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The Sexual Life of Catherine M. by Catherine…

The Sexual Life of Catherine M. (2001)

by Catherine Millet

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (17)  French (4)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I liked the book so much I wrote a review of it. See it here:
( )
  MSarki | Aug 3, 2013 |
It surprised me to find I was bored nearly to death by this book. I expected to at least be interested, but Millet's deadpan blow-by-blow recitation of her sexual life is so flat, so unemotional, so uninvolving as to be clinical and, well, boring. There's no sense of who Millet is as a person, merely the robotic recounting of encounter after encounter.

Stultifying. ( )
1 vote satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
I liked the book so much I wrote a review of it. See it here:
( )
  MSarki | Mar 31, 2013 |
Modern art critic Catherine M. here details her sexual life, both in acts and in thought, from childhood to marriage in a way which provokes more thought than titillation.

I can understand the frustrations of people who have read this book and found it tedious in the extreme, however coming from a background of studying sociology and focusing especially on the sexual, I found it fascinating. Catherine's level of detachment allows for a more nuanced appraisal of her own sexual experiences, bringing in things from pseudo-psychoanalysis through to postmodern concepts of space. The ability to bring all this into a book centring on her own experiences of group sex and swinging is a feat in itself.

I would urge people to restrain themselves from running their own psychological profiling on Catherine M. in favour of accepting her own perceptions and accounts. I certainly felt I got a lot from this book simply by reading with an open mind.

In short, I wouldn't recommend this to someone simply for a thrill, however I would suggest it to anybody with a deeper interest in human sexuality. ( )
1 vote BeeQuiet | Apr 18, 2011 |
As the title might suggest, this is a very graphic memoir, by turns equally salacious and detached. The critics found it highbrow, claiming it is a feminist statement and a reimagining of feminine sexuality. Personally, I thought it was more likely to be a case of the emperor having no clothes. A memoir detailing Millet's sexual life, from her childhood fantasies to her participation in group orgies and swinging to her open marriage, this is open and unashamed. But it is also deadly dull. Yes, a book about sex that makes you want to die a little, and not in the way of la petite mort.

I found it a little (okay, a lot) disturbing that Millet claims that some of her earliest memories are her sexual fantasies about group sex. It certainly makes one wonder what sorts of things a child her age had been exposed to in order to know enough to have these vivid and detailed fantasies at such a young age. The casualness of the sexual encounters surprised me, including the complete lack of worry about mundane things like protection or disease (condoms are mentioned once while male partners' proclivities for seeing others' bodily fluids and contributing to them are mentioned as if unprotected sex is par for the course. Obviously clap was a common occurrence as she mentioned alternative outlets when she was suffering from it. And there was never a thought for the significant others of some of her more frequent partners, only a few of whom (the significant others, I mean) are mentioned as participants in the casual, free sex world that Millet inhabits. Obviously this is not a book for the squeamish or the prudish. The language used in the book, whether as a choice of the translator or true to the original, is fairly slang-y and confrontational but ironically, even the shocking use of casual terms for sexual organs and actions can't save this book from snoozeville.

Millet tries to draw some parallels to the art world in her discussion of space and number and in her description of scene but it all falls flat. This particular edition contains an afterwod where she tackles the criticism that her writing about something so personal is detached and unengaging, suggesting that those who make this criticism are missing the point. But her argument that the only way to write about or observe sex is in a detached manner, even if the author is the person indulging in it herself, rings false. As a matter of fact, it suggests that sexual encounters with Ms. Millet are probably fairly unemotional, unfulfilling experiences all the way around, despite her assertion that she is complimented all the time on her prowess. But technical prowess doesn't always equate to satisfaction. And this book proves it. Technically adept writing-wise, the reading offered no satisfaction, emotionally or intellectually. Oh, and color me a prude because the repeated graphic depictions of entangled bodies indulging in group sex, flashed kaleidoscopically throughout the text, first horrified me, then numbed me, and finally bored me to apathy. And I've just recently read there is a sequel either in the works or recently published. I plan on turning a blind eye to what I suspect is more intellectual masterbation (ironic given that it is over group and free sex, eh?) in book form. ( )
2 vote whitreidtan | Feb 14, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
I suppose there is a sense in which ''The Sexual Life of Catherine M.'' might be perceived as an erotic breakthrough, a daring leap into a place where no woman -- or man, for that matter -- has gone before. But that immediately raises the question: Is this really a place worth getting to?
''The Sexual Life of Catherine M.'' is as ponderous as it is heavy-breathing, which is saying a lot. As the author pursues ''fornicatory communion'' as frequently and publicly as possible, and as she approaches her mission ''with the application of a musician composing a fugue,'' she totes her critical acumen to places where it is not entirely useful. Her book lurches to and fro between the frankly obscene and the absurdly high-minded.

» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Catherine Milletprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hunter, AdrianaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vosmaer, MartineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zulaika Goicoechea, JesúsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802139868, Paperback)

A national best-seller that was featured on such lists as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, and Publishers Weekly, The Sexual Life of Catherine M. was the controversial sleeper hit of the year. Since her youth, Catherine Millet, the eminent editor of Art Press, has led an extraordinarily active and free sexual life -- from al fresco encounters in Italy to a gang bang on the edge of the Bois du Boulogne to a high-class orgy at a chichi Parisian restaurant. A graphic account of sex stripped of sentiment, of a life of physical gratification and a relentlessly honest look at the consequences -- both liberating and otherwise -- have created this candid, powerful, and deeply intelligent depiction of unfettered sexuality.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:23 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In an erotic memoir, the author honestly and graphically describes her active and free sexual life of physical gratification, the consequences of sex stripped of sentiment, and the fallacies of female sexuality.

» see all 2 descriptions

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