Doing It: Women Tell the Truth about Great Sex (ed by Karen Pickering, UQP)
Fucking, boning, rooting, getting laid, making love, banging, shagging—there are a lot of phrases we can use to refer to sex. ‘Doing it’ is Karen Pickering’s favourite, and it is this particular phrase that serves as the title for this collection of memoir and essays by Australian women writers. Doing It: Women Tell the Truth about Great Sex presents sex in all its exciting, messy, confusing glory: Amy Middleton shares her story of sex in Berlin and reflects on the interplay between lust and love, intimacy and familiarity; Sinead Stubbins charts the evolution of the pop star and the ‘aching adoration’ of the teenage crush; Amy Gray and Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen negotiate online and offline sexual relationships, exploring their sexuality through sexting and online dating; and Van Badham reflects on boozy encounters with sticky boys at high-school parties. This collection is full of candid, fierce and challenging stories. Standouts include Jax Jacki Brown’s piece on disability and sexuality, and Emily Maguire’s memoir about lusting after Judas from Jesus Christ, Superstar. While there are dark moments—of regret, discrimination, abuse and heartbreak—there is an overarching sense of joy and confidence that comes from talking openly about sex. Doing It is a very readable collection brimming with intelligence and intimacy.
Cosima McGrath is the marketing and communications officer at Collins Booksellers