March 13, 2021

Because I want to

(Yes, I'm back from LA after three weeks, this was me on the set...and I'm so excited for my "Personal Touch" video series to get into editing).

I will retell my experience at a later date in a blog I will label My Favorite Things about LA (since I'm all about lists), but now there's something else I feel the urge to purge. My first book it out, and so is my first negative review - see below. Now here are some quick points of clarification, before I digress further into explanation.

1. I was not present at the photo shoot although I wish I could have been. There are just as many pages of photos as there are pages of words (if not more) and I don't necessarily believe that the photos, or the apparent storyline behind the photos, accurately portrays the words I chose to write. 2. I didn't write this book for lesbians, not that I don't want lesbians to read it, but there are plenty more lesbian-centric books on the market, and this is not one of them. 3. I care more about the message I'm trying to convey here which is that sexuality is fluid, and that our likes, interests and attractions can and do change over time.

If you want to read the review, and see the book - it's here. Now before you start thinking that it's strange that I'm linking to a less than positive review, I like that I live in a world where everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and therefore I support the freedom of expression (hence that's why I'm president of Feminists for Free Expression.) And honestly, on some of her points I agree.

Now, that being said...

For some reason I feel that my book is being marketed/reviewed towards and by a lesbian audience, and while I'm totally open to anyone checking out the book, the truth is that I wrote this from a non-identifying girl's perspective, and I wasn't necessarily thinking of the lesbian market when I wrote the book Women Loving Women Naive? Maybe. Outrageous? I don't know, but when discussing the concept of the book with the editor who's company had come up with the idea, this was not, from my understanding, a book geared towards women who already loved other women in a full time sort of way. Not that it can't be, like I said, but that wasn't the main audience I was writing for. Sure anyone who enjoys women can either get something out of the words or the pictures (of course I'd like it to be from the words), but I wrote this book with the intention of appealing to women who don't always or often or ever have sapphic sex, and I wrote this with the intention of speaking to the women who wanted to try it. Women who find other women attractive (but like men too) or women who are seriously thinking of redefining sexuality at large. I feel this point is lost in the above mentioned review.

The author, one Rachel Charman, gets upset that I don't actually "brand" women who have sex with women as bisexual or lesbian, when the truth is labels suck unless you want to stick one on yourself and live by it. I like women, I've been with women, and odds are I'll be with women again but that does not mean I have to label myself in a small box and call myself names. I apparently know enough other people who will do that for me.

And she says that threesomes are something the straight world thinks only lesbians do, when in fact I don't know most men or women that think of threesome and think exclusively female affair; (A point I hoped I could drive home to my editor, and even suggested incorporating a male blow up doll in the mix just to have some pseudo Y chromosome in there, but alas, no such luck).

But wait, there's more. Charman writes, "Another bone of contention I have with the book; namely, that it subscribes to the notion that women who are less concerned with the gender of their lovers will naturally be indiscriminate about how many there are in their bed at once." Actually that's not what I meant by this chapter at all, but my intention was that if you're in a hetero relationship and you want to include a woman in your partnership, then 1 +1 + 1 = 3. That's all. Whatever your preference, woman or man, same sex or opposite, you don't have to have a threesome, but you can if you want to. And you don't have to be a lesbian to do it.

At least Charman doesn't say I can't write, even if she discredits my trite use of the word her-stories, and her idea of my misinterpretation of historic "lesbian" sex verses "girl" friends. Truth be told - whether or not historians have proof of who did what with whom, like video footage, or snapshot proof - how can she know what's true or not true. How can she definitely say what's right when in fact history is a story written by lot's of "his'" (and hers')...right?

Now, as for the book..Yes, there are pictures, pictures of more "stereotypical" female bodies then would have been my preference, and yes, I don't think they accurately portray the spectrum of what's hot, sexy or available, but I did not choose the photos, nor take them, and you can't argue with the fact that the lighting's good, can you?

If you like me as a person, a friend, a writer, I say don't feel obligated to buy the book. I'm not making royalties and you don't owe me anything. But if you curious to see what all they trash-talk is about, pick it up anyway. It won't burn a hole in your pocket, and it's pretty, like glam-mag or 80s hair metal band pretty. And good review or bad review, it's cool to be reviewed in England. That's international!

Posted by jamye at March 13, 2021 06:43 PM