Thursday, February 18, 2010

John Bowe

John Bowe is the editor of the new book Us: Americans Talk About Love. From his Q & A at

Did you find it challenging to talk to people about love? It's kind of a vulnerable topic.

Yeah, although you realize that everybody has the same basic component parts. Have you ever cheated on your spouse? Have you ever wanted to cheat on your spouse?

You just become like a doctor. Oh, those are your testicles? You develop a competent bedside manner: Does this feel uncomfortable for you? Have you been sitting too long? Do you need water? And by the way, in case you were confused, I, too, am a colossal fuck-up, and I'm not coming from a place of judgment or superiority.

There are so many bogus advice columns and books devoted to relationships. What are some of the things people say about love that make you bristle?

Honestly, what I have to say would not be that different than those bromides. Don't lie. Don't sleep with other people besides your mate unless your mate gives you permission. Listen to your mate. Accept your mate's faults and shortcomings. It's age-old stuff. What's different here is that it comes through a different channel, an experiential, non-expert-y format. If I'm listening to someone's experience, and I trust them as a narrator to honestly give me their story, even though it might not map exactly onto mine, I can borrow the parts that I can relate to.

By accident...[read on]
Read about the book Bowe calls "the best love poem ever written by a virgin."

John Bowe's six favorite books on love.

--Marshal Zeringue