Be sure to catch Part two of Dr Dick’s interview with me on his fabulous series, The Erotic Mind. Dr Dick tells me that the first half of our our interview was a big hit, and tons of people downloaded to hear us talk about the creative process and healing the rift between sexuality and spirituality. If you missed it, tune in, catch up, and find out why so many people are having a listen.
As I look at the photo, I have to smile. Several years ago, I had the privilege of attending a martial arts camp in Poland with the fabulous poet, scholar, kick-ass martial-artist, and all around great bloke, Afaa Weaver. In the airport at Krackow waiting to catch our flights home, we checked out the book shelves in one of the shops, as writers do. He graciously listened to me go on and on about the novel I was writing. When I finally took time out to breathe, he ran a hand along a shelf of books and told me, half joking, that once your book appears in the airport shops, you’ve arrived. Mind you, Afaa is someone who arrived long before I even realized there was a journey to be made. But I am so there now! In W H Smiths. In Terminal Five. (See photographic evidence.)
Airports are always places in flux, places of comings and goings. Arrival is also departure to new destinations as well as coming home. Airports are places of beginnings and endings. The Initiation of Ms Holly is on the shelf, and The Pet Shop is in the making. I have arrived at the airport. Now the actually journey begins. I can hardly wait to see where it takes me. I’m sure Afaa would see the poetry in this arrival.
I’m celebrating great news! Xcite Books will be publishing my second novel, The Pet Shop, in the UK October 2011, and in the US and Canada January 2012.
Here’s just a tiny peek of what you’ll find inside The Pet Shop:
When STELLA JAMES jokingly blames her lack of a sex life on her demanding new job with the STRIGIDA COMPANY, a human Pet from the mysterious PET SHOP isn’t exactly the solution she had in mind. But Strigida sends her, TINO, complete with a collar, a leash, and an erection, and Stella discovers that the pleasure of keeping Pets, especially this Pet, is extremely addicting, and anything but simple.
The Pet Shop is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast but the jury is still out on which is which.
In the now notorious interview with Attitude Magazine, Stephen Fry may or may not have been joking in saying that straight men feel they “disgust” women, who only have sex because that “is a price they are willing to pay for a relationship.” Apparently Fry is on record as also being of the opinion that women don’t really like sex. If they did, they would “go to Hampstead Heath and meet strangers to shag behind a bush.”
The remarks and the uproar they’ve caused make me wonder how much value can be placed on any comment about women’s attitudes toward sex without taking into account the fact that biology is a bitch.
Women are practical. Women count the cost. And with the biological cost so high, it’s not surprising that women’s approach to sex tends to be a little more cautious then men’s. I’d like to mention just two of those biological biggies that should be taken into consideration before attempting to expound upon woman’s attitudes toward sex.
1. Women can, and often do get pregnant, while on the other hand, men do not. It takes a man… well not very long, to father a child, an act he can easily and often repeat at will with very little consequence.
Biology, however, has designed women with a propensity toward pregnancy. That same pesky imperative to pass on the genes to the next generation which may compel a man to scatter his seed far and wide demands that a woman incubate and nest and raise. For women, that involves nine months of carrying a child inside her body at considerable danger to her own health. And that’s just the beginning. According to an article in the Guardian, in the U.K. the cost of raising a child to age 21 is now a staggering ₤200,000! Not wonder most women aren’t anxious to tackle this alone.
2. Size is everything! Men are bigger, and stronger than women. Women are only about half as strong as men in the upper body, and about two-thirds as strong in the lower. Top that off with a good dose of testosterone for added aggression, and it’s not too difficult to see why most women would think twice before joining a shag fest in the shrubs.
For women sex will always be a calculated risk. It sucks, but it’s true. It doesn’t mean we want it any less, or think about it any less often, or need it any less than men do.
The tremendous rise in sales of erotica for women is evidence to just how much women do think about sex. Biology may be a bitch, but erotica is our friend. And, being practical, women are aware that ertocia is a sexual outlet for which there is no risk of pregnancy, no risk of rape or violence, and no ₤200,000, twenty-one year price tag. Women may not be shagging in the shrubbery, but it’s pretty clear, women most definitely DO love sex, and think about it often.