The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage| Print |

Born in Tehran on the cusp of the Iranian Revolution, Roxana Shirazi is raised in a traditional household, which starts to fall apart when her father abandons the family. At a young age, she begins to feel sexual urges that do not jibe with her mother’s reminders of a woman’s place within Muslim traditions.

Popular bands like Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crüe become an escape from the pressures of war and an erratic home life and are an outlet for the burgeoning desires within (literally—she masturbates to music videos). Her family flees to England when Shirazi is 13, and soon after she leaves her home and abusive stepfather in search of a new family, which she finds in rock ‘n’ roll.

Shirazi is a true outsider in the mostly male, Western world of music, and yet she manages to stake her claim within its most intimate parts. Through her sexual exploits with bands like Guns N’ Roses, Skid Row, and Velvet Revolver, Shirazi reworks the status of “groupie” to be one of active decisiveness, artfully playing band members against each other and knowing how to get to the most attractive, sought-after rock stars. Unfortunately, her writing skills are limited, and the descriptions of her exploits become repetitive and mundane. More important, she misses the opportunity to analyze the deeper meaning behind her need for belonging, to connect her rich sex life with her traditional upbringing. (Once she’s in England, there is little reflection upon her life in Tehran.) But while she doesn’t do a great job of showing us the connection, it is obvious it’s there. And all along, Shirazi makes no apologies for her sexual desires. Her unique perspective breathes new life into the otherwise tired genre of rock groupies and backstage decadence.