Hot, Wet & Shaking
Kaleigh Trace, Invisible Publishing, 2014. Nonfiction.
Review by Cassie Guinan
About a month ago I was walking down Quinpool Rd and overheard an older man on a stoop say with disgust to another man that he had overheard two girls* talking about sex at the grocery store. I don’t know if he was disgusted by the sex, or by the fact that he had overheard the conversation in the first place. So now I hear him reiterate, and I’m disgusted at him for being disgusted with them while doing the same thing they were really doing — talking about sex in public. The irony!
Kaleigh Trace leads an important discussion on sexuality with the grace and lure of a dick and fart joke. Even though Hot, Wet, And Shaking combs through some challenging topics: ignorance, abortion, identity; anyone can get it. Trace’s conversational writing style, humour, and self-awareness make this a very accessible read.
The title is Trace’s first partnership with the reader. Hot, Wet, And Shaking is the intrigue and How I Learned to Talk About Sex is the explanation, the subtitle. While a description of an orgasm grabs most of our attention, the honest talk about sex doesn’t. Sex can be understood as a text book description; but it isn’t something that is easily defined because it can mean so many different things. And sometimes dick-shun-aries are big dusty liars. As a sex educator, Trace will tell you about it all with more eloquence — just open up her book.
Hot, Wet, And Shaking is an important read because the most accurate description of sex is going to be found through personal narratives. Trace shares her encounters, and as a queer disabled woman who teaches blow job classes, these experiences will be different from yours and mine. This book is sex positive. It will not define sex for you, but it will invite you to talk about it. While not everyone is able (for a whirlwind of reasons) to publicly divulge their relationship to sex, it is through public discourse on sex that opinions will change.