Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex

Overview

When it comes to sex, what do women want? In this eye-opening and courageous collection, Erica Jong reveals that every woman has her own answer.

Susan Cheever talks about the "excruciating hazards of casual sex," while Gail Collins recounts her Catholic upbringing in Cincinnati and the nuns who passionately forbade her from having "carnal relations." In "Everything Must Go," Jennifer Weiner explores how, in love, the body can play just as big a role as the heart. The ...

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Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write about Real Sex

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Overview

When it comes to sex, what do women want? In this eye-opening and courageous collection, Erica Jong reveals that every woman has her own answer.

Susan Cheever talks about the "excruciating hazards of casual sex," while Gail Collins recounts her Catholic upbringing in Cincinnati and the nuns who passionately forbade her from having "carnal relations." In "Everything Must Go," Jennifer Weiner explores how, in love, the body can play just as big a role as the heart. The octogenarians in Karen Abbott's sharp-eyed piece possess a passion that could give Betty White a run for her money. Molly Jong-Fast reflects on her unconventional upbringing and why a whole generation of young women has rejected "free love" in favor of Bugaboo strollers and Mommy-and-me yoga.

Sex, it turns out, can be as fleeting, heavy, mundane, and intense as the rest of life. Indeed, as Jong herself writes in her powerful introduction, "the truth is—sex is life."

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Editorial Reviews

Double XX - Slate
"Reading Sugar in My Bowl offers a rare opportunity to peer in on a breadth of intimate sexual experiences, a wide variety of motivations, and problems and desires you never knew existed-as well as the little thrill of stumbling upon a story that sounds like your own."
More Magazine
“[A] fierce, fearless collection.”
Interview
“Jong has crafted candid accounts of love and passion from renowned female writers into a sensual and sensitive read.”
NPR
“The women of this collection make the case that good sex is never exclusively about the act, but also about how you approach it.”
Interview
“Jong has crafted candid accounts of love and passion from renowned female writers into a sensual and sensitive read.”
Chicago Sun-Times
“[Sugar in My Bowl] runs the gamut from pornographic and hilarious to ironic and poignant. The result is a fun, quick, beach read, requiring as much or as little intellectual energy as the reader chooses to invest.”
The Daily
“You can take these women seriously, laugh, squirm, and put hand over mouth at their weird, exciting, uncomfortable, joyous tales of ardor, while still admiring the agility of their prose.”
Booklist
“Jong cast a broad net to bring together women writing about sex. The resulting anthology attests the wide range of female sexual experience.”
The Frisky
“’The Vagina Monologue’‘s Eve Ensler, New York Times columnist Gail Collins, and Jong’s own daughter, Molly Jong-Fast, all opened up about bumpin’ uglies for this scintillating book we couldn’t put down. Sugar In My Bowl may not be better than the big O, but it sure comes close.”
LargeHearted Boy Blog
“These pieces honestly and thoughtfully explore sex and its role in our society from a woman’s perspective, from its place in youth to the golden years....with Sugar in My Bowl Jong has curated a consistently eye-opening and thoroughly readable volume.”
Entertainment Realm
“The enticing, thoughtful Sugar in My Bowl proves to be a powerful exploration of women’s relationship to sex.”
Gender Across Borders
“This book is a Thanksgiving dinner in which each story is a dish more scrumptious, more touchingly homemade than the last. All are so very different, but together they comprise a joyous feast: [an] examination-cum-celebration of female sex and sexuality. A must-read.”
HerCircleEzine.com
“A refreshing and new contribution to literature about women’s sex lives.”
Slate Double XX
“Reading Sugar in My Bowl offers a rare opportunity to peer in on a breadth of intimate sexual experiences, a wide variety of motivations, and problems and desires you never knew existed-as well as the little thrill of stumbling upon a story that sounds like your own.”
Forbes
“Abundant with affairs, marriages, motherhood and our sexual sense of mortality it is a thoughtful read, a perfect aperitif on a summer evening. The stories penetrate a secret space in our brains we so often neglect: our sense of sexuality.”
Shelf Awareness
“Sugar in My Bowl is proof positive that women can write seriously about sex and live to tell. It represents a remarkable smorgasbord of experience and perspective, and there’s a dish here for everyone.”
Forbes
“Abundant with affairs, marriages, motherhood and our sexual sense of mortality it is a thoughtful read, a perfect aperitif on a summer evening. The stories penetrate a secret space in our brains we so often neglect: our sense of sexuality.”
Chicago Sun-Times
“[Sugar in My Bowl] runs the gamut from pornographic and hilarious to ironic and poignant. The result is a fun, quick, beach read, requiring as much or as little intellectual energy as the reader chooses to invest.”
NPR
“The women of this collection make the case that good sex is never exclusively about the act, but also about how you approach it.”
Booklist
“Jong cast a broad net to bring together women writing about sex. The resulting anthology attests the wide range of female sexual experience.”
Interview
“Jong has crafted candid accounts of love and passion from renowned female writers into a sensual and sensitive read.”
More Magazine
“[A] fierce, fearless collection.”
The Daily
“You can take these women seriously, laugh, squirm, and put hand over mouth at their weird, exciting, uncomfortable, joyous tales of ardor, while still admiring the agility of their prose.”
Shelf Awareness
“Sugar in My Bowl is proof positive that women can write seriously about sex and live to tell. It represents a remarkable smorgasbord of experience and perspective, and there’s a dish here for everyone.”
The Frisky
“’The Vagina Monologue’‘s Eve Ensler, New York Times columnist Gail Collins, and Jong’s own daughter, Molly Jong-Fast, all opened up about bumpin’ uglies for this scintillating book we couldn’t put down. Sugar In My Bowl may not be better than the big O, but it sure comes close.”
LargeHearted Boy Blog
“These pieces honestly and thoughtfully explore sex and its role in our society from a woman’s perspective, from its place in youth to the golden years....with Sugar in My Bowl Jong has curated a consistently eye-opening and thoroughly readable volume.”
Entertainment Realm
“The enticing, thoughtful Sugar in My Bowl proves to be a powerful exploration of women’s relationship to sex.”
Gender Across Borders
“This book is a Thanksgiving dinner in which each story is a dish more scrumptious, more touchingly homemade than the last. All are so very different, but together they comprise a joyous feast: [an] examination-cum-celebration of female sex and sexuality. A must-read.”
Slate Double XX
“Reading Sugar in My Bowl offers a rare opportunity to peer in on a breadth of intimate sexual experiences, a wide variety of motivations, and problems and desires you never knew existed-as well as the little thrill of stumbling upon a story that sounds like your own.”
HerCircleEzine.com
“A refreshing and new contribution to literature about women’s sex lives.”
Publishers Weekly
In this no-holds-barred collection of essays by "real women" about "real sex," Jong has assembled an eclectic group of authors: Fay Weldon's "My Best Friend's Boyfriend," about losing her virginity to her best friend's boyfriend at college not long after the end of WWII is witty and poignant; Eve Ensler pens a charming, rhythmic triologue in which three women muse longingly, and poetically, on their sexual pasts and fantasies ("Sometimes it's driving on the mad / Italian speedway at a thousand miles / Your face buried in his jeans"); Marisa Acocella Marchetto sketches a "Graphic Fantasy" about the adventures of a woman with a penis; gossip columnist Liz Smith divulges that her first cousin was the first man with whom she "went all the way"; Honor Moore writes a sexy, fragmented essay, spliced with quotes from the "taboo" Story of O: "...O tried to figure out why there was so much sweetness mingled with the terror in her, or why her terror seemed itself so sweet..." Early in the book, Susan Cheever muses that "sex tells the truth"; this collection is at its most profound when truth illuminates sex as a force in which these women found empowerment. (June)
Kirkus Reviews

Award-winning writer and high-flying sexual truth-teller Jong (Love Comes First, 2009, etc.) partners with 28 collaborators to create this fierce and refreshingly frank collection of personal essays, short fiction and cartoons celebrating female desire.

The approaches to the still-taboo topic of feminine sexuality—at least, for women writers seeking approbation from the literary establishment—are, as Jong notes, "as varied as sexuality itself" and as exuberantly diverse as the contributors themselves. They range from such emerging talents as Elisa Albert and J.A.K. Andres to such luminaries as Rebecca Walker, Eve Ensler, Susan Cheever, Anne Roiphe and Fay Weldon, and represent a multiethnic, multigenerational swath of some of the finest women writers in the United States. Most of the pieces deal with the perennial themes of sexual coming-of-age, social and religious sexual hang-ups and lusty obsessions for male bodies (as well as female ones). Some deal with lesser-discussed—but no less important—subjects like procreative sex and eroticism in old age. Still others fearlessly explore fetishism, childhood masturbation, kink, sexual addiction and the excitement that, in the words of Linda Gray Sexton, comes from "the offering up of one's body like a sacrifice upon the temple of the bed." While sex is the source of life and some of the most powerful joys—and agonies—imaginable, it is also invariably linked to death. And that, writes Jong, "is part of our discomfort with it." But the contributors to this collection never make sex facile. As they work against cultural expectations and literary double standards, they make women's depictions of "doing it" just another aspect of a more fully realized human consciousness.

A smart, scrumptiously sexy romp of a read.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062193223
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/26/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 788,313
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Erica Jong

Erica Jong is an award-winning poet, novelist, and essayist best known for her eight bestselling novels, including the international bestseller Fear of Flying. She is also the author of seven award-winning collections of poetry.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Erica Jong xi

A Fucking Miracle Elisa Albert 1

Worst Sex Gail Collins 8

Peekaboo I See You Anne Roiphe 15

Prude Jean Hanff Korelitz 20

Sex with a Stranger Susan Cheever 32

Everything Must Go: A Short Story Jennifer Weiner 38

Love Rollercoaster 1975 Susie Bright 48

Absolutely Dangerous Linda Gray Sexton 57

The One Who Breaks My Heart Rosemary Daniel 64

Do I Own You Now? Daphne Merkin 76

Let's Not Talk About Sex Julie Klam 83

My Best Friend's Boyfriend-Fay Weldon 90

The Diddler J. A. K. Andres 96

The Dignity Channel Jann Turner 106

Miss Honeypot Marries: A Short Story Barbara Victor 115

Best Sex Ever: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis Jessica Winter 125

Cock of My Dreams: A Graphic Fantasy Marisa Acocella Marchetto 131

Cramming It All In: A Satire Susan Kinsolving 137

Reticence and Fieldwork Min Jin Lee 139

My First Time, Twice Ariel Levy 149

Light Me Up Margot Magowan 154

Herman and Margot Karen Abbott 177

Somewhere I Have Never Traveled, Gladly Meghan O'Rourke 183

Skin, Just Skin: A Dramatic Triologue Eve Ensler 194

Reading of O Honor Moore 199

Going All the Way Liz Smith 205

The Man in Question Rebecca Walker 210

They Had Sex So I Didn't Have To Molly Jong-Fast 217

Kiss: A Short, Short Story Erica Jong 222

Acknowledgments 225

Contributors 226

About the Editor 237

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 26, 2011

    Disappointed

    I enjoyed reading this collection, but I expected more insight or candor than these stories and essays delivered. That being said, Jennifer Weiner's short story about a woman preparing for a double mastectomy and the saga of Callie's Cho Cho are phenomenal, and in a class by themselves!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted August 1, 2011

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    Posted January 8, 2012

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    Posted June 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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