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Full Exposure: Opening Up to Sexual Creativity and Erotic Expression [Paperback]

Susie Bright
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 22, 2000

Hailed by Utne Reader as "a visionary" and the San Francisco Chronicle as "the X-rated" intellectual," Susie Bright is indiputably the sexpert of our times.Now, in a frank and intimate look at our own erotic experience, she reveals the ways in which individual sexual expression has the power to inspire, challenge, and transform all of our lives. Bright explores some of the most complex questions about sexuality todaym including:

  • What are the real differences between men's and women's sense of the erotic?
  • Why is it so threatening to conscioulsy address sexual desire?
  • Is there a line to be drawn in erotic creativity-can you go so far?
  • How can articulate erotic expression make us better lovers, more important, better people?

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In previous books such as The Sexual State of the Union, Susie Bright has told us about the way things are, and while she continues that mission in Full Exposure, she also presents an inspiring vision of the way things could be. This is far more than a self-help book; it's a blueprint for cultural revolution, focused on the liberation of our erotic expression and, as she puts it, "the creativity it demands, the challenges of sexual candor, and the rewards of coming clean about desire." The personal is always political, goes the adage, but whether she's making readers smile with a reminiscence of her first orgasm (during a fantasy in which she imagined herself as Barbara "Agent 99" Feldon) or evoking our concern over a bomb threat at one of her college lectures, Bright reminds us that the personal is always personal as well. Along the way, she tears down the false barriers between porn and erotica, counsels parents on how to negotiate the line between sexual honesty with their children and mutual privacy, and shows us again and again that gender and desire are never as simplistic as moral and cultural watchdogs would have us believe. "Girls can be women with real sexual appetites," she writes. "Men can be love-bunnies and still have raging hard-ons." Bright also includes a 17-step "sexual manifesto" aimed at enabling readers to reclaim their erotic identities and express desire on their own terms. Very few people are writing about sexuality as honestly and as well as Susie Bright--if you care at all about the subject, you owe it to yourself to read Full Exposure. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A chronicler of U.S. sexual mores (The Sexual State of the Union) as well as one of the most prodigious anthologizers of American erotica (in both the Herotica and Best American Erotica series), Bright tackles the complicated question of "sexual creativity" and "the personal meaning of erotic expression." Moving beyond prescriptive diagrams and techniques in her approach to sexual liberation, she urges readers to recognize how the erotic surrounds us in art, music, cooking and writing, noting that "sexual creativity stems from making something of lifeAinstead of being made over." In 20 short chapters, she discusses such topics as how talking about sex makes it easier to tap into the erotic; the difference between pornography and erotica; how the sexual revolution of the 1960s failed; the sexual epiphanies that celibacy can bring; and the paradoxes of and necessity for sexual ethics. The most refreshing aspect of Bright's breezy, no-holds-barred style is the way she addresses sexual feelings and actions in plain English without embarrassment. In a happy union of form and content, her sexual openness sounds as all-American as a high-school pep rally, yet feels as seductively transgressive as Monica Lewinsky giving tips on political social advancement to a group of novices. But in the end, the constant, feel-good sex chat ends up avoiding or minimizing more complicated sexual and emotional issues and may seem repetitive to those familiar with her message. Agent, Jo Lynne Worley. 10-city author tour; 15-city radio campaign. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (August 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062515918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062515919
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,550,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erotic Reality -- Telling it like it is. August 28, 1999
Susie Bright tells us what we know in our hearts to be true, about sex, truth, and living with both.
Full Exposure is Bright addressing so many of the questions we all struggle with, every day: What do I want, how do I know? How do I tell someone else? What if they don't like it? How do I get it? Am I attractive? Am I afraid? Am I Good? and on and on. She addresses these questions coming straight from reality -- expect no fluffy simple answers here, for example, here is Bright talking about talking with kids about sex:
---------start quote-----------
My daughter and I were watching TV the other day, and a scene came on where a boy tries to kiss a girl, and she protests, pushing him away. "They always do that," Aretha said. "Why does the girl always push the kisser away?" And I knew what the next question was, because she also sees how that same darn girl ends up kissing that same boy in the end. Now I had my whole little spiel lined up, and I was ready to go about how sexist most movies are, and how women are always played for virgin fools or whorish demons. But Aretha's question was so deep, deeper than my Hollywood critique. What do I want to tell her about being a woman, and about what women want from sex? I realize that I want her to know, right off the bat, that I'm still answering that question for myself.
-------------end quote---------
At the end of the book is a chapter offering a series of, well sort of "thought experiments". I can't wait to try out the ones I haven't done yet.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Susie Bright lite August 1, 2000
I like Susie Bright. She's cute, she's fun, she's fairly sharp, and her heart's in the right place.
It's hard to recall that once upon a time Bright was a sexual radical: Look, she's the lesbian co-founder of the in-your-face, pro-pornography sex magazine, "On Our Backs"! No, wait, she's bisexual! Say, isn't that her editing annual collections of erotica? Omigod, she's relating a sex fantasy about Dan Quayle! Today, with a steady male partner (in an open relationship) and a daughter about to enter her teens, Bright comes across almost matronly.
It takes an essay like the one in this book about a bomb threat called in before one of her lectures to remind her of what's at stake and inspire some thoughtful writing, and to remind us all that large portions of the country still find someone like Susie Bright a threat.
Unfortunately, with most of this book she's largely treading water. As other reviewers have noted, she seems to have said most of what she has to say. And at 163 pages, this volume comes in a little slim at the price. Newcomers to her may enjoy _Full Exposure_, but for harder, faster Susie, I'd go for _Susie Sexpert's Lesbian Sex World_ or _The Sexual State of the Union_.
And after that, head for the even spicier pastures of Pat Califia's _Public Sex_.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roll Your Own Sexual Revolution! January 17, 2002
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found in Full Exposure a wonderful, sex-positive volume, melding philosophy, apologetics, and personal anecdotes. I enjoy Susie Bright's casting the burden of proof onto the naysayers, requiring that the repressed and the frightened justify their censorious dogma. And when they try, she shoots them down, like beer cans lined up on the back fence.
She does, after all, write about (a fantasy of) making love to Dan Quayle ... reading that was the most I'd ever appreciated the man--and this leads to one of her _dogmas_: "Assume everybody is sexual."
This is not a heavyweight philosophical deconstruction of the sexual attitudes of western society, but it is a nice guerilla attack on the sexual terrorism embedded in our culture. Susie encourages the readers to roll their own sexual manifestos, to question the manipulative & schizophrenic messages that we receive about sexuality, sensuality, and our bodies from the culture around us.
A wonderful book to read if you're engaged in sexual liberation, whether from a sex-hating religion or from the commercial cooption of sexuality that constantly bombards us. A great starting point for your own sexual revolution!
(If you'd like to discuss this review or book in more depth, please click on the "about me" link above & send me an email. Thanks!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Susie Bright book. :) January 16, 2003
By Leeann
This was my first Susie Bright book, as it was the only one I could find at the bookstore near my house. It didn't look as appealing as her others I'd heard of, but, if this is her worst, she's doing really well! Bright deals openly, honestly, and often humorously, with a subject others can be far, far too closeted about: sexuality. How our creative sexual energy is present in everything we do, and the negative effects of denying that simple fact, are both dealt with eloquently.
At points, however, I felt like I was just being told things I already know. Still, isn't that a good feeling, when you see your thoughts & opinions validated in print by someone who has managed to publish them? And I can't say I'd already thought about everything she discussed, so there was still some educational value. Bright managed to ask a lot of thought-provoking questions that, if you try hard to honestly answer them, could change the way you look at the world.
All in all, _Full Exposure_ was a quick, fun, witty, smart, thought-provoking read. I'd definitely recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Absolutely boring read. I tried to read through it all, but didn't make it to the end.
Published 6 months ago by Jylie
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
She has said things in this book I've always thought but never could properly express. Not many are so bold about acknowledging the sexuality in everyday life.
Published 20 months ago by Angela
5.0 out of 5 stars This book changed my life
Changed my life? Yes, I think so. Cheesy thing to say, I know. But it is true I think. First read about this title in a review in Playboy as I recall. Read more
Published on May 11, 2013 by Dan E. Nicholas
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I like Susie Bright and wanted to enjoy this book but it's just an aimless collection of rants. A few interesting tidbits hidden in the rough but not worth digging for. Read more
Published on December 3, 2012 by K. Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Susie Bright book
In Full Exposure, Susie Bright talks about the emotional growth of sex, love and creativity. She talks about how she felt in high school: wanting lovers but feeling she had to be... Read more
Published on June 13, 2011 by Kate Chopin
5.0 out of 5 stars It's almost like she is talking directly to you
Susie's conversational style in this book makes it seem like she is speaking directly to the reader. Read more
Published on March 17, 2009 by Charles Contant
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful essays for maturing and aging sex positive feminists
Let me say up front that I have enjoyed everything Bright has written. This book is a collection of essays that deal with gender, sex, sexuality, being a parent, privacy, and more. Read more
Published on December 25, 2005 by Julia Starkey
2.0 out of 5 stars Title is rather deceiving
So, I bought this book thinking I was going to learn how to "open up to sexual creativity and erotic expression" but mostly what I got was "The World According to Susie. Read more
Published on February 13, 2005 by Angela Buonfiglio
5.0 out of 5 stars Healthly Attitude
A very interesting author wrote this book. She significantly points out how we do limit our sexuality and how we can expand our thinking of our own sexual beings and this is... Read more
Published on April 30, 2001 by "intentaccess"
5.0 out of 5 stars Healthly Attitude
A very interesting author wrote this book. She significantly points out how we do limit our sexuality and how we can expand our thinking of our own sexual beings and this is... Read more
Published on April 30, 2001 by "intentaccess"
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More About the Author

I'm an author, editor, publisher, performer, sex and culture critic.

I'm Editor-at-Large at Audible, acquiring and producing audiobooks from favorite titles on my bookshelf.

I live in Santa Cruz, CA.

My blog is: http://susiebright.com

My weekly show on Audible:
"In Bed With Susie Bright": http://www.audible.com/susiebright

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