Understimulated

If sexual excitement is the idea of these three tell-all memoirs, readers might want reach for Playboy first.

Zzzzzzzzz. Zzzzzzz. Zzzzzzz. No, that's not the buzzing of a vibrator; that's the sound of snoring. Erotica (aka porn packed with 10-dollar words) is supposed to conjure up prurient thoughts, which in turn inspire flagrant bouts of self-abuse, resulting in the reader madly juggling the book in one hand and a Hitachi Magic Wand (or his member) in the other. None of these three tomes—all billed as groundbreaking erotic memoirs—will provoke much more than a raised eyebrow from anyone who's ever thumbed through Playboy. "Melissa P.," the pseudonymous Italian authoress of 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed(Grove, $12), is getting the most buzz of the bunch (including a feature in Vanity Fair), because she was 15 when she wrote her semifictionalized diary. (She's all of 18 now.) And while her tales of group sex, BDSM, lesbianism, and generally slutty behavior will inevitably give heart attacks to the parents of teenage girls everywhere, the rest of us will alternate between extreme boredom and snickers of condescension. Euphemisms like "his lance" and "my wound" litter flatly rendered descriptions of what you'd normally consider deviant behavior. But far from being a stroke book, due to P.'s cold, emotion-free descriptions, it all sounds about as debauched and intriguing as taking a dump. It can be said that anyone who attempts an autobiography has been touched by Narcissis, but Melissa P. takes self-adoration to new heights in the book's very first sex scene: "Often, with my image reflected in the mirror, I slip my finger inside, and as I look into my eyes, I'm filled with a feeling of love and admiration for myself." Oy vey. Whereas Melissa P. can be somewhat forgiven her extreme self-involvement, given her young age, Toni Bentley, author of the butt-sex manifesto The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir (ReganBooks, $24.95), is most certainly deranged. "I came to know God experientially, from being fucked in the ass—over and over and over again. I am a slow learner. I am serious. Very serious." Why yes, Ms. Bentley, you certainly are serious. Seriously humorless. Are you there, God? It's me, Toni Bentley's Asshole. How is it possible that a book completely—no, slavishly— devoted to the sport of getting banged in the can be completely devoid of any laughs, except those chortled at the author's expense? In interviews, Bentley describes the myriad publishers who turned her down before Judith Regan took it on as not "courageous" enough to publish such a "brave" work. Erm, no. Perhaps those publishers actually read the book. Written in the kind of breathless prose you might expect from a C-level romance writer, The Surrender chronicles one woman's descent into nuttiness via her butt. Being into the anal is one thing—storing all your paramour's used condoms in a special locked box is quite another. Bentley's ballet-dancer past has provided her with a hard little ass that she gladly offers up to her one true love, the moronically monikered "A-Man." (Der, what's the "A" for?) While scoffing at monogamy, Bentley does cop to jealousy once she figures out her backdoor boyfriend—whom she never socializes with and sees only when he can fit her in for a few hours of butt-bangin'—is putting it to another broad at the gym they both frequent. To make matters even more infuriating, her competition's bum is bigger than hers! "If A-Man so loved my tight ass, how could he love that wide one too?" Wah! The Surrender reads almost like a joke. One of the funniest punch lines being that the author photo on the (har!) back cover is so grim that Bentley actually looks like there might be something up her butt (though I was more inclined to guess a stick over a dick). "I can only fuck one fuck at a time," Bentley notes nonsensically and perhaps a bit naively. Guess she's never seen a Jenna Jameson flick. Written by porn phenom Jenna Jameson with a lot of help from co-author (and former New York Times man) Neil Strauss, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star (ReganBooks, $27.95) is bad; make no mistake. But it's also the most readable book of the bunch (thanks, Neil!) and the only one with any semblance of a sense of humor. More marketing tool than honest autobiography, How to is padded thicker than a fifth-grader's bra. There are reproduced diary entries, but mostly there are endless photos of Jenna; Jenna in kooky costumes, Jenna with her family, Jenna with her famous friends, Jenna and her boobies . . . you get the idea. There's a helpful chart on blow-job technique; other than that, instructional tips are few and far between. Unlike Bentley, Jenna is not a fan of peckers up her pooper. She claims to have only given up the brown flower to three men—all of whom she loved. Creepily enough, one of these men was the improbably well- endowed Marilyn Manson, whom she describes as on her ass "like a rat on cheese." No Brie for me! The creep factor doesn't stop there. Perhaps the cringiest moments are when Jenna's dad and brother wax on about her talents as a performer. "I was absolutely stunned at how wonderful you are. Stunned," her father proclaims proudly. Eww! I think most of us would be stunned if our dear ol' dad didn't have an aneurysm upon watching us put some guy's dick in our mouth. But I guess that's a different memoir. info@seattleweekly.com

 
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