Housewife's Handbook on Selective Promiscuity

The title is provocative, but inescapably. Maxine Serett's book (published under the pseudonym Rey Anthony) addresses tensions between norms and creativity. It's a memoir embracing sexual topics often shied from, and thoughts on relationships and American culture in the mid 1900s.

The author's freedom of thought is enlightening. Among other things, she was married several times and according to custom, took her husband's name each time, which impressed upon her the plasticity of names. She went on to change her name freely. I see her as an every-person, but via polynymity rather than anonymity.

She describes sexual abuse and the experience of not being believed; the dichotomy in childhood of innocent sexual exploration and allowable expression among adults; birth control, abortion and her experiences being pregnant and giving birth; discovering sexual pleasure and communicating needs to partners; breaking up, finding new relationships, divorcing and reuniting; surviving as a single parent and finding support. She argues persuasively that sexuality is a form of communication and a mode of sharing humans are drawn to as social creatures.

I am inspired by her honesty, purity and intellect. I felt more normal after reading this book and think more people should read it.


Thoughts? Suggestions? Hit me up @erikeldridge


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