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Sex Invisible


In the age of pixels and videos, airbrushed ads and billboards, sex sells, but only
glamourous sex, only the sex of youth and beauty. Let’s be honest, we live in a world where no one wants to see ‘mature sex.’ In fact, in our visually oriented lives, sex and age are not words that compliment each other. Sex between people over forty is something best kept out of sight, out of mind. When viewing scantily clothed people, we want them to be attractive. When reading a sexy novel, the characters we see in our imaginations are fit, lean and beautiful when they sweat and writhe and frolic with one another. Bottom line – visible sex is for the thirty and under crowd. For anyone much older than that, invisible sex is the standard.

 

Sexual invisibility definitely applies for anyone over forty, especially women. And that’s not necessarily bad. While sexually invisible, we might be, if anything, we have more sexual freedom and fewer inhibitions than those who are younger. A great deal of the more relaxed attitude we have toward sex is because of that invisibility. Sex and youth and the biology that drives us are meant to preen and flaunt, attract and arouse. The survival of the species depends on it. Even though these days it’s less about procreation and more about recreation than it was for our cave dwelling ancestors, the biology is still there. And the truth is that after a certain age, our sexuality becomes irrelevant. If we’re planning to do our part in guaranteeing the next generation, we’ve already done the deed. Tick that box and move on. At that point, our sexuality becomes whatever we’re willing to make of it.

 

In a share group about female sexuality I sat in on once, several things became very evident. For younger women there was far more stress around having sex, far more pressure to be having it often and far more pressure to be seen as sexual and attractive. Among those of us over forty, there was a quiet confidence. There was a sense of adventure that had less to do with the need to be thought of as ‘doing it right’ than just the need to enjoy the hard-earned freedom that comes from our experiences. While for the younger crowd, attraction is a key ingredient, whether it’s the upkeep of the ‘lady garden’ or the best way to display the package, for the older, been-there-done-that-crowd, it was more about creative sex and the sexual self at the centre of our own journeys.  There was less to stress about, there was a subdued sense of anticipation.

 

I can only speak from my own experiences and observations. If I’m honest, it’s possible that some of my comments may come from a tiny bit of sour grapes at wondering why the age of young and beautiful sex passed me by so quickly. But speaking for myself, whether visible and beautiful or invisible and raunchy, sex is a far deeper component of who I am that I ever could have imagined when I was twenty and the world was new to me. The many layers of sexuality have become more obvious and more important now that I’m well past forty. The stunning connection between sex and creativity, between sex and the timeless wild woman who lives at the core of me is a brave new world to be explored without the stress of finding a partner and being sexual eye candy. The discovery of just how far beneath the skin my sexuality actually goes is an endless adventure, explored as much through the avenue of my writing as through the physical act. In fact one deepens the other. Even the sexual explorations with a partner become less about looks and more about something that goes core deep, something a lot freer, something we feel far less of a need to control. In many ways, it’s our naughty little secret that people who are past the age of beautiful sex can be horny and filthy and fuck like rabbits. Who knew? And in truth, no one really wants to know unless they’re over forty. And then that naughty little secret becomes a much-needed lifeline to something powerful enough to move us past the loss of youth and beauty into the exciting new world beyond.

 

Perhaps the very best thing about sex invisible is that the pressure is off. What we do or don’t do in bed is all right by us. Fewer things embarrass us, fewer things frighten us, fewer things worry us. That alone can’t help but improve ones sex life.

 

In some ways I think my writing reflects my own sexual journey. Most of my characters are at the sexually beautiful age because that’s the kind of story that sells. But the stories I write have moved from the skin to skin of the physical act to the whole body, three dimensional experience of the sensual act, the mental and emotional act the personal act that all add up to the total package of our sexuality. I suppose a big part of that has to do with my endless fascination with what actually makes sex so damn magical? Why is it the thing that intrigues us most about being human, while at the same time the thing that frightens us most?

How deep our sexuality goes into our human nature becomes more visible with
experience, and experience comes with age. While it’s the air brushed, waxed well coiffed and fit sex, the visible sex of youth and beauty we want to see and read about and imagine, it’s a far bigger picture of the Self we reach when our sexuality is allowed to guide us through middle age and beyond. While we may pine for youth and beauty, we’d never want to give up the depth of sexual experience, of life experience that leads us to sex invisible and the secret smiles that maybe don’t drive story and don’t sell perfume, but sure as hell make life sizzle long past middle age.

 

 

Happy Masturbation Month

Sex toy incentiveMG00625-20140322-1049As a novelist, who writes erotic romance, May is always a red letter month on my calendar because it’s National Masturbation Month. Okay, I’ll be there first to admit that for me, every month is masturbation month,  and I’m always a bit surprised that anyone could be ashamed of such a powerful creative force.

I’ve shared this delicious tidbit about masturbation before, but as we all gear up for the rowdy, randy month of May, it’s always timely.

The ancient Egyptians believed masturbation was a creative act in its own right. In the Heliopolis creation myth, the god Amen rises from the primeval ocean, Nun, and masturbates the divine son and daughter into existence, and they populate the world. Even if I look at the Judeo/Christian myth in the first two chapters of Genesis, where God speaks the world into existence, I am still looking at a solo act.

Eric Francis on Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross’s Sex Information Online site writes, ‘Masturbation is the most elemental form of sexuality, requiring only awareness and a body.

Awareness and a body. Masturbating the world into existence. It happens all the time. At the risk of offering too much information, my understanding of sex, my deepest understanding of my own sexuality, comes from awareness and my own body. That’s what I have to work with. My understanding of writing, my deepest understanding of the creative forces in me also comes from awareness and my own self.

I’m astounded that in a world where solitude and the meditative tradition is a part of almost every religious discipline, we shy away from the very concepts that could have well given birth to it, awareness and Body. Can there really even BE awareness without a body? And how can we possibly understand the boundaries and the limits of either without the two rubbing up against each other. Our act of one-ness, our proto-sexuality, as Eric Francis calls it, I suggest is by its boundary-exploring nature, also our proto-creativity.

A Snippet from Fulfilling the Contract to honour  Masturbation Month

(Caution! Adult Content)

The damned alarm went off in the middle of the hottest fuck Nick had ever had. He came up out of the Fulfilling the Contractdream roaring like an angry bear and practically slapped the clock off the night stand in his efforts to shut it off. There was no going back to sleep, not with his heart hammering and his dick stretching out between his legs like it owned the place. Cursing between his teeth, he stumbled to the bathroom with only one eye half open. Not bothering with the stop at the commode for the piss he knew he couldn’t manage as hard as he was, he shoved his way into the shower and cranked the hot water. No cold showers this morning. He had every intention of giving this dream a good send-off. For a minute he leaned against the wall letting the jets from the shower massage work their magic. Then when he was nice and wet, he soaped up, still not bothering to open his eyes, still doing his best to capture the vivid images from his dream. Once his chest and armpits, lower back and ass were well lathered, he went to work where he needed it most. And when his pubes felt like they were mounded in thick whipped cream, he closed his fist around his well-sudsed hard-on and began to stroke, letting the dream flood full-on back into his head. It had all started on the top of the Humvee in the parking lot at the Mango. It was right there in broad daylight. He had Tanya Povic’s tropical print skirt shoved up over her ass, ploughing into her fast and furious while he kneaded her gorgeous tits like they were bread dough ready to bake. They were grunting and thrusting and shoving and she kept saying in that sexy Slavic accent, ‘Is good! Is so good! Fuck me harrderr, Nick Chase, I vant to come!’ And he was happy to oblige.

The parking lot was full of people with scopes and cameras, of all things, and they were all watching Nick mount Tanya on top of the Humvee. Some of the men had cocks out tugging and jerking like they’d lose control. The women either had hands in their panties or on their tits, which they were happy to expose to the desert sun. Some of the watchers were even humping each other while Tanya kept begging him to fuck her harder.

Elsa Crane had her keyboards and monitors and electronic surveillance equipment set up on the hood of his limo. She was all bent over with her leopard print loin cloth barely covering her magnificent ass. Then all of a sudden she turned to Nick and Tanya and said in a loud voice, ‘Tanya, you’re fired. Get off Nick and let me fuck him.’ Nick watched with his cock in his hand while Elsa gave Tanya’s tits a fondle and made her bend for a good pussy-probing, as though she might be trying to stash something in that tight little hole — like office supplies maybe. It was a dream, after all. As Elsa stroked and spread and examined Tanya’s cunt, Tanya turned her attention back to Nick’s hard-on, giving him a sucking that would have made his eyes cross if he hadn’t been so keenly focused on what Elsa was doing.

Finally Elsa gave the woman a hard smack on her pert little backside, and Tanya went in and out among the crowd offering to suck cock or lick pussy for anyone who would fulfil the remains of her contract so she could get her bonus. Then the next thing he knew, Elsa had her top off and her loin cloth hoiked, as she crawled right up onto the Humvee and mounted him in a seductive squat, her tight pussy sheathing him like a surgical glove. Then she grabbed him by the hair and pulled him up to nurse on her luscious tits, a task he was totally up for. People with their cameras and scopes moved up close and personal-like, to where he could even hear their heavy breathing, which was no small feat above his own. With Elsa Crane gripping and squeezing and rocking and riding, he was about to go off like a nuclear warhead. And then … Then the damned alarm clock went off instead of him.

The tug, tug, tug on his cock against the bounce of his lead-heavy balls was just about to get him there under the pulsing of the shower, though why it should be Elsa Crane who got his cock iron-stiff, he didn’t know. She was a hard ass, if ever there was one, and she’d all but laughed at him when he’d offered to fulfil Tanya’s contract. Tug, tug, tug. She probably did laugh when he turned and left. Jesus, it was insane what they were doing. Filthy insane. He thought about the ménage he’d viewed through the telescope. Tug, tug, tug. He thought about him standing in the desert jerking off from the experience, and it was Elsa Crane he’d been fucking in his fantasy. Jesus, what was it about that woman? Was it that avalanche of thick shiny hair? Those deep blue eyes? Was it the fact that the leopard print did little to disguise the fittest body he’d ever seen? Was it the slight gravel to her voice that he just wanted to rub up against? Tug, tug, tug.

But as the dream gave way to his fantasy, she wasn’t begging him to fuck her harder. She was hardly the begging type, was she? In his fantasy, she rode him like she was a jockey and he was her stud. She didn’t need to ask him anything. She took what she wanted, and he was happy that she took it from him. Suddenly the cameras and the scopes and the watchers were almost on top of them and it was enough. All of them watching Elsa Crane fuck him until his balls exploded – it was enough. He came in a convulsing, backbreaking ejaculation that belied how hard he’d come in the desert just a few hours ago. The cascade of steamy water from the shower washed the evidence of his lust down the drain.

 

Real Sex: Let’s Get Positive! Welcome Chris Unity Bowness & Consenting Adults

As promised, I’m very excited to introduce Chris Unity Bowness’s first Consenting Adults post. Chris has agreed to make Consenting Adults a regular feature for A Hopeful Romantic, and it’s a pleasure to welcome him onboard.

Chris Bowness consenting adultsi-love-sex_20130429151230247Real Sex: Let’s Get Positive
I love sex…whether it’s engaging in it; researching it; talking or writing about it or mentoring others in exploring it. Let’s face it sex is the best most pleasurable thing one, two or even more consenting adults can do.

How often do you hear those opening 3 words spoken in the same context as I love cooking; I love music; I love mountain climbing…followed by a discussion on why that person loves it? All of our hobbies and activities give us much pleasure and enjoyment; people not only like to indulge in telling people why they enjoy them but others like to hear them passionately talk about their pleasures too. However, it seems the discussion of sex is a pleasure that must not speak it’s name. So is the discussion of sex off bounds; how did we get to this point and, more importantly, how do we get out of it?

The Sexual Revolution has been a long challenging fight which has largely gone unrecorded and even skewed to suit the message being conveyed. The history of Sexual Revolution is greatly fragmented and is often charted largely through the history of law and records of trials but even this then has it’s slant on it. However, in recent times sexual exploration has faced a trial by media.

There is a current trend in the media of demonising sex further with the new phenomenon of the ‘pornification’ of society. It seems we have become numb to the word ‘sexualisation.’ We needed something more shocking to degrade sex further. This new media label gives the impression sex has sunk to a level which has left us disengaged with the people we’re doing it with and only interested in the activity. In reality the only danger to society and our enjoyment of sex is the little positive discussion we’re having about it, we are leaving it to the marketeers, media and pop culture to define our views of real sex. The biggest dangers to us fully enjoying the pleasures of intimacy and the sex we deserve is the vilification and demonisation of sex through the media and how that filters through to society as a whole. This then perpetuates our own in built guilt keeping us from enjoying and indulging in a pleasure unmatched by anything and further reflecting it onto others; in the end we only have ourselves we have to blame.

“We are all born sexual creatures, thank god, but it’s a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift.”
Marilyn Monroe.

Reclaiming sex
The recent vote in the house of commons , in the U.K., to allow gay marriage was another massive step in the fight for sexual freedom and although there is a long road to go down the massive majority vote in favour of allowing this shows there is a sea of change in attitudes towards sexuality as a whole or does it?

The fight for sexual freedom is as important as gender equality or racial equality both of which in some way have included their own stance when it comes to sexuality. However, sections of the media are constantly using sex to negatively define anyone outside monogamous baby making sexual relationships. I have recently read a few of articles questioning if the success of 50 Shades and a cultural change in fashion and art of a bondage and bdsm influence has created a culture whereby people have become more disengaged from sex and the people they are having it with. Since the early humans drew sexual acts on cave walls art and life have imitated each other; one being influenced by the other; each one pushing the boundaries and in turn allowing each one to be freer in their expression and experimentation.

Then there are the trials by media, firstly celebrities who are caught out by the papers in stings or kiss and tell stories which seem to set about making normal consensual adult sexual activities the issue rather than it being about trust. Furthermore, there is the more dangerous trial by media of people in stories and cases who are supposedly guilty because of the sexual activities or relationships they engage in. In the recent case of Mick Philpotts, for example, the BBC decided to label him a polygamist and in a polyamorous relationship thereby setting in stone a psuedocriminalisation of anyone else who lives this way. Each time these stories make us all a little more fearful of our relationship choices and how we choose to enjoy sex, eventually making us less likely to express and discuss real life everyday legal and consensual sexual activities.

People have become afraid to be sex positive, sometimes even behind closed doors. Over recent months there have been two incidents which have shocked me. The first occasion was a female client who was talking about fantasies and brought up the subject of anal sex but it came out through the course of the conversation that she thought it was illegal due to a news story she had read that gave the impression that it was the type of sex someone was having that had been their downfall. The second one was when a woman was explaining how her and her partner used condoms and she missed that feeling of his cum. She said she would like him to ejaculate on her body including her face but because of the links with porn and how the negative
connotations of porn and sex in the media made her feel uncomfortable even bringing it up with her partner. These two cases show the worrying trend in how the media vilify sex acts, demonising them almost to the point of pseudo criminalisation. In the realm of legally consenting adult relationships and sex anything is allowed and we need to stop allowing media and society conventions for inhibiting our exploration of harmless fantasies. This photoshopping by the media eats away at societies perception of real sex and we’re made more introvert about our sex lives creating a situation where sex becomes the issue because through our inhibitions we reinforce the impression that sex is shameful, and it ultimately becomes self perpetuating. In
actual fact what the media doesn’t realise is that the current problems surrounding relationship and sex including porn culture, rape culture and the discussion of consent has been created because of the lack of positive discussion of everyday relationships and sex not just for teens but for anyone who turns to the internet instead of friends to get a positive ideas on anything sexually related.

“We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad
daylight.” John Lennon

 

Chris-Bowness-Unity-300x212

Power to the people
In reality it is obvious many others love sex too. There is an overwhelming theme in the correspondence I receive which all centre around the thirst for more real sex positivity through wanting to share tales of euphoric bliss or the things that can go wrong — accidents, laughs, mistakes or getting (nearly) caught — all real things that people are thirsty to share with others but are afraid to. People confide these events with me quite openly because they know they won’t be judged or defined by their activities and in doing so can indulge that need we all have in sharing these events with others.

In order to reclaim sex we all need to be a little bit more open about real sex and Consenting Adults is the start. Actually taking the leap and being that person who people can come to about sex, knowing they won’t be judged and being able to communicate about real sex positively is a great start. To get to that point though we need to break the cycle of defining ourselves and each other through the sexual activities we indulge in, fantasise about or discover through our exploration of relationships and pleasure. Only then can we get talking and sharing the experiences we desperately want to share with others in the same way we do when we make a great cake or achieve any other of life’s wondrous feats. But also in our failings we can help show that sex is real, isn’t perfect but can still be pleasurable and make us all connect better and feel more human.

My hope for Consenting Adults through this column and the online magazine you can find at www.bit.ly/ConsentingAdults is that it will be the tool to opening up conversation and breaking down the barriers of relationships and sex exploration and show that behind these stories and articles of real sex are fantastic, caring, brilliant and beautiful people who walk amongst us everyday thus dispelling the negative definitions and helping us all feel more comfortable talking about these subjects. Hopefully sharing this column with others can help us all start that conversation and get us reclaiming sex.

Finally, ‘legal and consensual’ there I’ve said it so everything is now ok…it seems that sex and relationships are the only subject this phrase has to be added to when we want an open honest discussion of real sex and that if it’s not you’re automatically suggesting something which is either illegal or nonconsensual. When people talk of sex whether online or in the real world there seems to be weird phenomenon that occurs whereby such discussions are defaulted to implying illegal or non consential activities until that phrase is uttered. From bloggers to writers to sex therapists and educators we all need to create a new paradigm whereby the legal and consensual status of positive, enjoyable exploritive pleasure is implied by definition. This is part
of the reason I chose the title Consenting Adults ensuring that in all discussions and articles this never needs to be added unless, as in the case of this article, it’s in context.

 

An Interview with Chris Unity Bowness Part 2

Welcome back for the second half of my interview with the amazing Chris Unity Bowness. I had the pleasure of meeting Chris on FaceBook about six months ago, I think it was, and almost immediately I began to scheme getting him onto my site as a guest. After some long conversations and some planning and and talking about how we wanted to approach the interview, I’m very glad to welcome Chris to my site for the second part of our interview celebrating sexuality in relationship. Welcome back, Chris, and thanks for joining me!

KD: Recently I’ve begun a series on my blog called Passionate Partners, discussing how partners not only cope, but play a vital role in the careers of erotic writers, and I know from some of our discussions that your wife plays a very vital role in your work. Could you share just a little bit about that relationship?

Chris: From the very outset of our relationship Caroline was sex positive viewing sex, nudity and exploration as a natural ingrained part of life. Rather than it having to be scheduled, discussed and tiptoed around, the usual awkwardness was taken away with the warm, open and comfortable way our relationship and sex could be discussed.

Chris Bowness UnityThat laid down a very good foundation for our future to be built upon and has created an environment where no sexual debate is out of bounds, whether that be personally in our own relationship or being able to discuss the latest news stories, research or historical aspects of sex.

The way we like to put it is that many relationships have things in common whether it’s the arts, current affairs, religion, politics, celebrities, food. They find common interest and things to debate. Ours just happens to be sex. We are quite happy to start discussions with others too and accept that it might leave some uncomfortable. Having said that, there are a couple of subjects in that previous list that leave me squirming. We’re quite used to the dreaded silence but have learnt that more often than not somebody will be left feeling positive and it’s not uncommon to have them find us later to continue the discussion.

As a mentor I have someone with whom I am able to discuss openly all the subjects surrounding sex. I have someone with whom I can discuss, debate and test out theories. Sometimes those discussions are general, sometimes they may be a specific case. Of course it’s always done with confidentiality. We discuss ideas about what’s going on and ideas to help and support others. This gives me a fantastic environment not only to live in but work in.

Because we promote open two-way communication in relationships people know that Caroline can be just as informative and supportive as I am, so they often ask for her view or tell me to make sure I ask her for her view on the situation so they can get a male and female view of things. Our relationship is very much full-on. Not only do we play together but we also work hard together. We’ve always run our own businesses and been involved with each others. We play to our strengths and weaknesses. That means we have many years of experience dealing with every up and down that could positively and negatively affect relationships.

Finally, what our relationship does is to allow us to explore and experiment with our relationship and sexual pleasures. It allows us to have clear and open discussions about what works and what doesn’t work, or what was enjoyable about it. We are able to step out and look at things in view of what kind of people may enjoy it and why….even if we didn’t. All this hands-on experience puts me in the unique position of being able to pass on our experiences and research to help people not only get the best of their relationships but help them explore their pleasures.

“Nothing risqué, nothing gained.”

Alexander Woollcott

KD: If you could give only one piece of advice, something that you think would benefit everyone in their sexual journey, what would it be?

Chris Bowness Newsletter logoUnity.1

Chris: Communication…Communication…Communication

I know this may sound simple but I really believe a great part of what I want to do includes reminding people of the simple things, getting back to basics, because somehow with the modern busy complicated lives we lead it’s been forgotten.

There are many pieces of advice I could give for individual situations but, bottom line, good and bad they all come down to constant open communication. Whether you’re on day one of your relationship or ten years down the line, my advice is to keep talking and conversing openly and honestly not just about the good experiences, like experimenting and exploring, but also when problems do arise, rather than avoiding issues. People avoid discussing problems and issues that arise because they’re afraid it might break them up, when in reality it’s the anxiety and stress that avoiding the situation puts on a relationship that ultimately breaks a relationship down

It’s been my experience with the people I’ve helped that when you stop communicating with your partner your relationship goes into sort of suspended animation. All your views, ideas and thoughts about your partner or your relationship are based on old experiences. Many people I’ve worked with have ideas or make assumptions on conversations or mind sets formed before they stopped talking.

How often do you talk to your partner? And I mean really talk? …Beyond the bog standard good morning? How many times a day do you actively engage in conversation and really connect with each other?

Furthermore, mobiles and social networking gets a bad rep for breaking relationships up but they can be used for good. Even if you both have busy lives a short even slow lingering conversation and keeping in touch throughout the day can do wonders for your relationship. Taking time out of a lunch break to text or message a partner lets them know you’re thinking of them, and taking time to reply even if it’s later in the day can just help reaffirm that connection between you.

Keeping or rebuilding an open honest line of communication today can do wonders for your relationship. My advice…instead of that lunch time game of angry birds…text your fellow love bird instead.  You may just be surprised how that one message can be a step towards a happier relationship.

“We are all born sexual creatures, thank God, but it’s a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift.” ― Marilyn Monroe

KD: Is any one thing you think could happen that would change, for the better, the landscape of how modern culture views sex?

Chris: Without a doubt better education and research.  What has shocked me throughout the years is the lack of options and courses available to people who want to study sex and relationships. It seems there are so many courses out there that pander to our basic needs such as art, food, religion, science, music. I mean you can even get a degree in The Beatles. However, there are no courses that cater purely to sex and relationships. Yes there are courses in which sex or an area of sex is a branch or element of core subject but not the main subject and considering what a massive part sex plays in all our lives it’s a shame.

Not only that, but I truly believe that in order to fully enjoy sex and be able to whole heartedly embrace relationships we must learn to appreciate our pasts. By that I don’t just mean our personal history but I mean an understanding of the evolution of relationships and sex over the ages. This can not only help us understand how we got here but also fully appreciate our futures.

KD: What do you think is the biggest detriment to healthy sexuality Westerners face?

Chris: There are two things that go hand in hand, I feel. They are fear and definition.

I believe fear of discussion, debate and communicating positively about sex comes from how Western society defines people by how, where, who and how many people they enjoy sex with.

I feel the media plays a big part in defining norms and classifying those outside the norms as deviants. This drives society’s idea of what is considered normal. Nobody’s relationship falls into the media’s idea of what’s normal and that only serves to stop people from enjoying sex and openly discussing it.

KD: What do you see as the most hopeful thing about sex in the age of internet and social media?

Chris: The internet and social media can be a force for good when it comes to sex positivity by offering more access to a whole range of people who live and work in sex related industries. Being able to have more connection to the people in those areas whether it be educators, therapists, bloggers, makers of sex toys or writers of erotica – like yourself makes sex and the discussions around it so much more approachable. Furthermore, it gives those with positive views and mindsets about sex the chance to meet other likeminded folk and a chance to talk and to realise that our views and consensual expressions of love and sex are natural; that there are others out there who feel and love the same. The internet and social media enable us not only to share these views openly but exchange ideas on how to improve or experiment with those activities to help improve pleasure.

bit.ly/BeUnity

 

Artist Fuschia Ayling talks Sexuality and Creativity

Fuschia and me at the BTR launch

I’m sure you’ve already seen the pictures of the paintings and heard me rave about the fabulous artists who each volunteered to illustrate a different excerpt of my novel, Body Temperature and Rising, for my launch party a couple of weeks ago. As I’ve gotten to know these very talented young artists and seen a bit more of their work, I knew I had to have them on my site and give my readers the chance to get to know them a little better and have a look at a few images of their wonderful work.

Fuschia’s stunning scene depicting voyeuristic bliss on the fells from BTR

The very talented Fuschia Ayling is my guest today. Fuscia chose the opening scene of Body Temperature and Rising to paint, and on her blog, teased us all with sneak peeks of the work in progress. I’ve been following her blog ever since just to see what she gets up to. Welcome Fuschia! It’s a pleasure to have you on A Hopeful Romantic.

KD: Fuschia, have you always known you’ve wanted to be artists? What inspired the choice?

Fuschia:I have always been driven creatively, ever since I was a very small child – I suppose I was always happiest when I was up to my elbows in paint, mud or playdough. When I was small my father owned a gallery and studio in St. Ives, and his success and talent as an artist – along with my immersion in the Cornish art scene – meant that I was given all the encouragement I needed to continue exploring my interest. As I grew up I continued to enjoy expressing myself visually, but I

‘My Not So Secret Garden’

viewed it more as therapy – there were always things which I couldn’t explain to others, things that I could only really exorcise in my journals. I studied Art and Design at college and then took an extra couple of years to really develop my work and distance myself still further from what seems to be a very Cornish expectation – that as an artist one should paint landscapes and seascapes to order. I am thankful that being an artist is a viable career option – I can basically devote my life to healing what is, unfortunately, a slightly damaged brain.

KD: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

“Bang Bang” is to do with sexual experience and confusion, the way all the things that we experience leave traces, tangled and in some ways unable to be separated. It is also to do with my feelings for my own body, my femininity, my role as a woman – as explored through the use of embroidery.

Fuschia: I am 20 years old, currently studying at Kingston University for a BA in Fine Art. My work is always confessional, often sexual and sometimes a little shocking. My work deals with my own personal experiences and opinions, and in that way it is like an ever growing and expanding diary of my life. I often deal with issues that, although still current, are perhaps best described as scars from childhood. I have been called a feminist artist, although this isn’t a label I particularly identify with, I think my work deals with what could be deemed “Feminine Issues” merely because I am by gender a woman. I enjoy writing, drawing, sewing and painting – I like to mix and match materials and processes.

KD: Why did you choose to make sexuality the central theme in your artwork?

Fuschia:I suppose sexuality is a central theme in my work because it is a central theme in life – sex

‘Open Wide’

is, after all, the reason why we are all here. I am very interested by human nature, especially when it comes to sex, and I think that this interest fuels part of my obsession. Like many people I have issues with my own sexuality, I find that exploring these unspoken things in my work comes naturally to me. I have produced a lot of work in the past about being a rape victim, and I probably will continue to do so in the future, it is something which I kept secret and shamefully hidden for so long that having the freedom to express it, to work through it and to, hopefully, help other people in similar positions to myself is hugely healing to me. I think also that in my work I wanted to make a distinction between sex and rape, because rape is not sex but it is violence and sex is something beautiful – no matter how hard you’re fucking it is always consensual. Sex is wonderful – I want to celebrate that.

KD: Where to you get your inspiration?

Fuschia:I am inspired predominantly by my own history, but also materially – by patterns, colours, chance events. I am really interested in

surface decoration, the little details which make up the skin of an object. I also have a fascination with craft – embroidery, needlework, knitting, upholstery, beading – things which were traditionally a woman’s work, I enjoy bringing a new vitality to them when they are placed in an altogether different context – For me, a cross stitch of a pretty house is impressive, but a cross stitch of a vagina is sheer brilliance.

‘My Cunt is a Crime Scene’

KD: What’s the hardest thing about being an artist?

Fuschia: I think that, for me, the hardest thing about being an artist is also one of the best things – Being self led. On the one hand the freedom is wonderful, the ability to just get up one day and say “Today I shall make a wall-hanging entirely out of cotton wool…” – that is a fabulous feeling when you have total monopoly over your practice. On the other hand, however, is awful days of total creative block, despondency, failure… It is about having the ability to be your own critic, but also to know when to stop beating yourself up over your short-comings.

KD: Who inspires you, as an artist?

Fuschia: In the art world my greatest influence has to be Tracey Emin, I discovered her work aged 14 and have been in love ever since. I admire her ability to let the viewer in but still keep hold of the reigns. For me she is somebody who is very real, very human and also very good at what she does. I also admire Sarah Lucas, Elke Krystufek, Nan Goldin, Annette Messager, Ana Mendieta and Francesco Clemente among others. I have also been inspired greatly by the work of author Mervyn Peake. I would also like to take this oportunity to say a big thank you to Sarah Berry for her ongoing support!

KD: What are you working on now?

Fuschia: I am currently working on a project which is far more feminine in appearance, I have become really interested in floral prints and patterns. I have just completed part of this – a large square painting titled “My Not So Secret Garden”, which was inspired by my unease with the common pornographic pose which involves spreading ones pussy lips with ones fingers, I was interested in the dual meaning of the gesture – whether it was an invitation, a sign of vulnerability in exposing our softness – or whether it could be an aggressive gesture, a blatant display of sexuality as something threatening. By combining the image with soft floral shapes and pastel colours I am trying to play with the connotations the familiar pose has…It is work in progress!

KD: What are you working on now?

Fuschia: I am very excited at the moment about our (The Vagina Atelier) nomination for the Erotic Award’s Erotic Artist of the Year, and the possibilities for making new contacts. I am looking forward to seeing what the future brings…

Fuschia’s blog: http:/www.fuschiaayling.blogspot.com

Thank you, Fuschia for giving us a chance to get to know you a little better and to sample a little bit of you stunning art. It’s been a real pleasure you to have you! I wish you all the best in your creative pursuits.

 
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© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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