Tag: blog post

SPECIAL Addition to Next Week’s Erotic Literary Salon – All the Sex You’ve Ever Had

Excited to announce the TALK Q&A this month will feature the reality play ‘All the Sex I’ve Ever Had.” Rochelle Lewis, a regular reader at the Salon, was one of the performers during the FringeArts presentation of this play. She has graciously offered to recreate (with most of the cast) this wonderful play.

Doors to Salon open as usual 6:30, play 7-7:45, attendee readings 8pm

Excerpts from the featured article in Philadelphia Weekly:

The sex lives of old folks  (senior folks)

A Fringe production tells the true stories of local seniors’ intimate relations.

Rochelle Lewis sat down a few weeks ago to begin reviewing the past four decades worth of her own sexual history. It’s helped the 63-year-old put her finger on some important moments: for instance, that day in 1985 when she met the first sex partner she ever considered a real lover.

“Before then,” she says, “it was just fucking. I grew up in the 1960s and ’70s, and there was a lot of sex without context—without content. There was no emotional content, and I don’t think the boys really knew what they were doing.”

Lewis, a Center City resident, is one of half a dozen Philadelphia-area senior citizens who’ll take to the stage this Friday and Saturday in All the Sex I’ve Ever Had, a provocative piece of nonfiction theater revolving around a topic that remains oddly taboo in society today: the intimate lives of folks over 60.

Produced by the Toronto-based performance company Mammalian Diving Reflex as part of the 2013 Fringe Festival, the show is structured almost like a U.N. hearing, with participants sitting before the audience and going through their lives year by year to review the thrills, orgasms and heartaches they’ve endured and enjoyed.

The artistic director behind Mammalian Diving Reflex, Darren O’Donnell, traveled to Philadelphia last month to sit down one at a time with local seniors who were willing to tell their stories onstage. He recorded dozens of hours worth of their reminisces, then sifted through it all to choose the best anecdotes and outlined a show comprising a specific sequence of those stories. “I feel like I’ve fallen into a stream filled with gold,” he says. “It’s so amazing, and it’s so great to hear all of their unique stories.”

The audience will hear from storytellers like Joe, a 63-year-old retired schoolteacher, and Hattie, a 69-year-old retired welfare caseworker. “People are surprisingly sexually active,” O’Donnell says—“both men and women at all ages. At any age, of course, you still have to sift through the normal den of douchebags.”

The participants’ stories represent a remarkable sort of generous honesty that’s unique to older people, the director adds: When it comes to being candid about their private lives, “they understand there’s not much to lose.”
“Look, frankly,” Rochelle Lewis says, “all a woman has to do is spread her legs and get fucked. It’s a no-brainer. But to make love to a woman—or, conversely, for a woman to make love to a man—[we] have to learn how to do this.”

A self-described erotic poet who enjoys one-on-one readings of her works—and produces “smut sheets,” 500-word erotic musings—Lewis warmed to the show’s concept quickly. “People in the audience are going to find the stories funny and poignant and compelling and shocking,” she says. “I hope they take away from it the fact that people over the age of 60 are still viable, still vibrant, and, yes, still having sex.”

And yet for all the blunt honesty—despite the fact that senior-citizen sex is at least as delicate a subject in our culture as adolescent sex, if not more so—All the Sex I’ve Ever Had ultimately isn’t about the lurid details. “While we use sex as the metronome to keep us on track,” O’Donnell says, “it’s all of the other things about life that are most interesting.”

Indeed, while discussing matters carnal, it doesn’t take Lewis long to segue—just like Sigmund Freud—into talk of family history. “It may be that men have to learn not only physical technique but more,” she says. “I hope [audience members] come away with an understanding that you learn over the entire course of a lifetime: You get better, you get worse, you get better, you get worse, you survive the pain. Chaotic families, dysfunctional families—everyone thinks they come from a dysfunctional family, and I think that’s probably true.”

O’Donnell’s initial inspiration for All the Sex I’ve Ever Had came while he was working with a theater in Oldenberg, Germany, where the city’s residents are more habitually physically active than your typical American: “People there have been riding bicycles their entire lives. So I was seeing women in their 70s on bicycles everywhere—and I started conversations with them.” The German seniors’ forthrightness in discussing their life experiences led O’Donnell to the idea of a show in which older people around the world would share similarly—and his Philadelphia interviewees, like others he’s worked with, proved eager to do just that.

“It’s knowledge through experience,” says Lewis. “It’s knowing that things change. Even a marriage, a 50-year marriage—that’s not forever, either! Nothing lasts forever.”

(One cast member in a Singapore production of All the Sex suggested: “The trouble to date men is not worth it, and learning to be a magician is so much more interesting.”)
Talk of love and aging soon unearths a cultural contradiction between the two.

Read more: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/cover-story/All-the-sex-ive-ever-had-fringe-festival.html#ixzz2hKfykMtQ

Read more: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/cover-story/All-the-sex-ive-ever-had-fringe-festival.html#ixzz2hKfeAWAw

‘Fear of Flying’ Erica Jong – 40 Year Anniversary

I came across my rather musky copy of “Fear of Flying” recently and memories of the read came flooding back to me. It was a permission giver for many women and reinforced my notion that women were as sexual as men, at least I was. Think I’ll read it again, and see how much my response to her words has changed.

Article in The Washington Post ‘Style’ section.

‘Fear of Flying’ author Erica Jong zips along 40 years after dropping her literary bombshell

By , Published: October 7
Sure, you got your stories that deliver your pop-culture one-liners. You got your “Make my day,” or “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse,” or your ironic “Vote for Pedro.”

Rarer is the phrase that catches some of the zeitgeist and holds it there, beating and alive, in its tiny little word count. Here resides “Greed is good” from the cash-obsessed late 1980s; “Big Brother,” from the late 1940s fear of totalitarian regimes; and “Catch-22,” from the authorities-are-idiots 1960s. (Note irony to today’s headlines!)

 Add to these Erica Jong’s 1973 two-word manifesto from “Fear of Flying,” which we can only print as “Zipless F—.”
The ZF — that ’70s icon. The guilt-free, pulse-pounding sexual escapade. Man and woman meet, go at it with glee and gusto, then trot back to their careers, marriages, kids, whatever. And the woman — free, liberated, maybe a little sweaty — owes nobody anything, least of all an explanation.

“The [ZF] is absolutely pure,” exults Isadora Wing, the 29-year-old heroine, in one memorable passage. “It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game. The man is not ‘taking’ and the woman is not ‘giving’ . . . The [ZF] is the purest thing there is.”

It has been 40 years since “Fear” and its glamorous author landed like feminist blonde bombshells on American culture, selling 20 million copies here and abroad. The book mocked the idea that chaste was something smart women had to be, ridiculed the notion that children were the meaning of a woman’s life, and showed, both by narrative and by example, that the turbulent life of the artist was not only for men.

“I was aware I was committing a rebellious act,” Jong says down the line from her New York office, now 72 and still writing up a storm — essays, memoirs, poetry, fiction. “And I was sure no one would ever read it, no one would publish it.”

Is she kidding? Everybody read this. Women. Men. Teenagers, flipping through their mom’s paperback, looking for the dirty parts. John Updike famously reviewed it, comparing it to “Catcher in the Rye”; Henry Miller, who knew about sex in print, said it would make “literary history.”

It did, for there are two commemorative editions out to mark the anniversary, in both hardcover and paperback. The book continues to serve as a 1970s time capsule and, in its satire of the constraints still felt by professional and artistic women, still inspires.

“It was a cultural touchstone in the way that few books ever were, or can be now,” saysJennifer Weiner, whose own “Good in Bed” caused a sexual stir in 2001, and who wrote the introduction for one of the new editions of “Fear.” “If you asked women [of a certain age] about that book, most of them will have a very clear memory of it.”

Shelley Fisher Fishkin, an English professor and director of the American studies program at Stanford University, rates it as a direct descendant of Walt Whitman, in celebrating the body — but, in this telling, a woman’s body.

“It wasn’t unusual to have sex talk in a book,” Fishkin says. “It was unusual to have it in a woman’s head, in a woman’s point of view.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/fear-of-flying-author-erica-jong-zips-along-40-years-after-dropping-her-literary-bombshell/2013/10/07/23fb65f8-29ce-11e3-b139-029811dbb57f_story.html

Free. Think. Love. Frankenstein. – Burlesque Ballet

I just purchased tickets for this new production directed by Anna Frangiosa – you know it will be spectacular. Performances 3 nights, Nov 15-17, I shall be attending Nov 16 – join me!

“Percy and Mary Shelley’s literary works and lives inspire this all new burlesque ballet.
You will see visions of anarchy, monsters, love and death. Directed by Anna Frangiosa and Choreographed by Christine Fisler.
Featuring Lelu Lenore, Louise LaTease, Rene Rebel, Jerry Rudasill, Kelly McCaughan,  and Lady Katie Kay. Costume design Anna Frangiosa, Lighting design Andrew Cowles, Sound design Row Walters.

This is the premiere show of the brand new company, The Cabaret Administration.
The Cabaret Administration is a brand new a Philadelphia theater company founded by genre veteran Annie A-Bomb in 2013. This collective strives to develop new entertainment which is engaging, satirical, sensual, and visually stunning.”

Purchase here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/456697

The Sexual Agency of Miley Cyrus – Amy Jo Goddard

Wonderful article on Miley Cyrus twerking, written by savvy sexuality professional Amy Jo Goddard.

Bad pop doesn’t interest me. Dumb performances on MTV that are another cookie cutter-ed shape made of the same old “it’s your job to be pretty and sexy” mold bore me. When Sinead O’Connor got involved in the controversy over Miley Cyrus this week, it peaked my interest, and I took notice, because we all know she’ll tell it like it is.   In case you’ve missed it, in short, Miley Cyrus is creating a pretty consistent over-sexualized image of herself that involves a lot of tongue, few clothes, “twerking” on Robin Thicke, beer can penis simulators, riding a wrecking ball and giving a sledge hammer a blow job. Basically, her new video is soft porn and is getting a strong reaction, particularly from Sinead, and in my opinion, Miley looks pretty sad-eyed in most of her photographs. She’s a young woman who didn’t get to be a girl on her own terms. Another Michael Jackson, except her socialization as a female is different. All girls learn that it’s their job to be pretty and sexy and Miley is playing it right out of the book.   Sinead chose to focus on the idea that the music industry is trying to make Miley into something she is not, but, as Amanda Palmer wrote in her eloquent and smart response to Sinead, Miley IS the architect of her own image.   Here’s what I find interesting and important about this whole thing, and the place where some dialogue could be very productive. There is no real sincerity. I have no idea what Miley cares about and as a result, I don’t really care about her, like any character in any narrative. She doesn’t draw me in and that’s because there is an unintelligible space in her self-expression that doesn’t connect. I can look at her and think she’s beautiful or has a nice body, which I think she thinks and wants her viewers to think. But I don’t get drawn in. Because I don’t feel her agency.    And she’s 20. Few women have really stepped into their own agency at that age. Many women never do. She is exploring her sexuality and trying to figure out who she is–a normal adolescent task we all must go through–only she is doing it fully in the public eye. And she’s always been in that public eye and therefore needs the approval of others on a very deep level in order to maintain her own self-image.   What I’d love to see are more women who are self-possessed in their own bodies and sexuality, who really own who they are, don’t give a flying fuck about what anyone else thinks and who express themselves authentically. When a woman does that, she is deeply beautiful from the inside out and that radiance really does draw people in. It’s powerful. Maybe Miley will find her way there one day. For now, she’s searching and experimenting like anyone else her age.   There is a difference between someone who is authentically self-possessed and one who is just creating an image to be viewed, almost like a cardboard doll.  The untrained eye will have a difficult time distinguishing the difference. There is a literacy that comes with exploration, experience, critical analysis, and actual empowerment. A woman who has stepped into her own sexual agency and chooses not to be the victim, knows the difference. So many people will miss this part entirely.    Empowerment must include total agency. Victimization, by nature, does not. Sinead sees Miley as a victim, but Miley doesn’t see herself that way. Is she a victim? If so, of what? By whom? Herself or others?   A woman who is the agent over her own body, choices and sexuality is powerful. And no, we don’t have many such role models. I know Sinead wants Miley to be that. She wanted to be that and was in many ways. And both of them fall short on some level because anyone who is put up on a pedestal (as all stars are) will eventually fall.   So who are the the role models for young women? Who are the powerful women who are fully present in their sexuality, who authentically express their art, beauty and sexiness, own their desire and are unafraid to express it? They are not abundant. But they are there. Start with Amanda Palmer.

 
Amy Jo Goddard is a sexual empowerment coach, author, and sexuality educator. She is founder of SPECTRA, a mentorship program to help sexuality professionals make more money doing the sexuality work they are passionate about. As a David Neagle Certified Miracle of Money coach, Amy Jo helps women and couples create financial abundance, sexual pleasure and create the relationships and lives they desire. She teaches her Women’s Sexually Empowered Life Program in New York City and can be found blogging about all things sexual that make her tingle at AmyJoGoddard.com — visit her site to grab your free copy of her “More pleasure, better sex, deeper intimacy: 9 steps to a sexually empowered life” audio class!