Where Are All the REALLY Slutty Girls?

In keeping with the whorehouse theme of my last blog post, this one takes it one notch closer to the gutter. Get your Lysol wipes and hand gel ready, you’re gonna need them after this post. Mom, Dad…I suggest you stop reading now.

While I work my full-time writerly/publishingerly job, I often get called upon to review books for publishing houses. It’s really cool. I get to read books before the rest of you, and I get to pass judgment on them without ever having to look the poor author in the eye. After one particularly bad incident where I drank the wine BEFORE reviewing Willie Nelson’s book (2 stars…it was pretty bad), I’ve now learned to temper my reactions, remain a professional at all times, and have the wine AFTER writing the review.

But I’m being pushed to my limits with the unholy amount of nasty romance books that literally (editors, I used that word correctly…I mean, actually literally) shows up on my doorstep (the literal door step, right outside my door). I used to clap my hands and feel really smug when a small package from a Big Five publisher would be waiting for me; it made me feel important. Now it just makes me reach for the above mentioned Lysol wipes and hand gel. Here’s why:

I just reviewed a book that included a play-by-play of a twenty-year-old virgin giving her first hand job. There was actually a description of her fascination with studying his um, sample (?) on her hands like a slutty little Jane Goodall…yes, fucking STUDYING, was the word the author chose to use…the biological matter on her hand when he was finished. (Here, take some of my Lysol wipes…I now keep them next to my computer for OCD moments such as this one.)

NOTE TO PUBLISHERS: You’re the reason I drink while I review books. I hope you can live with yourself.

When I was in school, there were quite a number of…worldly…girls among the student body. We heard about them, people whispered about them, but no one really had any concrete proof of their worldliness. Now that Facebook provides us all the proof we need of girls’ rampant and usually drunken worldliness, these books have really started to confuse me.

WHERE ARE THESE AUTHORS DIGGING UP ALL THESE GROWN-UP VIRGINS?!

It’s like every single story line has to follow the archaic model of a sweet and inexplicably innocent barely legal girl paired up with a wealthy, older, experienced, unattached, farm-animal endowed guy. Seriously? Name me three towns in America that has BOTH of those people running around.

So why do people buy this crap? Is it all those worldly girls I alluded to, buying up this stuff and trying to reimagine the way it actually happened? Are they envisioning shyly doing the nasty on his private jet instead of under the bleachers the way they actually did it? And wouldn’t you think it would just make them feel really bad and judgmentalled? Is it because their “firsts” were so unbelievably awkward and therapy-inducing that they need to pretend that these stories are actually happening all over the world right at that very minute?

I’ve always heard that porn gives men unrealistic expectations about women, but the gals are just as guilty. In these books, all men know how to give incredible orgasms while deftly having sex in the back of their limos, quite possibly from the genetic mutation that made them so oversized, and all girls are quiet and timid until the right man comes along who also has a genetic mutation that makes his eyes work differently from the rest of society’s, enabling him to see the beauty beneath her faded, stained hoodie. She morphs before his very eyes into a cross between Miss America and a pole dancer before descending all the way into Vegas hooker mode.

I’ve been a part of the book industry in various forms for quite some time now, and here’s what I think would REALLY sell: total sluts. Guy sluts, girl sluts, sheep sluts, whatever. Absolute, genuine, Facebook-bans-your-account sluts. Tell it like it is, make it as realistic as you want to, and stop pretending that there are bookstores and coffee shops all over the world stocked with wallflowers who just need a good banging from the rich guy who decides to get his own coffee for once. Sluts, I tell ya. That’s the way to go.

I Wrote a Smutty Book and My Mother Decided to Read It.

We all have had those sad jobs we did back in college to pay the bills. Mine was working as a lifeguard (long after I was so old that it wasn’t cool anymore, and it was actually just kind of sad and desperate-looking). And working in a Baskin-Robbins. And delivering magazines to gas stations for eleven hours a day. The humiliating, degrading, minimum-wage list goes on.

It wasn’t really for the money that I decided to write a trashy, beyond-smutty romance novel. It was more for the…oh hell, I don’t know. The experiment? The need to rebel? The fact that romance outsells every other genre by a huge margin? Wait, that would make it be for the money. Hmm.

Anyway, I did. I wrote a completely nasty, clothes-flying-off, chocolate-sauce-going-everywhere, people-tied-to-kitchen-tables kind of book. And it was well-received by everyone who read it and I wasn’t the least bit ashamed of myself.

And then my mom read it.

I think I’m supposed to say something profound about how it’s a new day, we can read and write whatever we want, the publishing revolution lets authors explore outside the confines of their genres…etc. No, instead, I feel like I opened a porn studio and hired my mom to swab the actors with Vaseline every time they start to chafe. She’ll be in good company, since I also now feel like I hired my second grade nun to hand them cups of water between takes.

Only, I think the joke is really on her because if her very short, very shocked email to me says what I think it says, it turns out that my mom buys these trashy books and reads them, only the rest of us think she’s reading high-brow literature and World War I-era biographies of lesser known generals. Her email kind of sounded like she didn’t realize that I was the same person as this romance author. Well played, Mom.