Monday, October 20, 2014

OMG, I found it: Ladies' Own Erotica!

I talked about this book in my post about Bigfoot erotica, but it took quite a while to find it in my massive and dusty collection of paperbacks. The cover is baby pink, with an elaborate scrollwork heart in which the title curls in Harlequinesque script: Ladies' Own Erotica (formerly titled Ladies' Home Erotica).

I bought this because, well. It came out in 1984, and at the time was considered extremely daring. As far as I knew, it was the only book of women's erotica, at least written by women, that existed at the time. It was written by a lace-doily-and-teacup group called the Kensington Ladies' Erotica Society.
In the introduction, they claim to be (gasp, taboo-shattering sound) OVER FORTY, but still interested in, well, you know, or at least writing about it. Sort of.

I don't know where to start, honestly. The coy little line drawings look a bit like New Yorker cartoons without captions. I'm hard-pressed (and hard-pressed, and hard-pressed) to find anything the least bit sexually explicit in this book. Only tender longings, kisses that go on a little too long, women who have the hots for the doctor, and fancy underwear bought for a clandestine weekend with a fantasy lover.

OK, let us plunge in: this is a wistful poem called It's Always Summer.

It's always summer when you're around
isn't that funny?
Even when it's raining outside,
and we lie on our bed shivering
Your hands are warm
your body toasts me,
your lips are warm rivers
I drift down the Mississippi.
Your skin is golden
it shines all over me,
Your eyes are rays of sunshine
that sparkle in the dark.
Your arms are branches of tall trees
that enfold me.
Green leaves and honey bees.
Buzz around me loverboy,
I need more summer.

OH KAY then. No Bigfeets here, none whatsoever, though the verse is so chaste it could refer to a handsome golden retriever.

Here's another:

Prince Charming

They tell me
there is no
Prince Charming,
He is a fantasy
of the unliberated
Then why do I stroke
your silky skin
with such pleasure
and caress your
lean back with
trembling fingers?
If you aren't Prince Charming
who are you?

Keep in mind that the cover of this thing calls it "The Irresistible Bestseller!". So back in '84, women must've been pretty desperate for this stuff.

There is, yes, a recipe for chocolate fondue that involves fingering fruit to make sure it is ripe enough: "When no one is looking, I reach out and fondle the fruit. I like the flesh to feel firm with just a hint of resistance, and I secretly thrill to the touch of peach down or the unblemished smoothness of a ripe plum. . . "

Another chapter is about, oh dear, Bernadette's Warthog Pie ("Turn your attention to the savoy cabbage"). There is nothing sexual in this recipe whatsoever, nor anything more sensual than you'd find in Rachael Ray's latest cookbook.

OMG, and here's another one: Rose's Spring Lamb! I guess all the ladies in the collective submitted a favorite recipe for this book of erotica. It's completely weird, and reveals the level of profound inhibition and taboo around women's sexuality a few decades ago. It all had to be carefully sublimated into love of food.

Listen, I can't do much more of this browned, page-spewing old thing, with that punky smell of decaying ink and crumbling pages.. It seems all I can find are food references. But I'll leave you with one that jumped (I almost said humped) out at me. This is one of the more torrid love scenes:

"Then he proceeded to caress each toe, one by one. Lilah leaned back and closed her eyes. The tenderness that Alan lavished on each worn callus made her feel totally adored. Suddenly a velvety warm wetness engulfed her big toe, sending an electrifying jolt straight to her inner core. Lilah opened her eyes and gasped. Alan was sucking her toe.

'Oh don't!' she moaned. 'That's too much.""

Yes. Indeed. Calling Bigfoot!  Please. But one more chocolate lust scene, please (and by the way, this was book was NEVER advertised as food porn):

"Then, very slowly, she lowered both hands into the remaining fondue, raised them up, and watched the chocolate glaze ooze, She sucked each finger, dipped them in again, and delicately pressed a pattern of perfect handprints upon the table top."


Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book
    It took me years to write, will you take a look