Playboy.com’s Stacy Klein interviewed Stephen Elliott, editor of Sex for America: Politically Inspired Erotica.
Here's Klein's introduction and the first two exchanges from the interview:
After campaigning for John Kerry in 2004. novelist Stephen Elliott wrote a memoir called Looking Forward To It: or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About It and Love the American Electoral Process. In honor of this political season, he has collected an anthology of erotica stories, Sex For America, that all carry a political message or slant to their climaxes. The book features popular fiction writers, journalists, and sex workers taking an engaging look at the intersection of sex and politics, and in the process showing how fantasies can borrow from both Machiavelli and De Sade. We caught up with Elliott to ask him a bit more about the book, and how exactly the Bush Administration bears resemblance to a dominatrix.Read the full Q & A.
PLAYBOY: What can "politically inspired erotica" tell us that political reporting can't?
ELLIOTT: Fiction can always go places where non-fiction can't. You can explore things in stories, take events to their logical conclusions, and evaluate the conclusions. Politics is sexy. Every election cycle there's all these marriages broken up on the campaign trail. Because people in politics are very passionate about their beliefs. I've heard it referred to as "mactivism". Volunteering for a campaign has to be the easiest way to meet a lover.
PLAYBOY: What do you see as the most important political issue this election?
ELLIOTT: Well, in California, the most important political issue is rent control, which some extremely evil people snuck onto the June 3 ballot as a proposition disguised as eminent domain reform. But in the presidential election the most important issue has to be the war in Iraq. We've already put half a trillion dollars into that war, every dollar wasted. For that money we could free healthcare and free college tuition. It's the biggest mistake of my generation. I'm pretty sure we've never wasted as much on anything else. It would be very hard, maybe impossible, to vote for someone who participated in that mistake by authorizing the war.
The Page 69 Test: Stephen Elliott's My Girlfriend Comes To The City And Beats Me Up.