Behind the Bedroom Door: Getting It, Giving It, Loving It, Missing It

Edited by PAULA DERROW

The roster of contributors to Paula Derrow’s collection of tales about sex, relationships, and the many things in between is impressive for its intellect and sass. Here you will find women who say what you and yours have only thought, who use writerly metaphors to depict the tangles of being female, being a mother, being a lesbian, being young, being old, and, in all cases, being boldly vulnerable. Susan Cheever, Hope Edelman, and Lauren Slater are among the willing — those who reveal their tastes and shortcomings through punchy stories. Cheever writes in praise of one-night stands, Edelman reflects on her teenage love affair with a bad boy turned groveling cheater, and Slater justifies sexless marriage. Reminiscent of the 2003 Bitch in the House anthology, Behind the Bedroom Door is every bit as scintillating, if not deliberately more sex-obsessed. What?s most impressive is the candor that these women muster — here are respected teachers, authors, and parents who tell their secrets as though their kids will never lay eyes on their tell-alls, who unabashedly relate the quirks of their husbands and lovers. But then again, what appears foolhardy may be just another act of modern living. Their kids and lovers will find out, or be shown again, that the women they love crave more, have qualms, and revel in their mistakes as much as their independence. This is a fun, helpful read for “ladies” of all ages, and for men who seek to understand.

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