Susie Bright has made a career promoting sex-positive feminism to women and men, and Big Sex Little Death (Seal Press) is her newly published memoir.
And boy, what a life she’s had. From an abusive childhood, Susie ricocheted from parent to parent before decamping to the International Socialist party when she wasn’t even 18. She fully immersed herself in the world of politics and free love, before she was booted out while still a teenager.
This takes more than half of the book, which leaves you wondering how Susie could condense the remaining 30ish years of her life into an equal amount of pages. She does this by whizzing through time to share the highlights of how she came to co-found the lesbian erotic magazine On Our Backs, and become a mother when she least expected it.
Written in a brash, no-holds-barred style, Big Sex Little Death is loud, proud and in your face. Interspersed with a few saucy descriptions of Susie’s own sex life, the book is a kick in the face to those who say feminists are all frumpy and frigid – neither of those claims are true of Susie!
While I don't agree with all of Susie’s achievements, such as contributing to bringing porn into the mainstream or teaching pornography at university (I'm an anti-porn feminist), it is still fascinating to read such a confident assertion of one woman’s determined track to achieve so much. Because whatever you say about Susie, she is certainly a woman who has never been shy of standing up for what she believes and going out and doing exactly what she wants.
Susie and I may come at feminism from slightly different perspectives, but nonetheless I respect almost any woman who sees what they want, and goes and gets it. Big Sex Little Death is a fun and fascinating insight into one of the noisiest women in our recent feminist history. And like her achievements or not, this is an entertaining read.