America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction

America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction Review

Welcome to the America we don’t usually talk about, a place where that nice couple down the street could be saddling up for “pony play,” making and selling their own porn DVDs, or hosting other couples for a little flogging. As award-winning journalist Brian Alexander uncovers, fringe experimentation has gone suburban. Soccer moms, your accountant, even your own parents could be turning kinky.

Stunned by the uninhibited questions from ordinary people on his msnbc.com column, “Sexploration” (“My wife and I have heard that a lot of couples in their thirties are playing strip poker . . . as well as skinny-dipping with other couples/friends. Any idea if this is a fashionable trend or has it been going on for some time and we never knew it?” or “I am interested in bondage and hear that there are secret bondage clubs someplace. Can you help me find them?”), Brian Alexander was driven to understand Americans’ desire to get down and dirty—especially in an era where conservative family values dominate.

To find out what people are really doing—and why a country that suffered a national freak- out over Janet Jackson’s breast was enthusiastically getting in touch with its inner perv—Alexander set out on a sexual safari in modern America. Whether mixing it up at a convention of fetishists, struggling into his own pair of PVC pants for a wild night at a sex club, being tutored on dildos by a nineteen-year-old supervisor while working in an adult store, or learning the surprising ways of Biblical sex from an evangelical preacher, Alexander uses humor and insight to reveal a sexual world that is quickly redefining the phrase “polite society.”

Gonzo journalism at its funniest and kinkiest, America Unzipped is a fascinating cultural study and an eye-popping peek into the lives of people you’d least expect to find tied up and wearing latex.


One Dozen Things to Avoid When Exploring American Sex

1. Asking an enthusiastic devotee to explain cock-and-ball torture while standing within arm’s length.

2. Assuming an evangelical Christian will not be familiar with the term “69.”

3. Incredibly tight PVC pants.

4. Trying to become the first male sex toy home party salesman in Missouri.

5. Standing too close to bondage models without wearing overalls and safety goggles.

6. Insisting that Dan Quayle would never invest in porn.

7. Displaying a look of surprise when a grandmother discusses the risk of removing a dildo from a microwave oven.

8. Admitting your sex vocabulary is smaller than an eighth grader’s.

9. Explaining the difference between “cream pie” and “gonzo” to a suburban mom shopping for her son’s birthday sex DVDs.

10. Trying to interview a naked submissive locked on a cage.

11. Expecting answers about sex from a six-foot-tall pink rabbit.

12. Thinking that porn kings could not possibly have Ivy League degrees and run charitable foundations.


From the Hardcover edition.

Title:America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction
Edition Language:English

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    America Unzipped: In Search of Sex and Satisfaction Reviews

  • Wayland Smith

    Brian Alexander, a columnist, goes off to explore the sexual scene across America. He's thorough, dipping into several areas and getting many points of view. Some scenes are very sexually graphic, so ...

  • Ashley

    Alexander takes a look at the sexual activities and viewpoints of "typical" Americans. He begins by spending time with a fundamentalist preacher, co-hosting Passion Parties with a midwestern wife and ...

  • Lani

    I was a little disappointed by the ending of this book. Most of the earlier chapters were fine. Interviews and observations about the sex of middle America, accounts of toy parties and working at an a...

  • Keri (JD)

    This is the 2nt time I have borrowed this book from the library and it just could not keep my interest 200 pages in. Some aspects of it were amusing, entertains and informative. Most were dry, oversta...

  • Allen

    For those who read Brian Alexander's MSNBC Sexploration column, and those who don't this book is a great read for anyone who really wants to open up to at least read and learn about what sexual life h...

  • Sarah

    This second rate "Slouching toward Gomorrah" aims to look at American sexual behavior around the country, but really exposes the author as rude, narrow minded and totally unqualified to write on the t...

  • Jerry Smith

    You have to admire someone who would take on such a topic. His findings were not too shocking although some of the practices described do seem a little bizarre! In the terms of those in the book I gue...

  • David

    This is a book about America's sexual culture, which is a totally different landscape than it was just 5 years ago. Alexander went on what was essentially a nationwide sex tour, researching it, not h...

  • Sheryl

    "Prostitutes are women too, you know! With all the same feelings, emotions and needs that you have. They are aware of what society thinks of them and that actually means that doing what they do takes ...

  • Izlinda

    I've been reading Brian Alexander's Sexploration column on MSNBC for quite a while, and have enjoyed them. When I heard he was writing a book/collecting data for America Unzipped, I was really intrigu...