Kaleigh Trace is a disabled, queer, sex educator who bares it all in Hot, Wet, & Shaking: How I Learned to Talk About Sex.Trace works at Venus Envy and writes the blog The Fucking Facts (thefuckingfacts.com). Her blogging prowess led her to a book deal and eventually to this 128-page paperback.
Trace offers something that's part coming-of-age memoir and part sex-positive feminist commentary. She describes sexual mishaps, an abortion, why she prefers the word "cunt" and how her orgasms feel: "My coming is all my own. My orgasms are unpredictable and hard to define. [...] my body tumbles in and out of feeling good, just as it tumbles in and out of being upright."
It's trite, but I laughed and I cried. Reading this book exhausted my supply of purse tissue. Laughter makes sense. Trace supplies plenty of howl-worthy moments–after all, her first chapter is called "A Bag of Dicks." Comedy is expected. Tears are another matter.
My tears rained when Trace's prose was poignant, when her paragraphs slammed me into an experience that was not my own, when she was so extraordinarily brave that my awe could do nothing other than well from my happy eyes.
I'm not a fan of the author's frequent use of footnotes or repetition—the former feel unnecessary and the latter could have been avoided. Nevertheless, the successes far outweigh any failures. Trace has learned to talk about sex and she has learned to do it extremely well.