Somewhere, somebody is having more fun than you are.
Orso everyone believes. Peter Sagal, a mild-mannered, Harvard-educated radio host—the man who puts the second "l" in "vanilla"—decided to find out if it's true. From strip clubs to gambling halls to swingers clubs to porn sets and back to the strip clubs (but only because he left his glasses there), Sagal explores what the sinful folk do, how much they pay for the privilege, and how exactly they got those funny red marks.
NPR host Sagal (Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me) offers a hilarious, harmlessly prurient look at the banality of regular people's strange and wicked pleasures. In the wake of the late-1990s obsession with other people's fun, notes Sagal, the hoi polloi have pursued their own indulgences, such as sex joints, swinging couples' clubs, gambling and pornography. He describes the three necessary elements of vice that distinguish it from sin and give it that irresistible frisson: social disapprobation, actual pleasure and shame. A buttoned-up journalist and family man, Sagal visits the respective dens of inequity, interviewing the principals in the name of research while preserving his academic irony, e.g., during the shooting of a hardcore porn sequence for Spice TV, he remarks of the actors: "I began to appreciate how very well Evan and Kelly did their work." Indeed, the dedicated hedonists, such as the regular joe habitu s of San Francisco's Power Exchange or the normal-seeming couples who frequent the Swinger's Shack, face "the same problems of meeting supplies, logistics, expense versus income, and time management as does any warehouse foreman." Sagal is a terrific, lively writer, and while some of his segments are repetitive and stretched, he is admirable in humanizing the participants.