E-Book Review 11: Emma Styles – First Tango in Paris
Sum it up, Sex Junkie: A sex memoir. Husband and wife have their eyes opened by Paris sex clubs. A decade of delicious debauchery ensues.
Review it, Hot Stuff: This is the second sex memoir I’ve read after the fabulous effort by Girl on the Net, and while it doesn’t quite reach the bar set by that book of banging, there’s plenty to enjoy here.
It’s the story of a decade of sexual discovery by the author, Emma Styles. At the very start of the book she is a fairly innocent wife and mother, but very quickly she and her husband find their lives transformed by a trip to the sex shops and elegant sex clubs of Paris. Emma quickly morphs into a kind of hedonistic sex goddess, willing to try anything once – usually more than once. Her marriage opens right up as she and Paul allow each other to explore anything and anyone that takes their fancy.
It seems like a perfect arrangement and the reader gets to soak up the juicy details of Emma’s many adventures in different, fascinating clubs, mostly in Paris. She fraternises with the great and the good of France – TV stars, sports people and even a retired diplomat, who she develops a particularly close relationship with. Under his sponsorship, for want of a better word, several of her most deeply held desires are satisfied – including one memorable session with a group of heroic firefighters. She becomes a kind of teacher to a French diplomat’s hot, willing young son; she experiments with women; she attends masked balls and slave auctions (sex slave auctions, obviously, not actual slaves – that would be horrific) and has an enjoyably rough session with someone known as Henrique Le Cock. Apart from anything else, you have to admire Emma’s stamina – and her power of recall. There must be at least 30 separate stories in here and Emma remembers them all with admirable accuracy.
So, everything moves along very quickly, with plenty of scalding, unusual and frank fucking tales to keep the reader more than interested. But of course, we can’t be totally gushing in our praise. I’ve said before that I’m not a reviewer that makes a big deal out of spelling and grammar, especially when it comes to indie books. I’m much more interested in content. But the fact is that there are quite a few simple errors here – spelling mistakes, the wrong use of words – that could easily have been eliminated by an editor.
To me, any author should use exclamation marks sparingly, but far too many paragraphs in this memoir end with one – sometimes even three – of them, which unfortunately lend a slightly amateurish air to the writing. Along similar lines, Emma constantly uses needless quote marks – I noticed a similar tick with another erotic writer, Samantha Davies. Here’s a quick example from the end of the book: ‘There is certainly a lot more to divulge in my forthcoming “further exploits.” Coming Soon!’ It may seem a small point, but when it happens so often – dozens of times – it becomes distracting. Again, this is something a good editor would immediately clear out.
We do get to learn a bit about Emma’s life away from the group sex sessions – an illness in the family, her work on a fledgling internet site dealing in erotica accessories and surprisingly detailed accounts of food and meals out. Clearly, this is a woman who loves her grub as much as sex (and Jack Daniels on the rocks).
But the principle interest here is Emma’s remarkable sex life and she certainly has an enjoyably dirty, direct approach to describing these scenes. The problem with a memoir, of course, is that you are limited to the truth, and the fact is that in Emma’s world everyone is relaxed, experienced and expert, so there’s very little light and shade: apart from very early on, there’s no suspense, jeopardy or hint of danger. There’s never even any slight sense of envy between her and her husband, which might have provided some kind of intrigue.
There’s little Emma can do about that, however. She’s reporting what happened and while we might want something deeper at times, what we do have is a lot of eye-opening sex and an extraordinary woman who does, without doubt, become sexily more confident in her own prowess over the course of the book, which does make her an intoxicating presence. It’s very easy to be taken along for her filthy ride. And, of course, there’s the inevitable fantasy of attending one of these fascinating, debauched clubs under the wing of the experienced Emma herself – a night I’m sure no one would ever forget. Any chance, Emma?
Rate it, Big Boy: Four out of Five Stars.