A fictional exploration of the human id by a debut author.
Jenny is a 6-foot-tall sex therapist “built like Dolly Parton with legs like Tina Turner” who counsels men and women who engage in excessive masturbation: for men, it’s called “golden hand syndrome” and for women, “golden vibrator syndrome.” In short chapters such as “Case Study #16: Lisa, the Bartender,” Jenny plumbs the hidden areas of human sexuality and offers advice aimed to cure pathological self-eroticism. Jenny’s patients are a colorful lot; Jim, for example, is a Catholic priest with a thing for lingerie and liver. Like a Southern-style 100 Days of Sodom, Hobbs’ chronicle of characters’ sexual kinks offers a prurient consideration of a wide range of perversities. Some of them strain credibility, however, as when Frank, a film producer, wires his house with “waterproof cameras...placed inside the toilet” or when another character gruesomely misuses a penile pump. Hobbs’ imagination is inventive and mostly good-natured. However, some readers may find these erotic vignettes incongruous with the characters’ references to Scripture, as when the narrator notes a guiding principle of Jenny’s wardrobe selections: “she preferred dresses and skirts over slacks or jeans, as directed by the Bible.” Jenny’s list of do’s (such as an “Asian rub-and-tug massage center”) and don’ts (such as pornography) sometimes gets in the way of the naughty fun. Lastly, Jenny’s own erotic misadventures seem like pointless diversions—she marries, in succession, a gay man who has his mother cut Jenny’s hair to make her look “more desirable to him” and a violent man who likes chainsaws and the film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The chatty prose succeeds, however, in creating a fun show for erotica fans.
A mixed bag of a novel that sometimes fails to titillate.