“But “Hysterical Literature” doesn’t feel particularly sexy—or, at least, not in any tried and true sense. In the first place, it’s essentially an endurance test; unlike in traditional smut, viewers may actually find themselves rooting for the subject to rein in her passion (at least until the end of the paragraph). Indeed, if these videos can be termed pornographic, then at the very least, they are fascinatingly so: From the sub-desk manipulations to the videos’ guise of literariness, everything remotely sexual is intentionally obscured.
So, is “Hysterical Literature” obscene? Or is it humorous? Perhaps obscenely humorous—even, say, “hysterical?” The Supreme Court once famously ruled that we’ll know pornography when we see it—but after watching these videos, I honestly can’t be sure. What I can say is, they’re entertaining—and perhaps even educational: not only are the books themselves well worth a read, but also, sexual politics in this country being what they are, it’s likely not everyone has seen (or had) a legitimate girlgasm. Plus, for all us logophiles, watching ladies appear to lose themselves merely through the fervor of ecstatic prose is at least tongue-in-cheek amusing, if not actually a little hot.”