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Behind the Bedroom Door: Getting It, Giving It, Loving It, Missing It

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  31 reviews
We may not admit it, but we’re all curious about what goes on in other people’s bedrooms. After all, we live in a world saturated with sex, which makes it tough not to wonder how we measure up—and even tougher to talk about our intimate experiences honestly. In this frank, poignant collection, twenty-six acclaimed writers go Behind the Bedroom Door and lay bare the messy, ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2008)
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 ·  148 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I gave up. I kept skipping through essays that didn't interest me. I then decided I would give up since I was not really interested in reading any further.
Marjorie Ingall
Dec 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Paula Derrow is a superb editor. The essays in Behind the Bedroom Door are a terrific mix of funny, gasp-inducing, infuriating, heartrending. And yes, shockingly honest. Some of them essays talk about stuff we just don't talk about. I wanted to bitchslap some of the contributors and go out for coffee with others -- but I had strong reactions to almost everything in the collection, which is rare for me. Nothing was pretentious, boring or fake-hot.

I think my faves were Hope Edelman on how her rom
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
I grabbed this on a whim while looking for something else entirely. I really liked the idea of a collection of essays all written by women about sex. And then I found out that it worked for a prompt in a reading challenge I'm doing, so it was a win-win for me.

All in all I found it to be.... pleasant, I guess. I'm not disappointed but I did find some of essays to be better than the others. Although that is to be expected. I found some to be funnier or more relatable or just plain better written.
Dec 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I like it--because I edited it. But it's a great, unexpected, sneak peek at what really goes on in the bedrooms of women today. ...more
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My friend Paula wrote/edited these books and I love the first chapter so far...not a smut book but very REAL. Highly recommended!
Jan 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I just started reading this book last night, ad I started with Hope Edelman's essay. I LOVED it! I can't wait to read more of the collection. ...more
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am not much for play-by-play erotica, and this is not that. It's an essay collection of stories about people's sex life. What is refreshing is that many of the stories involve life, as well as sex.
Read the ones that appeal to you. Read at least one that doesn't.
Deborah Sowery-Quinn
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting, tho graphic, essays from various women on their experiences with sex & love. Some funny, some touching.
Dec 14, 2008 rated it liked it
I read this book to review for the Feminist Review blog. Once my review runs on the blog, I will post it here.

“Daring. Provocative. Unflinchingly honest,” the book jacket proclaims of this anthology subtitled “getting it, giving it, loving it, missing it. “It” is sex, and Behind the Bedroom Door is a collection of essay about sex from twenty-six contemporary women writers.

Don’t be confused. While some of these essays are sexy, this writing is neither erotic nor academic. These are personal essay
Elevate Difference
Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
“Daring. Provocative. Unflinchingly honest,” the book jacket proclaims of this anthology subtitled “getting it, giving it, loving it, missing it.” It is sex, and Behind the Bedroom Door is a collection of essays about sex from twenty-six contemporary women writers.

Don’t be confused. While some of these essays are sexy, this writing is neither erotic nor academic. These are personal essays covering points across the adult female life cycle, the thoughts and feelings of individual women about thei
Emily Jane
May 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Behind the Bedroom Door is a very interesting, fast-reading collection of stories about the most personal lives of the women who wrote it. The premise, as presented by its editors, is to stand in for the deeply personal conversations many women are too afraid to have, even with their dearest friends. Some of the stories concern lesbianism, some abuse, some rape, some adultery, and some plain and simple love; all are intimate narratives that affirm women's sexuality.

Personally, I love gossip. I l
Nov 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: interpersonal
Just fantastic--I loved pretty much every essay, even the ones that were a little off the wall. The thing about sex is that everyone thinks about it in some way at some point (that's why I love the book's subheading), but rarely do we talk about it honestly. Even in our current "anything goes" society, we're act like 13-year old boys, giggling and tittering and shocked if the subject comes up. I mean, come on--Jersey Shore has a "smush room." This is not how adults (especially adult women) shoul ...more
Oct 24, 2009 rated it liked it
It seems like I'm giving every book I read lately three stars. I'd give this book five stars for many of the essays inside as well as for its refreshing honesty about sex, a topic that often gets a lot of sugarcoating and exaggeration. But a small number of the essays didn't totally capture my attention. In a few instances, I blended the different stories in my head. Were there similarities that caused a natural overlap? Or did I not read it right? Maybe a little of both. I definitely appreciate ...more
Jan 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: WOMEN
This book has started out really well. It is a quick read and is interesting and provacative and says a lot of what a person might say if totally uncensored and their audience is not going to judge them at all. I'm only a couple of essays in, but I am captivated. If only we could be as candid with our lovers and friends... perhaps the world and the bedroom would be a better place.
This was a great book and an easy read. It was better than a harlequin because it was real women talking about real
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
This collection of essays by women writers takes a highly personal look at numerous aspects of sexuality -- first experiences, married sex, pregnant sex, wanting more sex, not wanting sex, worrying about whether you want the right amount of sex, one-night stands, new relationships, old relationship, young sex, old sex, sex with women, sex with men, sex across various demographic divides. The writers express themselves openly, often movingly and often with a great deal of humor. While never gratu ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Not all of the essays are amazing, but the ones that are amazing blow your scalp back. Like many other reviewers have said, this is not erotica nor is this academic. This is raw and true writing about what it means to come into (or never come into) your sexuality as a woman. At 25, most of the essayists are a decade or more older than me, but their words and experiences don't feel distant. At certain points in this book, I had to set it down, sip my tea and go, "whoa". It's definitely worth the ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not as interesting as I thought it would be. It was worth reading because the hope edelman piece. Out of everything I read, that's probably had the deepest impact. It was only like 10 pages but it just sailed. It really really inspired me, particularly the ending. In the story, the girl falls in love with a bad boy. in high school. Through it her mom kind of knows whats going on, but the girl doesn't realize it. The mom gets cancer, the boy breaks up with her. Hope's conclusion is stunning. she ...more
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent collection of women's brief memoirs of sexual experiences and feelings, as well as the relationships in which the experiences took place. Although reviewed as a book for women, these chapters can provide considerable insight for men, as the authors are often incredibly open and revealing. Recommended reading for men as well as women. ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it
There were some good stories, but like any book that has many stories from different authors, your bound not to like them all. I understand that some people get into a groove in their marriage where there is a lull in their sex life, but I got tired of reading about those. There was one however that turned that all around.
Nov 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was just a fabulous book. So many women, so many different stories, and all with the same emotions bound up in the most intimate of subjects. This is something I'd recommend to every woman I know. ...more
Mar 03, 2009 rated it liked it
It's hard to review compilations sometimes. Some essays I liked, some not so much. Some I skimmed. I'll give it 3 stars, but to be honest, I was a little disappointed, but it was better than "okay." ...more
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was edited by my good friend Paula Derrow. It is full of fearless anecdotes about sex from a well chosen group of women writers. It's a fun quick read, but then you find yourself thinking about it a lot afterwards. ...more
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully raw, deeply introspective journey shared by women for women. Regardless of where you hail from, what ethnicity, social status or spiritual affiliation, it is about connection.. shared thoughts. Well done by some of the most talented women of the age.
Francesca Escamilla
Sexual memoirs

This has to be one of the most real and vulnerable things I have ever read. It was interesting to hear things from other women's point of views. Most women embellish the truth or just plain don't give it. Personally I loved this collection for its honesty.
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
A refreshingly honest, hilarious, heartbreaking and touching look at the very different experiences women have in bed (and in the kitchen, and on the beach, and in a friend's bathroom, and...). ...more
Apr 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Interesting, although I don't know anybody like the women who wrote these essays. A lot of affairs and one-night stands. Is everyone really doing that? Made me feel very traditional but lucky. ...more
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really loved some of the essays in this book. Such a wide range of people expressed such varied thoughts and experiences that sucked me in to the point that I couldn't put this book down. ...more
Aug 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
I hated this book. It was recommended in a parenting magazine and I just don't know why. I didn't finish it but none of the essays I read had any redeeming value to them. ...more
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
The stories in this book were very insightful and gave me a lot to think about and to laugh about. I highly recommend this book.
Sep 28, 2009 rated it liked it
this is a great book - to be read over time. do NOT read all at once!
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Paula Derrow is articles director at Self magazine and teaches writing for She has worked for Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar and Lifetime Television. She has a degree in British history and literature from Harvard and lives in Manhattan.

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