Daniel Stern / Nero

Daniel Stern Swingland book review If there were ever any doubt truth is stranger than fiction, throw out your volumes of mummy porn and get a hold of Daniel Stern’s Swingland – a clear-eyed, frank journey through the society of swingers, an extraordinary subculture of those dedicated to casual and group sex. Swingers are prey to easy jokes, but who really knows anything of this lifestyle, its norms, vocabulary and habits? Stern puts his toe in the water before recounting his full, unstoppable slide into the lifestyle; this documentary narrative follows his transition from lonely heart to group stud, observing as both anthropologist and sexual anecdotist. Stern is by turns outrageous, tender, hilarious and humane. He is never in any doubt – our human condition is fundamentally absurd, and the lengths to which some people go to find sexual pleasure, enjoyment and adventure is full of pathos and dark humour. Stern couples, triples and group parties with everyone from young models to hip-replacement grandmothers, the latter grinding him so far beyond exhaustion he enters a Zen-like state of calm. A brilliantly told, funny and revealing journey through a subculture and its labyrinths of unabashed human desire.

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