Nerve.com columnist Reverend Jen bares her body and her soul in her sweet and sassy memoir, Live Nude Elf: The Sexperiments of Reverend Jen.
The year after Sex and the City went off the air, an artist named Reverend Jen with a penchant for wearing elf ears in public took on the very Bradshaw-esque mantle of sex columnist for the notorious hipster hookup site Nerve.com. Unlike her TV counterpart, though, Jen isn’t a perfectly coiffed uptown girl with a closet full of designer shoes. She’s more like us, actually, only weirder. A Lower East Side, N.Y.C., fixture, Jen earned her moniker Patron Saint of the Uncool through her tireless hosting of a long-running open-mic night catering to misfits. Jen’s main qualification for her new job appeared to be fearlessness. And it’s in that spirit that she now takes readers behind the scenes through all the trials and tribulations she endured conducting “sexperiments,” for her series of reports called “I Did It for Science.”
Her memoir, however, is much more than just salacious play-by-plays about nude housecleaning, stripping, female ejaculation, cross-dressing, balloon fetish parties, and home sex videos, though there is plenty of that. At the heart of the book instead is Jen’s own heart. It’s an enigmatic thing that reveals itself slowly, almost shyly, amid the pandemonium of all the carnal pyrotechnics. But once Jen’s desire for real intimacy, human connection, and, yes, even love, rises to the surface, her story transitions from a wacky, bed-hopping travelogue into something much more moving. From beginning to end, Jen remains a sharply observant, genuinely funny, and trustworthy guide through this tumultuous era of her unusual life, and it’s impossible not to root for her.