"Call me Ishmael." "I've always hated touch." Opening lines from two wanderers who narrate their stories in riveting detail--and both sets of words are statements of unease. In her bold new book "Secret Sex Lives," bestselling author Suzy Spencer turns from true crime to sex. This book takes the reader on a journey to the thinly-covered world of "secret sex" in America. In the process of winding through the labyrinth of Internet-aided hookups, BDSM (bondage/domination/submission/masochism) groups, swing clubs, and other modern methods of exchanging lust, Suzy comes to terms with her own sexuality and how her Southern Baptist upbringing is still affecting her. This sensitive writer who states that she hadn't had sex for ten years would hardly seem to be an appropriate choice to pen such a book. But the ever-tightening conflict between her fear of being touched and her innate desire for it draws the reader into her psyche. Her inner monologue sounds loud and clear when she interviews people like Al, a practitioner of the BDSM lifestyle who says that she is "sending out sexual vibes" at the end of an interview--then gives her a hug that is too "binding" for her comfort. When she talks at length with Dusty, a wealthy rancher who wears pink lingerie. Or when "Coyote," a man she comes to trust more than most of the others tells her more and more about his meetups and reveals that he's had sex with men. Then he starts describing his ideal woman and Suzy realizes he's talking about her. Or when one of the women she discovers, whose comforting presence is like "fingertips on her arm," tells her about her abundant liaisons--which drives Suzy into a flurry of looking up the diseases her new friend may be exposing herself to. Then there's Rex who asks her if she wants to listen in on his phone sex. Her inner voice says "no," but she agrees anyway. As the research process moves on, Suzy is drawn so strongly into the whirlpool of sex that she consents to attending a BDSM meeting in Austin where she submits to having her hands bound. And then in the finale, she travels to New York and Connecticut where she goes to swing clubs with people she has met. These places receive a lavish level of description that rivals Dante's work. OK-- anything beyond this point would be a spoiler. At the end, I found myself having to put the book down and taking deep breaths. (Seriously.) Honestly, I wanted to tell Suzy, "Hey, come on, buddy--let's go get a drink and talk it over." Highly recommended; and my bet is this book is going to be the next hot topic nationwide.