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The Sexual State of the Union Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (March 24, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684838508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684838502
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 3.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,226,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Susie Bright is a sexual liberationist of the highest order. The Sexual State of the Union includes essays about dirty pictures and porn, lesbian marriage and lesbian murder, lesbian men and switching genders, vibrators, and the longevity of feminism. The writing is crisp, intelligent, and provocative; there is sure to be something that will make you cheer as well as something that will deeply offend you. Much of Bright's writing is personal, based on conversations and relationships with queer friends of different genders and sexualities. One of her most impressive strengths is her ability to forthrightly ask obvious questions--Why did you want to change your gender? Why do you want to be hurt?--without presupposing either judgement or an answer. Bright's mind is open and fertile, curious, and eager.

From Library Journal

Famous lesbian and "sexpert" Bright, editor of On Our Backs magazine and books like Best American Erotica (LJ 9/15/93), has put together a set of disparate essays on disparate topics, bouncing from censorship to cybersex to motherhood to S&M and back again. This would be fine except that the essays are also uneven in tone; some are thoughtful reminiscences about her experiences, both sexual and not; some are insightful analyses showing that people of both sexes and all ages need sex education; and one is just a list of questions asked by college students. Despite the irregularity of her writing, Bright's unvarnished truthfulness shines through. She obviously wants readers to understand where she's coming from and what she has experienced. Recommended for most public libraries because of Bright's popularity and candor, this also deserves a space in academic women's studies collections.
-?Pamela A. Matthews, Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This thought provoking and sometimes shocking book came highly recommended and I pass on the same sentiments. Though always interested in expanding my consciousness, I was little prepared for the giant leap I would take with each page. Susie Bright speaks intelligently from personal experience about such topics as pornography, gender, and sexuality. She provides the reader with radical yet believable interpretations that make you want to go out and explore for yourself. She brings together the human experience to which we are born, with the secret desires and fantasies we all possess, slowly unveiling the masks we hide behind. A must read if you are ready to explore your own sexual identity and biases.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Seaman on October 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book was interesting, provocative, in some places well-researched and in some places utterly fluffy. Don't get me wrong. I Love Susie Bright. I just felt like it needed more editing to make it a more cohesive piece.

But the writing is excellent, and what could possibly be more interesting as subject matter? It was fun, and her conversation with a trans friend will certainly shake up a few readers (I couldn't decide if she was being insightful or wildly insensitive).

Recommended further reading: For a solid, well-researched history of sex in America this century, read Heidenry's "What Wild Ecstasy: The Rise and Fall of the Sexual Revolution". For utter provocative gall, amazing insight and some very surprising facts, read Levine's "Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children From Sex". Both of these were riveting, less fluffy and better edited than "Sexual State of the Union". But they all seem to speak from the same base: a fundamental understanding of the importance of both sex and free speech in our society.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amy O on February 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Susie Bright's, The Sexual State of the Union is an ideal combination of sexual politics, and personal experience intertwined within each other. Unlike many other books that deal with sexual politics, Bright is not trying to lecture or persuade her audience, she just tells it like it is from her eyes. Her opinions are evident and she does a good job of introducing a political topic and describing how exactly this not only had an effect on our country but also how it affected Bright and her friends personally. It differs from other personal memoirs in that she brings up wider issues that were taking place in the country throughout her life time and not always makes it personal, even though the personal segments are very entertaining to read. They are informative and give advice to the younger generation and shows that even though times are different, relationship and sexual questions are forever existent. This is the type of book that anyone can pick up and read and even if they don't agree with Susie's opinions, her stories are interesting and and lined with humor most of the time. It is evident that Bright, while a firm believer in her politics, has a great sense of humor and really enjoys reaching out to her audience and pushing them to think about topics they would not have otherwise come across. Sexuality in any form is extremely taboo in the United States and Susie uncovers reasons for this and the effects this has on different pockets of our society.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Stumpf on November 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
The first half of this book is an excellent and frank discussion of sexual and gendered politics in America, punctuated by the authors real life experiances. Witty and insightful, it asks the classic question: Why are Americans so sexually screwed up, and what can we do to fix it? It's also a book pointedly aimed at debunking certain right wing Christian sexual myths, and does a wonderful job of that.
However, towards the end of the book (last chapter or two) she talks about being a lesbian and friends with transexuals, it seems that she is speaking too much about her own experiances, and she isn't trying them into any broader concept. While her experiances are interesting, the title of the book is "Sexual State of the Union", so one expects a little more discourse on how her experiances relate to America on a whole.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Terrific, funny, and irreverant
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