Editor Ellen Sussman move from Bad Girls to Dirty Words through her new encyclopedia. Elizabeth Fenwick hide caption


Editor Ellen Sussman move from Bad Girls come Dirty Words v her new encyclopedia.

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Elizabeth Fenwick
Dirty Words: A literature Encyclopedia that SexEdited by Ellen SussmanHardcover, 291 pagesBloomsbury USAList Price: $19.99

There are books, and also then there are "Books us Like." every week in books We Like, our critics review their top picks for new fiction and also nonfiction.

The very best entries in this tightly packed A-to-Z that highbrow ribaldry examine the kind of vulgarities the absolutely, positively execute not belong on yellowcomic.com"s net site. But that doesn"t average they"re not worthy of, er, rigorous pundit study.

Dirty Words: A literary Encyclopedia that Sex is a lewd however undeniably stimulating collection of essays, stories and poems from together pedigreed authors as Jonathan Ames and also Martha McPhee. Each entry probes a different indecent joy — indigenous Affair to Virginity, v stops in ~ every C-, F- and T-word in between.

It"s no all bleep-worthy. In simply a couple of thoughtful pages, Philip Lopate explores the mysteries of duration, T Cooper offers a perform of what transgender does and does not mean, while Michelle Richmond go the mathematics — it"s algebra — on the Lucky Pierre (I didn"t understand what it was, either). Among the strongest entries is Jonathan Wilson"s essay top top the American prejudice versus a classic term for female components — a vulgarism our British brothers and sisters supposedly dispense openly in the elevator.

Although that is virtually difficult to digest this compendium without feeling for days as if whatever you say is a dual entendre, PG-rated riffs on words such as commitment, kissing and also bad taste tie the collection with a promise moral: some words may be vulgar, but none are truly dirty. Analysis Dirty Words cover to cover isn"t so lot an expedition of sex-related tastes and also boundaries as it is a solemn event of our splendid imagination and also capacity for tolerance. Refer to it for the points you don"t understand (cicibeo) and also for the things you think you understand (tantric), then store it top top the optimal shelf. One day it"ll come in handy because that a talk on the birds, the bees ... And bestiality.

Excerpt: "Dirty Words"

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July 3, 200812:00 am ET


Dirty Words: A literary Encyclopedia of SexEdited through Ellen SussmanHardcover, 304 pagesList Price: $19.99
Language Advisory: This excerpt has language part readers may find offensive

"KISSING" through Victoria Redel

Definition: come touch or caress through the lips together an expression that affection, greeting, respect, or amorousness. Aka: suck face, swapping spit, first base, tonsil hockey, do out. "A kiss is a lovely trick designed through nature to avoid speech as soon as words come to be superfluous."—Ingrid Bergman The an initial surprise of your mouth and also mine, the instant means we start to speak together a language we have actually never talked together, a tiny tentative, little promises, a fluency, accented, dialected, each vowel and consonant precisely formed, sudden native speakers, pun and also slang, the slip of tongue, intentional.

On streets, on staircases, in bathrooms, in the earlier of cabs, in a field, versus that wall and that wall and that wall, down on the floor, my hair captured in it, the tongue, lightest tongue, hard and also pressed and reaching tongue, darted, flicked, down-yourthroat tongue, come up barely for air, in hotel beds, in a obtained bed, and also in the same bed night after night ~ year after ~ night, with an open up window, under pines, underwater, ~ above a raft, in rain, salty v ocean, a peck in ~ the door, a have actually a an excellent day, or again slow, slow, the melt, the beat of lips, a lower lip recorded flicked through teeth, pulling back just a tiny to breathe together.

Into under with for beneath above inside away toward, our mouths, prepositional.

Eyes open, eyes closed, your confront in transport. Your confront so close come mine.

The whole universe ignited. Combustible.

At the sink, law dishes and also suddenly your mouth on mine neck and you are transforming me roughly to confront you, biting and licking, lifting me up, saying, "Give me her mouth," and also I am offering you mine mouth.

Coming up the end of it, stunned, discombobulated, like relocating out indigenous a dream.

Like over there is an additional room inside and then over there is one more room inside.

Strawberries, sourness that coffee, a slim fizzy sweetness or the clean grass taste as just you taste.

Mornings, just wakened, the tongue quiet slow and thick and dreaming, turning away from a kiss.

Kissing favor something windy, like an excellent weather. Kissing in winter, ours mouths the warmest location in the city. Kissing in rain, in sudden drenching rain and we space gladly wet.

Kissing favor nobody"s business.

Or trying no to, make the efforts to organize back, restraint, restraint and then surrender.

Tongue and also tongue and lip and tongue and, all of sudden I am every twitch and also pull and also ache inside.

Snuck, stolen, last, first, unbidden, forbidden, sloppy, delicious,

French, farewell, slippery, criminal kisses.

Sacred kissing, a private syntax.

"Was that legal?" i ask once we come up out of it. Can I have known once Charlie R. Took me increase the Harwood building stairwell for my first, fast, dry, twelve-year-old kiss that I"d become a woman that loves kissing, a woman who"d drive throughout state lines because that the moment just before the kiss begins.

"What ns really miss out on is the make out. That"s what I"d walk for if I can have a night ~ above the lam," the married woman said, looking at a pair who have rolled right off your picnic blanket. One of us can say, "Only kissing," and also then it"s the very first night almost everywhere again and also we are making out and making out and making out, we space the tumble and press and wrestle, all pressure and rub, everything focused in ours lips and also tongues, every one of it, every mystical, dirty, delicious point that two human being can manage.

"Kiss me good-bye," friend say, and also on a street through strangers in floppy hats and winter coats, us slip right into one an additional to say come one one more with tongue and also lips the last apologies and promises. In the bank line or sitting at a dinner table with friends, ns touch my mouth, chapped, puffy, maybe a small raw, a souvenir of our intimacy.

See more: Why Do Singers Wear Earpieces On Stage, Why Do Musicians Wear Earpieces During Concerts

I to be drifting or you room drifting and one pressed versus the other whispers, "Good night," and there"s the last kiss, the day"s punctuation.

"BASES" by Peter Markus

Definition: the video game of baseball is often used together a an allegory for physical intimacy, especially to define the level the intimacy completed in intimate to meet or relationships. Various other parts of the baseball an allegory include "striking out" (sexual frustration), "pitcher" (for the penetrating partner) and also "catcher" (for the receiving partner) in male homosexual intercourse, and an ext obscure allusions such together a "catcher"s mitt" for a contraceptive sponge. —Alvin L. Hall and Thomas L. Altherr, "Eros at the Bat: American Baseball and Sexuality in historic Context," The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 1998 (McFarland & Company, 2002), 157–82.

When ns was a boy, ns lived and also ate and breathed baseball. Baseball native morning to night. Particularly in the summer. So it was confusing, come say the least, once one summer the boys in my town started talking around getting to an initial base, then second base, and rounding third base, just to uncover out the they weren"t actually talking about baseball. Ns myself had obtained to second base, a fumbling type of a check-swing bunt, through a girl called Lori Hetzel, who was my girlfriend Richie"s small sister. We were in a field of scrub brush ~ above the edge of the golf course whereby we supplied to go swimming because that golf balls that had been shanked right into the thirteenth-hole water hazard when she and also I fell and fumbled into and also onto each other and my hand, somehow—bless the bony heart—found its method up to Lori"s second base. The was the exact same summer the I began to fantasize around getting to 3rd base with various other girls, such as Kristy McNichol of family fame, or the girl who played Joanie ~ above Happy Days, or Brooke Shields, who, the next summer—the summer us were both thirteen—whispered right into the ears of American boys choose me that nothing came in between her and her Calvin"s. That summer, at night, i was what came between me and blue jeans. And once I began coming prefer this, permit me phone call you, I could not stop. Ultimately I double my method into 2nd base in the basement that Shelly Longfellow"s house one day when her mommy was away at work. The end of the summer ns tripled and found myself sliding headfirst, Charlie Hustle style, into third. It took me rather a few summers before I knocked one out of the park, despite I maintained swinging and kept top top striking out. I must admit that when I did finally hit a home run, the wasn"t fairly as glorious together I imagine it could be. As soon as the ball increased over the fence, is what ns am saying, it just as easily disappeared. And I was left to trot around the bases, careful to touch each edge without tripping myself up. Once I ultimately reached home, i walked ago into the dugout, wanting to feel much more heroic 보다 I did. The fact is, I finished up sit by myself, earlier in the shadows that the dugout, where my eyes appeared to just want to continue to be staring down. I didn"t recognize what to carry out with my hands. So ns picked up a bat—they were all wood earlier then—held the tightly in mine grip, and also knocked the dirt out of mine rubber cleats.