The Best American Sex Writing 2004

The Best American Sex Writing 2004

by Daniel O'Connor
     
 

Just in time for summer beach reading, this annual compendium of the most entertaining and provocative writing on this intermittently interesting (every twenty seconds) subject freewheelingly incorporates essay, journalism, fiction, advice column, lecture, speech, book excerpt, transcript, letter, blog—all the ways we write about sex now. But is there really

Overview

Just in time for summer beach reading, this annual compendium of the most entertaining and provocative writing on this intermittently interesting (every twenty seconds) subject freewheelingly incorporates essay, journalism, fiction, advice column, lecture, speech, book excerpt, transcript, letter, blog—all the ways we write about sex now. But is there really anything left to say about it? Some of America's funniest, best informed, most adventurous writers answer with a Molly Bloom's worth of Yesses. Is monogamy genetically determined? Are all strippers sexually abused man-haters? What really happens inside America's legalized brothels or Manhattan's priciest escort services? How many orgasms are too many? From the strippers of Portland to sex advice for Catholic girls, The Best American Sex Writing tackles the stuff being left out of today's "sex education" classes—in other words, just about everything. Fortunately, no book on sex can make you an expert, but The Best American Sex Writing can whet your appetite for the real thing—and still leave you satisfied. Writings include selections from Dan Savage, Susie Bright, Chuck Palahniuk, Denis Cooper, Amy Sohn, Tracy Quan, Bert Archer, Tristan Taormino, Cara Bruce, Jonathan Ames, Carol Queen, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Matt Ridley, Lily Burana, Melinda Anderson, Kathleen Murray, and others.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The publisher extols this inaugural volume in a new series as arriving "just in time for summer beach reading," and while it may provide an amusing break for liberal policy wonks, erotica it ain't. Instead, editor Savage, author of the nationally syndicated column "Savage Love," has compiled articles on genetics, prostitution, pornography, AIDS, and homosexuality, mainly from mainstream publications, with a few speech transcripts and blog entries thrown in for comprehensiveness. While the book won't appeal to politically and morally conservative patrons, the articles cover a broad spectrum of viewpoints. There's no doubt that many are interesting-Benoit Denizet-Lewis's "Double Lives on the Down Low" about a subculture of black men who have sex with other men but don't consider themselves homosexual and Roger Scruton's "The Moral Birds and Bees," an argument for traditional morality. An interesting option for larger public libraries.-Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, WA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Is sex dead? There may be the naughty bit or two here, but the collection is surprisingly-perhaps distressingly-chaste: This isn't really "sex writing," but "writing about sex," a kissing cousin of dancing about architecture. Syndicated columnist Savage performs one unthinkable, or at least deeply unseemly, act: He includes a 40-page hunk of his Skipping Towards Gomorrah (2002) in violation of nearly every word in this book's title. (It's not great, though that isn't to say the piece is without its merits; we can forgive anyone who writes, "I didn't go to New York City simply to sin and to defy Osama bin Laden and his Islamo-fascist pals. I was also in New York because Jerry Falwell pisses me off.") Elsewhere, two dozen writers and journalists, from stalwarts like Erica Jong to newcomers like Cole Kazdin, weigh in on the sociology of sex. Naomi Wolf sagely examines what pornography does to women, which seems less to dehumanize them than to make them uninteresting: "By the new millennium, a vagina-which, by the way, used to have a pretty high 'exchange value,' as Marxist economists would say-wasn't enough; it barely registered on the thrill scale." It does the same to men, too; Christopher O'Brien's Wired article on would-be cyberporn king Gary Kremen is a masterwork of reportage on the evil of banality, while Alessandro Camon, writing in Salon.com, ponders the influence of imagination-stifling smut on the twisted puppies who committed the atrocities in Iraq's most infamous prison: "The president and his inner circle said, 'This is not the America that we know,'" Camon observes. "But it is. The pictures from Abu Ghraib are American 'gonzo porn.' They reek of frat-house hazing and ganginitiation rituals." Technology-enslaved, boring, all-American: this is pretty dispiriting stuff. Thank goodness Erica Jong is there to remind readers, in closing, that "wild passionate sex exists." Even without a credit card and a mouse.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560255987
Publisher:
Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date:
07/10/2004
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.75(d)

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