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Book Review: Insatiable Wives: Women who stray and the men who love them

Note: As I am starting on doing reviews of resources, I thought I should post some of the book reviews I’ve done for prior blog projects, but never posted them here. This book review was written in 2014, thus when I refer to “new” research, know it was new in 2014

Book Review:

Insatiable Wives: Women who stray and the men who love them

By David J. Ley, PhD

Dr. Ley, a clinical psychologist, now famous for debunking the myth of sexual addiction, in this book explores the phenomenon of women who have sex with many men while married from a biological, anthropological, political and modern sociological lens. In this book, as in his new book The Myth of Sex Addiction, takes aim at his own field of clinical psychology for perpetuating sex-negative falsehoods with no scientific evidence to support them.

In this book, he takes on the premise that in couples where the woman is sexual with other men, there is something wrong with either the woman or the man (or both) that would cause them to abandon the “normal” life of monogamy. While not advocating for “negotiated non-monogamy” nor suggesting such arrangements are better than monogamy, he makes an excellent case that nothing is inherently wrong with the woman the man, or the relationship where the woman has sex with other men.

Between each chapter, there is an “interlude” describing a real couple’s experience in negotiated non-monogamy. These interludes put a human face on what many readers might have a difficult time grasping. In the text and interludes, he addresses all the different brands of non-monogamous relationships including swinging, hotwife, cuckolding, and polyamory in a way that I’ve never seen done by anyone else

In all the positive things I read, the chapter detailing how even in the 21st century the morality police are alive and well, often with the force of law behind them, are alive &well and still in the business of punishing sexual dissenters. It is sobering to read.

This is not an “academic” book, however it is replete with current research. Significantly he acknowledges the impact of the internet and treats the different online development of open marriage communities with respect and seems to understand the impact sites like this have on developing worlds of open marriages.

I read half of the book sitting at the pool at a swinger-friendly nude resort and as I would read portions, I’d pull friends aside and tell them what I’d read because time and time again he described exactly what my life is like and comes to the same conclusions that I had as to how I got there. It is exciting to read in a serious book that I’m not crazy for living this way and feeling this way.

For anyone who has a marriage where the wife is sexually active with others this book is a “must read.” It gives not only the words to explain and defend your lifestyle, it gives comfort to know you’re not alone. For those who are thinking about opening up your marriage, this is an invaluable resource of the breath of choices available. For social workers (as I was for so long), counselors, or other people in the helping profession, this book will help in working with couples who are not in monogamous relationships.

I will certainly be drawing from its pages in the future as I write for this blog.

Professor Polyamory, PhD

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Jun 17, 2023

This book gives important information about nonmonogamy, swinging, and polyamory. He goes into detail about the history of the cuckold in different societies. I love the quote from Stranger in a Strange Land: "‘There’s no need for you to covet my wife... love her! There’s no limit to her love, we all have everything to gain—and nothing to lose but fear and guilt and hatred and jealousy.’" (Heinlein, Robert A.. Stranger in a Strange Land.) I love how you did your own research while reading the book at a swinger-friendly nudist camp. I am looking forward to more reviews as I agree with you on the importance of this book.


Jun 12, 2023

There was a model who flirted very nicely with me. She recommended Leslie Feinberg's Transgender Warriors, but wouldn't loan it to me because it was the most important book she owned. After I read it, her fondness for this particular book puzzled me. It was before pronoun buttons, but she was "she," a mother whose nude body I had studied closely for more than a decade, and who had recently married a very masculine-seeming man. I asked her why this book meant so much to her. She explained to me, with exaggerated patience, that "I'm queer." This left me with more questions. Here, I think is the answer to the question, "In what way is Michelle queer?"

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