My eagerness to find out what Jive – We-Vibe’s new sex toy – was all about, led me to whipping out the box in Five Guys, to the horror/delight of my sister. The packaging was sleek, and Jive was nestled inside – a rounded g-spot vibrator with a thin strip of silicone meant to be left outside the body so you can tug the toy out again. Coloured a light, calming blue, it is one of the least intimidating sex toys I have ever seen.
I wouldn’t call myself sexually illiterate, but I would say that, over the past year, my view of sex has been on a one-track journey. For me, love doesn’t necessarily come into it. Trust does, kink does, pleasure does. But not love. I knew, then, that reading Sensation would challenge me – this is not a book that was going to tell me what’s hot about being whipped, and why it’s fine to have one night stands with people you feel little to no connection with. For me, those are safe topics. Isabel Losada’s delving into the relation between sex and spirituality, her focus on slow, purposeful exploration, and her self-professed, charming fascination with human happiness, all have me holding Sensation as if it’s a bomb about to go off.
Kama Sutra Workout (Work Hard, Play Harder – With 300 Sensual Sexercises) boasts an awful lot of sex positions that will have you running (or crawling, possibly) for your chiropractor. Unless you’re a dedicated gym bunny, that is.
Prepare to be lulled into a false sense of security. Nothing is quite as it seems in Lisa Hall’s debut novel, Between You and Me (published by Carina, 2016). The psychological thriller tells the story of red flags in a relationship that, when left untamed, become the poison that eventually kills it. Some things are better abandoned before they really start. Former teacher Sal sees glimpses of Charlie’s controlling behaviour during the early days of their relationship and chooses to ignore them. What unravels is a story about two people who have become the worst versions of themselves.
“Get your tushies onto your seats!” Miss Polly Rae instructs her already enraptured audience. She is our host for the next hour and a half, and I very willingly get comfortable on my chair, helping myself to a fistful of peanuts that have been left for us to snack on. In my other hand is the programme. This is my first burlesque show, and I’m trying not to feel too anxious about the emboldened word ‘Games’, which sits squarely in the middle. Will we have to play? What will these beautiful, talented women make us do?
In ‘Assonance’, the eighth poem in a collection of 20, Miguel Cullen writes that ‘The sounds in my head…they’re brilliant today’ – and there is not a piece in Paranoid Narcissism! that fails to set your head ringing with this exact brilliance.
Though I hope he’ll never become a National Treasure, who doesn’t love Jonny Woo? And I loved Jonny Woo even a little bit more after seeing his Un-Royal Variety show last weekend at the Hackney Empire. The performers were brilliantly inventive, delightfully alternative and stunningly professional, avoiding any drag artistry clichés or repetitive themes. As a production, it rocked – in every sense.
We embark on our flight the top floor of a converted Shoreditch warehouse with pink lighting and round tables. The air is warm, the curtains are drawn and the sweet sound of elevator music fills the room: like a tornado in baby blue, Fancy Chance, air steward to AmeriKorea air, chucks a pack of mini cheddars at my head.
I began reading this book on the train home from Clapham to Eastbourne, and let me tell you, people noticed it. If it wasn’t the very obvious title ‘THIS IS NOT A SEX BOOK’ leaping right out at you, it was the fluorescent orange cover that caught people’s attention. Such was the idea of the famous Spanish YouTuber Chisuta Fashion Fever (real name: Maria Jesus Cama). This self-described ‘manual’ makes no apologies for its honest and realistic views on sex. At the beginning of the book, she warns people ‘who don’t like calling things by their name’ not to read it, but for others ‘who want to know everything about sex’, she ensures all topics are covered in an inclusive and sensitive way.