Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Is it a Date or Just Coffee?

A while ago, I said I'd check out Mo Brownsey's book "Is it a Date or Just Coffee: The Gay Girl's Guide to Dating, Sex, and Romance" (2002). I thought that since asexuals have a particularly hard time defining "dating", that this book might be useful. Indeed, Margaret Cho says on the back cover that this book is "perfect for all girls-- gay, straight, bi, and in-between." Well, not so much. This book annoyed me on so many levels:

1) Brownsey's insistence on calling bi women "gay girls". (Do bi women call themselves gay?)
2) Non-intuitive (at least to me) organization of the book.
3) The fact that the book reads more like an autobiography than an advice volume.
4) The fact that Brownsey seems to have no respect for anyone who doesn't place sex as a priority. ("SEX= LOVERS, NO SEX = FRIENDS", she repeats-- caps are hers. Yuck! I always think queer people will be more open-minded, but they can be stuck inside the same rigid dichotomies as [many] straight people.)
5) The fact that this book doesn't provide any information that a sensible friend couldn't tell you. And your friend could tell you this without the cutesiness that many authors think passes for "accessibility". In general, the book tried way too hard to be funny, which always makes me wince... I don't understand its great Amazon.com reviews at all.

Sigh...I guess I'll have to keep looking for ase-friendly dating advice...

Edit: I feel like I'm being so harsh here, but the truth is, I've never read a book about dating, love/sex or relationships that wasn't written for the most simplistic possible audience. I'm not assuming that authors necessarily share the views of their books, as they're writing for a genre that, unfortunately, has been very narrow in its scope. I've never seen a book about dating that challenged the status quo. Which doesn't make any sense, as revolutionaries need love, too.

5 comments:

willendork said...

"which doesn't make any sense, as revolutionaries need love, too."

lord, you are so very quotable.

Hannah said...

One of my friends is commonly known as Big Gay, although he's bi. Personal standards of what is acceptable are personal.

Superquail said...

If you are interested in a book about sex, sexuality, dating and anything related to that subject area, I recommend "The Guide to Getting It On!" Yes, it is a sex guide, but it also talks about a lot of other things, and it does not assume that its audience is simple-minded. A lot of the stuff I learned from that book I wouldn't even know where to look up.

Here is a sample list of some of the chapters:

- Romance
- The Importance of Getting Naked
- Orgasms, Sunsets, and Hand Grenades
- Talking to Your Partner About Sex
- Sex Legal
- Massage - The Ultimate Tenderness
- Losing Your Virginity
- The First Time - Not What You'd Think
- Better Mating Through Internet Dating
- Online Sexual Addiction - Really?
- Orientation in Flux
- Gender Benders
- Sex and Breast Cancer
- Sex and Hysterectomy
- Sex and Diabetes
- Sex When You Are Horny and Disabled
- Snoring and Gas
- Techno Breasts and Weenie Angst
- Basic Brain Weirdness
- Explaining Sex to Kids
- The Dirty Word Chapter
- Barbie the Icon
- The Historical Breast and Bra
- What's Masculine, Feminine and Erotic
- Men's and Women's Experience of Sex
- The Horny Pill and Patch
- God and Sex
- Sex in the 1800s
- Sex on the Interstate
- Kink in the Animal Kingdom

It's over 800 pages, but it's worth reading.

Ily said...

WD-- hee, thanks!
Hannah-- is that anything like the Big Lebowski? :-)
SQ-- I've heard you mention that book before somewhere...I'll check it out!

Superquail said...

Yeah, I talk about that book a lot. It really had a positive impact on me. The publisher's website is: http://www.goofyfootpress.com/

You can also check it out on Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Getting-Paul-Joannides/dp/1885535694/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1215235725&sr=8-2