Why is pleasure doubled when it's shared ?...Do you really have to cut pleasure in two so that it'll exist? I mean, if it's doubled when there are two of you, then it must be tripled when there are three, quadrupled when there are four, centupled when there are a hundred, right? Is it O.K. for a hundred to share? And if I get used to trying it all alone, why is it that I'll never love anyone again? Is it that good alone and that awful with others?;from Good Sex IllustratedFirst published in France in 1973, Good Sex Illustrated gleefully deciphers the subtext of a popular sex education manual for children produced during that period. In so doing, Duvert mounts a scabrous and scathing critique of how deftly the sex-positive ethos was harnessed to promote the ideal of the nuclear family. Like Michel Houllebecq, Duvert is highly attuned to all the hypocrisies of late twentieth century western sexual liberation mass movements. As Bruce Benderson tes in his introduction, Good Sex Illustrated shows that, in our sexual order, orgasm follows the patterns of any other kind of capital...'good sex' is a voracious profit machine. But unlike Houllebecq, Duvert writes from a passionate belief in the integrity of unpoliced sex and of pleasure. Even more controversially w than when the book was first published, Duvert asserts the child's right to his or her own playful, unproductive sexuality. Bruce Benderson's translation will belatedly introduce English-speaking audiences to the most infamous gay French writer since Jean Genet.
Novelist, translator, and essayist Bruce Benderson is the author of a memoir, The Romanian: Story of an Obsession, winner of France's prestigious Prix de Flore in French translation, and Pacific Agony (Semiotext(e), 2009.)