www.GetPedia.

com

Praise for Hot Pink
A Refreshingly Healthy, Complete Guide . . .
“In working with women, we have discovered genital image can profoundly impact self-confidence, sexual expressiveness, and openness to new ways of increasing pleasure. Deborah and Karen offer a refreshingly healthy, complete guide to enhancing not only outward appearance but also attitudes about female sexuality. An interesting and entertaining book for women—and their partners!” Jennifer Berman, M.D., director of the Female Sexual Medicine Center at UCLA, host of “Berman & Berman,” and author of the best-selling book, For Women Only

Warm, Humorous, and Sex-Positive . . .
“Let me count the ways this book is fantastic; it is the book we’d always wished someone would write. It’s packed with information, has a warm, humorous and sexpositive tone, and leaves nothing out. The frank and highly knowledgeable authors dispense more valuable information about pubic hair care and styling than I’d ever thought possible. Get this eBook, and enjoy knowing you’ve got the sexiest coiffure on two legs.” Violet Blue, author of several popular sex guides (among them The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus and The Ultimate Guide to Adult Videos), erotica editor (including the Sweet Life: Erotic Fantasies for Couples series), sex columnist and sex educator

Valuable Book of Knowledge . . .
“. . . a book written for women by women that is based on knowledge, not folklore or myths. The photographs are sensual but discrete and artfully done, [and the] medical terminology it uses when referring to the various parts of the vulva make this a valuable book of knowledge with a real touch of sophistication.” Dalene Estlin, Linear Reflections: The Review Site

The Mysteries and Secrets of Female Sexuality . . .
“Hot Pink should have been called ‘The Art of Decadence.’ . . . Beautiful line drawings provide a template for the novice and offer new treats and tresures for longtime afficionados. From Cleopatra to Aphrodite, no sensual bath is left undrawn . . . . The information is presented in genuinely honest fashion and is a very quick read, mining the substance and leaving out the hype. . . . The photos, art, and design of Hot Pink beg to be displayed on every coffee table and will provide topics for conversation and experimentation to help lay bare the mysteries and secrets of female sexuality and sensuality.” J. M. Cornwell, Scribe and Quill

Entertaining and Erotic . . .
“. . . a fun, informative book that didn’t preach to me in any way, shape, or form . . . a refreshing change . . . not only entertaining but also erotic in many ways.” Jenne, webmistress of Clitical.com

Hot Pink: The Girls’ Guide to Primping, Passion, and Pubic Fashion HotPinkBook.com Copyright © 2004 by Deborah Driggs and Karen Risch All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Published in the United States. ISBN 0-9749830-0-4 Designed and illustrated by Robert Mott & Associates (Mottopia.com) Cover image and all photographs inside the book (except as credited below) by Paolo Lupone, used with permission
Licensed by PhotoDisc: sunrise, page 50; clock, page 54; kitty and oyster, page 56; piggy bank, page 57; mouths, pages 58, 60, and 61; rose petals and oranges, page 64; herbs, page 66; tattooed woman, page 70; spa woman, page 71; woman getting a massage, page 72; daisy, page 76; stethoscope, page 82; crashing wave, page 89. Couple on page 52 by Robert Mott. Body art photographs on page 116 provided by the artist, Tioti. Couple on page 142 by Jay Nicholas, licensed by DigitalVision.

If you’ve received this eBook without paying for it, you are in possession of stolen material and should discard it. However, if you wish to legally purchase a copy, we invite you to do so: Just click here. To contact the authors with comments or personal stories, e-mail them at authors@HotPinkBook.com
This book is intended for use by mature adults. The authors are not medically trained, and the reader is reminded that following the guidelines, tips, formulas, and product recommendations in this book is voluntary and at the reader’s own discretion. The information presented herein is safe and satisfying for most adults; however, every individual is different, and you should not undertake any technique that is not suitable to your physical condition. This book discusses certain health conditions and care options of particular concern to women, yet it is not intended to replace an ongoing relationship with and care from your gynecologist or family physician. You should consult a health care professional with any questions. Certain acts described in this book are illegal in some states, and no matter how stupid that is, you should be aware of the laws where you live.

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Acknowledgments

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e owe our deepest gratitude to the women featured in Paolo Lupone’s photographs. None are models by profession; regardless, all are extraordinarily beautiful and real. You have graced us with your sensuality, dignity, and personal styles. Brava! We are also thankful for the many women who helped us develop this book by discussing it with us, sharing their own experiences and recommendations, giving us comments on the chapters as they were written, and cheering us on when things got rough. Specifically, we want to express thanks to Alexandria Abramian-Mott, Ruth Bogan, Natalie Chapman, Sandra Choron, Layne Cutright, Jody Forman, Paige Grant, Marlene Martin, Laura McGarrity, Nance Mitchell, Vicki St. George, Lou Paget, Diane Paisley, Judy Pfleger, Carolyn Polson, Liisa Sanchez, Judy Thompson, and Avonlie Wylson. Kudos to Nancy Brand, who helped shape and promote this project all along, Deena Banks for editing the book and tightening our prose, and Paolo Lupone for the stunning flowers and nudes. For his support and contributions to this eBook, and for his abiding appreciation of our femininity and all that entails, we applaud Karen’s husband, Robert Mott, who also provided gorgeous graphic design and illustrations. y

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Contents
1. Clean and Simple: An Unabashed Introduction to Intimate Grooming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 2. Creating Pubic Art: A Style Guide of the Latest ’Dos (And How to Do Them ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 3. Tidy Aphrodite: Bathtime Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 4. Love Nest: The Erotic Art of Grooming With a Partner . . . . . . . . . .53 5. Venus in the Modern Age: Health Essentials for Every Woman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 6. Tricks of the Trade: Interviews With Top Experts NANCE MITCHELL, Aesthetician (Personal Groomer) . . . . . . . . .99 TIOTI, Body Artist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 LOU PAGET, Sex Educator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129 LAYNE CUTRIGHT, Relationships Educator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143 About the Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .169 Bibliography and Recommended Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .170

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Clean and Simple
An Unabashed Introduction to Intimate Grooming

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“Mink.”
How about it? Do you have a private fashion sense? We’ll bet you do. Or that you’d like to. Perhaps you’ve considered giving yourself a trim, maybe taking a little off the sides, or actually going all the way and denuding yourself to surprise a lover. You —From Eve Ensler’s aren’t alone if you’ve thought about it or even The Vagina Monologues done it: For hundreds of years, women and men have been primping their pubes. Before razors, before bikini waxes, before Nair, the ancient Greeks and Asians actually plucked their hair to shape it into an aesthetic ideal. All in the name of beauty! Well, thank goodness for progress in this if nothing else. Today we can achieve our own “aesthetic ideals” by using quicker, easier, less painful methods. And make no mistake about it: The state of our pubic hair—its shape, fragrance, texture, even color—makes a clear statement about us and our sensuality. It’s a personal expression of our most private selves, not to mention incredibly sexy no matter whether we comb, condition, cut, shave, wax, or loop daisies in it.

“A leather jacket.” “A pink boa.” “Jeans.” “Emeralds.” “An evening gown.” “Sequins.” “Armani only.” “A tutu.”

Those are just some of the answers. Here’s the question: “If your vagina got dressed, what would it wear?”

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A World of Choices
In this book, we’ll give you a review of all the styles we’ve uncovered, along with tips for best results and ideas for taking things a step further if you’re feeling up to it. You’ll get insider tips from the top professionals, including everyone from aestheticians and hairdressers to strippers and surgeons. You’ll have lots to share with a lover. Some of it is risqué; all of it is creative and, we promise, naughty in a really nice way. We begin with the basics, which turn out to be fabulously laden with possibility. You would be amazed not only at how many style and care options you have but also how unique you are before you do anything at all. Consider your “V” with its lovely, springy fringe, the pubic hair. You might think there are only so many kinds out there, not unlike mouths: big lips, thin lips; symmetrical, lopsided; pale pink, hot pink, red, chocolate brown. Not much more to it than that, right? Wrong! If you doubt us, pick up Joani Blank’s Femalia, but don’t say we didn’t warn you: This book, with its innocuous cockle shell on the cover, boasts thirty-two full-color photographs of—you guessed it—full on, straight up, no frills crotch shots. They are bold, even clinical. Every woman to whom we’ve shown this book has blanched. You open that first page and bam! There’s a giant, well, photo just staring right at you. But the most remarkable thing is that every one is different. Not different like noses. Different like fingerprints. Here’s one with drapery-like inner lips; there’s one with petals. Here’s one that looks shy, one that looks angry, one held open by— most shocking of all—hands with dirty fingernails. Here’s one with hair all around; there’s one with hardly any at all, except that stray poking out from under the clitoral hood. And let’s hear it for those amazing clits! Hiding, exposed. Pointy, round. Petite, plus-sized. We haven’t even started with what the women have done to decorate themselves: shaving, piercing, you name it. Bottom line (and is there a more bottom line?): Each is unique unto itself. Including yours.

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Clean and Simple: An Unabashed Introduction to Intimate Grooming

The hair, too, is just as individual. Some women have little pubic hair, while others have the kind of cascading tresses that would make Rapunzel envious. Both have advantages: Less hair means less care, and more hair means more options. Here are some facts. The primary purpose of la petite Pomadour is to trap feminine aroma as an attracting scent for our sexual partners. Dr. Miriam Stoppard’s Woman’s Body: A Manual for Life reports that pubic hair “begins to appear between the ages of nine and thirteen on a girl’s labia majora, gradually spreading upward over her mons pubis and out onto the very tops of the thighs.” By the way, it’s no coincidence that puberty and pubic and pubis sound similar. All three come from the Latin pubescere, “to be covered with hair.” At any rate, the doctor goes on to say, “Pubic hair is coarser in texture than other body hair and is often darker than the hair on the head.” She tells us genetics are the single greatest influence over the natural color, density, and texture of our pubic hair. The following are Dr. Stoppard’s general descriptions (of course there are exceptions), as well as variations due to mixed race, which accounts for 9 percent of the world’s population. The Caucasian—a racial type not limited only to white Anglo-Saxons but also including the pale Nordics, olive-skinned Mediterraneans, swarthy Arabs, and darker Indians—usually grows longer, finer, more plentiful hair (49 percent of the population). The Mongoloid, including the short, stocky Eskimos and Asians as well as the taller Tartars, tends to have straight, dense, coarse hair (28 percent of the population). The Negroid, Africans and those of African descent, has short, tightly curled, dense hair (12 percent of the population). Everybody Else—The remaining 2 percent of the population belong to the indigenous peoples, such as the Aborigines, Hottentots, Pacific Islanders, and the aptly named Bushmen (and, certainly, Bushwomen). It’s no wonder that this final group, with such a diverse mix of hair types and colors, is assumed to be the predecessor to all the others.

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Even within a given racial group, the variations can seem endless. How plentiful is the hair on the mound of Venus? (That’s the soft padding just over the pubic bones, the top of the V you can see when a woman is The Chinese refer to pubic hair using various poetic standing.) How about on terms, including “black rose,” “fragrant grass,” “sacred the labia majora, the outer hair,”or “moss.” Women without any pubic hair are lips? Is there any on the labia minora, the inner known as “white tigers”; black pubic hairs are said to lips? Does the hair grow indicate a strong and obstinate woman; brown with down to the fourchette (the golden tints are the sign of an easy and generous woman; bottom of the vaginal and fine, silky, short hair is said to mean quiet and opening)—or farther? If you’ve never done it retiring [and bushy hair indicates a passionate woman]. before, we suggest you take In the Chinese culture, upward growth of a woman’s some time acquainting pubic hair is considered a sign of beauty; and abundant yourself with the unique growth patterns of your hair is regarded as a sign of sensuality and passion. own hair. Get out a mirror Dr. Terri Hamilton, Skin Flutes & Velvet Gloves: and use your fingers to A Collection of Facts and Fancies, Legends and Oddities discover just what, exactly, About the Body’s Private Parts you’ve got to work with. Some women find exploring themselves fascinating. Some find it awkward. Some find it embarrassing: It requires a degree of self-confidence some of us just don’t have. But, then again, if you can muster the moxie to do this despite any misgivings, you may find it to be one of the most liberating experiences of your life.

Clean and Simple: An Unabashed Introduction to Intimate Grooming

In the early seventies, an artist named Betty Dodson began conducting consciousness-raising courses in which women, completely nude, sat in a circle with mirrors pointed at their privates. Open your legs and open your minds, she seemed to be saying. And, according to most participants, it works. You’ve heard of personal development seminars? Well, you can’t get more personal than this.
P A R T S O F T H E V U L V A Many people refer to a woman’s genitalia as the vagina, but the vagina is really only one part of the whole package, which is called the vulva. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Could we possibly use less sexy language to describe our sexual

mons pubis (mound of Venus) shaft (hidden under hood) clitoral hood outer labia inner labia vaginal opening urethral opening

clitoral glans parts? Throughout this book, we’ll
mostly use V, which echoes the natural shape of our pubic hair, as well as stands for Vulva and Vagina and Venus and Voluptuous and Very important. For more ideas about language, read chapter 4,

fourchette perineum

“Love Nest: The Erotic Art of Grooming With a Partner.”

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Hair Care and Removal
Once you are completely familiar with the feel and placement of your own pubic hair—curly or straight, long or short, abundant or sparse, wild and woolly or tidy and tame—you’ll be ready to consider an array of choices. No matter what you decide to do, here are a few general tips to pamper yourself: • To keep your pubic hair soft, shampoo and condition every time you’re in the shower. • Do not attempt to remove hair growing on hypersensitive or damaged skin (e.g., sunburned, chapped, abraded, scarred, broken out). • Keep in mind that some people are allergic to certain products, so if you’re introducing something new, test a small area of your skin first, wait one or two days, and if there’s no irritation, go for it. • Forget feminine spray and other deodorants. They are a waste of money and potentially irritating. A woman’s own scent is seductive, and it can be enhanced by a good shampoo and conditioner. In fact, the ancient, illustrated pillow books (sex manuals, such as the Kama Sutra) took great care in detailing the different aromas associated with the many types of “appetizing flesh” they described—some pungent, some sweet, all alluring. In general, think clean, not perfumed. • If you’re going to remove hair from your bikini line, consider switching to boxer-style panties to avoid chafing from the elastic leg bands in the regular kind.

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shaving also earns points for being the quickest route to a new ’do. In Rome, the Middle East, Japan, China, India, and North Africa, people have been shaving their pubic hair for centuries. Here are some tricks to getting a close, smooth shave and avoiding prickly bumps:

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H A V I N G • Probably the cheapest and most pain-free option you have,

Clean and Simple: An Unabashed Introduction to Intimate Grooming

1. Trim before you shave any hair for the first time. We suggest you take your scissors into the shower so you can cut the hair when it is freshly shampooed and conditioned, then take a leisurely, warm bath to soften the hair and open the pores for a closer shave. 2. Apply an antiseptic shaving cream or gel using your fingers or a badger brush (one of those old-timey barber’s tools with a short handle and long bristles designed for applying cream from a cup), which will exfoliate then lift the hairs. Stay away from men’s mentholated creams (they burn!) and, again, consider a women’s brand instead; they are much less irritating. 3. Use clean, sharp razor blades, preferably a triple blade with a comfortable handle on the razor. (You’ll probably need to change the blades after every two to three uses.) Never use someone else’s razor; not only will the owner probably get annoyed with you, but this is a delicate area you’re shaving, and you don’t want to take any chances with sharing bacteria.

According to Sexy Origins and Intimate Things, a full 67 percent of men surveyed in 1995 found a shaved pubis irresistible on a woman. Even more important, a woman who grooms herself there enhances her own sexual experience. One woman, who had recently gone completely bare, wrote in Cosmopolitan (August 1997), When I put on my panties, it feels like a hand is rubbing against me down there. When I show Steve the new me, he isn’t quite sure how he likes it. But when we have sex later that night, we’re both amazed at how much more sensitive I am during oral sex. There was a whole new area of bare skin down there. I could even feel Steve’s hot breath on it, and it was really erotic. y

4. Wherever you’re shaving, take it s-l-o-w if you’ve never done it there before. We suggest shaving in the same direction the hair grows whenever

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possible, especially if your hair is coarse, although going against the grain cuts the hair closer to the skin. 5. After you’re done, gently rub with a washcloth to remove anything that could clog your pores. Then rinse and apply a moisturizer of your choice. Favorites include Neutrogena Light Sesame Oil (and you can use this all over—and under—after your shower), aloe vera gel of any kind, or an analgesic cream or spray, which may sting for a minute but then feel great. Corn starch or baby powder also helps to prevent itching, but don’t apply anything with talcum, because it can irritate. Over-the-counter cortisone cream is another great preventive if you’re prone to uncomfortable inflammation. Dab it on just after shaving. 6. Gently exfoliate with a bath buff or shower scrub, such as the almondbased one in chapter 4, to help avoid ingrown hairs. You can also apply moisturizer and baby powder daily to prevent irritation. No matter what you’ve heard, here’s the truth: Shaving does not cause your hair to grow back thicker or more abundant. The only real downside to shaving is that as the hair grows back, it can poke your most sensitive spots. The good news is that it’s perfectly safe to shave this area every day, just as you can with your legs or underarms. Start by shaving every few days, then when the skin gets used to it, you can increase frequency. However, if you’re looking for a longer-term solution, you can try . . .

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A X I N G • The primary benefits of waxing, whether you’re doing it at

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home or in a salon or day spa, are a so-smooth finish and long-lasting hair removal. Some women complain that it hurts too much, while others swear by this method and regard the momentary discomfort as worth it. 1. Plan to spend at least half an hour and $50 for a simple, clean line (bikini wax) or up to an hour and more than $75 for something elaborate (fruits, bows, logos, stars, hearts, etc.). At home, be sure to follow the directions

Clean and Simple: An Unabashed Introduction to Intimate Grooming

you receive with your waxing kit. One strong recommendation: Buy good stuff. You know that commercial where the woman shakes her silky mane and declares, “I'm worth it”? You’re worth it. Where hair is involved—and especially the short hairs—a girl is entitled to splurge.

The Pain (Oh, Momma!)
First she waxed my behind, which hardly hurt at all. I was able to carry on a pretty normal conversation. Then she did the front, the mons pubis. That smarted. My hands began to sweat, and I wiped them off on my sweater. Next, yikes, she started between my thighs. She warned me that the wax was going to feel warm on my labia. The wax is the same temperature the whole time; it just feels a little warmer when applied to this sensitive part of the body. Good thing she mentioned it, or I would have been startled for a second. Then she told me to take a deep breath and let it out, and at the top of my exhale, she ripped. “OH, MOMMA!” I said. I laughed and needed a second to recover. I don’t know why I said such a stupid thing like “Oh, Momma.” What a dwid I am. Since all the hairs don’t grow in the same direction there, she had to do it a couple times in each direction to get all the hairs. She plucked a few that hadn’t come out. . . . So that’s about it. The things I feared most didn’t happen. For example, in my ruminations I imagined she might say, “Whoa, now there’s a hemorrhoid about the size of Alaska.” (Things happen when you’ve given birth.) Or maybe, “Girl, this is the most hair I’ve ever seen on anybody.” None of that happened. She was the consummate professional. I guess those Brazilian chicks thought they had a lock on this little wax job. Not anymore! Good luck if you’re going for your first one. It is G-R-E-A-T. y —A GRRRRL, from Members.Tripod.Com

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2. Consider the amount of hair you have in choosing a design. Denser hair makes for a better “impression,” but take a look at the styles in chapter 2 and you’ll see many options for sparser hair. An aesthetician can also advise you about how well a style will work with your hair type. 3. If you’ve shaved the area to be waxed before, then lay off for a month or more before you visit an aesthetician or remove the hair yourself. Hair grows in all directions, so letting the area grow in before removing it prevents patches growing back soon afterward. 4. If you’ve been taking Retin-A or using any alpha-hydroxy-acid products (no matter where you’ve been using them), you need to stop for three to four days before you wax. 5. To offset the forthcoming pain and combat hyperpigmentation (discoloration that could happen when the hair is yanked out by the roots), you can take an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. 6. Cleanliness counts. You’ll make points with your aesthetician if you’ve bathed before your appointment. Exfoliate the day before, too. 7. For at least 48 hours after waxing, don’t use scented products—no body lotion, perfume, or heavily fragranced soap. Also stay away from excessively hot water and loofahs; a warm bath and soft washcloth are okay. You can use a fragrance-free moisturizer or oil, and it’s a good idea to exfoliate once a week to prevent ingrown hairs. You’ll need to repeat professional waxing only once every four to six weeks, so this helps offset the pain factor. (Here’s another tip: It’s usually more painful in the days before, during, and after menstruation, so if you can, book your appointments midcycle.) Of course, different people have different rates of hair growth and sensitivity, so for some, waxing is no big deal and the only way to go. For others, it’s an act of heroism. The comedienne Rita Rudner once quipped, “Men are brave enough to go to

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war, but not brave enough to get a bikini wax,” which, in our book, reflects more on the pain of the wax than on the degree of men’s courage. Regardless, the first time is the worst, then as hair grows in softer, waxing doesn’t smart so much. Waxing has its own parlance, so in addition to our style guide in chapter 2, following are some waxing options you should know: A Bikini Wax cleans up any hair beyond the panty line. Perfect for a conventional bathing suit or, duh, a bikini. A Brazilian Bikini Wax leaves about a 11/2- to 2-inch vertical stripe in front, deforests the lips and tush, with an option to wax in between the cheeks, too. Ideal for someone wanting to get into typical Brazilian togs: a thong and nothing else. A Playboy Bikini Wax is a narower version of the Brazilian, leaving only a skinny stripe of hair in the front. Great if you’re posing for a centerfold or want to look like you are.

These days putting out one’s pretty power, one’s pussy power . . . no longer makes you a bimbo— it makes you smart.
Elizabeth Wurtzel Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women

waxing is by sugaring, the most popular hair removal method in North Africa and the Middle East. It involves applying a mixture of warm sugar and lemon juice, letting it harden slightly, then zipping away the hair. The sugar-mixture doesn’t adhere to the skin the way that warm wax does; thus your skin doesn’t get ripped away with

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U G A R I N G • A less painful way to get the smoothness associated with

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the hair; thus the less-painful process. This is something that can be done at home cheaply, and it involves a little time in the kitchen. 1. First, make the sugaring syrup: Over low heat, bring 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water to a temperature of 250° F (use a candy thermometer). Remove from the heat and cool enough so that you can pour it into a mason jar, or some other container that can be reheated safely. Further cool until the mixture can be put on your skin without burning. Test it on the palm of your hand or the inside of your elbow, but realize your pubic area will be even more sensitive. 2. While the syrup is cooling, cut or rip clean cotton fabric into one-inch strips. 3. Using a popsicle stick or tongue depressor or tiny spatula, spread the syrup in the direction of hair growth. Cover with the cotton strips, let set for a few minutes, then quickly—no fooling: grab one end and pull hard—rip off the strip in the opposite direction of hair growth. 4. All the tips listed for waxing apply here, too. 5. In the future, you can reheat the paste. This will thicken it, but there’s no harm in that.

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R E A M D E P I L A T O R I E S • You can get depilatories in drug and grocery stores, and they’re inexpensive ($1 to $8), fast, and—usually— painless. That’s the good news. Now for the bad: the results are short-lasting (only hours or days), the underlying hair may cast a shadow (as in 5 o’clock), and cheap acidic products may cause irritation. This method of removing seems suited only to those with fair, fine hair that grows slowly on skin that isn’t particularly sensitive. If you’re among those ranks, you may just love depilatories. Here’s how to use them for best effect:

Clean and Simple: An Unabashed Introduction to Intimate Grooming

1. Consider buying a lotion or liquid depilatory instead of the cream variety if you want to remove a lot of hair. But if you want to get specific, get cream. 2. You’ll need disposable gloves, and an old towel to protect your hands and work area. The depilatory is a chemical and you’ll want to treat it as such. 3. Follow the instructions that come with your depilatory. If you have any adverse reaction, stop! There are so many other choices. Don’t torture yourself.

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P I L A T O R I E S A N D T H R E A D I N G • Forget them. Remember we

said at the beginning of this chapter that we think plucking pubic hair is passé? That’s what epilatories and threading procedures do: pull out your pubic hair by the roots, one by miserable one. Ouch! So unless you’re into the pain, pass.

permanent hair removal for a couple of reasons: 1) It limits your choices in the future, and 2) it hurts—both your wallet and often your sensitive pubic area, too. Just for the sake of thoroughness, though, we’ll mention three methods: electrolysis, thermolysis, and blend modalities. All three are painful, so most sessions are limited to 15–60 minutes and cost about $60/hour. It takes one to two years to completely destroy the hair follicles and permanently stop hair growth. Another method, the latest to come on the market, uses lasers to rapidly and gently remove unwanted hair. Laser hair removal is less expensive than electrolysis but still requires more than one treatment session. Expect to pay more than $1,500 to get the job done, with each session coming in around $500. For laser hair removal, you have to see an expert, and you must have hair darker than the surrounding skin. People with naturally dark skin, regardless of the hair color,

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E R M A N E N T H A I R R E M O V A L • We don’t really recommend

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absorb too much laser energy and aren’t candidates at all. People with tans will have to practice patience, since they’ll have to wait for their bronzing to fade before treatment can begin. Still interested in a high-tech hairdo? Here’s our caveat: As with any of the methods described here that involve a professional, choose wisely. This goes double for laser customers. Many competing laser technologies exist, some of which are already outdated and undesirable. View an online consumer guide to laser hair removal at www.ConsumerLaserGuide.com. Educate yourself and be careful. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

()
So those are your options for hair removal. But does this mean you have to be Edwina Scissorhands to get a great look? Absolutely not. Check out the first few styles in the next chapter, which require little or no shaving or waxing—and no plucking!

TREASURE CHEST
Look for this feature at the end of each chapter, which will provide you with links to recommended products, books, and Web sites. You’ll find items to help you put what you’ve just read to practical use. We’ve stocked our Treasure Chests only with materials we’ve seen, used, tasted, tested, and otherwise evaluated to make sure they meet our standards. If you know about something wonderful we have overlooked, please contact us and let

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us know about it!

Clean and Simple: An Unabashed Introduction to Intimate Grooming

TREASURE CHEST
Hair Care Down There Ultimate Shaving Kit Delivered in a gorgeous aqua carry-all, this beauty has the three most important things for a safe, comfortable shave: good shaving gel, an after-shave spray (which stings some but does a great job preventing irritation), and a fragrance-free moisturizer. It also includes a razor, scissors, a little comb and brush, mirror (excellent for viewing all angles), stencils, and—best of all— dainty stick-on jewels. A wonderful treat for yourself. To get information or order online, click here. Just Kittyng Complete Kit (Wax) A petite collection of five waxing strips (double-sided and usable three times each, for a total of thirty applications), Soothing Gel, “Sex Symbols” (heartshaped stencils), a comb, tweezers, scissors—all in an adorable, discreet tin. Probably not ideal for major wax jobs, but great for travel and upkeep. A portion of this company’s profits benefits breast cancer research. To get information or order online, click here. Badger Brush Crabtree & Evelyn carries a number of lovely self-care supplies, as well as a whole line of high-end bathwares. Shop online at Crabtree-Evelyn.com and input the search term “badger brush” to see a multitude of options, any of which would be a lovely addition to your personal shaving kit. Sexy Briefs Many of the “boyleg” and “boyshorts” boxer-style briefs are just that: boyish. But at PamperedPassions.com, you’ll find a variety of beautiful, comfy yet seductive underwear by famous makers, including French and Italian lingerie
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The Girls’ Guide to Primping, Passion, and Pubic Fashion

TREASURE CHEST

(Continued from previous page.)

and other luxuries. See especially their sexy and sophisticated Tamarine Boxer with Tanga Back by Chantelle, an alluring bra and panty duo in sumptuous colors. And in some cases, “boxer” doesn’t necessarily mean longer legs; it can also mean those short-shorts that show off your derriere. For a gorgeous version in stunning, satiny embroidery over tulle, see the Nirvana Boxer Short by I.D Sarrieri. Very hot! Femalia, edited by Joani Blank (Book) Thirty-two photos of vulvas provide great insight into the extreme individuality of women’s private parts—each woman’s labia, clitoris, pubic hair (or lack thereof), decorations, and fingers are uniquely different. To get information or order online, click here. Viva la Vulva by Betty Dodson (VHS) In this daring (and baring) video, ten women aged twenty-five to sixty-eight groom and gussy up for their glamorous genital portraits. You see the primping session, the photo shoot, an instructional bit about the clitoris, and a ten-step process for satisfying genital massage. If you’ve felt reluctant to view your own vulva, ever wondered about the natural variety in other women, or wanted to celebrate the beauty of the vulval form, this video’s for you. To get information or order online, click here. The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler (DVD or Book) As Gloria Steinem’s foreword states, this play is “the journey of truth-telling we’ve been on for the past three decades.” Funny, thought-provoking, sometimes sorrowful, this is a great resource for any woman wanting to know her own vagina—and how other women view theirs. Click here for more on the book, or here for the DVD.

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Clean and Simple: An Unabashed Introduction to Intimate Grooming

When he went backstage to see her, she was dressing among a profusion of flowers; and for the delight of her admirers who sat around her, she was rouging her sex with her lipstick without permitting them to make a single gesture towards her. When the Baron came in, she merely lifted her head and smiled at him. She had one foot on a little table, her elaborate Brazilian dress was lifted, and with her jeweled hands she took up rouging her sex again, laughing at the excitement of the men around her. Her sex was like a giant hothouse flower, larger than any the Baron had seen, and the hair around it abundant and curled, glossy black. It was these lips that she rouged as if they were a mouth, very elaborately so that they became like blood-red camellias, opened by force, showing the closed interior bud, a paler, fine-skinned core of the flower. y Anaïs Nin, “The Hungarian Adventurer” in Delta of Venus

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Creating Pubic Art
A Style Guide of the Latest ’Dos (And How to Do Them)

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Given the style points these trendsetters give their footwear, that’s saying something! Pubic primping has become just another aspect of fashion, which has now officially worked its way into every nook and cranny of our lives. Ready to try something new? Whether you —From Sex and the City decide to go au naturel (a full, fluffy look) or totally bare (for maximum sensitivity) or anything in between, it should be a reflection of you—your preferences, your taste, your unique and private personality. Consult the style guide that follows for ideas, then use them or make up your own as you go along. We’d love to hear from you if you design a new look or find a creative way to apply what you’ve learned here. Express yourself!

“It says as much about you as your shoes.”

So advised the glamorous and uninhibited character Samantha, played by Kim Catrall, when recommending a new pubic ’do to her friends.

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“Au Naturel”
Description. Just what it sounds like—ain’t nothing but the real thing, baby. Instructions. Do nothing! Recommendations. In the summer, get a bikini wax if you want, or just shave on the sides and trim a little of your length to keep hair from poking through or out the sides of a bathing suit. Since you’ve got plenty of hair to work with, you can do a lot of preening for special occasions: tie bows, lace daisies, style with diamond-studded bobby pins . . .

Hairdressing
[In the sixteenth century,] fresh flowers were also used, as were many precious and semi-precious jewels that were neatly tied into position in a random pattern with the flowers. Some ladies used perfume that was discreetly located and they also plucked out the fringe areas of the pubic region, somewhat in the oriental manner, to achieve a more aesthetically decorative shape, whilst others preferred small plaits adorned with baroque pearl droplets—suggesting that such a fashion gave rise to the term “a woman’s treasure chest” and “to obtain the favour of a lady” was an expression to be taken in a literal sense. y —JULIAN ROBINSON, A Guide to Human Sexual Display: Body Packaging
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Creating Pubic Art: A Style Guide of the Latest ’Dos (and How to Do Them)

“Nearly Natural”
Description. Bare bikini line. Instructions. Shave or wax the hair that grows in the crease of the leg and down onto the inner thigh, and leave the rest naturally full. Recommendations. Your options are essentially the same as with Au Naturel. Use your imagination and enjoy the fullness of your long, flowing locks. Experiment with shampoos and conditioners, or adorn yourself with your favorite flounces to create the look of a garden or a treasure chest.

“Power Puff” (or “Mighty Muff”)
Description. Bare bikini line, short but curly hair everywhere with a rounded top. Instructions. Trim the hair all over to about half an inch, then shape the pubic area into a “puff ” by rounding the top and tapering the sides. You can either go completely bare on the lips, too, or leave them fluffy. Recommendations. Feel the power!

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“The Fan”
Description. Like a snow cone or Japanese fan, this style is wide at the top and narrow toward the lips. Instructions. Wax a straight line on the top (waxing is the only way to go for precision), and a straight line just inside the crease of the thigh. Trim the hair close to the skin (about an eighth of an inch), including the hair on the lips, so there are no strays anywhere. Recommendations. You want those lines to be perfectly straight so this doesn’t look like a bad mowing job. For best results, see a professional; this one’s tough to get right at home. In a salon, they often refer to this design as a triangle pattern — it can be as big or little as you like.

“Chic & Shaved”
Description. A narrower, longer version of The Fan. Instructions. Shave or wax the bikini line and leave the top natural. Trim the hair to about one-quarter of an inch all over. Recommendations. This style is great for someone who wants a manicured look without a lot of fuss.

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Creating Pubic Art: A Style Guide: The Latest ’Dos and How to Do Them

Although the trend now seems to be toward bare, there are still those who prefer a good bit of the fluffy stuff, who revere it, even. The November 2003 issue of GQ asked, “Is Bush Back?” Here’s some of what writer George Gurley reported: I’d loved an old-school nether region ever since I was a kid in the ’70s, when my pals and I discovered a stack of old Playboys and I met Rita Lee. She was a centerfold, 24 years old, from Frederic, Wisconsin. She had great boobs and all, but what entranced me was her southern coiffure. It was serious, heavy-duty, dirty blond. It could have been a guest star on Starsky and Hutch. It was mesmerizing. I’ve missed Rita Lee these past few years. Especially recently, when the once hot Brazilian totally lost its allure. It was everywhere. What used to be a thrill became predictable. . . . [A] bartender told me, “Everyone I’ve dated for the past five or six years has been very bare.” “I like a full bush,” said another guy at the bar. “Not a little shrub. I want to be able to weave it.” I felt I’d discovered a silent majority. Men were supposed to be primary beneficiaries of the wax. But now men were quietly confessing they’d become tired of the wax. They yearned for fuller growth, a return to nature. So my spirits lifted when I began hearing that women are getting sick of the wax. . . . “I do think bush is back,” says Amy Sohn, a sex columnist. “I wouldn’t say back to ’70s level, but I’ve seen more sprout going on down there.” . . . Now Sohn says she and her husband, artist Charles Miller, are fans of what she calls the “faux ’70s” look—bushy on top and bare on just the naughty bits. “The ’70s on top and ’90s down below!” she says. “You look essentially unaltered, except you have the sexual pleasure that the Brazilian affords you.” “It’s all the trend,” confirms Brenna Collins, the director at New York’s Haven spa. “It’s now very popular to leave a triangle or heart shape just in the front, the top area. If you look at her front-on, you would think that she’d had nothing done. It’s like a surprise when she spreads her legs.” y

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The Girls’ Guide to Primping, Passion, and Pubic Fashion

“Raincloud”
Description. Thin on top, full on the bottom near the lips. Instructions. Shave or wax across the top and down the sides to make a rectangular box. Now get out the scissors or an electric trimmer to take the hair down to about an eighth of an inch, working your way to just above the lip opening. Now trim the hair on the lips to about a quarter of an inch, so that as you look down your belly, it looks like a downpour. Recommendations. This simple design’s perfect for grooming as a couple. (More on that in chapter 4, “Love Nest: The Erotic Art of Grooming With a Partner.”) Just show your lover the picture, and get busy.

“Soul Patch”
Description. An oval that just covers the front but leaves the lower lips completely exposed; shaped like a beatnik’s mini-beard. Instructions. Wax or shave the top down to about half an inch from the opening of the lips, and clean the bikini area to make a straight line up from the crease in your thigh. Wax, shave, or closely trim the hair on the lower lips. Recommendations. This is the kind of style that could get itchy fast if you have coarse or dense hair. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it! Regularly conditioning your hair and waxing for a smoother finish should do the trick.

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Some women are afraid that a man who expresses an interest in shaven pubes is suppressing a secret desire for underage girls. But, largely, the opposite is true. It is the sight of a fully mature vulva, completely hairless, with nothing hidden, that most men find so arousing. Why do men like it so much? First, because it shows them instantly that the women in their lives want to arouse them. Second, because it openly displays that part of the female anatomy that really excites them.
Graham Masterton, Drive Him Wild

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The Girls’ Guide to Primping, Passion, and Pubic Fashion

“Pubic Sculpture”
Description. Any intricate design, such as fruit (strawberry, peach, pineapple), shapes (heart, club, diamond, Mercedes Benz logo, gift box with a bow, or an arrow, which is also known as “driving directions”), and so on. Instructions. You can attempt these designs at home with a good stencil (see your free bonus, Hot Pink Body Art and Stenciling Kit, for ideas and tips), but even with a steady hand and the best of intentions they can turn out a little erratic. To clean up your act, you just may have to take it all off and go bare for a while. Recommendations. We suggest you visit a salon and tell a professional exactly what you want. Ask your aesthetician about dying your hair, too, such as red for a strawberry, light orange for a peach, or powder blue for a Tiffany box, which is one of the hottest hairstyles in Hollywood these days.

Lap of Luxury
About that Mercedes Benz logo . . . True story: One woman wanted to surprise her Mercedes-loving husband for their anniversary, so she had her curlies waxed into the shape of the luxury logo. They went away on holiday to celebrate, and she told him, “I have a great Mercedes gift for you!” He replied, “Really? I thought I had everything . . .” “Not this!” She beamed as she lifted her nightgown. She says they laughed for half an hour. y

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Creating Pubic Art: A Style Guide of the Latest ’Dos (and How to Do Them)

“Homage”
Description. Any hairstyle that imitates a famous person. We’ve heard of the “Elvis” (sideburns with a tuft of hair on top), the “Marilyn” (platinum blonde), the “Charlie Chaplin” (a small rectangle just over the lips with a hatshape above), among others. How about more contemporary tributes? Of course! Consider the “Beckham,” after the sexy Brit soccer captain’s Mohican: a long stripe of close-cropped hair much like the Chic & Shaved described on page 20. This one has become popular among Japanese World Cup fans. Instructions: As with “Pubic Sculpture,” professional help will go a long way to making these turn out right. If you insist on doing it yourself, try making a stencil and using a washable ink pen to outline your design. This should work if you crop the hair close before shaving or waxing away the bits you want to be bare. (Learn more in the free bonus you received with this book, The Hot Pink Body Art and Stenciling Kit.) Recommendations. Don’t give serious thought to this, because it won’t get you anywhere. Instead, start laughing. Think caricature. Consider people who have signature features you’d like to install downstairs: Marge Simpson’s blue bouffant? Joan Crawford’s arched eyebrows? Cher’s silky black tresses from the seventies? (Hair extensions, anyone?)

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The Girls’ Guide to Primping, Passion, and Pubic Fashion

“Brazilian”
Description. There are many versions of this style, but the one thing they all share is short, short hair, bare lips, and a clean “thong” area (that’s between your cheeks). Instructions. For a variation we call “High & Tight” (perfect for militant feminists and army wives alike), trim to about an eighth of an inch all over, then wax or shave hair into a strip about an inch across and up to three inches above the opening of the lips, extending about half an inch below the opening. Wax or shave the lower lips. For “Two Bits” (as in “shave and a haircut . . .”), trim and wax as with the High & Tight, but go ahead and take the top down to within a quarter of an inch of the opening. For a “Teardrop,” leave the hair a little longer and bring it to a point at the top, rounded on the bottom. For the “Playboy,” also known as a “landing strip,” leave a long, thin stripe. Recommendations. With this little hair, cotton underwear, or nothing at all if you’re wearing a dress and feeling free, feels the best.

Trouble in Paradise?
Nicks and razor burn are usually caused by rushing, a dull blade, or not enough lubricant for a clean shave. So these are easily prevented—take it easy and change your blades often. (The minute you feel a drag on your skin, you know the blade is going dull. Throw it out!) You can also try using a razor that has a moisturizing strip or shave gel built in.

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Creating Pubic Art: A Style Guide: The Latest ’Dos and How to Do Them

Ingrown hairs. Pseudofolliculitis barbae. Whatever you call it, those nasty, itchy, tingly, tender little red bumps can sure put the brakes on any enjoyment you might be getting out of a new hairdo. While we packed the first chapter of this book with preventive advice (tips for prepping and after-care for each of the hair-removal methods), we also want to give you some solutions if these should ever happen to you. First, know that this irritation can occur whether you are using wax, a depilatory, laser treatment, electric razor, or blades, though it’s somewhat more common with shaving. It results from the hair curling back into the skin and causing an inflammation in the follicle. So here’s how you deal with it: • Don’t shave or wax or apply a depilatory until the condition has cleared up. • Don’t scratch! You can swab the area with alcohol, which should cause itchiness to abate temporarily. (It may sting.) You can also use cortisone cream sparingly. • Some people are successful at extracting the hair from the follicle by applying a hot towel (soaked in hot but not too-hot water) to loosen and soften the hair, then using sterilized tweezers to nudge the little rabbit out of its hole. Kids, you can try this at home, but be careful! • In the shower, gently exfoliate with an anti-bacterial scrub with uniformly shaped granules or with a sanitary bath buff. Don’t do this if you have an infection, which you can identify by pustules—little white heads on the red bumps. • If you think the bumps are infected, use an antiseptic such as tea tree oil. If the pustules don’t clear up in a few days, see a doctor. • Remember prevention is key. Review your hair-removal tips in the first chapter.
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• If you have the kind of hair that simply refuses to respond to any of the preventive measures or care methods, consider just going natural or else trimming the hair rather than trying to remove it. Regrowth is a bitch. That’s just the truth of it. And the coarser the hair, the bitchier— and itchier. How to cope? Assuming you don’t want to permanently remove the hair, here are some pointers: • Shaving more frequently will, of course, keep the regrowth issue to a minimum. To completely avoid the poke factor, shave at least every other day or as often as once a day. • If you wax or sugar, you’re pretty much out of luck (you can’t do this every day), but you do have the bonus of decreased hair growth over time. With both of these procedures, you are potentially damaging some of the hair follicles—and that means those hairs won’t grow back. With any luck, they’ll thin out to such a degree that regrowth becomes a complete nonissue. y

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Creating Pubic Art: A Style Guide: The Latest ’Dos and How to Do Them

“Completely Bare” (a.k.a. “Slick,” “Smoothie,” and “Sphynx” )
Description. Completely bald: no hair anywhere. Instructions. Take it off, take it all off! Recommendations. If you have coarse or particularly dense hair, this may be only a once-in-a-while style for you, or else you’ll definitely want to wax, because shaving the Foxy whole area every day could get irritating, both to the skin and to you, and heavy regrowth all the time could be equally uncomfortable. Some people swear by depilatories for taking it all off, and this may be a good solution for you. Once you’re there, as they say, if you’ve got it, flaunt it! This style is especially suited to filigree, such as stick-on jewels (one salon in Manhattan offers sparkly Swarovski crystals), temporary tattoos of your favorite words or pictures, henna designs, even body paint. You have a bare canvas . . . create!

()
If you’ve never gone bare before, and you’d like to experiment, we have a few suggestions. Start slow. Begin with one of the styles that appears early in this chapter (they go from more to less hair as you read on), then start taking more and more off over the course of a couple of weeks. If you’re feeling bold—and you want that fab tongue-on-skin feeling during oral sex—then take the hair off your lips (outer labia) sooner rather than later. Slowly whittle away the rest of your hair every few days until you’re completely smooth. This is a great way to 1) get used to the feeling of being more and more exposed and 2) tease your lover. By the time the last wisps are whisked away, it will have been like one long, delicious striptease.

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TREASURE CHEST
No-Nick Shaver Want a no-fuss, no-muss way to make going bare a breeze? The Seiko Cleancut razor is a rotary-style electric model for use on short, short hair. In other words, you’ll have to trim very close first, but then you are good to go, girl! This mini-appliance gives as close a shave as cream and blades, and promises no nicks or ingrown hairs. Great for everyday use. Sparkly Adhesive Body Art plus Hair Bows and Baubles You can pick up individual stones to make your own patterns or prefab “jeweled tattoos” in a variety of colors and designs (adorable!), plus many other shimmering embellishments, including velcro-backed jewels that stick to dense pubic hair and a glittery “body writer” gel, at GoGirlUSA.com. This site does not offer online ordering, but if you download the “retail order form,” purchasing this stuff is a snap by phone, fax, or mail. For dainty bows, go to BloomingBows.com, which has teensy ones, and MiniDolls.com, which carries pretty silks and trims you can either tie on or stick on with eyelash glue. Bath Products and Shaving Supplies At ScentedBoutique.com, you’ll find dozens of excellent bath goodies, among them Razor Guard, which extends the life of your blades and replaces shaving cream. Going Down: Lip Service From Great Writers (Book) Voluptuous, vibrant excerpts about oral sex from some of the world’s bestknown and most respected writers, among them Erica Jong, Anaïs Nin,
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Norman Mailer, Philip Roth, Gay Talese, John Updike, and Oscar Wilde. To get information or acquire the book, click here. Sex and the City on DVD So far, we’ve counted three shows featuring pubic primping: Samantha’s boyfriend shaves her pubic hair into a lightning bolt, Samantha talks the girls into a wax job in Los Angeles, and (who else?) Samantha accidentally dyes her hair orange and laments having become “Bozo the Bush.” Every episode is a treasure, whether intimate grooming makes an appearance or not. To get information or acquire the series on DVD, click here.

Tidy Aphrodite
Bathtime Techniques

Queen Cleopatra covered the floor of her boudoir with a dense carpet of rose petals .

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Then she bathed in milk, water, and still more rose petals before meeting her paramour, Mark Anthony, one of many lovers who became so intoxicated with her that he literally changed the world.

Mary Queen of Scots filled her tubs with wine. Queen Elizabeth of Hungary immersed herself in rosemary-infused water, drank it, then massaged herself with it, curing her joints of paralysis and luring a much younger man to her bed. In the realm of fine art, Fragonard, Renoir, Cézanne, Degas, Seurat, and other masters chose beautiful female bathers as the subject of their paintings, and no wonder: Bathing can be an art form on its own. By taking the time to pamper yourself, you honor your body, put yourself in the frame of mind to enjoy lovemaking, and can explore and implement your personal preferences for scent and sensation, especially in the pubic region. But let’s get something straight right away: Women don’t need to mask their most personal fragrance with deodorant or scrub it off with soap to have an incredibly sexy smell. Although you can still find feminine hygiene sprays and douches on the shelves of any grocery or drug store, they have to be the most unnecessary (and sometimes harmful) products you could ever purchase for your tender parts. Not to mention they

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don’t do anything at all that enhances your allure. Who wants a vulva that smells like cheap air freshener? Besides, a woman’s natural vaginal aroma, or cassolette (French for “perfume box”), can be a powerful attractant on its own. In his book, The New Joy of Sex, Alex Comfort, M.D. calls the cassolette the single greatest sexual asset after beauty. Scientists tell us it is made up of pheromones (which you can’t smell in the usual sense but which send powerful signals to the brain), musk, indole (an aphrodisiac chemical also present in lilac, narcissus, orange blossom, and tuberose), and at least a hundred other components. These combine to create a signature scent for every woman, a formula naturally designed to tantalize and arouse a lover, and even tickle the taste buds. That’s not to say people don’t have preferences or that your natural odor can’t be enhanced. Some are particularly passionate about the smell of an unwashed woman, most notably the emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. When he knew he would be returning from the battlefield, he would send instructions to his wife, Josephine, not to bathe. “Ne te laves pas, je revien,” he would write. “Don’t wash, I’m coming home.”

A thousand kisses to your neck, your breasts, and lower down, much lower down, that little black forest I love so well.
Napoleon Bonaparte Letter to the empress Josephine

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We can only assume she honored his wishes. But we know for certain Jo did use the scent of violets to freshen her personal bouquet, and the potent combination kept the little general in thrall his whole life. The girl had confidence, to be sure. And that’s really what we’re after here: Not a recipe for the perfect perfume to apply to your privates, but instead a personal ritual for intimate grooming—one to keep you feeling sexy while driving your lover wild.

Tidy Aphrodite: Bathtime Techniques

Start by imagining yourself as Aphrodite, commonly known as the goddess of love and beauty, but in truth the spirit of primal sexuality: desire, seduction, and ecstasy. The idea is to recognize the inherent power of what you’ve already got—no less who you already are—to revel in that, and to find ways to heighten your own sultry smell. In this chapter, we offer ideas for making your bath a temple of tender care, giving you insights for decorating la toilette with powerful feminine sexual symbols, suggestions for enhancing your natural scent, as well as specific recommendations for bathing before (and after) a sexual encounter.

Adorning the Temple
Let’s face it: A goddess deserves and demands accessories . . . beautiful things to see and touch, inspirational objects to get her in the mood. Consider this as you decorate your bathroom: What luxuries caress your soul? What flowers soothe and intoxicate you? What fruits do you find seductive? What are your favorite colors and scents and sounds? Appeal to all your senses, and they will come alive. Certain items have been imbued with eroticism for thousands of years, mainly due to shapes that suggest the female form. (No doubt you’ve recognized yourself in Georgia O’Keeffe’s flowers.) On the next page is a list of sacred sexual totems. Consider incorporating these, or artistic representations of them, into your private bath to create a decidedly feminine essence, something worthy of your inner Aphrodite.

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S AC R E D S E X UAL TOTE M S Shells, especially the cowrie, conch, scallop, and cockle Flowers, most often the lotus, lily, rose, and orchid Fruits, particularly the apricot, fig, peach, coco-de-mer, apple, pomegranate, and quince Nuts with a vulvar shape, such as almonds and walnuts Spices, such as cinnamon and cardamom, fennel, and myrrh Stones, large or small, with holes in them, or formed like archways, which echo the shape of a woman’s vulva Animals, frequently the dove (Aphrodite’s primary sacred animal) and the dolphin In addition, candles blend masculine (the stick) and feminine (the flame) symbols, plus they can inexpensively provide an exotic, aromatic ambience. You can acquire beautiful statues reminiscent of ancient fertility symbols or depicting goddesses, such as the Hindu Shakti and the Nepalese Uma, as well as reproductions of the art mentioned throughout this chapter. Small fountains come in a variety of shapes, some of them highly suggestive. Other objects may have personal significance for you, representing your creativity or self-expression or sensuality, and these would be great for the bath, too. You’re building a shrine to your womanliness, so use personal icons, plus any other symbols and sights that will help to create a lush, sumptuous retreat for relaxation and renewal.

Anointing the Altar

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You constantly, naturally produce vaginal fluids, also known as the female love juices, the dew of ecstasy, and the aqua vitae, or “waters of life.” What to do if you don’t go for Josephine’s jaunty, I-smell-jim-dandy-no-matter-what approach? First, know that the vagina is described by gynecologists as self-cleansing, meaning there’s not

Tidy Aphrodite: Bathtime Techniques

much you should do. In this case, less is best: Warm Oooooh, and there’s one other water is really all you need, but if you wish to use soap, accoutrement every woman should choose something mild. Absolutely do not use any of have: a fine, reliable, hand-held the antibacterial bars, because they upset a delicate showerhead, the kind that pulbalance and could cause inflammation or worse. sates, sprays, and massages with Your vaginal fluid should have a pleasant, tangy adjustable jets. This can be invalusmell, though when trapped in a pair of underwear for able when you’re trying to get an extended period of time, it can grow sour. So wearing breathable fabric next to your skin is a definite plus. clean (or dirty). A posting at By the way, if you’re smelling “fishy,” it’s probably Clitical.com by “Katydid” says it all: because you had unprotected sex recently. The combiSwitching over to pulse mode . . . nation of some men’s semen with your warm, moist I place my foot on the edge of the tub environment can temporarily give rise to this odor.* . . . opening my legs wider. Reaching But don’t be tempted to douche for this! It’s a definite down with one hand I spread my don’t: Gynecologists warn that not only is it a waste of money, but it 1) can also actually increase discharge and pussy lips open wide, exposing the odor and 2) may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, pink softness inside. Bringing the which can lead to a whole host of problems, not least of showerhead in close . . . the warm which are chronic pelvic pain and infertility. water pulses on me . . . making my clit Instead, use your friendly showerhead to introduce hard in an instant. With the right water to all your nooks and crannies, or run a bath with imagination, I can feel lips there, your favorite, lightly scented bath oil and use your searching . . . a tongue, flicking . . . fingers to gently cleanse the folds of your labia. That’s it. Nothing else required. fingers working over it. y If you want to perfume your pubic hair, though, feel free. As suggested earlier in this book, shampoo and condition your curlies when*If this odor is persistent, however, it could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis (BV). Untreated, this is a serious condition, but it’s easy for a doctor to diagnose and cure. See your physician if you are concerned.

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What’s Normal?
According to one study, the average amount of vaginal fluid discharged on any given day is about 1.5 grams, or 1/4 teaspoon. (This does not include menstrual flow.) Yet scientists have actually done very little study of this aspect of feminine biology, and real women vary greatly from this average. If you are concerned—especially if the amount of discharge is not normal for you, or it has an unusual odor for you, or if it itches, burns, or irritates—see your gynecologist and get her opinion. y

ever you wash the hair on your head. If you’ve shaved, you’ll want to moisturize and possibly use baby powder, too, but remember, no talc. For a little extra attention, apply any of the following essential oils in proximity to your V, where they will waft nearby and enhance the ambience if you’re expecting a visitor. These were suggested by Margo Anand in her book, The Art of Sexual Ecstasy: The Path of Sacred Sexuality for Western Lovers: Mint on your bellybutton to “awaken a sense of power and centeredness” Vanilla or pure, natural extract of the ylang-ylang flower (not synthetic because it could burn) on the perineum for sexual stimulation Lemon or lemongrass on your legs to improve circulation

Other scents she suggested for other locations: lavender on your temples and behind your ears for relaxation, eucalyptus on your chest for easy breathing, and sandalwood between your eyebrows and on the top of your head for serenity. If you enjoy these fragrances, though, there’s no reason you couldn’t apply them behind your knees, smooth them on your backside, or dab them on your inner thighs, too. Not bad spots for a touch of your favorite perfume or cologne, either—though you may decide to swear off synthetics after you read in the next chapter how they affect sexual arousal.

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Tidy Aphrodite: Bathtime Techniques

Bathing Rituals
One of the great things about taking a bath or long shower is the ceremony it injects into our everyday lives. We slow down, stop talking, start breathing deeply, touch ourselves all over. It feels great to engage in these rites, taking care of our bodies reverentially. It also bears repeating that a bath is a terrific way to soften your pubic hair and open the pores prior to any shaving you might do. Below are several detailed bathing rituals. We suggest you try them all as prescribed, then choose one or two to adapt and make your own through repetition. Salud!

Aro m a t h e ra p y B a t h # 1

The Spa Treatment
1. Light a candle with a relaxing, natural aroma. 2. Fill your bathtub with warm water and add several pumps of body wash, a scented bicarbonate ball (“bath bomb”), or a handful of scented bath salts—rosemary, chamomile, jasmine, limeflower, and vervaine are great before sleeping. (Avoid anything that contains sodium lauryl sulfate, which breeds bacteria in your bathwater. Blecch.) 3. Blend a body wash with sugar for an exfoliating body scrub, then use it on your feet and elbows and anywhere else you like. 4. Soak in the tub to melt away the scrub.
(Continued on next page.)

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5. Mist your face with a cooling spray, either pure water or a cosmetic product of your choice. 6. Apply a cool compress to your forehead. 7. When you’re ready, emerge from the tub and dry yourself with a luxurious, fluffy towel. 8. Finish by rubbing a body lotion that includes aloe and glycerine all over, then lightly spray your neck, belly, and behind with the fragrance of your choice: an oil mist or eau de toilette.

Checklist for the Ideal Bath
❑ Warm Bathroom ❑ Aroma Jar ❑ Soothing Music ❑ Warm Towels ❑ Bubbles/Oil/Salts ❑ Body Scrub/Loofah ❑ Back Brush ❑ Soap ❑ Sponge ❑ Washcloth ❑ Face Mask ❑ Nail Brush ❑ Pumice Stone ❑ Rubber Massage Glove ❑ Massage Oil ❑ Champagne, Wine, or Herbal Tea ❑ Body Moisturizer ❑ Bathrobe ❑ Lots of time— lock the door! y

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—The Body Shop Book: Skin, Hair and Body Care

Tidy Aphrodite: Bathtime Techniques

Below are two lovely aromatherapy prescriptions from The Enchanted Bath. The recommended ritual is to imagine yourself the titular woman (the lady for whom the concoction is named) and surround yourself with anything that would remind you of her time and place and spirit. Add the mixture to a hot bath (98 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit), then soak for 20 to 30 minutes.

Aro m a t h e ra p y B a t h # 2

Cleopatra’s Bath of Roses: To Awaken the Senses
6 to 10 drops rose essential oil 1/4 to 1/2 cup goat’s milk At least 2 handfuls of rose petals Orange candle(s) 1 beautiful robe Draw a hot bath. In a small bowl, mix oil and goat’s milk, then add to the water. Sprinkle fresh rose petals, too. Before you climb in, set the mood by lighting the candle(s) and turning off all the lights. “To honor the queen,” urges The Enchanted Bath, “have your flashiest bathrobe ready to slip into when you finish soaking in the milk bath. Cleopatra loved silk, and her favorite colors were purple and gold.”

Don’t have time to make your own bath formulas? Never fear, the Treasure Chest at the end of this chapter has some great sources for luxurious, ready-made bath treatments you can purchase online.

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Aro m a t h e ra p y B a t h # 3

Aphrodite’s Conjuring Waters: For Pure Pleasure
4 drops ginger essential oil 4 drops sandalwood essential oil 4 drops vanilla extract or absolute 4 drops ylang-ylang essential oil 1 tablespoon sulfated castor oil Red candle(s) Greek/Mediterranean music Draw a hot bath. In a small bowl, mix the oils and add to the water. Light your candle(s), start the music, then slip into your tub, imagining long stretches of white sand beaches bordering the turquoise Aegean Sea. Everyone loves you . . . you are the spirit of sacred sensuality.

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Purif ying Salt Bath Based loosely on a pagan rite, which can be adapted to any belief system
Note: Although it’s perfectly fine to take this bath before removing hair, do not get into any salt bath or scrub after shaving, waxing, or using any other hair removal method. That’s a painful mistake you’d make only once! 1. Clean your bathtub, then fill it with warm water. 2. Using either regular table salt or sea salt, pour some into your cupped palm and let it flow through your fingers into the water. Repeat two more times. 3. Stir the water with your dominant hand until the salt is dissolved. 4. Keeping your hand in the water, say something like this (improvise if you wish): “I release all negativity from myself and my environment. I let go of unpleasant emotions and disagreeable thoughts and of the distractions and distress I collect in my daily life. I now cleanse my body and spirit.” 5. Stand next to the tub and face east. Say something like this: “I ask for blessings.” 6. Dip your dominant hand’s forefinger and middle finger into the water and anoint (touch the water droplets to) the middle of your forehead, which is your third eye, and left then right eyelids, saying, “Bless my eyes, because they help me see my way clearly.” 7. Dip your dominant hand’s forefinger and middle finger into the water and anoint your nose, saying, “Bless my nose, because it helps me breathe the essence of life.” 8. Dip your dominant hand’s forefinger and middle finger into the water and anoint your lips, saying, “Bless my lips, because they help me speak truth.”

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9. Dip your dominant hand’s forefinger and middle finger into the water and anoint your heart and breasts, saying, “Bless my breasts and heart, because they nurture my faithfulness and love.” 10. Dip your dominant hand’s forefinger and middle finger into the water and anoint your belly and genitals, saying, “Bless my womb and vagina, because they are the seat of my creativity and self-expression.” 11. Dip your dominant hand’s forefinger and middle finger into the water and anoint your knees, saying, “Bless my knees, because they kneel in gratitude.” 12. Dip your dominant hand’s forefinger and middle finger into the water and anoint your feet, saying, “Bless my feet, because they carry me forward to new adventures.” 13. Now get into the tub and sink into the water, splashing it up over your body. Close your eyes and imagine yourself enveloped in love and light.

She looks like a sea Cybele, fresh from ocean, Rising with her tiara of proud towers At airy distance, with majestic motion, A ruler of the waters and their powers.
George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimmage (1812)

14. When you’re ready, let the water out and watch it drain. Towel yourself off and finish with a moisturizing lotion.

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Sensuous Shower B a se d o n p re p a ra t i o n f o r s a cre d se x d e t a i l e d i n T h e Ar t o f S e x u a l Ec s t a s y
Still clothed, sit quietly for ten minutes to calm and quiet the mind as your body comes center stage. Take deep breaths. Assure yourself with self-talk such as, “I love and appreciate my body just as it is” or “My relationship with my body is happier every day.” 1. Stand and run a hot shower. Moving slowly, remove your clothes and get into the shower. Continue to breathe deeply and imagine your muscles gently loosening under the hot water. 2. When you’re relaxed, switch to cold water. Allow yourself to respond to the shock of the temperature change—make noises, shake all over—however your body responds is fine. Slowly expose each part of your body to the cold, starting with your legs, then your spine, arms, the front of your body, your neck, face, and the top of your head. Let your breath come more quickly, and move vigorously under the water to energize yourself. 3. Step out of the cold shower feeling invigorated. Dry off slowly, paying attention to the feel of the towel on your cool skin. Maintain the sense of ceremony as you continue to prepare. 4. Attend to your hands, cleaning your fingernails, trimming and filing them if need be, moisturizing the skin until soft to the touch. 5. Brush your teeth. Put a few drops of mint essential oil on your tongue, or use a breath freshener or mouthwash.

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()
There you are, all squeaky clean and smelling great. Every pore of your skin exudes your purest essence . . . You are Aphrodite in her palace, and the only thing that could possibly improve your mood would be to have someone with whom to share your glorious self. If you have room in your bathtub, or your bed—or your heart—for two, read on, o goddess of love.

Land of the Rising Sun
I padded, wood sandals on stone, across to the bathhouse. I hung the robe on the round peg and stretched down to open the wooden cover concealing the roasting bath. The steam rose. Not yet. The bath is for cleansing the spirit; cleaning the body comes first. I folded my lanky limbs onto a tiny stool. Wood, cool and flat, it snuggled up over my vagina and held my round butt, my melonous American ass that through years of weight lifting and dance had become a ball of inviting sinew coated in a light down. My body undulated muscle. I noticed it more acutely after entering Japanese bathhouses where a profusion of soft women’s bodies dotted tiled floors as they squatted decorously on cedar stools. Now I was alone for the first time in a bath in Japan. The steam, the scrubbing, the endless touching of brush and cloth and slippery soap began to work wonders on my loins. I rubbed myself, relaxed, and began to flow.
—Wickham Boyle, “Floating World” in The Erotic Edge: 22 Erotic Stories for Couples

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TREASURE CHEST
Candles, Salts, Soaks, and Fizzy Balls (“Bath Bombs”) From pillars to votives to travel tins, The Scented Boutique carries deliciously aromatic candles from fine makers. The boutique also carries bath scrubs, gels, bombs, and bubbles. Click here to go to their bath essentials page. Art for the Bath Interested in acquiring a fine-art print of any of Paolo Lupone’s nudes or flowers featured in this book? E-mail us at authors@HotPinkBook.com, for pricing. An inexpensive alternative for bringing more art into your home, AllPosters.com boasts an enormous collection of bath and spa art as well as classic art posters. We’ve selected one hundred images for you to peruse, plus you can search the rest of the site for any category. (Note: Although we’ve included only one size per piece in our “gallery,” AllPosters sells them in a variety. To view all sizes available, search by title and artist.) Essential Oils Florapathic’s aromatics are some of the highest-quality organic essential oils produced in the world. Both pure formulations and blends are available, all ideal for bath mixes and to wear as personal fragrances. You can find every oil mentioned in this chapter—and more—available online at their site. Mediterranea by Savina Yannatou (CD) Traditional songs and a lilting soprano capture the many flavors of the Mediterranean. Relaxing, beautiful music; perfect for Aphrodite’s Conjuring Waters Bath (page 46). To hear a sample or to order online, click here. The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Sexual Passion and Fulfillment by Jack Morin, Ph.D. (Book) Understand what turns you on and why (discover your “erotic theme”), and learn how to apply that knowledge to your relationships for better sex. Great bathtub reading! To get information or order online, click here.

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Love Nest
The Erotic Art of Grooming With a Partner

4

“Sweetheart,”
you call out. “Can you help me with something in the bathroom?”

And when your beloved arrives, there you are, lying on a soft towel with lots of pillows behind your head and wearing nothing but a smile, legs wide open and scissors in your hand so your lusty invitation can’t be mistaken for a request to fix the faucet or something.

How would your lover react if you offered yourself in this way? We bet that after he* picks his jaw up off the floor, he’ll be happy to help. Downright eager, even. How to pull it off with aplomb? Asemble your tools: scissors, razor, a soft and moist towel, mineral oil, a bowl of water, shaving cream (for a nice touch, warm it beforehand by putting the container in hot water), and a small mirror. Put all of these on a tray or in a basket to keep them handy. According to Laura Corn, author of 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex, you can . . .
Start by having him massage a few drops of warm oil into your skin to soften it up. Mmmmm . . . this is getting better all the time! Crop with scissors, and move on to shaving cream and a razor. Tell him . . . that [you’ve read] there’s absolutely nothing like the sensation of a man’s mouth against freshly shaved skin. Tell him you want him to try it, to lick you
* Authors’ Note: For simplicity’s sake, we’ve used the male pronoun, he, but that does not mean this chapter is intended only for male-female couples.

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right now. . . . In fact, you should show him you mean business by pushing him on his back and climbing right on top of his face, pressing your slick, pink flesh against his tongue. For the first time, there’s nothing between his mouth and the most sensitive part of you. Be prepared for heaven . . . because it really is incredibly different, incredibly arousing, incredibly sensuous. You may find yourself reaching orgasm faster than ever before . . . and you may find that he wants to do it more . . . and more . . . and more. . . .

You Can Do It . . . All Day Long
Don’t believe it could take a whole day? Here, we’ll prove it! 8:30 A.M.– 9 A.M. The Cunning Linguist Developing the language of love 9 A.M.– 10 A.M. Breakfast Is on Me Enjoying sensual scents and flavors 10 A.M.– 11 A.M. Rub a Dub Dub Bathing rituals for two 11 A.M.– 3 P.M. Buzz Me Tender Primping and pampering one another 3 P.M.– 5 P.M. A Stroke of Love Using sensual massage to sensitize the whole body

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Of course, after he’s done, you can return the favor. (See your free bonus, our Style Guide for Guys, for ideas.) And when that’s finished, if you can take any more foreplay, continue decorating—with jewelry, paint, food, flavored lubricants . . . you get the idea. You could turn this little bit of fun into a pleasure marathon. Build yourselves a love nest and settle in for a day of pampering and passion. Most sex experts commend the slow build-up of extended foreplay for creating a wowza orgasm. There are both physical and emotional benefits: You heighten sensitivity—every inch of your skin seems to tingle, you become more aware of your body movements and every subtlety of your lover’s touch—and tap into the erotic theme of longing, which sparks imagination and fantasy. It’s the formula for every good romantic story: Take two lovers, keep them apart until all seems lost, and then reunite them at the end for one very dramatic climax.

Love Nest: The Erotic Art of Grooming With a Partner

Instead of seeing this day as a test of how many times you can have sex, consider using it to linger over your desire, to hold off fulfilling it until you are both intoxicated with the feelings you have for one another and really cannot wait a moment longer.

THE

C

8:30 A . M . – 9 A . M .

U N N I N G L I N G U I S T • Read this passage together then
choose some new words to incorporate into the way you talk about (or during) sex.

In English, we have hundreds of choices for what to call ourselves “down there” (itself an unsatisfyingly vague euphemism), but most of them seem downright nasty. While some women have begun to snatch cunt from the jaws of affrontery, many of us just say vagina, and a few of us also now proudly proclaim our pussy power. Even so, we are left with few names that really bestow any honor on our most delicate parts. Just to make the point, here’s a representative sampling of the silliness the English language has to offer—and these are the less-offensive, arguably cute ones. Apricot split Bluebeard’s closet Cornucopia Doodle sack Goldfinch’s nest Hey nonny nonny and a hot cha-cha Honey pot Jelly-roll Lady Jane Little man in the boat Little sister Lower wig Matrix Milliner’s shop Old Mossyface Parenthesis Satchel Sugar donut Teazle Thatched house Tufted treasure Under dimple Whaddya call it Wham Whatsis Yum-yum

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The list goes on, but it doesn’t get much better. So we’ll turn to other languages, which seem to have been kinder and more complimentary to the voluptuous V, using both sacred and profane language to give her new names, ones more inviting and prettier than anything in our native lexicon. Here’s a list of favorites from those we’ve discovered so far. Even when they’re less than flattering, they just sound so much better. Barbu (bar-boo: French, “the bearded one”) Baveaux (bah-voh: French, “drooler”) Bénitier (bay-nee-tyay: French, “holy water basin”) Bonbonniere (bone-bone-nyay: French, “sweetmeat box”) Bonnet a poils (bun-nay ah pwah: French, “hair bonnet”) Bréviaire d’amour (bray-vyay dah-more: French, “breviary of love”) Chagatte, chat, chatte*, chaton, greffier, mimi, minet, minou (shah-got, shah, shaht,* shah-tun, gruh-fyay, me-me, me-nay, me-noo: French, “cat, pussy, kitten”) *most popular Chalice (Western esoteric schools) Cheminée (shuh-min-nay: French, “chimney”) Cinnabar Cleft (Chinese/Taoist) Concha (cone-kuh: Latin) Creavasse (cruh-yah-voss: French, “crevice”) Cwithe (Old English) Dark Gate (Chinese) Die Muschi (dee moo-she: German, “pussy”) Figue (feeg: French, “fig”) Ghanta (gahn-tah: Sanskrit) Golden Gate (Chinese) Grippette (gree-pet: French, “pouncer”) Guhe (goo-heh: Nepali) Hor (Hebrew) Il micio (eel me-chee-oh: Italian, “pussy, pussycat”) Inner Heart (Chinese) Jade Gate (Chinese) Ka-t (kaht: Egyptian) Kohe (koh-heh: Hawaiian) Konnos (koh-noss: Greek) Kteis (kuh-tay-iss: Greek, “scallop”) Kunthus (koont-hoos: Greek) Kunti (koon-tee: Sanskrit) Kut (koot: Dutch, slang) Kvithe (Teutonic)

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Levres (lev-reh: French, “lips”) Lotus of Her Wisdom (Tantric/Sanskrit) Mille-feuilles (meel-fweel: French, “Napoleon pastry”) Motte (muht: French, “mound”) Moule (mool: French, “mussel,” very popular) Mysterious Valley (Chinese/Taoist) Mystic Rose (Western esoteric schools) Padma (pah-dmah: Sanskrit, “lotus”) Panier (puh-nyay: French,“basket”) Panier d’amour (puh-nyay duh-more, French, “basket of love”) Peeshe (pee-she: Persian, “kitty”) Phoenix (Chinese)

Pillow of Musk (Chinese) Pince (pans: French, “holder, gripper”) Portail (por-tie: French, “portal”) Precious Crucible (Chinese/Taoist) Pure Lily (Chinese) Purple Mushroom Peak (Chinese) Qitbus (Gothic) Red Ball (Chinese) Red Pearl (Chinese) Secret Cavern (Chinese/Taoist) Sensitive Cave (Chinese) Sulcus (sull-koos: Latin, “furrow”) Tire-lire (teer-leer: French, “piggy bank”) Yoni (yoh-nee: Sanskrit, sacred, “womb, origin, and source”)

“When I make love to women I think of their genitals as a, as a ruby fruit jungle.” “Ruby fruit jungle?” “Yeah, women are thick and rich and full of hidden treasures and besides that, they taste good.”
Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle

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You Wanna Talk Dirty?
Maybe you think all this is just too tame, and what you’d really like is some redblooded, hot naughty talk when you’re getting it on. After all, politely asking someone to touch your tire-lire won’t exactly win you a vixen-of-the-year award. If you have always wanted to introduce rougher language but somehow haven’t gotten up the nerve, here are some tips from Violet Blue, the editor and author of a number of sex guides and erotic writings: Start by making a list of words you think are sexy but don’t feel comfortable saying out loud yet—and you think they’d be a spicy addition to your sexual vocabulary. (If pussy and cunt don’t roll trippingly off your tongue, that’s a place to start.) Say them out loud in front of a mirror. You’ll probably giggle or cover your face with your hands at first, but that’s okay. Keep saying them until you can look yourself in the eyes and not be overcome with schoolgirl snicker syndrome. Use your sexiest voice. Try these exercises to make your voice more resonant and rich-sounding: Stretch your facial muscles, paying particular attention to tongue, lips, and jaw. Begin talking from the center of your chest, but use your belly rather than your chest for deep breathing. Experiment by speaking softly, low; whisper; deepen your voice—then more loudly, but even more deeply pitched. Now hum; now speak in your low whisper but with the resonance of the hum. Which of these is your sexiest voice? Start talking dirty to yourself when you masturbate. Practice on yourself, and the words will become linked with your arousal. Then it will feel more natural to be nasty when you’re doing the nasty. y

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B

9 A . M . — 10 A . M . in bed together, but forget flatware and fine china. Both of you might want to prepare the meal in the kitchen, or you may decide that one person should serve; either way, the food is to be devoured from your lover’s body. Drink champagne and orange juice from your belly buttons, serve (warm, not hot) pancakes on your abdomen and drizzle syrup over your nipples, line up berries on your legs, set up a dessert of whipped cream on your genitals. Use your imagination, your lips, your tongues . . .

R E A K F A S T I S O N M E • Have breakfast

Oysters. Hollandaise-dipped asparagus. Garlic. Okay, maybe that’s not breakfast fare, but certain foods and their aromas are said to have aphrodisiac properties, meaning they’re supposed to awaken your desire and keep it coming. A few more from the naughty-fun-food-file: scallops, mussels, king prawns, snails, fennel, pine nuts, ginger, saffron, radishes, vanilla, quince, chocolate, walnuts . . . all kinds of finger food, too, just because any time you’re sucking on fingers, you’re probably getting in a certain frame of mind. What are the most stimulating foods? Here are the top four, according to a Revlon survey of carnal cuisine: Champagne or wine (34 percent) Strawberries (29 percent) Chocolate (23 percent) Whipped Cream (19 percent)

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No real news there, right? So let’s look a little deeper. In the mid- to late nineties, Alan Hirsch, M.D., conducted a series of experiments to see just which smells really get us hot. (The man also evaluated which smells cause us to lose weight, but that’s another story. You can learn more about both studies in his books, Scentsational Sex and Dr. Hirsch’s Guide to Scentsational Weightloss.) He measured the increase in blood flow to the genitals of both men and women by hooking up the subjects to calibration equipment. For men, that meant a small blood pressure cuff on the penis, and for women a sterile photophlethysmograph (say that three times fast) inserted vaginally to measure pulse pressure and thus blood flow. Here’s what they found. Scents causing a significant increase in the flow of blood to the vaginal area:
Aroma

Average Increase

Good & Plenty candy (or Liquorice Allsorts) and cucumber . . . . . . .13% Pumpkin pie and lavender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11% Baby powder and chocolate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4% Scents causing a significant increase in the flow of blood to the penis:
Aroma Average Increase

Pumpkin pie and lavender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40% Cinnamon buns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38% Licorice and donuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31.5% Pumpkin pie and donuts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20% Among the lower-scoring odors tested with both sexes: charcoal and mesquite barbecue smoke, cherry, lemon, banana-nut bread, sweet pea, parsley, coconut, green apple, peach, Oriental spice fragrance, vanilla (which got a good response among the older fellas), cranberry, peach, grape, root beer, cappuccino, gardenia, and some popular commercial perfumes and colognes.

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You might be interested to know that no odor decreased blood flow for men. Even cranberry, dubbed by the doctor as “the biggest loser” in the study, caused a 2 percent increase. Perhaps more significant, several odors were found to impair arousal among women: Scents causing a decrease in the flow of blood to the vaginal area:
Aroma Average Decrease

Cherry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18% Charcoal barbecue smoke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14% Male colognes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1% Women’s perfumes caused only a 1 percent increase in blood flow to the vagina. And, as Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your . . . you might expect, women’s responses were Although it may be tempting, you shouldn’t more complex than the men’s. It seems that the put most foods inside your vagina. (Lacing the guys responded all pretty much the same, with outside with treats is fine.) It’s a delicate some slight variations between age groups and sexual activeness categories. Women, on the ecosystem in there, and introducing foreign other hand, had widely variant responses bacteria can lead to a serious infection. dependent on whether they become “extremely Absolute no-no: meat, which is easily aroused” with manual stimulation or masturcontaminated. Supposedly okay: yogurt, which bation and whether they are multiorgasmic* in is full of the bacteria that fights yeast. Anything at least a third of their sexual encounters. What all this means in terms of your own in between? Just be very careful, and if you’re sex life depends on you—your preferences, your not sure, ask your doctor. y sexual activities and behaviors. It doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy a photophle-thingamajig, just that scent-testing could be a really fun experiment to do in your own home without the high-tech tools. You could have a great time playing with foods and aromas that are supposed to tantalize.
*Multiorgasmic: Having more than one orgasm in a lovemaking session, either just moments or minutes apart, or spaced at longer intervals.

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Feed each other licorice candy and cucumber slices, and see if it heats things up any. If you’re someone who gets really turned on by masturbation, substitute licorice and banana-nut bread. Try putting a pumpkin pie in the oven, spritzing your pillows with lavender water, then hitting the sheets to see if it does anything for either one or both of you. Lightly dust your shoulders with baby powder and share some chocolate kisses—literally, by sharing a piece of chocolate—and see where that leads. Skip the powder if you’re multiorgasmic more than a third of the time (according to the study, it would be a buzzkill), and just go for the chocolate.

“Come eat me— put your lips to mine and begin that way.”
Isadora Duncan to Gordon Craig (1907)

Try flavored lubricants. They come in all kinds of yummy varieties, from chocolate and strawberry to tangerine and cinnamon. (What, no Good & Plenty flavor? We haven’t found it yet, but wouldn’t that be a great name for a sex aid? Are you listening, Hershey’s Foods?) Even if you don’t need lube for lovemaking, a bit of extra glide can increase sensation. Yum. Still another idea is to set out a smorgasbord of flavors and aromas. Use the ones already listed in this chapter, and add others, too, to see what you and your lover like the most. Keep a shot glass with a few coffee beans nearby to neutralize your nose, and some oyster crackers to clear your palate from time to time. Then one of you should close your eyes (use a blindfold if that works for you), and the other can offer things to smell and taste, alternating with a whiff of the coffee beans or a bite of cracker between. Have fun feeding each other and enjoying the pleasure of treating one another to a variety of scent-sations.

Love Nest: The Erotic Art of Grooming With a Partner

R

10 A . M . — 11 A . M .

U B A D U B D U B • Lather up with your lover, lingering wherever
your libidos lead you. Maybe you want it to be all hands-on—you wash each other from head to toe—or maybe it would be more seductive for you to take turns and watch one another. (And maybe someone wants to take photos or video?) However you decide to do it, take your time, and take your pleasure with one another.

Creating a bath ritual for two is not much different from doing it for yourself; you just innovate ways to bring someone else into the luxury of it. Turn off all the lights and burn as many candles as you can safely set up in the bathroom. Shampoo and condition each other’s hair. Use different textures to stimulate the skin: switch leisurely between a brush, a pouf (those bundles of soft netting), a loofah, a soft washcloth, and your soapy hands. Take this opportunity to slip and slide against each other. Try the bathing ideas of the previous chapter, but do them à deux, and try any of the four fab scrub formulas below to smooth the skin and whet your appetite for a lover’s touch. (Don’t have time to make your own? Check out the previous chapter’s Treasure Chest for wonderful sources of ready-made scrubs you can order online.)

Basic Bat h Scrub
1 cup salt 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon sunflower oil 1 teaspoon fragrance oil or 5 drops essential oil Can be mixed ahead (the salt is a preservative and will add to the scrub’s shelf life). For use after showering together . . . Wonderful smelling! Apply then rinse well. (Find more recipes like this one at WomenCentral.net.)

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Herbal Scrub
3 cups oatmeal 1 cup dried rose petals (no stems or leaves) 1 cup dried thyme (leaves only) Dried peel from 2 oranges Pulverize the ingredients in a blender, miniprocessor, or coffee grinder to a smooth consistency. Use soon; scrub and rub briskly onto wet skin. The oatmeal should be soothing, and the thyme is a delicious astringent. Rinse when you’re ready.

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Almond Scrub
3 cups sweet almond oil 1 cup almonds 1 cup oatmeal 1 cup fine sand (or another cup of ground almonds) 15 drops essential oil 2 cups liquid soap Pulverize the almonds, one by one, in a blender, miniprocessor, or coffee grinder. Add the oatmeal and grind to a smooth, consistent texture. Put other ingredients in a bowl, add ground oatmeal and almonds, and stir with a fork. Use gently before your shower, then rinse. (Find more recipes like this one at Hertopia.com.)

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Lavender Dream Salt Glow
1 cup finely ground mineral sea salt 3 tablespoons lavender flowers (dried or fresh) 1 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons jojoba oil 10 to 15 drops lavender essential oil Mix all ingredients long before you want to use it, and everything will infuse. When you’re ready to scrub, take 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of the mixture, sit in a dry tub, and massage with a circular motion. This is a great one for mutual massage, starting at the feet, rubbing the legs, scrubbing each other’s backs, stroking your shoulders. When you’ve covered every inch of your skin, run warm bathwater, rinse the salt away, but avoid using soap so the oils are left to penetrate your skin. (Find more like this at WildRoots.com, Stony Mountain Botanicals’ Web site.)

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A Bush in the Hand
She didn’t rush things, Germaine. She sat on the bidet soaping herself and talked to me pleasantly about this and that; she liked the knickerbockers I was wearing. Trés chic! she thought. They were once, but I had worn the seat out of them; fortunately, the jacket covered my ass. As she stood up to dry herself, still talking to me pleasantly, suddenly she dropped the towel and, advancing toward me leisurely, she commenced rubbing her pussy affectionately, stroking it with her two hands, caressing it, patting it, patting it. There was something about her eloquence at that moment and the way she thrust that rosebush under my nose which remains unforgettable; she spoke of it as if it were some extraneous object which she had acquired at great cost, an object whose value had increased with time and which now she prized above everything in the world. Her words imbued it with a peculiar fragrance; it was no longer just her private organ, but a treasure, a magic, potent treasure, a God-given thing . . . As she flung herself on the bed, with legs spread wide apart, she cupped it with her hands and stroked it some more, murmuring all the while in that hoarse, cracked voice of hers that it was good, beautiful, a treasure, a little treasure. And it was good, that little pussy of hers! y —Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer

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B

11 A . M . — 3 P. M .

U Z Z M E T E N D E R • It’s time to get down to business: Let your
lover shape your pubes, bare your lips, pamper your naughty bits. Be sure to return the favor. Return to chapter 2 for ideas and instructions, and when you’re done, if you haven’t taken things to their natural conclusion, now’s definitely the time. Afterward, nap. You’ve earned it. Maybe when you wake up you’ll be ready for some lunch. Bon appetit!

“Do you mind if I trim it?” he asked politely. She smiled as she looked down at him. “Of course not. You can do what you like.” Her eyelids fell to half-mast as she gazed at him. “You do make me feel like a work of art.” “That’s because you are one,” he responded as he produced a small pair of scissors and began to trim the wispy edges. Soon the thick mass of hair was transformed into a small circular tuft and he saw those vulnerable lips up close. He had never seen a woman’s vulva so clearly. The love place. The cunt. The doorway to paradise. The come-to-me-and-lose-your-heart-and-soul place.
Lonnie Barbach, 50 Ways to Please Your Lover

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There’s no denying most guys get off on helping a woman reshape or remove her pubic hair. Who knows if it’s the idea of “leaving his mark” or, more likely, just bringing the full glory of your womanhood into plain view? It doesn’t really matter why he likes it, though, does it? After all, most women get a surprising thrill in having a lover do this for them when it’s handled with delicacy and care. And the after-effects can be exhilarating.

Love Nest: The Erotic Art of Grooming With a Partner

No doubt the most important ingredient for two people who will be using a razor, wax, trimmer, or other implement of tortu—um, hair removal is trust. Indeed, it can turn into a very unpleasant experience pretty quickly if the groomer is not responsive to the groomee’s wishes. They say communication will make or break any relationship, and this scenario proves the point. When someone is shaving you, for example, you need to be able to say, “Less pressure,” or “More shave gel,” or “Okay, that’s far enough,” or “More, more, more!” As for the one wielding the razor, a word of advice: Listen. In addition to creating a new coiffure, you and your lover can try several other pubic fashions, too. Body painting, which predates by several thousand years all other art forms—including music, dance, and even cave painting—can take on many moods: imaginative, silly, adventurous, romantic, reverent. And you can take it well beyond your V, making the whole body your canvas. (Read about how a professional does it in chapter 6 in our interview with Tioti, who works in a clothing-optional bar, The Garden of Eden, in Key West, Florida, using the natural contours of the body to suggest his subject matter.) If you don’t want to take it that far, consider just signing your names on one another. Other ornaments that can be purchased easily online (and which require no further instruction): temporary tattoos, jewelry for your labia and clitoris (either pierced or not), jewels with sticky backs for anywhere on your body, glitter gel, and numerous goodies you can put on with false eyelash adhesive—feathers, beads, rhinestones, ribbon. Visit your local craft store or dip into chapter 2’s Treasure Chest for supplies.

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Needle It—A Bit of a Thrill?
Tattooing is body art taken to its permanent extreme. Although you can now have a tattoo removed with laser surgery, it’s still no small matter to have something indelibly inscribed into your flesh. But maybe this is exactly what you want to do. Tattooing has ancient roots, and historically it has been used to signify a particular culture or to mark someone as sexually mature. Nowadays, a tattoo isn’t necessarily a sign of maturity, but it usually has significance to the bearer, whether it’s rebellion or self-expression or sacred show. Some tattoo artists will not work on your genitals—and there are some you wouldn’t want to. Make sure the shop is clean and the needles sterilized. Keep in mind that you will have some after-care (careful cleansing and patting dry instead of rubbing) and will have to keep any tattoo out of the sun, saltwater, or chlorinated water until it is healed, which should be about a week. Another, somewhat-less-permanent decoration can be attained with piercing. We think nothing of dangling baubles from our ears; what about our labia or clitoral hood? Proponents of the procedure say that safe, hygienic piercing of the clitoral hood can be a profound pleasure enhancer, and can even cause the clitoris to grow to three times its pre-piercing size. The downside is the possibility of infection, as with any time the skin is punctured. If you are interested in either of these procedures, educate yourself first. A great place to start online is AlteredBody.com, which has an in-depth history of tattoos, photos of beautiful body art (including tattoos, painting, and piercing), and details on how, where, and why you might want a piercing, as well as what kind of jewelry is best. A warning: Although it’s possible to pierce the clitoris itself, it’s not a good idea. Key nerves can be severed (bye-bye big O), and the risk of infection is high. Our recommendation: No, never, nuh-uh. Instead, if you really want to decorate or stimulate your clitoris with jewelry, buy clip-ons, which are also available for nipples and labia. See this chapter’s Treasure Chest for online resources. y

Love Nest: The Erotic Art of Grooming With a Partner

A

S

3 P. M . — 5 P. M .

T R O K E O F L O V E • Give each other a massage, taking turns
focusing all your energy on your partner. Start with the back and be sure to rub every muscle, then do the front, saving the genitals for the very last. Each massage should take at least an hour. When both of you have come to the end of this day, you should feel relaxed, sated, and maybe a little hungry again. Treat yourselves to your favorite cuisine, ideally cooked by someone else. Go out into the world with rosy cheeks and a contented smile on your lips.

You don’t have to be a professional masseuse to give a magnificent massage, any more than you have to be a professional chef to prepare a delicious meal. But it helps to know your way around the kitchen, doesn’t it? Here are some tips for giving your lover a great rubdown: Choose the calmest room in the house, and be sure it’s warm. Keep a blanket or towel nearby to cover your partner if he or she gets cold. Work on a firm surface, either a massage table or the floor. If your carpet is plush, all you need is a sheet; if you have a hard floor, pad it with a folded blanket. (If it’s a chilly day, a nice touch is to throw a towel in the dryer for about 5 minutes, then use it as padding on the floor.) When your partner is face down, slide a rolled towel under the ankles for low-back support. When face up, place a pillow under the knees.
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Always face in the direction you’re stroking to protect your own back and neck from strain. Use oil or lotion so your hands can glide over your partner’s skin. Warm it in your hands before applying it to your partner. Allow yourself to fall into a rhythm, which is relaxing to both of you all by itself. You might want to play some soothing music that can guide your pace. Always keep at least one hand touching your partner, ideally with the palm making contact. Don’t worry about working out all the knots and kinks or perfectly administering a therapeutic massage. That’s not the point here. With sensual massage, you simply want to make each other feel good and tingly warm all over. Finish with a light touch, gently running your fingers over the entire body one last time.

()
The “schedule” we’ve given you in this chapter is meant to be a loose suggestion of just some of the joys you can explore together, either one after another during a full day of pampering like this or individually for a sensual treat a la carte. But certainly you are imaginative and adventurous enough to add your own twists or make up something completely on your own, if you wish. How about reading erotic literature to one another? Watching a sexy video? Your time can be a reflection of what you love most about each other, or a radical departure from the everyday, bringing some spice and variety into your life. Seize the day!

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Aromatic Candles: Pumpkin Pie and Lavender

TREASURE CHEST

Burn them together and see if you are like many other men and women who find the combination a potent aphrodisiac. Both are available online from The Scented Boutique. Click here for pumpkin pie and here for lavender.

Delicacies: Champagne and Chocolates
Get some of the finest truffles, creams, and ganaches in the world from Godiva Chocolatier, available both through Godiva.com and Amazon.com. And pop the cork on some bubbly from Wine.com—get their top-selling Champagnes, from Dom Perignon and Perrier Jouet at over $100 a bottle to Veuve Clicquot and and Laurent Perrier NV Brut Rosé for much less than that.

Tongue Tempters
One of our absolute favorite resources for all things titillating, tasty, and artfully packaged, KamaSutra.com offers a delightful array of goodies for lovers, from their delicious Honey Dust (brush it on with the soft feather duster and kiss, kiss, kiss it off) and lover’s chocolate paint set (delectible—tastes like the real thing and comes with a lovely paintbrush), to dozens of other wonderful bath and bedroom enhancers.

Flavored Lubricants and Body Paints
Raspberry kiss, French vanilla, chocolate mint, cherries jubilee, and more—slip, slide, and salivate over these tasty lubes from ShopinPrivate.com. (Be sure to check out the comprehensive “lubes in review” when making your selection.) Or paint on edible color with your fingers or a soft brush for still more sensuous foreplay. Available from Toys in Babeland, a wonderfully female-friendly site with lots more goodies for you and a lover.

Non-piercing Jewelry for Nipples, Clitoris, and Labia
For temporary fun, ABitNaughty.com’s online body jewelry department is the most extensive we’ve found: nipple clamps with beads, pearl chains, and even vibration, as well as clitoral clips with crystals, beads, and faux diamonds. (Fair warning: This site features sexually explicit photos.) For more of a fine-jewelry flair, see the beautiful pieces fom HvnlyNights.com—the “pussy dangle” is especially elegant. And for good measure, be sure you review the unique nipple jewelry available from Nipple-Huggers.com.

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Venus in the Modern Age
Your orgasm is important; how you get there is not.

Health Essentials for Every Woman
Whether it takes only a few minutes or much longer, if you can come from having your nipples stroked or require something more, no matter if you prefer serious electric power or a more delicate touch of flesh on flesh, know that the route by which a woman arrives at her personal ecstasy is just that: personal, individual, and in some cases unique.

5

Throughout this book, we’ve given you tons of ideas for expressing your private style through various grooming techniques, hairdos, decorations, scents, and seductions. But truly, all of this is empty if it doesn’t enhance your own pleasure and satisfaction. It’s sad and ironic that Marilyn Monroe, international sex symbol, desired by millions, lover to a few of the most famous men of her time, told friends she’d never had an orgasm. No doubt this was a product of the misconceptions of her era—a huge gap in women’s understanding of their own sexuality beyond their ability to seduce. But shouldn’t all women, who have been given such dazzling equipment, know how to use it for their own enjoyment? Even though the role of the clitoris has been known for thousands of years, the “little (wo)man in the boat” seems to have gotten lost at sea until fairly recently. In Western culture, proper ladies stopped talking about the clit for a while, and unless a woman just happened upon the pleasurable sensations it could deliver, she was likely kept in the dark. Young women were cautioned against having sex before marriage, but

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they certainly weren’t counseled on how to gratify themselves, nor the sixties did a whole lot more for men’s sexual freedom were they told how to make partner sex enjoyable, either. If they than it did for women’s. While the time afforded more got any information, it was on the personal liberties, it’s not as if there was a thunderclap and mechanics of reproduction and, every women suddenly was enlightened as to where all her starting in the sixties, this occapleasure centers were and how to tap their full potential. In sionally included some advice her book, The Clitoral Truth, author Rebecca Chalker about contraception. Even when certain folks were reminds us that even today, we have a talking about female orgasm, it long way to go, baby: was widely misunderstood. Our concept of sex has become so Though Sigmund Freud was a male-defined that the single orgasm has man of some insight, he was, shall become the gold standard for women’s we say, less than astute when it came to women. One of his cocksexual response, and orgasm is often amamie theories supposed that considered “optional” despite many women’s ability to have clitoral pleasure was somehow multiple orgasms. In spite of countless historical references, “less mature,” that vaginal studies, and anecdotal evidence, female ejaculation—the most orgasms were therefore preferable. dramatic of women’s sexual secretions—is routinely dismissed Nonsense. Garbage. Shame on you, Herr Doktor, for making so by sexologists and physicians, and remains wildly controversial. many women feel that somehow It’s no wonder that we often hear women’s sexuality their pleasure was not enough characterized as “mysterious,” “perplexing,” or “unknowable.” because it didn’t fit your ideals of Clearly a revolution is in order. y sexuality, which are, you must admit, pretty nuts even for a psychiatrist. The truth is most women can’t, don’t, and won’t ever climax from vaginal stimulation alone. Paging Dr. Freud: This is true whether a cigar is just a cigar or something more substantial. 76 The pill, going bra-less, free love—it could be argued that

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Venus in the Modern Age: Health Essentials for Every Woman

The man should have stuck with what he Hidden Parts of the Clitoris knew. As any self-satisfied woman could have Based on drawings Suspensory Ligament in Rebecca told old Siggie, the clitoris is simply more reliChalker’s book, able. A bundle of eight thousand nerves—more Shaft The Clitoral Truth Glans than anywhere else on your body, and twice as Leg many as are in a man’s penis—it is more than the Urethra nub you can see. Behind a curtain of sensitive Urethral Sponge skin, a whole network of hidden structures conParaurethral Ducts stitutes the clitoris in toto: just under the clitoral hood, the shaft connects to the crura (Latin, Bulb “legs”), which drape down like a wishbone; Vagina tucked up underneath them are the bulbs. And that’s just the beginning. According to the Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers’ redefinition, the complete clitoris consists of eighteen parts, including all the erectile tissue of the vulva and perineum. Regardless of definition, your clitoris’s sole purpose is pleasure. Yet it can give you so much more than the seconds, minutes, or hours of ecstasy it’s designed for and dedicated to producing. An orgasm also serves to . . . • Give your cardiovascular system a workout on par with sprinting • Burn calories by spiking your metabolic rate • Relieve aches and pains by increasing blood flow and releasing endorphins • Improve your respiratory function (deep breathing is good for your lungs) • Eradicate fine wrinkles, at least for a few hours, and improve your complexion • Likewise, temporarily increase breast size • Strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor, which helps prevent urinary-stress incontinence • Make it more likely you’ll have another orgasm in the future: the more orgasms you have, the more you will have—it’s a rewarding “use it and improve it” cycle.
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In 1949, philosopher Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex, “Feminine sexual excitement can reach an intensity unknown to man. Male sex excitement is keen but localized, and—except perhaps at the moment of orgasm—it leaves the man quite in possession of himself; woman, on the contrary, really loses her mind; for many this effect marks the most definite and voluptuous moment of the love affair, but it has also a magical and fearsome quality.”

10 Kinds of Climax
According to bestselling author and sex educator Lou Paget, women can enjoy as many as ten different types of orgasms—in other words, there are at least ten potential routes to ecstasy for you. Here they are: 1. Clitoral 2. Vaginal and cervical 3. G-spot and AFE (anterior fornix erotic zone) 4. Urethral (U-spot) 5. Breast/nipple 6. Mouth 7. Anal 8. Blended/Fusion 9. Zone 10. Fantasy Want to learn how to have them all? Check out Ms. Paget’s book, The Big O— especially chapter 3, “The Female Orgasm: Going for the Unexpected,” which includes instructions and illustrations for multiple techniques and tips for each one. y

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So, yes, our ecstasy is important! Yet, as de Beauvoir implied, it can be complex and elusive. Some of us learn to climax in childhood, others experience it for the first time well into adulthood, and, of course, still others never reach this height of passion at all. It requires cooperation, collaboration, and coordination between the psychological and physiological. In some cases, it’s as easy as riding a bike (and for a few girls that’s where the connection first gets made), while for others it’s more like learning to waltz. Whether you’re still trying to get there or already experiencing great satisfaction, there’s certainly still more available to you. That’s one of the beauties of womanhood: Our capacity for pleasure seems infinite, and there’s always something more for us if we want it. The best news of all is that most women experience more fulfilling and more frequent orgasms as they age. The famous Kinsey report on sexuality, published in the 1950s, tells us that 36 percent of the surveyed women in their twenties hadn’t yet climaxed, yet for those in their thirties, that dropped to 15 percent. More recent studies confirm that older women have a better time in the bedroom than their younger sisters. You can chalk this up to experience, both in years and technique, but you can also attribute it to a woman’s increased sense of herself as she ages, her deeper understanding of what works for her and doesn’t, who she is and who she wants to be sexually. Plus she’s had time to figure out her way around anything that may have restrained her in the past, whether that has meant personal exploration, placing herself in the hands of a caring lover, therapeutic dialogue, using some other way (pharmaceutical, perhaps) to circumvent cultural and personal strictures, or a combination of any of these. In her book, Woman: An Intimate Geography, Pulitzer-Prize winner Natalie Angier revealed that most of the women in her family had smoked grass to overcome inhibitions and discover their sexual potential. Perhaps even more insightful and inciting was this pointed remark: “I have never seen anorgasmia on the list of

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Women’s Studies 101
She was so light on top of me, with her hands underneath me, inside my underpants, on my ass, rippling across my flesh, massaging and teasing. She spread my legs with one hand on my mound, two fingers rubbing between my lips. Cumming, I thought. It’s coming. I felt as though a tidal wave would burst through the classroom door. Her fingers stopped and the tide receded. I gasped in disappointment. “Not yet,” she said. “I want you to wait for it.” Once again she brought me to the edge of that rough ocean, then stopped. “Wait,” she hissed. Each time, what was coming felt larger and rounder. “Do you feel it coming?” she asked. “Patricia, tell me, is it coming?” “Yes, yes,” I panted. “And not ‘cumming’ with a ‘u’?” she asked. This was certainly the most vivid grammar lesson I’d ever had. “No, no, it’s round, like an ‘o,’ ” I wailed. And then it came, like wings flapping high over the sea, then swooping under the waves. y —SUSAN ST. AUBIN, “Coming and Cumming” in Herotica 4

indications for the medical use of marijuana. Instead we are told that some women don’t need to have orgasms to have a satisfying sex life, an argument as convincing as the insistence that some homeless people like living outdoors.” We’ll say it again: Yes, yes, yes! Your orgasm is important. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Yet lest we get sucked into wrapping up our satisfaction merely in the moment(s) of orgasm, let’s be clear that our sexual health actually encompasses much more. Beverly Whipple, Ph.D., R.N., who is one of the foremost researchers in the area of female orgasm and a leader among sex educators, and her science partner, Dennis Sugrue, Ph.D., proposed a new way of looking at women’s sexual function. The “old way” was based on men’s sexual experiences, which has turned out not to be a suitable comparison—basically, do you ever get turned on? and if you do, can you have an orgasm? Instead, they suggest a new model that looks at normal sexual function under these criteria:

Venus in the Modern Age: Health Essentials for Every Woman

capacity to become aroused and feel sexual pleasure (which does not necessarily mean via orgasm), desire for sexual pleasure and satisfaction, physical ability to respond to stimulation without pain, and ability to experience orgasm. If any one of these elements is not present, then a woman can feel as if something is “missing.” This may begin a cycle of frustration, depression, even despair, which can in turn make the other criteria more difficult to meet. For example, if a woman feels discomfort during penetration or stimulation, her desire may diminish with her increasing ambivalence about sex, resulting in her being aroused less often, which means she’ll have less frequent orgasms, which may hinder her ability to have them in the future. On the flip side, when one thing is working, it can initiate the rest. If a woman gets turned on easily, this sparks desire for sexual satisfaction (obviously), and if she has had a gratifying sexual encounter in the recent past (making her both more confident and strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor), she is more likely than ever to experience another really big, juicy, wonderfully satisfying orgasm. And when that’s done, she is inclined to become aroused again. But it’s not linear, not cause and effect. It’s more of a chicken-and-egg type of situation; there’s no telling which comes first. Sexual function tends to be more intricate, encompassing a woman’s sense of self and her sexual partner(s); social, political, and economic conditions; as well as physical abilities and, possibly, limitations. It only makes sense that difficulties with sexual function would run

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the gamut. They can be as simple as inadequate lubrication during arousal, easily remedied with a commercial lube, such as KY Jelly, which you can buy in any drug store. Of course, they can be complicated, too, as with vaginismus, a condition where the entry to the vagina tightens involuntarily and makes penetration painful, usually due to both physiological and psychological factors. Indeed, sexual satisfaction is a continuum, not an end point. No matter where you are on that spectrum, this chapter can help you stay in the pink. A few words about pregnancy and disease prevention: It would be a major oversight not to at least mention these topics, as they are of concern to most sexually active women today. But this is not a clinical health text by any stretch; nor are we in a position to dispense medical advice. We do offer the following guidelines for creating an excellent relationship with a competent, trustworthy physician. Also consult this chapter’s Treasure Chest for books that deal more specifically with medical issues.

The Naked Truth
A woman’s gynecologist can have a huge impact on her vulvovaginal health and, therefore, on her sexual health. Ideally, you will see a physician who is open-minded, up-to-date, and can view your sexual function as an important component of your overall well-being. This book in no way substitutes for your relationship with your doctor, but we can give you some invaluable advice:

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Find a gynecologist with whom you can discuss anything. Notice some weird bumps on your labia? You need to talk about it. Something smell “off ” to you? Fess up. Want to try a new kind of contraceptive? Ask. Getting itchy or having pain during intercourse or losing your libido? Do not suffer in silence. If you’d be more likely to talk with a woman doctor about this stuff, then by all means find one. Also be sure your gynecologist will listen. Although times are changing, there remain plenty of physicians who still operate under the outdated (and stupid, we might add) presumptions that PMS, plummeting sexual desire, and a whole plethora of problems that affect your privates are not really all that important. (Read: “Silly woman! Who cares if you are miserable and sexually unfulfilled?”) We heard about one doctor who actually “comforted” a patient facing a hysterectomy by telling her, “Aw, c’mon. You won’t be losing your playpen.” Wink. Wink. You come on, doc! In case you don’t know, a hysterectomy, which is the removal of a woman’s uterus and many of the nerve systems associated with it, can profoundly affect sexual response—sometimes making a woman anorgasmic—requires many weeks’ recovery, and is no small undertaking for the surgeon, either. It’s hardly the kind of operation to be treated flippantly. If ever you feel condescended to, misunderstood, or otherwise dismissed by your gynecologist, tell your story walking—and tell it to as many other women as you can. Then get some referrals from your friends and search until you find someone who takes you, your precious vulva, and your gender seriously. Stay current with the necessary exams: pelvic, breast, physical. If you have a special health concern—abnormal Pap smear, a sexually transmitted disease (STD), vaginal infection, urinary tract infection, and so on—follow it up. Stay on top of it. Though your physician should provide invaluable help, only you can ensure your own well-being.

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Don’t wait for a check-up to discover if anything is amiss. In addition to doing your own breast self-exam every month, also check your genitals at least every couple of months, and if you’re involved sexually with more than one partner (or with a partner who has sex with other people), check at least once a month. Here’s a self-exam recommended by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University: 1. Lie down and direct a light onto your vulva, using a hand mirror. 2. Check both inside and outside your labia for any bumps, blisters, sores, or warts, and feel for any lumps or growths. 3. Pull back the clitoral hood and look for any of the same kinds of problems; also check the urinary and vaginal openings. (Forgotten where any of these are? Refer to the illustration in chapter 1 on page 7.) 4. Consider your vaginal discharge, too. Is there a significant change in texture, color, or smell? If you find anything at all disconcerting, schedule an appointment with your gynecologist. Some basic debunking: Most contraceptives do not prevent the transmission of STDs (condoms being the notable exception), neither douching nor orgasm prevent pregnancy, and you won’t go blind, get hairy palms, or develop acne from doing all the stuff you’ll be reading about in this chapter.

Tickled Pink
Just as with the rest of your body, getting a physical exam once a year is not enough to ensure optimal health. Your body needs exercise and proper nourishment, too; likewise, your vulva needs regular workouts and attentive care. Of course, the presence or absence of a partner does not have to dictate your sexual activity level. You know what we’re talking about: You can achieve orgasms just as delicious (and in many cases more reliably) on your own as with a partner. And if you can climax on your own, you are more likely to be able to do it with someone else.

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V-lates, Yoni Yoga, or Pussy Pull-ups
Ah, Dr. Kegel. The contributions of Arnold Kegel, M.D. provide karmic balance for the missteps of Dr. Freud. In the 1940s, Dr. Kegel helped women overcome urinary stress incontinence (USI) through exercise instead of surgery, and after several months of his special workouts, learned that several of his patients started having orgasms for the first time. But even if you aren’t dealing with USI and are already orgasmic, Kegel exercises can be a huge boon to you: Toning muscles of the pelvic floor leads to orgasms with more oomph, creates better bladder control, and contributes to your overall health. Wonderfully enough, these are exercises you can do anywhere—no need to suit up and go to the gym. Instead you simply squeeze your pubococcygeus (PC) muscle, a kind of sling through the pelvic floor, and when it is contracted, you can feel it in your clitoris, vagina, and anus. Do it while you’re watching a movie, working at your desk, brushing your teeth. If you’ve never done Kegel exercises before, start by locating your PC muscle. Next time you urinate, stop and start the flow. The muscle you use to do that will be the one you want to work. To confirm, you can insert your finger into your vagina, contract, and when you feel the squeeze around your finger, you know you’ve found the PC muscle. To do the exercise: Isolate the PC muscle and squeeze. It should feel as if everything is contracting upward. Don’t bear down, nor tighten your stomach, bottom, or thighs. Relax everything else, and just use the PC muscle. There is no set regimen, so you can make up your own routine, holding the PC muscle tight for a while then releasing, or quickly repeating contractions. One of the more innovative approaches is with a vaginal barbell, up to a one-pound weight that gives new meaning to the term personal training. y
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Yet historically, self-gratification has been frowned upon and fretted over. During the Middle Ages, Europeans thought that if you had straight pubic hair, this was a sign you masturbated too much. And miniature curling irons were all the rage, too. (Coincidence? We think not!) In the late 1800s and on into the 1900s, masturbation was blamed for conditions as diverse as mental illness and tuberculosis, and as a result, clitoridectomies (mutilations of the clitoris) were performed willy-nilly to prevent these health problems until fairly recently. You might have guessed these “treatments” were unsuccessful, since we now know masturbation has no ill health effects. But as recently as 1994, Dr. Joycelyn Elders was relieved of her post as U.S. Surgeon General for advocating masturbation be included in school sex-ed classes. Her point was that it is no doubt the safest sex a person can have, plus it has the added benefit of no risk of pregnancy. Our point is that it helps you expand not only your ability to experience orgasm but also your capacity for pleasure, as well as your desire for both. What’s more, learning to bring yourself bliss helps you relax when you’re with a lover and to communicate what works for you to him or her.

Informed decisions require knowledge. To insure the health and well-being of a patient, age-appropriate information must be made available. Some call it candor—I call it common sense and good medicine. On the other hand, coquetries can be more than deceptive: both the refrain from self-gratification and the concealment of it can result in sexual dysfunction.
—M. Joycelyn Elders, M.D., former Surgeon General of the U.S.

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At the risk of telling you something you already know (after all, upwards of 70 percent of women admit they masturbate), here are tips for self-pleasuring, most of which

. . . the life and love of the body is a noble thing, against which the intellect and the spirit need not wage war.
Michelle Roberts

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are based on the “Venus Butterfly” technique detailed in The One-Hour Orgasm by Drs. Bob and Leah Schwarz: Seduce yourself. Wear something sexy. Light candles. Play romantic music. Don’t just go straight for the love button—caress yourself, get in the mood. Fantasize. Make pleasure rather than orgasm your aim. Use a lubricant. It will spread the sensation and prevent uncomfortable rubbing. Gently and slowly, apply it to your outer lips, inner lips, the opening to your vagina (not inside), the clitoral hood, and finally the clitoral glans (the sensitive nub that protrudes from the hood). Pay attention. As you stroke your clitoris, notice what feels especially good: Which side of the clitoris? How much pressure? Slow or fast strokes? Does vaginal penetration heighten your sensations, or is it a distraction? Does this change for you as you become more aroused? Tease yourself. Go right to the edge and back off. Do this as many times as is comfortable to you. As much as you can, let go of the “goal” and get into the sensual pleasure of touching yourself. See if you have a G-spot (also called the urethral sponge or the female prostate). When you’re aroused, feel inside the vagina for a rough round spot about the size of a dime. If you have this tissue, you’ll feel it about two inches into the front wall (tummy side) of the vagina, and when you press on it, you may feel as if you need to urinate. When you’re about to climax (or during your orgasm), however, if you stimulate this area with rubbing or pressing, you may be able to multiply the intensity of your orgasm. Some women find this stimulation unpleasant. Still others experience female ejaculation—a release of fluid from the glands on either side of the urethra—with this stimulation. Experiment with different positions to maximize intensity: Is it more enjoyable if you’re lying on your back, front, or on your side? Pressing your legs tightly together or spreading them widely? Bending your legs up, keeping them straight, or propping them above your body?

Venus in the Modern Age: Health Essentials for Every Woman

And then a deeper shudder ran through her; she gasped; then there was a silence; then she gasped again; she cried out in extraordinary voice, “I feel something!” The hair stood up on the back of my neck; I couldn’t stop; I hurried on; I heard a dim moaning come from her. . . . I wondered if there was in her a sudden swarming along her nerves, a warm conviction of the reality of sexual pleasure. She heaved like a whale—no: not so much as that. But it was as if half an ocean rolled off her young flanks; some element of darkness vanished from the room; some slight color of physical happiness tinctured her body and its thin coating of sweat; I felt it all through me; she rolled on the surface of a pale blue, a pink and blue sea; she was dark and gleaming, and immense and wet. And warm. She cried, “Wiley, I feel a lot!”
Harold Brodkey, “Innocence” from Going Down

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Relax and enjoy. Keep experimenting until you find what works for you. If you are unable to climax with manual clitoral stimulation alone, try using a vibrator or shower head, or inserting one or two fingers into your vagina. (See this chapter’s Treasure Chest for recommendations, and also read the interview with Lou Paget in chapter 6 for further suggestions.) Notice and enjoy the signals of impending orgasm: Are your nipples erect? Are you feeling warmth or tingling anywhere? Are you finding your touch to be more insistent, involuntary, out of control? Is any of this at all frightening to you, or is it liberating? Stretch out and remember to breathe. As you begin to feel pleasure, spread your fingers and toes to send sensations through the whole body. And as you approach orgasm, be sure you continue to breathe. You may unconsciously hold your breath, which braces you against the impending tide; instead, inhale deeply for a rapturous climax. That will get you started, and if you would like to explore this topic (and yourself) in more depth, there are dozens of excellent resources on this subject. See our Treasure Chest for favorites.

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Just a Love Machine
From the time of Hippocrates until the 1920s, women were treated for various conditions (irritability, depression, confusion, heart palpitations, headaches, insomnia, stomach upsets, writing cramps, ticklishness, and “congestion” of the genitalia, as well as the more general diagnosis of “hysteria”) with genital massage to induce “paroxysm” because it was believed these conditions stemmed from some deficiency or need in the reproductive organs. (The Latin root, hyster, refers to the uterus, so hysterectomies and hysteria share a common linguistic foundation.) Women were usually masturbated by midwives because male physicians found it tiresome and time-consuming. In some cases, healers used water jets, but these therapists cautioned that most patients were “inclined to demand more treatment than was considered good for them.” Later, when physician George Taylor invented the electric vibrator in the 1880s, this was used, and women could also “treat” themselves at home. In 1918, the Sears Roebuck catalog advertised their model as an “aid that every woman appreciates.” You betcha.

All the pleasures of youth will throb within you . . .
Typical vibrator ad, circa early 1900s Vibrators went underground after they began making appearances in stag films. In a word, they became vulgar, and they subsequently disappeared from doctors’ offices and mail order catalogs. For fifty years, they lay dormant until the 1970s when they experienced a resurgence and were finally promoted as sexual stimulators for the first time. Today, the range of vibrators available boggles the mind. You can still get a few models from Sears (plus stores like Brookstone and Sharper Image), although they’re called massagers and their manufacturers won’t admit what women really do with

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The Merry Month of May
Since 1998, May has been National Masturbation Month, during which eager beavers participate in a Masturbate-AThon. This pledge drive benefits women’s organizations that promote sexual health. Touching, right? For details on this year’s event, click here. y

them, or you can stroll into the local sex shop and peruse their wares. If you prefer to look for these goodies from the privacy of your own computer screen, then prepare to be overwhelmed with options. Enter vibrator in a Google search, and look out. Better yet, visit our favorite online sex shop, GoodVibes.com, where you can read complete descriptions of each item, as well as rankings and even reviews. And if you’re still flummoxed, check out the book written by the store’s founder, Joani Blank: Good Vibrations: The Complete Guide to Vibrators. That oughta clear up any confusion, plus give you a few good ideas on how to use the gizmos, too.

Double Your Pleasure

Although masturbation usually implies solo sex, it can be incorporated into a couple’s lovemaking both as a welcome bit of spice and also to teach one another what feels good. Watching a lover masturbate can be highly erotic and educational at the same time. Masturbating together can be intensely intimate, and if you are interested in creating a simultaneous orgasm, you will find it’s easier to orchestrate it this way than most any other. As with many new sexual experiences, the idea of masturbating together can be a bit intimidating at first. The grand dame of masturbation, artist cum sexologist Betty Dodson, Ph.D., revealed her first experiment with this in her book, Sex for One:
Although we’d decided that masturbation would be a natural part of our sexual exchange, actually sharing it for the first time was difficult for both of us. After all, masturbation had been a private activity our entire lives. Naturally this new kind of exposure made me feel very vulnerable. Once I made it clear that I wasn’t dependent on him for my orgasm, I was confronting the possibility of upsetting his romantic image. I felt tentative about taking such a big risk with sexual honesty. At that point,

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any criticism from him would have sent me scurrying right back into the old missionary position. First I decided I had to get up enough nerve to watch myself masturbate in front of a mirror alone. When I saw I didn’t look funny or strange, but simply sexual and intense, I was amazed. Until that moment, I had no visual image of myself as a sexual being. With this new erotic information, I was able to make the breakthrough with Blake. We celebrated our Sexual Independence Day by showing each other that we could have first-rate orgasms by ourselves. We both loved it! Masturbating together demystified the romantic image of orgasm, and I stepped down from my pedestal to become a sexual equal.

()
Dr. Dodson also points out time and again that masturbation is not an activity reserved for adolescents or a second-rate alternative to “real sex.” No, she says, masturbation can be an expression of the most enduring love affair of our lives. Partners may come and go, but sex with yourself offers constantly rewarding, everexpanding contact with your most intimate, sensual nature.

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TREASURE CHEST
Lubes , Vibrators, and Sex Toys Open for business since 1977, Good Vibrations devotes itself to providing access to sexual materials and accurate sex information. It’s a worker-owned, womenowned cooperative that makes shopping for sex aids, books, and videos easy and unembarrassing. Their retail stores replace the dark-and-dirty ambience of XXX adult bookstores with good lighting and clean decor. The Web site, GoodVibes.com, features complete product descriptions (you’ll never find yourself saying, “What’s that supposed to do?”) and a rating system that tells you just about everything you need to know: How intense is the sensation this thing produces? Is it waterproof? Would it be good for someone just starting out, or is it more appropriate for an old-hand? One other thing to recommend it: No pop-ups from porno sites. Two items we especially recommend for first-timers: The Naughty Newbies Kit, which includes the book Toygasms and a beginner’s vibe, batteries, and a sample of lube; and the lube variety pack, which allows you to try a bunch of products and choose which one you like best. Information on and Help with Sexual Function Drs. Laura and Jennifer Berman are sisters, one a urologist with special training in sexual function and the other a sex educator and therapist, in the forefront fighting for better understanding of female sexuality and more effective treatments for women. In 2001, they published For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction and Reclaiming Your Sex Life. (To learn more or to order, click here.) They deliver loads of useful content online at the Network for Excellence in Women’s Sexual Health (NewShe.com). Check it out for help with everything from menstrual cramps to talking with your gynecologist to the

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negative side-effects of prescription drugs on vaginal health and desire. The Bermans treat patients at the UCLA Medical Center, as well as the Berman Center in downtown Chicago, which opened in January 2004. Betty Dodson’s Vaginal Barbell Not only does this one-pound weight get the job done, but it’s also a beautiful sexual trinket and toy. It’s advertised as both a vaginal exerciser and a pleasure device, which Dr. Dodson has used for years in teaching women about orgasm. To see the barbell, instructions for use, photos of women demonstrating, or to place an order, click here. (Note: Lou Paget makes a different recommendation in our interview with her in chapter 6.) Your Very Own Treasure Chest A goody drawer no more … How about a Treasure Chest instead? Handcrafted of eastern aromatic cedar, this gorgeous chest is the perfect size to keep any and all of your implements of pleasure: vibrators, body paints, lube, you name it. Does not announce your collection, but still keeps it handy and provides the elegant storage it deserves. To see one or to order, click here. The Big O by Lou Paget (Book) Packed with revelatory information on both the female and male orgasm, this book delivers total satisfaction. It addresses the mental and physical aspects of the big O and gives you explicit techniques for creating mind-blowing and body-thrilling climaxes on your own or with a partner. To learn more or acquire the book, click here. The author also does terrific Sexuality Seminars and posts lots of great sex information online. To see what’s available, visit LouPaget.com. (Note: You can also read our interview with Lou starting in the next chapter.)
(Continued on next page.)

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Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving by Betty Dodson, Ph.D. (Book) A classic first written in 1986, the updated edition also includes new materials by the author, a renowned masturbation advocate, artist, and sexologist. Dr. Dodson takes the shame out of selflove by revealing how satisfying, liberating, uplifting, and sexually and spiritually fulfilling this much-maligned practice can be. A joyful, intelligent, useful read by the patron saint of self-pleasure. Contains illustrations. To learn more or acquire the book, click here. The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide to Complete Vulvovaginal Health by Elizabeth G. Stewart, M.D. (Book) Get a clinician’s perspective on vulvovaginal self-care, plus learn what symptoms ought to prompt a visit to the doctor. Scientific without being boring or preachy, this book provides eminently useful information for every woman. To learn more or acquire the book, click here.

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Tricks of the Trade
Interviews With Top Experts

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n writing this book, we talked with lots of people, including experts and average Janes. There were a few folks who, by greatly influencing our opinions, giving us invaluable information, or just tickling our fancy, stood out as especially interesting interview subjects. In this chapter, we bring you transcripts of our conversations with four of them: Nance Mitchell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99 Aesthetician (personal groomer) to the rich and glamorous in Beverly Hills, who reveals how to get the most out of every wax treatment; Tioti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 Body artist, who uses the female form as his canvas and gives us a peek into the oh-so-open world of Key West Lou Paget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129 Bestselling author, sex researcher, and educator, who helps us sort through the myths, misperceptions, equipment, and ecstasies of sex Layne Cutright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143 Relationship educator, conflict resolution consultant, and personal coach, who provides us with simple and simply marvelous exercises to do with a partner for greater intimacy and sexual satisfaction

Look for more interviews like these in upcoming issues of our eZine, which you receive free as a bonus for purchasing this book.

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ANCE MITCHELL
Beverly Hills, California T H E N A N C E M I TC H E L L C O M PA N Y (310) 276-2722, NanceMitchell.com Everyone in Beverly Hills knows Nance. And no doubt you know many of her A-list clients from their blockbusters. An aesthetician who has been doing bikini waxing since the days when only models and movie stars bothered, Nance is renowned for her nearly painless hair-removal techniques, private atmosphere, great conversation, and quick service. She also offers skin care for the rest of you, too. Karen first interviewed Nance in April of 1998, just as we were starting to investigate pubic hair care options, and again in November of 2003 to get an update on trends and techniques.

KR NM KR NM

Why don’t you start by telling me some of the options you offer? What is it you want to know most? The bikini line? Yes. What are all the different things you do in the pubic region? Well, I do just a regular clean line for people who just want a normal bikini line. And then beyond that I do different designs, and I make the lips naked and I do things in the thong area—where the fanny is—and I clean that up. And do you have a list of designs you offer people, or do they kind of just know what they want or—? Well, some people have an idea of what they want, and some people ask me. And I have to answer by seeing what kind of hair I’ve got to work with.
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KR NM

Oh, so the hair determines what kind of design you can do? Yeah, because if you don’t have a broad enough base or a high enough pubic hair line, certain designs won’t work. And if you happen to be a person with very little hair (as far as density goes) that limits it, too, because it looks silly if you just try to do a design and you’ve got such little hair. It kind of looks like nothing. So you have to have a certain amount of hair to be able to work with a design. When the March issue of Allure mentioned my designs again, people called me and said, “Oh, could I have this done or that done?” And I would say, “Well, I have to see how much hair I’ve got to work with.” They’d assure me, “Oh, I have a lot of hair,” and I’d say, “Yeah, but I have to see.” Mm-hmmm. “Compared to what do you have a lot of hair?” And I say, “You can do two things: You can either come in for two minutes and let me look and tell you, or you could make your appointment and we’ll do whatever we can do. If we can do the design, we’ll do it. If not, we’ll do whatever we can do with what you’ve got.” How long does it take, usually, to do just a bikini wax? Oh, about a half-hour. And what is the cost? From $35 on up. And then if you start doing more elaborate designs, what are we talking about? There’s one particular standard that we do that’s $50.

“Some people have an idea of what they want, and some people ask me.”
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KR NM KR NM KR NM

And what’s that? Where we do a little triangle, make the lips naked, and the thong clean. And that’s just fifty? Uh-huh. And how frequently would you have to repeat that? You can do it every four to six weeks, except say hypothetically you’re going to Hawaii in a couple weeks. You may be back for cleanup even though you don’t need much done, but because you’re going to someplace like that, you want to look good. Say you’re going to Hawaii in eight weeks but you need it in four or five weeks, I recommend they wait as long as possible before they leave if they’re going someplace and they want it clean. Other than that, the normal is about six to eight weeks. Everybody’s hair growth is different and in summertime, for some reason, hair grows faster than winter, and people do it more often in the summer because they’re more exposed, so they want to be cleaner. What about the pain factor? I mean, I don’t really even know how we could explain this, but— Well, I have a particular technique that a lot of people say is not as bad as they’d thought it would be. Of course, you always have the people who say it’s painful and you always have the people who say it doesn’t hurt at all. A girlfriend

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“You always have the people who say it’s painful and you always have the people who say it doesn’t hurt at all.”
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says, “Oh my God, you’re not going to believe, it hurts so much,” and they come in and say, “Didn’t hurt at all. I don’t know what her problem was.” KR NM Well, I imagine people have different sensitivity. Yeah, there is different pain tolerance. The first time it smarts. Do you remember when you were a young girl and you first had your eyebrows done, you thought you would die because you thought it hurt so much? And now you don’t even pay attention to it. And that’s about the same with any kind of waxing procedure. It may hurt in the beginning, and after a while it doesn’t matter. And if you’ve shaved, it takes a lot longer for hair in any of the anatomical parts to come back softer. If you’ve never shaved before, the hair will come back softer. Otherwise it takes three to six applications of each hair growth pattern before the hair grows back softer. And with time, the hair will come back less and less, but it takes a long time. Every now and then a client with a real bush that doesn’t like a lot of hair but doesn’t like to be bald, we’ll do it bald every now and then, every blue moon, and meanwhile we’ll do maybe the triangle and the lips done and this way it thins the hair down. Do couples ever come in together? Yes. And so what is that like? They’re in the same room together or they’re—? Usually a husband or whatever will come in and, the truth is, they’re curious. I’ve let them come in and help me assist by holding certain parts of the body to make the skin taut so it doesn’t hurt as much. And that’s about it. That’s mainly—sometimes they’ll come in and we’ll discuss the shape, what or why. But a lot of times women do it as a surprise.

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KR

Yeah. Well, that was my next question. What are some of the things that you’ve done for special occasions, like weddings or birthdays or things like that? Well, we’ve done naked because maybe that was a request by men for whatever reason. And we’ve done heart shapes a lot for weddings and stuff like that. Of course, Valentine’s Day. But a heart is probably our most popular shape to do, other than the triangle. And we’ve done a box— square and put a bow on it, a gift. We’ve done initials, we’ve done arrows, we’ve done stars. We had a client who wanted a strawberry, and I asked her why, and she said because she’d met her husband at a strawberry festival and it’s their anniversary. And we’ve done a star for people who are trying to be in the movie business and they laughingly tell their husbands that they got their first “Hollywood star.” And we’ve done another couple—her husband was a collector of Mercedes Benz memorabilia and so on their anniversary I did it in the shape of a Mercedes Benz emblem. Oh, wow. And Deborah said you also write messages, what, with a surgical pen? Yeah, I have—it’s like a felt pen. It happens to be purple. Sometimes I’ve signed it just for a joke, and sometimes I know the husbands and I’ll write them a little note. I’ve had women come in with a sticky note on that area written to me, just to be silly. Oh, that’s funny.

NM

“Usually a husband or whatever will come in and, the truth is, they’re curious.”

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NM

I get flowers from a lot of men I’ve never met, thanking me. And my women—if the budget doesn’t allow them to come in, their men will call and pay for it because it’s so popular with the men. And it’s amusing how, when the women let it go because they just haven’t had time to come in, it’s their men that will say . . . “It’s time for you to go see Nance, honey.” Oh, one bride was getting married and her husband wanted her to do it naked and I know them very well and I do every skin-care procedure on her; she’s been coming to me for years. For weeks we were doing everything for her wedding. You know, her facials and her this and her that. And then a couple days before the wedding, she said to me, “We’re getting married, Nance, and he wants me to do it naked.” And I said, “Of course, I can do it. But tell him I couldn’t so it’ll be a surprise.” So we took all the hair off but she told him what I’d suggested, and he was disappointed but took it in stride. And he kept mooning about it, but after they were married and he discovered that she’d done this for him (and that I’d helped her surprise him), he called me from the honeymoon because he thought that was the most—the best thing I could do. And another bride who had never done any wild thing on her bikini line had me do the heart with the lips naked—and she wore no underwear. She wore thigh-high hose under her bridal gown and when they got into the limousine after the wedding, she picked up her bridal gown and . . . Flashed him? Yeah, right. And he went crazy! And then there was the lady who went to a very, very, very, very chic restaurant in Beverly Hills and was walking up

KR NM

“I’ve had women come in with a sticky note on that area written to me, just to be silly.”

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the stairs to go to the ladies’ room and asked her boyfriend to go with her. She had on a very cute dress and she turned around as they walked up the stairs and, after she checked to be sure no one else was looking, she flashed him. And he went into two panics. One, he frantically looked around to see if anyone else had seen, and two, he was desperate to go into the bathroom and forget the party. KR NM Classic!

“He was desperate to go into the bathroom and forget the party.”

And then I’ve had clients not tell their husbands and just go to bed as usual. Then when they would be getting intimate, you know, he would just all of a sudden say, “My God, what? Turn the lights on!” You know. “I want to see this!” And we dye a lot of them because I’ve told women that if you don’t dye it, like the strawberry, it’s not going to look like a strawberry, you know. Those are great stories. Do you do many models or strippers or anyone like that? Oh, yes. We do a lot of models, mainly because—some of the models we do naked because they have to be careful, if they wear white bathing suits or lingerie, for a shoot. And also we cut it real short and do it very scantily because they have to be careful not to have hair poking out of the lingerie. So we do an awful lot of models. We’ve done a lot of the Penthouse and Playboy girls. Is there anything special you do for these women that’s different from someone else who comes in, or is it all pretty much the same?

KR NM

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All the same. It’s just women. It has nothing to do with anything else. It’s just women and their personal preferences. Some like it narrow, some like it wide, some like the triangle real small, some like it not so small, some like it where we remove the hair on the lips just enough so that when they’re standing you can’t see the lips are naked. Let’s say I was a first-time customer. What would you tell me before I ever even came in? Like how would I need to prepare and what kind of things would I need to tell you about? All right. First of all, when people call, I ask what service they want, whether it’s waxing or skin care. We do skin care all over the body, and we do waxing all over the body, and we do men and women, and we do all ages and colors—none of that making any difference. Once they tell me what service they want, if it’s waxing I ask them what part of the anatomy they’re interested in, and I make it very easy for people to tell me what

KR

NM

“I make it very easy for people to tell me what they want, so they don’t seem to be embarrassed.”
they want, so they don’t seem to be embarrassed. And there are some cultures that don’t like hair on the body. KR NM Like what? Your Middle Eastern cultures. And they seem not to be too keen on hair for men or women. And then I’ve been asked by men—we do something that we call a “brief line” for men, because there are some men who don’t have a lot of hair on their body, but they have a lot of crotch hair that comes down low, and if they’re wearing a short, short boxer swimming-

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suit brief or a bikini-type bathing suit, they have all this superfluous hair, and we just remove that area for them. KR NM And what kind of preparation does someone need to make before they come in, or is there any? If they’ve shaved, I like them to wait as long as possible. The hair could be as long as for tweezing, but if they really want to have a good removal that will last them for a while, I try to get them to wait for a month or more because hair has more than one growth pattern and—have you ever been waxed? No, I haven’t. Okay. Hair has more than one growth pattern, so if you came in with— you’d been shaving for a long time and you came in with just a short growth of hair, I could remove it, but in a day or a week you’ll have more hair, and that’s another pattern of hair that hasn’t surfaced yet. Yeah, I understand. So that’s one issue. The other is if they’re on any of the Retin-A products or any of the acid products, they have to be off of it for about three to four days. What is an acid product? I’m not familiar with that. The AHAs [alpha-hydroxy acids]. Any of that kind of stuff. And if they’ve had a recent chemical peel or laser peel on their face, they can’t be waxed for quite a while. On their face, right? Right. Or— Wherever, huh?

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NM

Yeah. And if they use acid products at home on their anatomical parts, they still have to quit using it. Some people use it in other places than their face for home use. [Note: Not knowing what these products were, it didn’t even occur to me to ask
why someone might use this on any area other than the face. As it turns out AHAs are used as exfoliants and can help with preventing ingrown hairs. A-ha! —KR.]

KR NM

Do you make any recommendations for after the treatment? Yes. For 48 hours after, don’t use any fragrant products: body lotion heavy in fragrance, perfumes—anything heavy in fragrance—in that area because it could burn the skin. Stay away from excessively hot water. You can take a warm bath or a warm shower, but not real, real hot for 48 hours. You just burn, or what? No, the skin is a little sensitive and it can work like an incubator and you can kind of get hives or something like—on some people. Also, don’t use a loofah in the area where you’ve been waxed for 48 hours. And that’s pretty much it.

KR NM

So that was my first introduction to the amazing array of choices available to a woman who waxes. Several years later, with most of the research we’d conducted for this book under my belt (literally, because I’d personally tried most of it), I called Nance again for an update on the state of bush in Beverly Hills. —KR. KR Well, it’s been five years since I first interviewed you, and back then not everyone was talking about this, but now it’s kind of mainstream, isn’t it? I’m wondering if things have changed a lot in your salon in the last five years, like attitudes, preferences.

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NM KR NM

Yeah, a couple of things. One is the design work is kind of ho-hum. Meaning what? I used to do all those designs. I used to do stars and . . . the only things I’ve done lately are some logos like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, that kind of stuff, and even that’s fading, and I used to color the hair. I don’t do that anymore. I mean, not that I don’t do it, but there are not as many requests for that. What’s more popular nowadays? All of it off. One hundred percent. And back to the little triangle, and then I try something I call three-quarters. Because some of the women, some of the women don’t like when they’re standing up for their lips to show, so we do three-quarters. That makes the man happy, but they feel they’re not quite so exposed when they’re standing up in the nude. Have prices gone up much? Now that everybody’s kind of doing it, or have they gone down? No, it hasn’t gone up or down. You know, some people just get a little crazy and charge a lot of money, and then some of my clients will tell me if I’m away or something, they’ll tell me they went to somebody and it was a lot less money, so they thought, “Well, Nance isn’t here, so I guess I’ll try it.” And [it’s usually] a disaster—they didn’t know what they were doing. It’s something you have to do all the time to really understand what you’re doing. It’s not anything to be taken lightly, you know. You bet.

KR NM

KR NM

“It’s not anything to be taken lightly, you know.”

KR

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NM

So I think prices have pretty much stayed the same, except when you get into pricey stuff, like color. You know, recently somebody called me about pavé, you know, putting on a bunch of rhinestones. Just so I’m clear, are we talking about adhering rhinestones on the pubis or actually going in—? Removing all the hair on the labia, and just putting a bunch of pave rhinestones there. When you do that, how do you adhere it? Glue. Like eyelash glue? Yeah. You know, I’ve seen some publicity and things for different salons who do stuff with crystals, and you don’t get a lot of requests for that? Well, I don’t. All kidding aside, I take it serious. A lot of people are just saying, “Well, they’ll pay for it, so I’ll do it.” I tell the girls, “You know, I can do it for you, but I want you to know that you and the man will be in big trouble— If something gets where it shouldn’t be? It’s definitely gonna come off. Can you imagine doing body rubbing and it not coming off? It’s impossible. Safety tips from Nance! That’s great. Have techniques changed at all? I don’t think so. No big breakthroughs in wax or anything? Not really. Laser doesn’t seem to do any better. You know, like some people

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think that with laser the hair will be gone forever, but it’s not. And the only new thing, and again, it’s not new to me, but I’ve been doing men’s bikinis in the last several years. And they’re straight men. Not gay guys, because they like to shave, you know, and be clean all the time. When they come in, I’ll determine what they need done. Once they decide they want certain things done, I have to look at them and decide. You know how it came about? A lot of ladies said “Well, I don’t like all the hair you’ve got, either!” KR NM KR NM Yeah, I understand. So, and then the back of the fanny is just like for women, it’s just a hygienic thing. I gotcha. These days, who are your clients? Not names, necessarily, but what type of women come into your salon? Every age group you can imagine. That always surprises people. Every color, of course, and every walk of life. It isn’t just movies and models. I started out with models, some years ago, because it seemed like a smart answer because of their dress code, whether they’re wearing a bathing suit or a small-cut dress, or white or yellow—you know, to prevent shadows and stuff like that. But it’s everybody you can imagine. Everybody. Women who work, women who don’t work, women who have been married a long time, women who are single, women who are pregnant—I’m doing a pregnant lady now. I can hear her giggling in the background. The hospital sends me people. It’s really funny, because women like to be clean for their delivery, and a couple of reasons on that is, not to gross you out, but there’s a lot of stuff that comes out when you’re having a baby, and

“But it’s everybody you can imagine. Everybody.”

KR NM

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if you’ve got a lot of hair, it’ll cling to the hair, and of course when you’re delivering it can be pretty yucky. If you’re clean and naked in that area, it just comes out clean like coming out of a tube, you know what I mean? KR NM Yeah, well . . . and I understand that in a hospital, if they’re gonna shave, they do a dry shave. Scary! And then, of course, some people are having caesareans. They like it all clean because they want to make sure that they get down low enough for the incision and all that stuff. Yeah, and they would definitely shave you before performing an incision. Now there is something that we didn’t talk about at all last time. It was a major oversight on my part, which is how do you prevent the irritation that can happen? I always instruct my clients when I start. I even instruct my client who has been here two hundred times, “Don’t forget that everywhere I place your hands and your legs and your feet is for a reason. Every time I tell you to breathe is for a reason.” And then I look at them, and if the hair is too short or too long, I trim it. So all of that helps a lot. Like this woman is nine months pregnant, she’s let her hair grow out a lot, and she’s had a bad experience, so she was a little nervous initially, and your hair is going to hurt when I pull it out, especially if you haven’t done it that many times. But you can lessen the pain by doing certain things with the client. I do some very small hair patches. Some people will tell me about another salon: “I was in and out of that place in five minutes.” Well, there’s no way you can do that and not get ingrowns. I watch every direction the hair is going. I can be talking to my client but my eyes are moving. I have to watch. And if they say,

KR

NM

“Your hair is going to hurt when I pull it out, especially if you haven’t done it that many times.”

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“Woooo!” that’s okay. We’ll talk for a few minutes, I’ll wait a few minutes and then I’ll go to the other side and then come back to the first side, and that kind of stuff. Give them a little rest in between, that kind of thing. KR Let me ask you this. Say you go on vacation, Nance, and someone’s got to find somebody while you’re gone. How do you recommend your clients find an aesthetician they can trust and someone they’re going to like? Some of my clients have told me that they’ve called up [a new salon] and said, “Do you do Brazilian?” And they say yes. They go in, and one of my clients came out one day with the top of her [pubis] all clean and her lips all furry, and she said, “That’s not a Brazilian.” And the lady said, “Yes, [it is].” I don’t know where they’re coming from, but that’s it. Another time, she asked if they do Brazilians, and they said yes, and she went in, and they just took the sides off. And so I don’t know if everyone understands. A few of my clients will say, “You know, I go to Nance Mitchell.” A lot of people in this area know who I am, so they ask, “Do you do what she does?” And some say yes and some say no, but not everybody understands what the heck it is. I have my people get naked for me, and the only reason I have them do this is that I want to make sure that if they’re leaving any hair at all, that the line is even, and I can only look at it; I can’t push their underwear from side to side, you know. So my girls will say they go in and take their underwear off, and the people will say, “Oh, my god, you have to put your underwear on!” And you know, that kind of stuff. But some of them have said they have found people that did a fairly good job.

NM

“I don’t get giggly or funny about their personal parts.”

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You know what it is? It’s sort of personal. They’re used to me. But I’m kind of a no-nonsense type of lady; I don’t get giggly or funny about their personal parts, you know what I mean? KR So say some lady in Ohio is reading my book and she wants to be able to find an aesthetician where she is. Any questions you can ask someone to kind of weed it out? I think you say to somebody, “Do you do Brazilian?” And if they say yes, then you say, “I just want to make sure that I understand: what do you call Brazilian?” (They may have an attitude: “Well, what do you call a Brazilian?”) That would give you a read on how they’re going to treat you, though, wouldn’t it?

NM

KR NM

Sure. So you might say, “I really want no hair,” or “I like most of the hair left alone, but I like the lips of my vaginal area clean.” Some people get confused, and that should tell you something. You say By the Book lips, and they say, “What do you mean, ‘lips?’ ” I guess they don’t If you decide to see a know what they hell they’re doing, you know. And then there’s professional for waxing, you “I’d like to have my thong cleaned up,” [which refers to waxing between your cheeks]. And you almost have to ask them if they can print out a page from do that. I guess some people might be a little embarrassed, but chapter 2 with a style you you just have to ask them. You have to say, “Do you do those like and take it with you to things?” your appointment. This will Otherwise, you can waste a trip if there’s miscommunication. help ensure that you get what You don’t want to wait until you’re on the table to say, “This is what I want, and this is what I don’t want.” So it’s like, “I do want you want and facilitate to keep this area here, it’s only this area out here. Can you do conversation with your that? Have you done it before?” aesthetician. y

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KR NM

I suppose it’s a little like finding a good hairstylist. Or a “bald stylist.” Because bald is in, huh? “Smoothies” are in. (I call it a Smoothie.) Some women like that three quarters. Some women have very full, fat lips, and when we take all the hair off, the next time they come in they might say, “You know it feels funny; I’d like to have a little bit more hair.” Well, I call that three-quarters, because that means I remove a quarter of the hair from below and three quarters total. When they’re standing up, you don’t see the lips. And some women, as they age, their lips drop. And so many older women are dating young men today! So that three quarters has become very popular!

“ ‘Smoothies’ are in.”

()
TREASURE CHEST
The Nance Mitchell Company To learn more about Nance or to peruse her product line, visit her site by clicking here.

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IOTI
Key West, Florida THE GARDEN OF EDEN (305) 296-4565, TheBullAndWhistle.com In Key West, practically anything goes. It’s a mecca for nudists/naturalists, swingers, cross-dressers, and anyone else who’s into an alternative lifestyle. This makes it the perfect home for The Bull and Whistle and its upstairs, clothing-optional bar, The Garden of Eden, where Tioti practices his art: body painting applied mostly to women’s breasts, bottoms, and (to use his word) coochies. Tioti has also exhibited more traditional art on canvas in galleries and has several permanent installations in Key West. But he’s best known for his trompe l’oeil bikini tops, which he’s convinced the local politicians to “allow” on the streets after 10 p.m., which means the law looks the other way if a woman is out and about, wearing only paint. The bar itself caters to a lot of first-time nudists, and Tioti gets a kick out of giving people a “reason” to be naked in public.

KR T

Tell me about your work environment. I think the best thing about the bar is that it’s unpredictable. I walk into work, and sometimes it’s really boring. People are sitting around just for the “I’m in a clothing-optional bar, whatever,” [experience]. And then sometimes it’ll be totally erotic; you’ll have a lot of swinging couples there. Sometimes it’s just nudists. You never really know what it’s going to be like. Where is your studio set up?

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T

It’s in the corner, a ten-by-ten booth, and I have more of a view of the bar than the bar [has of me]. They can’t get a direct [view]: The way the front of the chair is, when the girls are sitting, they have their backs toward everybody. There’s some privacy. And then the curtain is pulled all to one side, because I don’t want distractions to my right, people saying “Can I take a picture?” or “You’ve got the best job in the world!” or all the things that people say. Tell me exactly what you do. T I’m an artist by trade; I’ve always pretty much made a living by being an artist. I think painting the body is one of the coolest things because it’s in three dimensions. And it’s living art that moves around instead of just being on a canvas. A lot of people get to see it. The exposure part is really cool. I like the fact that it’s temporary. I don’t appreciate art as much to hang on the wall, or over furniture—for people to decorate their houses.

KR T

KR

“It’s living art that moves around instead of just being on a canvas.”
KR T

They want to match their couch instead of getting something that inspires them? Yeah. Now, I’ve painted big portraits of nude women, and most of those are specially done, commissioned work, and they already know exactly the size they want. They may move [later], but they know they want a huge painting.

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KR

Pretend I know absolutely nothing about what you do. How would you describe it? A person comes in; she wants some body painting. How does that happen? Most of the time they have questions. They walk up, and probably the first question people ask is how much. Do you charge them by the hour? Pretty much by the minute. So just however elaborate the thing is . . . The average person will pay from $35 and $45 to have a ten- or fifteenminute painting. And if somebody, like a nice couple—the majority of people I paint are couples—so if it’s a nice couple, I’ll spend more time just because I’m having fun. If they’re a real pain in the butt, I get them out of the chair really quick. I understand. That’s interesting that most are couples. Most of the time it’s the husband or boyfriend wanting the woman painted. They usually have to do the talking-into-it. Really? So the women aren’t rushing you saying, “Please, please, do me”?

T KR T KR T

KR T

KR T

“If it’s a nice couple, I’ll spend more time just because I’m having fun.”

Most of them want to do it, but they’re going “Well . . .” Most of the people I paint are going to be topless, [so] one thing that’s going through their heads is, “Well, I want to do this, but if I do this, my man’s going to think I’m a slut.” So they have to get past that, because the men want it [just as much] because, first of all, it’s erotic.

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KR T

What, to watch it occur, or to see it afterwards? Both. To see somebody get painted is—it’s kind of like safe [group] foreplay, you know. Because it’s in an environment where somebody can sit there that close to their wife [while I] paint on her, and then it’s not like she’s going behind his back fooling around. And she’s getting off on it, because she’s going, “God, I’m sitting here naked.” It’s all the emotions: “I’m sitting here naked, there’s a stranger two feet away from me, staring at me, painting on me, and I’m going to walk around [topless].” Some say, “I’m not going to do that [walk around nude]; I’m just going to take a picture back here where nobody can see, so it’s just us,” but that rarely happens. By the time they’re painted, they say, “I’ve got to show the world! Look at me, I’m never wearing clothes again! I’m never taking a bath again!” So they’ll walk around outside the bar with only a painting on. Is that legal? It’s kind of a deal I made with Key West. It’s not legal at all—they used to say, “Okay, but the girls have to wear pasties, and then you paint over them.” I just kept pushing it and pushing it. I’m pretty good friends with the mayor and some of the city officials. And most of my paint’s going to be bigger than the clothes they’d wear anyway. With the bikini tops, they can’t tell [that it’s just paint] if I’m matching a bottom—that’s kind of how I pushed it. Will women walk around with just your painting on the bottom, too? That’s allowed, but I don’t push it. To me, Key West is an adult playground. It’s not a place for children—there’s nothing for children here,

“She’s getting off on it, because she’s going, ‘God, I’m sitting here naked.’ ”

KR T

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it’s not Mickey Mouse land—it’s an adult playground. We should treat it like a mature, adult playground. In my meetings with the city people, first of all, they respect me as an artist, someone who’s not just painting a smiley face on someone’s areola so she can walk around. KR T What kind of paintings do you do lower down? Probably the most popular thing for painting down below is flowers and vines. Like they’re coming out. If they’ve trimmed the hair into what’s called the running strip or landing strip, I can always make a vase out of that. So you use the pubic hair as part of the art?

KR T

Yes, I can do that. It’s just that most of the girls don’t have any now. That’s changed a lot since I started. You used to identify the swinging couples, ’cause they were shaven—ten to fifteen years ago, that’s how they were identified. They were nudists, if the girl was shaven, or if they were [both] shaven, they were swingers. Now you can’t tell. I’d say at least 90 percent of the people [in the bar] are totally shaven. So what is this like for the person you’re painting? What do women say about it?

“Probably the most popular thing for painting down below is flowers and vines.”

KR T

They don’t know what to expect, so they’re already excited [before I start] because they have no idea what it’s going to feel like. Most of them think it’s going to tickle. The brush itself—they think the brush is going to tickle. Most of the people I paint are first-time people being nude in public, period. So they’ve got that aspect of “I’m sitting here nude and it’s okay

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“Most of them say it’s the most erotic thing they’ve ever had, and it feels a lot better than tickle.”

because lots of people take off their clothes and just walk around the bar.” So they’ve found a reason to do it, and then I think they’re so excited about their husband or boyfriend, who’s just thrilled silly that other men and everybody gets to look at what he has. So it’s kind of like showing off. Then when I start painting, they’ve relaxed enough to enjoy it, and most of them say it’s the most erotic thing they’ve ever had, and it feels a lot better than tickle. It doesn’t really tickle; they say it’s closer to getting a massage or somebody running their fingers or hair over their body. It’s more of a soothing … but some people just totally get off on it: “Oh, that feels good.” It sounds like something people would want to do at home, too, even just for fun. Although it probably wouldn’t be as beautiful as something you would create, it could feel great, right? There are body painters whose girlfriends and wives I actually paint because it’s not the same [at home]. If you’re in the privacy of your own home, you’ve lost that whole aspect of everybody else looking at you. But for those who aren’t into the exhibitionism aspect, and just want the feel-good experience, what can you recommend?

KR

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Natural hair [paintbrushes]. Got to have natural hair. There are lots of different reasons. Natural hair will feel better, and it holds paint on the brush. Synthetics don’t, and they don’t really feel good on a person’s body. It’s too scratchy. It doesn’t feel right. When we’re getting through a painting, and the girl’s really relaxed, and had a good time, I’ll use what I call the feel-good brush. It’s basically a long-hair liner brush, and that one

Tricks of the Trade: Interviews With Top Experts • T I O T I

feels good. That’s the one they all go, “Oh, yeah, that sure felt good.” That’s the tickle brush.
[Note: Tioti mixes all his own paint, but you don’t have to. You can buy safe, impermanent paint from most adult toy shops, in a variety of palettes, including some that glow in the dark. You can buy them both at sex shops and children’s toy stores (investigate the face paints), or check out this chapter’s Treasure Chest for links to buy online. And no matter what this fella says, you don’t have to be into public nudity to enjoy body art: Painting and being painted can be voluptuous fun even in the privacy of your own home. ]

KR T

How did you get into this? I’m 43, and I’ve been painting all my life. My paint career started with doing landscapes and things that probably everybody starts with. Then [I did] portraits, and once I started doing that, I got really good at it, especially the nudes. When I started body painting full-time, I didn’t know anything about it, and I just started doing it for various festivals because it looked like fun: Fantasy Fest [Key West’s answer to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras], Dyke Fest, and nudist fairs. Back then, I had no idea it was going to be as big as it is. I think it’s cool because it’s a challenge every time you’ve got a different person. I had to learn how to [mix paint that would] be flexible—it can’t just fall off—and you don’t want it to dye their skin. That was a challenge chemistry-wise, to make paint that has a short life, but during that lifetime it stays on—through foreplay, too. People are up here the next day and say, “We had the best sex we’ve ever had in our lives.” It’s a combination of a lot of things, not just because I’ve painted the woman. It’s the whole thing we were talking about how the girl all of a sudden realizes she can show off herself, but she’s not a dancer onstage. The majority of people say it’s erotic because of that—it’s all the mental part that goes into it.

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Don’t Ask
In his studio-booth at The Garden of Eden, Tioti has a list of the “Top 10 Stupidest Questions” people ask about his art. Utter any of these, and you get fined a dollar, but we’ve provided the answers in case you’re curious: Is the paint toxic? No, not to you or your lover. We wouldn’t call it “edible,” but it won’t hurt you, either. Is it permanent? No, it lasts until your next eight- to ten-minute warm shower. You can wear clothes over the paint, too, since it dries in about five minutes. Does it hurt? Definitely not. How can I get this job? Um, yeah. There is no formal “career path” for body painting. Do you have to go to college to learn how to do this? No, but it sounds like a good adult education course to us. What can I get for $5? Maybe a shot of something cheap at the bar. Tioti charges by the minute, and he’s not even getting his brush wet for Mr. Lincoln. What does your girlfriend think? She’s all for it; they met when he asked her to model for a body casting of a mermaid. Do you have a constant hard-on? Hardly. Do you sleep with everyone you paint? Yeah, right. Are you gay? What, you don’t think a straight man could do this job? y

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KR T

I heard you can tell the nationality of any woman just by looking at her vulva. True? Oh, if you had a picture of just a coochie, most of the time, I can tell you the nationality. I can look at somebody’s face [and know what her vulva will look like]. This really kind of sucks as a guy, but to me, most coochies are boring. That’s a sad side-effect of your job! I think it is. I see a million of them. But most coochies are pretty much coochies. That’s it. Then you have the nationalities, especially the mixed nationalities, and they are going to have a pretty coochie. I can be pretty close to their nationality 90 percent of the time. They are all different. Yes, they are. So how is it for you when you’re working? Are you aware of the person, or is it just like painting on a canvas? It’s too much of a canvas because of all the distractions. The first thing I’ve got to look at is, okay, do they have any body oil? Because then I need to use cover-up to make the paint look right. If they want something that doesn’t include [tan lines], I’ve got to figure out how to [work with] them. The ones who usually get me, and it does happen, are the ones I totally wouldn’t expect it from: the little librarian-looking girl who’s no way going to do anything more than have something painted on her arm, and an hour later she’s having an orgasm and just going nuts. She just climbed out of her shell. I had a girl mess me up one time, and I had to actually leave. Five years ago (I never will forget it): Her name was Monica, and she waited in line for about three hours watching all these girls tease, show off—it was repeat customers before that. She got to her turn, and she sat down, and she had a wrap on and pulled out one breast, and said, “I just want you to

KR T

KR T

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“The little librarianlooking girl who’s no way going to do anything more than have something painted on her arm, and an hour later she’s having an orgasm and just going nuts.”

paint this one breast. It doesn’t have to be anything, just sparkles or whatever.” She didn’t have a clue. So I started just going around her nipple, and she starts, “Huh-uh-huh” [panting], and I’m thinking, “Oh, she’s playing?” and she grabbed my leg and dug her fingernails into my leg, and said, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” And her whole body flushed. And from down below, it came up. And I’m thinking, “This girl got so worked up watching me paint all these other girls, that I just barely brush one nipple and she just had this major orgasm.” And I couldn’t help but think—because first of all she’s gorgeous, and second, I had to imagine having her in bed, if she’s that sensitive anyway. When she got up, I had to take a break. Everybody saw the look on my face, and I said, “I’ve got to go for a walk. I won’t be able to be professional now.” I’ve had some people I’ve turned down on painting their lower half, either because I was in the mood or they were just way too sexy, and I’m going, “I cannot do this well. My mind is just not thinking of art right now.” Most of them I’m okay with, and I try to keep it on the level. I have a lot of people watching me, and I can’t sit around with a hard-on.

KR T

Was it more challenging when you first started painting women, or were you like, “Whatever”? It was challenging in the beginning, because the way we sit—she’s already got her legs spread and she’s kind of straddling me. So it’s already a little erotic. Nowadays, though, it’s very rare for someone to get to me, no

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matter how beautiful she is. Every once in a while, [I will] tell them, “You know, I’ve seen a lot of coochies, and you’ve got a pretty coochie.” Or “Yours is a feelgood coochie.” And most of them are okay; they want to be talked to like that. Instead of just sitting there and [having me] staring at them like a pervert, I’m going to come out and say what I want to say. KR Good for you, and good for them, too.

“You know, I’ve seen a lot of coochies, and you’ve got a pretty coochie.”

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TREASURE CHEST
Natural Bristle Paintbrushes Although you can get wonderfully soft and textured brushes with natural-hair bristles at any art supply store (and it’s fun to feel them before you buy them), you can also purchase paintbrushes online from MisterArt.com. The softest brushes are those intended for watercolors, usually made from sable or mink. Body Paints Consult your free bonus, The Hot Pink Body Art and Stenciling Kit, for paint recipes. But if you’d rather not mix your own, check out A Bit Naughty’s extensive collection, including a variety of paint colors, plus a whole latex line for those who want the “second skin” feeling of latex along with the beauty of a painted body.

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O U PAG E T
Los Angeles, California F R A N K LY S P E A K I N G (310) 556-3623, LouPaget.com The author of several bestselling sex guides, Lou Paget is the founder of and instructor for her popular Sexuality Seminars, two of which Deborah attended and enthusiastically endorses. Lou is known for her candid advice about all things sexual, which is based on more than two decades of research with thousands of people, as well as her absolute commitment to contributing accurate, useful information so both women and men can experience the heights of pleasure. Karen interviewed her late in 2003 after having read Lou’s third book, The Big O—Orgasms: How to Have Them, Give Them, and Keep Them Coming.

KR LP

Do you think pubic grooming contributes something to a woman’s sense of self and her sexuality? Well, there is no part of a woman’s body that is more identified with her femininity than her genitals. And when she has the attitude that they are lovely, that they deserve to be taken care of, and that they are special, that attitude completely goes over into her intimate relationships, her selfesteem as a woman, and typically how she reacts in sexual relationships. I’m wondering what you would advise women who still have a sense of shame about their vagina, their vulva, and all the wonderful parts therein. You know, there are times in life when we get inaccurate information that’s been handed down for generations. This happens to be one of them.

KR LP

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KR LP

Inaccurate information being what? That women’s genitals are dirty, unclean. There’s no part of a woman’s body that is more self-maintaining than the vagina. Yet we are constantly being told that it’s not clean and it’s not okay. Madison Avenue made gazillions [of dollars] for [products] like Summer’s Eve and all of that garbage that is supposed to be sprayed on women’s genitals. I was in advertising, and I can just imagine—I can hear them sitting at a table saying, “You know, all we have to do is tell them that they’re not going to be perceived as being ‘fresh,’ or that they’re dirty.” Now, how many women do you know who really know what another woman’s genitals look like? Not many. Thank you. How many of them really have the ability to know how to compare themselves with what they see? Almost none. So women don’t have the practical, empirical evidence there in front of them. Where do you typically see female genitals? You see them in adult films. So that, again, contributes to women not feeling that area of their bodies really deserves to be celebrated. While we’re talking about correcting misconceptions, what do you think is the most egregious one about the female orgasm? That the only way it can happen is from male-superior intercourse. Is that still a prevailing belief? Let me put it this way: I once asked Cosmo staffers about the number-one

“How many women do you know who really know what another woman’s genitals look like?”
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question they get asked. The question is, How do I have an orgasm during vaginal intercourse? KR LP And?

For the majority of women, that’s not the easiest way for them to orgasm for two reasons: 1) there’s no maintenance of a warm, soft, constant stimulation contact of the clitoris (that occurs with oral, particularly, and manual), and 2) the man is the person in control of the motion, not the woman. So if the woman is on top and is stimulated enough, that invariably ends up being the position that works the best for penetrative intercourse. But I can tell you why this question gets asked: Women typically go out with men who are slightly older. Men get their information from the adult porn industry. The porn industry shows a guy ramming away with eight inches of hard blue steel, so that’s supposed to do it. (Laughs) Oh, it’s funny—but it’s not. I know, it’s sad! Men are getting fed this information. And if you’re a woman, and you know too much about sex, you’ve done too much. Whose perception is that? Women and men. [It’s about] a woman’s reputation. Hmmm.

“If the woman is on top and is stimulated enough, that invariably ends up being the position that works the best for penetrative intercourse.”

KR LP KR LP KR

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LP

Hmmm. That attitude is still very much intact. And I don’t care where I’ve done presentations worldwide, for the majority of women one of the most important things for them is their reputation.

“For the majority of women one of the most important things for them is their reputation.”
KR So here we are educating women about their own sexuality, and they’re going to learn an awful lot about it, obviously, by reading your book and somewhat by reading mine. How are they supposed to deal with this problem of being concerned about knowing ‘too much’? Just don’t succumb? [Know that] if they are with someone who has this issue, that’s that person’s problem, not theirs. The more women get told it is their innate right to have the pleasure of their bodies . . . Speaking of pleasure, what’s the most important thing for a woman to know who’s never experienced an orgasm? Chances are she’s never had the proper type of stimulation. And the advice would be what? Try new stuff? Yeah, for some women, a vibrator’s just not the thing. For other women, the hand is the thing. For some women, warm water, like a showerhead, is the thing. For others, it’s rubbing up against something. For others, it’s the clenching of their legs. If you read Shere Hite’s book about how women masturbate, you’ll see a whole range. Her book was groundbreaking. Read how orgasms feel and how women masturbate. It’s individualistic.

LP

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KR LP

It’s as individual, I suppose, as the woman’s parts. The other thing is you need to get to know what you like and don’t like, and what works for you. I have an identical twin sister. What she likes and what I like are not the same things. So here we are, cookie-cutter images of one another—not even the same. Just because you have the same body parts does not mean they operate the same as someone else’s. It would be like saying everyone wants to go to the same restaurant. Would you make similar recommendations to a woman who is already orgasmic and wants to take it to her next level? Yeah. Go to places where you know you’re getting accurate information.

KR

“Just because you have the same body parts does not mean they operate the same as someone else’s.”

LP KR LP

Actually, that’s another question. How can you delineate the good from the bad? I guess you look at recommendations from people whom you respect. The other thing is to have one of those conversations with a girlfriend. That’s what my books are based on: It’s what thousands of people have shared works for them. And I know that if it works for someone, chances are it’s going to work for someone else. The information is transferable.
[Note: For one way to comfortably initiate a conversation like this, see the interview with Layne Cutright, starting on page 143.]

When you [are evaluating] a book, look at the sources. Find something where you like the tone of how the information is given. And then see what they might recommend. For a store, ask yourself, first,

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would a woman feel comfortable going in there by herself? And, second, probably more important, do they sell their database? KR LP To other businesses for marketing? Exactly. This is private! You want it to remain private. So look at the tone and how the information is delivered. If it doesn’t work for you, find another one. And even people who say, “I’m Dr. So-and-So.” Watch out! I have the same question about sifting through the huge number of toys, lubes, and sex aids. When it comes to finding the right toys and things, it’s not so much the source of the vibration; it’s the application and style. There is no vibrator that is perfect for everyone. There just isn’t. For some women, they want something smaller, and some want something with a larger head like on the Hitachi Magic Wand that covers the entire genital area. Some women prefer the direct clitoral stimulation with a smaller vibrator, which is why I recommend the Pocket Rocket or the Pocket Missile, which has three different speeds to be stronger or lighter, depending on what you prefer. They now come with all kinds of different lovely little juicy colors. We have one we carry called the [Jelly] Finger vibe, which is just great! It’s a teeny, tiny bullet vibrator encased in a plastic sleeve that fits over your finger so you can get it exactly where you want it to be. And a woman can use it on a man, and a man can use it on a woman. Is it similar to that one—I don’t even know how it’s pronounced. The spelling just looks ridiculous: The Fukuoku?

KR LP

“There is no vibrator that is perfect for everyone.”

KR

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LP

That one’s kind of goofy because you basically have to have a certain size finger to use it. So this one [the Jelly Finger vibe] slides onto your finger, and the little vibrator is down below. Imagine that the vibrator would be like a scrotum. Does that make sense? Yeah. Sort of. I’ll take a look at it. I have it on my Web site. There are a couple of vibrators we carry. Another one called the TongueJoy is fabulous, but it’s for oral. Meaning what? You turn your tongue into a vibrator. Oh, so smart! Now, most women when using a vibrator [for the first time] will go straight to the clitoris, and it’s almost like, “Yowzers!” It could be just way too intense, and they numb themselves. So they’re not really sure about how to be using them. No matter what size the thing is. Yeah, they just kind of slap it right on top and it’s like, “How can this be pleasurable?” They don’t know about building up. They don’t understand female sexual response is build, plateau, build, plateau. So when it gets to be just too much, stop, turn it off, rest, and then start again.

KR LP KR LP KR LP

KR LP

“Female sexual response is build, plateau, build, plateau.”

[Note: Recommendations for masturbation (applicable to using a vibrator) begin on page 88 of this book. If you’re interested in learning more about the sexual response cycle, see The Big O, starting on page 28 of the hardbound edition.]

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KR LP

Do you also recommend vaginal exercise? If women want to know whether [their PC muscle is] in shape or not, they can insert their fingers into the vagina and tighten around them. If it feels like a thin line, like a little pencil line, you may want to do a little work. If it feels broader than that, chances are it’s in good shape and you just need to [continue] exercising it [however you have been]. For a number of women, it takes a while after childbirth for that area to come back into tone. But the other thing that’s important about the PC muscle is in Beverly [Whipple]’s research: there is a direct database of information to support—meaning they have been able to show in lab situations—that the strength of the PC muscle contributes to increased sexual satisfaction and pleasure.

“The strength of the PC muscle contributes to increased sexual satisfaction and pleasure.”
You’ve recommended Betty Dodson’s vaginal barbell. Can we talk about that? It can be a little too much for a lot of women. KR LP KR LP The idea of it? Or the use of it? The idea of it and the size of it. They’re pretty hefty. Yeah, they weigh a pound! My recommendation: If you go on the Web site AsWeChange.com, in it they have a number of vaginal exercisers, and the best I have seen so far are inexpensive—not the really pricey ones.

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KR

This weight-training conversation is making me think about sexual Olympics. One thing that’s happened with the publicity of female ejaculation and the multiple orgasm is some women feel like somehow there’s another mountain to scale. If you aren’t multiply orgasmic, if you’re not ejaculating, if you’re not doing anal, if you’re not blah blah blah, you’re not enough? You’re probably just fine. Do not be held up to the specter of what they’re showing in the adult film industry. Remember, these are your nerve endings.

LP

“Remember, these are your nerve endings.”
Lou was kind enough to review an early draft of chapter 5 and provide helpful criticism. Though the following is not part of our “official” interview, we’re including these comments on hysterectomies and female ejaculation, which are previously mentioned in this book only briefly. Her remarks are important because they help explain the nerve systems that create the sensations of orgasm.

LP

The reason the hysterectomy is so impactful is that they’re actually removing the nerves, and it isn’t the uterus so much as the cuff of skin at the neck around the cervix, because that’s the pelvic and the hypogastric nerves. Once you remove the nerves, you don’t have anything. And sometimes surgeons do remove the nerves and sometimes they don’t, because they don’t know what the heck’s going on. A lot of times women don’t even know what their options are. And unless there’s a physiological reason for the removal of the cervix, there’s no reason to take it out, particularly if a woman knows that she experiences

KR LP

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pleasure and can feel that type of contracting. I’ve had women in my seminars—one woman who literally—it took everything for her not to completely burst into tears. She had just had a hysterectomy and knew nothing about this. KR That’s why I mentioned it in the chapter. It’s not entirely on target as far as this book is concerned; however, I went through this myself. I had a doctor suggest a hysterectomy to me, and I started reading and researching, and then got angry. I had a relative who went through a similar thing, and I said, “Above all, do not allow them to take off the cuff of skin around the neck of the cervix. There’s no reason for that.” Otherwise, that sensation is gone. They know about nerve sparing for prostatectomies for men because the nerves on the lateral side of the prostate are responsible for men being able to be erect. And without those, they can’t be erect. They know nothing [about women]. I mean, hysterectomies are such a hugely popular form of surgery. It gets recommended [for] everything. Was it you [to whom] they said, “Don’t worry; you’re not losing your playpen?”

LP

“ Above all, do not allow them to take off the cuff of skin around the neck of the cervix.”
KR

No, it was actually a friend of mine. When I got so mad, I started talking to everyone about it. And I heard stories from all kinds of women about this. Women who’d had it done, women who’d had it recommended—I’m sure you’ve heard it all, too. It’s almost like this one person had recommended it being done [all the time]. I had one friend of mine who told me [about such a doctor.] [My friend is] a southern anesthesiologist, and he said, “It is no wondah that man is makin’ money. He slahces and dahces everyone he meets!” And no

LP

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reason for it! It’s the removal of the nerve systems associated with the uterus that affects the sexual response.
She had this to say about female ejaculation, which remains a controversial topic, with some people still insisting (wrongly) that the ejaculate is just urine:

LP

Female ejaculation typically occurs not at the moment of orgasm but just before. Women have said that clitoral nerve stimulation (the pudendal nerve system) feels more like a pulling up and in. But G-spot stimulation—anterior fornix erotic zone front wall stimulation—affects the pelvic and the hypogastric nerves, as does cervical stimulation. And it feels like a pushing down and out. So some women, with that pushing down and that bearing down that comes with it, indeed may have some urine come out. But in the clear sense of female ejaculation, it is not urine that comes out. I’ll tell you, it isn’t technically an ejaculation, either. Ejaculation is the result of a muscular contraction. This is more like when you haven’t eaten anything all day and then you eat something, and your salivary glands go, “Weeeee!” Similar thing. It’s a gland, but saying that there is urination during orgasm? No. I think that statement would be complete crap. Francisco Santamaria Cabello, a Spanish researcher I heard speak about this in Paris, studied the fluids from ejaculating women in a lab setting. They had had no men around them, so there was absolutely no male body fluids involved. He found that the fluid contained PSA (prostatic specific androgen). An elevated level of this actually means there is an overgrowth of the prostate tissue, which is what they look for in men, to check for prostate cancer or any other prostate issue. But that’s why Cabello refers to [the G-spot] as the female prostate.

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TREASURE CHEST
Vibes All available from Lou’s Web site at LouPaget.com: the discreet Pocket Rocket and Pocket Missile, both sold in a variety of “juicy” colors; the flexible Finger Vibe; and the unusual TongueJoy, which turns your mouth into a vibrator. Vaginal Exercisers Lou recommends the vaginal weights available from AsWeChange.com. To review the selection, click here. Sex Guides After you read The Big O, you may find yourself eager for more of Lou’s frank talk about all things sexual. She has also written How to Be a Great Lover and How to Give Her Absolute Pleasure.

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AY N E C U T R I G H T
San Diego, California PAU L AN D L AY N E ’ S S E C R E T S FO R S U C C E S S FU L R E L ATI O N S H I P S (702) 340-0710, PaulAndLayne.com Layne Cutright and her husband, Paul, work together as authors, speakers, trainers, and coaches in the field of human potential. Not only have they personally counseled tens of thousands of people both in private practice and in seminars, they have trained educators who conduct programs founded on theirs around the world. Romantic and business partners since 1976, Layne and Paul are known for the results they produce through compassionate yet practical teaching, tools, and techniques for building great relationships. In this interview, we focused primarily on something called “Heart-to-Heart Talks,” a highly structured communication process designed by Layne and her husband to facilitate clear, honest interactions. Their 1996 book, Straight From the Heart: An Essential Guide for Developing, Deepening, and Renewing Your Relationships, details the process and explains the underlying principles. Although these “talks” can be used in a variety of situations, from intimate personal conversations to corporate team-building, we paid particular attention to how they can be used to address sexual issues, preferences, and desires. Karen interviewed Layne because Hot Pink is primarily about helping women express themselves. We knew she’d be the perfect person to address this in a literal sense: Sex-related subjects can sometimes be difficult to discuss, and Layne is a master of facilitating conversations that might be uncomfortable, transforming them into mind-expanding and heart-opening exchanges.

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KR

Being completely honest about sex can be difficult. There’s the temptation to shade the truth to make yourself or your lover look good, which might feel easier in the moment, but is probably not in anyone’s best interests. What would you say are the essential benefits of truth-telling between lovers? The biggest one is really feeling accepted and safe for who you are. If you’re less than honest with your partner, it can generate this underlying sense that If they knew what I really thought and really felt, they wouldn’t love me or accept me or appreciate me. This creates difficulty in feeling really loved and accepted for who you are, because what you’ve presented them is a false sense of who you are. So one of the biggest reasons to be truthful and honest in a relationship is so you can genuinely experience love and intimacy and be accepted for who you are, which all translates into deeper levels of trust and deeper levels of sexual surrender with one another.

LC

“One of the biggest reasons to be truthful and honest in a relationship is so you can genuinely experience love and intimacy and be accepted for who you are, which all translates into deeper levels of trust and deeper levels of sexual surrender with one another.”

Tricks of the Trade: Interviews With Top Experts • L A Y N E C U T R I G H T

KR LC

Most people buy into the notion that honesty is the best policy, but I’m wondering what you think keeps people from abiding by it? Oh, mostly I think it’s fear of rejection. It’s all fear stuff, but basically the idea that If people really knew the truth about me, they wouldn’t like me. Most of us learn while growing up to create a persona we think will be accepted by others, and that becomes an automatic, unconscious thing. Even though we may have the ideal that honesty is the best policy, there is oftentimes this underlying fear that Oops, maybe that’s really not true. If I really let them know that these are my fantasies, or If I really let them know about my vulnerabilities or my less-than-positive thoughts, they’ll use that against me somehow. They’ll reject me somehow. So we tend to be a little bit careful about revealing that. In your books, you offer some guidelines for the Heart-to-Heart Talks. They help set the tone of the conversation. And just looking at those guidelines opens up possibilities, and talking about those guidelines sets the context for deeper sharing. So when we teach people to do Heart-toHeart Talks, we recommend they read the guidelines out loud so they remember where they stand: The ground they’re standing on as they’re communicating is different from ordinary conversation. Keeping this in mind changes the tone and enhances the safety level. Can you explain what a Heart-to-Heart Talk is? A Heart-to-Heart Talk is a structured conversation that clarifies the roles so that one person is the speaker and the other person is the listener. And the speaker has several minutes (however long they agree) to say his or her piece without being interrupted. And then they take turns with that. And that assures that everybody’s going to feel listened to. And there’s a really powerful, magical thing that happens in the human psyche when we’re

KR LC

KR LC

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able to fully communicate what we think and feel and have it be accepted—not necessarily agreed with, but heard and listened to and accepted that, yes, that’s what they really think and feel. There’s just this wonderful sense of groundedness and feeling safer and feeling like you have the freedom to be who you are. And that’s really essential if you’re going to have a dynamic, happy sexual experience with somebody.

Guidelines for Heart-to-Heart Talks
1. 2. I will communicate with the intention of producing more harmony and understanding in the relationship. I will participate in a spirit of goodwill, being as honest as I can be. loses, the whole relationship loses. 4. 5. I intend to take responsibility for my own experience, knowing it reflects my personal thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and attitudes. I intend to use any mistakes as a learning opportunity, and I will practice a forgiving attitude. 6. I will continue to communicate until we find a resolution that works for everyone involved. 7. I will use the situation to learn about myself and to become a better person. we both agree otherwise. y —LAYNE AND PAUL CUTRIGHT, You’re Never Upset for the Reason You Think 8. I will keep this conversation confidential and not talk about it with others, unless 3. I am committed to a mutually beneficial outcome, recognizing that if one of us

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KR

It sounds as if this structured process might be complicated given all the huge benefits it yields, but it’s really not. It’s so simple.

LC

Yes, it’s real simple. Essentially a Heart-to-Heart Talk has a lead-in phrase, or some people will say it’s a sentence fragment, that evokes a certain kind of thinking that most people don’t do. A lot of our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings live just below the horizon of our awareness, and what these lead-in phrases do is help us look a little bit deeper than we usually do, and out of that looking, we speak a little bit deeper. So if we were going to do some discovery Heart-to-Heart Talks about sexuality, it might sound something like, “Something I really like in sex is . . .” And so there would be the speaker, and there would be the listener, and the listener has really very few responses. They’re not going to comment or give a positive response or a negative one; it’s kind of neutral. Usually, they’ll go, “Thank you,” “Mm-hmm, I understand,” or sometimes people just want to nod their head. But the listener simply lets the speaker know that they’ve heard what was said without judging or evaluating it. You know how to do them; do you just want to make one up and we’ll demonstrate it? Sure.

“There’s a really powerful, magical thing that happens in the human psyche when we’re able to fully communicate what we think and feel and have it be accepted.”

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Okay, how about “Something I like about sex . . .”? Or “Something I like in sex . . .”? Do you like that, or would you prefer something else? Sure, that’s fine. I think it’s good to start with something that’s a little tame. Is that tame enough? I think so. Do you? Well, I don’t know. (Laughing) You don’t know what I like! (Laughing) All right, I think it’s tame enough. Okay, so—now, I’m not going to go on the record as if this is Layne talking, but this is a demo of how you can respond. Right.

“Something I really like in sex is . . . ”
LC KR LC KR LC KR “Something I like in sex is gentle foreplay for a long period of time.” “Thank you.” “Something else I like in sex is, when I get really excited, to feel held down, to have my arms held down.” “I understand.” “Something I really like in sex is when we can take turns being in charge or in control.” “Thank you.” “Something that I really like in sex is when my lover brings me a really warm washcloth. You know, I’m in bed and I’m all sopping wet, and he

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goes in there and he brings out a nice hot washcloth and puts it between my legs. (Laughing) I just think that’s great.” KR LC KR LC KR LC KR LC (Laughing) “Thank you.” “Something I like in sex is when there’s enough time to cuddle afterwards.” “Thank you.” “Something I like in sex is when my partner asks me for exactly what they want.” “I understand.” “Something I like in sex is when I get feedback about whether I’m pleasing my partner or they’d prefer something else.” “I understand.” So that’s a discovery process. For it to be complete, you would take a turn as the speaker, using the same lead-in phrase, and I would listen. Let’s do a clearing process, which can be really helpful because sometimes when you put the truth or you put good stuff on top of yucky stuff, it’s not as effective. So clearing helps us let go of things, for instance, what we don’t like about sex, or that we don’t want to have happen. And sometimes to hear about all the stuff that our partner wants us to do for them, when we haven’t also talked about what our misgivings are, or our resistances are, to certain sexual expressions, it can not produce the result we want. So are you ready for this? I’m just wondering if you can further define clearing. In my own mind, I tend to think of it as the things I don’t want to say. Is that how you would define it, or would you say that another way?

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LC

I would say that a clearing exercise is more than just what you don’t want to say; it’s what you’re afraid to say. And the purpose of the clearing process is to communicate it so you can let go of it. In a loving, intimate relationship, when you communicate about your fears, they disappear, so you’re not just talking about them in order to hold onto them or take a stand about them. But your intention in a clearing process is to communicate it so you can unburden yourself from carrying the emotional weight of it. And oftentimes when you clear, you don’t have it anymore. In the beginning you may say, “Something I don’t like in sex is that you always want me to suck your cock.” And a woman can be really infuriated about that: “You always want me to do that, and I don’t like that.” But after you say it, and your partner gets it, and you feel heard and understood about it, oftentimes there can be this kind of lifting off of that so there’s an opening that maybe you could actually enjoy it in the future. “Maybe if you didn’t hold my head down,” or “Maybe if . . .” whatever. Right. So I think another thing to understand is that in these Heart-toHeart Talks, they’re an evolving thing, and the truth you speak in the moment is not likely to be the truth that you feel after it’s over—or after you have had a couple of Heart-to-Heart Talks. People’s truth evolves and grows. It grows from that fear state to a more loving, personal power state. But we have to start from where we are, and that’s what most people find difficult. Okay, so how about a clearing process? Sure. “Something that turns me off . . .”?

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“People’s truth evolves and grows.”

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The Format of Heart-to-Heart Talks
There are essentially four types of Heart-to-Heart Talks: 1. Nurturing processes pour love and appreciation on a relationship like water and sunlight on a garden. 2. Clearing processes express what makes you anxious, angry, or afraid. Once you have “cleared the air”—and, more important, your mind and heart—you can see new possibilities that may have been obscured when your vision was clouded by these emotions, so sometimes it’s best to start with a clearing. Always follow a clearing process with a nurturing one. 3. Discovering processes promote understanding, enabling you to learn more about yourself or your partner. 4. Affirming processes build one another’s self-esteem, self-respect, and confidence. Following are instructions for having your own Heart-to-Heart Talks: • • • • Choose a quiet place to talk where you won’t be interrupted. Face each other if you can. It’s ideal if you can sit with your knees almost touching. Read the guidelines on page 146 aloud together. Decide who will be the speaker first and how long you want to allow for each person’s responses. (Most people can “empty out” their responses in about two minutes.) Consider using a timer to alert you when time’s up.
(Continued on next page.)

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(Continued from previous page.)

To do the process, the speaker completes the lead-in phrase as many times as he or she can, using whatever first comes to mind. A partner listens, offering only “Thank you,” “I understand,” or nodding.

• •

When the first speaker is done, switch roles. If you are feeling anxious about doing this, it is useful to begin with a clearing process, expressing your fears or concerns: “A reservation I have about doing this is . . .”. This lets you both air your concerns about the talk itself so you can remove any obstacles that might get in the way of you participating fully.

As you are speaking, your mind may draw a blank and you won’t be able to come up with anything. This is perfectly normal. Just say the lead-in phrase and complete with the word blank. For example, “Something that really gets me hot is ‘blank.’ ” Then just try again. Something invariably comes to mind, even if you have to say “blank” a few times first.

• •

Breathe deeply and fully. You may find that you want—or need—to have a more detailed conversation about the subjects you’re exploring together using this process. It’s true, Heart-toHeart Talks are ideal for identifying these areas, but they are not the time to veer off into discussion. Wait until after you’ve concluded your Heart-to-Heart Talk to pursue conversations for seeking solutions, brainstorming, negotiating issues, and so on.

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KR

Mmm-hmm. Again, I guess I should say I’m not on the record with these as my own turn-offs, but here’s a demo: “Something that turns me off is Barney music playing while we’re making love.” “Thank you.” “Something that turns me off is heavy cologne.” “I understand.” “Something else that turns me off is being grabbed out of nowhere— although grabbing is okay once I’m pretty turned on.” “I understand.” “Something that turns me off is unrelenting rhythmic stroking.” “Thank you.” “Something else that turns me off is when a lover goes straight for my clitoris or vagina and ignores the rest of me.” “I understand.” All right, so if we were to complete, you would go next. That’s the basic structure. But there’s a larger structure, too, of using certain kinds of Heartto-Heart Talks to bracket the more difficult ones. The only thing I would suggest is that whenever you do a clearing Heartto-Heart Talk, put a nurturing Heart-to-Heart Talk after. So if you’re going to talk about things you don’t like about sex, you follow it up with things that you do love about sex. If you’re going to do a clearing Heart-to-Heart Talk about your concerns about your sex life, follow with a nurturing talk, and you can also finish up with a discovery process about your dreams and your visions, or your yearnings about sex, or how you’d like it to be. So there’s this balancing act between expressing what might be considered

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the more negative aspect, balancing it with the more positive aspect. Because if all you do is talk about what’s wrong, it gives you a skewed view of reality. KR Do you advise people about a certain way to invite someone to participate in a Heart-to-Heart Talk? Sex is a scary subject for some people, and they may feel nervous even about asking a partner to have this conversation. Can you make some recommendations? You suggest it as an invitation rather than, “I need you to do this with me.” Not, “We need to talk.” Right, definitely not “We need to talk.” But it’s an invitation, it’s something you’d like to share for—and the reason you give is something that they would want. It’s like, “I would like to have this Heart-to-Heart Talk so that we can be better lovers with one another.” Or “I’d like to have this Heartto-Heart Talk so that we’re more passionate and we have sex more often.” But it has to be like a little carrot. What’s the invitation? What’s the reason that they’re going to be motivated to do this? Because there is this kind of built-in emotional barrier about being really honest, and people need to have incentives. So that needs to be explicit in the invitation. And also to frame it as an experiment: “Let’s do this together and see how it feels,” not “I think we should do this because it’ll help.” It’s kind of like, “Oh, I heard about this, and I think we could try it and see if it really does help us feel better when we’re making love with one another.” And your partner goes, “Hmmm. Well, maybe. Okay.” People will respond differently to an invitation and an experiment than they will to “We have to do this or bad things will happen.”

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“Let’s do this together and see how it feels.”

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KR LC

Do you think there are better and worse times to have Heart-to-Heart Talks? Oh, absolutely. A better time is when you’re not going to be interrupted, where you can be focused on one another and you have time to finish whatever comes up. When people try to have Heart-to-Heart Talks in the middle of busy activity, and they think they can answer the phone or they try and do it during commercials in between television shows, it’s disastrous. Some people experience some success when they’re in the car together, but only with lightweight topics. For sexual conversations that are so vulnerable and—there’s so much power in a Heart-to-Heart Talk that has to do with sexual revelations—it’s really important that you can be looking at one another and that you know you’re not going to be interrupted. It’s a special time, a sacred time, and you make sure that your environment supports that. So you’re not going to do it in a shopping center, probably not in a coffee shop. You’re going to have some privacy and quiet. Let’s say someone wanted to use a Heart-to-Heart Talk to help resolve some disagreement that’s going on. Is it suitable for that kind of thing? Would you do that in the middle of an argument? Oftentimes, it really helps. Because what happens in an argument is that people get locked into their own perceptions, and they start broadcasting their truth without listening to the other person. And they think that if they communicate their truth loud enough, strong enough, whatever, that they will “win the argument.” And what Heart-to-Heart Talks do, really, is they shift a conversation into more of a learning conversation, where you communicate in a way that allows you to learn about yourself at a deeper level and to learn about your partner. So when you’re really listening to them with what I call a quiet mind (which means you’re not listening to

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the voice inside your head commenting about what they’re saying—you’re actually listening to them), it changes the whole dynamic of the relationship. People feel safer. They feel that they’re really being listened to, so it tends to neutralize that escalating, my-way-or-the-highway energy that comes from arguments. So when we’re teaching people about fair fighting or resolving conflicts, we recommend that if they notice that they’re starting to get emotional, and they’re starting to speak over one another’s sentences, and they’re not really listening to one another, they say, “You know what? Now’s a good time for a Heart-to-Heart Talk. Why don’t we do a ‘clearing’ so that we can really listen to one another.” KR I asked that because it’s possible this book could create some conflict for people. Something you said helped me realize I needed to interview you for this project, which was that there would be some buttons pushed, potentially, by what we’ve written—that issues might be raised for people reading it. What do you think are going to be the most common things to come up? Specifically, whatever their sexual wounding might be. Most people in Western culture have a lot of sexual wounding because there’s a lot of sexual guilt in our culture. We’re taught to be, for the most part, ashamed of our private parts. “Keep ‘em under cover. Don’t let anybody see ‘em.” That kind of feeling tone. So whatever the individual’s sexual wounding may be, those will be the issues to get ignited. More generally, I’d say that the fear or concern that the way they’ve been doing it isn’t okay. And that somebody wants them to change. When we say “the way they’ve been doing it,” we mean pubic grooming or the lack thereof. Orientation to their sexuality, pubic grooming, or whatever. It’s like, if you’ve been wearing your hair cut one way, and somebody says, “Hey, I’d

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like you to change your haircut to this,” there can often be this, “Well, what’s the matter with the way I’ve been doing it?” So there’s this kind of invalidation factor that can be perceived but not intended. And then there’s the fear of more vulnerability. When you start talking about it, when you start revealing your private parts in a particular kind of way, it can feel more vulnerable than the act of sex itself. And especially for women, there is this kind of dangerous place about really stepping into being playful with your sexuality—that if you become playful, you are dancing very close to that whorish line that shows up in our culture somehow. It’s as if in order to avoid being a whore, you’re supposed to be pure and it’s supposed to be a sacred act— KR LC

“When you start revealing your private parts in a particular kind of way, it can feel more vulnerable than the act of sex itself.”

You’re not supposed to know too much. You’re not supposed to do too much. You’re not supposed to pay that much attention to it. Yes, it’s just supposed to happen magically and beautifully through the grace of something. And so to put this much attention on that part of your body in a kind of bold, playful way can sometimes, for some women, feel risky. That old paradigm of I won’t be respected if they see this part of me— that can be a big trigger that most women don’t go around thinking consciously, but informs their relationship with their own sexuality. I also had one woman say to me that her concern was that she didn’t want to be changing anything about herself just to please a man.

KR

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“I think it’s important, if we’re going to do anything with our body, that we do it for ourselves.”

Well, I think it’s important, if we’re going to do anything with our body, that we do it for ourselves. It’s not either/or. If you’re only doing it for your man, I think maybe it can be too risky. But if you’re doing it for your man and you’re doing it for what you get out of it, then that’s fine. So you don’t want to do it only for your man, but a lot of women will keep their pussies bare because their men like it so much. Now, let’s face it: The actual process of keeping your labia smooth is not usually pleasurable. So you’re not doing it necessarily because you like touching yourself and it feels smooth. But you like it because of the wonderful response you get from your lover. So, yes, you’re doing it for him, but you’re also doing it for yourself because the pleasure he receives from it is so exciting for you. So the only place that I would recommend that women never go is if they’re feeling that they’re having to do this to get their lover to love them or accept them, and they don’t see that they’re really doing this for their own pleasure. That’s when you enter dangerous territory. Or if you are so opposed to it personally—don’t overcome your own opposition. Yes, if it’s against your own personal ethic, well, then you don’t do it. One of the things that I think a Heart-to-Heart Talk can definitely help to defuse is this issue of shame about genitals. We give some things to do in the book—looking at your own genitals, touching them, really examining them so you can see that they’re not ugly and they’re not dirty, etc. A good nurturing process would be, “Something I like about my vagina is . . .” Or “Something I think is pretty about my vulva is . . .” If there were a clearing to be done, how would that be phrased?

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LC

First, when you’re communicating about it, it’s important to decide what words to call it. I mean, where I’ve done sexuality workshops, just to limber people up so they can talk about sex, I just put on the big board— “Okay, what are all the words you have for female genitals and male genitals?” So they can get it out, because sometimes just deciding what you’re going to call it is challenging. So in the lead-in phrase, you have to feel comfortable with what you call it. So if you’re going to call it your vagina, here are some clearing processes. “One of my concerns about my vagina . . .” “One of my fears about my vagina . . .” “Something bad that’s happened to my vagina . . .” For a lot of people, they carry memories of emotional harm and sexual abuse. And that affects our sexuality. So, I mean, you’re moving into very deep emotional territory when you start talking about “something bad that’s happened to my vagina.” But in a really safe relationship where you want trust, it could be very healing and helpful to be able to say those things. Those are things that I say live below the horizon of most of our awareness. We never go there to think about it for the most part, or go there to talk about it. And Heart-to-Heart talks are really a gateway to a deeper level of connection because they make us more aware of ourselves. What are some other lead-in phrases you think might help address these issues that may come up in reading this book? Just for concerns?

“Heart-to-Heart talks are really a gateway to a deeper level of connection because they make us more aware of ourselves.”

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KR LC

Or whatever. Something that’s popping into my head is something like, “Something I’m afraid might happen if I start to groom my pussy is . . .” Uh-huh, any phrase that elicits the concerns. “Something I’m afraid might happen . . .” “Something I don’t want to have happen . . .” “One of the reasons I think this might not work for me . . .” And then something to follow on those? “Something good that could happen out of this exploration is . . .” “Something I’m curious about . . .” “Something I appreciate about this level of exploration is . . .” Now, for people who are new to this, one of the things I would anticipate would happen with them is that they’re going to giggle and laugh at saying these sentences because it’s so unusual. I mean, most people, if they haven’t been initiated into truth-telling, hearing themselves say, “One of the things I love about my pussy. . . ,” they’re going to laugh! And I think it’s important that they know that’s okay. It’s okay to have fun with this as long as you’re not irreverent with one another. But it’s definitely something new, so you may feel a little giggly, or it may sound weird because it’s new.

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“It’s definitely something new, so you may feel a little giggly.”
KR What about sharing fantasies with one another? “One of my fantasies about sex is . . .” “Something I’ve wanted in sex but been afraid to ask for is . . .”

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There’s another way of doing Heart-to-Heart Talks where, rather than you saying a lead-in phrase, you ask a question, and the other person responds. So another way of doing it would be, “Tell me something you’ve wanted in sex and been afraid to ask for.” And then they respond, and you say, “Thank you.” “Tell me about one of your favorite sexual fantasies and why that’s exciting to you.” Usually with those kind of questions, the answers are a little bit longer. They’re not usually only a few sentences, which is typical of a Heart-to-Heart Talk; they’re usually several paragraphs where you ask a question and the person responds and you just simply are silent and really listening to what they say, and then when they say that they’re done, you say, “Thank you for telling me.” And then you may perhaps ask the same question again, or you may move on to another question. KR LC The distinction between that and a conversation being that there’s no discussion of the answer. Right. And you don’t change roles: You’re either the speaker or the listener, and you don’t confuse those roles. Whereas in conversation, it glides back and forth. The fantasy question—one thing I thought of, too, and you can tell me what you think of this—is “A fantasy I’d like to act out is. . . ,” and then “A fantasy I have but wouldn’t like to act out is . . .” Is that worth exploring? Yes, definitely. Because there are those two kinds of fantasies. And, yes, that could be great!

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KR

One of the things Lou Paget, a sex expert and author I interviewed, suggested was that women who are trying to learn more about their own orgasmic response—trying to figure out what works for them—talk to their girlfriends. And I’ll be honest with you: I don’t think I’ve ever sat down with a girlfriend and said, “Tell me what works for you in sex.” Uh-huh: “What gets you off?” Exactly! I’ve never had that conversation with a girlfriend. And I’m not sure how you’d just slip it in over lunch. So I was thinking that this kind of a structured conversation would be a great way to gather this information from women you care about. Uh-huh. That’s very true. What kind of lead-in phrases would you suggest for this exchange? “Something that excites me . . .” “What helps me have an orgasm is . . .” Also clearing: “Something that really turns me off. . . ,” so that people can start to voice that. It can be lots of different things, from noises to smells, hearing certain phrases—you know, you can really be in the zone, having a great time, and then your lover does this one thing, and all of a sudden, you’re out of it. So it’s an opportunity to talk about those things. And also, something that’s a little bit longer than the short phrasing of a Heart-to-Heart Talk is to listen to women describe some really delicious sexual experiences. So they are putting themselves back into the memory, and they’re talking out of that memory and what they noticed was happening. When you put yourself back in that memory, it can be very revealing. It can be what you were smelling or the way your

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“It’s very interesting what women will talk about when they feel safe enough.”

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Lead-in Phrases for Heart-to-Heart Talks About Sexuality
Choose from any of these, or make up your own. To Nurture Your Relationship With a Partner and Your Own Body • Something I think is beautiful/sexy about women’s bodies is . . . • Something I think is beautiful/sexy about men’s bodies is . . . • Something I like about my/your pubic hair is . . . • Something I like about my/your genitals* is . . . • Something I think is pretty/attractive about my/your genitals* is . . . • Something I love about making love is . . . • One reason I think you’re a good lover is . . . • Something I appreciate about this level of exploration is . . . To Clear Fears, Anxieties, or Concerns • Something I don’t like in sex is . . . • Something I don’t want to happen in sex is . . . • One of my concerns about my genitals* is . . . • One of my fears about my genitals* is . . . • Something bad that’s happened to my genitals* is . . . • Something I’m afraid might happen if I start to groom my pubic hair is . . . • Something I don’t want to have happen when I pay more attention to my genitals* is . . . • One of the reasons I think this might not work for me is . . . • Something that really turns me off is . . .
* Use this or another word of your choosing. Ideally, it will be “your” word, the one you’ve chosen to refer to your own genitalia. (Continued on next page.)

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(Continued from previous page.)

To Discover More About Yourself and Your Partner • Something that helps me feel safe sexually is . . . • Something that helps/makes me feel desirable sexually is . . . • Something that turns me on is . . . • Something I like in sex is . . . • Something good that could happen out of this exploration is . . . • Something I’m curious about in sex is . . . • Something that excites me is . . . • What helps me have an orgasm is . . . • One of my fantasies about sex is . . . • Something I’ve wanted in sex but been afraid to ask for is . . . • A fantasy I have but wouldn’t like to act out is . . . • A fantasy I’d like to act out is . . . y energy was feeling or how you were being stroked or the way you were feeling about your legs or your stomach or . . . it’s very interesting what women will talk about when they feel safe enough, and I’d say that if you’re going to discuss it with your girlfriends, the purpose of sharing has to be explicit; otherwise, people may misconstrue it as some sort of titillating something else. KR LC Free pornography? Yeah: “Let’s talk about sex so we can feel juicy.” Some women might not be so open about discussing that intimate part of their lives. But if we’re going to do this in the name of the sisterhood—

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KR LC

That’s right! —there’s a different kind of motivation. I’d be willing to disclose some of my personal experiences more intimately in that context than just a bunch of ladies getting around talking in a shallow, titillating way about sex. It’s like, “Well, what do they need to have that information for?” and “What are they going to do with it once they have it?” Yes, it’s a vulnerable conversation, just as vulnerable as it would be with a lover. Absolutely. Are there other areas we might be overlooking? Well, the only thing we haven’t touched on too much is the affirming process. In the book [Straight From the Heart], it’s very explicit about how to conduct affirming Heart-to-Heart Talks, and it’s hard in a brief conversation to give instructions about it. But just the attitude of affirming is good to convey here: It’s important that partners affirm one another. It’s not enough that you like the way your lover makes love to you; you need to let them know. You need to tell them. You need to show them that you like the way they make love to you, or that if you like your lover’s pussy, that you let her know that you think it’s pretty and what you think is pretty. It’s not enough that you keep it all in yourself. So sometimes when we’re voyaging into deeper levels of intimacy and we become aware of one another’s fears, there can be a way of affirming our partner or giving voice to what is the opposite of their fears. So if their fear is that they don’t taste good, you let them know that you really like the way they taste, if that’s true for you. Their concern is that they’re not thin enough; you affirm them and you let them know that you really love their body and you love the way that it feels and you don’t want

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them to change it. So affirming is a very important part of building the self-confidence of your partner, and you want to enhance your partner’s self-confidence because they will then bring more passion and joy and confidence to their sexual relationship with you.

“Intentionally, consciously building the confidence and self-esteem of your partner is something that’s important to do.”
Intentionally, consciously building the confidence and self-esteem of your partner is something that’s important to do. And it’s as important for men as it is for women. You know, this thing that it’s more important for one than the other is just ridiculous. It’s equally important to all of us that we feel safe and confident about our sexuality, and most of us don’t feel that way as much as we could. I think it’s widely held that men need their egos pumped about their sexuality, that men need to hear that they’ve got a big one—or need to be praised more for their sexual prowess. Men don’t go around thinking that women want to hear how beautiful their vulva is, but women pretty much know that men love to hear what a gorgeous cock they’ve got. Most men are not going to say, “Ew, don’t say that about me.” Instead you’ll get a big grin. KR LC Are there any other pointers you want to give people about using these suggestions? Oh, start easy, gentle. Don’t have a marathon.

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Meaning what? Do one or two? Do one or two, let it settle in—just keep the attitude of experimentation with it. And give one another feedback about what’s working or not working in the experiment. Trust in yourself, and trust in the healing power of love.

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TREASURE CHEST
Straight From the Heart by Layne and Paul Cutright (eBook with Bonus Audio Program) Easily learn how to use all four kinds of Heart-to-Heart Talks (discovery, nurturing, clearing, affirming) to create more trust, understanding, cooperation, and intimacy in your most important relationships. The audio lessons demonstrate exactly how Heart-to-Heart Talks work with real-life examples. To learn more or acquire the book, click here. You’re Never Upset for the Reason You Think: The CURE for the Common Upset by Layne and Paul Cutright (eBook) Learn the secret to moving beyond blame, anger, resentment, and hurt to your true power in any upset. You will learn to use a powerful new model for enlightened conflict resolution in the Conscious Upset Resolution Exercise (CURE). Available on its own or as part of a package that includes audio lessons. To learn more or acquire the book, click here.

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About the Authors
Deborah Driggs, actress, model, and athlete, was a Playboy Playmate in March 1990 and has appeared in the popular men’s magazine countless times since then, plus competed on the Playboy Extreme Team. Her biggest “turn off ”? Those who think this book’s subject is scary, silly, or insignificant. “Turn on”? Family. She lives in Utah with her three children, Madeline, Bailey, and Kevin. Karen Risch, a professional writer since the age of sixteen, usually collaborates on books about such titillating topics as finance, health, business, and personal development. Several of the titles to which she’s contributed have become bestsellers. She and her husband, Robert Mott (who fully enjoyed designing and illustrating this book), live with their dogs, cats, horses, and chickens on a farm in central Virginia. This is the first eBook for both authors.

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Hot Pink

The Girls’ Guide to Primping, Passion, and Pubic Fashion

Bibliography
About-Hair-Removal.com. <http://www.about-hair-removal.com/depilatories.htm> Acosta, Belinda. “Color Me . . . Not Pink,” AustinChronicle.com. <http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2002-0802/screens_tveye.html> AlteredBody.com. <http://www.alteredbody.com/>

Recommended Resources
Among all of the sources we consulted in creating this book, we certainly had favorites, ones that bowled us over with their insight, individuality, or infinitely practical advice. Some are mentioned in the Treasure Chests; all of them are included here in boldface. Click on the title in red and underlined to get more information or acquire the materials. y

Anand, Margo. The Art of Sexual Ecstasy: The Path of Sacred Sexuality for Western Lovers (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1989). Angier, Natalie. Woman: An Intimate Geography (New York: Anchor Books, 2000). —————. “In the History of Gynecology, a Surprising Chapter.” The New York Times, February 23, 1999. “The Awards: The 10 Most Remarkable Things in Culture This Month,” Esquire, November 2003. Bacon, Lisa Antonelli. “The Art of the Bath,” Short Pump Life, September 2003.

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Bibliography

Barba, Alicia, M.D. “Nonlaser Hair Removal Techniques,” eMedicine.com. <http://www.emedicine.com/derm/topic503.htm> Barbach, Lonnie. 50 Ways to Please Your Lover: While You Please Yourself (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1997). —————. The Erotic Edge: 22 Erotic Stories for Couples (New York: Plume, 1996). —————. Turn Ons: Pleasing Yourself While You Please Your Lover (New York: Plume, 1998). Baumgardner, Jessica. “Wax On, Wax Off: An Expert on Hair Down There Bares All,” Nerve.com. <http://www.nerve.com/Dispatches/LifesWork/waxer/> “Beach Body Care,” Mademoiselle, May 1998. Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex (New York: Bantam, 1964). Berthold-Bond, Annie. “Ancient Egyptian Art of Body Sugaring,” Care2.com. <http://www.care2.com/channels/solutions/self/432> Blank, Joani. Femalia (San Francisco: Down There Press, 1993). —————. Good Vibrations: The Complete Guide to Vibrators (San Francisco: Down There Press, 1989). Blue, Violet. “The Art of Dirty Talk,” Good Vibrations.com. <http://www.goodvibes.com/cgi-bin/sgdynamo.exe?HTNAME=magazine/ features/sexual_pleasure/archive.html> The Body Shop Team. The Body Shop Book: Skin, Hair and Body Care (New York: Dutton, 1994). The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. The New Our Bodies, Ourselves: A Book by and for Women (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992).

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“The Brazilian Wax Isn’t Just for Brazilian Girls Anymore.” <http://www.members.tripod.com/agrrrrl/The_Brazilian_wax.html> Brietzke, Carol. “Bikini-Line Whine,” Cosmopolitan, August 1998. Camphausen, Rufus C. The Encyclopedia of Erotic Wisdom: A Reference Guide to the Symbolism, Techniques, Rituals, Sacred Texts, Psychology, Anatomy and History of Sexuality (Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, Ltd., 1991). —————. The Encyclopedia of Sacred Sexuality: From Aphrodisiacs and Ecstasy to Yoni Worship and Zap-lam Yoga (Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, Ltd., 1999). Castleman, Michael. “Sex Toy History,” BettyDodson.com. <http://www.bettydodson.com/sextoyxx.htm> Cattrall, Kim and Mark Levinson. Satisfaction: The Art of the Female Orgasm (New York: Warner Books, 2002). Chalker, Rebecca. The Clitoral Truth: The Secret World at Your Fingertips (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2000). Chichester, Brian and Kenton Robinson and the Editors of Men’s Health Books. Sex Secrets: Ways to Satisfy Your Partner Every Time (Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale Press, Inc., 1996). “Choosing Your Gynecologist,” HealthAtoZ.com. <http://www.healthatoz.com/healthatoz/Atoz/hc/wom/life/womgyne.html> Comfort, Alex. The New Joy of Sex: A Gourmet Guide to Lovemaking for the Nineties (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1991). ConsumerLaserGuide.com. <www.consumerlaserguide.com/>

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Bibliography

Corn, Laura. 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex: Secret, Sealed Seductions for Fun-Loving Couples (Park Avenue Publishing, 2000). Cornforth, Tracee. “For Women Only—A Revolutionary Guide for Women to Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction and Reclaiming Your Sex Life: An Interview with Dr. Laura Berman,” WomensHealth.com. <http://womenshealth.about.com/library/weekly/aa022601a.htm> Danielou, Alain. The Complete Kama Sutra: The First Unabridged Modern Translation of the Classic Indian Text (Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press, 1994). Dodson, Betty. “Betty Dodson’s Vaginal Barbell: A Vaginal Exerciser Designed by a Woman Sexologist,” BettyDodson.com. <http://www.bettydodson.com/barbellinfo.htm> —————. Sex for One (New York: Crown Trade Paperbacks, 1996). —————. Viva la Vulva (Pacific Media Entertainment, 2000). The Enchanted Bath: Bath Rituals and Recipes (White Plains, NY: Peter Pauper Press, Inc., 1997). Ensler, Eve. The Vagina Monologues (New York: Villard Books, 1998). Erotic Tales (Edison, NJ: Castle Books, 1993). Field, Genevieve and Rufus Griscom. Nerve: Literate Smut (New York: Broadway Books, 1998). FinishingTouchSpa.com. <http://www.finishingtouchspa.com/bathingrituals.html> Foucault, Michel. The Use of Pleasure: The History of Sexuality, Volume 2 (New York: Vintage Books, 1990). Frankel, Martha. “Bikini-Wax Wars,” Cosmopolitan, August 1997.

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Friday, Nancy. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Sexual Fantasies (New York: Pocket Books, 1991). Going Down: Lip Service From Great Writers (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1998). GoodVibes.com. <http://www.goodvibes.com/cgibin/sgdynamo.exe?CODIV=0102&UID=2003111610204> Green, Shane. “Female Fans Style Pubic Hair Like Beckham’s Mohican,” The Sydney Morning Herald, June 18, 2003. <http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/06/17/1055828330865.html> Gurley, George. “The Verge: Is Bush Back?” GQ, November 2003. HairFacts.com. <http://www.hairfacts.com/methods/depilatory.html> Hamilton, Terri. Skin Flutes & Velvet Gloves: A Collection of Facts and Fancies, Legends and Oddities About the Body’s Private Parts (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002). Hertopia.com. <http://www.hertopia.com/recipe/bathscrub.shtml> Highwater, Jamake. Myth and Sexuality (New York: Meridian, 1991). Hirsch, Alan R. Scentsational Sex: The Secret to Using Aroma for Arousal (Boston: Element Books Inc., 1998). Jones, Richard Glyn and A. Susan Williams, eds. Erotic Stories by Women (New York: Penguin Books, 1996). Judson, Olivia. Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2002). Katchadourian, Herant A. and Donald T. Lunde. Biological Aspects of Human Sexuality (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1980).

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Katydid. “My Morning Shower,” Clitical.com. <http://www.clitical.com/stories/40.php>

Bibliography

Loe, Meika. “Feminists Fight Drug Companies Over Vision of Women’s Sexuality,” Sojourner: The Women’s Forum, March 2001. OurBodiesOurselves.org. <http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/fsd.htm>. Love, Brenda. Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices (Fort Lee, New Jersey: Barricade Books, Inc., 1992). Lovric, Michelle, ed. Passionate Love Letters: An Anthology of Desire (New York: Shooting Star Press, Inc., 1996). Maines, Rachel. “The Technology of Orgasm: ‘Hysteria,’ the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction,” PopularScience.net. <http://www.popular-science.net/technology/vibrator.html> Masterton, Graham. Drive Him Wild: A Hands-On Guide to Pleasuring Your Man in Bed (New York: Signet, 1993). Moran, Jack. The Erotic Mind: Unlocking the Inner Sources of Sexual Passion and Fulfillment (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1995). Nefzaoui, Cheikh (translated by Sir Richard Burton). The Perfumed Garden of the Cheikh Nefzaoui (New York: Signet Classic, 1999). Nin, Anaïs. Delta of Venus (New York: Pocket Books, 1990). Paget, Lou. The Big O: Orgasms: How to Have Them, Give Them, and Keep Them Coming (New York: Broadway Books, 2001). Panati, Charles. Sexy Origins and Intimate Things: The Rites and Rituals of Straights, Gays, Bi’s, Drags, Trans, Virgins, and Others (New York: Penguin Books, 1998). Pitt-Kethley, Fiona. The Literary Companion to Sex: An Anthology of Prose and Poetry (New York: Random House, 1992).

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The Girls’ Guide to Primping, Passion, and Pubic Fashion

Poignard, Renee. Waxing Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide (Albany, New York: Milady Publishing Company, 1994). Rapley, Cathryn. “Pubic Relations,” The Observer, April 14, 2002. <http://observer.guardian.co.uk/life/story/0,6903,683936,00.html> Reinisch, June M. and Ruth Beasley. The Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex: What You Must Know to be Sexually Literate (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990). Rich, Penny. Pamper Your Partner: An Illustrated Guide to Soothing and Relaxing Your Mate with the Sensual Healing Arts (New York: Fireside, 1990). Robinson, Julian. Body Packaging: A Guide to Human Sexual Display (Los Angeles: Elysium Growth Press, 1988). Schwartz, Bob and Leah. The One-Hour Orgasm: How to Learn the Amazing “Venus Butterfly” Technique (Houston, Texas: Breakthru Publishing, 1999). Schwartz, Kit. The Female Member: Being a Compendium of Facts, Figures, Foibles, and Anecdotes About the Loving Organ (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988). Sexual-Health-Resource.org. <http://www.sexual-healthresource.org/masturbation.htm#femalemasturbationmethods> “Shaving Rash,” EmbarrassingProblems.com. <http://www.embarrassingproblems.com/pages2/shavingrash.htm> Sheiner, Marcer, ed. Herotica 4: A New Collection of Erotic Writing by Women (New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996). Stallworthy, Jon, ed. A Book of Love Poetry (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986).

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Stewart, Elizabeth G. and Paula Spencer. The V Book: A Doctor’s Guide to Complete Vulvovaginal Health (New York: Bantam Books, 2002).

Bibliography

Stoppard, Miriam. Woman’s Body: A Manual For Life (New York: Dorling Kindersley, 1994). NOTE: Sadly, this book is out of print, so we can’t provide a link, but you can probably find it used in bookstores and online. Tannahill, Reay. Sex in History (New York: Scarborough Books, 1982). Taylor, Simon. “Aphrodisiac Food,” ViewLondon.co.uk. <http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/eat_feat_aphrodisiac.asp> Taylor, Timothy. The Prehistory of Sex: Four Million Years of Human Sexual Culture (New York: Bantam Books, 1997). “Trim and pampered . . . chic pubic hair,” Cosmopolitan, October 1995. Valhouli, Christina. “Faster Pussycat, Wax! Wax!” Salon.com (Sept. 2, 1999) <http://www.salon.com/health/feature/1999/09/03/bikini/print.html> Whipple, Beverly. “Woman’s Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction: A New View of Female Sexual Function,” HisAndHerHealth.com. <http://www.hisandherhealth.com/articles/whipplearticle.shtml> WildRoots.com. <http://www.wildroots.com/recipe/Detailed/232.html> Wing, L. L. “12 Amazing Sex Tricks He Secretly Wants You to Know,” Redbook. <http://www.magazines.ivillage.com/redbook/sex/turn/articles/0,,284443_289122-6,00.html> WNN.com: “World of the Nudest Nudist.” <http://www.wnn.nu/UK/hairremoval/pubic_hair3.html> WNPT.net. (http://www.wnpt.net/vg/recipes/workshop/herbbathscrub.html). WomenCentral.net. <http://www.womencentral.net/milkbath.html). The Working Group on A New View of Women’s Sexual Problems. “Female Sexual Dysfunctions (FSD): A New Medical Myth,” FSD-alert.org. <http://www.fsdalert.org/manifesto.html>

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