Sorry boys, this one is for the girls. Whether a zygote or Betty White, any woman can relate to the latest literary buzz, “New Erotica For Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, & Equal Pay,” written by four women comedians: Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor and Carrie Wittmer. Coming to Books & Books at the Studios of Key West on Saturday, Jan. 19, author Caitlin Kunkel will be turning us on by talking about everything a woman wants … and it has nothing to do with Spanx, calorie-free wine or Brad Pitt.
From Mary Poppins to Ann Coulter, women of all types can relate to these humorous vignettes written with deadpan wit and well-earned sarcasm. The writers tackle relationships, careers, parenthood and even literary legends such as “Romeo and Juliet” (hint: Juliet finally sees it as a toxic relationship). Their point? Flip the switch on stereotypes and humorously call out well-worn scenarios for women. To wit: “He calls me into his office and closes the door … to promote me. He promotes me again and again. I am wild with ecstasy.”
“We had an all-female team that gave us confidence,” said author Kunkel. “It became funny and depressing how universal these stories are.” The authors pooled together ideas and looked to actual erotica for terms and verbiage. Then they came to an agreement on things that made them mad and what made them think about women’s roles in society. No story was written by a single author, but shared and edited together. “We needed to get away from angry satire and lighten up a little,” said Kunkel.
“I walk into my office building, and a sharply dressed man walks in behind me. Feeling his eye on me, I press the elevator button. It lights up.
The man doesn’t press it again to make sure.”
“New Erotica” provides an updated version of the Adam and Eve myth (“She decided to do some follow-up research on her own rather than trust a f*#*ing talking snake”) and comments on pop culture without discrepancy (of course Benedict Cumberbatch should be a safe word!) but Harry Potter didn’t make the cut. It’s a #metoo lollipop that goes down with delight. There’s no subversive bitterness, just a wink and jab at how women can alternately be viewed, for example. “I just read a science fiction novel with zero violence against women to motivate the male protagonist.” Boom.
Incredibly short and to the point, “New Erotica” masters comedic timing and multiple mic drops. This little novella is the perfect edition to the bathroom, placed perfectly so it would delight some and, perhaps, educate a few more.
Talk and book signing with Caitlin Kunkel
Saturday, Jan. 19, 6 to 8 p.m., free
Books And Books at The Studios Of Key West
Kunkel will appear in conversation with local comedian and journalist Gwen Filosa.