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Sugar in My Bowl Excerpt


“[A] fierce, fearless collection.”
More Magazine

“The women of this collection make the case that good sex is never exclusively about the act, but also about how you approach it.”

“Abundant with affairs, marriages, motherhood and our sexual sense of mortality it is a thoughtful read, a perfect aperitif on a summer evening. The stories penetrate a secret space in our brains we so often neglect: our sense of sexuality.”

“Jong has crafted candid accounts of love and passion from renowned female writers into a sensual and sensitive read.”

“[Sugar in My Bowl] runs the gamut from pornographic and hilarious to ironic and poignant. The result is a fun, quick, beach read, requiring as much or as little intellectual energy as the reader chooses to invest.”
Chicago Sun-Times

“You can take these women seriously, laugh, squirm, and put hand over mouth at their weird, exciting, uncomfortable, joyous tales of ardor, while still admiring the agility of their prose.”
The Daily

“Jong partners with 28 collaborators to create this fierce and refreshingly frank collection of personal essays, short fiction and cartoons celebrating female desire…A smart, scrumptiously sexy romp of a read.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“In this no-holds-barred collection of essays by ‘real women’ about ‘real sex,’ Jong has assembled an eclectic group of authors. [Sugar in My Bowl] is at its most profound when truth illuminates sex as a force in which these women found empowerment.”
Publishers Weekly

“Jong cast a broad net to bring together women writing about sex. The resulting anthology attests the wide range of female sexual experience.”

“Sugar in My Bowl is proof positive that women can write seriously about sex and live to tell. It represents a remarkable smorgasbord of experience and perspective, and there’s a dish here for everyone.”
Shelf Awareness

“These pieces honestly and thoughtfully explore sex and its role in our society from a woman’s perspective, from its place in youth to the golden years….with Sugar in My Bowl Jong has curated a consistently eye-opening and thoroughly readable volume.”
LargeHearted Boy Blog

“The enticing, thoughtful Sugar in My Bowl proves to be a powerful exploration of women’s relationship to sex.”
Entertainment Realm

“This book is a Thanksgiving dinner in which each story is a dish more scrumptious, more touchingly homemade than the last. All are so very different, but together they comprise a joyous feast: [an] examination-cum-celebration of female sex and sexuality. A must-read.”
Gender Across Borders

“The passion, tragedy, and hope—offered by courageous women who express raw feelings that society tends to silence—will resonate.”
Library Journal

“A refreshing and new contribution to literature about women’s sex lives.”

Order your copy of SUGAR IN MY BOWL today!


On Point NPR With Tom Ashbrook Interviews Erica Jong 7.13.11

On Point NPR Radio w/ Tom Ashbrook & Erica Jong-WBUR 7.13.11 by glee8


The Sunday Review


Is Sex Passé?


Jen Hsieh
Published: July 9, 2011

WHAT could be more eternal than sexuality? The fog of longing, the obsession with the loved one’s voice, smell, touch. Sex is discombobulating and distracting, it makes you immune to money, politics and family. And sometimes I think the younger generation wants to give it up.

People always ask me what happened to sex since “Fear of Flying.” While editing an anthology of women’s sexual writing called “Sugar in My Bowl” last year, I was fascinated to see, among younger women, a nostalgia for ’50s-era attitudes toward sexuality. The older writers in my anthology are raunchier than the younger writers. The younger writers are obsessed with motherhood and monogamy.

It makes sense. Daughters always want to be different from their mothers. If their mothers discovered free sex, then they want to rediscover monogamy. My daughter, Molly Jong-Fast, who is in her mid-30s, wrote an essay called “They Had Sex So I Didn’t Have To.” Her friend Julie Klam wrote “Let’s Not Talk About Sex.” The novelist Elisa Albert said: “Sex is overexposed. It needs to take a vacation, turn off its phone, get off the grid.” Meg Wolitzer, author of “The Uncoupling,” a fictional retelling of “Lysistrata,” described “a kind of background chatter about women losing interest in sex.” Min Jin Lee, a contributor to the anthology, suggested that “for cosmopolitan singles, sex with intimacy appears to be neither the norm nor the objective.”

Generalizing about cultural trends is tricky, but everywhere there are signs that sex has lost its frisson of freedom. Is sex less piquant when it is not forbidden? Sex itself may not be dead, but it seems sexual passion is on life support.

The Internet obliges by offering simulated sex without intimacy, without identity and without fear of infection. Risky behavior can be devoid of risk — unless of course you use your real name and are an elected official.

Not only did we fail to corrupt our daughters, but we gave them a sterile way to have sex, electronically. Clearly the lure of Internet sex is the lack of involvement. We want to keep the chaos of sex trapped in a device we think we can control.

Just as the watchword of my generation was freedom, that of my daughter’s generation seems to be control. Is this just the predictable swing of the pendulum or a new passion for order in an ever more chaotic world? A little of both. We idealized open marriage; our daughters are back to idealizing monogamy. We were unable to extinguish the lust for propriety.

Punishing the sexual woman is a hoary, antique meme found from “Jane Eyre” to “The Scarlet Letter” to “Sex and the City,” where the lustiest woman ended up with breast cancer. Sex for women is dangerous. Sex for women leads to madness in attics, cancer and death by fire. Better to soul cycle and write cookbooks. Better to give up men and sleep with one’s children. Better to wear one’s baby in a man-distancing sling and breast-feed at all hours so your mate knows your breasts don’t belong to him. Our current orgy of multiple maternity does indeed leave little room for sexuality. With children in your bed, is there any space for sexual passion? The question lingers in the air, unanswered.

Does this mean there are no sexual taboos left? Not really. Sex between older people is the new unmentionable, the thing that makes our kids yell, “Ewww — gross!” You won’t find many movies or TV shows about 70-year-olds falling in love, though they may be doing it in real life.

The backlash against sex has lasted longer than the sexual revolution itself. Both birth control and abortion are under attack in many states. Women’s health care is considered expendable in budgetary negotiations. And the right wing only wants to champion unborn children. (Those already born are presumed able to fend for themselves.)

Lust for control fuels our current obsession with the deficit, our rejection of passion, our undoing of women’s rights. How far will we go in destroying women’s equality before a new generation of feminists wakes up? This time we hope those feminists will be of both genders and that men will understand how much equality benefits them.

Different though we are, men and women were designed to be allies, to fill out each other’s limitations, to raise children together and give them different models of adulthood. We have often botched attempts to do this, but there is valor in trying to get it right, to heal the world and the rift between the sexes, to pursue the healing of home and by extension the healing of the earth.

Physical pleasure binds two people together and lets them endure the inevitable pains and losses of being human. When sex becomes boring, something deeper is usually the problem — resentment or envy or lack of honesty. So I worry about the sudden craze for Lysistrata’s solution. Why reject honey for vinegar? Don’t we all deserve sugar in our bowls?

Erica Jong is the author of 22 books, most recently “Sugar in My Bowl.”


June 13, 2011


SUGAR IN MY BOWL: Real Women Write About Real Sex

Edited by ERICA JONG





ROBERT J BALL: “Erica Jong , Sappho’s Leap, and I” (Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies) :
Fascinating story and article, for fans of Erica’s book ‘SAPPHO’S LEAP’.
Click the link and download the free PDF above.

If you wish to learn more about SAPPHO’S LEAP click here to order a copy.:


The wOw Interview: Bestselling Author Erica Jong

by Joni Evans on June 13, 2011

Erica Jong (photo by Christian Als)

Joni Evans chats with the feminist novelist, poet, and essayist about her latest book: an anthology that explores — what else? — sex

Your seminal novel “Fear of Flying” has sold 20 million copies to date, and you’ve written more than 20 books since then. Your new book, “Sugar In My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex” is your first anthology. What made you decide to try this format? Did you enjoy being the editor for a change?

I thought editing was very satisfying. I really enjoyed giving writers the courage to dig deeper and be more honest. With an anthology, you never know what you are really going to get in the end. I was pleased at the variety in the book. I was particularly happy that Karen Abbott decided to write about a taboo subject – passion among older people. So we have a great range – from childhood sexuality to elder sex.

There is a wide spectrum of writers in this book — all ages, experiences, and orientations. How did you decide whom to include?

With an anthology you need luck and I got lucky. So many of the writers I contacted were inspired to contribute.

Both you and your daughter, the writer Molly Jong-Fast, contributed stories to this collection. They are startlingly different takes on sexuality. Were you aware of Molly’s reactions to your …. bohemian way of life?

Molly is a satirist, so of course she’s going to send up her family first. The fact that she has the moxie and the security to do that makes me feel that I must have been an okay mom.

How have sexual attitudes evolved since the Seventies? Do you think we’re more liberated since the Pill and books like “Fear of Flying” encouraged a new generation of women to embrace their sexuality?

I think that women today take sexuality more for granted than we did in my generation. My daughter’s generation doesn’t have the feeling of breaking taboos. The taboos were broken. Now they have to figure out what they really want and maybe that’s even harder.

Anais Nin once told you that “Women who write about sex are never taken seriously as writers.” Do you think this still holds true?

Yes, women writers are never taken as seriously as male writers. Even Jane Austen comes from criticism from someone like V.S. Naipaul. Male writers never tire of criticizing women writers. Will it ever end?

What contemporary male authors do you think write most compellingly about sex?

Philip Roth, of course, and the late John Updike. Certainly D.H. Lawrence bears rereading. He can be an amazing writer.

Anything else you’d like to share with the wOw community?

I think it’s time for us to take seriously the way women’s rights are slipping away. There’s an attack on birth control in many state legislatures. I think we have to address the question of why women’s rights are always so fragile.

Erica Jong–novelist, poet, and essayist–has consistently used her craft to help provide women with a powerful and rational voice in forging a feminist consciousness. She has published 21 books, including eight novels, seven volumes of poetry, six books of nonfiction and numerous articles in magazines and newspapers such as The New York Times, The Sunday Times of London, Elle, Vogue, The New York Times Book Review and The Wall Street Journal. Her new anthology is Sugar in my Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex.


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June 7, 2011

If you missed the Live Webcast Chat with Erica and some of the SUGAR IN MY BOWL contributors-watch it here: 

Watch live streaming video from sugarinmybowl at

SUGAR IN MY BOWL: REAL WOMEN WRITE ABOUT REAL SEX-Available next Tuesday June 14! Order yours now:


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