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Want Me: A Sex Writer's Journey into the Heart of Desire (Paperback)
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One of NPR's Best Books of the Year
A New York Times "New & Noteworthy" Book
"Want Me is complicated, fun, shocking, and heart-warming all at once."
—Jessica Valenti, New York Times bestselling author of Sex Object
"Intimate, challenging, and so very smart. Want Me is a gift."
—Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author of Good and Mad
Tracy Clark-Flory grew up wedged between fizzy declarations of "girl power" and the sexualized mandates of pop culture. It was "broken glass ceilings" and Girls Gone Wild infomercials. With a vague aim toward sexual empowerment, she set out to become what men wanted--or, at least, understand it.
In her moving, fresh, and darkly humorous memoir, she shares the thrilling and heartbreaking events that led to discovering conflicting truths about her own desire, first as a woman coming of age and then as a veteran journalist covering the sex beat. Tracing her experiences on adult film sets, at fetish conventions, and during an orgasmic meditation retreat (to name just a few), Clark-Flory weaves in statistics and expert voices to reckon with our views on sexual freedom.
Want Me is about looking for love, sex, and power as a woman in a culture that is "freer" than ever, yet defined by unprecedented pressures and enduring constraints. This is a first-hand example of one woman who navigated the mixed messages of sexual expectation, only to discover the complexity of her own wants and our collective need to change the limitations of that journey.
About the Author
Tracy Clark-Flory is a senior staff writer at Jezebel. Her work has been published in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Marie Claire, Salon, The Guardian, Women's Health, and the yearly Best Sex Writing anthology. Prior to Jezebel, she was a senior staff writer at Salon. She has appeared on "20/20," MSNBC and NPR. Tracy lives in San Francisco with her family.
"Luminous, funny, big-hearted... this is a book of insight, both cultural and personal. It is majestic to behold." —San Francisco Chronicle
“[A] heartfelt, darkly humorous memoir . . . [Clark-Flory] chronicles her experiences on adult film sets, at fetish conventions, and during an orgasmic meditation retreat, all while weaving in statistics and expert voices that challenge common views on sexual freedom.” —Cosmopolitan
"A fun, intimate and honest look at how modern women can and do approach their own sensuality." —PureWow
"[Want Me is] a rallying cry for the generations of women coming up behind [Clark-Flory].” —The Los Angeles Times
"A complicated account that wobbles between the hilarious and the devastating, and will ring true to many." —Vanity Fair
"It is a wonder to witness an essay about Magic Mike Live (the Vegas strip show response to the 2012 film) become an existential exploration of mortality. The book is so brilliantly niche that it becomes completely universal." —Booklist (starred review)
"Savvy, deliciously racy… A provocative, resonant memoir of emboldened self-discovery." —Kirkus Reviews
"Tracy Clark-Flory is among the first of a generation of young women to grow up in a digital world, an Alice shaped by the web's wonderland. Her journey reveals possibilities, but also the impact of turbo-charged messages that present 'empowered' female sexuality as all about performance: being desirable rather than recognizing your desires; pleasing others rather than understanding your pleasure; being wanted rather than asking for what you want. This book is absolutely, crucially important to read in order to understand the world in which all girls, and boys, now come of age."
—Peggy Orenstein, New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex
"Alternately wild and tender, sexy and sweet, Tracy Clark-Flory's story reminds us that each generation re-invents rebellion, that politics and passions often collide, and that a real sexual education is not a moment of awakening but a lifetime of discovery."
—Sarah Hepola, New York Times bestselling author of Blackout
“A bold and unpredictable sexual awakening, propelled by wild and vivid stories and illuminated by feminist critiques of what sex is and what it should be.”
—Heather Havrilesky, "Ask Polly" columnist and author of What If This Were Enough?
"Tracy Clark-Flory expertly explores the messy line between the lust, the pleasure—and the lies— of being desirable. Her writing is a beacon. There is a way to find unmanipulated desire. We owe her a debt for her clear-eyed look at the intersection of sex, culture, and lived reality."
—Susie Bright, author of Big Sex Little Death
“This book is about much more than sex—it's a candid and brave story about the collision of fantasies, ideals, and truths; it's a story about the search for self.”
—Daniel Bergner, author of What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire
"I loved reading Want Me - its joys and sorrows, laughter and pain, all the memories and mysteries that resonate with women of all ages who wonder how we got here. A compelling, important read." —Debby Herbenick, author of Because it Feels Good
"Tracy Clark-Flory is one of the best journalists of our generation writing about sexuality. When she turns her incisive lens on herself, the results are revelatory. The book is everything I want a memoir to be—a bracingly honest, messy, self-aware, inspiring road map to sexual selfhood."
—Tristan Taormino, sex educator and bestselling author of Take Me There
"A courageous story about moving out of shame and into sexual integrity. Her vulnerability is off the charts." —Lisa Palac, psychotherapist and author of The Edge of the Bed