a review of
The Unbearables Big Book of Sex. Autonomedia, UnBearable Books, 2011. Editors: Ron Kolm, Carol Wierzbecki, Jim Feast, Yuko Otomo, Steve Dalachinsky, Shalom Neuman, 650 pages, $18.95
As a privileged co-editor of this brilliant anthology, I feel a bit abusive of my powers and morally wrong to be, at the same time, reviewing it. But with all due respect to those involved and to you, dear reader, and in the spirit of true anarchism, fuck that.
I am overlooking this dilemma since I am more than proud to be a part of this enterprise which ranges from high cam to high sophistication, from the funny to the serious, and from the clinical to the clinically insane.
Just the graphics alone, which were edited by Shalom Neuman, my wife Yuko Otomo, and myself, are beyond a wide array of emotions and spectacle incomparable to any I know.
The visuals and large range of writing styles, moods, stories, poems, straight, gay, happy, sad, intellectual, onanistic, fetishistic, down right sloppy stupid, mundane, real, imagined, comical, funny, witty (and, yes, there is a difference between those three), even real life hooker tales, go to the very heart/sex of the Matter, be it male or female–as in below the belt.
As one of its editors, Ron Kolm, states “The original intention of the book was to follow in the sexually celebratory steps of D.H. Lawrence, Rabelais and Anais Nin–sex writing as yet another device to help free us from the retro-50s culture we find ourselves stuck in. What we got instead was an amazing trove of sexual sadness; unrequited love, forced anal intercourse, break-ups, etc. The book should have been titled: The Unbearables Big Book of Sad Love & Sex.
That’s the reason I ended the book with Peter Lamborn Wilson’s piece which calls for a new Sexual Revolution.
I will stray from my anarchistic call to individual freedom and not state any specific favorite pieces or authors since I know and love too many of them and because I think, rather than even try to sway your minds, I recommend you buy this book at St Marks Books in New York, on Amazon, or at a sex shop, sorry, I mean bookstore, near you and judge for yourself from the more than 150 writers and artists involved.
FE note: The anthology also contains an essay from the Fifth Estate on Wilhelm Reich’s theories of the connection between sexual repression and authoritarian personalities.