Dirty Books.

On page 86 of the November Redbook (yes, I'm an avid reader of lady publications), there is a short road test for "Reading as Foreplay."

For the article, two M/F couples read a sexy book and reported on how much it turned them on by scoring the hotness factor of the exercise with tiny flame icons. The general feeling was that reading erotica (for men, "porn") in bed, is a turn-on.

And in the accompanying photo, a young couple is in bed with a couple of hardcover books and appearing as if they are about to laugh at another clever euphemism for "penis." I prefer "shmuckalowitz," which I think Buddy Hackett used to describe one "as big as a bus."

And that had me wonder about the effectiveness of sexual foreplay between readers of printed books and of devices like ebook readers.

I mean, what happens to a print book when the sexual participants get too frisky? Does it get torn? Sticky? How difficult is it to read a book when your hands are coated with Astroglide?

And what about electronic devices? (No, not those.) Like ereaders? Like an iPad or a Kindle... how would they fare when exposed in this type of environment? And for the sake of argument, let's just say that neither the books nor the devices enter the actual sexplay, neither for spanking and especially not if there's a next-gen iPad that vibrates; they are simply the delivery system for the erotic texts.

What if the book falls from the bed, hammock, or hanging basket? For a hardcover book, practically no damage. For iPad or Kindle, depending on the height, or the speed at which the basket was spinning, the case could split on impact with the floor, wall or ceiling or the screen might shatter.

Should you use water, or oil, or silicone-based lubricants? For the most part, any of those would ruin your experience. Oils will seep into the crevices of your reader and get it all funky. A book might dry out after getting wet from a little water, but I still dare you to try to return it to the library and pretend it was like that when you borrowed it. Especially if you forget to remove that strip of edible underwear you used for a bookmark.

And you're just asking for trouble if you invite a goat or a sheep. Because they love paper.

So my advice, if you're going to read erotica on your ereader to put you in the mood, would be to buy some zippered storage bags for your Kindle or iPad. The quart size should be large enough for your Kindle, but for the iPad, you might need to go to the gallon. Slip it into the bag and seal it tight. And don't skimp on quality: buy a brand name bag and get "freezer" bags because they are thicker and protect better. Because dirty books should only be dirty in your imagination.

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