I said that after I finished Justin Cronin's epic post-apocalyptic vampire novel The Passage, my brain would need a break from lengthy dark fiction. It's huge - and only the first third of a trilogy! Cronin, I think, intends to be to scary vampires what James Fenimore Cooper was to American Indians.
I said that my next book would be the more lighthearted Beauty Queens by YA author Libba Bray. Not entirely lighthearted - it does begin with the plane crash that strands the survivors, all contestants in a teen beauty contest, on a tropical island. But there is plenty of lip gloss and stilettos and snark.
About a third of the way in, I love this book. My favorite character may be Adina, Miss New Hampshire, a journalist embedded in the pageant. She's a smart, Jewish feminist - sort of a teenage Emma Goldman. I also like lesbian, comic-book-loving Miss Michigan (Jennifer) and Indian-American Miss California (Shanti). The whole thing is a delicious send-up of pop culture and sexism. The young characters are learning that their bodies are instruments as well as ornaments.
Sometimes when I see the cover sitting on the table, I think of the Maroon 5 song, "She Will Be Loved." Its lyrics begin with, "Beauty queen of only 18..."
Between the link I shared (previous post) about Adam Levine's superhero underpants and snatches of that song stuck in my brain, it's no wonder I had a sex dream about Levine last night. (Plus I dream about Adam Levine a lot, far more than I dream about Christian Bale. It's just like that Maroon 5 song "Can't Stop." I half suspect Levine is my Jungian animus.) Fair warning: I dream dirty:
I (my teenage self, about the same age as the characters in Beauty Queens) was in a sort of hotel that doubled as a 24-hour movie theatre, on a road trip with my Aunt Susan. In the morning, Susan told me to get ready to leave, so I went into the bathroom, and Adam came in after me. Soon we were dry humping - like Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher, only face-to-face. I was pleasantly surprised to find out his dick (through his black jeans) felt much, much bigger and fatter than I would have imagined. I told him that when I was home from this road trip (out from under the watchful eye of Aunt Susan, that is), we would have actual sex.
It's not actual sex, but the common consensus on YouTube is that the Maroon 5 video "Misery" is masochist porn.
Some of what the skinny blonde girl (she's Anne Vyalitsyna) does might be acceptable in the context of an S/M relationship. Some of it is just plain mean. I have sorted some of her acts into the categories of Go and No Go. I couldn't decide on one of them.
-Shoving him up against a chain-link fence
-Twisting his arm behind his back
-The knife play
-Kick in the face
-Pushing him through a plate-glass window
-Throwing him off the roof
-The shoulder-fired grenade and the Molotov cocktail. I know Israelis use "to take up arms" as slang for sex, but in actual practice, firearms are not sexy. Blades are a little more so.
But that's just my personal comfort level. If you and your partner are comfortable with head-butts and face-kicks, I'm not judging you.
I'm being somewhat facetious, of course. Remember what I said in "How to Play a LoveGame in 5 Gaga Steps:"
"You’ve flirted with the BDSM look; now you might choose to kick the kink up a notch. You could try leather restraints, leashes, a body harness, a straightjacket, or another type of full-body restraint...If you’d like to try restraint play for the first time (or the first time with a new partner), use common-sense safety and comfort measures. Establish some boundaries and agree on a safe word that stops all play, no questions asked. Keep an eye on the person who’s restrained, and never cover up both the nose and mouth, especially when using a gag. Play delicately around the joints, face, neck, and other body parts that can easily be injured, and realize that holding one position for a long time can cause fatigue and discomfort."
Hmm, that gives me an idea. Maybe I should write "How to Play a LoveGame in Maroon 5 Steps."