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Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture Paperback – March, 1997
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When she was a kid, Carol Queen was called "Queen the Queer." "Queer" was still very much an insult at the time, not the term of power and pride it has recently become. Similarly, sex was called a bad thing, a nasty thing, even for, perhaps especially for, good girl feminists. Like other sex-positive folks of her generation, Carol Queen is re-evaluating the range and possibilities of sexual experience and identity. This book gathers previously published essays on topics ranging from pelvic exams, pornography law, the men's movement, sex as art, Madonna, and sacred whoredom. Queen is an intelligent, funny writer.
From Library Journal
A columnist for East Bay Express who also writes for a variety of other mainstream and alternative publications, Queen has collected many of her essays on sex in this volume. In fact, sex and the various ways it can be experienced appears to be primary focus in Queen's life, but the quality and interest level of the essays is very uneven. The best include a letter to her mother about her sex choices, one arguing why gynecologists and other physicians need better training on how to talk to patients about and during pelvic exams, and another that gives new insights into spanking as sexual pleasure. Though the essays tell in graphic detail the many ways an individual can be sexual, this book is not meant to be erotic. Its sexual content is primarily explicit, descriptive narrative. Thus, unless the reader is specifically interested in the details of Queen's sex life, the book can be quite boring. Recommended only for Bay Area or large sexual studies collections.?Pauline Klein, DeKalb Cty. P.L., Decatur, Ga.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
I was reading at furious clip and ran into page 84 like it was a stone wall. Ms. Queen repeats the horrible comparison made between circumsion and the erroneously named genital mutilation called "female circumsion". She dismisses the scientific reasons for circumsion as "late breaking theories" and then substitutes the PC-of-the-moment anti-male screed that this is what is what went wrong with so many men. She apparently had never heard that some adult men get circumcised just to improve their sex lifes. Frankly, if a procedure with the same pain and risks would have led to a 10% reduction in tooth decay, I would hope that my parents would go for it.
I have to admit the best parts of this book are when she goes squarely after the MacDworkinites (she doesn't use that word but you know who I mean). She has no problem standing up to those who would rather she kept to a more doctrinaire line. At one point she decides to try prostitution and some former friends refer to speak to her. No matter, this is a very independent woman. I wish I met more like her.
One minor point, this book is a collection of essays that were previously published and that means she sometimes repeats herself (yes, I know you have a Ph.D. in Sexuality) and any chronology is pretty well lost.
Her approach is straghtforward and honest. She doesn't pull any punches or mince words. She also does not subscribe to the dogma of any "isms," and is genuinely concerned with the rights of all people to explore and experience their lives and sexuality in an atmosphere of open acceptance and even celebration. She is sex-positive and proud of it.
The book is divided into chapters dealing with different experiences and ideas, such as experiencing different sexual lifestyles, talking with others about your sexuality, being an exhibitionist, sex work, pornography, politics, and so on. Some of the chapter titles are:
Don't Fence Me In
Bisexual Perverts among the Leather Lesbians
Safe Words and Safe Sex
Pornography and the Sensitive New Age Guy
Healing and Holy Acts: Sacred Whoredom
She deals with sensitive and controversial issues very well, and her writing is easy and pleasurable to follow. She discusses the history of sexual repression in a variety of ways, using her experiences as points of reference. For example, she uses being onstage with Annie Sprinkle to discuss some of the history of sacred sexuality and why some religions have such a morbid fear of sex.
There is so much in this book that is so good, I could go on and on. There are six pages of bibliography for further reading, as well as all the people and books mentioned in the text.
If you only read one book ever on sex, culture, religion, and human experience, this should be it.