An Exploration of Native Sex and Sexuality. ME SEXY is an anthology containing thirteen contributions from leading members of North America’s First Nations writing communities. The many highlights include Lee Maracle’s creation story, Salish style; Tomson Highway explaining why Cree is the sexiest of all languages; Joseph Boyden asking the eternal question, “Do Native people have less (or more) pubic hair?”; Marius P. Tungilik looking at the dark side of Inuit sex; and Marissa Crazytrain discussing her year as a stripper in Toronto, and how it shaped her life back in Saskatchewan.
Other contributors include Lee Maracle, Joseph Boyden, Tomson Highway, Gregory Scofield, Daniel Heath Justice, Michelle McGeough, Norman Vorano, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Makka Kleist, Marius P. Tungilik, Marissa Crazytrain and Nancy Cooper
Compiled & Edited by: Drew Hayden Taylor
Publisher: Douglas & MacIntyre, 2008
Format: Paperback, 192 pages
ISBN-13: 9781553652762 | ISBN-10: 1553652762
Ojibwe editor and author Drew Hayden Taylor (“Me Funny”) seeks to challenge mainstream images of indigenous love and lovemaking in these 13 essays on topics as varied as erotic Inuit theater and Cree language.
The campy cover of “Me Sexy: An Exploration of Native Sex and Sexuality” features a Euro-American woman swooning in the arms of a half-naked indigenous man. Please picture the reverse of that image as you read this review, only occasionally replace the figures with two men or two women.
Because more than half of these essays by 13 authors focus on female sexuality and because most are humorous, it would have made sense for the cover to play a bit more on role reversals. But the romance-genre spoof does clue us to the reason Canadian Ojibwe author Drew Hayden Taylor pulled such a collection together. In his essay, “Indian Love Call,” he writes: “In the vast majority of non-Native literature, Aboriginal characters, just as they never have a sense of humour, are rarely ever viewed as sexual beings. And if they are, their sexuality is not healthy. Kidnapping, rape and other assorted defilements are the order of the day on this particular pop culture menu. Tender love stories involving Native people are scarcer than priests at a residential school reunion.”
… although the essays made me laugh — which is like getting to second base with me — they hardly are meant to make anyone hot. With such titles as “Learning to Skin the Beaver” and “Dances for Dollars,” the essays are more diverse than perverse. As often amusing as political, as often historical as hysterical, they are also dry-humored academic with a turn toward the juicy. In short, these essays go both ways and get around.
Two essays on erotic painting and carving, “Norval Morrisseau and the Erotic” and “Inuit Men, Erotic Art,” have a hard time competing with the images printed alongside their written analyses — not just because sexual pictures trump academic writing but because so few such images of indigenous art have ever been published.
The funniest, most profound essay, “Why Cree Is the Sexiest of All Languages,” shows how important indigenous language learning is to the people and how the words we use to make love deeply shape our sexuality. The Native-tongue theme peaks when Kateri Akwenzie Dam, also bilingual curious, lets a character wonder: “What would an Anishinaabe man say in Anishinaabemowin? She wasn’t sure — but she was damn sure she wanted to find out.”
Now, reading “Me Sexy,” we can all find out. Or at least get closer to an understanding of our shared sexuality, that particularly human and universal of interests, the one responsible for each of our existences, the one that made us all related.