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Dork Whore: My Travels Through Asia as a Twenty-Year-Old Pseudo-Virgin

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  629 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
Fresh out of the Israeli Army, twenty-year-old Iris Bahr decides to follow the footsteps of many before her and backpack through Asia. Only unlike the average traveler, she has more in mind than just seeing the sights: she is on a desperate mission to lose her virginity.

Dork Whore is a fresh and funny memoir about a young woman whose quirky personality and embarrassing n
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 6th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA
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Aug 06, 2008 Doris rated it it was amazing
After having read some of the comments, I feel I need to defend "Dork Whore"... I do not know what people expected from it, but this is what I did: As so many others, I read it in a few hours on a very hot summerday, sitting by the lake, eating a lot of cherries, watching some attractive guys lying a few meters away... The book suited the situation perfectly. I did not get it because I wanted to read some psychologically refined study about the coming of age of.. bla bla. It's just a hilarious s ...more
Apr 21, 2009 Brittany rated it it was amazing
Soooooo gooooood! And so much better than Eat, Pray, Love.

I wouldn't necessarily do a side by side comparison of the two, but they are of the same genre and they are both about a woman traveling to multiple countries in Asia to find themselves (and in Bahr's case, to find an orgasm as well).

However, Bahr does a much better job than Gilbert, Elizabeth Gilbert , at verbalizing women's neuroses. I mean, I have had EVERY THOUGHT that Bahr describes. And if a
Apr 14, 2010 Nakia rated it liked it
Iris is a 20 year old virgin from Israel who has just completed her mandatory two year stint in the army. With no serious plans, she decides to tour Asia in hopes to rid herself of the dreaded disease: her virginity. As she travels throughout Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, and India she is hit with the wackiest adventures that a young girl trekking through unkonwn territory could every imagine, much of it her own fault.

There is the stunning European man who holds her hand by day, but seduces prostit
Sep 07, 2008 Susan rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction-adult
So unpleasant it's hard to know where to have to think that she was trying to channel Chelsea Handler (a la My Horizontal Life a bit here, but she doesn't quite pull it off. This might be partly because her voice lacks the almost enthusiastically unapologetic note of Handler's. You can't shake the undercurrent of discomfort and since there's a total lack of even short-lived fun to be had, there's no vicarious thrill for the reader. This book is actually (surprisingly?) short on the s ...more
Oct 28, 2007 Anna rated it liked it
No, this is not my memoir. I am not an American Israeli recently released from military service. Iris, having served at a military desk post just around the corner from home, wanted to get out and see the world. As is custom for former Isreali soldiers, she took off with a travel buddy for Asia. Her goal? Adventure, magic, exitement? Well kind of. Her goal was to loose her virginity. There had been a questionable run in with a god like specimin, but no real cherry popping. So she sets out on wha ...more
Jul 17, 2008 Patrick rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008
Memoir of a 20-year-old woman fresh out of the mandatory Israeli army, taking a vacation throughout Asia while trying to lose her virginity. There were a lot of funny, no-shame moments, and Iris herself was charming, but that only lasted about halfway through the 200-page book, which isn't long. The highlights for me were her numerous bouts with digestive tract parasites and the wacky bathroom hijinks caused by them, and the names she calls her intact hymen, such as "bio-barrier," "fem-fence," h ...more
Kara Fraser
Apr 12, 2014 Kara Fraser rated it it was ok
Extremely self-indulgent with a smattering of tedious pity parties, this book fails to be either funny or adventurous. By the end you sympathize more with Iris' companions than you do with her and are no longer left wondering why people wouldn't stick around. I surely didn't want to.
Amante Reale
Apr 26, 2013 Amante Reale rated it liked it
Not too bad. Bit bland compared to other humorous self-memoirs.
May 27, 2011 Phlaemmle rated it liked it
Ganz trifft es der Untertitel des Buches nicht, denn ihre Unschuld hatte die Protagonistin und Autorin bereits verloren. Da dies aber wohl kein sehr befriedigendes Erlebnis war, sieht sie sich selbst nur als halb entjungfert an - und möchte diesen Zustand schleunigst ändern.
Klingt vielleicht ein wenig wie ein Vorläufer der Feuchtgebiete, ist aber lange nicht so detailliert und eklig - und auf alle Fälle witziger! Schließlich spielt sich das meiste nur in Iris Kopf ab, da die Männer in ihrem Umfe
Judith Rich
Feb 16, 2017 Judith Rich rated it it was amazing
I thought this was hilarious. I giggled most of the way through. I didn't go travelling at this age but I did spend a year studying abroad and there are definite parallels.

I fear I have more in common with Iris than I would like! Her disastrous attempts to seduce handsome men (only to find she's somehow ended up with his not-so-attractive friend) are horribly familiar, I'm afraid.
Oct 28, 2007 Vicki rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: those looking for a light read
Shelves: memoir-biography
I read this book in about three hours. That kind of tells you everything you need to know. It's the sort of book you can get through quickly and maybe laugh at a little, but there's nothing in it to keep you lingering, to make you care about what you're reading, other than you just want to see how it concludes.

It's about a young woman, recently out of the Israeli Army, backpacking through Asia, trying to get rid of her pesky virginity. An interesting premise, but the author's character is diffi
Lucas Johnson
Jan 22, 2016 Lucas Johnson rated it really liked it
Breezy and fun. An Israeli Army veteran travels through Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal and India, while trying to get laid for the first time.

For the type of book it is, this is pretty well written. Her neuroses are all out in the open, and I have to believe it was hard to be this honest in something that the whole world could see. Still, the part where she actually gets some sex is anti-climatic. None of the hot guys she meets in Southeast Asia gets any poon at all, instead she ends up giving it up t
Jul 28, 2011 Heather rated it liked it
Fun, fast little read. Heard Iris Bahr in Marc Maron's WTF podcast and decided to give it a try. The narrative is somehow not entirely smooth - in a way I chalk it up to her having spent enough time growing up in both Israel and the US to kind of have slightly altered English language patterns. But it's a fun and definitely funny memoir about her walkabout through Asia after she got out of the Israeli army on the hunt to gain some of the sexual experience she'd been previously too afraid of. As ...more
Feb 24, 2008 Darga rated it it was ok
maybe i was setting myself up for disappointment with this one. i was simultaneously trying to make the leap to travel-memoir and girl-memoir, two things i don't really read.

i can't figure out why i found the narrator so annoying. this brand of self-centered over-analytical ranting is exactly the sort of thing that makes me like chuck klosterman, but something about this book really put me off.

it occurred to me that maybe i'm just a horrible misogynist who only allows neuroses in a male narrat
Feb 26, 2010 Melinda rated it liked it
I read this while traveling a few years ago and the looks people give you when you travel with a book with "whore" in the title are hilarious. And so was this novel. I enjoyed her self-deprecation but not her need to cling to guys who were no good for her. I liked the book because she wasn't the typical hottie girls that guys would be all over. And she traveled for the purposes of sex. A young woman taking on her sexuality when society worldwide says no? I say bring it on! I think too that I fou ...more
Mar 17, 2015 Beverly rated it liked it
I read this book maybe 5 or 6 years ago. It was mildly amusing and forthright.. mostly because the author is a female preoccupied with sex, much like a 15 year-old boy with hormones raging. Her promiscuous, ill-fated adventures backpacking through Asia were a bit ridiculous at times, but I'll take that over boring, censored accounts. The book overall was nothing I'd call groundbreaking or phenomenal. I will say, though, that the thing that stuck with me after all this time was the account of the ...more
Frances Ellen
Jan 31, 2016 Frances Ellen rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2016
I love a self-deprecating writer and it's what I liked about this book. It's funny in some parts, but I think it falls short of its intention. I question the authenticity of most of the travel experiences, having been to Thailand, Vietnam and Nepal-- 3 of the 4 countries in thr book. I felt that most of the misfortunes were grossly exaggerated to sound more comical. E.g. A 50,000 Vietnamese Dong multi-day van ride from Ho Chi Minh to Hue sounds so impossible, that's only $2. Having been to Pat P ...more
Yelena Malcolm
Jan 07, 2008 Yelena Malcolm rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: self-hating women
A bit of a yawn, and the self-deprecation didn't make you like the author more - if anything you began to agree with her unpleasant view of herself.

A "true" story of how one young woman, fresh out of the Israeli army goes on a voyage in Southeast Asia to grow up and get laid. Neither task is accomplished with much aplomb.

While this genre of young adults doing stupid shit while on vacation hasn't yet been thoroughly played out, the author has to be quite talented to avoid sinking into the sea of
Aug 12, 2011 Katrin rated it did not like it
Zum Glück war das Buch vom Wühltisch und hat nur 1 Euro gekostet ... Es ist zwar immer nett, etwas über Rucksackreisen zu lesen, und noch netter, wenn da auch ein paar Traveller-Klischees auf die Schippe genommen werden, was Iris Bahr durchaus macht, aber ansonsten stört die Ich-Erzählerin ungemein! Statt sich fremde Länder anzuschauen, Leute kennenzulernen und Spaß zu haben, ist sie völlig besessen davon, ihre Jungfräulichkeit zu verlieren. Warum das einfach nicht klappen wil, das ist zwar ganz ...more
Jul 23, 2013 Marie rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dora Fig
May 22, 2014 Dora Fig rated it really liked it
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Jun 07, 2009 Andrew rated it really liked it
A very funny book, though I should warn my students who read what I read here to a) not judge the book by its title and b) not judge my by the book's title and c) not actually read the book without the proper sense of maturity and understanding, or at least your parents' permission.
A humorous story of an Israeli-American who moved to Israel at age 12 and at age 20 is now determined to travel Asia and find at least one night's worth of true love, though it doesn't ever seem to to work out for he
Kristin Garcia
Feb 08, 2011 Kristin Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was one of my favorite books. Iris Bahr is extremely honest as she is intelligent. Dork Whore tells it how it is. Most women do not like to talk about the concept of “almost sex” but Bahr shoves it in your face. Atop of hilarious instances of sex, drugs, stomach issues, and partying she is also traveling Asia. Her descriptions of each place she visits, places you there. I have read it three times and still laugh out loud.
Feb 11, 2010 Mike rated it liked it
An Israeli girl goes traveling in Asia and spends most of her time with other Israelis. In the process, she gets covered in various types of shmutz. She spends little time learning about the places she visits and a lot time trying to lose her pseudo-virginity. Though the author is more than a little self-absorbed, she does have a whimsical sense of humor as well as a resilient sense of adventure. In spite of myself, I found it to be an interesting read.
Oct 07, 2011 Jeannie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sexually frustrated readers who need a good laugh
Shelves: i-own
A lot of mixed reviews on this one but I found it to be hilarious and a really quick and light read if that's what you're after. She did remind me of Chelsea Handler in many aspects but hey more than one of an author like her is no problem for me! The title really threw me off, I expected a lot more sexual action than it delivered but that was part of the charm of this book. It's not what it appears to be!
Jul 27, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: virgins/anyone
I thought this book was really cute, it reminded me of my first times and any awkwardness that came with. Also made me want to backpack around the world. I never thought about traveling until i read this book. I now want to go to Guatemala and Mexico. There are some weird parts too, but they are hilarious. I learned from the transformation that the author went through, and believe me I wont be making the same mistakes she did! lol
Jan 05, 2012 Jo rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir
I seem to read a lot of memoirs where the author comes across as very unlikeable.

Dork Whore is one of those!

Nothing too big happens. She trots around Asia trying to get laid by unpleasant men. She never actually gets laid and is happy enough with that in the end. She suffers through numerous bouts of digestive distress. Lots of descriptions about her poo.

If you're looking for a travel memoir where you get a good feel for the country and the people, this is not it.
Amy Wiggins
Aug 06, 2013 Amy Wiggins rated it it was amazing
Part travel book, part memoir, equal parts funny. Loved her experiences with travel, as I would love to go to Asia some day, and the personal stories about her past as well as her fellow travelers made it even more interesting. If you mind the fact that she is on a physical journey as well as sexual one, then this is NOT something that you would be interested in. If you are then this is definitely worth a read!!!
Aug 05, 2008 Lisa rated it liked it
This was a completely enjoyable read (despite what the title). The author, who has just finished her stint in the Israeli army, tells the true story of her misadventures travelling through Asia (and yes, her search to lose her virginity). It's a little crass at times, but also has laugh out loud moments and some real descriptions of how the author learns more about herself through the experience.
Mar 10, 2009 Kendra rated it liked it
So far very funny. Similar to Chelsea Handler's self-depreciatory, humorous, biographical writing...if you like books like Handler's you will like this. It's a witty read that has an insider's view of the backpacker's culture. If you have ever backpacked, you will appreciate her description of the Backpacker's Hierarchy. Clever throughout but really just a fun, quick read that might be enjoyable if you are a dork, a whore, a traveler, a backpacker, an Israeli, or somewhere in between.
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Iris Bahr is a critically acclaimed writer, actor, director and producer. Having starred on numerous television shows, she is best known for her recurring role as Svetlana (which she wrote and directed for Mark Cuban's Hdnet) and the Orthodox Jewish Girl that gets stuck on a ski-lift with Larry David on CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. Her critically acclaimed solo show, "DAI (enough)", in which she plays 11 ...more
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