Warning: nudity and a whole lot of sex!
Sex is like fine wine and chocolate; the more wondrous, delicious and satisfying it is, the more you want. And yet sex droughts are all too common, whether they strike due to illness, stress and/or a man ban by choice. Sometimes, you can even settle into the groove of a dry spell – so much so, that it’s some time before you realise you’ve gone months without a sexual partner.
You might simply be so busy and content as a singleton, you plain just don’t have time and/or inclination for a partner right now. And – let’s face it – sex droughts won’t kill you, even if it feels like it at the time. What’s more, it’s vitally important as a singleton that you learn how to have a satisfying love affair with the one who matters most – yourself.
Sydney sexologist, Dr Michelle Mars (pictured), who specialises in the sociology of sex gender and sexual well-being, concurs: she says sexual dry spells, while increasingly common, need not be unfulfilling.
“If we define a ‘sex drought’ as wanting more sex than we’re getting, then sex droughts are likely to be a feature of people’s lives at some point,” Dr Mars says. “If it’s a short-term sex drought, there is really no excuse. Like any relationship, we can cultivate a fulfilling one with ourselves and although this might get a little boring after a year or two, there are a myriad of things we can try to spice up sex for one.
“The added benefit of this is that once you have worked out what you really like you are more likely to also have better partner sex. I guess I tend to see sex as an opportunity for self-development, so if you’re having a sex drought and you don’t see a way out of it, and then channel some of that positive energy into other aspects of yourself. Do something new, take an interest in sport or art or start going for early-morning walks.”
So, there you have it: the good sex doctor’s advice on how to survive that sex drought. Here are my top tips too, for good measure. For, as a single lass, I had my share of sexual dry spells when I was too career-focused to care and/or hunting for the right partner with whom to share all my goodies with.
Top 5 sexual drought survival tips:
- Keep busy: Work hard and play hard and you’ll train your mind and body to forget all about that itch you’ve really got to scratch – at least for a while.
- Just breathe: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, yoga and mindful meditation can cure a host of ills; give it a go. It’s all about mind over matter.
- Shop for one: Treat yourself to a new buzzy friend – vibrators can help keep your solo sex life fun and interesting. And while nothing can replace the joys of the flesh, this is a good short-term fix. Buy yourself some hot heels, while you’re at it.
- Exercise like a demon: I took about boxing, kickboxing and hired a personal trainer when a busy singleton. I got super-fit, healthy and svelte and had never felt sexier – then I met my husband at the peak of my singleton powers. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
- Read all about it: Find out what blows your hair back: is it good quality erotica and/or porn? Treat yourself to the entire works of brilliant French-born novelist and passionate eroticist Anaïs Nin and/or Australia’s top sex writer Krissy Kneen – trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Hello, orgasm town!
Images via womenshealthmag.com, puckermob.com
If you loved E L James’ raunchy novel Fifty Shades of Grey and need replacement erotica with which to blow your hair back this winter – celebrated Brisbane erotica author Krissy Kneen has the answer. And Kneen should know what makes for good, sexy, sensual erotica – the type that’s so good it makes you sex-ready – she is the author of Swallow the Sound, a collection of short erotic fiction; her memoir, Affection, was published in 2009 and shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the ABIA Award in 2010.
She is also the author of the erotic adventure, Triptych, which was published in 2011. Steeplechase, published in 2013, was her first non-erotic novel. And the author has also had short fiction and non-fiction published at nerve.com, in Best Women’s Erotica 2013, Griffith Review and Island Magazine.
In addition, Kneen has been busy reading classic erotica for the last two years researching her new erotic adventure Holly’s Incredible Adventures in the Sex Machine (working title) due to be published in 2015. Here, the acclaimed author/writer and bookseller shares her Top 5 Best Erotica Reads Of All Time:
1. Little Birds by Anais Nin. This book is a really lovely introduction into erotica. It is a bit of a crowd pleaser. It’s really dirty, but also quite sweet in parts. I love Nin. She was writing for private collectors at $1 a page and she has been so playful with the work.
2. Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille. This book is seriously bent. Bataille was a surrealist and he plumbs the depths of our imaginations when he presents the story where the central motif is an eye or an egg or an oval shape. I do love this book, but careful, it is a weird one and so perverse.
3. Story of O by Pauline Reage was published anonymously and at first it was thought that it was written by a man. It wasn’t: it was a woman and she knew what she was doing when she said to her husband that a woman could be as perverse as de Sade (French author and philosopher Marquis de Sade). This isn’t de Sade, but it is much more to my personal taste. This book made me really reconsider the idea of submission. O is a submissive and she proves that submission can make you very powerful indeed. A great S&M novel!
4. Ian McEwan is usually not considered an erotic writer, but his work all simmers with eroticism. In Between the Sheets is a collection of stories and most of them have a dark, but sexy erotic heart. Definitely read this book with one hand.
5. Landscape with Animals by Sonya Hartnett writing as Cameron S. Redfern. This is no YA novel (young-adult fiction). Sonya published it under the pseudonym to protect her reputation as a children’s writer. This is such a great book. It’s so sexy and complex: some of the best erotic writing ever to come out of Australia.
By Nicole Carrington-Sima
Do you like spending time with sexist, misogynist and emotionally-retarded stalkers and/or psychopaths? Nup, me either, which is why EL James’s Grey – which hit book shops on June 18 – reads more like a sex offender’s diary, or a crazed maniac stalking his prey ala American Psycho, than an alleged erotic novel.
I don’t like it; in fact I loathe it more than the original Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which is saying something. To be honest, I was initially intrigued to read it for this review, because I found EL James’s writing so fascinatingly bad in the trilogy, I wanted to see if she’d perfected her craft or finally got herself a decent book editor. Incidentally, Grey is the original blockbuster rehashed “through the eyes of Christian Grey”. Vomit.
And the answer to the above is a big, resounding no. For me, EL James’s ridiculous, runaway success with Fifty Shades of Grey is due to her capturing a zeitgeist – the public’s insatiable appetite for erotica, BDSM fantasy and/or escapism, soft-porn – rather than any actual real writing ability on her part. Grey, like Fifty Shades of Grey, is clumsy, repetitive, extremely unpalatable and irritating at best. In fact, it’s the antithesis of sexually arousing literature, if you ask me. I don’t mind reading trash, but it had better be good trash.
Just one example of EL James’ many writing fails: On pages 5 and 6, there are no less than three references to the fact that Miss Anastasia Steele does, in fact, have brown hair. What the actual fuck? Did no one go through this thing with a red pen (if even a virtual one)? And who the hell cares so much about the heroine’s godforsaken hair? Is it central to the plot? Why didn’t anyone rein the author (pictured) in?!
Then there’s all the millions (okay, maybe not that many) of Christian’s creepy, salivating, first-person, maladroit references to the fact that Ana, as she prefers to be known, is “very young.” It’s just pure bad taste, a lot of it – if you thought Christian was plain unlikable in Fifty Shades, you should read Grey! EL James must have a very dim view of men and their base natures, as Christian seemingly rarely has a thought that’s not sexual, demeaning to women and/or punctuated by “cock” or “fuck” or “baby.” He’s akin to a damaged, emotionally-retarded fuckwit with all the maturity of a school boy.
And, hilariously, in Grey, Christian makes multiple references to his therapist – the poor soul clearly isn’t doing a very good job with this client!? He’s such an offensive, nasty and distasteful character, the book is intensely cringe-worthy reading from page 1. I did my best, dear reader, to devour the book in a few days for this feature, but I made it to page 33 and I just can’t go on, sorry. It’s killing me! I can’t even be bothered skipping to the sex scenes because I care so little about such a repulsive male protagonist.
What was EL James thinking?! Did we really need a novel seen from the eyes of Christian and his penis? Surely, for many women, Grey diminishes a lot of Fifty Shades’ narrow charm and appeal, as seen through the eyes of an awkward virgin who falls in love for the first time? While Fifty Shades may have reminded us of the harrowing angst and discomfort of first love, Grey takes us to an ugly, dark place I certainly don’t care to revisit in the limited time I have to read as a busy working mum of two toddlers.
And the fact that US fans queued around the block for the release of this sadistic, nasty, little novel hurts my head. Surely they were bitterly disappointed upon reading it? Interestingly, Grey was already heavily discounted on sale at MYER, where I bought it, on the day of its release. Is this a clever marketing ploy to sell truckloads of books, and/or are they expecting it to be a sales disaster? Did it set even one woman’s pulse racing? I wonder.
Then there’s the book’s aforementioned sinister subject matter to consider. Is this something young women are reading and aspiring to – relationships with violent, damaged emotionally-challenged fuckwits with stalker tendencies? Some media commentators have even accused EL James of glorifying domestic violence with Grey; they say it gives far too much credence and sexed-up appeal to the soul-sucking, often life-ending reality of the cruel, dangerous and self-esteem-sapping emotional, sexual and physical violence many women are subjected to these days.
Celebrated Brisbane erotica author Krissy Kneen (pictured), who’s no fan of either Fifty Shades or its recent film adaptation starring beautiful, young Dakota Johnson and Irish hottie Jamie Dornan, is equally despairing of Grey. Krissy, who’s arguably Australia’s most accomplished sex writer, released her new erotic adventure The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine, published by Text Publishing, on April 22.
And, like me, Krissy abhors EL James’s clumsy writing and struggled to find any joy and/or appeal in Grey. To be fair, I did ask for her thoughts on the book when she was only nine pages into reading it. So, why does the author think Grey is such an awkward, uninteresting mess – indeed, not even a hot mess?
“Well, at only nine pages, I have underlined a clunking moment of telling not showing: ‘I hate the unexpected’. Right – well if you hate it, show it through action not just by telling us,” Krissy says. “Also, it seems Anastasia and Christian have eye-rolling in common. She so often rolls her eyes and he says: ‘I resist rolling my eyes’ on page 5.
“I’m so bored by page 9, I am so tempted to skip forward to the sex, but I will resist just as Christian is resisting sexualising Anastasia on page 7 because she is ‘too young’. At least there will not be any ‘inner goddesses’ in this [as per Fifty Shades] – I hope not.
“So far, it seems to be of a similar quality [to Fifty Shades]. I am really irritated by the asides in italics. I am just glad we don’t have any ‘holy hells’ or ‘inner goddesses dancing’. I will be interested to see how she handles the sex from a male perspective. I can’t see how it won’t become very ‘rapey’ in her hands. I did hate how we started with a flashback to Grey as a damaged child. I can tell where this is going and I am uneasy already.”
Do you mean EL James is trying to garner sympathy for Christian’s controlling and sadistic tendencies and emotional fuckwittage, I ask?
“I mean yet again angering the S&M community who are not ‘damaged’ people,” counters the author, “Those sexual practices have little to do with damage as a child.”
What do you think? Is Grey a stinking pile of shit or a masterpiece?
Images via Vanity Fair, 680news.com, Fox News
Long before the highly anticipated Fifty Shades Of Grey film broke box office records and both titillated and outraged movie audiences, erotica films have existed. And arguably much better ones too!
Celebrated Brisbane erotica author Krissy Kneen (pictured), who’s no fan of either E L James’s blockbuster book Fifty Shades of Grey and its new film adaptation starring beautiful, young Dakota Johnson and Irish hottie Jamie Dornan, knows a thing or two about a good, lusty romp.
The award-winning author has penned Swallow the Sound, a collection of short erotic fiction and her memoir, Affection, was published in 2009 and shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the ABIA Award in 2010.
Her erotic adventure, Triptych, was published in 2011, while Steeplechase, published in 2013, was her first non-erotic novel. In addition, Kneen’s new erotic adventure The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine, published by Text Publishing, hits all good book stores on April 22. It’s said to be a “literary sci-fi superhero sex romp from Australia’s genre-bending queen of erotica.”
Renowned for her witty and seductive, sexy and funny prose, here Australia’s most accomplished sex writer shares her top 10 favourite erotica films. What’s more, Kneen believes they’re guaranteed to blow your hair back in ways Fifty Shades of Grey – both the book and the film – never could. “I found Fifty Shades of Grey very hard to read because it made me cranky just how appalling the writing is. It’s really bad, the main character says ‘Holy crap!’ or ‘Holy cow’ or “Oh gee’ ad nauseum,” she says.
“You couldn’t go from Fifty Shades to my books in one go unless you were disappointed in it and you’d read the classics, like the Story of O, which is incredibly transgressive. “With the main character, the more she is tortured and chooses to be tortured, the more powerful and amazing she becomes as a character and the more ethereal and the more she transcends.”
And as for the film, Kneen says Fifty Shades of Grey is “boring as batshit.” When I ask the author for a list of her top 5 favourite erotica films, she ends up giving me a list of her top 10. “I do have some erotic films in mind, but possibly the eros doesn’t translate to sex scenes,” she says.
“[They are] Not always the most skin-on-skin, but definitely eros on screen. I have given my top 5, but I am including 10 because they are all so good!” So, without further ado, here are Kneen’s top 10 erotica films of all time:
- Henry and June (pictured)
- Brief Crossing
- Betty Blue (main shot and pictured below)
- Under the Skin
- Lust Caution
- Y Tu Mama También
- Cat People
- 9 Songs
- My Summer of Love
So, dim the lights, pour yourself a wine and check them out, ladies. Enjoy!
“Trust me?” he asks.
I nod. He holds out his hand, and in his palm are two shiny silver balls linked with a thick black thread.
“These are new,” he says emphatically.
I look questioningly up at him.
“I am going to put these inside of you, and then I’m going to spank you, not for punishment, but for your pleasure and mine.” – Fifty Shades of Grey
Ben Wa Balls, Kegal Balls, Luna Beads, Burmese bells, Orgasm Balls, Geisha Balls: call them what you will, but these small, marble-sized weighted balls now have a centre-stage role thanks to erotic blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey.
The extract above is from the 2011 E L James bestselling book. It remains to be seen if the sex balls, as I like to call them, will feature as prominently in the highly anticipated film adaptation due out around February 12.
The first book in the erotic trilogy, about a virginal 21-year-old college gal and the 27-year-old billionaire who love a bit of rough play, Fifty Shades has caused sales of sex toys, bondage and S&M gear to skyrocket both nationally and internationally. And the classic Ben Wa Balls, or various versions of them, have been flying off the shelves too, ever since.
The weighted balls are worn inside the vagina and have long been used to strengthen pelvic floor muscles – but can they, as Fifty Shades of Grey’s female protagonist Anastasia Steele experiences – also bring you to orgasm?
In the book, Anastasia suddenly turns nympho – “needy for sex” – after wearing said balls and almost has an orgasm after infamous male protagonist Christian Grey “jerks them out…suddenly”.
So, can we expect the same, if we wear the balls in real life? Sadly, no.
Leading Australian sexologist Dr Nikki Goldstein says do your research before use when it comes to the balls and, importantly, they’re not recommended for young girls. “On a pelvic floor basis, these balls are great,” Dr Goldstein says. “They can strengthen your muscles and aid bladder control.
“They’re also great if you forget to do your pelvic floor exercises (also called Kegel exercises).”
But what about the big O? Surely, Fifty Shades of Grey’s famous sex scene isn’t a fake?! Dr Goldstein says strong pelvic floor muscles can help you to have more orgasms, and strengthen the intensity of your big Os, but as for the balls themselves, it’s not the usual practice for them to be used for sexual enjoyment. What the hell E L James?!
“For some people, the more weighted ones can put pressure on the vaginal canal and rub on the G-spot,” she says. “And some people also insert them in the vaginal canal during anal sex.
“But I’d be reluctant to tell people to use them exclusively for sexual pleasure.”
Note well, ladies: do not put the sex balls in your anus as there’s a high likelihood the balls will, erm, disappear, according to Dr Goldstein.
So, what’s the moral of the story here, ladies?
“Do not use Fifty Shades of Grey as a text book on sex!” Dr Goldstein says. “It’s a fantasy novel, not a sex education book.
“But it just goes to show that people are craving information about sex topics.
“My final advice would be definitely do not expect to almost have an orgasm just by using the balls.”
Does spanking by a hot man help?
For more information on Dr Goldstein, visit drnikki.com.au.
What do you think? Have you tried using the sex balls?
Secondary image via fiftyshadesaddicted.com; book image via www.npr.org and cartoon via www.wheresmyglow.com.
It’s hard to think of a more divisive female protagonist – or a novel for that matter – than Fifty Shades of Grey and its overtly submissive, cotton-tails-wearing central character, Anastasia Steele.
I am not a great fan of either, but love it or loathe it; you cannot ignore the erotic blockbuster. It’s had a profound effect on the literary world and its highly anticipated film adaptation (yawn) will hit our cinemas next February (pictured).
Fifty Shades of Grey critics have called the book “S&M for dummies”, “erotica for the BIG W crowd” and “mummy porn”. But is it empowering or degrading?
Did you, upon reading it, feel so turned on and liberated, that you rushed out and bought S&M gear? Or, like me, did you cringe at the “vanilla” sex and Anastasia’s virginal awkwardness, clumsiness and submissiveness? When I read the 2011 E L James bestseller, my inner word nerd was too horrified by the clumsy writing for it to blow my hair back.
And, if you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a quick synopsis: a virginal 21-year-old college gal and the 27-year-old billionaire meet and enjoy a bit of rough play. He’s a bit of a controlling, arrogant dick, and she is torn between her illicit feelings for him and what she should feel… (OK, that’s not exactly the official synopsis. Why doesn’t she just dump him? Sigh).
She is the author of Swallow the Sound, a collection of short erotic fiction; her 2009 memoir, Affection, was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the ABIA Award in 2010; her erotic adventure, Triptych, was published in 2011; and Steeplechase, published in 2013, was her first non-erotic novel.
In addition, Kneen’s been busy reading classic erotica for the last two years researching her new erotic adventure Holly’s Incredible Adventures in the Sex Machine (working title) due to be published in 2015.
“I found Fifty Shades of Grey very hard to read because it made me cranky just how appalling the writing is. It’s really bad, the main character says ‘Holy crap!’ or ‘Holy cow’ or ‘Oh gee’ ad nauseum,” she says.
“And I was in the middle of writing a novel and I tend to get influenced by what I’m reading, so I felt I couldn’t write at all while I was reading the book. I had to skip through it really quickly – it was such bad writing I was worried my own writing would take on elements of it.
“I think it’s sad it’s sold so many copies because it says something about our society. I don’t consider it a book product – it sells well to people who aren’t readers.”
Kneen abhors Fifty Shades’ overtly submissive female protagonist, Anastasia Steele because she’s not a powerful character. “I have a real problem with the fact that heroines like Anastasia are submissives and not in a Story of O kind of powerful way. She doesn’t want to be a submissive, which in my book means rape if someone if forcing you to do something you don’t want to do.”
On the other hand, sex shop traders inevitably adore the book and film franchise. For Fifty Shades has reportedly caused sales of sex toys and bondage and S&M gear to skyrocket both nationally and internationally.
Swedish intimate lifestyle company LELO, renowned for selling one of the world’s most expensive vibrators – a 24-carat, gold-plated number at US$13,500 a pop – has claimed its enjoyed a 400 per cent sales increase for its Luna Beads (aka pleasure beads or Ben Wa Balls) thanks to the Fifty Shades phenomenon.
Main images at top via fanpop.com; cartoon via pinterest.com; Krissy Kneen image via blogs.crikey.com.au; and final image via cinemablend.com
In celebration of the recently released Fifty Shades of Grey film trailer, we have delved into the erotica archives to uncover the classics that paved the way for this pop culture hit. While Fifty Shades was certainly the first mainstream, mass-consumed, widely adored novel of its genre, here we list some of the other great erotic reads you should have on your bookshelf.
1. Delta of Venus, Anais Nin (1977)
This collection of erotic short stories was written in the 1940s for a private collector, but not published until after Nin’s death. The tales cover a rainbow of sexual expressions and fantasies, across a range of nations and experiences. Nin also managed to address explicit sexual scenarios in language that she considered friendly to both male and female readers, and low and high art forms.
2. The Story of O, Pauline Reague, aka Anne Desclos (1954)
This novel makes the S&M of Fifty Shades look almost embarrassingly soft core. The Story of O was written as a series of letters to the author’s lover, who originally told her that a woman could not write erotica. It tells the tale of a young fashion photographer, who is trained to submit to the sadistic whims of her master.
3. Fear of Flying, Erica Jong (1973)
Jong’s novel was extremely controversial for its portrayal of female sexuality, and thus became a great influence on second-wave feminism. It follows a woman on a trip to Vienna with her husband, where she indulges her sexual fantasies with another man.
4. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller (1934)
This controversial, semi-autobiographical classic was initially banned in America for nearly 30 years since it was first published in France. The book tells of Miller’s numerous sexual exploits in bohemian Paris. Fun fact: Anais Nin helped edit the book.
5. The Sexual Life of Catherine M, Catherine Millet (2002)
Some call it the female, totally autobiographical version of Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. Set in Paris and translated from French, Millet’s memoir offers us insight into her wild sex life, taking us to peep shows, orgies and beyond. Unlike the other novels on this list, Catherine M is a more modern protagonist who simply enjoys having sex with multiple partners.
Image via ibtimes.co.uk
SheSaid: Most women would feel embarrassed or shy about going into a sex shop to buy a vibrator or a sexy vid, even if they’d secretly like to buy some kind of erotica. Do you think that the anonymity of on-line shopping encourages women to try adult products?
Katherine: Absolutely. It does give them the privacy and anonymity they desire. Women are far less comfortable than men about going into an adult store, and women with children may find it impractical. Also with the busy lives women lead, it’s not easy to make time to shop for “essentials”, so shopping on-line is a quick, convenient way to shop. Our site is a really well laid-out on-line store with straightforward advice on which products to buy.
SheSaid: What about when the package arrives at home. Could anyone tell that you’re buying something a bit cheeky?
Katherine: No, no one would suspect anything! We have a policy of “plain package” delivery to save any embarrassment or loss of privacy.
SheSaid: Do you know much about your female shoppers’ profile?
Katherine: No, as we feel that our customers appreciate the fact that we don’t make enquiries about their age, income, etc, which fits in with adultshop.com’s views on privacy and security. The only information we gather from our customers is their address, and that’s only for delivery purposes.
SheSaid: So which State is the most into shopping for adult products on-line?
Katherine: NSW leads with 33%. The breakdown for the rest of Australia is Victoria 25%, Queensland 15%, WA 12%, and the rest of the country comes to 15%.
SheSaid: But you must get feedback from your err.. satisfied customers?
Katherine: Yes, we get loads of e-mails from women and men. Here are just a few examples to give you the gist of most of our feedback – with no names disclosed, of course:
“Great site! I am usually too embarrassed to go into a sleazy-fronted sex shop on my own, being a girl, and now I can shop in the comfort of my own home.”
“As a female, I don’t feel repulsed or offended. A great erotic site without the sleaze.”
“My husband and I are able to enjoy the content of this site without the fear of encountering over-explicit material.
SheSaid: What do you think your products do for people’s sex lives?
Katherine: You know, so many couples e-mail me for advice on products to help spice up their sex life or to help rekindle the flame in their relationship. And I get a lot of e-mails from them thanking us for bringing the love and lust back into their lives. When couples shop together on-line it’s a great way to find out more about what their partner wants and needs, discover aspects of their partner they may not have previously known about.
The 5 most popular products bought from adultshop.com
- White Thunder (deluxe vibrator)
- Neon Red Orgasm Balls (female stimulators)
- Wet Stuff lubricant (270 g pump pack)
- Micro-tingler Love Stick (female stimulators)
- Koala Boy (deluxe vibrator)