There is a surprisingly strong element of commodification in Morizawa’s Memoirs of a Wannabe Sex Addict. On the surface this title can be read as a bildungsroman tale of education and maturation through the protagonist’s exposure to disparate sexual encounters. However, instead of coming across as a contrived narrative with a predestined happily ever after conclusion, there is a distressingly realistic air to the language and content that makes this one of the most believable erotic memoirs I’ve ever read.
In the first chapter, “The Slave,” Morizawa is the occasional sex slave to an illicit fuck-buddy. The second chapter is entitled “The Disciple.” The third chapter is called “The Client.” In each chapter Morizawa takes on the eponymous role of the chapter heading: she is The Slave; she is The Disciple; she is The Client.
Her character grows and develops as the story progresses and the reader comes away from the story with the impression that each aspect of development has been summarily compartmentalized as per the chapter heading. But it’s more than that. Much more than that.
As Morizawa’s story develops, the high standard of the writing and quality of the author’s ability to convey her message to the reader remains beautifully focused. Morizawa is a first-rate writer. The quality of the writing blends literate prose with an accessible style that few authors can manage. The erotic scenes are presented in appropriate detail, cleverly paced to deliver information that is arousing without appearing salacious or prurient. The content is graphic where it needs to be and it basks in sensuous detail when a more languorous approach is required. But it is never unnecessarily gratuitous. The whole book is well-worth the read for anyone who enjoys erotic memoirs, or simply for those who appreciate the creative talents of Morizawa.
As a word of caution, I should add that I came away from this title believing there was an underlying current of misogyny in the content.
The former lover of one partner is shown as a grasping and promiscuous shrew.
Morizawa has a Sapphic encounter with a predatory bisexual artist. Morizawa introduces a young female meth addict to a man she describes as her pimp. I could go on but it’s enough to say that there are few female characters in this story (Morizawa included) who are presented in a flattering light.
To some extent this lends itself to the credibility and honesty of the narrative. It reminds the reader that we live in a patriarchal hegemony where the female is constantly subjugated by a majority of negative role models and a dearth of positive role models.
But, for some reason, that subjugation still feels like misogyny.
He inserted first one finger in my ass, then eventually another. He continued eating me – hungrily, as if he were a stray dog who had found the leftovers in an easily accessible trash can.
I think this simile summarises my feelings of unease. Admittedly, the imagery is fresh and vibrant. But it’s hard to steer away from the association that Morizawa’s protagonist (or, at least, the sexual essence of her that is being consumed) is being described as easily accessible garbage.
That said, Morizawa’s memoir is a comprehensive and entertaining insight into twenty-first century sex. According to the back of the book:
Julia Morizawa exposes an arousing world of sex intertwined with the vulnerable and complex emotions that often come with it. This is a must-read for any woman who has searched for herself by using, and abusing her body. And for anyone who has emerged from the other side, having found so much more.
I have to agree. This title is intelligent and honest in a way that many sex titles never manage. Morizawa is not afraid to admit that some sex works and some sex doesn’t work. She is also capable of pointing out that, aside from the more obvious elements of pleasure, sometimes satisfaction can be obtained through the simple medium of cuddling. Memoirs of a Wannabe Sex Addict is a fascinating insight into one woman’s revelatory experiences. It’s well worth the investment of time and money in sharing Morizawa’s memoirs.