Rolling Stone scribe and infamous Lothario Strauss (Everyone Loves You When You're Dead: Journeys into Fame and Madness, 2011, etc.) chronicles a lascivious seesaw battle between monogamy and debauchery.
For years, sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll seemed to be the author’s mantra, even his very reason for being. The Game, Strauss' notorious 2005 book about the art of seducing beautiful women, helped to catapult the journalist to the heights of literary fortune and fame. But after traveling the globe partying with rock stars and fashionistas in a nonstop thrill ride of overindulgence, Strauss met Ingrid, a woman so wonderful in his eyes that he determined to bury his libertine ways forever and dedicate himself to her exclusively. Of course, he immediately screwed up, reverted to his hound-dog ways and discovered that the only possible way of salvaging Ingrid's affections was to check into a high-priced rehab clinic for sex addicts. Strauss' dark humor and intelligence illuminate his (seemingly useless) initial efforts to get with the program, and the encounters with tightly wound psychologists and hapless addicts like himself are both entertaining and thought-provoking. Unable, or unwilling, to accept monogamy, Strauss again reversed course, ditched therapy, and rededicated himself to the pursuit of a polyamorous lifestyle. What follows is an oddly tedious odyssey of orgiastic excess that appears doomed to everyone except Strauss himself. Still, the edgy author's relentless introspection and willingness to openly navigate the landscape of his sex-soaked psyche are compelling, if often frustrating for readers. "It's a lot to take in and I struggle to understand it all. Then I decide I don't need to understand it,” he writes. “I just need to do it." Music impresario Rick Rubin serves as Strauss' guiding light, intermittently popping in and out with sage advice.
Some readers may have no sympathy for the author, but he delivers an emotionally charged, provocative memoir of a man learning to confront his sexual demons.