Book review: GIRL ON THE NET
Let me tell you one thing about the book "GIRL ON THE NET: how a bad girl fell in love": you should read it. And then you should lend it to your friends. Everyone should read it. Why? First of all because for way too long – about thousands of years - the Western cultural canon has been repleted with the sexual narratives of heterosexual men. Desires, fantasies, sexual conquests, perversions, love ideals and relationship dramas have been told from a male perspective.
Increasingly more women* voices are finding a space to be heard and be read, and in this particular but not uncommon case, it has been through the internet and the anonymity that Girl On The Net has shared her sexual stories. This award-winning sex blogger and writer created a persona who speaks about her very personal sex experiences and has gained thousands of virtual readers. Now she has written her second novel, narrating her journey from a convinced promiscuity into a functional monogamous happiness.
Secondly, but not least, she tells her story with capturing insight into her truest emotions, reflecting on societal norms and personal challenges, always respectful of and acknowledging other options. She even ventures into the stigmatized realm of anxiety and mental illnesses. She does so elegantly, fighting shame and sharing good advice on how to deal with conflict through communication. All in all, she offers a positive representation of sex, lust, and horniness. A great example of how to navigate modern life, love, and sexual relationships and still turn out a cool, actualized and happy person.
Now, if you are non-hetero or non-monogamous or otherwise non-norm-conforming, you might be somehow disappointed. This can not be the ultimate feminist discourse! You could cry out. You would probably notice that behind its rebellious attitude GOTN is exploiting a conservative mentality. You would point out that all detailed sex bits are reinforcing heteronormative and phallocentric standards.
You would denounce the cheating motif as an excuse, a literary topos, the commonplace of recurrent fantasies that slowly but surely are burnt in order to give rebirth to the monogamous ideal the book promised to question. If you do - I hear you, sister. A critic can open up a dialogue, as long as you keep it constructive. But while you do it, remember that it is a long way to go towards female* sexual liberation, and every step counts. Even if perfecting deep throating might not be the ultimate feminist goal, it could be a Trojan Horse in the war of dismantling patriarchy, one motherhood deserter at a time.
Truth is, this chronicle took me on a well-knitted roller coster ride of feelings, and as long as the status-quo does not celebrate the sexual lust of women*, this story is groundbreaking. And it is sexy as well. Maybe the perfect present for your partner to start - or continue - talking about sex and relationships.
A good spanking session with cuddling afterward.