When Ayn Carrillo-Gailey confronted her boyfriend about his porn habit, he pronounced her “pornophobic.” Determined to prove she wasn't phobic, simply more enlightened, Ayn set out to learn all she could about this phenomenon. Like any good researcher, she added her new quest to her daily To-Do list: 1. Drop off dry cleaning 2. Call Mom 3. Visit sex toy store on Melrose Acting as an amateur anthropologist introduced Ayn to a world populated by everyday people. Her quest aroused the curiosity of her female friends: her knitting group quickly turned into informal information sessions, as the women-single or married, involved or not-were desperate for information. What does XXX mean vs. un-rated? What's the difference between topless dancers and strip clubs? Why is some of it actually not that stimulating? And why are men obsessed with it? Along the way, Ayn ditched the porn-obsessed boyfriend, and learned that one should not try to make change from a stripper's G-string tips, nor is the Hustler store the best place to make a first impression on a hot guy. Pornology is the result of one woman's quest to pierce the veil that modestly covers something many women actually want to know about. Suprising, hilarious, informative, and ultimately non-judgmental, this narrative is one readers won't put down-once they admit they're curious enough to pick it up!
Carrillo-Gailey is just the latest in a decade-long string of women writers (e.g., Lisa Palac and her 1997 memoir, The Edge of the Bed, for starters) to run with the idea that "good girls" don't need to be afraid of pornography. The concept isn't particularly original, and neither is its execution. After a boyfriend accuses her of being "pornophobic," the Los Angeles screenwriter picks up some erotica in a bookshop, begins masturbating, then breaks up with the boyfriend after a misguided visit to a strip club. The story of how she finds, loses and recaptures her next lover unfolds through a series of implausible anecdotes (beginning with an awkward encounter at Hustler's sex toy shop) populated by a sitcom-perfect cast of supporting characters, including the promiscuous best friend, the gay buddy even a nearsighted Chinese mother prone to comic malapropisms. Carrillo-Gailey insists all the porn-related material is true, but concedes that some situations have been "altered for dramatic purposes," and the increasingly outlandish nature of those embellishments raises questions about the other passages. On the other hand, they do liven up her banal discoveries: vibrators can be fun, Playboy isn't even that smutty and so on in this uninspired fairy tale.