Welcome to the EroticAdventure: 26 Books, 1 Year Exploring Smut Through the Ages.

Happy New Year My Beauties!
It’s a new year. There are amazing adventures to be had, books and writers to discover, and a world to make better.
Among the multitude of projects I’m planning for this year is the EroticAdventure, a trip through literature that combines my love of reading, history, and Erotica.
Artistic expressions and celebrations of sex and sexuality have been around since humans developed the ability to record their thoughts and feelings. The Venus of Hohl Fels, which dates back to approximately 35,000 B.C.E. (Before Common Era), is a carving of a voluptuous, nude woman.  It is considered to be “the first example of figurative art to be found.” (The Guardian, Ancient Erotic Art Through the Ages14 May 2009). As language evolved, so did our ability to express our fascination with sexuality and sexual expression. Erotic poetry and fiction are a part of our collective history.
Erotic fiction is a booming genre. Authors are pouring their creativity into writing about sex, and not just the vaguely naughty books that line supermarket and drugstore shelves. Sure, folks still get turned on by Fabio in a ripped shirt, flashing his abs, while a woman with heaving breasts stands beside him staring out at the sea, or moors, or mountains. But those writing Erotica today are not limiting themselves to straight, vanilla tales of sex and conquest. Authors are exploring the full continuum of human sexuality, sexual expression, and gender identity, without shame.
It’s fucking delightful. Pun intended.
As I said above, figurative expressions of sexuality have been around for thousands of years. And as an author who writes erotica and erotic fantasy, I wanted to know the history of my genre. I’m fascinated by the evolution of smut and how it’s evolved over time.
Therefore I cooked up the EroticAdventure. A journey through 26 books over the next year. Each book has been chosen to represent a period of time from 7th Century B.C.E (Before Common Era) up through the present time.  I’ll be talking about this journey here each week and reviewing the books I read in full on Goodreads. The entire itinerary for the EroticAdventure is available on my Goodreads profile, which means you should absolutely hop over there and follow me.


EroticAdventure Week 1: All Hail Sappho, the Mother-Goddess of Lesbian Erotica and the first stop on the EroticAdventure.

Stung with Love: Poems and Fragments, Aaron Poochigain (Translator), Carol Anne Duffy (Introduction)
The first book on my EroticAdventure is a collection of poems by Sappho, a poet born on the Greek Island of Lesbos during the 7th century B.C.E. She wrote about love and sensuality,  expressing her desire for women, men, and the Goddesses and Gods through her writing.
Author Confession: I’ve never read a single one of Sappho’s poems and I have no idea what to expect.
That’s not to say I haven’t owned copies of Sappho’s works in various forms. I carried a beat-up copy of her poems everywhere during my freshman year in college.  See, attraction to women had been a part of my inner life since I was ten and stole my mom’s copy of Cosmo on a rainy summer afternoon. I came across the article “I had a Lesbian Lover.” At the time I had no idea what that meant other than there was kissing and it awoke a squirmy, confused feeling in my gut.
The years progressed and my fantasies evolved. It was confusing as hell because I experienced intense attraction to both women and men. My limited sex education told me that a person could be gay or straight. Queer friends told me that bisexuality was a myth (ugh!) and pansexuality wasn’t even a thing. I dated boys and dreamed about women, never having the courage to kiss a girl, though I talked a good game. By the time I went away to school, I was desperate to drown in a woman’s smell, to know what it was like to suckle the flesh between her thighs, and lick her breasts to feel her nipples harden beneath my lips.
I was young, stupid, 900 miles from home, and ready to fall in love with the first woman who looked in my direction. The problem was that I had no idea where to find a lesbian. Remember, it was 1988.  I had confessed my attraction to women to friends at home in Vermont, but I was attending a Catholic university in Chicago and knew exactly no one.
Hence, I carried around that collection of poems like I was an itinerant bowerbird searching for a mate.
That’s when I met Angel. No shit. That was what everyone called her. Angel. A vivacious young woman with curves that would make one of her namesakes weep. She appeared in the university cafeteria among the small group of compatriots I had cobbled together. A friend of a friend, wearing black Doc Martins and a faux bear-fur hat with earflaps. She was an urban Cossack. A vision of ferocity, openly sensual and unashamed of her sexuality. I practically threw that book of poems at her when I heard her bemoaning being single and missing the taste of a woman’s tongue in her mouth.
I was smitten and it turned out, so was she.
Thirty years later, I still can’t listen to Kate Bush or Jane Siberry without thinking of her. I wrote the lyrics to “Running Up That Hill” and “Bound by the Beauty” around the borders of every note I wrote after we’d said goodnight at the door to my dorm room. Listening to the Art of Noise’s song “Moments in Love” reminds me of the first time I touched another woman’s cunt. The beauty of her slick and the wonder of her warmth grasping my fingers. How she breathed out delicate puffs of breath as we rocked, scissored against each other, sex-to-sex until she whimpered and gasped as she came.
I never got around to reading Sappho’s poems and I’m excited to see what I missed. My only wish is that I knew where she was to tell her about it. We had dated on-and-off during the six years that I lived in the city, finally settling on friendship. We lost touch after I left.
But her smile, unfettered and brilliant, and her laugh are forever a part of me. She was the bell that rang and woke me from an ignorant slumber. It is fair and fitting that her memory is part of the beginning of this journey.
Be Well and Be Wonderful,
Anne.
 

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