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Porn & Romance: An Odd Couple?

December 18, 2013


The following is a sub-chapter about “the age of hypersexualization” from the new book “THE NEW SOFT WAR ON WOMEN: How the Myth of Female Ascendance Is Hurting Women, Men — and Our Economy” by Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett, Ph.D. It’s the perfect holiday gift for anyone who says we live in a post-feminist world or that “the end of men” is upon us!

Porn & Romance:

An Odd Couple?

Some future media historian may refer to the present era as the “age of hypersexuality.” Never before have there been so many images of women in sexual poses that are demeaning, violent and subservient.

A continuing extreme sexualization of women and girls dominates the media and the culture. As cultural critic Gail Dines notes, “Something has shifted so profoundly in our society that the idealized pop culture image of women in today’s pornified world is no longer a Stepford Wife but rather a plasticized, scripted, hyper-sexualized, surgically enhanced young woman. The media world we live in today has replaced the stereotyped Stepford Wife with the equally limiting and controlling stereotype of a Stepford Slut.”34 

In October 2010, fraternity pledges at Yale chanted as they marched across campus. This is what they shouted:

My name is Jack,
I’m a necrophiliac.
I fuck dead women,
and fill them with my semen.
No means yes,
Yes means anal.
Fuck al-Qaeda
Fuck al-Qaeda
Fucking sluts
Fucking sluts

The oversexualization of young women is taking a major toll, leading to severe mental and physical health problems. Some of these include risky sexual behavior and high rates of eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem. In a 2007 major report on girls, the American Psychological Association found the media emphasizing young women’s sexuality “to a stunning degree.”36 A University of Buffalo study found that females are eleven times more likely to be sexualized in the popular media than males are.37

At the same time, the romance genre is booming; Read the rest of this entry »

The 12 Days of Kinkmas

December 17, 2013


In honor of the special holiday sale price of our book, 150 SHADES OF PLAY: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink (now under ten bucks for the first time ever!), we’re presenting own special sexy sacrilegious spin on a Xmas classic. Enjoy:

On the 12th Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
12 Crops a Cracking
Disciplinary devices for horses and “horses.” However, even if you’ve never gotten on a real horse or gotten into pony play, you can enjoy the erotic benefits of this kind of rod. For one thing, it just…read more in 150 Shades of Play

On the 11th Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
11 Ponies Prancing
One of the most popular forms of animalism, complete with its own subculture and events calendar. There was even once a…read more in 150 Shades of Play


On the 10th Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
10 Chains a Clanging
When nylon and leather cuffs are just too cute and fluffy, and you want something with a little more weight and muscle, go for cold, hard, steel wrist and ankle restraints. Steel shackles have that quintessential…read more in 150 Shades of Play


On the 9th Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
9 Slappers Spanking
Like paddles, but narrower and with better sound effects. Usually made of…read more in 150 Shades of Play


On the 8th Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
8 Boots a Kicking
Tamareki is a ball-kicking fetish. Do we even need to bother telling you that…read more in 150 Shades of Play


On the 7th Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
7 Wheels a Spinning
The human-sized rat-exercise wheels of the BDSM world—except instead of running inside the wheel, you’re strapped to the outside, either…read more in 150 Shades of Play


On the 6th Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
6 Whips a Flaying
A flogger is the pom pom of the BDSM world. (“Give me a W! Give me an H! Give me an I! Give me a P!”) A popular flagellation tool, a flogger consists of…read more in 150 Shades of Play


On the 5th Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
5 Gold Cock Rings 
Rings or straps made just for the penis and testicles. Traditionally, a cock ring is meant to…read more in 150 Shades of Play


On the 4th Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
4 Balling Babes
Adult babies engage in a form of role-playing wherein one partner (typically a straight guy) plays baby and the other plays grownup (typically mommy). The “baby” wears man-sized diapers and might…read more in 150 Shades of Play


On the 3rd Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
3 Fetish Masks
Fetish wear for the face (probably what conservatives would consider a gateway accessory to more hardcore hoods). Most masks just…read more in 150 Shades of Play


On the 2nd Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
2 Latex Gloves 
Medical latex hand gloves that help protect against STDs, allow for smoother entry into orifices, and are the perfect accessory for…read more in 150 Shades of Play

On the 1st Day of Kinkmas my true sub gave to me…
And a House Slave in a Gimp Suit
Kinky onesies made out of leather, pleather, rubber, PVC, etc., and typically worn by a (usually male) submissive. Made famous by the 1994 Quentin Tarantino movie Pulp Fiction; made sexy by…read more in 150 Shades of Play


Last Week for FREE Shipping of 150 SHADES OF PLAY!

December 13, 2013


Kimono Robe by LELO

Your holiday shopping days are dwindling, so don’t miss out on the chance to give your lover a naughty stocking stuffer, your best friend a companion piece to her dog-eared copy of Fifty Shades, or your coworkers something to blush over during the Secret Santa exchange at your holiday office party! Our AWARD-WINNING book 150 SHADES OF PLAY: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink is available on Amazon. Here are the deadlines you have to beat this month to get your copies by Xmas:

For more information about our kickass (literally) book, 150 SHADES OF PLAY, visit  150ShadesOfPlay.com.

The Best Holiday Gift EVER Is Now Under 10 Bucks!

December 6, 2013


Okay, we may be overstating things just a tad. But just check out the Amazon reviews and you’ll see that 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink – winner of a 2013 IPPY Award! – is the most perfect, affordable, and easily purchased gift for:

  • Your friend who can’t wait for the Fifty Shades of Grey movies to come out
  • Your wife who wished there’d been a fourth book in the Fifty Shades series
  • Your partner who’s dying to try something new in the bedroom
  • Your partner whom you’re dying to try something new on
  • Your inappropriate friend who really loves dirty jokes

And just for the holidays, it’s available for the time ever FOR LESS THAN $10! Yes, it’s the perfect stocking stuffer / white elephant party gift / office secret santa present (okay, maybe not that last one). For more info about the book, visit 150ShadesOfPlay.com.

Order by Dec 17th for Xmas!

LELO’s Sutra Chainlink Cuffs and Sussurra Tap Shorts

A New Book That Some People Don’t Want You to Read (Part 2)

October 10, 2013


a still from the video trailer of Happyland

Last week, we posted a provocative excerpt from HAPPYLAND, written by one of the coolest authors we know, J. ROBERT LENNON. The excerpt was from his new novel, the one that W. W. Norton pulled from production in 2005 over fears of libel, that Harper’s Magazine ran in serial (though heavily abridged) in the fall of 2006, and that Dzanc and Open Road finally published in unabridged e-book form last week. (It’s a New and Notable pick on Amazon for the month of October.) Below is the next scene in the book after last week’s excerpt. If you’re like us, you’ll want to buy the book after reading it. If you still need more convincing, check out the excellent video at the bottom of this post about the story behind this book that almost wasn’t.

While the student population of

Equinox was gathered inside the Furman auditorium, the village of Equinox stood quiet and colorless in the November air.  Evening had come; it was past eight, and the snow that had been drifting in flurries all day had begun to fall in earnest, and the patches of grass that had remained visible over the past week were soon covered over.  Smoke emerged from chimneys, lights came on in windows, and traffic dwindled until only a car or two passed by every now and then.

On campus, the quiet seemed eerie, as if the college had closed for good.  Only if you happened to pass by the auditorium would you discover where everyone had gone: by eight-thirty or so the hoots, grunts, and chants of the student body had reached a stunning pitch, and a passerby might have been forgiven for imagining that they’d been replaced by an entirely different set of young women, so striking was their transformation.  This same passerby would also be very curious about what, exactly, had effected this transformation, but because the lowest-reaching windows were more than eight feet off the ground, and because these windows were curtained, any such discovery was, unfortunately, impossible.

Unless of course the passerby happened to be standing in a certain spot, where the curtains were slightly parted, and happened to look up and toward the rear of the auditorium, where a mezzanine-mounted spotlight, its bulb burned out, reflected, wavily upon its red-filtered gel, a tiny crimson reflection of what was happening on stage.  And if this passerby should have had upon his person a pair of binoculars, or opera glasses, or extraordinarily acute vision, he might have made out in this reflection a peculiar tableau: a naked woman, bent over a rather clinical, examination-style table, her face twisted in what might, at this distance, appear to be pain, and might appear to be pleasure; and behind this woman a younger woman, short-haired, blond, dressed rather mannishly in jeans and a flannel shirt, and more importantly some sort of harness around her hips, which appeared to support a, frankly, penis-shaped object that the younger woman was thrusting repeatedly into the naked woman’s nether regions; and finally (and perhaps most peculiarly) a third woman, small and wizened and dressed in black, who stood beside the naked woman, pouring her small paper cups of water for her to snatch and empty into her mouth, much in the manner of a long-distance runner in his final, dehydrated miles.

Of course this passerby, if he existed, would shake his head in puzzlement and dismay, dismissing this bizarre scene out of hand, for surely no such activity could be taking place at this august institute of higher learning.  He might, in fact, decide upon a brisk walk to clear his head, and his snowbound wanderings might take him all the way to the northern edge of town, where he might observe two women in shorts—one wearing a tank-top as well, and the other only a bra—emerge, obviously drunk, from the back door of the octagonal kiosk that in summertime served as a popular ice-cream shop.  He would also notice that these women were both covered in blood—on their faces and shoulders and half-bare chests—and that, despite obviously having recently beaten the living crap out of one another, they seemed to be getting on like the best of friends, their arms draped around one another, their voices loud and effervescent with laughter.  If this were a local passerby, he might even notice that these women were Jennifer Triesman and Happy Masters, and if he happened to know them personally, this union would seem to him almost as unlikely as the sexually deviant bit of theater he’d come here to clear his mind of.

We can only hope, then, that our passerby, seeking to disinfect his troubled mind with drink, wouldn’t happen to drop by the Goodbye Goose, Dave Dryer’s now-defunct bar, and throw open the door.  No—we would encourage him to leave Equinox immediately for an extended vacation, or perhaps forever.  Because we would not want him to see poor Dave lying shirtless on a floor now cleared of tables and chairs.  We wouldn’t want him to look into Dave’s red, sleep-deprived eyes, or smell the horrible pain-killing poultice, discovered by chance in one of Kevin’s father’s mildewed survivalist magazines, that he has made himself out of ingredients he found in the woods, and applied liberally to his jaw.  And we certainly wouldn’t want our passerby to see the deer rifle that lay in pieces upon a stained bedsheet upon that same floor, nor the speed with which Dave was now, after days of incessant practice, able to reassemble, load, and arm the gun.  For if our passerby were to have this particular experience, he might never recover, believing himself to have gone mad.

Go, passerby, go: leave Equinox and don’t come back.


Happyland is available as an e-book from Amazon.com.








A New Book That Some People Don’t Want You to Read (Part 1)

October 3, 2013


a still from the video trailer of Happyland

HAPPYLAND — by one of the coolest authors we know, J. ROBERT LENNON — is finally out! This is the novel that W. W. Norton pulled from production in 2005 over fears of libel, that Harper’s Magazine ran in serial (though heavily abridged)in the fall of 2006, and that Dzanc and Open Road are finally, and for the first time ever, bringing out in an unabridged e-book edition. (It’s a New and Notable pick on Amazon for the month of October.) We have the honor of running two intriguing excerpts from the book — the first one is below (spoiler alert: it’s got strap-ons!); check out Part II here. If you can’t wait, BUY THE BOOK! For more convincing, check out the excellent video at the bottom of this post about the story behind this book that almost wasn’t.

Sally Streit took the stage to

frenzied applause, her muscled arms pumping, her large head nodding, her grin like a battle flag on her round, comical face.  She was wearing, of all things, a floral-print long-sleeved cotton dress, pearls, and pumps, and only the very tip of a tattoo could be seen peeking up over the neckline: the head of a hummingbird, the top half of its flower.  She stood at the foot of the stage, between two of its lights, in front of a high curtain of black damask, and she continued to pump, and to nod, and to grin, and soon the cheers took on a rhythm, a kind of Dionysian pulse, and the floor was shaken by sneakers and boots, and the air torn by the sharp report of claps, and the room filled up with the unexpectedly masculine grunting that had overtaken the world of sports and television talk shows: OO!-OO!-OO!-OO! the girls of Equinox College chanted, four hundred strong, and soon Sally Streit herself was clapping, applauding the applause, for it had pleased her.  “All right!” she exclaimed, “All right!!”

In time, she held up her hands in a desperate plea for calm, her grin never for a moment subsiding, her legs set far apart like a conquering warrior’s.  “What a crowd!” she hooted, and that set it all off again, some of the students actually getting up out of their seats, jumping, stomping and clapping and whistling with renewed fervor.  Sally Streit, feigning astonishment, put her hands on her hips and shook her head.  Wow, her mouth said silently.  Wow!!

When the applause began to die down, the “wow”s became audible, conversational, and Sally Streit breathed a sigh of exhaustion, and saidagain “What…a…crowd,” before silence, more or less, finally fell over the auditorium.

“Take it off!” came a voice, and in the very back of the room, in a far corner, in the shadow of the mezzanine…

Sally Streit feigned shock.  “You don’t like my dress?” she demanded, and the room erupted in laughter.  Clearly it was a much-uttered gag line…. The joke went on, melding into monologue: the shtick was underway.  A rustle and exhalation filled the room as four hundred young women made themselves comfortable in their seats.

“I can’t believe it, they don’t like my dress!” said Sally Streit, shaking her head.  “Do you know how much I paid for this?  It’s Laura Ashley!”  A few chuckles.  “And these are 100% genuine cultured pearls, and these stockings are pure silk, and these shoes—well, don’t get me going on the shoes!

“Girls, I used to dress like this every…single…day.”  A murmur of astonishment.  “Back in my youth, I used to be married—that’s right, married—to a prominent man, a television personality.  He wasn’t a bad man, or a mean man, but he expected things to be a certain…way.  And one of those things, I’m sad to tell you, was me.

“Oh, he loved me, I believe that, but along with his love came rules.  He went shopping with me, to pick out my clothes.  He was the one with the money, and so he decided how, when, and where it would be spent.  He bought me these pearls, and this dress, and these shoes.  And I was happy—or at least I thought I was.  I went to parties, to banquets, to events of every stripe, and this is how I dressed.  And at night, when my husband and I came home from these parties, I got undressed the same way.  By him.”

An ominous ooooo of displeasure circled the auditorium, which Sally Streit tried without much enthusiasm to dismiss.  “Now, now, it wasn’t all that bad.  He loved me, after all.  But even once I was undressed—once my pearls and stockings and Laura Ashley came off”—another ooooo now, of a different tone—“there were new rules.  Rules about—you guessed it—sex.

“Of course we didn’t call it that—we were good, wholesome, middle-class Americans.  We called it making love.  It wasn’t sex, or, God forbid…fucking!”

A pause here, for the hoots and cheers to die down.

“No, we made love.  And we did it by the book—his book.  He undressed me.  And then he undressed himself.  And then I had to stimulate him in a manner that some of you girls are probably familiar with”—a titter—“and then I lay on my back, and then he saddled up and took me for a ride.”

Booooo, went the crowd….

“Aw, don’t worry, girls.  I kind of liked it, a little.  I figured that’s what sex—sorry, making love—was all about.  And then something happened.  I had a daughter.

“I loved that little baby girl with all my might.  I suppose I felt a little guilty, because I’d been a little bit dissatisfied with my marriage, despite having all the advantages: a nice house, a nice car, and these lovely clothes.  So I decided to make up for it by loving my little daughter more than any mother had ever loved a child.  And let me tell you something, girls, I did.  I did love her, and I still do.  She grew up into a beautiful young woman, and we sent her away to college—a place very much like this.  And then I went to visit her.  It was parents’ weekend, and my husband had too much work to come along.  But I was just a housewife, so off I went to parents’ weekend.  And do you know what I found?”

A murmur of expectant huh-uhs.

“I found that my beautiful daughter had cut off her beautiful hair!  And had gotten a ring in her nose.  And was dressed like a man!  And I said to her, What has happened to my beautiful daughter?  And she sat me down and said, Mom, brace yourself, I have to tell you a few things about me that you don’t know.

“I didn’t think it was possible, girls.  There was nothing I didn’t know about my daughter.  But it turns out I was wrong.  Over the next two days, I learned that my daughter was a lesbian—and that, not only was she something different from what I believed, but so was sex.  And so was marriage.  And so was I.  You see, my own daughter told me that sex didn’t have to be fine—it could be wonderful.  And it didn’t have to be…with a man…either.”

Applause.  Hoots.  Stomps.

“My own daughter made me realize that I was a lesbian, too.  And it wasn’t long before I’d left old hubby and all his megabucks behind, and I hit the road with my own brand of heart-to-heart girl-to-girl talk.  And along the way, I learned a few things that even my daughter, the lesbian, didn’t know.”

Behind her, the curtain lurched, and parted, and the stage opened up to reveal a long, low table covered with jars, bottles, boxes, and devices of diverse and unusual design.  To the right there was a clothing rack, where garments hung from metal hangers, and to the left was a simple wooden chair upon which a small black woman sat, placid and expressionless, her dark clothes barely distinguishable from her skin.  Sally Streit’s arm rose in presentation, and she turned upstage and began to walk—and then she stopped.

She turned around again, to face the audience.  On her face was a devilish grin.  “By the way—I changed one other thing, too,” she said.  “I got rid of my costume.”  And with one fluid motion, she grabbed her Laura Ashley dress and tore it open, and buttons flew in every direction (girls in the front row, like groupies, fell over themselves to scoop them from the floor), and beneath the dress was revealed a black leather brassiere and black leather panties, and garters, and a second tattoo, etched directly into Sally Streit’s smooth, flat belly, depicting an arrow-pierced heart with the word MOM in the middle.

Some getup, Ruth thought—but the woman’s body itself was more of a costume than the clothes were, all its feminine attributes ballooned to cartoon size, the hips and breasts, the watermelon thighs, the narrow waist which nonetheless was probably several sizes larger than Ruth’s.  But as Sally Streit stood at center stage, her fists in the air, Ruth had to admire the chutzpah of this whole operation, the way she had given these girls exactly what they wanted, confirmation that something as prosaic as their sexual orientation—or even their support of the expression of people’s sexual orientation—was in fact a kind of rebellion, a way of distancing themselves from their parents, their teachers, their problematic innermost selves.  It was this that they applauded now, madly, as Sally Streit waved her fists in the air—their differentness, their separateness from the world.  Their rejection of it.

Yes, it was what they wanted.  But it wasn’t what they needed.  What they needed was to get the hell out of here, to go home and read a book and look in the mirror and think.  Instead, the very fears and anxieties—entirely justified ones—that they ought to have been addressing were being washed away in this deluge of positive reinforcement and carnal pleasure.  Ruth crossed her skinny arms over her own meager bosom and shook her head—just like a mean old woman!  Well, so be it.  The world needed mean old women.

Sally Streit moved around to the back of her table, pressed her palms to its surface, and waited for the furor to die down.  Her shoulders heaved as she inhaled and exhaled, and she nodded, never losing that wide, self-satisfied grin.  And when the room had at last grown quiet, she slapped the table with both hands, held them out, palms-up, and said, “Who in this room can tell me the difference between a dildo and a vibrator?”

Read what happens next in Part II!

Happyland is available as an e-book from Amazon.com.








How to Tell a Vanilla Partner About Your Kink

September 13, 2013


We frequently hear from readers who are struggling with an imbalance of kink in their relationship — one partner is vanilla while the other is decidedly chocolate-swirl-fudge. So we asked Richard Wagner, a.k.a. Dr. Dick (seriously), the author of the new book The Gospel of Kink: A Modern Guide To Asking For What You Want And Getting What You Ask For, if he could share some advice that might help such couples. Here’s what he had to say:

Guess What, Honey?
I’m A Kinky Old Sod!

by Richard Wagner, Ph.D., ACS

So you’ve met the person of your dreams, only you haven’t got around to telling your new honey your dirty little secret. The sweet thing hasn’t a clue that you’re itchin’ for some big time bondage. Or you’d sell your soul to be dominated like the scum that you are. Or you’re salivating over that dildo you have tucked away in the attic, the one that could be mistaken for a floor lamp. Or you’re craving to be spanked till your shameless ass glows in the dark. Or you want to hump his/her feet like a dog and gobble up his/her toe jam. Or you have this nasty little thing about spike heels, frilly knickers and jungle red lipstick.

Never fear, Dr. Dick has heard it all a million times before. Some sorry pervert’s got it bad for white bread.

Dear Dr. Dick, Help! I’m in love with the sweetest guy/gal in the word, but our sex life is all vanilla all the time. I’m bored shitless! I know how to liven things up, you see I have this fetish (you fill in the blank) but I don’t know how to tell him/her about it and I’m afraid s/he’ll freak if s/he finds out. What’s a perv to do?

Introducing your partner to your personal world of kink is tricky; the whole little love match could blow up in your face. But a life of pretense and sexual boredom isn’t the way to go either. Why not just stand tall like the disgusting pervert you are and brazenly proclaim your fetish to little Mary Sunshine. After all, unless your boyfriend or gal-pal is as dumb as a post s/he’s already figured out that your mutual sex life limps. Besides, there’s nothing more satisfying than corrupting an innocent. Who knows, s/he may have secrets of his/her own.

Here’s what I suggest. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Things the “Fifty Shades” Movie Could Do Better Than the Book

September 4, 2013


Since the casting was finally announced this past Monday for the adaptation of the first Fifty Shades of Grey book — with Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson (The Social Network) as Anastasia Steele — the general consensus has been “They got it wrong!” We’re not sure any casting would have been universally warmly received (short of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart), but we do think the filmmakers have a chance to definitely get some other things right. Behold, our top 10 improvements on the book we hope to see in the movie:

1. No cable ties: In the first book, when Christian visits Ana at the hardware store and picks up some DIY bondage supplies, it’s implied — intentionally or not — that he’s hoping to use cable ties as wrist restraints on his next guest in his Red Room of Pain. Big mistake. HUGE! If used in such a way, cable ties could cause cuts, poor circulation, and a little thing called nerve damage. The only thing they should be used for in BDSM play is organizing all the cords of your various plug-in vibrators.

2.  No explosive orgasms from Ben Wa balls. It’s just not realistic, at least not for the majority of women. Giving them the same power as, say, a vibrator just sets women up for yet another sexual expectation most can’t meet. Balls (like LELO’s Luna Beads) are better suited for working out your pelvic floor muscles and thus improving pelvic health, which can lead to better sexual sensations. But as little balls full of cosmic orgasm potential? Uh uh.

3. Give Ana some sexual experience. Just a smidge. We’re supposed to believe an adult woman who’s not a member of the FLDS can graduate college with absolutely no sexual interest, no experience with men, and no attempts masturbation ever? It perpetuates the myth that women aren’t sexual creatures until the right man comes along. Please. She’s the virgin and he’s the stud, and they save each other — gross. And even if we were to believe that such a mythical woman could actually exist, it would be totally irresponsible — reprehensible even — to dunk her over her head into the world of BDSM.

4. Full disclosure on the slave contracts. Christian doesn’t ever clearly articulate to Ana that slave contracts are not actually legally binding — you know, thanks to Abraham Lincoln and that whole abolitionist movement. Here’s a kid, for all intents and purposes, who is not what you would call worldly or business savvy or lawyered up. Not cool for a romantic interest who’s supposedly falling in love.

5. Easy on the controlling, abusive, stalker-ish behavior. Christian spies on her and tries to control who she can see, where she works, what she eats — and she is not down with it. She’s afraid he’s going to hurt her; he causes her physical and emotional pain she doesn’t want — that’s not a D/s relationship, that’s abuse. And where’s the aftercare? Christian is a terrible top. The movie should make him a better one.

6. More well-adjusted kinky characters. It would be nice if the movie could add a character or two who’s into kink who isn’t royally fucked up. In the book, it’s Christian the controlling abusive boyfriend, his crazy gun-wielding ex sub, and his statutory rapist from when he was a kid. Not exactly the best advertisement for the kink community, the majority of whom are uber-responsible, law-abiding, stable citizens.

7. Drop Ana’s issues with eating.  With Ana forgetting to eat all the time, not being hungry and being forced to eat by Christian, it’s like she’s got an eating disorder. Maybe EL James was just playing around with a woman’s ultimately fantasy of never being hungry, but it’s a distracting issue — let the girl have a healthy appetite.

8. Have Ana enjoy the kink more. She can be conflicted about it, sure, but she should ultimately love it, embrace it and not be so afraid of it.

9. Make the sole minority character less date rape-y. Jose, basically the one minority in the book, is on a clear path to sexual assault as he tries to take advantage of Ana when she’s super drunk outside the bar. He tries to kiss her even though she keeps saying no and trying to push him away. He continues to hold her in a bear hug and is about to commit a crime before Grey breaks it up. Criminal tendencies aren’t a great quality in a “really good friend.”

10. No Ana narration. We hope and pray the movie dispenses with Ana’s insipid internal dialogue. Please no voiceovers about the “ghost of a smile” on Christian’s face or her cartwheeling Inner Goddess.

 For an awesome book about kink that should be made into a documentary movie, check out our award-winning “150 SHADES OF PLAY: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink.”

Are Women Even Less Naturally Monogamous Than Men?

August 29, 2013


Daniel Bergner is one of our favorite writers on the topic of sex. A few years back he wrote the awesome book The Other Side of Desire, which we raved about at the time, and then shortly after he wrote a cover story about female desire for the New York Times magazine, which we also raved about. That article became his new book: What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire. We chatted with Daniel about monogamy, erotic distance, ev0-psych crazies, and the lust-killing properties of the flaccid penis…

EM & LO: Why do we still know so little about female desire, why is it not studied more?

DANIEL BERGNER: We–our society and our scientists–have spent so long seeing what we wanted to see: female desire as a lesser drive, weak in comparison with male lust. This has been soothing to society and comforting to men. Only lately, as more and more female scientists have begun doing sex research, have we begun to see beyond the distortions.

One of the major findings presented in your book is that women are not naturally monogamous, that sex with strangers is a big turn-on for women, and they crave sexual variety and novelty, just like men. How have people reacted to this news? Have you been surprised by any reactions?

DB: For men, this triggers a bit of trepidation. It’s like something we always knew yet managed not to know, or at least not to think about too much. I laugh about it, a bit nervously, with my girlfriend all the time.

Would you say that women are naturally even less monogamous than men?

DB: This is a complex question. Start with the likelihood that, innately, women’s sexuality is just as promiscuous as men’s. Add onto that the cultural constraints that are still placed upon women’s desire, even in our seemingly unrestrained society, and the effect this has on the brain. The result may well be that, when it comes to sex, monogamy is even more of a problem for women than for men. A quick lesson in the neurology of lust is needed to understand why. I hope that the book lays this out in an interesting way.

We’re big fans of Esther Perel’s writing, and her notion that desire requires erotic distance in a couple. We’re guessing you’d say that this is equally true for women and men — that more intimacy and closeness can kill desire for women just as it does for men?

DB: Yes. In fact, I’d say that often our quests for unconditional love and for a “you complete me” level of closeness–longings that are entirely human–lead us farther and farther from eros, farther and farther from the passion we seek.

We love a good evo-psych take-down! Tell us how you think they compare to the Christian right…

DB: It’s funny. I didn’t set out to attack evolutionary psychology. But when I went back to read the academic papers that put forth the evo-psych idea that men are genetically programmed to be promiscuous while women, relatively speaking, are innately designed to seek out one good man, I found pages of circular logic and flimsy evidence. And then, though I’m sure not many evolutionary psychologists identify as evangelical Christians, the two groups have almost identical notions about the natural sexual modesty of girls and women. (I read a lot more evangelical health education material than I ever expected to.) Tellingly, the two groups are equally confident about this notion; they tend toward absolute certainty, which is usually a tip-off that something’s amiss.

We’ve been saying for years that women are visual creatures, just like men. So it seems that scientific studies have found this to be true?

DB: You’ve got it right. And here again, it was so nice for we men to believe otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Make Your Sexual Fantasy Come True

July 30, 2013


photo via flickr

Last week we published two excerpts from Tracey Cox’s new book Dare: What Happens When Fantasies Come True, which is available now on Amazon for your Kindle. (Tracey’s Dare product range is also available at LoveHoney.) The first excerpt explained how fantasizing can improve your relationship, and the second was the hilarious/cringe-inducing/enlightening/still kind of hot tale about what happened when one woman made her mile-high fantasy come true. Today, Tracey offers up some advice about making your own sexual fantasy come true.

EM & LO: When you were researching women’s fantasies for this book, what was the most common fantasy that you kept seeing?

TRACEY COX: Sleeping with another woman was by far the most common. And it’s one of the fantasies that had a higher success rate when women take it through to reality. People assume women sleep with other women because it’s something men want them to do, but it’s something a lot of women are open to anyway.

What is the most common fantasy that women would actually want to come true?

TC: Experimenting with another woman, followed closely by sleeping with a stranger. That was another strong theme. It’s a myth that it’s only men who want variety and new flesh. Women do, too. What stops us is we’re more inclined to think things through — and if the relationship is good, lots of women decide the risk of following through and cheating outweighs the benefits. The desire is there though. Definitely!

What are some of the pros and cons about making a fantasy come true?

TC: Any fantasy that involves another body in the bed and a couple who love each other tends to be fraught with danger, because everyone thinks they can separate sex from love and won’t feel jealous or possessive. But when faced with reality, it all goes out the window. Fantasies that don’t involve other people work quite well for couples though. Role-play, tie up, spanking, sex in public — stuff like that works a treat.

What are some tips you can share about making a fantasy come true?

TC: Talk it through — every possible scenario and detail needs to be covered. Have a safe word and always remember your relationship is more important than the experience. Sometimes just knowing your partner would give it a try is exciting enough, and role-playing it is as far as you decide to go.

Dare: What Happens When Fantasies Come True by Tracey Cox is on sale now! And her toys are available at LoveHoney