A rich and seductive narrative of the powerful erotic pull the East has always had for the West--a pervasive yet often ignored aspect of their long historical relationship--and a deep exploration of the intimate connection between sex and power.
Richard Bernstein defines the East widely--northern Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Islands--and frames it as a place where sexual pleasure was not commonly associated with sin, as it was in the West, and where a different sexual culture offered the Western men who came as conquerers and traders thrilling but morally ambiguous opportunities that were mostly unavailable at home. Bernstein maps this erotic history through a chronology of notable personalities. Here are some of Europe's greatest literary personalities and explorers: Marco Polo, writing on the harem of Kublai Khan; Gustave Flaubert, describing his dalliances with Egyptian prostitutes (and the diseases he picked up along the way); and Richard Francis Burton, adventurer, lothario, anthropologist--and translator of "The Arabian Nights."
Here also are those figures less well-known but with stories no less captivating or surprising: ""Europeans whose "temporary marriages" to Japanese women might have inspired Puccini's "Madama Butterfly"; rare visitors to the boudoirs of Chinese emperors in the Forbidden City; American G.I.s and journalists in Vietnam discovering the sexual emoluments of postcolonial power; men attracted to the sex bazaars of yesterday's North Africa and the Thailand of today. And throughout, Bernstein explores the lives of those women who suffered for or profited from the fantasies of Western men.
A remarkable work of history: as unexpected as it is lucid, and as provocative as it is brilliantly illuminating.
The most comprehensive guide to the botany, pharmacology, cultural, ritual, and personal use of erotically stimulating substances from antiquity to the present day- Details the use, preparation, and dosage of more than 400 plant, animal, mineral, and synthetic substances, both common and exotic, as well as their botany, science, and legal status - Explores the historical and present use of aphrodisiacs and their role in sexual practices, culture, and art - Richly illustrated throughout with more than 800 color photographs The culmination of more than 30 years of cultural, anthropological, and scientific research, this encyclopedia examines the botany, pharmacology, history, preparation, dosage, and practical use of more than 400 erotically stimulating substances from antiquity to the present day. From plants and animals that enhance fertility and virility, like celery, snails, or oysters, to substances that induce arousal, like ephedra, opium, or cannabis, the encyclopedia is richly illustrated with more than 800 color photographs--many of which are from the authors' extensive fieldwork around the world. Exploring individual, medicinal, and ritual use through historic and contemporary artwork, personal accounts, and literature as well as ayurvedic, tantric, shamanic, and European folklore practices and recent pharmacological research, the authors look at the revolving cycle of acceptance and condemnation of aphrodisiacs, the qualities that incur the label of "aphrodisiac," the role of mind and setting, and the different ways aphrodisiacs stimulate desire--either physically, through the senses and vital organs, or mentally, through heightened awareness and altered consciousness. This comprehensive guide reveals these "remedies of the love goddess" as holy remedies whose proper use can help reestablish harmony with oneself, one's partner, and the universe.
Moves reflexology beyond the realm of foot massage and into the realm of sexuality.- Offers acupressure methods to build intimacy and heighten sexual pleasure. - Helps couples find their sexual energy potential and physical compatibility. - Provides techniques to perform time-tested Taoist sexual-spiritual exercises. - By Mantak Chia, coauthor of The Multi-Orgasmic Man. The most powerful reflex points on the body are on the sexual organs. While the practice of reflexology is normally associated with massage of the feet, in Sexual Reflexology Mantak Chia gives applications for using the sexual reflex points in lovemaking, transforming sexual intercourse into a form of ecstatic acupressure. By combining the classic Taoist sexual texts with modern reflexology theory, the author provides a unique opportunity for couples to practice sexual intimacy as an act of healing. Mantak Chia shows how to evaluate a person's sexual energy potential as well as how the size and shape of the sexual organs determine a couple's compatibility. In addition to the specific ecstatic acupressure exercise instructions, he provides thoughtful commentary on ancient Taoist practices that reveal how we can all use our sexual essence to create healthy and loving relationships.
One of our bestselling and most respected cultural critics, Naomi Wolf, acclaimed author of The Beauty Myth and The End of America, brings us an astonishing work of cutting-edge science and cultural history that radically reframes how we understand the vagina--and, consequently, how we understand women.
A "New Biography," Vagina is at once serious, provocative, and immensely entertaining--a radical and endlessly fascinating exploration of the gateway to female consciousness from a remarkable writer and thinker at the forefront of the new feminism.
What's the Big Deal About Sex?Birds do it. Bees do it. And when you turn on the television, log on to the Internet, or watch a movie, you can't help but notice that everyone else seems to be doing it too. Our culture has embraced the message that sex is just a basic bodily function, as irresistible and harmless as satisfying your hunger and thirst. But is it? Or have we bought into a lie that is rapidly corroding our souls and our society? When it comes to sexuality, you can't ignore the Manufacturer's directions and escape unharmed. That's why everyone-teen or adult, single or married-needs to know The Truth About Sex. This compelling, interactive study provides an antidote to the world's subtle yet insidiously dangerous lies. You'll learn...
-why God created sex in the first place
-what happens when you don't follow His design
-why virginity matters
-what consequences follow sex outside of marriage
-how to find healing if you've been harmed because you or someone else violated God's instructions With this knowledge comes the power to stand firm, resisting the pull of temptation. Whatever your past-whether you've remained sexually pure or endured the pain of misusing God's precious gift-you'll find your eyes opened and your life transformed as you discover for yourself The Truth About Sex.
Includes a companion study guide for personal use or group discussion.
In essays on matters literary, social, cultural, and personal, Mary Gaitskill explores date rape and political adultery, the transcendentalism of the Talking Heads, the melancholy of Bj rk, and the playfulness of artist Laurel Nakadate. She celebrates the clownish grandiosity and the poetry of Norman Mailer's long career and maps the sociosexual cataclysm embodied by porn star Linda Lovelace. Witty, wide-ranging, tender, and beautiful, Somebody with a Little Hammer displays the same heat-seeking, revelatory understanding for which Gaitskill's writing has always been known.
From earliest times, humanity has found visual expression for the cosmic forces of creation, birth, and passion in artistic representations of human genitalia. Fertility cults centered on phallic worship are well documented, but older and even more pervasive are Goddess images of the vulva-known in the East since ancient times as the yoni. Yoni symbolism is a part of spiritual traditions in every part of the globe-from naturally occuring rock formations revered by North American Native peoples to the shakta-pithas of Hindu temples, and from early Celtic sheela-na-gig carvings to the Japanese kagura ritual.
The Yoni traces this primal motif in Australian Aboriginal folk tales, in alchemy, in Tantric practices, and in contemporary art by painters such as Georgia O'Keefe and Judy Chicago.
What if for just one year you let desire call the shots?
The project was simple: Robin Rinaldi, a successful magazine journalist, would move into a San Francisco apartment, join a dating site, and get laid. Never mind that she already owned a beautiful flat a few blocks away, that she was forty-four, or that she was married to a man she'd been in love with for eighteen years. What followed-a year of abandon, heartbreak, and unexpected revelation-is the topic of this riveting memoir, The Wild Oats Project.
Monogamous and sexually cautious her entire adult life, Rinaldi never planned on an open marriage-her priority as she approached midlife was to start a family. But when her husband insisted on a vasectomy, something snapped. If I'm not going to have children, she told herself, then I'm going to have lovers. During the week, she would live alone, seduce men (and women), attend erotic workshops, and have wall-banging sex. On the weekends, she would go home and be a wife. Her marriage provided safety and love, but she also needed passion, and she was willing to go outside her marriage to find it.
At a time when the bestseller lists are topped by books about eroticism and the shifting roles of women, this brave, brutally honest memoir explores how our sexuality defines us, how it relates to maternal longing, and how we must walk the line between loving others and staying true to ourselves. Like the most searing memoirs, The Wild Oats Project challenges our sensibilities, yielding truths that we all can recognize but that few would dare write down.