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“Everything a Happily Married Bible Belt Woman Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Was Afraid to Ask”

Scanning the table of contents of the latest New York Times Magazine, I groaned inwardly when I got to “Everything a Happily Married Bible Belt Womas Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Was Afraid to Ask”, a profile of a thoroughly endearing entrepreneuse who drives around rural Arkansas selling vibrators, stimulating lubricant, and edible undies the same way some women move Tupperware or Mary Kay.

Anyone who is, like me, both creatively inclined and deeply lazy will recognize the dull, cold, soul-deep ache from which my groan emanated: This was a story I was meaning to write, ever since I found out that a childhood friend is running sex-toy parties for farmers’ wives in Southern Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

C’est la vie. I’m happy to say, at least, that it’s a very fine story. The author, Jennifer Senior, did her homework—not only did she clearly spend time getting to know her subject and her subject’s customers, but she also referenced The Technology of Orgasm, Rachel P. Maines’s outstanding history of the vibrator, and she provided a cultural context for the phenemenon of home-selling, particularly as it is practiced by women. Thus, I recommend this article, even as I sigh wistfully and think, “That could have been my by-line…”

July 6, 2004 | Permalink

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