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Pornology: Noun--1: A Good Girl's Guide to Porn; 2: The misadventures of the world's first anthroPORNologist; 3: A Hilarious Exploration of Men, Relationships, and Sex Paperback – Bargain Price, April 3, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Carrillo-Gailey is just the latest in a decade-long string of women writers (e.g., Lisa Palac and her 1997 memoir, The Edge of the Bed, for starters) to run with the idea that "good girls" don't need to be afraid of pornography. The concept isn't particularly original, and neither is its execution. After a boyfriend accuses her of being "pornophobic," the Los Angeles screenwriter picks up some erotica in a bookshop, begins masturbating, then breaks up with the boyfriend after a misguided visit to a strip club. The story of how she finds, loses and recaptures her next lover unfolds through a series of implausible anecdotes (beginning with an awkward encounter at Hustler's sex toy shop) populated by a sitcom-perfect cast of supporting characters, including the promiscuous best friend, the gay buddy—even a nearsighted Chinese mother prone to comic malapropisms. Carrillo-Gailey insists all the porn-related material is true, but concedes that some situations have been "altered for dramatic purposes," and the increasingly outlandish nature of those embellishments raises questions about the other passages. On the other hand, they do liven up her banal discoveries: vibrators can be fun, Playboy isn't even that smutty and so on in this uninspired fairy tale. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Readers eager to spice up carefully constructed lifestyles will appreciate this spunky, funky, hip-young-thang's look at the wonderful world of smut and how it fits into contemporary women's lives. Modeling her research on anthropological inquiry, "good girl" (she says) Carrillo-Gailey was inspired by a boyfriend who accused her "of being pornophobic." Feeling challenged, she listed "every porn subject [she] was curious about" and began to explore. While friends saw her as a "spy" making "them more sexually savvy," she hoped "to understand men and their fascination with porn." The resultant book affords an upbeat-cum-perky look at strip clubs, sex toys, and pornographic videos, magazines, and Internet offerings. Carrillo-Gailey bought and wore "vibrating panties" (declining the optional $50 remote control, however), organized a Tupperware-ish home sex-toy party, and attended a seminar on oral sex. Busy, busy, busy! She achieved, and hopes to convey, greater awareness of products that "might add pleasure," whether used on oneself or someone else, as well as that, as with carbs, "there is good porn and bad porn." Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; hardcover edition (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762427744
  • ASIN: B00127UHN0
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,188,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book because I saw it recommended in Zink Magazine and on a couple blogs. Don't usually read relationship or humor books, but this was a great, fun read that is more like a novel than a non-fiction book. And, best of all, it gets us women into the minds of men, men into the minds of women, and provides free sex tips that are cheap and easy.
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I really loved this book, it was funny and informative at the same time. Although you can tell some of the stories are sensationalized for the sake of the book, it is still very realistic and I really enjoyed it. It was amusing reading this in public places where everyone could see the title -- and I laughed out loud at several parts. I definitely recommend this book to anyone that enjoys learning from others' experiences.
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Format: Paperback
This book was not what I thought it would be. Billed as a "Good Girl's Guide to Porn," I expected more of a light-hearted yet somewhat clinical overview of the types of porn available, people involved in porn, etc. Instead this book reads more like a memoir, and chronicles the author's quest to get over being "pornophobic" by checking off items from a list of things to do which include meet a porn star, try a vibrator, and attend a sex toy party.

Interspersed with her accounts of these experiences are tales of her and her knitting group's attempts to find love. Some sections, especially those concerning the author's mother, are LOL funny.

Pornology is a breezy intro to its subject, meaning it is very light and not very in depth. If you looking to this book for in depth product descriptions you will be disappointed. As a memoir however this book is a lot of fun.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good read but I found lots of the story unbelievable which tainted the message, in my opinion. She plays up being a "good girl" too much for my liking and I doubt she was as naive as she claims. Some parts were so obviously made-up for the sake of the story and in order to put in some humor.

Negative comments aside, I did like this book. I learned a lot about the world of sex and even wrote down some of the resources that she would drop from chapter to chapter. Her story has also inspired me to try a few new things and be more open with others about sexuality.

SPOILER ALERT:

It bothered me how cliché the ending was. Oh yay, we get to see how everyone found true love at the most appropriate place ever: a wedding! Give me a break. And no, I doubt you went straight to a beach after a formal event to make sand angels. Rant over.
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I definitely identified with the writer's trepidation about delving into the world of sex toys, erotica, strip clubs, blow job seminars, etc. There’s something about porn that doesn’t seem to jive with a woman’s desire to be respected by men or even her own desire for self-respect. I worried that somehow knowing too much about this world would make me feel icky and perverted. And somehow make me LESS interested in sex. (Yikes!) However, I’ve always been curious and I really do consider myself a sexual being...

Having a fellow “good girl” (the Top Ten list at the beginning is hilarious) to guide me through this world really made the difference. Reading her own story and those of her friends made me feel like I was enjoying a good laughing, soul-searching, wine-drinking weekend with friends. I finished the book feeling just like the author says, "Relax, it's just sex." And since the book is really a story of how she met and fell in love with "the one", it made me realize how much my perspective about porn might be based on a fear of rejection. Firstly, admitting your attraction to another person makes you feel vulnerable. Then, all the mysteries of what might or might not turn them on is intimidating. And, like the author says, knowing men's excitement for porn makes me worry I’ll be inadequate. I guess, for me, sex really is about trust…trusting someone not to embarrass me or make me feel stupid…trusting someone with my heart.

But, if you want to really enjoy yourself, you really do need to let go of inhibitions and make yourself vulnerable. Sometimes it can be embarrassing, but that’s ok. That’s what the author did. She put herself out there.
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Format: Paperback
I found "Pornology" to be a very enjoyable read. I just finished Brian Alexander's "America Unzipped" which is another book in the I'm-a-sexually-naive-author-and-want-to-find-out-more-about-sex genre. While I enjoyed both Carrillo-Gailey's and Alexander's writing styles, I'll give the nod to Carillo. It was refreshing to see a self-described prude make the journey out of her mundane world and venture out to experience sexual situations she never would have dreamed of - and in the end, she developed an appreciation for those things, as opposed to condemning them.

If you've already been to sex and toy parties, been to a topless bar, watch porn, read everything by Violet Blue, and Sadie Allison, or Tristan Taormino, I'm afraid you won't learn anything new or shocking, but Carrillo's stories about her family, relationships, and friends should make you laugh and possibly, you'll find yourself feeling bad for people who won't let go of their prudery.
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