One woman’s secret journal completely changes her marriage in this hilarious and biting memoir—the inspiration for the Netflix Original Series.
School psychologists aren’t supposed to write books about sex. Doing so would be considered “unethical” and “a fireable offense.” Lucky for you, ethics was never my strong suit.
Sex/Life: 44 Chapters About 4 Men is a laugh-out-loud funny and brutally honest look at female sexuality, as told through the razor-sharp lens of domesticated bad girl BB Easton. No one and nothing is off limits as BB revisits the ex-boyfriends—a sadistic tattoo artist, a punk rock parolee, and a heavy metal bass player—that led her to finally find true love with a straight-laced, drop-dead-gorgeous . . . accountant.
After settling down and starting a family with her perfectly vanilla “husbot,” Ken, BB finds herself longing for the reckless passion she had in her youth. She begins to write about these escapades in a secret journal, just for fun, but when Ken starts to act out the words on the pages, BB realizes that she might have stumbled upon the holy grail of behavior modification techniques.
The psychological dance that ensues is nothing short of hilarious as BB wields her journal like a blowtorch, trying to light a fire under her cold, distant partner. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but in the end, BB learns that the man she was trying so hard to change was perfect for her all along.
Let’s start by saying I watched Sex/Life first, and then felt the need to read the book. Perhaps it was a mistake.
Let me share a quick trailer because I think it’s warranted – however I will put a WARNING! There may be some content that may not be appropriate for younger readers!!!
Anyhow – i’ll focus on the book since this is a review about the book, and keep my Netflix thoughts to myself. What we have in this book is a personal memoire of sorts – BB is sharing her life through a series of stories from her past and relating them to her present.
The premise of this story is that BB is a bit deflated with how her life has turned out in it’s safety now that she’s a married mother of two. She feels as though she’s changed the person that she’s always been to fit into the safe mold since she never found success in love with the rebels. Throughout this story, we see how BB journals her experiences, realizes that her husband has read the journal and tries an experiment that takes her both down memory lane and also trains her husband to be the man that she needs.
In doing this, she drafts a super secret journal that recaps some spicy tales from her past. In this journal, we are taken through her experiences with Knight (high school), Harley (also high school), Hans (college) and Ken (marriage). The first 3 men bring out her wild child rebel side and that’s what she needs to thrive and survive in life, yet it breaks her beyond repair. That’s when Ken comes into the mix and he’s an accountant and safe and that’s where her life goes.
So throughout the 44 chapters, we watch BB fall in love over and over again with men that aren’t right for her yet she makes excuses for why they make sense. They need her more than she needs them, they bring her a connection that she’s been craving, or she just likes the sex. Then she finds Ken, who she’s not necessarily drawn to at first but has a moment of clarity at a party that makes things change. OR so she thinks at the time , but is quickly lulled into boredom.
Ken has the house, the finances and the drive to be the man with stability, but what he doesn’t have is the emotion and sex drive that BB needs. We learn the reason behind the latter but never the former, yet we spend the bulk of the story watching BB try to change and evolve Ken into the man that she needs.
I wonder if I would have liked this story more if I had seen it without watching the series first. I had these high expectations of a story line that really pulled through the entirety of the book, with drama and angst, and yet the moments of drama that we get in the book are surface level. They aren’t angst ridden, life changing or soul breaking by any means, yet that’s where the Netflix series takes us.
I wanted to enjoy this book more – I wanted to root for Ken and BB to be what they could be, yet the peaks and valleys in comparison to the series weren’t quite there and it was just one of these stories that you want to see smooth out and happy and assume that it’ll get there. If you’re going to choose to engage in both the show and the book – read the book first and then watch the show. That way you get the origin at face value and then can make your own opinions. Enjoy!