22 January, 2009

Women get too personal?

Behind the Bedroom Door is a book collection of essays on women's attitudes to sex, from "Today's Most Gifted Women Writers".

It must have seemed like an ambitiously great idea: assemble a book on contemporary women's attitudes toward sex by asking a group of talented contemporary women to write about their own experiences and attitudes.

New York lifestyles editor Paula Derrow did exactly that, and the result is Behind the Bedroom Door ("Daring. Provocative. Unflinchingly Honest."), a collection described as "Essays About Sex by Today's Most Gifted Women Writers."

It should have worked. It should have been, if not groundbreaking, at least a compelling, possibly erotic glimpse into sex and sexuality a decade into the new millennium.

But it is not. There is nothing new under the sun, no matter how you dress it up -- or undress it. And despite the flashes of decent writing and the odd engaging anecdote, Behind the Bedroom Door not only fails to achieve its sociocultural ambition, it also fails to engage the reader on any meaningful level. What we think (in that voyeuristic part of ourselves) might be titillating turns out to be strangely the opposite.

That is because Behind the Bedroom Door commits what amounts to a cardinal literary sin, its only innovative achievement. Read on >>

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