Lisa Taddeo spent eight years documenting the lives of three women who have very different sexual experiences. There is Sloane, born into a wealthy family and running a restaurant in Rhode Island vacation town. Her marriage is secure but unconventional. She and her husband regularly invite others into their bedroom. Then there is Lina, who is extremely unhappy in her marriage. Despite having the cookie-cutter suburban lifestyle in Indiana, her marriage is passionless and she wants out. She craves attention and begins to seek it from a former boyfriend. Finally, there’s Maggie, the only subject of the book whose name we actually know. And we know it because her story, one of an inappropriate relationship with her teacher, went to trial.
This book is erotic but real. This is not 50 Shades of Grey. We are talking about real women trying to understand their own emotions. Why is Maggie drawn to her teacher? Why does Lina need more? Why does Sloane enjoy pleasing her husband in this specific manner? In all cases: how central is sex to our self worth? All three women interact with sexuality in very different ways. There is shame, lust, anger, emptiness, and energy. Who is to say what’s “healthy?”
While these experiences are very different, I wish the women’s backgrounds were even more different. Most notably, they are all white. Sloane may have a more upper class upbringing, but Lina and Maggie are both from the Midwest and both middle class-ish. Lina may have had more money and Maggie’s parents may have had issues with alcohol, but I found more similarities than differences. It would have been interesting to get inside the mind of a hispanic woman or one who identifies as homosexual. That said, insight is insight, and this opens up a more candid conversation about sexuality than we’ve had in quite some time. Maybe we can do round two with another group of women eight years from now?
4.5 out of 5 stars.
Pair with: A full bodied red