Dr. Susana Mayer Talks about SenSexual: A Unique Anthology
It’s my pleasure to have Dr. Susana Mayer as my guest today. Susana Mayer, Ph.D is a sexuality consultant/educator, creator/host of the Erotic Literary Salon, and founder of the SenSexual Press. In addition to editing “SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013” she is presently working on her series, “The Ageless Sex Life™.” Dr. Mayer has a MPH and Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, is a board certified sexologist, a member of the American Academy of Sexologists, American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS).
KD: Welcome back to A Hopeful Romantic, Dr. Mayer. It’s a pleasure to have you here and with such exciting news. Could you tell my readers a little about SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013. What makes it so special.
SM: The anthology follows the blueprint of the Salon, all writings are of a sensual or sexual nature, and both fiction and non-fiction are represented. There is a treasury of short stories, anecdotes, essays, poems, diaries, memoirs, letters, emails and sextings, along with a generous selection of styles, settings, characters and intensity, plus backstories to accompany each piece.
KD: I understand that the anthologies – there are two volumes, am I correct– are dedicated to Dr. Frances Seidman, who is a psychologist and was the head of a distinguished family and marriage clinic for over 30 years. Dr. Seidman first started writing erotica at 91, specifically for the Erotic Literary Salon founded in 2008, which is totally astounding! How did you come to know Dr. Seidman?
SM: The story is long, probably another books worth. The short story – my mother introduced us in the late 1990’s and soon after my mom died unexpectedly and Frances’ husband, of 64 years, died after suffering with cancer for several years. We connected via email when she missed my mother during their winter months together, snowbirding in Florida. We have been together for the past 10 years, except in the winter, when she continues to travel south for warmth.
KD: Could you tell us a little bit about Dr. Seidman’s wonderful reading of Go the Fok to Sleep (Here is the Youtube link) It must have been amazing to have seen her read it live at the Erotic Literary Salon.
SM: In the summer of 2011 I had shared Adam Mansbach’s book with her. She immediately said she wanted to read it at the Salon. The audience loved her reading and I contacted the author for permission to tape. He gave it most gladly and apologized for not attending, since he had since moved from Philadelphia to California. When she return in 2012, we taped the reading and once again the attendees responded with great laughter.
KD: Dare I ask, what’s your favourite part of the anthology?
SM: No favorite part, just the fact that my dream of creating one when I first started the Salon actually came to fruition. It is such an unusual anthology so I wasn’t certain how people would respond. So far all the reviews have been stellar.
KD: I’m once again seeing this wonderfully delicious term, which you coined, SenSexual – such a celebratory term for embracing of our sexuality. Could you explain the term to our readers and tell us how it came about.
SM: I was tired of the pornography/erotica debate. As I stated in the book, “Why “sensexual”? It’s a sensual, sexy new term that bypasses all the old judgments around divisive labels like “erotica” and “pornography.” Pornography usually conjures up negative judgments, while erotica, a more toned-down term, is most often equated with sexual material for women. The subjective line between erotica and pornography is personal, temporal and culturally prescribed, and “sensexual” breaks down this boundary.”
KD: The lovely press release you sent me about the SenSensual anthologies had this to say about Dr. Seidman’s association with The Erotic Literary Salon. Individuals attending the Salon have said her mere presence gave them permission to feel comfortable with erotica. Her writings will most likely do the same for people who have shame or guilt regarding verbal turn-ons. That’s a major part of The Erotic Literary Salon, and clearly Dr. Seidman’s and your mission, isn’t it? Could you talk a little bit about how that’s being achieved at ELS, and with the anthologies.
SM: The Salon means so many things to so many people. The writers/readers that present at the Salon often share their most intimate journals and sex memoirs. A few work out their traumatic sexual experiences, others share their glowing memories. Then there are the fiction writers who are honing their skills and hoping for publication. The attendees who come to enjoy and applaud play a huge role in supporting the readers. We even have a ritual where all ‘virgin’ readers get a round of applause even before they speak, just to lesson their nerves a bit.
The mere presence of the Salon gives people the opportunity to share and I often have people tell me how grateful they are for this comfortable, safe space. One many even called me “courageous.” Until the original cover of my book was recently blocked by Amazon and prweb I foolishly didn’t realize censorship still exists.
Dr. Seidman’s reason for reading is more of a personal challenge. Initially she just wanted to share one story to say that she did it, could do it, and to support me. Now she challenges herself to write, since she never considered herself a writer and certainly not of erotica. At 96 she is still working on the next story, a recent date with a man in his mid-60’s. She wants to have something to read when she returns in May, and the attendees are already asking when she will be back up north. They love her honesty and hope she represents, hope of possibility, that 96 might be chronologically old but does not have to be spiritually old. The anthology ends with her words regarding the question often asked of her, ” What is My (her) Secret.?”
KD: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, Dr. Mayer, and how the Erotic Literary Salon came to be. Those of us outside Philadelphia are very jealous.
SM: I came to my title late in life. In 2009 I received my Ph.D., reinventing myself as a sexologist; retirement is just not a part of my vocabulary. The Salon was an outgrowth of my studies, looking for various catalysts that women could use to spark their libidos.
KD: The Erotic Literary Salon has recently established the SenSexual Press. Could you tell us a little bit about it and about its plans and goals?
SM: The Sensexual Press was founded specifically to publish the anthology. But then I realized there are a lot of gifted writers that don’t fall into the typical erotica categories and they also need a vehicle for their voice. Hopefully within the next few years you will be able to read some of the words of these atypical writers.
KD: As I looked down through the list of contributors and excerpts from the SenSexual Anthology, I couldn’t help noticing how diverse the list is and that there are works by writers from all over. Is there any way writers who don’t live in Philadelphia participate in the Erotic Literary Salon?
SM: Philadelphia is a gem of a city and the Salon is a wonderful excuse to visit. But if that is not a possibility, at this time I’m working on ways to share the Salon internationally. Keep reading my (almost) daily blog or subscribe to my bi-monthly newsletter for up to date information on my progress. If this copy of “SenSexual” sells well I will put out another call for submissions, which will also be mentioned in blog and newsletter. You can also send me your piece to have read at the Salon. Must be less than 5 minutes in length. What is unique about the Salon – I censor nothing.
KD: Thank you, Dr. Mayer, for stopping by. It’s good to have you back.
SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013 is a treasury of steamy, provocative, authentic works, bound to challenge stereotypes and expand the readers’ literary and erotic horizons. Susana Mayer, Ph.D., delivers for the first time in print, the same mix of soul-stirring, edgy, brazen writings, along with the authors’ illuminating backstories and her occasional revealing commentaries that have lead to raucous laughter, unabashed tears and occasional squirming at her long running Erotic Literary Salon in Philadelphia. http://www.theEroticliterarysalon.com
Fifty authors have contributed tender memories of love, spirited sex and spicy communications to this exceptional two-volume anthology, transporting the reader through heart-pounding, seductive, occasionally kinky works to celebrate the diversity of sexual fascinations and desires. The generous selection of styles, settings, characters and intensity can act as a catalyst for couples to share their erotic fantasies and explore their sexual expressions. Individuals will also have the opportunity to discover what turns them on verbally.
SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013 takes people beyond Fifty Shades of Grey. Dr. Susana Mayer, sexologist (The Ageless Sex Life™), founder and host of the Erotic Literary Salon, and editor of this text, recommends both men and women share this book with their intimate partner, friends and book club members. It will spark a conversation or discussion that will range from entertaining to life-changing.
SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013 Kindle ebook available now on Amazon.com
SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013 Kindle ebook available now on Amazon.co.uk
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Gwen Masters: White
… the rush matched the way he made her feel when he did that one little thing he liked to do between her legs, that one sweet motion that sent her to the moon and back….
Rachel Fogletto: Distracted
You are inappropriate
I’m at my job and I’m trying to focus on completing paperwork
And the thought of fucking you is more distracting than my hangover, my…
…He smiled at her, and she smiled back weakly. “I’m sorry,” she apologized. “I think I’m finished.”
His smile took on a wicked edge. “Finished? Oh, hardly….”
I.G. Frederick: Leather Love
The sound of leather slapping against
flesh is an aphrodisiac that
makes me wet in anticipation…
Riccardo Berra: It’s So Much Easier When You’re Away
…She pushes me down and straddles me. Her hand flutters between my legs. Touching me everywhere. Like a solitary traveler asleep on a long journey, I awaken to discover that I’ve reached my destination with no memory that time has passed….
M/ Lilii – Black Dahlia Creative: (267) XXX-XXXX- mobile
She: How are you today? 2:58 PM
He: Only laying around thinking of ways to make u moan the loudest 3:02 PM
Liz Adams: The Artist
She pinched her nipples and bolts of electricity shot straight between her thighs. She placed a hand there and felt herself dripping, eager to be filled….