I’m presently reviewing the first book on the list, and the first story by Jonathan Lethem, ‘Live Nude Models,’ is quite wonderful.
Excerpts from the list:
Best Sex Writing 2013: The State of Today’s Sexual Culture (4/16/2013)
Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
Publisher’s Description: Once again, Rachel Kramer Bussel has collected the year’s most challenging and provocative nonfiction articles on this endlessly evocative subject. The essays here comprise a detailed, direct survey of the contemporary American sexual landscape. Major commentators examine the many roles sex plays in our lives in these literate and lively essays. Judged by the Dr. Carol Queen, who is without peer, this stunning collection of sexsmart essays is sure to stir the heart, the brain, as well as other major organs.
Taming Passion for the Public Good: Policing Sex in the Early Republic (4/1/2013)
by Mark E. Kann
Publisher’s Description: The American Revolution was fought in the name of liberty. In popular imagination, the Revolution stands for the triumph of populism and the death of patriarchal elites. But this is not the case, argues Mark E. Kann. Rather, in the aftermath of the Revolution, America developed a society and system of laws that kept patriarchal authority alive and well—especially when it came to the sex lives of citizens. Kann contends that despite the rhetoric of classical liberalism, the founding generation did not trust ordinary citizens with extensive liberty. Under the guise of paternalism, they were able simultaneously to retain social control while espousing liberal principles, with the goal of ultimately molding the country into the new American ideal: a moral and orderly citizenry that voluntarily did what was best for the public good
The Jet Sex: Airline Stewardesses and the Making of an American Icon (4/1/2013)
by Victoria Vantoch
Publisher’s Description: Victoria Vantoch explores in rich detail how multiple forces—business strategy, advertising, race, sexuality, and Cold War politics—cultivated an image of the stewardess that reflected America’s vision of itself, from the wholesome girl-next-door of the 1940s to the cosmopolitan glamour girl of the Jet Age to the sexy playmate of the 1960s. Though airlines marketed her as the consummate hostess—an expert at pampering her mostly male passengers, while mixing martinis and allaying their fears of flying—she bridged the gap between the idealized 1950s housewife and the emerging “working woman.”
Cosmopolitan Sex Workers: Women and Migration in a Global City (4/30/2013)
by Christine B.N. Chin
Publisher’s Description: This book examines the phenomenon of non-trafficked women who migrate from one global city to another to perform paid sexual labor in Southeast Asia. Chin offers a theoretical framework that she terms “3C” (city, creativity and cosmopolitanism) in order to show how factors at the local, state, transnational and individual levels work together to shape women’s ability to migrate to perform sex work. Chin’s book will show that as neoliberal economic restructuring processes create pathways connecting major cities throughout the world, competition and collaboration between cities creates new avenues for the movement of people, services and goods (the “city” portion of the argument). Loosely organized networks of migrant labor grow in tandem with professional-managerial classes, and sex workers migrate to different parts of cities, depending on the location of the clientele to which they cater. But while global cities create economic opportunities for migrants (and survive on the labor they provide), states also react to the presence of migrants with new forms of securitization and surveillance. Migrants therefore need to negotiate between appropriating and subverting the ideas that inform global economic restructuring to maintain agency (the “creativity”). Chin suggests that migration allows women to develop intercultural skills that help them to make these negotiations (the “cosmopolitanism”).
Why Men Fake It: The Totally Unexpected Truth About Men and Sex (4/16/2013)
by Abraham Morgentaler
Publisher’s Description: Harvard Professor Abraham Morgentaler, MD, offers a view into the secret world of his patients, providing a new perspective on men, sex, and relationships. What really drives men to do what they do? Why Men Fake It uses the real-life stories of Dr. Morgentaler’s patients to let us in on the secrets of men and to examine the current state of male sexuality in science and medicine as well as in relationships and popular culture… From these stories you will gain a surprising perspective on the minds and motivations of men: committed, caring, loving and sometimes clumsy individuals doing their best to be great partners in their relationships.