.... more than anything else, it's Krantz's sincere and curious reckoning with the cultural messaging we all receive about gendered expectations and power dynamics in romantic and sexual relationships in general. How do we untangle those from our own desires? How do we differentiate between those desires and the things we think we should want, or that our partners want us to want? The highs and lows of a first non-monogamous relationship prove the perfect canvas on which to explore these fundamental questions ... Sex parties, swingers' meetups, and drug use are unapologetically rendered, but Krantz is no less forthcoming with her anxieties, fears, and attempts to understand what is going on in her primary relationship with Adam. Her vulnerability — along with the 20/20 hindsight she's able to bring to her younger self's emotional journey — is precisely why the memoir works so well. Her warm tone throughout, laced with sometimes rueful, sometimes tender humor, helps the reader trust that she's not working to gratuitously titillate, but to examine sexuality as a vital part of many people's lives that need not be cloaked in guilt, shame, or embarrassment (unless, of course, those are part of a person's kink).
Perversely, despite a whole book detailing how miserable she was, Krantz continues to toot the trumpet for polyamory, blaming her relationship rather than the idea ... Krantz seems to have neither emotional nor sexual boundaries; nor, for that matter, linguistic ones ... The book is a generic pick’n’mix of pop psychoanalysis, cultural criticism and the kind of diary entries a teenage girl writes on tear-stained pages. Krantz throws in allusions to academic works such as Sex at Dawn (a revisionist account of the evolutionary origins of human sexual behaviour); but other intellectual references include a feminist analysis of the Little Mermaid that she produced while high on magic mushrooms ... also includes an excellent X-rated glossary, ideal for the pervy logophile ... leaves you with the queasy feeling that even today polyamorous men get the better deal ... As well as struggling with its unrelenting and deliberately unedited style, I wasn’t persuaded by Krantz that polyamory is an easily achieved romantic utopia. So if you fancy more than one lover, I can’t help wondering whether good old-fashioned infidelity isn’t easier. At least then you don’t need a glossary.
... evocative ... Krantz sweeps readers into a narrative that seduces and educates in equal measure, but it can be difficult to parse her vulnerability from artifice, especially upon learning that Krantz 'obsessively documented' her relationships and made audio recordings of 'hours and hours, days and days' of sexual encounters after being approached to write this book. Nonetheless, this offers an alluring and insightful look at a life lived outside of conventional structures.