"Do you mind if we have sex while I read this?"

by Nikki Tranter

22 August 2008


“I’m Sheila Heti, and I’m going to be reading a story called “The Princess and the Plumber” while having sex with my boyfriend ... Do you mind if we have sex while I read this? We’ll just do it ... slowly.”

And then Heti’s boyfriend proceeds to become cutely inflamed that his girlfriend has thrown away his sour dough. An argument breaks out: He was gonna eat it… She’ll buy him some more… It was perfectly good, he checked it this morning…

Do they end up having sex to the plumber story? You’ll have to buy the CD to find out. I might have to, too. Sex and a good book? That actually sound like my idea of pre-lights off bliss.

Can I say only at McSweeney’s? The upscale literary firm continues to change the way we look at and listen to our stories with its second audio collection, this one titled “Sweet Nothings and Essential Slow Jams”. This time, McSweeney’s authors including Heti, Ben Ehrenreich, Tony DeSouza, Chris Bachelder, and Pia Ehrhardt read stories featuring tales of best first dates.

Don’t expect, though, these stories to rival Danielle Steel with lusty grabs and longing dialogue. DeSouza writes about man-tree love, Heti’s story features talking frogs, and Ehrenreich’s is, so says the press release, a “post-apocalyptic love triangle between a man, a woman, and a giant squid”.

The stories are available in MP3 format from eMusic.com.

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