That’s the subject of Gillian Telling’s Dirty Girls (The Naked Truth about Our Guilty Secrets), released this month by Sourcebooks. Whether it’s wearing dirty panties inside out, eating strange concoctions of whatever’s left in the fridge, or gossiping about raunchy casual sex with girlfriends, Telling outs almost every woman who’s ever lived a hectic, sexually-charged life to reveal the way they act when no one is looking.
Early on, the Maxim sex columnist (who also writes for Rolling Stone and Details) warns readers to NEVER let a man set eyes on her book: “Ladies, if you would prefer to have your man continue thinking you are pretty and perfect in every way,” Telling writes, “please keep this book away from him at all costs.”
Telling arrived at last night’s New York book launch party looking quite put-together—black dress, gold earrings and a perfect ponytail—but now that she’s spilled her secrets, one has to wonder if her frock was plucked from a pile of dirty laundry…or if the last meal she’d scarfed down when no one was looking was Cheetos dipped in peanut butter.
“I honestly couldn’t find one of my shoes before I left the house,” she admitted. “And this dress has been worn to three weddings recently… and hasn’t been washed or dry-cleaned.”
Not content to simply expose women as poor housekeepers with questionable personal hygiene habits, the thirtysomething writer has other filth on her mind as well. Masturbation details, strange sexual encounters, porn and one-night stands also find their way into the pages of Dirty Girls. Telling joked that “back in her bad old days,” following a publicity event such as this, it wouldn’t be surprising to catch her out drinking with a bunch of girlfriends dishing about her best one-night stand at Burning Man, or a former boyfriend’s erectile dysfunction.
Yet, in the process of writing the book, Telling actually had to transition from a city-dwelling, single, dirty-minded writer—to a wife. “When he’s out of town, I revert to my single, dirty girl self,” she said of her husband of one month. “I pee with the door open. I drink too much—and I sneak cigarettes.”
So, when the author herself says never to let a man within reading distance of Dirty Girls, did that apply to her own husband? “He hasn’t read it,” she confessed. “I said he could…but it freaked him out.”
Although this self-professed “dirty girl” has had to clean up her act, it’s actually fitting of the book’s overall lesson: Being dirty doesn’t mean that you are lazy, unsuccessful or undesirable, you’re just to busy to care about dust bunnies. And if a guy truly loves you, dust bunnies are not a deal breaker.