bare… and Revealed

While researching my latest novella (which will released very soon, check out the cover – just finished this morning – at the bottom of this post), I read some of Walt Whitman’s work. His views on the human body, soul and nakedness are perfectly attuned to the ethos of my main character, who is a naturist and artist who connects with her muse through her connection with nature… and nakedness.

Never before did I get so close to Nature; never before did she come so close to me … Nature was naked, and I was also … Sweet, sane, still Nakedness in Nature!

A Sun-bathed Nakedness, Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman is often called the father of free verse. His work was controversial during his lifetime, and was described as obscene for its overt sensuality.

His poem Song of Myself contains many evocative phrases. I’ve pasted some of my favorites here…

You sea! I resign myself to you also—I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me,
We must have a turn together, I undress, hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft, rock me in billowy drowse,
Dash me with amorous wet, I can repay you.

I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning,
How you settled your head athwart my hips and gently turn’d over upon me,
And parted the shirt from my bosom-bone, and plunged your tongue to my bare-stript heart,
And reach’d till you felt my beard, and reach’d till you held my feet.

I am the poet of the Body and I am the poet of the Soul,
The pleasures of heaven are with me and the pains of hell are with me,
The first I graft and increase upon myself, the latter I translate into a new tongue.

Press close bare-bosom’d night—press close magnetic nourishing night!
Night of south winds—night of the large few stars!
Still nodding night—mad naked summer night.

Smile O voluptuous cool-breath’d earth!
Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!
Earth of departed sunset—earth of the mountains misty-topt!
Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!
Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!
Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake!
Far-swooping elbow’d earth—rich apple-blossom’d earth!
Smile, for your lover comes.

If you’d like to read more. find the full poem, HERE

How could a writer not be inspired? Especially as my story is of a woman who needs a connection with nature to connect with her creative muse… Skyclad, the third Girls on Film novella, will be available very soon, in a fabulous romantic anthology… soon to be Revealed….

Monthly hotties coming your way

Meet Mr July…

Portrait of attractive young man with beard and open shirt revealing sixpack abs, sitting in leather armchair

Okay, I have yet another confession… as a little girl I used to sneak into my dad’s collection of Playboy magazines. I just loved reading the letters to the editor and dreaming of the day I might look like one of the sexy centerfolds. I suppose my enjoyment of naughty magazines was an early manifestation of my appreciation of all things sensual, which grew into an urge to create my own erotic worlds through story.

Now I’m a big girl, my dream is to have my own monthly Playmates – or play boys. At this stage I don’t have the time or finances to go scouting for talent (damn!) so in the meantime I’ll showcase gorgeous characters from my stories.

First up, Mr July – Zane Winters, aka as Shadow…

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More hirsute times

I’m still watching the Hugh Hefner Story (boy, is it in-depth!) The latest episode, dealing with the ‘Pubic War’ between Playboy and Penthouse magazines during the 1960s and 70s (and Playboy’s first full frontal nude centrefolds) got me thinking…

Seeing all that rampant pubic hair can be a bit confronting in these times of brazillian waxes and careful pubic grooming. How times have changed since that first risque centerfold in relation to pubic hair and our preferences.

Image courtesy of Getty Images, photographer Nicola Tree

As always, I had fun Googling this and found a fabulous article. Apparently there is a hardcover book with every one of the 734 centerfolds, and someone wrote about perusing them all in one sitting!

“The most obvious signifier of the passage of time, and the thing every person has asked about when I’ve mentioned this book, is pubic hair. For the first two decades of centerfolds, there was none at all because it was obscured by strategically placed pillows, undergarments, or even roomy-cut khakis. Bits of hair didn’t start peeking out until around 1972, but by the mid-’70s, bushy vulvas were showing up in almost every photo. A decade later, hairstylists started to groom the puffs, though it wasn’t until the mid-’90s that what’s now known as a “landing strip” hit the runway. The relative newness of the thing about 84 percent of women now do to their genitals was a life-affirming revelation for this millennial, who suffered puberty in the aughts, or as Maureen Gibbon’s essay in The Complete Centerfolds dubs it, “the decade of the smoothie.” After enduring the entirely bare, child-like crotches of the 2010s, flip back to July 1977, where one magnificent image of pubic hair straight-up poking out of a butt crack will restore your internal calm.

“But for all the differences that emerge while flipping through generations of nudies, the similarities stand out far more. After looking at 734 photos of naked women, one can’t help but conclude that the human body has some very strict limitations and the human mind lacks any substantial creativity when it comes to sexy poses. There are only so many ways to slightly part a set of lips, only so many ways to mimic the act of putting clothes on or taking them off, getting in or out of a body of water, and stepping onto or off of a surface that looks reasonably prepared to support sexual intercourse.”

I particularly loved this comment, which reflects the theme of most of my short stories:

“The effect is a creeping feeling that any place can be a sexual place, and any activity a woman does—even those performed in the course of her job—can be a sexual activity. Playing golf, taking your order at a diner, exercising on a Stairmaster, applying a lure to a fishing rod, cuddling with a kitten, delivering the nightly news at a TV station—if you look hard enough, with a few years of Playboy centerfolds filed away in your brain, these everyday pursuits are actually a kind of foreplay. That cyclist lady is naked underneath her flannel, you know.”

What I Learned By Looking at 734 Playboy Centerfolds in One Sitting
Christina Cauterucci

Those sensual Parisians!

The French are known for their enjoyment of all things sensual – food, wine, art, sex… and its not only a recent phenomena. Some of the most daring, expressive and indulgent creations originated in historical France. Poets, writers, artists, chefs… and magazine publishers.

Chéri Hérouard

I love browsing through the titillating old covers of La Vie parisienne (the Parisian Life) magazine. Founded in 1863, it was published without interruption until 1970. When the magazine changed hands in 1905, the new editor Charles Saglio changed its format to suit the modern reader, transforming it from a general arts magazine into a mildly risqué erotic publication.

I imagine one of the main attractions for readers were the covers and full page color illustrations by popular Art Nouveau and Art Deco illustrators of the time such as George Barbier, Chéri Herouard, Georges Léonnec and Maurice Milliere.

If you like a your art a little bit naughty, you can immerse yourself in one of the largest collections of La Vie parisienne magazine artwork in the UK at The Advertising Archives

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l’amour de moi…

spending time with a gorgeous nude…

I had the privilege this weekend to view some beautiful paintings, including a striking and sensual work in pastel, by artist Kate Smith. The local gallery I visited is a feast for the senses, with a lush garden outside and eclectic décor inside, but this one piece captured my imagination.

My attention was initial drawn by the jewelry, makeup and hairstyle, so richly evocative of the Jazz Age (my favorite historically period) but it was captured by the sensuality of her expression and pose.

Purple Veils-Small File

“Master pastellist Kate Smith has for years been famed for her depiction of fascinating women. In this captivating piece, Kate conveys the sensuality of womanhood … The soft pastel medium is skilfully blended so that the rich chocolate tones in the background meld into the soft mauves and purples of the drapes that gently flow over and caress the model’s body. The provocative placement of a long strand of pearls over the woman’s breast enhances her sensuality…” Tiffany Jones, fine Art Consultant.

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A luscious tease

I recently had the pleasure of seeing The Art of the Teese, curated by and starring the legend herself, Dita Von Teese. In my opinion (apologies to Dita) the highlight of the show was Australian performer Zelia Rose. Her act embodies the spirit of Josephine Baker – and sent shivers over my entire body. I’m convinced watching her perform was second only to going back in time to see Josephine herself dance.

zelia rose

To give you a taste of Zelia’s act, I found this on youtube from 2014. It was brilliant back then, and is much more polished now.

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Le Clos Tranquille

I had a lovely surprise today, while searching for a boring old document on my computer… I came across some photos I took on my visit to Giverny (Monet’s home from 1883 to 1926) more than 2 years ago. I don’t think I even glanced at these images when I got home, so it was like unwrapping a gift – and a beautiful reminder of my visit.

giverny

It was a gorgeous September day, the temperature was perfect (for eating icecream), the gardens blooming…

There is something magical about the light in Europe, so clear yet gentle, not like the harsh light I’m accustomed to at home in Australia (which is beautiful in its own way, especially when it is illuminating the beautiful blue skies and vibrant earth of the outback).

I thought I’d share my favourites with you. You may notice, as I have just discovered, I have a ‘thing’ for dahlias in their many forms. I always knew I had a weakness for French bees…

And of course there are the delicious stories of Monet’s women: his first wife, muse and model, Camille (below); the affair he supposedly had with his patron’s wife, Alice, who may have nursed Camille on her deathbed, and then became Monet’s second wife…

claude_monet-madame_monet_en_costume_japonais

Getting hot in the library … ‘Atonement’

I absolutely adored the book when I first read it many years ago, especially Ian McEwan’s descriptions of the ripeness of Robbie and Cecilia’s sensual awakening.

After knowing each other all their lives, on a sweltering day of growing agitation, Robbie concedes to the force of their unacknowledged attraction by ‘accidentally’ sending the wrong note of apology to Cecilia prior to a formal family dinner.

robbie's letter

“The anticipation and dread he felt at seeing her was also a kind of sensual pleasure, and surrounding it, like an embrace, was a general elation – it might hurt, it was horribly inconvenient, no good might come of it, but he had found out for himself what it was to be in love, and it thrilled him.”

Cecilia is shocked by his note but his words make her realise that the friction growing between them is sexual and the cause of her frustration, resulting in ‘that’ scene in the library.

“Daringly, they touched the tips of their tongues, and it was then she made the falling sighing sound which, he realised later, marked a transformation. Until that moment, there was still something ludicrous about having a familiar face so close to one’s own. They felt watched by their bemused childhood selves.” Continue reading

The black pearl … Joséphine Baker

For as long as I can remember I have harboured a fascination for the legendary Joséphine Baker (the titillating image her nickname ‘the Black Pearl’ brings to mind may have contributed a tiny bit. She is well known for her erotic dancing, after all.)

I’ve only recently become aware of the many reasons she earned her status as a legend of the 20th century, though. For a poor, fairly uneducated girl, it is extraordinary all that she achieved in her lifetime.

Josephine Baker 1927

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the magnificent fall

One of my favourite escapes from reality is to submerge myself in the stunning images on Pinterest.

I came across a photograph which really resonated with me (aptly called ‘The Point of No Return’ by Tatyana Druz, found at 500px.com). I thought I’d share it and the visceral reaction it prompted.

Photograph the point of no return by Tatyana Druz on 500px.com

I love the closeness of the couple and the immediacy of the plunge they are about to make together. I instantly recalled that wonderful, scary excitement when you’ve just met someone and you just know you are about to fall hard – for good or bad.

Or when you’ve just begun a new sexual encounter and all the pieces are falling into place – every touch is perfect and builds the anticipation and pleasure to dizzying extremes. You’re tensed and impatient for that blissful, heavenly drop – when you become an ethereal being with no physical boundaries.