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Me Sexy: An Exploration of Native Sex and Sexuality

by Drew Hayden Taylor, ed.

If you’ve ever wondered about the relative abundance of pubic hair among women and men of the First Nations, you don’t have to feel alone anymore. Me Sexy, an anthology of 13 essays on the theme of native sex and sexuality, approaches such questions with humour and grace.

The book, a sequel to an earlier volume on native humour called Me Funny, was born when an Assembly of First Nations vice-chief approached editor Drew Hayden Taylor at a powwow. The vice-chief recommended that the noted Ojibway playwright and essayist focus on serious topics, like native self-government. But an informal poll at the gathering suggested there was a deeper thirst for sensual self-examination.

In his ribald essay “Bush Country,” Joseph Boyden turns an obnoxious boast from a Northern Ontario redneck into a research quest when he tries to find out whether native people have more or less hair “down there.” Gay playwright and opera librettist Tomson Highway argues that Cree is the world’s sexiest language. Highway explains how history and culture transform meaning: a particular snippet of Cree that’s hilarious but benign in his native tongue becomes positively scatological when translated into English.

Taylor’s anthology is characterized throughout by a fluid perspective on erotic identity. A study of legendary Anishinaabe painter Norval Morrisseau gives equal time to both his erotic female nudes and striking images of sexual intimacy between men. One contribution celebrates the life of a native stripper, while another affirms the journey toward wholeness in the aftermath of sexual abuse at a residential school.

Me Sexy is a provocative act of native self-love, figuratively and literally. There’s no painful earnestness here. Read the book not out of a sense of duty or guilt – read it because it’s funny, passionate, and wise. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you may even touch yourself.