Many books about pornography tend to be either cautionary tales about how the industry destroys people, or shameless self-promotion.  The title Insatiable: Porn -- A Love Story should tell you which direction Asa Akira's biography leans, but this atypical book manages to be a honest, unapologetic look at one star's life, highs and lows together.

Insatiable isn't organized chronologically (except for one chapter that's Asa's journal entries for a year) or by subject.  Instead, the book bounces around like Asa's randomly remembering things and chatting about them.  There's plenty of discussion of sex -- from what she enjoys personally and professionally, common tricks and signifiers of the adult industry (baby wipes are a giveaway), and her brief jobs as a hooker and dominatrix -- but there's also what she does outside the bedroom or studio.  The chapter "Craigslist" is more about the death of an ex-boyfriend than answering an ad of Craigslist, "Food Porn" is actually about breaking a diet with pizza, and high school stories involve drugs and shoplifting.  And the sexual and non-sexual sides come together often, such as when Asa learns an ex-boyfriend is shooting gay porn in the studio next to hers, or her letter to a future child that is both empowering and graphically describes the threesome where she met her child's father. And there are haikus too!

Insatiable: Porn -- A Love Story is a different sort of read.  Asa is likable -- often funny, usually explicit, and sometimes sad -- and passionate about her life and career.  The book's lack of organization does prevent it from building momentum or direction, but the stories are interesting and show a life that's far from perfect but perfect for her.  Asa Akira provides readers with a blunt, positive look at the life of a woman in the adult entertainment industry, and Insatiable is worth checking out.

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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