E-Book Review 9: George Pappas – Monogamy Sucks
Review it, Pumpkin: Jake is a man in his early 30s who has become bored with relationships and being tied down. He’s horny, he’s desperate for a fuck, he wants as many women as possible. He’s like a teenager in an older man’s body. Disillusioned with the bar scene, he follows different routes to try and satisfy his desires: placing ads in magazines and on phone lines, and writing online dating profiles. He attends swing parties and fuck clubs. This is a kind of diary of his experiences over two or three years.
It’s a premise that opens up pretty much any possibility you would want from an erotic novel and in this respect Pappas does not disappoint. We meet all kinds of men and women, there’s all kinds of sex, there’s realism, there are twists and turns and there’s humour and suspense.
But, for me, this isn’t what I would call an ‘erotic’ book. I think there is a definite line between a book with lots of sex and a book that is erotic. This has probably been written predominantly for men – it certainly plays to traditionally male desires (there’s lots of sleeping around with different people and it’s crammed with women who love to suck cock and swallow jizz) so perhaps some men would get off on reading this. But while there are moments of titillation, overall I wouldn’t class this as erotica.
A lot of this is down to the character of Jake. I would call him a misogynist if he didn’t seem to dislike men as much as women. About 80%, perhaps more, of the myriad women he fucks in this story are described by Jake with disgust – as being old, dry, fat, ugly or smelly. Sometimes all of those adjectives are used to describe one vagina. I realise that Pappas wanted to inject some realism, but it’s very difficult for a book to be erotic when it feels like Jake is holding his nose every time he has sex. The men, meanwhile, are boorish, untrustworthy, brash or are out to touch him (which, Jake is at pains to tell us, is not something he’s into, despite the number of times he’s part of male-heavy group sex).
Even when Jake does begin to have sex, he regularly fails to deliver. He often can’t get hard despite his desperation to meet ‘sluts’, and if he can get hard he either comes too quickly or can’t come at all. In the end, he relies on Viagra. He complains about feeling used afterwards. When you have one partner who can’t get hard and the other constantly being described as being ugly or smelly, it’s hard to get too worked up about the sex they eventually struggle to have.
Jake does compliment almost all the women he meets, no matter how disgusting he privately thinks they are, but when they compliment him there’s never any sense they might be lying. Jake, it appears, is hot. It’s almost everyone else who is not. Jake is, frankly, an extremely arrogant man with deep insecurities.
But don’t get me wrong: this is still something of a page-turner. It offers an honest, interesting insight into the world of swinging. It’s an intriguing study of a man who is lost in his private world of lust – I’d almost compare him to Patrick Bateman or Travis Bickle in the way he thinks, the way he speaks, in his barely-disguised self-loathing, were it not for the saving grace that Jake is not, or does not appear to be, a violent man. In fact, there’s a feeling that underneath all the bravado, Jake just wants to be loved.
A tale worth reading, a tale full of graphic sex, a tale that is frequently very funny (Jake’s ‘Cumming Attractions’ advert is particularly, clunkily hilarious), but a tale that is not, at least for me, erotic.
Rate it, Sweet Thang: Three out of Five Stars.