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America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and…
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America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction (2008)

by Brian Alexander

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Alexander's goal with this book was to explore current fringe sexual practices in the US with an open, journalistic mind. I think he failed to remain objective, and his disdain and superiority color his reportage in a fashion I found to be smarmy. The author's tone was so annoying it was a real challenge for me to finish this book. He was raised Catholic and felt compelled to mention this many, many times- usually in the context of "we never heard of this sort of thing in my church, growing up". He also gave little asides which communicated his supercilious attitude all too clearly. There was one entire chapter which consisted of moaning transcribed in all caps- pages and pages of "AAAAHHHHH OOOOHHH" and so on- excruciating. Give it a miss. ( )
1 vote satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Alexander is at his best when narrating his investigations, at his worst when trying to make sense out of things, but does make the good point that the private version of America's sexuality is a lot less constrained than the public version, and that most folks are content to let the public version remain the official one--for lots of different reasons. ( )
  steve.clason | Dec 23, 2009 |
A very interesting voyage through today's outlook sexually on what is "normal" and what is "kink". This man visits a porn palace, a kink convention, a passion party, a christian sex conference, and others. A great sociological study on what is widely considered kinky, but everyone has some kink in them. ( )
  bookwormteri | Sep 27, 2009 |
Boy, people are weird nowadays.
  shmjay | Mar 8, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307351327, Hardcover)

Welcome to the America we don’t usually talk about, a place where that nice couple down the street could be saddling up for “pony play,” making and selling their own porn DVDs, or hosting other couples for a little flogging. As award-winning journalist Brian Alexander uncovers, fringe experimentation has gone suburban. Soccer moms, your accountant, even your own parents could be turning kinky.

Stunned by the uninhibited questions from ordinary people on his msnbc.com column, “Sexploration” (“My wife and I have heard that a lot of couples in their thirties are playing strip poker . . . as well as skinny-dipping with other couples/friends. Any idea if this is a fashionable trend or has it been going on for some time and we never knew it?” or “I am interested in bondage and hear that there are secret bondage clubs someplace. Can you help me find them?”), Brian Alexander was driven to understand Americans’ desire to get down and dirty—especially in an era where conservative family values dominate.

To find out what people are really doing—and why a country that suffered a national freak- out over Janet Jackson’s breast was enthusiastically getting in touch with its inner perv—Alexander set out on a sexual safari in modern America. Whether mixing it up at a convention of fetishists, struggling into his own pair of PVC pants for a wild night at a sex club, being tutored on dildos by a nineteen-year-old supervisor while working in an adult store, or learning the surprising ways of Biblical sex from an evangelical preacher, Alexander uses humor and insight to reveal a sexual world that is quickly redefining the phrase “polite society.”

Gonzo journalism at its funniest and kinkiest, America Unzipped is a fascinating cultural study and an eye-popping peek into the lives of people you’d least expect to find tied up and wearing latex.


One Dozen Things to Avoid When Exploring American Sex

1. Asking an enthusiastic devotee to explain cock-and-ball torture while standing within arm’s length.

2. Assuming an evangelical Christian will not be familiar with the term “69.”

3. Incredibly tight PVC pants.

4. Trying to become the first male sex toy home party salesman in Missouri.

5. Standing too close to bondage models without wearing overalls and safety goggles.

6. Insisting that Dan Quayle would never invest in porn.

7. Displaying a look of surprise when a grandmother discusses the risk of removing a dildo from a microwave oven.

8. Admitting your sex vocabulary is smaller than an eighth grader’s.

9. Explaining the difference between “cream pie” and “gonzo” to a suburban mom shopping for her son’s birthday sex DVDs.

10. Trying to interview a naked submissive locked on a cage.

11. Expecting answers about sex from a six-foot-tall pink rabbit.

12. Thinking that porn kings could not possibly have Ivy League degrees and run charitable foundations.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:10 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

As journalist Alexander uncovers, fringe experimentation has gone suburban--soccer moms, your accountant, even your own parents could be turning kinky. Stunned by the uninhibited questions, Alexander was driven to understand Americans' desire to get down and dirty--especially in an era where conservative family values dominate. Alexander uses humor and insight to reveal a sexual world that is quickly redefining the phrase "polite society."--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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