But before you dub her Dixie's own Carrie Bradshaw, consider this: Her new book, Sex in the South (Justin, Charles and Co.) has less in common with "Sex and the City" and more closely resembles another HBO product, the soft-core "Real Sex" series so loved by sleepless teenage boys.
Parker, a journalist from Little Rock, Ark., details in the book's introduction (the "foreplay") her own involvement in a minor -- and ridiculous -- hometown sex scandal, which made her wonder what exactly was hiding underneath the floral sundresses and denim overalls of her birth region. What follows is a series of personal columns on various sexual subgroups, most often told with a stranger-in-a-strange-land sensibility and an ear for the absurd. Her thesis: We in the Bible belt put on a good show for Sunday school, but keep a big sloppy mess of creative kink in our closets.
Parker gets points for variety. From a skirt-wearing straight man in Arkansas to a society of swinging suburbanites in North Carolina, her selection of subcultures might seem pedestrian at first, shocking only to those who live in the most conservative hinterlands. (Admittedly, this may be a jaded Atlanta bias rearing its unfazable head. The author points out that we are the Sex Capital of the South.)
But just when the book starts to drag, Parker dips into Tennessee's freakfest and examines the fetish of "pony play" (guys who want women to treat them like horses) and drowning videos (underwater porn). Such journalistic gems make Sex in the South a frequently delightful read, despite the author's sometimes forced phrasing.
Her lone entry from Georgia -- a night on the town with Burlesque queen Torchy Taboo -- turns out to be one of the weakest columns, and she even misnames Blondie, the Clermont Lounge's famous can-crusher. Despite such mishaps, Sex in the South still serves a titillating take on the region's panopoly of perversity, the kind of experience that might leave you wanting a cigarette afterward.
Suzi Parker appears Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. at Books-A-Million, Discover Mills, 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, 678-847-5115.
Shelf Space is a weekly column on books and Atlanta's literary scene.
Little harsh, in'it?
Oh that's right...I DID say enjoy yourself.
Go to hell Kombo!
When will you be accepting applicants for the 2014 competition?
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