“The benefits of intercourse are in the first place, the satisfaction of lust, in the second the enjoyment of pleasure, and in the third healing.” So it goes in this journey of the mind and the senses in which Al Neimi’s “polyamorous” heroine addresses the reader directly and intimately. One her passions is Arabic erotica, which sparks such observations on its morsels of wisdom as, anent the advice that frequent applications of hot tar on the penis lengthens it, “have the number of the nearest hospital handy.” Her other passion is the Thinker, her soul mate, who forever changes her. Writing in order to remember him, she divides her saga into 11 sections or “gates” through which her riveting story unwinds sinuously as a veiled dancer, while she blends folktales, memories of her youth, and gleanings from ancient erotica. A self-described “creature of language,” she entwines the smell of desire and the linguistics of love in a multifaceted tapestry of sex, women, and society.
By Whitney Scott