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Lusty Lady

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

Kiri Blakeley on her gay fiancé, dating in New York and her memoir Can't Think Straight

Some of you caught Can't Think Straight: A Memoir of Mixed-Up Love author Kiri Blakeley doing her very first reading from the book at Comedy Sex Night at In The Flesh last November. I just interviewed her for SexIs Magazine about finding out her fiancé was gay, dating in New York (she paints a very vivid picture of the confusion that can cause for women who like men), sexual orientation and whether her memoir is a "slut-fest."

One of the most compelling people describe in your book is James. You wrote: “For James, and men like him, fucking a girl was like watching a movie—something to do to pass the time.” You admit that when you started dating again, you were like that too—at first. Was that important because you felt you missed out on something by meeting Aaron so early?

I met Aaron when I was 26, so it wasn’t
that early, but I had not dated much before him. I lost my virginity very late, at 24. I never was the type to sleep around. So yes, suddenly, when I got out of this relationship, I felt the need to go a bit wild.

Frankly, I was horny. I was in my mid-thirties, a peak sexual time for women, I felt comfortable with my body and what I wanted, I felt confident in my sexual abilities, and also, very important, I hadn’t had much of a sex life in the past five years. Aaron hadn’t shown much interest in it--for reasons that became obvious later--and I eventually lost interest, too.

Read the whole interview here

click above to buy on Amazon, where I wrote this review below. There's a line that I can't find but it was something about holding hands and I wish I'd had my usually ever-present stickie flags with me while reading (note to self, keep stickie flags on you at all times!) because it really was this perfect, perfect line):

In this often-humorous memoir, Kiri Blakeley explores both the aftermath of her ten-year relationship after her fiancé comes out as gay, as well as her emergence into a NYC dating world that is very different from the one she had encountered in her twenties. There is lots of drama here, from checking a lover's text messages and online dating profile to figuring out whether she can, or even wants to, have casual sex. Blakeley also goes from anger at her fiancé to a friendship that evolves along with her outlook on their years together; the scenes where they reunite show the resilience of their relationship, now in its platonic form, as well as the loneliness each of them feels as they move forward with their new lives.

Her relationship with James, who makes it clear he wants a casual relationship, a friendship, and is seeing other people (as is, at times, Blakeley), is both the most disturbed and problematic, but also the most compelling. After he says that can be both friends and lovers, while encouraging her to go on dates with others, she writes: "Sometime in the very early morning, I feel him tightly curling his hand around mine. When I attempt to pry my fingers from his so I can go to the kitchen to get water, he grunts his disapproval and clings tighter. It's moments like these that kept me coming back, I suppose."

There were times I wanted to yell at Blakeley, tell her she's better than some of the guys giving her the runaround, but she captures both her sense of freedom (albeit involuntary freedom) tempered with her increasing sense of attachment to her lovers. The ongoing drama makes for a gripping as well as realistic read, and the "mixed-up" of the title refers not only to her former fiancé, but to her as she tries online dating and the pickup scene, while assessing what went wrong (and right) with her ex. For any SATC fan, this is the real thing.

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