Real Live Nude Girl - book by Cleis Press Inc. - review by Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme)

Real Live Nude Girl

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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A Challenge to So-Called 'Sex Positives'

A beautifully written collection of essays that serves as both a heart-warming memoir and a fluent deconstruction of the modern language of sex positivity.
A challenging, engaging and thought-provoking book.
Carol Queen might offend your sex-positive sensibilities.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
It's probably the wrong crowd to state this, but when it comes to sex I'm a firm believer in Richard Dawkins's Law of the Conservation of Difficulty: Which states that "Obscurantism in an academic subject expands to fill the vacuum of its intrinsic simplicity." i.e. the simpler something is, the more complicated and jargon-filled the language about it becomes.

In a sphere in which sex positivity should be remarkably simple - the acceptance of and open-mindedness to other people's lifestyles and kinks - the 'do unto others' metaphor often gets lost beneath labels and lectures and jargon that many of us have to Google to dicipher (I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know what 'cisgender' meant the first time I heard it, for example.)

It was with skepticism, therefore, that I picked up Carol Queen's book Live Nude Girl; expecting to be underwhelmed. In contrast, Queen immediately demonstrated that she was as pragmatic about sex positivity as I was.

In fact, the first chapter of her memoir is dedicated to the question 'what is sex positivity?' In answering that, she doesn't pull any punches in knocking many so-called 'sex positive' experts off their homemade pedestals. Queen deconstructs the absurdly complicated language of modern sexuality into its most simple and basic form - the message being that sex positivity means accepting other people's kinks, even if you don't understand or agree with them. It's a lesson many of us should take to heart.

And, refreshingly, Queen continues this pragmatic attitude throughout her book. In a series of essays chronicling her experiences as a lover, a woman, a sex worker and a sexpert, she is as harsh on hypocrisy amongst the so-called 'sex positive' as she is on the openly patriarchal and bigoted behavior of so-called 'regular people.'

In fact, if I took one thing away from her book, it's that there are no so-called 'regular' people. We're all freaks once you scratch the surface. Sex positivity involves embracing that, instead of stifling our own sexual urges and condemning those of others.

To a lesser extent, Carol Queen's book is a quest for sexual identity - starting with her frustration with the cliquishness and politics of college-aged lesbianism. Later, she finds herself being shamed by straight and gay alike when she tries to embrace her bisexuality. Finally - slowly and satisfyingly - Queen concludes the book with her journey towards achieving a fully-formed sexual identity she was comfortable with and proud of.
Written on two levels - as a memoir on personal development, and a series of essays exploring sexuality and sex positive culture, Live Nude Girls is immensely satisfying. Carol Queen knows what she's talking about and is utterly fluent in the language of sex. In addition, she's unafraid to express opinions that risk offending those who misuse the term 'sex positive' to defend their own judgmental behavior.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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My Real Live Nude Girl tags
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Anyone
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anywhere
  • Body / part areas
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    What areas on the body can this product be used / what areas does it stimulate best?
    • All over body
Do you like this review?
  • Airen Wolf
    Heck I googled CISgender and I am STILL confused at what it really means or stands for! I am seeing another book my bookcase is hungry for. Great review.
  • Sammi
    This was definitely a good read
    Great review!
  • ......
    Very nice review!
  • Carrie Ann
    I have missed your writing greatly. Excellent review - exactly what a book review should be.
  • Isabel0329
    I think I might have to put this on my wishlist. Thanks for the great review!
  • Selective Sensualist
    Thanks for the great review!
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