The Ethical Slut

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The Ethical Slut
The Ethical Slut (first edition).jpeg
Cover of the first edition
  • Dossie Easton
  • Catherine A. Liszt
Cover artistBrendan Husk
CountryUnited States
PublisherGreenery Press
Publication date
Media typePrint
306.73 22
LC ClassHQ980.5.U5 E27 1997

The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities is an English language non-fiction book by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy (given as pseudonym Catherine A. Liszt for the book's first edition in 1997).


The authors define the term slut as "a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you." The term is reclaimed from its usual use as a pejorative and as a simple label for a promiscuous person. Instead, it is used to signify a person who is accepting of their enjoyment of sex and the pleasure of physical intimacy with others, and chooses to engage and accept these in an ethical and open way—rather than as cheating.

The Ethical Slut discusses how to live an active life with multiple concurrent sexual relationships in a fair and honest way. Discussion topics include how to deal with the practical difficulties and opportunities in finding and keeping partners, maintaining relationships with others, and strategies for personal growth.

It contains chapters discussing how consensual non-monogamy is handled in different subcultures such as the gay and lesbian communities, information on handling scheduling, jealousy, communication, conflict in relationships, and etiquette for group sexual encounters.


An article in the January 31, 2007, issue of the East Bay Express reports that Moses Ma will be producing a movie adaptation of The Ethical Slut.[1] As of 2014, that project had not come to fruition.

In 2013, Ben Fritz (producer/director) raised funding privately and via Kickstarter to create an episodic web series inspired by the book with input from Easton and Hardy.[2] By 2016, four seasons of The Ethical Slut were released on YouTube[3] despite struggles for funding after the first season.[4][5] There are 50 episodes, ranging between 4 and 9 minutes. The series follows two female friends as they decide to explore open relationships with the aid of the helpful handbook, The Ethical Slut.

Play adaptation[edit]

Playwright John Sable's Multiple O, a play adaptation of The Ethical Slut, opened on May 2, 2008, at the Broom Street Theater.[6][7]

Further editions[edit]

Co-author Dossie Easton reported in May 2007 that Easton and Liszt were working on a second edition of the book, including more communication exercises and information about polyamory communities on the Internet.[8] It was published in March 2009 and is called The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures. A third edition was released in August 2017 entitled The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love.[9]

The third edition 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 non-binary gender language and new terms that have come into common usage since the last edition.[10]


The book has been translated and published in French in April 2013 under the title La Salope éthique: Guide pratique pour des relations libres sereines at Tabou Éditions.[11] It was also translated in 2013 into Spanish under the name Ética promiscua at Editorial Melusina.[12] In January 2014 an Italian translation was published by Odoya under the title La zoccola etica. Guida al poliamore, alle relazioni aperte e altre avventure.[13] In May 2014 the German translation at mvg Verlag was published under the title Schlampen mit Moral. Eine praktische Anleitung für Polyamorie, offene Beziehungen und andere Abenteuer.[14] In Russian the book has been translated and published in 2006 under the title Этика бл**ства.[15]


  1. ^ Rufus, Anneli (31 January 2007). "Sluts and Pork Buns". East Bay Express. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  2. ^ Fritz, Ben (9 May 2013). "Ethical Slut". Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  3. ^ Fritz, Ben (5 February 2014). "The Ethical Slut YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  4. ^ Fritz, Ben (8 May 2014). "The Ethical Slut, Season 2&3". Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  5. ^ Fritz, Ben (27 August 2014). "The Ethical Slut GoFund Me". GoFundMe. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Broom Street Theater's "Multiple O" in Madison". 7 June 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  7. ^ Minx, Cunning (4 May 2008). "Multiple O: a play based on The Ethical Slut". Polyamory Weekly. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  8. ^ Easton, Dossie. Interview. "Episode 110". Polyamory Weekly. By Cunning Minx. May 24, 2007. Quoted in "Upcoming Poly Books and Movie". Polyamory in the News. May 25, 2007.
  9. ^ "The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: Penguin Random House".
  10. ^ Noble, Barnes &. "The Ethical Slut, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Freedoms in Sex and Love". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2017-11-06.
  11. ^ Easton, Dossie; Hardy, Janet. "La Salope Éthique". (in French). Tabou. ISBN 9782915635768. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  12. ^ Easton, Dossie; Hardy, Janet W. (June 2013). "Ética promiscua". (in Spanish). Melusina. ISBN 978-84-96614-89-5. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  13. ^ Easton, Dossie; Janet, Hardy. "La Zoccola Etica". (in Italian). Odoya. ISBN 978-88-6288-205-7. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  14. ^ Easton, Dossie; Hardy, Janet. "Schlampen mit Moral". (in German). WVG Verlag. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  15. ^ "Досси Истон, Кэтрин А. Лист. Этика бл**ства".

External links[edit]