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Essay Review    



Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt
by Suzi Parker
Justin, Charles & Co., 2003
Hardcover, $23.95 (358 pages)
ISBN: 1-932112-16-2



"A Southern girl enjoying sex is a dangerous thing."

The freelance journalist who broke the story about a blue aphrodisiac bottled drink for women, has been busy looking under the sheets and traveling the backroads of the South investigating how Sunday morning pew sitters, "raise hell" during the week.

Freelance journalist Suzi Parker may have started this as research for her articles on southern sexuality; however, it had to be clear to her soon that there was enough for a book, and more than likely a series. Sex in the South covers all the states below the Mason-Dixon, except Kentucky and Virginia. Don't fret, I think they know about sex in those two states, but most likely Alabama wore the investigative journalist out.

Sex in the South is a hoot to read from beginning to end. Parker has fun with the book, using "foreplay" instead of "foreword" and "post-coital bliss" instead of "epilogue." She takes the readers to a home party where the homemaker is selling sex toys instead of Tupperware; a visit with a straight man who just likes to wear skirts; a photo shoot for Southern Charms web site; swingers in the Carolinas; and a bondage weekend. The region that gave the world Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Lady Chablis, is still a fertile locale for gay men. 

Honestly, trying to find a folder for this review wasn't easy. Where do you put a book that is a sex tour of Dixie exploring the history and customs of the southern woman as she balances her sexuality and fundamentalist training. I almost put it in reference, 'cause I learned a lot! I almost put it in travel, 'cause I got a map and noted the web sites in the back. I almost put it in humor, 'cause I laughed so hard. AND I almost put it in memoir, 'cause Suzi is so 'present' within these pages. I settled on essay, since this is journalistic writing of our sexual customs in the South. The one thing I am sure of -- Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt was so much fun, that I ordered three signed copies for gifts. My friends will be smiling Christmas morning.

Candice Bushnell's Sex in the City seems tame compared to Suzi Parker's Sex in the South.

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews


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