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Made for Love by Alissa Nutting: SEX DOLLS AND DOLPHIN LUST

Y'know when your life is falling apart because your husband is the head of an omnipotent technology company and you feel disconnected from humanity and all you want to do is live in a trailer park and bang a drifter? Then you will SUPER RELATE to Alissa Nutting's Made for Love, aka That Book With the Airbrushed Dolphin Cover.

I like to think of this cover choice as "bold." Partially because it reminds me of my second grade Lisa Frank folders and partially because, similar to her previous book Tampa, it's another "hide the cover on the El" book. But for a DIFFERENT reason. I have a paperback galley of it, but I'll bet the juxtaposition of this airbrushed dolphin scene with the niceness of a hardcover is interesting.

When first encountering this book, I did in fact wrinkle my nose at the fact the author wrote Tampa. "Oh, the sex book," I said. I'd like to point out I never read Tampa, but I most definitely associate it with tastelessness, completely based on other things I'd heard. THAT BEING SAID, this dolphin lust sex doll book is A+. 

If you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you're aware my attention span is akin to that dog from Up.

So sticking with any book means that book is eminently readable. Do I like Alissa Nutting as a writer? I do! I think her writing is super fun! Because fiction has become increasingly less my jam, I don't really read for Overall Messages About Society, but more for plot, and this plot involves a woman in her 30s leaving her current life and moving in with her elderly father and his sex doll Diane.

"Where does the dolphin lust enter though?" you ask. And rightly so. But you should let the dolphin lust be a delightful surprise that leaves you kind of going "wtf?" until you talk with someone who goes "Wasn't that a thing in the news a few years ago?" and then you go "Huh, the world is weird" and you carry on. YOU CARRY ON.

Nutting seems preoccupied with taboo sexual relationships in her fiction, and quite honestly, I'd rather read about someone who wants to have sex with a dolphin than the subject of Tampa. There's probably also something in here about technology and human connection and the destined "aloneness" of the human condition, but that is less fun to think about than brain chips and sea parks and lifelike dolls who are hopefully named after a never-seen character from Twin Peaks.

Made for Love is out July 4th and if you search it on Amazon, you can also find Never Made Love to a Thug: Until I Met You, which has 4.5/5 stars out of 67 reviews, so maybe pick that one up too while you're at it.


  1. Alice, like, experientially I am aware that you are reading less fiction these days, but hearing you say fiction is less your jam than it used to be has FILLED ME WITH SADNESS. Also, what if someday fiction becomes LESS MY JAM? WHAT IF THAT HAPPENS ALICE? I worry about it all the time. My sister used to love fiction and now she only loves nonfiction. AND NOW YOU OH GOD WHAT WILL MY FUTURE HOLD.

  2. Maybe it's cos I just got back from Florida and I'm like 96% sure I saw this exact design unironically airbrushed on multiple shirts (also the Lisa Frank stuff) but I like this cover, far more than the Tampa one. Or maybe I just have trashy taste.

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