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
With the recent success of the film Fifty Shades of Grey, more women than ever are trying to nab their dream date with the sultry Christian himself.
To ensure things go as smoothly as possible, SHESAID chatted with Laura Dundovic to get her first date tips – including the dos and don’ts – and advice on how to dress for dinner and drinks on any occasion!
What are some of your tips for the perfect date?
Don’t put too much thought into it. As girls, we think in between the time. We meet someone and on the first date we can sometimes start dreaming them into being ‘the one’ and can then get let down. I don’t think of a date as a potential relationship but more dinner with a friend. If there is chemistry, then great! One step at a time, girls!
Drinks or dinner… Which is better and why?
I always prefer dinner. Generally it’s a little easier to speak and get to know someone. Also, you know how long you are there for. Once the food is finished it’s time to leave the restaurant, but with drinks, when is the right time to leave and not look too keen, but not look too cold either? One drink? Two drinks?
Could you share some of your best do’s and don’ts for a first date?
Do be confident, don’t be arrogant.
Do be yourself.
Do make conversation but listen and ask questions, too.
If you like him be flirty, but don’t be needy!
What about an outfit… What is your favourite for dinner and drinks?
Dinner: I’ll usually go jeans and a nice top. That way you can wear hot heels and nice jewellery and not look over or under dressed wherever you go.
Drinks: I’d where a nice fitting but not too revealing dress. I usually take a cute leather or denim jacket with me so I’m not too over the top.
Fifty Shades of Grey is released on Blu-ray, DVD, & Digital with UltraViolet on May 21st, 2015.
Need to reignite the spark between you and your partner?
It’s time to get creative, ladies (and gents): You may need to pose as Inga the Swedish milkmaid, or even indulge in some good, old-fashioned adult doctors and nurses. No matter what blows your hair back – passion play, involving roles and costumes, may lead to the best sex of your life, says Sydney sexologist, Dr Michelle Mars (pictured).
Dr Mars – who specialises in the sociology of sex gender and sexual well-being – is often bombarded with this million-dollar question by desperate couples: “How do I sex up my sex life?!” And role play may well be the answer.
She says the film adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey is, in part, so hugely popular because it glamorises couples’ role play; acting out erotic roles in a sexual fantasy. In addition, some people use sexual role play as a means of overcoming their inhibitions. “Role play can definitely reignite the spark between couples; Fifty Shades Of Grey wouldn’t be so popular if it didn’t, but it doesn’t need to be BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism),” Dr Mars says.
“Walking around in sexy lingerie and high heels if you don’t usually do it can be all you need. Being a bit toppy, or submissive, if it’s not your usual thing can also be exciting.
“Put on a costume, see if it changes how you feel, try a wig. If you are not sure, just do it for yourself in front of the mirror no one needs to know, but you may be changed by the experience and that might be enough to light (or at least lay the foundation for) a fire!”
And the recent Under the Covers Sex Survey, commissioned by Australia’s largest adult dating site, Adult Match Maker, via www.adultmatchmaker.com.au – developed by Dr Mars – confirms the popularity of role play. More than 7600 Australian respondents answered AMM’s inaugural sex survey anonymously, shedding light on what blows our hair back in the bedroom.
Key sex survey findings included: “kinky sex” is a popular fantasy with 60 per cent of respondents, and post-Fifty Shades of Grey (pictured), BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism) is popular, with 30 per cent of respondents including it in their list of sexual fantasies.
And if you’re looking for deeper, better intimacy with your partner – as well as the best sex of your life – Dr Mars also recommends we hit the books. “When I started to research sexual pleasure as an academic in 2005, I read every book I could find on the issue, from Masters and Johnson’s seminal work on sexual response, through to Kim Cattral’s pleasant, little book [Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm] on achieving satisfaction, and nasty, hard-core ‘how to’ books.
“There’s good advice in all of these books for couples wanting to sex up their sex lives. Improving sexual technique and making an effort to get better educated in this area is so important. It’s one of those things we think we can just do, but actually like anything, it takes effort, energy and practice.”
And, dear readers, if you’re also in need of advice on how to have more spontaneous sex, the good doctor advises us to diarise sex, such as role play. “Spontaneous sex happens when people feel sexy and when that isn’t happening then scheduling sex, making sex dates or times to share some sensual intimacy can work way better,” Dr Mars says.
And, like countless couples, if mismatched libidos are the bane of your existence, she says to take the pressure to have sexual intercourse out of the equation. “Mismatched libidos is a problem in relationships, but not just for men. Women can also want more sex than their partners and it’s a problem for both partners, not just the partner who wants more sex,” Dr Mars says.
“Shifting the focus to sensuality is a tried-and-tested technique for increasing intimacy in a relationship. Sometimes, this also leads to more sex. Increasing intimacy and spending time on sensuality can help to increase sexual energy and sexual energy is the key to great sex.
“If you want to get back to having more sexual pleasure, or make sure your partner is having it with you, then it’s time for either or both of you to make a change. Often libido drops when we are tired, unfit, or unwell, so improving overall energy levels by making changes to your physical well-being can make a massive difference.”
And Dr Mars believes boosting our sexual energy is also crucial to resolving sexual discord. “After I finished reading all those sex books I started reading books about sexual energy – there are a lot of them,” she says. “I also started going to workshops and practicing different techniques to increase my sexual energy. You can think of this as sexual physiotherapy or sexual reiki.
“What I discovered, was that you can lift your sexual energy and you can share that with a partner. If you want more sex than your partner and this is an ongoing issue then you should be able to answer this question: ‘What have you learned about sex since your last sexual encounter with your partner?
“So, here is my advice to both partners in a mismatched libido relationship, get fit, get educated, talk to a sexpert, spend some time looking after yourself, start making the change yourself. “In the words of that famous philosopher/model Rachael Hunter: ‘It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen’.”
What do you think? Is role play important in your sex life?
Images via Cosmopolitan, en.cyplive.com and archive.lovingyou.com
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!
According to recent reports, Jamie Dornan has quit Fifty Shades of Grey for his wife. Yep, the lusty Christian Grey won’t be returning to the popular franchise because his spouse of two years is rumoured to be uncomfortable with the raunchy sex scenes and isn’t exactly thrilled with the amount of female attention it’s generating.
With the film smashing box office records, not to mention shooting Dornan to super-stardom, you have to admire the actor’s commitment to his relationship should this prove to be true. But just how far is too far to go for your other half?
In 2007, Katie Holmes found herself in a similar conflict when she reportedly turned down an offer to reprise her role as Rachel in The Dark Knight at the request of then husband, Tom Cruise. The film went on make $155 million in its opening weekend, while Holmes and Cruise went on to divorce. And despite the stars efforts, she hasn’t secured herself a blockbuster since. All in the name of love though, right?
What about the ultimate declaration of forever and ever with a tattoo of your lover’s name? Now that’s commitment. Recently rocker Benji Madden jumped aboard this train by getting his wife, Camerona Diaz’s first name tattooed across his chest. The 35-year-old took to social media to reveal the tat and captioned: “Thinking bout you #LuckyMan.” Tattoo removalists would be making a killing out this stuff! So this brings me to ask you, what is the ultimate sacrifice and at whose expense?
Is giving up a career opportunity to keep your partner happy reasonable? Or what about giving up certain friends, or maybe even family members? Regardless of how perfect our girlfriend or boyfriend may be, we’ve all got conflicting interests at the end of the day. A relationship shouldn’t necessarily be about making over the top sacrifices, but rather compromising and trying to meet half way. Did you hear that, Jamie? Because Fifty Shades of Grey just isn’t going to be the same without you, sigh.
Image via Popsugar
The film adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey is continuing to break box office records; and it very nearly broke me today. In fact, I did so much eye-rolling throughout the very overly long movie – it’s two hours and 25 minutes in all – that I’m surprised I didn’t injure myself.
I joined a half-full cinema of mostly teenage girls, nannas and a few old men sitting alone (shudder!) to see the film, but then I shouldn’t be so judgemental, for I too was alone, after my clever husband refused to see it on his day off.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, Fifty Shades Of Grey is based on the 2011 E L James erotic bestselling book about a virginal 21-year-old college gal’s sexual awakening thanks to the 27-year-old playboy billionaire she falls for, who loves a bit of rough play.
There’s more than a touch of Twilight about it, which makes perfect sense given E L James’s blockbuster actually evolved from the Twilight Saga fan-fiction she first wrote. Indeed, Fifty Shades Of Grey is kinda like Twilight with sex (er, and without the vampires).
You see, in both Twilight and Fifty Shades Of Grey, the male protagonist is the archetypal bad boy who warns the female protagonist to “stay away” and “I’m not the man for you”. Yawn.
Of course, neither Twilight’s Bella nor Fifty Shades’ female protagonist Anastasia Steele can resist the dastardly charms and dark desires of their charming, yet extremely troubled leading men.
And for me, therein lies the big problem with the film – it was a case of history repeating itself, for I spent much of it willing Ana to dump the emotionally-damaged entrepreneur Christian Grey, just as I did when reading the badly written book.
Beautiful, young Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan both do a fine job of bringing Ana and Christian to life in the movie – indeed, the fact that Johnson in particular makes the book’s clumsy heroine likable and desirable is a credit to her – but it’s the material that’s the problem.
And so more than two hours was way too long a time to spend inside the mind of a control-freak lunatic like Christian Grey, who, while largely pleasuring Ana physically, causes her much more undue emotional unhappiness and distress; cue scene after scene of Ana’s upset.
NB ladies: good men don’t have anger management and/or intimacy issues and they don’t make you incessantly cry, order you around and treat your emotional needs and wants as expendable. And, they don’t bloodywell tell you what to wear, eat or sell your beloved vintage car, without asking!
There’s a line in the film, when Christian is explaining the supposed joys of being a submissive to Ana, when he says giving up your own free will can be liberating and “feel safe”.
To hell with that!? As a mother of two girls, this irked me to my feminist core. Emotional abuse and not being in control of your decision-making are never good relationship options.
It’s such a shame that Anastasia Steele, both in the book and the movie, isn’t a more powerful character. She’s not a happy or willing submissive either, but keeps going back to crazy and creepy Christian for more, despite the fact that he has the emotional depth of a pot plant.
What’s more, he displays an extreme lack of respect for her personal boundaries, space and privacy, randomly turning up everywhere she goes in the manner of a demented stalker.
Maybe I’m too alpha female and believe strongly in mutual relationship respect to see how any of this is hot, but for the most part, I was inwardly screaming at Ana: “What are you doing with him? Pull yourself together!”
I didn’t love the power imbalance either; Christian’s good looks, wealth, power, experience and propensity to buy Ana expensive gifts meant little when he’s such a neurotic, emotionally-stunted f***head.
Now to Fifty Shades Of Grey’s approximate 14 minutes of sex scenes so lovingly filmed by Sam Taylor-Johnson – who’s notably a woman – and captured by cinematographer Seamus McGarvey: for the most part, they’re actually pretty good. Surprisingly so – I mean, sure it’s all vanilla, male-dominating stuff, but there is some beauty there, like as in Ana’s deflowering scene, whereby the camera lovingly captures tiny golden hairs on her thighs.
None of it is shocking or extremely erotic, which is somewhat of a failure for an erotic blockbuster film adaptation, but it’s not absolutely awful either. Again, it’s the shoddy book material to blame.
Of course, it helps that Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have believable chemistry and both look amazing in the buff. I would have liked to have seen more of Dornan, a full-frontal even, to balance out all the Ana nudity.
But kudos to the cast and to the production crew whom, I believe, did their best to make Fifty Shades Of Grey palatable for the masses.
This is not the worst film you’ll see this year, I’d wager, but definitely leave your man at home and take a girlfriend or two along for a laugh just to satisfy your curiosity, if you must.
And muscled-up, former Calvin Klein model Dornan’s famed “golden torso” is pretty much worth the admission price.
And, speaking of, it was refreshing to see both Johnson’s glorious, full bush and Dornan’s ample pubic hair too – now, that’s something you don’t see every day.
As the movie finally came to a climax (pardon the pun), a man in my cinema audience excitedly yelled: “Oh, thank God!” I hear you buddy! I felt both that man’s pain and his sweet relief when it was all over too.
I give Fifty Shades Of Grey a rating of two out of five whips.
Images, in order, via aww.com.au; inquisitr.com; eonline.com and moviepilot.com
Australians are more sexually curious and adventurous than ever before, a recent sex study has revealed.
The Under the Covers Sex Survey was commissioned by Australia’s largest adult dating site, Adult Match Maker, in late 2014. Developed by Sydney sexologist, Dr Michelle Mars, who specialises in the sociology of sex gender and sexual well-being, it primarily focussed on sexuality and sexual fantasies.
More than 7,600 Australian respondents answered AMM’s inaugural sex survey anonymously, shedding light on what blows our hair back in the bedroom. So, is straight sex really the norm anymore? Apparently not! And women are more sexually bold and willing to explore and take risks than ever before, according to the sex survey.
“One of the major findings is that we may not all be as straight or as sexually conservative as we think we are,” Dr Mars says. “Women in particular seem to be up to some interesting things!”
Key sex survey findings included: “kinky sex” is a popular fantasy with 60 per cent of respondents, and post-Fifty Shades of Grey, BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism) is popular, with 30 per cent of respondents including it in their list of sexual fantasies.
And look out heterosexual blokes, you may have more competition than ever before; 36 per cent of women identified as bisexual and the heterosexual women who took part in the survey are 50 per cent more likely than men to fantasise about women and 50 per cent more likely to act on their fantasies.
In addition, there’s some key differences between what men and women fantasise about.
“Men have a wider range of sexual fantasies, scoring higher in all categories and are more likely to be drawn to hardcore activities such as golden showers and porn,” Dr Mars says. “Women, on the other hand, are more likely to fantasise about sex toys, tantric sex and their partners.
“But 30 per cent of both women and men like the idea of strap-on sex.”
So, what’s so great about strap-on sex?
“The short answer is,” says Dr Mars, “there are all sorts of spots in the anus and vagina that don’t get the attention they might during sex, or perhaps they do get attention but not at the same time, the prostate gland and the penis come to mind.”
Other key survey findings concern our sexual identity. For, some 25 per cent of respondents identified as bisexual, 0.4 per cent of women identified as lesbian, 1.6 per cent of men identified as gay and a further 5 per cent said they are unsure about their current sexual orientation.
Dr Mars says while the lesbian and gay figures are in line with Australian population estimates, the percentage that identified as bisexual or unsure far exceeds previous population study estimates which put the nation’s bisexual population at less than two per cent.
So, in the wake of the sex survey, what’s Dr Mars’ overall advice when it comes to exploring our sexuality? She believes we need to be more light-hearted and pleasure-focused in our sexual thinking.
“When we seriously consider sex we tend to think about health and disease rather than considering the links between sex health, mindfulness and quality of life,” she says. “It’s time we started exploring and understanding our sexuality and the ways it can help us to live happier healthier lives.”
What do you think? Is this in line with your sexual fantasies?
Images, in order, via nypost.com, supplied and www.timeanddate.com.
“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