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August 24, 2004

A Sneak Peek at the Next Book Babes Column

by Ron Hogan

Last week, Edward Wyatt was telling NYT readers about declining romance sales. This week, he's all about the rise in sex-themed books, specifically "a wave of confessionals and self-help guides written by current or former stars of pornographic films," though we mustn't leave out "erotic novels, racy sexual-instruction guides, histories of sexual particulars and photographic treatments of the world of pornography."

I'm sure we're all looking forward to The Surrender, "a former ballet dancer's account of her spiritual awakening through anal sex," but keep in mind that it's published by ReganBooks, and Judith Regan insists to Wyatt, "I don't publish pornography." (After all, publishing Dick Morris is as much hand-dirtying as any publisher should have to bear.) I also note that Regan is doing her best to have it both ways, feeding off the prurient interest for a sex guide by the Vivid Girls and Jenna Jameson's memoirs while moralizing that "you cannot live a life like [Jameson's] and not pay a price." Not having seen the book yet, I'll reserve judgment on whether Jameson pulls a Linda Lovelace by blaming the sex industry for "[her] rape by a relative of her boyfriend, her drug addiction and other trials." (But if you've got answers, share 'em with the readers!)

Other than that, I'm not really not sure how, other than maybe the authors' breast size, the current crop of "name brand authors" doing erotica offers anything different than a decade or so ago when Madonna was getting all her friends to appear in tasteful nudes and Anne Rice was writing hardcore S/M fantasies under a pseudonym flimsier than wet tissue. Except, of course, that the Times is more willing to admit that books dealing with what it blissfully describes as [sexual activity] exist.


So in other words [sexual activity] is the new black.

Posted by: Sarah at August 24, 2004 05:02 PM

She definitely doesn't blame the rapes on her becoming a porn star, in fact, she says the opposite, that she'd have been a porn star no matter what. And I especially love the reason she does give - for revenge! Basically she said that guys hate it when their girl cheats on them, and even more so when everyone knows about it, so what better way to get back on her cheating boyfriend than to have sex with someone else, on camera?

I found it lively and entertaining and a quick read for 575 pages.

Posted by: Rachel at August 25, 2004 05:18 PM
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