Monday, April 29, 2019

Book Review: Bent But Not Broken

In all of the books I've read I have read, I have never come across a topic like this. Fiction, nonfiction, none of it. You know I've read a huge range of books but this was a complete first for me.

Bent But Not Broken - Don Cummings
Bent But Not Broken is an unflinchingly honest memoir about the onset of Peyronie’s disease, a painful and sexually limiting condition that is estimated to affect more than 5% of the worldwide adult male population. Don Cummings writes humorously about the emotional and collateral damage brought on by a suddenly curved penis as he struggles to maintain his sense of sex and self. He openly details the doctor visits, the excruciating treatments, and the acute anxiety over the state of his long-term relationship with a man who is supportive but often helpless in the face of nature’s whims. Discordant domestic life, a harrowing kidnapping by a handsome stranger, and reminiscences of a hyper-active sexual past are woven into the single-minded quest to minimize the effects of this deforming disorder. Brace yourself for a daring, heartfelt and beautifully twisted story of love and survival. 

I'm going to tell you completely up front that this book contains sexual content and talks about M/M sexual encounters so if that is not your thing or if your progressive, cool friend would consider you a prude, you need to skip this one all together because there aren't enough pearls in the world for you to clutch.

Alright, so this book is a memoir of sorts about a man who develops Peyronie's disease. Did you know this was even a thing? I did not but being honest, it's not like I've come face to face with a ton of penises. Thanks to a rash of penis pictures years ago, I've seen a wide variety but I can tell you I've never seen anything like what you'll find on Google images when you look this up, which is exactly what I did when I was reading this because while I understand what it means to have a bent penis, I really needed to know if we're talking a curve or 90 degree angle. I'm not going to give it away but if you want to forever change your Facebook ads, you're welcome.

It can be painful (obviously) but also have an emotional impact on the person but also take a toll on their relationship because sex and intimacy is a huge factor in a successful relationship. In this book Don talks about this beginning and how jarring it was to go through this not only as a person but as someone in a long term relationship. The book is funny, it's written as if you're sitting down for coffee with him. It isn't clinical and dry, but it really is funny to the point where it feels inappropriate to laugh at his situation yet here you are because he wants you to laugh with him at the absurdity of it all. It also kind of highlights the taboo of penises in general. We hear a lot about women's health but we only hear about erectile dysfunction in regards to medication to have prolonged sex. We occasionally hear about prostate cancer but anything else with a penis is pretty taboo and I think a lot of men are reluctant to go to a doctor and say "hey- I think I've got a problem here" because it takes a shot at their virility. Which is absurd but you know, it is what it is. So I think this book did a good job covering all of the issues something like this would bring a guy but also that it isn't a doomed diagnosis, either.

Overall I'm giving this one a solid (get it? HA!) 4 stars. It was informative, I learned a lot about penises that I didn't know before and I think I've freaked my husband out by asking him questions and intensely scrutinizing his penis looking for any kind of curve and he thinks I'm nuts. Better safe than sorry I say. So if you're a guy, definitely pick this one up because you can't know too much about your penis. And ladies, if you want to learn a LOT about a penis, here you go. *ahem*

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Don Cummings for my ARC! All thoughts are my own, and affiliate links have been used. 

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