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.
A likable, open-minded guide through the sexual underworld, Alexander salts his observations with casual wit (though most of his better asides aren't fit to print in a family newspaper)…Often the most revealingand entertainingthings in America Unzipped are the thoughts of the author.