Better Than Sex may have a big title but it’s ultimately a bit of a misnomer. The book is actually a collection of essays by 16 female writers who discuss sex, love and romance in this modern, digital age. This is the third book about and by contemporary women to be compiled and edited by author and journalist, Samantha Trenoweth. It offers some interesting and engaging discussions about a range of topics and offers a number of different perspectives.
The point of this book was to see whether women have more or less choice in the current landscape of love or one that incudes Tinder, internet dating, selfies and internet porn. A number of the authors (Zan Rowe, Maggie MK Hess and Van Badham) try internet dating with varying degrees of success. Other writers like the happily married, Zoe Norton Lodge and Emily Maguire examine topics like desire and how they keep the spark alive. Roxane Gay offers us a moving piece of short fiction about grief and guilt but it feels like it belongs in a different anthology altogether.
Catharine Lumby looks at how teenagers are navigating the minefield of internet porn, sexting and dating that is played out on social media while Rosie Waterland describes naked selfies. Lena Dunham offers a fabulous piece on marriage and her own ambivalence towards it. And Celeste Liddle offers us some insightful ideas about the clash between individuality and community that often affects Aboriginal women and what they do to reconcile these rather disparate elements.
This volume will challenge you and make you think differently about some ideas and will have you nodding or disagreeing with others. The book is a very direct, no-holds barred look at love in the digital age. It’s also a rather personal and engaging read by a number of female writers. It also allows you to walk a mile in their shoes. Excellent.
***Please note: a free copy of this book was won by the writer through a The Reading Room giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: https://www.thereadingroom.com/book/better-than-sex/10055725/