The Sex & Love Handbook

by Kris Heinlein

reviewed by Lippy Imp on Thu 15 Dec 2005

I’ll admit it: I couldn’t finish this book. I tried, really I did. However, the writing in it is just too challenging, which may be fine for a novel, but spells doom for a how-to book. Co-authored by a polyamorous couple who are very passionate about the subject, The Sex and Love Handbook is a labor of love that is ultimately undone by its self-important tone and its tendency to sprawl into longwinded rants.

The worst part is that I really wanted to like this book. It is self-published, and I tend to want only the best for the D.I.Y. underdog. However, The Sex and Love Handbook, devoted to all things multi-partner sexual, is in dire need of an editor at the very least. The authors, namesakes (but nothing more, they begrudgingly admit) of sci-fi legend Robert Heinlein, are certainly knowledgeable about polyamory. If anything, they’re too knowledgeable, too anxious to show off how well versed they are in the subject. Unfortunately, the writing quality is not good enough to support the writers’ egos and quickly buckles under the weight. I can forgive the ugly cover, the direct-from-Microsoft Word-layout, even the oppressive frequency with which they reference Robert Heinlein, but I cannot let them off the hook for a writing style that alienates the reader.

The Sex & Love Handbook by Kris Heinlein
Available at Amazon.com
Do Things Records & Publishing, July 2004, 284 pages