The average rating for Sex for America: Politically Inspired Erotica based on 2 reviews is 2 stars.
|Review # 1 was written on 2008-03-03 00:00:00|
"Sex for America" explores the intersection of our desires and our political beliefs, and how the two are irrevocably connected. One of those sentences that sounds OK, provided you don't stop to ask yourself what it might actually mean. Based on the relatively lame collection of "erotica" in this book, the meaning seems to be that some people find politics a turn-on. As a unifying concept, it's pretty lame, and one can only imagine the meeting of minds which came up with the idea that this book would satisfy some unfilled need. A few (3 to be exact) of the 24 pieces in this collection are funny. Who could resist a story which begins "I did not mean to sodomize Dick Cheney", and proceeds to make the case that the infamous hunting accident was actually the result of a lover's tiff? But the majority suffer from the particularly excruciating dullness that arises when the author is swept up in his or her own imagined brilliance. Newsflash: poking fun at Republicans for their hypocrisy on the topic of sex is not guaranteed to make the reader guffaw - it's only amusing if done with some semblance of wit. Sadly, wit is in very short supply in these pieces. To add insult to injury, none of these stories is even remotely erotic. Which raises an obvious question: there is already an apparently infinite supply of embarrassingly dreadful sex scenes out there - how could anybody think that adding a fresh batch would be worthwhile? Or even justifiable? Did nobody alert the contributors to this volume to the fact that poorly-written, pedestrian, sex scenes do not acquire some kind of magical luster just because the participants are campaign workers? Three moderately witty pieces out of 24 seems like a lousy batting average to me. However, I do have the consolation of having paid only 10 cents for this book. I could list the contributing authors, but it seems kinder not to.
|Review # 2 was written on 2011-05-18 00:00:00|
Let's get one thing out of the way up front ' this is not erotica. Despite what the title implies, most of the sex in this book is no more plentiful or explicit than many "regular" novels I've read. In more than one instance, the sex relies too much on violence, and unless you get off on that, there is little satisfying material. By deeming the stories "politically inspired," I suppose the argument could be made that each story explore the way in which the last Bush administration did seem to get off on violence, and how that encouraged some parts of the country to vocally agree. However, just because the US has been at war since 2001 does not mean I enjoyed reading about it as sexual allegory. Stories like "Escape and Evasion" by Anthony Swofford, in which a solider begins drugging and raping his fellow troops, have little to do with what I would consider erotica. Even within the S&M subset, there is implied consent. "Escape and Evasion" is little more than brutality and mental illness. While short stories deal with those theme all the time, my issue is with its inclusion in this particular book. Rape fantasies are not hot; I don't care who you are. The problem is, Elliott's selections are not compatible with one another. A loose political theme does not a tidy collection make. A funny story about sleeping with Dick Cheney ("Li'l Dickens" by Jerry Stahl) is incongruous with a sexless letter regarding a lesbian breakup ( "Undone" by Daphne Gottlieb). "Measure A, B, or Me?" by Alison Tyler and "The Canidate's Wife" by James Frey are some of the few stories that contain what I would expect from politically-inspired erotica. In "The Canidate's Wife" is your standard "mysterious woman in a bar" story, but it works quite well. "Measure A, B, or Me?" has a couple working the phones for a Democratic canidate, and they begin to imagine how a split-party household might try to convince the other side to vote their way. However, my favorite story in the collection is Nick Flynn's "A Crystal Formed Entirely of Holes." Set in an alternate late-00s, people discover that they can have "crystals" implanted in their bodies, replacing that particular area of skin. These crystals act as new pleasure centers when touched, and soon people forming addictions to having new holes punched. While the frisky business is not even all that present, it's still a damn good story. See, it's not as though I picked up this book, thinking, "Yes! I'm going to read me some erotica!" No, I had heard of many of the authors and was intrigued by the supposed theme, and I expected to stay more interested. Whether there is lots of flesh or not, I want to keep reading. Nick Flynn wrote something interesting. Look, if a book has "Sex" in the title, I don't want to be bored. And while I was not always bored, and a couple of the stories were indeed a bit hot, this collection was mostly a miss for me. (Full review can be found on Glorified Love Letters.)
CAN'T FIND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR? CLICK HERE!!!