How to Be a Bush Pilot

By Claudia Dey

Among the many subjects readers are constantly seeking advice on, sex is probably second only to personal finance. And so Claudia Dey, formerly a sex columnist for the now defunct Toro magazine and author of the well-received debut novel Stunt, has entered this crowded field with a thick manual, ostensibly directed toward men, on how to score with style.

The controlling conceit has Dey as Commander/Mistress/Flight Instructor lecturing her classroom of Bush Pilots (BPs) on the finer points of things like anatomy, apparel, and ass play. The coverage is thorough, the tone light and humorous. It does get repetitive in a hurry, especially with Dey’s congratulatory gold stars and “affirmatives,” but it’s really more a reference volume than a book meant to be read cover to cover. One can even excuse the eye-rolling euphemisms like “butterfly” and “go-go.”

Harder to understand is why Dey chose to give the book such a retro flavour. One would have thought her target audience to be young BPs with more enthusiasm than skill. Her introduction is even directed at “young bucks,” those “hard-ons of the future.” And yet the carnal instructress seems to be addressing men now in their 40s. References to Star Wars bedsheets and CHiPs pillows, playing Pac-Man (at an arcade no less!), posters of Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Tiegs, and musical playlists with songs that no young person will recognize, seem counterintuitive. The BPs Dey is lecturing may actually remember bush, but are more likely to view their prostates as medical concerns than potential pleasure centers.

Dey’s advice is mostly commonsensical and healthy. Good sex involves lots of communication between partners. When in doubt, listen to your Mistress. Indeed, the bottom line here is all about serving a woman’s needs. She is the one who must be allowed the last laugh. Not only does a good BP buy the groceries and cook dinner, he even cleans the dishes afterward. Women, we learn, like to be on top. Keeping all of this in mind is a “one-way ticked to Screwtopia.”

A word of warning: That means you’re not coming back.

Review first published in Quill & Quire, January 2011.

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