Sitting in a meeting of Sex Addicts Anonymous, Claire Halliday insists to herself she’s there for research. But while trying to work out what to say when her turn comes, she begins to wonder whether we aren’t all sex addicts now.
Like sugar, sex is in everything, from Bratz dolls to internet porn. On your television, on your radio, along the side of the road; in your inbox, your handheld and your frontpage. It sells and – particularly if you’re a parent – it terrifies. It has always excited and disgusted, but now it does both things simultaneously, all the time.
Combining memoir and reportage, Claire Halliday considers the place of sex throughout Australian life: from lounging about at the beach, to the pervasive sexualisation of advertising and children, to the more minority pursuits of swinging and porn-films, as well as the rise of the abstinence movement. She explores the issues with unsparing candour testing them against her own life and her own feelings rather than abstract ideals. The result is inquiring, challenging and fascinating. Who, after all, doesn’t like sex? Just . . . perhaps . . . not right now.