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I went to see Susie Bright tonight at Brookline Booksmith, on tour for the 2008 edition of Best American Erotica - she's been the editor for the entire 15 years of the series. It's part new stuff, part best-of reprise, and a couple of other additions, like some author statements about the best-of ones, which are pretty good in their own right. She read a bit from her introduction, one of the author statements, and parts of two stories.

However, this is the end of the road for BAE, due to some publishing-industry inside baseball. It may be revisited some day, by a different editor and maybe a different publisher, but the series as we've known is has ended. This is kind of sad, but it's had a good run. Susie is very excited about internet-related stuff, and wants to do more online projects with other authors, but concedes that how to get paid for these things is still kind of a problem.

As usual, I got my picture taken, and then when I got home I got a picture of the set that I have. I thought I had all of them, but it seems that 2007 slipped past me.

In which there is cleavage and books )
nathanjw: (Default)
From hilzoy:

Otherwise, she would have to tell her child that sex involves putting a Snuffleupagus into a Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and the poor kid's head would explode.
nathanjw: (gargoyle)
... I'm not a target of the latest and greatest government anti-sex initiative.

Now the government is targeting unmarried adults up to age 29 as part of its abstinence-only programs, which include millions of dollars in federal money that will be available to the states under revised federal grant guidelines for 2007.


Jun. 9th, 2004 11:19 pm
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The bar underneath my office has been advertising, for Boston Pride week, "rainbow martinis". Today I got around to asking them what the heck they put in a rainbow "martini". It turns out that it's not one multi-colored beverage, but an entire suite of colored martinis designed to separate the prideful from their pocketbook. I don't know whether to be impressed or appalled. Without further ado, here they are:

$8 Red
The one you can't keep your eyes off. Call him eye candy, call her hot. By any other name, it's the one we lust after to get into bed: this is not just another notch, this is the trophy! This martini of Southern Comfort, Amaretto, orange juice, and a drizzle of grenadine will be sure to pop that cherry. Now take it off, take it off!
$8 Orange
You're not quite sure. He catches your eye when he walks into the room: she gives you just that hint of a smile that keeps you guessing. Are they checking you out or are you checking them out? Smirnoff Orange, Grand Marnier, and orange juice will give you a nice kick to get your juices flowing. All of them!
$8 Yellow
We've all had that moment when we just can't seem to gather up enough nerve to make the first move. Even though we know we would regret not doing it. Get over it! This Lemoncello, Absolut Citron, sour, and a nice little surprise will give you that kick in the mouth that will be sure to make both of you pucker, f*ckers!
$8 Green
Whether it's envy, jealousy, or in this case, just plain horny. You want people to see you eating green shelled chocolate covered peanuts so that you can ever so slightly drop the hint that you're hard up. Dive into this mixture of Midori, pineapple, and Smirnoff Watermelon. You're sure to get some legs in the air. Yours or theirs!
$8 Blue
No, not the sad one, lonely one, or the one in dire need of an upper. This is the one that plays coy and shy, but inside they are just waiting to shock the shit out of you. You think you've had amazing sex? Try this Smirnoff, cranberry, pineapple, and Blue Curacao brew and you will be more than surprised. You know you want it.
$8 Purple
Sometimes it's more than just about sex. Sometimes we want to wake up next to someone and say "good morning" and not wonder what time they're finally going to leave. We've won a big battle this year. Let's celebrate with this Smirnoff Raz, Blue Curacao, and cranberry Martini, topped with a little bubbly. Cheers, Queers!

The nerd in me is bothered that it's "purple" and not "violet" at the end. Oh well.
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This week's book event was at the Harvard Coop, where David Loftus read from his new book Watching Sex: How Men Really Respond To Pornography. I like the premise of the book - that both the anti-porn and pro-porn movements in this country have hypothesized and made accusations about the thoughts and actions of men (the primary consumers of porn) without doing much research into the validity of those hypotheses. In particular, he singles out the feminist movement that he once identified with as asserting a women's right to define reality for herself, instead of having it defined for her by the patriarchy, and then turning around and (rhetorically) denying that right to men who use porn. So far, though, what bothers me about the book is its entirely anecdotal nature. It admits up front that it is not a scientific study or a statistically representative sample, but I fear that its bias toward the more affluent and educated (90% of the interviews were conducted by email) undermines many of its points, or at least calls out for more research. I do hope that it will bring out some behavior options that were considered not to exist, or at least demonstrate that there is a demographic that can and does enjoy porn without apparent ill effects on themselves or their relationships.

I was a bit surprised by the audience. It was a full crowd (which at the book-reading area of the Coop is about twenty people, and the Coop staffer running the event told me that even filling that out was unusual), and I had expected a generally positive reaction. Apparently I have been hanging out too much at Grand Opening! and their porn events at the Coolidge; possibly a quarter of the audience was openly hostile to the idea that porn was anything other than woman-destroying trash. To stereotype a bit, all the people in that category appeared to be Harvard undergrads, with a feminist bent. Their complaints were based on the idea of "objectification of women" and supposed links between mainstream porn and the worlds of sex slavery and sexual tourism. They didn't have a lot of backing for those ideas; they fell back on a lot of "everybody knows". I had a discussion with one of them afterward, and we had a difficult time establishing common ground. Part of her concern involved the fact (undisputed by me) that most porn does not flesh out (nyuk nyuk nyuk) the characters portrayed by the actors, and hence she concludes that the male viewer perceives the female performer as a piece of meat, with no possibility of humanity. I don't agree that the failure to explain a character implies a total non-existence of character or humanity. We also had a disagreement that was difficult to figure out about the relationship between thoughts and actions; she seemed to be angling for the idea that sexual thoughts about unknown people (the girl on the street) are inappropriate, independent of the behavior of the thinker, and that since porn encourages thinking sexual thoughts about random people, it is therefore bad. I don't buy that, either. The book's preface actually cites Judith Martin on this tricky philosophical issue, firmly on the side of judging by behavior rather than thought.

Mr. Loftus, however, said afterward that he had hoped for an even more hostile audience (including "I wish the Christian Coalition would picket my condo"), because it helps sales :)

Picture with the author )


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Nathan Williams

May 2017

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