Lovely Plums

In the final installment of sexy poetry (for now), I bring you this William Carlos Williams nugget of simplicity:

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This poem comes from the beginnings of modernism. Usually it’s lauded for the beautiful way it articulates the everyday life of common people.

But I say it’s one sexy, teasing note taped to a fridge.

Read it again, slower, in a whisper.

And have you looked at a plum? I mean really looked at a plum?

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It takes no stretch of the imagination to see plums as symbolic of any erogenous zone.

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And eating these, in secret, behind someone’s back.

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Daaa–yumm.

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So this poem doesn’t have an ice cream soulmate, it is simply the plums. And the teasing way the persona ate them.

p.s. I won’t be writing for while; I have other creative pursuits to chase.

Moon Desire

If “moonburn” by Marge Piercy was an ice cream it would be the deepest, darkest chocolate and speckled with silver covered chocolate chips. This poem is my favorite poem. Period. Forever. As soon as I read it.

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By the time you get to the word “licking” it might as well be “fucking,” but it doesn’t have to be fucking. Licking has even more of a sensual punch. Whenever I feel like a sack of bones, this poem makes me feel like a woman again. A woman with desires–and these desires are a good thing.

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Unfortunately I could not find a picture of dark chocolate ice cream with silver chips anywhere (for free) on the internet. So just read this poem to get your satisfaction. I know I will.

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Zen Ice Cream

Rumi–I don’t know much about him, other than he s read frequently in the beginning of my yoga classes.  And if he were an ice cream, he’d be this matcha green tea beauty:

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Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love. ~Rumi

Also, he has some good things to say about love.

You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens. ~Rumi

And no, it’s not erotic, hot, or sexy.

Why struggle to open a door between us when the whole wall is an illusion? ~Rumi

It’s not wild passion.

 Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction. ~Rumi

But it’s still good words about love.

 Your body is away from me, but there is a window open from my heart to yours.     ~Rumi

My younger self might cringe at this admission, but love isn’t always crazy.

Woman is the radiance of god. She is not a creature. She is the creator. ~Rumi

Sometimes the best love is very zen. It balances you out when the world is spinning crazy.

Gather your ice cream while ye may…

It’s springtime in my neck of the woods, and the new warmth has helped awaken me from my new-mother-haze. Ha–that’s a joke. I’m rejoicing about getting to sleep for seven hours at a time (this has happened twice in the past month and a half).

So I’m still a little hazing, but I’m coming back to myself. Not enough to read an actual novel–Lord does that sound daunting–but enough to want some things that are important just for me.  It is hard to explain the complete lack of personal time that accompanies motherhood.  Even when the kids are asleep or with the grandparents, they are still in your thoughts.

Here I am thinking just my own thoughts. And I don’t have enough time or energy to tackle a novel. A poem will do.

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This poem is one of my favorites.  Sure, sure, most feminist readings make this poem out as a misogynistic attempt to persuade women to engage in sexual activities they would otherwise forgo. That was probably true when this poem was written (hundreds of years ago). But poems are living words. They can mean different things to different people and in different eras. To me this poem has always been a lovely carpe diem reminder.

 

Seize the day.

Gather your rosebuds.

Have sex, if you want to.

Eat the ice cream.

That is what we did on this slightly warm day. In Ohio “warm” in springtime can mean different things to different people. Once we had the ice cream we realized we also needed a blanket and hoods. But that didn’t stop the first ice cream of the season, eaten outside, from being delicious.

Why is all the rum gone?

We’re back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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If Susan Wiggs’ Charm School was an ice cream, it would be a pina colada dream. For a book that begins in stuffy, pre-civil war Boston, Charm School is surprisingly decadent and exotic.

Isadora Peabody is the ugly duckling of her fashionable, rich family. She’s awkward, bookish, and worst of all, she hates herself. This self-hatred was a hard pill for me to swallow.  Usually my awkward,bookish heroines love themselves enough to do what makes themselves happy, but Isadore loathes that she doesn’t fit in and can’t please her mother etc. etc.  Her inner monologues are hard to bare for about half of the book.

Captain Ryan Calhoun is a charming southern rogue–who is given depth in his determination to reunite his best friend Journey (who happened to be Ryan’s former slave) and Journey’s wife and children. Ryan is basically a peacock who could be annoying, but he has that whole slavery-is-bullshit-and-I’m-going-to-do-something-about-it-thing going for him.

Isadora bullies her way into a role on Ryan’s ship because she knows she is drowning in Boston; she is having vaguely suicidal thoughts and realizes it’s time to get out of there. Ryan is drawn to her from the beginning, though at first just because she is such a pathetic specter.

Then they are trapped together on a ship for several months. I think I’d like to be trapped with a group of interesting people on a ship for several months. It always seems like positive growth occurs and interesting sights are seen and sparks fly, of course. Isadora sheds some of her bindings–like the glasses that make it harder for her to see, one of her many petticoats, and all the hair that was giving her headaches–with the help of Ryan’s devil-may-care attitude. Ryan starts to see Isadora for the smart, independent woman that Boston shunned because she wasn’t fashionable.

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They get to their destination: Rio De Janerio. Please, someone take me to Rio De Janerio. Perhaps because it is the horrible winter-spring season in Ohio where the temps fluctuate 30 degrees in a day and the sky is grey dawn-till-dusk, or perhaps because Rio De Janerio really is heaven on Earth, this setting is magical. There is a love scene that involves “hemp cigarettes” and a jungle water fall that has gone straight to my bucket list.   This is where the pina colada dream comes in. Isadora undergoes a sensual transformation, and Ryan completely falls in love with her.

Alas, he is on a desperate mission to reunite Journey and his family.  Ryan feels he cannot bring Isadora into what could ultimately become a hanging offense, so he keeps his love secret. However, since Isadora is her own woman now she joins the cause anyway–bringing Journey’s wife and children aboard.

The roll slavery plays in this novel is the best part of this book (yes, it even beats the succulent wonder of Rio De Janerio). The horrible institution is not glossed over or made glib.  While it is not the main emphasis of the drama at all times, it’s not cheapened. It’s ugly and horrible and an  evil to be battled. It was a breath of fresh air to read a romance that had this kind of depth.

The ending, however, is wayyy too quick.

Self-Lovin in the Tub

Valentine’s day approaches and I am still on a romance reading strike. So instead of a review……

One of my favorite ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day was introduced to me while I was an undergrad. The faculty adviser of the student feminist organization (in which I was heavily involved) was a sexpert–not sure she would appreciate the label, but it fits.  She studied sex and wrote about it for her career.  I am still so jealous.

Every year she would give a masturbation seminar on or around Valentine’s Day. It was our most packed meeting of the year.

Valentine’s Day is becoming a day to love one’s self, and self-care is a burgeoning industry. One key component of taking care of one’s self, that seems to be largely missing from this self-care/love revolution is sex. Good, healthy, safe, satisfying sex. That can be hard to come by when you rely on other people. Viola: masturbation.

I have not read too many romance novels where masturbation is described.  Maybe that’s due to what I choose to read, or maybe the genre in generally is lacking. Here are my two suggestions for masturbation in romance (both written by the lovely Tessa Dare):

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In Surrender of a Siren, the heroine is talked through what appears to be her first orgasm by the hero.  He basically instructs her on how to masturbate. It is titillating. My problem with the scene is the aftermath when the heroine starts crying and the hero has to convince her masturbation is not something to be ashamed of. There is enough shame around female masturbation as it is–for me, it would be nice if it was left out of the fictional accounts.

 

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In When a Scot Ties the Knot,  there is a scene of mutual masturbation. They watch each other bring themselves to orgasm. Yes, it is as friggin’ hot as it seems. Also, it’s written from the heroine’s perspective, so it doesn’t come off all creepy male-gaze-esque.

 

 

And then, in my never-really-published-romance novel, I wrote a masturbation scene.  I’ll just leave that below:

You should try it. Masturbation. It evolves. It has always reflected the general vibe of my life in that moment. Whether I’m single, or not. Feeling adventurous, or conservative, or anxious, or sexy, or not. In that time of my life, I had a particular form of masturbation, a method, if you will. It was my favorite; it still is a favorite.

I’d bath or shower, it didn’t matter which one. If, during the bath, a certain mood struck, if I brushed a certain nerve, or a saw a certain image flash across my mind’s eye, I’d rush through the rest of the obligatory cleansing, and let the dirty water run down the drain.

Once the tub was clear, I’d plug the drain and set the faucet at a steady, tepid flow, checking the temperature and pressure with the inside of my knee, not wanting the water hot enough to cause my sensitive skin to flinch. When it was right, I’d lay back, letting the cool, creamy tub, cradle my flushed skin. I’d sink lower, until I was on my back, waiting to feel the timid warmth of the flowing water down my thighs.

At the thrill of that intimate caress, I’d press the soles of my feet against the wall that held the faucet. Sliding my feet down the wall, I’d bend my knees and spread my legs, drawing the water closer and creating the outline of a butterfly on the enclosed walls of the tub. Exposed, I let the water explore me. It penetrated the creases of my hips, rolling down the curve of my belly, diverting its direct flow to slither under each of my breasts.

Licking my fingers, I explored with the water, complementing its tracing of the lines of my body. I traced wet circles around my nipples until they prickled with the sensation, pinching the tip to watch the pink blush bloom. I’d roll one breast into the now filling tub to feel the sharp contrast of water and air.

My fingers slid down my stomach to part my folds of skin to the rush of the water. I’d arch to meet the water at its source and take in the constant pressure, then roll back into the pool of water to relish the gentle current pulling at my skin. I arched and rolled, feeling the lapping water like sucking kisses up and down my body.

Knowing myself, I pushed to my limit, almost succumbing to throbbing pleasure, but tucking away at the almost-peak to rock in the self-made waves. The outline of the butterfly fluttered against the walls as my legs quivered under the demanding stream and my teasing, tickling fingers.

I could feel my orgasm coming, but it always surprised me. I thought I could push it off a moment longer, relish in the tilt of the climax before tipping over. But then it came upon me, stealing my breath, clenching my core, carrying me off downstream. As I thrashed in the tub, reminding my thread of consciousness of an exotic fish caught in a net, I saw waterfalls with me in their midst.

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Going Back to my Roots

I used to be an English major, a snotty English major.  I looked down my nose at…well almost everything. I thought English Education majors were empty-headed.  I thought mass market genre fiction was trashy. I thought people with real jobs and health insurance were boring.

Things changed. I became an English teacher for a while. I now love romance. People with real jobs and health insurance are still boring, but I am one of them, so I can’t judge too much.

I decided to revisit the head-space of that snobby English major. She had a slim journal of quotes that touched her while she was reading. Rereading those hand-written notes from so long ago felt like reading someone else’s diary, but I can see even there my budding relationship with romance.

Here are a few of those quotes:

War, which is to say misplaced sexual aggression…

~Oryx and Crake (a lesser known Atwood novel)

Earth and Sky touch everywhere and nowhere, like sex between two strangers.

~The Antelope Wife by Lousie Erdrich 

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The erotic is the nurturer or nursemaid of all our deepest knowledge.

     ~Audre Lorde “Uses of the Erotic”

wedding-3508318_1920 Because wasn’t a kiss part of the start of loving? In truth? Honestly now? Wasn’t a kiss the tug of a string, a ribbon, a dance, a thread turned and interlocked that began with the lips and ended with his thing inside you?     ~Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros

 

Now is the time to state, with absolute frankness and before the reader wastes anymore time reading, that the only truly infallible aphrodisiac is love. Nothing can stay the burning passion of two people in love. When love exists nothing else matters. Not life’s predicaments, not the fury of the years, not a physical winding down or scarcity of opportunity; lovers will find a way to love each other because, by definition, that is their fate.

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Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. 

     ~Aphrodite by Isabel Allendes

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