I found it a little (okay, a lot) disturbing that Millet claims that some of her earliest memories are her sexual fantasies about group sex. It certainly makes one wonder what sorts of things a child her age had been exposed to in order to know enough to have these vivid and detailed fantasies at such a young age. The casualness of the sexual encounters surprised me, including the complete lack of worry about mundane things like protection or disease (condoms are mentioned once while male partners' proclivities for seeing others' bodily fluids and contributing to them are mentioned as if unprotected sex is par for the course. Obviously clap was a common occurrence as she mentioned alternative outlets when she was suffering from it. And there was never a thought for the significant others of some of her more frequent partners, only a few of whom (the significant others, I mean) are mentioned as participants in the casual, free sex world that Millet inhabits. Obviously this is not a book for the squeamish or the prudish. The language used in the book, whether as a choice of the translator or true to the original, is fairly slang-y and confrontational but ironically, even the shocking use of casual terms for sexual organs and actions can't save this book from snoozeville.
Millet tries to draw some parallels to the art world in her discussion of space and number and in her description of scene but it all falls flat. This particular edition contains an afterwod where she tackles the criticism that her writing about something so personal is detached and unengaging, suggesting that those who make this criticism are missing the point. But her argument that the only way to write about or observe sex is in a detached manner, even if the author is the person indulging in it herself, rings false. As a matter of fact, it suggests that sexual encounters with Ms. Millet are probably fairly unemotional, unfulfilling experiences all the way around, despite her assertion that she is complimented all the time on her prowess. But technical prowess doesn't always equate to satisfaction. And this book proves it. Technically adept writing-wise, the reading offered no satisfaction, emotionally or intellectually. Oh, and color me a prude because the repeated graphic depictions of entangled bodies indulging in group sex, flashed kaleidoscopically throughout the text, first horrified me, then numbed me, and finally bored me to apathy. And I've just recently read there is a sequel either in the works or recently published. I plan on turning a blind eye to what I suspect is more intellectual masterbation (ironic given that it is over group and free sex, eh?) in book form.