Live Nude Elf: The Sexperiments of Reverend Jen
Reverend Jen. Soft Skull Press, $14.95 (245pp) ISBN 978-1-59376-244-5
In this lively memoir, Troll Museum creator, mail-order Reverend and all-around creative type Jen (who has a quirky fondness for wearing fake elf ears) recounts a two-year series of ""sexperiments"" performed for her online Nerve magazine column. Though common wisdom asserts there's nothing new under the sun, Reverend Jen gives the cliché a run for its money, with material to make a sailor blush: she witnesses a jar of mayonnaise violated, attends an S&M ""reform school"" and hosts a ""sex toy Olympics,"" in which she puts an untold number of appliances and rubber goods through rigorous trials. Happily, Jen's candor, well-developed sense of humor and honesty prove endearing; she's a hard narrator to dislike, with enough charm for anyone with an opinion on Sex and the City-there's enough wry cynicism and disbelieving-but-nonjudgmental attitude for lovers and haters. Genuinely curious and game for just about anything, Jen's more conventional quest for love, especially near the end of the book, feels tacked-on despite its sincerity. Still, this narrative is a rarity in its field: a hedonistic nonfiction sex romp with an enormous heart.
Reviewed on: 05/04/2009