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Bertoglia, S.M. (2010). Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing in on Internet Sexploration By A. Ray New York, NY: Seal Press, 2007.. Int. J. Appl. Psychoanal. Stud., 7(1):90-93.
(2010). International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 7(1):90-93
Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing in on Internet Sexploration By A. Ray New York, NY: Seal Press, 2007.
Review by: Solange Margery Bertoglia, M.D.
Let me begin with a confession: I like to know as much as I can about the author of any book I read. In my academic work, such pursuit usually leads to the author's prior articles on the topic, reflecting his or her interest and competence in the subject. I also gather information about the author's affiliation to academic institutions and that, in turn, becomes fodder for further imagination. In my leisure reading, the curiosity about the author leads to an exploration of how his or her personal life might have affected the choice of the topic and the writing style. However tentative my conclusions might be in this regard, I enjoy this exercise as much as the book itself.
Upon being asked to review Naked on the Internet, I was therefore excited to learn about the author, Audacia Ray's, background. She has a Bachelors degree in Cultural Studies and a Masters in American Studies, the latter from Columbia University. However, the sources of her knowledge go beyond the academic field. She is a former sex worker, a blogger, and the former executive director of a magazine by and for sex workers. The introduction of her book recounts the events that led her from developing an interest in gender and sexuality issues while in college, to working for the pornography industry, to becoming a business woman and a “media maker and activist who is passionate about sexual rights” (cited in http://www.audaciaray.com). She is funny, speaks her mind, and reflects on her life experiences with little if any regrets. She met other women with all sorts of backgrounds who were willing to share their takes on the role the Internet plays in their lives. I hesitate to say “sexual lives” because even though that is the focus of the book, it really involves financial, romantic, and even health aspects of their lives. Naked on the Internet includes the data that Ray has gathered from her own experiences and from those of other women who have used the Internet to learn, explore, enjoy, or cash in on sexuality. Ray explains how it took women a little more time than men to get comfortable with computers. But they are now an important part of their lives. She especially underscores the followings points in the emergence of female cybersex: freedom, money, and the possibilities of romance.
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