Polly Whittaker’s “Polly: A Sex Culture Revolutionary” has the perfect mix of everything; from erotic sex party experiences to tear-jerking heartbroken moments. Initially, I didn’t know what to expect – being as it’s an erotic novel yet also a memoir. But once I got about fifty pages in, I couldn’t put the book down. I finished it in two days – wishing it didn’t have to end. It was captivating, touching, and inspiring all in one!

Polly would be best for an erotica beginner, or someone who is interested in exploring the diverse experiences of sexuality. The book is built off of cohesive stories, which combine to make Polly who she is today. Throughout the book I found myself feeling many all arrays of emotion. At one point I was crying, and at the next I was grabbing my vibrator! Yet, everything flowed and made sense as I read – bringing Polly’s stories and experiences to life with a relatable voice and honest storytelling.

Length: On the longer side at 313 pages, but a quick page-turning read.
Naughty Level: Some chapters may make you worry if someone is reading over your shoulder. But, Polly inspired me to also change sex culture! So, I loved reading it in public, hoping someone would ask what I was reading!
Most Surprising Part: The book is very philosophical and made me think – A LOT!

 

Summary

Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary is a memoir about a woman who is trying to find herself after the tragic loss of her father, all while trying to make a difference in sex culture. While living in London, her home town, she is devoted to the fetish scene and is a latex fashion designer. Polly is already heavily interested in sex culture, volunteering to model in House of Harlot fashion shows to see things from a different angle while making clothes for them. 

After losing her father to a brain tumor, Polly moves to San Francisco to start over. There, she lives at Mission Control, which is not just her home, but a private kink club which serves as a venue to all Kinky Salon parties. The first Kinky Salon parties have a sexually enlightened vibe. They allow nudity, bondage, spanking, and some went a little further with blowjobs on the dance floor or the couch. As time went on, and Polly created a loving, community with party-goers. There were rules set, and volunteers helped to  throw “stress-free” parties (if that is possible). They throw their first “Balls-to-the-Wall Sex Party” which turns out to be nothing like Polly’s ever seen. Could it be perfection? Polly shows us how Mission Control is fun and exciting, yet still challenging.

In Polly’s short stories, we visit past experiences with Polly’s friends and father to help us understand where she came from and how she became the woman she is. She describes her times at the Burning Man festival, the Folsom Street fair, and latex fashion shows. Like a true free-spirited woman, she also struggles with finding a relationship that doesn’t tie her down from doing what she loves. In San Francisco, Polly meets a man named Scott who started as a friend who lived with her in Mission Control until she realized her attraction to him. As in all relationships, Polly and Scott had rough patches. They struggled with having a healthy, happy, open relationship. At first it was easy, but jealousy kicked in and left Polly feeling alone.

Throughout the book, Polly ponders the meaning of her existence. She notices the stepping stones that brought her to where she is, such as losing her father, her move to America, Scott, Mission Control. She realizes failure is inevitable, but it’s all worth it in the end. “If you never fail, that means you  never tried to do something impossible.”

Powerful, Funny, Touching, & Inspiring

I loved Polly throughout the novel, because she felt real, and like I could relate to her. I felt like I knew what she was feeling and going through, and her struggles were ones that I understood, first hand. Polly faces problems with money, which I’m sure we all can relate to that. Like many other women, she struggles with having reliable orgasms. She’s your average woman, and she did extraordinary things for sex culture.

Her work with Mission Control and Kinky Salon changed people’s lives, and continues to all around the world. It took time, effort, tears, and a few swear words to change Kinky Salon from just a party to a community. Yet, it helped many, many people. One woman, who struggled with body image and an eating disorder, told Polly while topless that she had never felt so comfortable like this in public before. Another man admitted he was attracted to men after his first boy-on-boy kiss, at Kinky Salon. Although Polly sometimes felt as if she was doing everything wrong, she was often blind to all she was doing right. After a meeting with Mission Control, she started thinking about her work different, and realized she was a part of changing lives.

“Chosen family. Meaning. Freedom. Creativity. Culture. Love. Self-expression. Dreams. Hope. Healing. Life as art. The sexual revolution. Did that really just happen? I listened to story after story, and it sounded like these dreams really did come true. I just needed to stop and pay attention.”

What really captivated my attention was how much the book inspired me and made me think. As I read, I questioned myself, my boyfriend, my relationship – everything. It helped me to open up about things I have always questioned and found interest in, but was “too scared” to talk about or didn’t know the right questions to ask. Like, open relationships, sex parties, and just sex in itself. I found myself caught off guard when I learned the variety of things that happened at Kinky Salons. Many were taboo in a way, and would never happen at the types of parties I go to – although it’d be interesting if it did. I’ve never had it in me to talk about many sex topics aloud, and I’m still working on it, but becoming inspired and empowered by Polly’s book is a good start.

Polly also gave me inspiration to make change in sex culture and check out the festivals, parties, and organizations she talked about throughout the book. After reading this amazing book, I’m definitely going to attend a Kinky Salon. All the hooting and the hollering, I have to see what it’s all about and I’m sure other readers will feel the same way. They are all over the world now – in Austin, London, Copenhagen, New York, New Orleans, Portland, and Berlin – and expanding! Polly explains that she attended a Kinky Salon in London and she felt at home. They all have their own twist to it but Mission Control is where it all started.

By publishing Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary, Polly is touching the people who read it and giving them the knowledge to make a change for sex culture. She gives the reader so much information about what’s going, what to expect, where to find more information and advice. It’s like talking to a friend. Polly gives advice about going to your first sex party, and without that, I don’t think I would ever be comfortable enough to go to one. She helped me want to step out of my comfort zone, and try to make a change in myself which overall can make a change in sex culture.

While Slutty Girl Problems’ manifesto and purpose first opened my mind to accepting sex, sex culture, and making a change in society – Polly also dug a little deeper into my mind. She paints sexuality to be much more philosophical, emotional, mental, and spiritual than many other erotic novels, or any other type of discourse about sexuality. This caption in particular influenced me:

“I don’t pretend to know anything, but here’s what I believe: Sex is art, and art is everything. I apologize for going all California on you, but the mysterious cosmic force that gives life to everything? It’s sex. The pulse of your heartbeat? Sex. The spark of inspiration? Sex. Electrons spinning in atoms? You guessed it. Sex. The urge to create art? Sex. Don’t worry about the semantics – you know I’m not talking about the simple act of coitus. Sex is a means of self-expression that operates on many different levels. It can be physical, energetic, spiritual, and intellectual. To me, this makes it art. And making art is like having sex with the universe.”

Overall

Polly’s story is powerful, touching, funny and relatable. The change she has made in the sex culture is shown so vividly, and with this memoir, she continues to make change by opening the eyes of her readers. After reading Polly’s memoir, I want to get involved, learn more, and help her make the change she worked so hard for. I loved this book, whole heartedly, and will recommend everyone to read it. It’s an inspiring piece of work as it not only works towards changing sex culture, but to also make a change within each person. After all, that’s where it all begins. When we make a change in ourselves, we in turn make a change in culture and society.

 Get Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary at Amazon here.

 

This post is part of the Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary Virtual Book Tour. If you make a comment in the thread below you’ll be automatically entered in a chance to WIN a LIMITED EDITION signed hardcover copy of Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary.

The comedian Margaret Cho called it “Raw, untamed, emotional beauty–Polly is a true supernova. This memoir is as touching as it is hot, as moving as it is a masterpiece.”

Buy your copy of Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary bit.ly/pollybook
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Note: This post is sponsored by Polly Whittaker and I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own. I only recommend things I would get myself! Read more about our reviews.