Reading can spur a lot of erotic emotions, thoughts, and actions. Write about the books, magazines, or other reading materials that have shaped your sexuality.
I had to think about this question for some time to be sure that there even were books or magazines that had any influence on my sexuality. I wonder, is it that we had read books and magazines that had helped shaped our sexuality or is it that our sexuality was already part of us, which made us seek out those books and magazines to get more information on what we already felt? I personally believe our sexuality is part of our core, but that indeed printed matter can help to give you answers, which essentially can help to shape the sexuality that’s already part of you.
I identify as bisexual, but it’s not because I read about two women that had been together or saw images of two women in a sexual encounter that had made me decide that I am bisexual. No, those feelings were always there, but reading books has confirmed to me that I am not ‘weird’, but that bisexuality is just part of who I am.
One thing where I think a magazine had a huge influence on me, was when, at the age of ten, I opened the cupboard of my father (it was innocent really, as I was trying to find the hiding place of our Christmas presents) and there, on the inside of the door was a centerfold picture of a naked woman — dark hair, beautiful firm round boobs, sitting on the beach, her legs spread and the water just not touching the dark bush between her legs. I know I stared. I wasn’t shocked at all. Sort of embarrassed, but more because I was afraid my parents might find out I had seen it. I was intrigued. The picture was beautiful. It might have been in that moment that my exhibitionist was ‘born’, for as far as that wasn’t part of my sexuality already.
I read a lot when I was a teenager, and the majority of those stories had their setting in the early years of South Africa, Kaap de Goede Hoop. The women were strong, yet submissive. There were always a man in their lives who set the rules, and who punished them (sadly not with whips and such) when they didn’t follow those rules. That hugely appealed to me, made me feel squishy inside, and of course it was only in m adult years that I understood that it was a mirror of my own nature. Had those books shaped my sexuality? No, I don’t think so. They gave me a form of recognition, even though that came only years later.
Books and magazines have, during my lifetime, spurred a lot of erotic emotions and thoughts, but they had only served to confirm the sexuality I had been born with, and to further develop it, to make me feel heard, to help me to understand myself.
Of course, one book that continues to be of huge influence is Histoire d’O, but this must be quite obvious seeing that I have done an entire series based on the book.
For my February Photofest 2019 I am taking a trip down memory lane… and since the above is about reading, I have something else for you to read from December 2011.
© Rebel’s Notes