Best-selling author Wednesday Martin’s most essential accessory these days is neither her Birkin bag nor her iPhone. It’s her fluorescent pink clitoris necklace. It could be easily confused for a Keith Haring figure or even a fishing lure to the uninitiated, but Martin uses the erotic sculptural bauble as a teaching tool and visual aid. Martin is notorious for her hilarious, wise and revelatory Primates of Park Avenue, a examination of the parenting practices of the extreme elite in the wilderness that is the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In her 2018 book, Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust and Adultery Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free, Martin uses anthropology and sociology–and some keen Hamptons observations and research–to deconstruct every cliché we have been taught about female sexuality.
BTH: Describe the Hamptons in three words.
WM: Lush, louche and luxe
BTH: Where do you spend most of your time in the Hamptons?
WM: We have had a house in Sag Harbor for years now. It’s my stress relief. We go throughout the year, but I try to stay there the entire summer.
BTH: Tell us about your latest work.
WM: For the last few years, I have been researching female consensual non-monogamy. Everything from the cliché that men have more of a libido than women to the prevailing scientific knowledge about the structural network of the clitoris. It’s much larger than any of us were taught! I interviewed dozens of experts. I engage in participatory observation. I went to an all-female sex club called Skirt Club as research for Untrue. For Primates of Park Avenue, I went to PTA meetings and hung out at the playground.
The bridge between Untrue and Primates grew out of an article I did in The Observer called “Gay Until Labor Day,” where women in the Hamptons in considerably heterosexual relationships were having affairs with their female trainers. Female sexuality is flexible. It was more than a few people who told me this and none of the experts I interviewed were surprised.
BTH: What are the best places for people watching in the Hamptons?
WM: I stay away from parties. At BookHampton you can observe the Hamptons power structure, and I love Sag Harbor because it doesn’t have many chain stores. Buddha Berry is its own cross-section of Hamptons culture. Everyone from Carl Bernstein to the nanny who stole the husband last summer, add that to an environment where parents overindulge their children. It’s like your head explodes.
BTH: Give us your advice for a Wednesday Martin Hamptons experience.
WM: Prioritize your pleasure. As women, we punish ourselves calorie-counting and going to exercise classes.