“[What] it’s like to be bisexual: to be told simultaneously that you are asking for too much and also that you don’t exist.” – Jen Winston
Greedy is a collection of essays, offering an intimate look at bisexuality, gender, and, of course, sex.
If Jen Winston knows one thing for sure, it’s that she’s bisexual. Or wait—maybe she isn’t? Actually, she definitely is. Unless…she’s not?
Jen’s provocative, laugh-out-loud debut takes us inside her journey of self-discovery, leading us through stories of a childhood “girl crush,” an onerous quest to have a threesome, and an enduring fear of being bad at sex. Greedy follows Jen’s attempts to make sense of herself as she explores the role of the male gaze, what it means to be “queer enough,” and how to overcome bi stereotypes when you’re the posterchild for all of them: greedy, slutty, and constantly confused.
With her clever voice and clear-eyed insight, Jen draws on personal experiences with sexism and biphobia to understand how we all can and must do better. She sheds light on the reasons women, queer people, and other marginalized groups tend to make ourselves smaller, provoking the question: What would happen if we suddenly stopped?
Greedy shows us that being bisexual is about so much more than who you’re sleeping with—it’s about finding stability in a state of flux and defining yourself on your own terms. This book inspires us to rethink the world as we know it, reminding us that Greedy was a superpower all along.
Greedy: Notes from a Bisexual Who Wants Too Much is a memoir about grappling with your sexual and gender identities told through essays. It may also be the first essay collection I have ever read. Short stories and, I guess, essay collections are not my typical cup of tea since I tend to see books as something that should be a cohesive whole. I find that good collections manage to feel cohesive while each story feels unique and important. I think Greedy accomplishes this.
Greedy was very readable, and at times, funny. There were portions that felt weighty due to their subject matter. (Do not worry. There are content warnings at the beginning of each essay.) I thought the best portions of this book were where Jen Winston explores her motivations within political and social context. I also thought her discussions of bisexuality erasure by both the heterosexual and LGBTQIA+ communities was poignant and important.
I am not sure how this book will hold up after time though. There are a lot of of-the-moment references and slang. While this definitely added to enjoyability and its relevance, I do not think it will resignate well with non-millenials, those far outside the LGBTQIA+ community, and people 10 years from now. That is not a reason not to read it; it is more of an observation. And it is likely that Jen Winston did not target these audiences purposefully.
Overall, I enjoyed Greedy but did not think there were strong emotional takeaways despite finding the book highly relatable. I would recommend this book particularly to those who are questioning their sexuality, identity as bisexual or pansexual, or looking to know more about how it feels to be bisexual today.
Greedy: Notes from A Bisexual Who Wants Too Much
October 5, 2021
Note: I received a gifted advance readers’ copy of this book from the publisher, Atria Books. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.