Imagine a rosebud in your hand. It has yet to bloom, you feel its silky surface, and then gently remove a petal. You continue removing petal by petal, carefully, thoughtfully, until you reach the heart of the thing. This is the experience one has when reading “Girlfag”.
Janet Hardy, co-author of the bestselling book, “The Ethical Slut”, and ten others, has recently released a memoir titled “Girlfag: A Life Told in Sex and Musicals”.
Girlfag, a term first coined by Jill Nagle, denotes a “female-bodied person who loves and identifies with gay men”. To further clarify, “Girlfags are not fag hags – fag hags enjoy gay men as company; girlfags enjoy them as bedmates and peers”. The gender-bending autobiographical account tears down rigid societal definitions of sexuality by exploring outlying alternatives to the singularity of the classic hetero-man-woman-missionary-position structure.
Petal by petal, moment by moment, experience by experience, Hardy carries you along in the story of her journey leading to personal revelation of sexual discovery, that is universally felt by anyone who has found themselves drawn away from a well-trodden path lain down as a norm and into a world of new, inspired and unending sexual possibilities; a journey that is made, not for mere pleasure (although it is delightful), but out of necessity, to be truthful to one’s inner fabric and design. It is a mission taken by those who feel that they are unable to be defined simply as “straight”, “gay”, “male”, “female”, or by the many other confining labels circulating within our culture’s limited sexual palate.
“This is a book about dissolution, in all the senses of the word. Lawyers call a divorce a “dissolution,” and there’s a divorce in here, although a rather anticlimactic one. And some people say you’re “dissolute” if they think that you’re morally not quite up to par, and, well, there’s a lot of that in here too, mostly with me at its center.
But “dissolution” is the noun form of the verb “dissolve.” Moviemakers use a “dissolve” to transition from one scene to the next, so that they can jump all around their story, sometimes to things that seem irrelevant at the time but that start to make more sense as the movie progresses. And physicists use “dissolve” to mean the softening of edges, the loss of boundaries, the point where the lump of sugar becomes smaller and smaller, and then the sugar is liquid, and then the water is sweet.
And that’s really what this book is about: dissolving, dissolution, solution. Edges softening, edges disappearing, edges so far gone that you realize they never existed and that you’re standing like Wile E Coyote in midair. Don’t worry, you’ll only fall if you think too much about how you got there in the first place.”
The book, published by Janet’s own Beyond Binary Books, was released in September of this year.
Janet holds a MFA in Creative Writing from St. Mary’s College of California. Her publishing company, Greenery Press has produced works of nonfiction and fiction “for the sexually adventurous” since 1992.
Hardy frequently travels the globe speaking as an author and educator on “topics ranging from ethical multipartner relationships to erotic spanking and beyond”. Janet and husband, Edward, currently call Eugene, Oregon their home.
You can pick up a copy of her new book and meet Janet tomorrow (Sunday, 11/18) evening between 4P and 7P at Tsunami Books on Willamette Street, where she will be premiering and reading selections from her memoir, “Girlfag: A Life Told in Sex and Musicals“, as well as presenting a Q&A session and signing copies of the book. Admission is free and light refreshments are to be provided.