Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Sexuality & Sexual Problems
Resources
Basic InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
ActionAmerica UnzippedAmerican GirlsAnatomy of a BoyfriendAnatomy of LoveBest Sex Writing 2005Better Sex Through YogaBetter Than EverBoys Don't CryChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsCold HitCybersexDare... to Try BisexualityDilemmas of DesireDoing ItDoing ItEarly Embraces IIIErotic InnocenceErotic PassionsFinal JeopardyFinding H. F.For The Bible Tells Me SoFrictionFrom Disgust to HumanityGay, Straight, and the Reason WhyGetting the Love You WantGoing DownGood GirlsGreat Answers to Difficult Questions About SexHard to GetHit & MissHomosexualitiesHooking UpHow Sex WorksHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Have Magnificent SexHow to Make Great Love to a ManHow to Make Great Love to a WomanI'd Rather Eat ChocolateIn a Queer VoiceIn the Mood, AgainIt's Perfectly NormalIt's Perfectly NormalJane Sexes It UpKids Gone WildLet's Get This StraightLikely to DieLove and DesireLove and SexLove JunkieLustMaking Peace with PornMale SexualityMaster BreastsMiddlesexNormalNormalNot GayOedipus WreckedOn Being RapedOne Hot SecondOne Hour in ParisOrgasmOrgasm Inc.OrgasmsPlease Don't Kill the FreshmanPornifiedPornlandPornographyPoxPredatorsPremarital Sex in AmericaPrivate Practices DVDRainbow PartyRapeSex (Ed)Sex and SpiritSex and the American TeenagerSex and the SoulSex and the Soul, Updated EditionSex Fiends, Perverts, and PedophilesSex in CrisisSex ObjectSex PositionsSex Q & ASex, Therapy, and KidsSexting and Young PeopleSexual Boundary ViolationsSexual DevianceSexual EcstasySexual FluiditySexual IntelligenceSexual Orientation and Psychodynamic PsychotherapySexual Teens, Sexual MediaShamelessSurviving Sexual ViolenceTalk to Me FirstThe Better Sex Guide to the Kama SutraThe Birth of the PillThe Blue Moon Erotic Reader IIIThe Chemistry Between UsThe Clitoral TruthThe Emergence of SexualityThe End Of AliceThe End of SexThe Essential KamasutraThe Fate of GenderThe First TimeThe Happy Hook-UpThe Miseducation of Cameron PostThe Only Girl in the CarThe Pornographer's GriefThe Purity MythThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Right to Be ParentsThe Science of Intimate RelationshipsThe Sex Addiction WorkbookThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Sex MythThe Sleep of ReasonThe Ten Minute Sexual SolutionThe Vagina MonologuesThings Tom LikesTransTransUltimate SexUntangling the WebVirginVirgin NationVirgin Sex for GirlsVirgin Sex for GuysVirginity LostWastelandWhat Women WantWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Sex Goes to SchoolWhen the Piano StopsWhere Do We Fall When We Fall in Love?Wilhelm ReichWomen and Child Sexual AbuseWritten in the FleshZen Sex
Related Topics

Family & Relationship Issues
Homosexuality & Bisexuality
Relationship Problems

by Amy Rose Spiegel
Hachette Audio, 2016
Review by Christian Perring on Jul 12th 2016

Action

Amy Rose Spiegel lives in Brooklyn, is in her mid-twenties, and has a lot of sex, and her advice book, Action, seems to be aimed at people like her. She doesn't seem particularly interested in longer-term relationships and doesn't like staying overnight with her lovers.  She presents a way of life that will appeal to many but more as a fantasy than a real option. Her world is one where people don't have commitments or children, and engage in perpetual flirting and random sexual encounters. Her primary orientation is to enjoy exciting new people and give them sexual pleasure, as part of her own personal growth. She sees each person as an individual and does not like labels. She writes fairly generally about sex and says very little about any particular sex she has had.  Her tone is chatty and reads like she is speaking off the cuff. The unabridged audiobook is performed by her, and she brings her words to life.  The kind of life she enjoys and discusses is one of hookups and short term relationships, and how to do that in an honest and caring way. She talks about kissing strangers, and trying different things with all sorts of people. It is essential in her view to be playful and communicative about one's own wishes. She also recommends being honest and open-minded. She says that to be silent about sex is oppressive. So her writing about sex is an act of liberation.

While the idea of a life exploratory life-expanding sex with lots of people sounds pretty great, I was reminded of Erica Jong's novel Fear of Flying, and the impossible search for the zipless fuck. While Spiegel gives excellent advice about fingering, oral sex and anal sex, she says nothing about the emotional complexities of short term relationships, and in particular, the fact that people get infatuated and upset when someone they have been having sex with decides that it is over. She briefly mentions that she takes meds for ADHD and anxiety, but says very little about the causes of her anxiety, apart from some about her body image. Of course, I've watched HBO's Girls and I've met people who live lives without long term relationships. But most people, especially after college, are looking for a partner; maybe not a life partner, but someone they can be with for a while.  So Action seems separated from most people's lives and does not grapple with a major emotional  side of sex. But it is a fun read with some interesting insights on modern sex.

 

© 2016 Christian Perring

 

Christian Perring lives in New York and does research in the philosophy of psychiatry.