Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: Sex Is All Metaphors

Sex Is All Metaphors
Sex Is All Metaphors by Jean Roberta

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sex Is All Metaphors collects Jean Roberta's nonfiction columns about sex. It's a strong, engaging read, well worth the time.

Jean Roberta writes about the politics, practicalities, and ethics of sex with cogent passion. She seems to engage all of herself to make her points — body, mind, and heart - and this gives powerful integrity to the positions she takes.

I didn't agree with everything she says, but every column gave me food for thought. She is quite liberal, and so am I, so it was nice to find that her positions still challenged me (I feel weird whenever I read something that makes me think I'm in an echo chamber).

Roberta's essays ring with voice and personality. She tackles plenty of subjects that are taboo in mainstream culture, and plenty more that are taboo even among the erotica writing community her columns first addressed.

This book is a simple collection, in chronological order, of columns from July 2008 to November 2010. Therein lies my main quibble. In single-author essay collections, I enjoy the sense that single writings piece together throughout the work to construct a larger argument over time. I don't think that happens when pieces are read in simple chronology. I'd have loved if the pieces were arranged topically, or ordered to build on each other a bit more. As it was, the book ended abruptly after the last essay, when the designated period of time covered ended, and I was left wishing it had ended with some sort of statement of summation (or even a previously-written essay that could serve as such).

With a clear afterword or more sense of completion, this book would have been a 5 for me.

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