Two Women and the Zaniest

Sex Survey Since Kinsey   

    

     Not since Kinsey shocked the world with his questions and answers, and not since Masters and Johnson, Janus, and the rest of those interested in the science of sexual behavior, has so much attention focused on the subject—at least on the part of two enterprising women who find themselves in serious professional and financial straights.   

     Susan Clay, thirty-something, has been married, devotedly and happily, for fourteen years to the one true love of her life. She and lawyer hubby Warren have three children and a lovely home in a Washington, D.C. suburb. An author of (marginally profitable) youth books, Susan is the perfect model of the un-desperate housewife. That is, until Warren falls madly in love with a twenty-something bimbo and asks for a divorce. From un-desperate to desperate in one moment.

      Best friend, Myrna, is a behavioral scientist at the National Institutes of Mental Health when, zap, her job is eliminated in a frantic wave of federal budget cutting. It is the absolutely worst time for this sort of thing to happen, with academic institutions also cutting budgets and resumes floating around Washington like attack canoes off a South Pacific island.

As financial concerns mount, the women figure that writing a book is the answer to their problems. They will get rich and famous. But time is of the essence, as is finding the right subject to tackle, one certain to become a best-seller. In the middle of the night, the Muse strikes Susan, and the die is cast. Sex sells, says the Muse. Everybody (well almost) reads serious books about sexual behavior. Susan and Myrna will survey women in management to determine if recent professional empowerment has led to sexual empowerment in their private lives. Because of the time issue, however, it is abundantly clear that doing a legitimate survey is impossible.

      What’s left? A fake survey. Fake questionnaires, at least at the beginning, enough sneaky (and borderline illegal) capers, and more hilarious happenstances than one normal person can imagine. Involved in this rambunctious romp into the worlds of sex research, publishing, and equal opportunities for successful women (the Pussycats), are an unfaithful husband, a devastatingly handsome FBI agent (all of Mitchell’s fictional FBI agents are very good looking), a nerdish millionaire, and a wacky government administrator determined to put an end to it all.

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