The back cover describes The Perineum Technique as “a contemporary meditation on seduction and intimacy in our age of hyperconnectivity”: it’s a graphic novel about an artist, JH, who meets a woman, Sarah, on OKCupid; they proceed to have Skype video chats where they talk about sex and watch each other getting themselves off. He’s done this before but usually just once before either meeting up with someone or not, but this is different: they’ve been talking for a week and have had a dozen chats. He invites her out; she says no. He invites her out again; she counters with an invitation to a swinger’s party. After the party, she brings up the technique of the title, which she says she’ll teach him, so he can last longer. And after that comes a challenge for JH: Sarah says she’ll be away for four months, and if he doesn’t ejaculate while she’s gone (which is one of the things the technique is about), they can go out to dinner when she gets back. We then see JH in Sarah’s absence, working on pieces for his upcoming gallery show, kind of miserable, kind of driven crazy by sexual frustration, but also artistically flourishing: he’s been unhappy with his work for a long time, and now he’s doing things he’s excited about. I like the way we see bits of JH’s art/dreams/fantasies, how his interior landscape is also the landscape of the book, and I like how the book explores a relationship that’s sexual before being anything else (if it ever is going to be anything else, which it may or may not be). And I like the art, which is playful and coolly sexy and just lots of fun: there’s one scene where we see the cast of an opera backstage, waiting for the curtain to go up, and the text is just speech bubbles near the ceiling saying “whoops” and “sorry” – the voices of JH and Sarah making their way out of their seats to find a quieter spot to talk before the show starts.

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