Thirteenth dip by sexologist Bright (Full Exposure, 1999, etc.) into the big pool of Americans groping for skin under the surface of society and finding plenty of strong feelings and slick flesh.
Outstanding contribution here is an excerpt from Pulitzer–winner Jane Smiley’s Good Faith, which is so well written that a page about snowfall outside the Hilton Hotel on 54th Street is sexy and fulfilling even before the lovers’ joining. Cecile Tan’s two pieces, “Seduction” and “The Magician’s Assistant,” are less about sex than about fearful virginity and being ignored. Other impressive entries include the kickoff story by Steve Almond, “Slippy for President,” in which a loser college student moves into an off-campus house full of beautiful blondes and gets teased about never eating “pussy” or smoking pot. Then the loser and three blondes take Ecstasy: What happens next is quite literate and amusing. While most of the contributors are new names, all write with verve. P.S. Haven’s “Charles Sykes’ Spirit of Ecstasy,” “Robots of the World, Unite” by Karl Iagnemma, and Lana Gail Taylor’s “Genuflection” should not be missed. Also gripping (so to speak), is Bright’s account of her days as a reviewer of XXX videos, watching dozens of tapes at breakneck speed to make her deadline with a notebook—and a hand—in her lap.
A tasteful pillow book.