“Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write about Real Sex.” Edited by Erica Jong. HarperCollins, New York, 2011. 238 pages. $21.99.
Here is where you realize that sex and romance aren’t really that related. Here is where you must admit that sex is way more important. Here is where you see, time after time, that sex can be anything anytime anywhere but it had better be erotic or else. And here is where you see that within the male-female dynamic — largely the dynamic “Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write about Real Sex” concerns itself with — men take up a lot of space in women’s head. And here, men and women looking for something fun to read this summer, is where you notice that good sex commences once pretenses are abandoned….
There are no duds in this lively, fascinating collection but I do have favorites. Eve Ensler, author of “The Vagina Monologues,” wrote “Skin, Just Skin: A Dramatic Triologue” meant to be performed by three women. It is perfect-pitch true, funny, real, delightful and smart. Three women talk about really good sex in incomplete sentences. Sometimes they surprise and delight each other.Margot Magowan’s post-childbirth attempts — “Light Me Up” — at reconnecting sexually with her husband were horribly wrenching to bear witness to. It seems as if the female sexual body, in her case, threw up a protective wall for the sake and survival of the baby. It took a major emotional meltdown to explode a hole in the wall big enough for her husband to squirm through…In this collection you’ll find lots of women engaging in lots of sex. Therapists told these women they had low self-esteem. Nuns told them they were loose cannons. Friends called them sluts. But they persevered and today here we are, taking a long look and enjoying every written word of it.