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Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  87 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Polly has lived three lives: A rebellious latex fashion designer with a penchant for dancing on tables, an irrepressibly optimistic social innovator with a mad plan to save the world, and a lonely girl defined by the death of her father. This powerful memoir, told with great honesty and sharp humor, vividly captures the failures and triumphs of a young woman struggling to ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published September 29th 2014 by Moral Minority, Inc (first published January 1st 2014)
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May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was gifted a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. That in no way changes my opinion of this book.

To be honest, this is not a genre I normally read, but the cover is eye-catching, and I figured I’d read something different for a change. I am not sorry that I opted for that, as this was an enjoyable read.

This book starts at the beginning, with Polly’s childhood when she was growing up in London, to her adventurous move to San Francisco. She originally went to Califo
Valerity (Val)
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bdsm, non-fiction, adult
A different book is this one by Polly Whittaker. An adult read. A memoir that tells of her various rebirths, going from her first normal one and life in London, England, with then the 2nd birth was when she moved to San Francisco and took on the name Polly Pandemonium, began making and selling latex clothes, and throwing fetish parties to make a name for herself and collaborate.

The 3rd birth happened when she had an arc of rainbow stars tattooed on her belly. She becomes Polly Superstar, meets a
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hot, deep, raw...just my style.

This book is a glimpse into the life of a woman after my own heart. It's a must read for any woman who wants to see what it's like to live on the edge, be willing to take a deep look at yourself, and go for your dreams. This book isn't just about one wild woman's foray into swing parties and one-night-stands, it's about what can be possible when you open yourself to possibility and live in integrity.

Polly is the real deal. Bravo
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mind Opening!!

This is one of those books you start reading slower as you go because you don't want it to end! Polly has lived a vivid life filled with love, loss, and passion. Her ability to openly share these unique and very private stories has opened my eyes. It has given me the courage to finally take the steps towards my own sexual revolution! Take the step with me and read this unforgettable memoir!
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose I was predisposed to like a memoir from someone who came to SF around the same time I did and sought out and experienced similar things (cacophony, folsom street fair, burning man, etc). All that was missing was the Werepad. Of course unlike me she was busy creating fantastic new things as well, and I've been a fan of her works for some time now. The book is deep, broad, intense, revealing and remarkably well edited. Yay for Polly!
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We weren't sure what to expect: a lascivious tell-all, a series of anecdotes, or a manifesto...

What we got was the amazingly engaging story of Polly's life, and a unique, true depiction of the sex positive lifestyle.

All in all, a great read!
Jennifer Yee
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very readable book about Polly Whittaker/Superstar/Pandemondium on her journey from childhood to the fabulous woman she is today.
Cooper Beckett
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book charts multiple journeys through Polly’s life, woven together Godfather II style. We learn about her upbringing with her non-monogamous parents, whose fondue parties had the rule that if you drop your bread into the cheese, you have to kiss everybody at the table. (A rule I’d like to institute at my next fondue party. [Note to self: throw fondue party.]) She takes us on her spontaneous journey to San Francisco at the behest of a friend, where she nearly stumbles into her community full ...more
Minka Guides
I originally read the sample provided for free on NetGalley and was very excited by it: such a strong, beautifully written opening, mixing personal journey with an academic context of San Francisco, queer and kink culture. I was like YES! Here is someone who really has something to say, an actual story to tell. Plus I knew enough about Kinky Salon to have some idea where this journey was headed (full disclosure: I've attended a number of the parties in London).

So I bought the whole book, and eve
Kattie Sivley
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The cover of this book is beautiful! I love Polly! I love her ideas of sexual revolution. I got this book from Netgalley, and I was stoked to read it. I have always heard about San Francisco being more open to the gay and kink culture, and I was glad to read about it and someone who helped revolutionize sex culture and start a following around the world. That sounded cult-y but that isnt what I meant. This book jumps around from Polly's childhood where she grew up in London with parents who were ...more
P Smith
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Polly's book is touching, warm, brilliant, funny, and cutting edge. She shares intimate details from her life, and I found myself saying; "Yes! Me too!" Growing up as a girl, whether in the UK or the U.S., presents universal challenges when it comes to arriving at adulthood intact, self-aware, and in charge of one's self as a sexual being. Polly's journey, which she shares in raw, graphic detail, resonated profoundly with me. We share the desire for love and validation, as well as that burning q ...more
E. Bast
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book rocks! I couldn't put it down... I stumbled across this jewel as I was on a memoir-devouring stint. It was like a box of chocolate truffles for my mind! Though this author is writing about racy "alternative" sex parties and radical ideals for the modern sexual revolution, there is still an innocence in her perspective that anyone from the "mainstream" could relate to. She provokes compassion and understanding for her highly unusual tale of self-discovery and pleasure. This book made me ...more
Sarah Wells
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was subtle and sincere, powerful and poignant.
I saw so much of myself in Polly and her words so easily and eloquently gave voice to so many things in my mind, psyche, body and experience.
Brought up some really awesome and pertinent talking points with me and my partner. Especially loved the chapter on Jealousy and the beautiful way her future and past speak with one another; how her badass, awesome, put-together future persona influences the present and heals the past.
Highly recommend
Ros Earl
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book because Polly's family were my 2nd family when I was growing up. I knew her when she was a kid & wasn't sure I wanted to know her story so held off for quite a while. Anyway I devoured it over a quiet Bank Holiday. It was unputdownable - fascinating, shocking (only a couple of bits), sad, but mostly heart warming. I found some sections a little too long (the written descriptions of the parties probably didn't do them justice), but I admire the way she opened up he ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

Not my type of book but pleasantly surprised! I couldn't put it down. Very eloquent writing to discuss a very taboo subject. At least taboo for this monogamous, religious, heterosexual! I felt guilty for enjoying this so much but it's a great story of a sub-culture I didn't even know existed.

Good enough read to allow me to cast my judgements to the wayside and simply enjoy the trials, tribulations, successes, and revelations of Ms. Polly Superstar.
Ella Drayton
Polly Whittaker has definitely led a very interesting life. It was interesting to read about her first landing in San Francisco and about her role as a revolutionary in the sex industry. I admire her grit and her adventurous personality. I can't say that I enjoyed Polly's book but I didn't necessarily dislike it either. I just don't think it was for me. It was well-written and draws you in right from the beginning but I just don''t think it was for me.
Bill Ward
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, sex-positive
I enjoyed the way this book was structured, weaving together the ups and downs of her life by splitting into three sections - growing up in England (Polly Whittaker), when she first came to San Francisco and embraced the hedonistic lifestyle (Polly Pandemonium), and after launching the Kinky Salon parties and spreading her message of sex-positive social change (Polly Superstar). It was interesting to see her evolution and I admire her courage in sharing it with the world.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a WILD Ride!! Polly gives a fun, fresh look at an Underground scene, taking most, where they've never been before. Even though Polly's journey looks exclusive and wild, there’s surprisingly more to her journey that's accessible to everyone, admitting her fears, mistakes, and broken hearts. An Empowering book for both sexes. Just too bad there aren't any pictures.
Michael E. Horgan
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La Petite Mort

I am not quite sure what to say about the book? I found the book to provide a point of view about sex or an attitude that was enlightening to me. What I know I learned from TV which is a cultural distraction and is in the way of relating sexually. Polly seems to thrive in a sex positive environment. There are lots of options to consider that work.
Eric Wertz
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Want to know the ins and outs of the underground SF sex scene? Read. It's intriguing, honest and authentic. Polly is a pioneer in the SF sex scene and a wonderful person. Read.
Susan Block
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So real, so raw, so revolutionary. A wonderful, beautifully written memoir.
Flemming Ottsen
rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Oct 23, 2016
rated it liked it
Sep 14, 2017
Erin Langley
rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2014
Justine Ten
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Jul 13, 2017
Felicia Ramirez
rated it liked it
Jul 06, 2015
Tessa McHenry
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Jan 27, 2018
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Erin Bentrim
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Dec 31, 2017
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Polly is a 21st century sex culture revolutionary. She has dedicated her life to sexually progressive community as a latex fashion designer, a creator of arty, sexy parties, and a spokesperson for sex culture. Born in London, England, in 1974, she is the daughter of a hot air balloon pilot and a sex therapist. She relocated to San Francisco—home of the sexual revolution—in 1999. Her award-winning ...more
More about Polly Whittaker

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