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Behind the Bedroom Door: Getting It, Giving It, Loving It, Missing It Hardcover – December 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385341547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385341547
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Journalist Derrow has selected essays that explore the wealth and variety of female sexual experience, making for a gender-transcending tale of sex lives that manages to be philosophical, poignant—and a great bit of naughty fun. From Hope Edelman's essay on her first love, who helped her cope with her mother's struggle with breast cancer, in The Sweetest Sex I Never Had, to Lauren Slater's joyful paean to married celibacy, Julie Powell's frank recollection of cheating on her husband with a man who fulfills her masochistic fantasies, these stories are private and fraught, frank and self-aware. The women represented are old and young; lesbian, bisexual and straight. They draw attention to the special way sex evolves for women (as in Pari Chang's essay on sex during pregnancy); their experience is so varied that it is likely readers will recognize their own untold stories and sexual selves in this collection. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“A collection of smart, steamy, and incredibly honest essays about sex by women writers.”—Redbook magazine

“The 26 writers included here . . . make a compelling case for the argument that even when we wish it weren’t so, the role sex plays in one’s life is both too complex and too fundamental to be easily classified . . ..Though the authors’ confessed desires and stories are often illuminating and hilarious, the anthology is most fascinating for all of the contradictions it lays bare…the range of voices makes [the anthology] successful.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Editor Paula Derrow knew what she was doing….Because so much in this book is so personal, I wager the reader’s experience will be personal too….I hope this anthology and its many fine sisters become a door to a more extended experience for all.”—Los Angeles Times

“It is likely readers will recognize their own untold stories and sexual selves…. [In] selected essays that explore the wealth and variety of female sexual experience, making for a gender-transcending tale of sex lives that manages to be philosophical, poignant—and a great bit of naughty fun.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Editor Paula Derrow knew what she was doing—depth, variety and intensity of personal revelation was clearly something she valued."—Los Angeles Times

"The range of voices makes it successful."—San Francisco Chronicle

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 14 customer reviews
So I didn't know what to expect when I started to read this book.
Arthur Rimbaud
I was very entertained by it & would read it again if I hadn't already passed it along to my best friend!
Bean
Some love fleeting and some passion everlasting, but all sweet and all beautifully shared.
H. Isaacson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joyce G. on January 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved reading this book.As a 71 year old grandmother, I did not expect to relate to the authors of these essays. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did. This is a book women and men all ages will enjoy.

Joyce G.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Rimbaud on January 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
OK. So I didn't know what to expect when I started to read this book. I was expecting something more erotic, but instead found it incredibly insightful. Each essay is written by a different author, in a different situation, and at a different point in her life (emotionally, maritally, age-wise, etc.). What brings them together is great writing, and remarkable honesty.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. Isaacson on January 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sex and love and making love are slightly "risque" topics, not generally written about so openly in contemporary literature. Through the essays of 26 very talented female writers/thinkers, we are given front seats to their intimate sexual experiences.

There is something here for everyone. Shared stories, challenges, passions and troubles. We hear stories of love affairs, one night stands, entertaining afternoons, and daydreams that really occurred! There is sex and passion, but, equally as important, compassion and love. Some love fleeting and some passion everlasting, but all sweet and all beautifully shared.

This book may not be for prudes, but such opinions are best left to other readers to discuss and comment on.

This is a wonderful book to read and reread. After a few reads, one can keep on their bed stand and select chapters for rereading based on one's own needs, moods, and current experiences.

Highly recommended to enjoy and share with girlfriends!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Griffin Jr. on February 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am an over-the-hill, 61-year-old male, and even I was entranced, entertained, and educated by Paula Derrow's brilliant anthology "Behind the Bedroom Door." The stories of real women seeking sex and love are alternately hilarious, sad, uplifting, and heart-rending. The stories are graphic (I admit to a degree of prurient interest), as you would expect given the subject matter.

I had no idea of the agony and ecstasy that women experience in the never-ending search for lasting love and dynamite sex. The 26 women contributors write brilliantly and Ms. Derrow's editing is top-notch. "Behind the Bedroom Door" is a must-read for both women and men. I wish it would have been available 40 years ago during my prime. Don't miss this one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Howard T on March 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
...sorry, could not help myself.

What strikes me about this book is the honesty,,, sometimes painful honesty that all the writers use in telling their stories. WOW... this book is full of straight from the heart stories that are EXTREAMLY personnel.

They all go full open kimono on their history. Some are funny, some are sad, some are madding, ( what were they thinking???? ) but they were all well worth reading.

I do think this is a topic that benefits from having honest, open discussion. We all wonder what is going on in others peoples lives and how we compare. While I'm not sure that any of these stories falls into what I would have called main stream, having now read the book, I begin to wonder, is there a main stream when it comes to sex/love/lust/romance? Or maybe the better question is, should there be.

4 stars for making me ask those questions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Ackerman on September 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
All the essays in this collection of women's sexual autobiographies, which uniformly pack an enormous amount of self-disclosure into a handful of pages, are extremely well written. If you look at the `About the Author' section at the end of the book -- something I'd strongly to encourage you to do as you read along -- you'll see that the essayists are professionally successful writers. Their prose is, at a minimum, crisp and sometimes creative and dazzling. So if you were in the mood for essays and didn't care what you read as long as it was good, you could do far worse than read this collection.

The similarities in the background of the writers, however, creates some unfortunate similarities in the essays, which, on the surface, are profoundly diverse: toys, one-night stands, decades of monogamy, coercion (as a playful fantasy and a demoralizing reality), body image concerns, etc. Despite this range, the professional success of the authors seems to stamp them all with a particular brand of self-confidence even when they're describing how they literally really screwed up. The genre seems to demand that they all find a happy ending for themselves.

Likewise, there is a troubling degree of self-absorption in most of the essays. It reminds me of the old feminist critique of men objectifying women. Well, the lovers here (who are men except for in a few essays) are largely cardboard cut-outs. What happens to them tends to simply be collateral damage on journeys of sexual exploration (or disinterest). It's tough to swallow how little they seem to care. One of the few exceptions: "Like a preschooler who believes that teachers sleep at school at night, it was hard for me to imagine that boys had regular lives when they stepped outside my range of vision.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joan Price on December 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Behind the Bedroom Door: Getting It, Giving It, Loving It, Missing It, ed. Paula Derrow, present 26 candid, often funny essays about sexual urges, preferences, experiences, longings, and embarrassments from women writers. Many are our age, reflecting on past experiences or celebrating current ones.

Some of these essays are sweet, like Hope Edelman's memory of 15-year-old sex ("Two people touching each other in all the right places, because there were no wrong places then, doing it for no reason other than it felt good and to keep doing it felt even better."). Some are full of erotic discovery, energy, self-assertion. Some may disturb you, like Abby Sher's essay about anorexia, cutting and a lover helpless to stop either, and Julie Powell's essay about her need for rough sex ("D was a perceptive lover, perceptive enough to know before I did that I wanted him to hit me, control me, hurt me.") All are powerfully written.

Joan Price
Author of Better Than I Ever Expected: Straight Talk About Sex After Sixty
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