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In at the deep end
on 21 November 2012
By page 2 of this book you're well into steamy sex; no literary foreplay here other than a fascinating brief introduction about how the book came to be written for a "collector". I've not read 50 Shades of Grey and wonder what the fuss is about but I did manage the first 40 pages of a copy left lying around and frankly not a lot happened. You can't say that for Anais Nin's romp through all manner of sexual adventures reduced into action packed vignettes of straight, gay, bi-, oral, anal, group and more. I almost got the feeling that she had a tick list of what hadn't been included - "oh yes, necrophilia - haven't done that yet, lets get a voluptuous fresh corpse dragged out of the harbour". There is a story thread of sorts running through the book. The time setting is in what sounds like the early 1900s with many layers of petticoats requiring removal and visits to whorehouses in Paris where syphilis and pregnancy are occupational hazards. But the question is not "what happens next?" but "how?" and "with whom?".
In today's culture more serious questions arise such as the difference, if any, between erotica and pornography,issues of misogyny, exploitation and child abuse - when a sexual romp between a man and his two hitherto estranged teenage daughters - makes one wonder how acceptable this genre is today.