Bookshots: 'Insatiable: Porn - A Love Story' by Asa Akira

Bookshots: 'Insatiable: Porn - A Love Story' by Asa Akira

Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review


Title:  

Insatiable: Porn - A Love Story

Who Wrote It? 

My biggest take away from Insatiable is Akira understands the true value of her work to herself and her audience, and what a rarity it is to actually love your job.

Asa Akira, former dominatrix and the porn world's self proclaimed "Asian Queen of Anal."

Invent a New Title for This Book:

I've Got The World Up My Ass

Read This If You Like:

Tampa By Alissa Nutting, American Gangbang: A Love Story By Sam Benjamin

Meet the Book’s Lead:

Asa Akira, affluent, intelligent New York teenager turned stripper/dominatrix/pornstar.

Said lead would be portrayed in a movie by:

I think only Akira could pull off the role. So, Asa Akira.

Setting: Would You Want to Live There?

The book takes place all across the map, so yes to some, no to others.

What Was Your Favorite Sentence?

Haiku:

Squirted on the floor.
Now have to clean it up.
On my knees again.

The Verdict:

For three years, I was consumed by pornography. No, I wasn't addicted to the imagery; there were no marathon spank sessions, no cyberstalking of favorite performers. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm a heterosexual male, I love the naked female form, and, yes, I like porn. But my obsession had to do with the technical aspects of the business—the equipment, the financing, the transition from the home video market to the internet, and the basic psychology and motivations of the performers. The reason for my obsession was my would be first novel, a Spalding Gray style Monster-in-the-Box that has taken on a life of its own and currently hates me. But all of this for another time and maybe a column on how to not write your first novel.

Needless to say, I read a few pornstar autobiographies/bios during the time of my obsession, and to be blunt, these types of tell-alls pretty much fall into two categories for me: Cautionary Tales of Gut-Turning Victimization (How to Make Love Like a Porn Star By Jenna Jameson) or Tongue-in-Cheek, mechanical gossip fests (Ron Jeremy: The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz), and to be blunt, I pretty much expected Insatiable to fall into one of those two categories, or—considering Akira's status as the “Asian Queen of Anal”—to be a blow-by-blow of her thousands of gonzo sex scenes.

What I encountered instead was a frank, at times extremely funny exploration of a woman very comfortable with herself as a sexual being who possesses zero shame or regret about being a part of the adult industry. What also sets Insatiable apart from the small avalanche of porn autobiographies that inundated the public in the 00’s is Akira’s narrative inventiveness and the conversational easiness of her voice. She crafts chapters as diary entries, letters to her mother, and (slightly) obscene haiku, and yet none of these devices seem out of place or contrived. Yes, Akira actually knows how to write and hold the reader's attention.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some mechanical moments in Insatiable, most notably the chapter dealing with her brief sojourn into tricking, which seemed almost tacked on. And yes, there’s tons of graphic, gossipy stories of porn sets. But, you know, it’s a pornstar bio, so you kind of expect it. But these perfunctory chapters are few and far between, and don’t really distract from the overall flow.

But my biggest take away from Insatiable is Akira understands the true value of her work to herself and her audience, and what a rarity it is to actually love your job. Yes, just like any business, there is the pettiness of certain co-workers, the at times overwhelming demands of bosses, and the pestering complaints (or in her case, the pervy adoration) of her customers. But despite these minor nuisances, there’s a real joy when she’s writing about life as a sex worker. There is no exploitation, no victimization, or woe is me platitudes of why she works in the sex industry. Akira walked into her life without blinders or expectations, and discovered what her true happiness is, and that’s enough.

Image of Insatiable: Porn — A Love Story
Manufacturer: Grove Press
Part Number:
Price:
Keith Rawson

Review by Keith Rawson

Keith Rawson is a little-known pulp writer whose short fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews have been widely published both online and in print. He is the author of the short story collection The Chaos We Know (SnubNose Press)and Co-Editor of the anthology Crime Factory: The First Shift. He lives in Southern Arizona with his wife and daughter.

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