Like a series of Penthouse letters penned by Kathy Acker, Lie with Me recounts a woman's sexual escapades, picking up random men in bars for a series of increasingly extreme encounters, hoping to understand love from the far side of sluttiness. In The Way of the Whore, Mira, an introverted Jewish girl obsessed with Jean Genet, allows herself to be seduced by the sex industry, determined to find meaning in her tormented relationships with cruel men.
On a mangy beach in Key West, 16-year-old Myra meets Elijah, a Tanzanian musician twice her age. Trapped on a Spring Break family vacation, Myra longs to lose her virginity to Elijah, and is shocked to learn he lives with Gayl, a secretive, violent woman with a strange power over him. When Myra and her splitting-up family return home, she falls in with a pot-smoking anarchist crowd. But when Gayl and Elijah follow her north, she walks willingly into their world, engaging in more and more abject sexual games. As Myra enters unfamiliar worlds of sex, porn, race, and class, she explores territories unknown in herself.