Sex Carnival – Bill Brownstein

Sex Carnival

Exploring sex shops as a 19yr old on the West 4th Street and 7th Avenue in Greenwich Village was an absolute thrill, however reading about them a decade later isn’t.

Truthfully, when I picked up this book, I expected a fiesta of sexual euphoria not necessarily graphical, but on the lines of feral sexual acts. If I had a premonition that it was going to be an excursion, surveying sex stores around the world I would have rather contacted my dear friend who’s an expert with this essence.

Brownstein is on an assignment to investigate the “world of sex”; a proposal put forth by a publisher who admired Brownstein’s newspaper columns on sex industry and quirky people. His travels to Las Vegas, New York, Amsterdam and Paris are quite enticing. Alas! He is more of spectator and his findings lackluster. If Brownstein thinks that by narrating episodes of middle aged couple debating to buy a famed ‘Tarzan Vibrator’ from Absolute Danny(one of the hottest sex shops in Amsterdam) are attractive, he is highly mistaken. Well, Mr. Brownstein, I would like to enunciate that after viewing a 20- something feeding a vagina shaped candy to a leather-clad 70 yr old wrinkled hag, nothing scandalizes me anymore.

Although, interviewing Hefner was definitely a bright spot and even though it may have satisfied the author’s yearning to be in the Playboy Mansion; the detail of Hefner using heaps of Viagra to fuck all the Kimberleys and Kendras is not news. It was akin to viewing an episode of ‘Girls Next Door’ while popping down Prozac.

Nevertheless, Brownstein’s trip to Amsterdam was appealing. A sort of a repertoire to my future desired trips. His visiting Absolute Danny and Cassa Rosso; the two hottest sex shops in the Red Light district was fascinating and so was the trip to the famed ‘Sex Museum’.

“The museum is a hodgepodge of porn art and kinky pop-culture artifacts. On one wall, the erotic paintings of nineteenth-century Austrian artist Peter Fendi are showcased.”
The Sex Museum is cleverly, if not a little mischievously, designed Sure enough, while ascending the staircase, visitors are treated to an array of sculpted torsos, breasts, and at least one set of buttocks that is triggered by a motion detector to pass wind. Ah, those kooky Dutch are at it again. The museum does what it can to provide insight into the world of telephone sex. Visitors are encouraged to pick up phones and listen to couples moaning and groaning in a dialect that is apparently meant to represent the language of love.”

The author is intrigued by David Greenacres’s (inventor of Wheel of Fortune) invention of “Universal Sex Wheel”. It hypothetically determines the periods of the year when a couple will be most sexually in sync and in heat.
Bollocks! A bottle of cheap wine and couple shots of Johnnie Walker will do the trick and not the preposterous “wheel”.

The book has its modest contribution of wit and the humdrum pleasantry, yet it fails to capture my restless mind making it more like a travel brochure to “Sexland” without the crazy rides. Sadly, the “sex” chronicles did not even stimulate the busboy who listened to Brownstein with a grave heart hoping for a miraculous narration of several group orgies.

2/5**

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