A young sexologist fights an uphill battle to open a female oriented sex novelty shop and education center in the small Philadelphia suburb of West Chester. In her book, Fighting the Crusade Against Sex: Being Sex-Positive in a Sex Negative World, Jill McDevitt recounts her struggles against the Catholic Church, a conservative politician, and the pervasive taboos against sexuality in our society.
The book is in part a documentation of her fight and in part a memoir of her life leading up to that fight. The chapters alternate between McDevitt’s efforts and obstacles in opening up her store, Feminique Boutique, and her early years of love and lost love which compelled her toward that end.
Fighting the Crusade Against Sex exposes the deep-rooted prudishness toward sex and sexuality in our society and in the process confronts the principle source of that prudishness, religion… or more precisely western religion.
McDevitt explores not just the negative attitude toward sex and sexuality, but the gap in those attitudes as they relate to gender. Female sexuality in particular has become the main target in the crusade and McDevitt has become one of the most outspoken defenders. In the book, she recounts several stories in which she educates women and men about female sexuality and how to have a more fulfilling sex life.
Sex sells and the only thing that sell more than sex is religious controversy related to sex. This book definitely delivers on both counts. It is a quick read and a lot of fun too. I highly recommend.
Fighting the Crusade Against Sex: Being Sex-Positive in a Sex Negative World by Jill McDevitt
This review was originally published on the Atheist Examiner page on December 11, 2011