical non-monogamy.

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Sarah Mirk chooses the following layout:

  1. Loving Being Single
  2. Building Feminist Relationships
  3. Navigating Non-Monogamy
  4. Gender is Messy
  5. Staying Childless by Choice
  6. On Never Getting Married
  7. Knowing When to Split

When I picked up the book I expected an emphasis on the first three chapters, so I was pleased to see how the book progressed through the various voices that were included. This book is very affirming for those of you who don’t want kids and don’t want to get married. It’s very affirming for anyone who doesn’t feel like they fit into a “traditional” relationship.

I loved the chapter on knowing when to split – something thats often left out of the dialogue on making your own relationships. Points like “say the stuff you’re afraid to say” and “you deserve to be happy” are some smaller points that make up big movements.

I also loved the chapter on building a feminist relationship. There is a lot of discussion right now on what being a feminist means and how you can be a better feminist. Things like being on a team, discussing conflict, and giving each other space are all so crucial in relationships.

Finally, I loved one point in the book where we get to hear more about infidelity. I’ve got a library copy so I didn’t want to tag it or anything so I’ll paraphrase the idea I got. When someone in a relationship cheats, and the couple intends to try to work through it, thats something that the couple needs to do together. Each partner needs to do their role to help mend the relationship. It’s not “you did this, now you fix it.” It made me think a lot about sacrifice and partnership and how it may be one person that does something physical or emotional in a relationship, but its up to both partners to want to fix it.

I would highly recommend checking it out if you’re at all interested in breaking out of traditional relationships or feel that the traditional linear model for relationships doesn’t suit you and your partner/s.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. As someone who identifies as male, how would you feel someone like me would benefit from reading a book clearly directed towards female audiences? Was thinking of picking up a copy of the ethical slut but I wanted to get input to give me a framework on what I would expect to get out of the experience.

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    1. ST says:

      Though there are segments that might apply more directly to women, I don’t think the book is for women. There are parts that relate to men or queer readers as well. Even if you do stumble upon books that appear more directed towards cis women I would recommend reading them anyways, they can be very insightful, and it’s always helpful to gain as much knowledge as you can in whatever way you can get it 🙂 I do think The Ethical Slut is a good starting point.

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    2. C says:

      I haven’t read Ethical Slut but I’ve read most of this book since picking it up. I think this book could be good for guys to read. The chapter about building feminist relationships was very interesting to me. I have an idea of what I would like out of a relationship where we would be equals and it’s interesting to read other’s experiences. There are a couple of male points of view in this book too. Even though this book is written by a woman and explores what she wants out of relationships, I think overall it applies to more than just women. If you’re single or not looking to get married or not looking to have children, I think those sections of the book are valid for everyone.

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  2. C says:

    A few of these topics hit home to me. I just picked up a copy off Amazon…the Kindle version is less than $4 right now. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. ST says:

      Good to know! That is a steal!

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