Editor’s Pick

What a fool believes, he sees. Jesse Fink, author of LAID BARE: One Man’s Story of Sex, Love and Other Disorders was a fool. A fool for love for really quite a long time. In truth, he probably always will be. And after much soul searching – through the pages of heartache, fuck-ups (fucking) and epiphanies – he’s just fine with that.

LAID BARE did a number of things for me. Firstly, it made me feel like I was not alone. That the deepest insecurities I had in my life were to be embraced and challenged not buried in the notes of a psychiatrist’s file. Fink’s prose spoke to me. And I felt that I was there in the moment with him. Written by a man for a man.

Fink sharply describes the loss of his longterm relationship – his wife left him for another man – the anguish of Pure-O (a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and being a single (often bad) father. He doesn’t hold back any emotion and attempts, with great success, to show his resilience.

Men will love this book, not all, but many. Certainly those who’ve dared to risk it all for love. Fink’s graphic descriptive fucking, boundless pursuit of female attention and perfection, unavoidable self-loathing, and rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack make reading enjoyable even for the most blokey of blokes. This book could easily be turned into a TV drama series, perhaps for Showcase.

What LAID BARE enlightens above all is a brutally honest, direct deciphering of the ‘types’ of women attempting to connect with men through online dating sites. More to the point, how they’ve adopted an aggressive ‘checklist’ mentality, where men have gone from being players to played themselves.

I lost count of the number of women I slept with. It all went by so fast. A zoetrope of female body parts. It was almost a full-time job. It was my job. Who had I become? … I was able to decipher the code in a woman’s profile and determine even before I’d met her just how easy it would be to get her in the sack and what she would do when she was in it.

He even provides a list of clichéd lines found on a dating profile and what they really mean. Like, ‘Adventurous’ – does anal. ‘Bubbly’ – short, overweight and irritating. Or, ‘I’m looking for someone to complete me’ – far, far from being complete. And, ‘Sensuous’ – swallows.

There’s plenty of fucking in this book.

It may seem – to those who haven’t been in the dating scene for a while – that Fink is a chauvinist, misogynist or objectifying manwhore. But he’s not. It’s reality. And it’s fair game. Spend an hour on RSVP or eHarmony and you’ll see what I mean.

LAID BARE also exposes the multitude of choices men have to make, which often leads to taking none. How men get stuck in a rut, the lack of patience in everyday life, and why mental health issues are increasingly complex to solve. It would be easy to say, “Grow up, Fink!” or “You think too much, man.” But it’s this kind of man the world needs more of: the one prepared to see love as multidimensional.

Amongst the sex, boozing and tomfoolery, Fink has one constant spring of hope: his daughter. Every father wants to be a source of strength and inspiration for their child. It takes a brave man to admit he’s not been up to the job on many occasions. But he’s getting better.

He’s getting better at life in general.

At the heart of this story is a romantic man who believes he’ll one day, find someone he wants to fuck for the rest of his life, love for the rest of his life. That he, with love as his modus operandi, finds that glimpse of eternity.

LAID BARE: One Man’s Story of Sex, Love and Other Disorders, published by Hachette Australia. RRP $32.99. Download ($12.99) on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes. Books must be read on an iOS device.

6 thoughts on “LAID BARE: Review

  1. The problem I have with the book is that there is very little truth in it. There really isn’t any point in discussing it, as too much is fiction.

  2. Laid Bare is honest, hilarious and at times, harrowing. It is not only easy to read (read it in two sittings) but also insightful from a male’s perspective. It reiterates the need to take risks, not only in relationships, but in life in general. We have all been “burnt” by love at one time or another. Fink portrays those feelings of loss, rejection and loneliness in a very relatable and personal way.

    Well worth reading!

  3. I disagree with the comments, as I did not think the book was well written at all. It is an interesting tale, but it is not well written. What struck me was the self-centred approach to love from Jesse, which came through in all of the relationships he encountered with women. He seemed to be out for revenge with his former wife, lusting over so many women. The publication of the book retains some of that flavour. There was certainly some feeling shown.

  4. A must-read book for everyone – men and women alike. Liberating and totally addictive, Laid Bare is a story that will resonate with you, possess you, and stay with you forever. I cracked this book open with apprehension and knew, just by the first line, that this was going to be an experience!

    Jesse Fink offers up his life with brutal honesty, dissecting his divorce from his wife of 10 years and cataloguing the anatomy of his attempts to find love in the turbulent, murky waters of online dating while battling his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

    Laid Bare is a wonderful story that depicts an emotional journey that many can relate to. Jesse may not have a happy ending but he finds peace within himself and that is what touched me the most.

    Great review by Snafued on the honest journey of the author, Jesse Fink.

    Consider Laid Bare joyfully recommended. It is just an amazing and satisfying read.

  5. LAID BARE is not only a book for men, but a must-read for all women! Jesse Fink provides an insight into the male psyche – post-breakup of a significantly long term relationship. He takes us on a journey through the sometimes seedy world of internet dating, the debilitating affects of his mental affliction (OCD), his heartbreak, and the subsequent pursuit of finding another woman he wants to spend the rest of his life loving and “fucking”. This book will provide women with an understanding of the emotional anguish and roller coaster of emotions some men experience following the demise of what was to be a fairytale life. Jesse laid his balls and heart out bare all right. I read his story in one afternoon. I just couldn’t put it down. I laughed, I cried, I empathised. The anguish, distress and sorrow resonated. A brilliant book written with such depth and honesty that it should fly off the shelves.

  6. Funny, challenging and insightful. I thought it was one of the best books I have read in a while. For someone who doesn’t read anything outside of soccer books and biographies, the pages just went in a couple of afternoons. It provides some honest and interesting views on relationships and dating, and I would recommend Laid Bare to both men and women!

Add Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s