Hot Teen Slut

First, apologies to anyone who found this review by Googling “Hot Teen Slut.” More than likely, you will not find what you are searching for here, but you will find a review of a great collection of poetry — a memoir in verse chronicling poet Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz’s brief career in the adult entertainment industry.

Hot Teen Slut opens with a poem about a job listing for a “Guide Service Manager,” which is a nice way of describing (I think) the person who writes the copy for pop-up ads that guide those in the market to websites proffering pornography. From here, we move on to the job interview in which the details of the job are delicately explained, and then the first few days on the job during which Aptowicz describes her initial awkward conversations with coworkers (“The first thing you have to acknowledge is/that you will be looking at porn all day,” her supervisor explains while the “guy in charge of sports” grumbles in an adjoining poem that what he really wanted was the porn job) and the dawning realization that she does, in fact, work in the pornography business.

One of the things Aptowicz does especially well in this collection is write dispassionately about her subject matter. Hot Teen Slut is neither an investigative “tell-all” about the evils of working in adult entertainment, nor does it serve to glorify the industry. Rather, Aptowicz explores her own ambivalence with respect to her job to shed light on America’s odd relationship with porn. Pornography “has nothing to do with love,” she writes early on, and being immersed in the business produces a kind of numbness to the stereotypical imagery and language she sees every day. At the same time, however, Aptowicz also finds that working in pornography garners her plenty of attention when she returns home for holiday parties.

In many ways, Hot Teen Slut bears the trappings of a chick-lit novel: Aptowicz gives us the young college graduate struggling to pay the bills and find a happy medium between work and romance while learning something about herself. Yet Aptowicz takes the form a step further by placing herself in the role of the college graduate and by eschewing the traditional chick-lit job in editing for the Guide Service Manager position. In so doing, the poet offers a window into a world that most never see. Overall, it’s an insightful, frequently funny, always intelligent collection of poetry about the adult entertainment industry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s