From Publishers Weekly
This book grew out of a 1990 New York magazine cover story Macy wrote in which she posed as a woman who wanted to become an escort. Because the experience made her reexamine her ideas about people involved in sex work, she decided to report on others in the business, from exotic dancers to a professional dominatrix. Perhaps because these topics have since seeped into the press, Macy's subject is less outrageous than she professes. Moreover, her narrative style?detailing not only her reactions to the people she meets but even her negotiations with editors?sometimes gets gratingly self-involved. Yet for some readers, this might be a handy introduction to an unfamiliar world. Macy attends a masturbation workshop taught by author Betty Dodson and concludes that Dodson teaches an important message about caring for yourself. She meets Candida Royalle, who creates adult films aimed at women and couples, and glimpses another shift in attitudes toward women's sexuality. Her accounts of her visits to a transsexual club and to a domination session lead to a hardly comprehensive, anticlimactic final chapter on escorts, male and female, in New York City. Macy notes, reasonably enough, that "we have a sex industry because we need and want one." However, the difference between Dodson and a dominatrix is deep enough to demand more analysis.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Macy got the inspiration for this book while working on a New York
magazine story for which she posed as an "escort" to find out what was involved in the escort business. In it, she revisits escorting and explores the related fields of pornography, stripping, teaching (mostly women) the ins and outs of masturbation, domination-and-submission for hire, and transsexualism. For a book about the sex industry, it doesn't have much actual sex in its pages. Mostly, Macy interviews those engaged in each niche industry examined. Occasionally, she resorts to subterfuge to get a truer inside picture of various activities, but throughout, she keeps professional distance. She writes efficiently without becoming shallow and manages to probe her subject matter without bogging down in moralism. In short, she's an excellent reporter, and this is an excellent report. Of particular interest to porn enthusiasts will be Macy's encounter with former hard-core star--nay, immortal--Amber Lynn, member (with sister Ginger) of the first family of American smut theater. Hot stuff. Mike Tribby