It's been almost twenty years since I first came across this collection of women's sexual fantasies. At the time I was just as interested in N. FridayIt's been almost twenty years since I first came across this collection of women's sexual fantasies. At the time I was just as interested in N. Friday's analysis of each fantasy, and what it revealed about women's liberation (or lack thereof). Today as I flip through the book I am a bit upset at how uniform the language of the so-called "real-life" fantasies reads, and I wonder to what extent each woman's narrative has been edited, how much each unique voice has been moulded (limited?) to fit the almost-uniform narrative pace of the collection. The stories I am drawn to now are not necessarily the most interesting sexually speaking; rather they are the ones where the first-person narrator's voice stands out from the rest of the women in this book.
The first account by "Olivia" is such a simplistic one wonders if it's just a word-for-word transcript from a tToo much gossip, not enough substance.
The first account by "Olivia" is such a simplistic one wonders if it's just a word-for-word transcript from a taped interview, with no re-writes or editing. Example, "That yacht must have been worth millions and millions of dollars." Or "Life is funny. I was talking to a friend of mine the other day..." "Olivia" refers to an Armenian prince, and later on to a Saudi Arabian president. Either she is truly ignorant about foreign affairs (something she admits to on page 5), or unable to fact-check her own writing (if indeed she wrote this, instead of having it transcribed by someone else, as I suspect). Alternatively, her wealthy clients could be having her on, which only goes to show how naive she was (and still is). It's ironic that the one film she managed to have an acting role in is titled Pretty Smart! The last two pages hold some promise, because that's where "Olivia" discusses the ethics of what she's been doing, and provides a better glimpse into her past and current motivations. But this section is brief, and there's not much explanation as to how her attitude (d)evolved. "I used to do it for the thrill - now I would do it for the money." "Call me a realist." If only she had gone back and paid more attention to her narrative, I think she could have provided a more realistic insight into her complex life story.
Carly Milne's section is better written and/or edited. an attempt has been made to re-create dialogue and provide the reader with a spectator's view of a developing scene, rather than to passively provide an account of this happened and then that happened. There's a form and a method to this narrative, even if the dialogue is at a below-par level: "So was Kevin Federline really jealous of you two?" "Ommigod, he's the best. I've never had someone like him before." Not to mention the large blank space gaps between the lines of dialogue, intended to stretch out a rather slim story. Unfortunately, the by-now distracting Hollywood A-list namedropping continues. The segments could have been titled according to something related to the narrator's own life experience (eg, "Falling Apart" or "The Ironies of Life"). What started in the "Olivia" story, becomes more prominent here. Segments are now primarily labeled "Britney Spears and Tommy Lee" "Charlie Sheen and Michael Keaton" "Marlon Wayans" "The Music Industry Bigwig" and so forth. Also, I felt that the writing style of some passages was inauthentic, with words and phrases selected to impress, rather than coming from an original voice. "Everyone gathered out front of the Sheraton Universal to mingle and chat while a minstrel wandered the crowd." This is a gathering of adult industry performers, not a Renaissance fair! And since when do women call a ladies' sleeveless top a wife beater, or choose to describe their job as being "drilled by some of the top swordsmen in the industry," even if they are porn film actresses?
Amanda's story is more informative and personal from the get-go. Early on she tells us "I realized just how tired of this kind of shit I really am... Actual sex is the least demanding part of my job - all this other craps is what gets so draining..." and then she proceeds to illustrate this with a run-down of her many and varied experiences. This time round there is an understood point of view, a purpose to the narrative. It's a pity then that most of it by now reads like a rehash of the previous two memoirs. Her clients are more or less the same set of movie stars and film industry executives as Olivia's, while Adnan Khashoggi is yet again a favorite customer. My suggestion is to skip the first two segments, read this one first and then if you are up to some more read the rest of the book.
The book closes with Jennifer Young's story "Hollywood Princess," your stereotypical celebrity offspring tell-all where throwing parties and inviting more celebrity offsprings is considered being a "real entrepreneur," until one ends up being Heidi Fleiss's go-fer. Enough said. ...more
I began reading this novel with interest, as the story's historical setting seemed promising at first. Somewhere along the line the plot begins to falI began reading this novel with interest, as the story's historical setting seemed promising at first. Somewhere along the line the plot begins to falter, as if the author didn't know in which direction to go. The plot zigzags here and there, from the U.K. to Italy to Switzerland; the focus is on disparate characters with different motivations. Sometimes the tone is serious, sometimes it's just farce; there's no thematic unity. In several instances the plot is poorly thought out. When there's nowhere else for the protagonist/story to go, in walks a stranger to get things rolling again... ...more
I kept on drifting off to sleep with this one. If you found vol. 1 irritating, there's more of that in this one, too. Every aspect is repetitive, evenI kept on drifting off to sleep with this one. If you found vol. 1 irritating, there's more of that in this one, too. Every aspect is repetitive, even those email exchanges. Pity that instead of creating credible dramatic tension between Ana & Christian (no, petty arguments via email/sms don't qualify), the author has to introduce cheap tricks like psycho stalkers to keep things interesting. ...more
Enough with those sophomoric emails and messages. Reads like one of those never-ending t.v. soap operas, where the sheer boredom of the dragged-out plEnough with those sophomoric emails and messages. Reads like one of those never-ending t.v. soap operas, where the sheer boredom of the dragged-out plot is enlivened by inane crises, like secondary characters ending up in the hospital, or the sudden appearance of a menacing psycho. Only this time even that is booorrrring; it was already done in the previous volume....more
An engaging read, as an artifact of 1970's pop-culture depictions of women's sexuality & empowerment (or lack thereof), but unfortunately the narrAn engaging read, as an artifact of 1970's pop-culture depictions of women's sexuality & empowerment (or lack thereof), but unfortunately the narrative failed to suspend my disbelief. Whether the book was composed with the generous help of a ghostwriter - copyright is attributed to Lyle Kenyon Engel - or if it was all a fiction, I cannot say for sure (UPDATE: see link). There were instances where I felt "Sheila Brady's" word choices, or a particular turn of phrase, dissuaded rather than convinced me of the authenticity of her persona. And often I sensed a peculiar detachment, a disconnect between the narrative voice and the events being described. If "Sheila" was writing in 1975 about something that occured 5 or 10 years ago, I'd understand this distancing. But the references to Deep Throat & Last Tango In Paris place the memoir's time frame at 1972 at the earliest. I permanently lost my faith in the veracity of the narrative during the B-movie cliché scene involving the head matron at the women's prison: "Carla Bedoya was out of uniform. Way out. She wore a fluffy, diaphanous lime-green night gown, trimmed in black lace. The lace matched her raven hair, which she had done to fall down her back. She had a soft, cafe au lait complexion, exquisite features, and incongruously gigantic tits...."...more
An Act of Love by Jeanie Cesarini (view spoiler)[As I began reading this story I thought to myself the opening scene was too contrived, and the writinAn Act of Love by Jeanie Cesarini (view spoiler)[As I began reading this story I thought to myself the opening scene was too contrived, and the writing could have been edited to something more realistic/natural. So the order for "Cut! Cut! Cut!" sets things in their proper context. (hide spoiler)] The plot device of the male "teacher" initiating the female into the realm of carnal pleasures (innocence vs. experience) is a tried and true formula, but it's not easy to come up with an imaginative set-up that will differentiate itself from previous narratives. I found this story's variation an imaginative one. I like the way this story is set up, especially the catchy chapter headings playing on the theme of acting and "faking", a nice commentary on what sometimes goes on in relationships & sex. Still, there's not much depth; the story could have been expanded further, with more detail about these character's pasts, & greater insight into the reclusive nature of Alana and Jason, and why they suit each other because of this.
Enslaved by Desiree Lindsey I guess period romances just don't feel "real" enough for me. I couldn't get into the characters' motivations.
The Bodyguard by Betsy Morgan & Susan Paul Was this the story with the misspelled officials' names? Pat Moynihan & General Schwarzkopf.
The Love Slave by Emma Holly This story is heavily influenced by Anne Rice's Beauty Trilogy. Despite that it's well-written, and I enjoyed it. There are some interesting themes present that make it distinctively different from Rice's novels. The premise that learning about exerting power and good governance in the public domain can be achieved by practicing bedroom politics sounds farfetched at first, but the interplay between Lilly and her "love guards" demonstrates it's a credible one, within this story's framing. I liked the playful twist of making virginity and chastity a "revolutionary" idea, one deemed "dangerous" by the powers that be! Princess Lily's character evolves from hesitant teen to assertive woman; we follow her transformation into maturity as she learns new skills through play & recreation, how to express & stand by her beliefs when dealing with her autocratic mother and self-effacing father, as well as with the opposite sex.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
"A Lady's Quest" - Bonnie Hamre An woman-empowering plot but I personally don't like the period setting. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be humoro"A Lady's Quest" - Bonnie Hamre An woman-empowering plot but I personally don't like the period setting. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be humorous - I laughed when Lady Antonia questions "Would she need to change the furnishings?"
"The Spinner's Dream" - Alice Gaines I liked this one, mainly because with the fantasy setting the reader must guess how gender dynamics operate in this make-believe world. The drawback is that the story is too brief. The characters hint at some kind of complexity ("she hading begun to explore her inner life, the hungers and failings that had brought her here") but there's not enough interaction/dialogue to amplify on this.
"The Gift" - Jeanie LeGendre The harem setting - what an overdone theme. Nothing positive to say about this one.
"The Proposal" - Ivy Landon (view spoiler)[ Despite some unimaginative hyperboles ("the most brilliant intellect she'd ever matched wits with", "his dark suit fitting his lean & tanned body to perfection") there's an interesting complexity to this simple plot. The action takes place in a single evening, but it allows for a major transformation in the female protagonist. Tracey starts off believing "torrid lust (is) a romance writer's invention" - nice irony there! - then finds herself in an unforseen situation where "her heart slammed into her ribs with the force of a freight train." Craig's way of demonstrating the virtues of blind & unquestioning trust is unusual. And one doesn't expect a romance heroine would enjoy love/sex "without even being satisfied fully"! (hide spoiler)]
I believe this is my first foray into romance-erotica; I've read some of the latter but hardly anything about the former, only a few Harlequin/Mills&Boon way back when - at the age of 15 several decades ago - so I don't know how the current romance novels are written. Fortunately besides the harem story the romance cliché's weren't distracting. I cited the objectionable sentences in "The Proposal", and here's one from "A Lady's Quest" -> "Like the dominant lion whose coloring he shared, he moved with sinuous, controlled grace that spoke of might held under strict restraint."["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Contemporary erotica blending sci-fi with run-of-the-Mills&Boons pirate romance. The books starts off fresh and contemporary, providing a varietyContemporary erotica blending sci-fi with run-of-the-Mills&Boons pirate romance. The books starts off fresh and contemporary, providing a variety of experiences as the heroine gradually develops a pansexual appetite, despite occasional regressions into sterotypes of the pulp romance genre. If you can forgive the instances where Fee's femininity overrides credibility (she daringly breaks the law and several taboos, yet becomes emotional putty in the hands of a dominant male) the story manages to successfully blend the futuristic with the erotic. Themes include exhibitionism, infidelity, voyeurism, homosexuality (both male and female), under-18, deflowering, rape, spanking, threesomes. Personally I would have preferred a more prominent sci-fi feel to the narrative; all it needed was a little linguistic creativity with made-up jargon to describe both the futuristic setting and the erotic scenes. Still, there are some nice touches where the characters comment on the personal and social. Even in a technological utopia, it is the primal instinct that fuels the human psyche. ...more
I doubt very much this is an authentic work of 1907(or whenever it's reputed to be dated from). The narrative reads too much like a contemporary work;I doubt very much this is an authentic work of 1907(or whenever it's reputed to be dated from). The narrative reads too much like a contemporary work; it's just the setting and the costumes that are retro. One of the authors credited for this work, besides "Anonymous", is "Olga Tegora". Hmm......more
Sci-fi flavored erotica. Josh, a jaded space-traveler seeks new thrills. He is intrigued by a machine promising a unique journey deep into the universSci-fi flavored erotica. Josh, a jaded space-traveler seeks new thrills. He is intrigued by a machine promising a unique journey deep into the universe of his libido, in the way that a time-travel machine takes one into parallel dimensions. It's not particularly successful as sci-fi. What's interesting though is the male first-person narration, which is not usual for this brand of erotica. ...more
One of those books I picked up by chance at the bookstore, and was intrigued by the casual, almost surreal, aesthetic of the photographs. A fresh andOne of those books I picked up by chance at the bookstore, and was intrigued by the casual, almost surreal, aesthetic of the photographs. A fresh and original perspective, maybe overly self-reflective at times, but definitely one that remains after going through the rest of the selections on the shelf.
It's point of view that dominates the theme and mood of these images. The lens invades spaces rarely seen before. At least not in publishable media. Images where the eye, the nose, the mouth are in the foreground, while the breasts, the belly, or the hips become the (inconsequential) background. Merritt creates a distance between consciousness and the body. The moment is captured by focusing on the facial expression - sometimes involved, sometimes blank – rather than the experience of the body. I think she has some way to go, because the girls are still posing for her and/or for the lens. They see themselves reflected in the photograph before the image has been captured, and this self-consciousness is evident throughout the photo collection. It might be, though, that this is what Natacha intends to depict: even in the most intimate of acts, we are not giving up our self wholly, to the other, or to the moment. A part of our consciousness observes our own body, and the mind's eye is ever watchful as it re-positions/re-frames/edits the pose, the act, the touch, the expression. It is not circumstantial then, midway through the book's series of images, I notice that Natacha prefers female subjects who most resemble herself. I can't always tell which girl is Natacha and which girl is the model/friend. They have the same physique; they paint their eyes and mouth in similar fashion. They are all a variation of one individual, one point of view. The photographer and the subject become one and the same. All images are self-portraits. When Natacha is in the frame along with one of her subjects, it is as if I am looking at a pair of sisters, of twins, or two aspects of the same person. One Natacha kisses a foot, while another Natacha stands behind, watching the kissing, and the third Natacha beyond the frame is observing both and capturing them in the image. I become the fourth Natacha, trying to make sense out of the other three....more
I don't know whether to laugh or be upset with the content of this book. At times the artificially exaggerated 'innocence' of the prostitution and porI don't know whether to laugh or be upset with the content of this book. At times the artificially exaggerated 'innocence' of the prostitution and porn industries seems just too weird to be true. The photo-journalism documentation tries not to judge this type of commerce, but in the end its very structured codes of conduct means only one thing - it is a deeply entrenched part of the social fabric of Japan. ...more