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Female Sexual FUNctionality

On Tuesday I got a call from Jenny Stocks from the Daily Mail asking me about the use of erotic literature to enhance women’s sex lives. Her article, Give Your Libido a Boost, is in today’s edition. It is about natural alternatives to the new ‘female Viagra.’ I’ve been following the news about the big pharma-cure for the ever-nebulous female sexual dysfunction awhile now.

I think any discussion of female sexual dysfunction has to take into account the way the culture shapes how we women see ourselves sexually. One episode of Mad Men is enough to have us all cringing, thankful that we live in a more enlightened time.

And indeed, the news the past few days has been all about the big sex survey in the States. Everyone seems to be having more sex, being more adventurous in the sex they have, and having more orgasms. Yet, we’ve elevated female sexual dysfunction to the level of a disease, and the pharmaceutical companies have rushed in with the big drug cure.

Would that it were that simple, but we have a nasty tendency to base our expectations of ourselves and our sexuality on what magazine adverts, television commercials and films present to us as the ideal woman, airbrushed, deodorized, glamourized, and always ready for mad, passionate sex with her own personal version of Brad Pitt or Clive Owen. That would be clean, unmessy sex, in case you’re wondering. Our make-up would never be smudged, and our hair would never be mussed. We would be comfortable in suicide stilettos and under-wire bras that double as torture devices. Oh, and did I mention the glamourous career and the perfect 2.2 children? If we can’t manage all the above with grace and aplomb and still be horny on demand, then surely we must need a cure.

To add to the insanity, we have the religious right homophobically preaching sexual purity, and submission to husbands. What, no husband? Find one, and forever keep your hands out of your knickers. We have the feminist anti-porn brigade shouting the anti-women, turn-our-children-into-serial-killers evils of porn from a platform almost totally devoid of fact.

Do you feel crazy, yet? I know I do.

Jenny’s article covers the gamut of drug-free ways to boost female libido, from couples’ therapists to psychologists, from personal trainers to erotic boutique owners to sexy literature. All this brings us back to how we women see ourselves sexually.

As a young girl, I navigated my way through the minefield of female sexuality in the safe pages of books, Cosmo magazine and the odd copy of Playboy or Penthouse I found stuffed away in bedside tables I wasn’t supposed to be snooping in. I didn’t self-combust, I didn’t become a serial killer, my fingers didn’t fall off, and I didn’t go blind. What did happen is that I discovered what I like, what gives me pleasure. And I discovered that it was okay to own that part of me and to share it.

It’s difficult for any woman to see her way clear of all the rhetoric and propaganda, to be able to look openly and honestly at her own sexuality and understand it, be comfortable with it. Instead of the massive hand-out of drugs to treat female sexual dysfunction, maybe what we really need is just a safe place to explore our female sexual function instead. I have a sneaking suspicion that in a lot of cases, the function is still there, it just needs a little safe, playful coaxing.

 

The Initiation of Ms Holly now available on Kindle

The Initiation of Ms Holly is now available for download on Kindle at Amazon along with a really yummy free sample.

The Initiation of Ms Holly for UK Kindle users

The Initiation of Ms Holly for US Kindle users

An unseasonal heatwave just waiting to happen.

 

The Initiation of Ms Holly now available!

If you’re in the UK, you can now order The Initiation of Ms Holly in epub, pdf, and print formats! If you’re in the US (sigh!) you’ll have to wait a little longer for print.

However, if you are in the States and don’t want to wait for The Initiation of Ms Holly to come out in print, you can now order your epub or pdf copy at Xcite Books!

Order now and find out what really goes on at The Mount.

Amazon UK is also taking pre-orders for the print version.

 

Burlesque: Women in Control

Last night I participated in an introduction to burlesque class taught by the fabulous Tempest Rose, one of the famous Kitten Club kittens. A group of eight women gathered at Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium off Hoxton Square. Most of us only really knew that Burlesque involves beautiful costumes, sometimes strip tease and stage performances, all done by very sexy women. We spent the evening learning to shimmy, and bump and grind, learning to use our bodies and faces to convey our emotions, and learning about the costumes and props of burlesque. (I’m pretty sure Sh! had a last-minute run on nipple tassels at the end of the evening.) The class culminated in our ‘graduation exercise’ — a glove strip-tease. The glove was the only item of clothing removed during the evening. (Unless you count a pair of VERY uncomfortable, nose-bleed stilettos that got tossed in the corner after a few attempts at bump and grind.)

I had no idea a simple glove could be such a sensual tool, nor that it could convey so much. Tempest told us that though strip tease is often apart of burlesque, a burlesque performer never takes off everything. In fact, a burlesque performer views the items of her costume as props rather than clothing. She said she begins a performance with some props, and by the end of the performance, she has less props.

The literal meaning of burlesque is to ‘send up,’ or to make a joke of. Its literary forms can be traced back to Chaucer’s bawdy Canterbury Tales. According to Wikipedia, Burlesque is a humorous theatrical entertainment involving parody and sometimes grotesque exaggeration. Burlesque sometimes parodies the higher performance arts – ballet, opera, poetry. It often, parodies the male and female relationship, and usually at the expense of the blokes. The form is often associated with a variety show and striptease.

What makes burlesque unique, according to Tempest, is that female sensuality and the female form are always at the centre of burlesque. What I found most striking about the evening, as I did the first time I saw Tempest introducing an audience to burlesque at Sh! Portobello, was the sensual female power that is the driving force of burlesque. That power was the reason I wanted to learn more. Tempest told us that in burlesque, the woman is always in control. It is in her power to reveal or conceal what she chooses in her own time. When curves and female sensuality are emphasized, the result is not only beautiful, but also very powerful.

Tempest demonstrated to us how female control in burlesque is shown in the stances and the movements of the performer. She showed us how the angular, sensual stances emphasized in burlesque showcase the female form, emphasizing sensuality and curves. The result is an art form that is 100% female powered. And the sense of that power appeals to both men and women.

She contrasted that to what a stripper might do at a strip club, where the stances are open and straight on, emphasizing what is between the legs. The movements suggest the sex act itself, and emphasizing a man’s point of view.

It was a girl-powered evening, with each of us showcasing our own unique female sensuality. There was pink fizz, silky gloves, corsets, lace, and laughter, and at the centre of it all we were in control. As a woman writing erotica for women, I like that a lot.
 

The Initiation of Ms Holly launch 15 October!

15 October, 18:00-20:00 at Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium, my novel, The Initiation of Ms Holly, published by the award-winning Xcite Books, will be officially launched! Finally I’ll get to introduce Rita Holly and Edward Ellison and their mysterious world of The Mount to the public. I’m convinced it will be love at first sight. Or in this case, love at first listen. I’ll be reading just a few of the yummy bits, just enough to convince you that you absolutely must take Rita and Edward and all of their friends home with you.

The lovely Sh! Ladiez will make sure there are plenty of copies to take home, along with pink fizz and cupcakes to refresh you while you listen and browse through all the cool stuff Sh! has to offer. Make sure to RSVP with Sh! as space is limited. Or on the launch Face Book page for The Initiation of Ms Holly

RSVP now, then come and see what really goes on at The Mount.
 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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