George had a museum dick. The kind you could just stare at and wanted to show to your friends, as if it were an exquisite piece of art. It was thick and long and perfectly tanned, as if it had been strategically placed on an Italian beach at high noon.
Now, "museum" dick is a permanent phrase in my lexicon, as well as about a dozen other people who followed through with reading the novel and come prepared. Hosts Terri and Christine were also more than prepared. They made sexually-charged food items that were a riot including a two-toned mocha museum dick cake. For the record, all of these adjectives are ways that penes (yes that is a legitimate way to pluralize the word penis - Preston and Michael would recommend that you listen to the dictionary voice pronounce it) are described in the novel. I dare say that it was the best dick cake I've ever eaten.
Other clever themed snacks the fine hosts provided were "Popped Cherries," "Cheese and 'Crack Whores,'" "Chocolate Covered Nuts," phallic shaped kabobs called "Dick on a Stick," and Angel's contribution of semi-peeled plantains he titled "Banana-Flavored Teenie Weenies" that looked so authentic that initially people were afraid to try them.
While the food was intricately planned, I wasn't sure whether the discussion portion would actually take off. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. For such a trivial novel, we took on some heady issues like gender, sexuality, race, love, rape, and exploitation.
Insatiable is a coming(tehehe)-of-age novel about a young woman who progresses from a naive virgin to prostitute to stripper to porn star. Though the novel is technically fiction, it's a semi-autobiographical account of porn star Heather Hunter's life. While Hunter would be surprised to learn that you've never heard of her, you probably don't know her as none of us readers did or admitted to it, anyway. I'd believe that she was a reasonably big deal as she was the first African American female to gain induction into the American porn hall of fame.
None of us connected to the narrator. Firstly, she's conceited to a fault (though Hunter seems to believe it's not conceited if it's true). Secondly, it's difficult to root for a character when she faces no adversity. Each step of the way, she meets someone who effortlessly advances her career because they recognize her "natural talent," whatever that means. It's actually infuriating to watch someone so fortunate stumble onto so many opportunities. The one setback is when she meets a hip hop mogul who doesn't want to hear her sing, instead requesting a blowjob. She was upset, but followed through with the oral sex anyway. Don't fret, however, later in her life she has another opportunity to rap for a producer who immediately recognizes her "natural talent" (that phrase gets thrown around a lot) and wants to get her in the recording studio immediately. What can you say? The girl's got it.
Even at the end, when she's trying to put porn behind her, she comes across as pathetic. In an effort to start fresh, Simone resolves to find a normal relationship. She dates an up-and-coming film director who recognizes her from porn and "accidentally" touches his penis and arouses him. She then commends herself for conducting herself in a normal first date manner. Only in the land of Museum Dicks would she think this is how the average person behaves.
Furthermore, Simone is a hypocritical narrator. You can tell she doesn't respect her own industry from her frequent branding of her colleagues as "freaks." The sex her coworkers have for money is gross and degrading, but Simone never puts herself in that category. Simone is better than that; with her, it's a combination of talent and destiny. Whatever.
My favorite character is Chyna, Simone's pointlessly mean stripper rival. On one occasion, Simone complains that Chyna is "nasty, gross, and disgusting." Three consecutive synonyms is piss poor writing. The pair constantly attempts to show one another up on the stage, leading to the greatest, or at least filthiest, scene of the novel.
"The groom smiled as I flipped him over on all fours and rode him like the dog he was. As I yanked on his belt and smacked his butt, the crowd threw money at me and begged to be next. Of course, this made Chyna jealous, and knowing she had to kick it up a notch, she grabbed a customer's beer out of his hand just as he was turning it up to take a swig and went back over to the groom to bounce her big titties in his face. The groom bit and nibbled on her voluptuous breasts for a few seconds before Chyna placed the beer bottle down onto the floor of the stage. All of a sudden she broke out and did a split on top of the beer bottle with her pussy lips wrapped tightly around its neck. She then proceeded to do a handstand, gripping the bottle with her love muscles before emptying the frosty liquid inside her sugar walls. The men went absolutely insane and the women were in shock. I even had to sit up on the groom's back and watch the bitch in amazement before I got up and conceded defeat."
You may be wondering whether Chyna's name is any indication of her ethnicity? Enlighten us Heather Hunter:
"[Chyna's] microscopic golden-colored braids gently swept across the crack of her rotund behind and her eyes were slanted like she was some distant kin to Bruce Lee."
Three cheers for racial insensitivity. Actually, this book is a big mess of racial ignorance and stereotypes. I naively believed this novel might have some progressive racial politics, but many of the characters are broken down into neat little stereotypical boxes with indicative names to avoid any confusion: Carmen is the vivacious Latina whose dialogue is peppered with the word "chica." Ebony is the sassy black friend. Cherokee is the wise Native American stripper. She is a "first people" in the porn world, knowing the lay of the land and the ins-and-outs of the industry. She is able to provide valuable information to Simone, who commends her for "speaking the truth."
Also, while being ogled by a stripping scout, Simone "felt like a fertile slave on an auction block in Mississippi." Rather than getting critical toward the industry, in the subsequent sentence, she excuses him for just doing his job. It's peculiar how a writer can evoke these topics then miss the point completely.
Alas, the writing was pretty rank, too. Just as Simone has never met a cock that doesn't satisfy her completely, she has never written a simile she doesn't like, as well. The book is literally inundated with horrible similes that show as little discretion as Simone does with her sexual partners. (Yes, I did just make a simile, but mine was good.) Hunter also tends to give her figurative language a pop culture focus.
After his climax, I let go of his pants and twirled up from the floor just as the song ended. I curtsied like a cute ballerina who had just performed in The Nutcracker Suite, which in a way, I had.
"spinning herself around in a circle with her hands reaching toward the heavens like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music."
"In a little bit of a Steve Urkel kind of way, Derek overcame his shyness and removed his clothes." (HOT!)
"applauded as if they had just seen Princess Diana." [Back from the dead?]
In a word: laughable.
And, of course, we discussed the sex. In Simone's world, every time is amazing, if you'll believe it. There's not even average dick: every man she encounters has an oversized genitalia and knows how to use it. After hundreds of incidents of intercourse, she's bound to run into one subpar performance, right? They can't all be that good, which let us clubbers to wonder if she's never actually had good sex and just believes that it's all good?
Perhaps you've fantasized about strippers having lesbian affairs behind the scenes while they're not busy seducing men. According to Hunter, that's true. Strippers love to have sex with each other, even while flying on commercials airplanes, and generally they giggle and compliment each other while they do it. When a fellow female adult entertainer boasts to Simone that she can make her cum with any part of her body, Simone coos that her new friend's "foot was like a perfectly sized dick." Last I checked, a toe is hardly comparable to a museum dick. Perhaps less is more?
Then there's this ridiculous rape scene that's included for all of the wrong reasons. As much as it would be a powerful statement to show that just because someone is sexualized and exploited as an occupation does not mean she can used without consent, it didn't gel. She only somewhat cares that this incident occurs then proceeds to have consensual sex within 24 hours later. Our group decided that the notable part was the control aspect that mattered to Simone. The act of having sex was just about meaningless to her at this point, so it was the inability to possess power in the situation that upset her. Besides, had she not been so coked out she was unable to speak, I'm sure she would have agreed to the encounter to begin.
If Simone believes she has standards, she is delusional. At one point, she gives a guy a blowjob, then congratulates herself for not letting him penetrate her vaginally during their first meeting. Another time she vows not to sleep with a guy the first night. Instead, they have a conversation in bed, fall asleep, then have a lot of amazing sex when they wake up in the morning. On a third occasion, she declares that she was "ready to give him [her] pussy the moment [she] met him." As if that is some sort of distinction with this girl.
The most heated discussion of all, however, revolved around around Heather Hunter's gender. Many club members believed Hunter to be a transexual based upon the photos that accompanied the book. (That's right, she included a provocative photo of herself between each chapter.) With just a little internet research, we were able to inspect an image of her vagina, so now we're fairly convinced that Hunter was in fact born a woman.
All in all, Insatiable was a sometimes amusing, often excruciating read. While romance novels tend to have a lot of plot that builds up to a couple of climactic sexual sequences, Insatiable has sexual encounters in every chapter. It's overkill and there were times I was begging just to have more plot and found myself skimming the sex scenes. Before reading it, I wouldn't have anticipated that being the case, but smut can be surprising.
For our next choice, we wanted something with a bit more plot and a bit more class. Hence, we selected Fanny Hill or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by John Cleland. Written in the 18th century, the novel is considered a classic and was subject to censorship in its time. According to the back of the book:
The Bishop of London called the work 'an open insult upon Religion and good manners' and James Boswell referred to it as 'a most licentious and inflaming book'.
The story of a prostitute's rise to respectability, it has been recognized more recently as a unique combination of parody, sensual entertainment and a philosophical concept of sexuality borrowed from French libertine novels.
I've only sampled it, and I must say it is a much better read, though equally as funny with its humor stemming from written wit rather than atrocious similes. Cum on and read Fanny Hill. Won't you join us?