and in many ways symbolizes the much weaker nature of the second volume of the film. When the first ends, we are enthralled and want more. But we quickly wish we hadn't. By the time Joe's clitoris is bleeding, the viewer feels uncomfortably numb. But despite the fact that Joe narrates the story, it is almost impossible to imagine this tale coming from an actual woman's mind. Not that there aren't women sex addicts, but the film is defined by the fact that sex is always a rare and limited resource for men. From a very early scene in which the young Joe (played with a wide-eyed detachment by Stacy Martin) and her friend have a contest to see who can sleep with the most men on a train, the film marvels at the fact that a woman can, essentially, sleep with as many people as she likes, while a man is limited both by performance and possibility. One man on the train refuses the two girls because he is on the way home to try to impregnate his wife. But still, when Joe starts to suck him off, he cannot refuse. The whole film has the perspective of a hunter-gatherer walking through a grocery store—at first one is amazed, and shortly one is sick, glutted, and yet still not satisfied. But the overarching tension between the seeming playfulness and warmth of conversation and the cold, detached desperation of sex makes the film successful—if far from pleasant.