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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing


Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun


Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead


Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Ideas
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry


2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
Myths
Graduation


Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Jail-Baiting
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions


Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Retro-Shame
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights


Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido


Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

The Ages of Lulu

by Almudena Grandes

Book Review by Lisabet Sarai

 

Seduce Me

First published in the U.S. in 1995 by Barney Rossett's infamous Grove Press, The Ages of Lulu is a controversial pseudo-memoir of a woman's sexual odyssey from childhood to maturity. When it was released, the book was been widely condemned as exploitative and shallow.  Publisher's Weekly wrote: “this luridly inventive first novel strives to shock but instead proves that a woman's quasi-pornographic erotic fiction can be as mechanical, repetitive, graphic and cerebral as men's contribution to the genre.”

I couldn't disagree more. When I read the book a few months ago, I found it to be an intelligent and arousing chronicle of the obsessive relationship between a woman and the man who is her brother's friend, her ravisher, her husband, and ultimately, the master who keeps her sane.

Lulu is fifteen when the story begins, a Catholic schoolgirl hopelessly in love with her brother's best mate Pablo. Pablo is twelve years her senior. Lulu is precocious – she masturbates with her brother's recorder on a dare – but full of the confusions and misconceptions of any teen. When Pablo takes her virginity on the floor of his mother's atelier, the experience is not exactly pleasurable, but it is enough to bind her to him for life. He encourages her sexual experimentation, and she is eager to obey his suggestions.

When Pablo returns from a jail term for political crimes (the novel is set in Spain under Franco), he and  Lulu embark on an unconventional marriage in which he seeks out other women and she finds her pleasure in the company of gay men and transvestites, sometimes with Pablo's participation and sometimes not. Their escapades together and apart become increasingly extreme and perverse. Finally, Pablo tricks her into participating in a ménage that includes her own brother. Disgusted and disturbed by Pablo's duplicity, she leaves him and goes off on her own, but she cannot escape his influence. As she plunges deeper into an underworld of sadomasochistic excess, she tells herself that she is following her own desires, but in truth she is a rudderless outcast, seeking satisfaction that only his love and attention can provide.

The Ages of Lulu does involve a wide variety of sexual situations and activities. However, what I found most erotic about the book was the interplay between Pablo and Lulu, the way he educates her and urges her to act out her fantasies – and his. Their relationship is far from healthy, based as it is on a love that borders on obsession. Arrogant and self-involved, Pablo views Lulu as his creation and his property. Meanwhile Lulu's sexual adventures are ultimately for his pleasure as much as for her own – to win his approval and respect. Nevertheless, their convergent and complementary fantasies are believable and compelling.  Even in her thirties, to him, she will always be his little girl, the horny teen whom he initiated into sex. He will always be her goad, her mentor and her comfort.

The Publisher's Weekly review focuses mainly on all the kinky sex in the book: “an almost fetishistic obsession with sadomasochism, bondage, oral sex, sodomy, depilation, masturbation, voyeurism and so forth.” (Is there such a thing as a non-fetishistic obsession?)  That is not what I remember about The Ages of Lulu. Long after I've forgotten about the specific sex scenes, I remember the erotic charge that Pablo and Lulu share, as he dares her to do the things she wants to do anyway.

Lisabet Sarai
May-June 2009

The Ages of Lulu by Almudena Grandes
(Grove Press; November 10, 1994; ISBN 0802133487)
Available at Amazon.com  / Amazon UK

_____
© 2009 Lisabet Sarai. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

About the Author: Lisabet Sarai has been writing ever since she learned how to hold a pencil. She is the author of three erotic novels, Raw Silk, Incognito, and Ruby's Rules; co-editor, with S.F. Mayfair, of the anthology Sacred Exchange (Blue Moon); and editor of Cream, the Best of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association.
Visit her website, Lisabet Sarai's Fantasy Factory for more information and samples of her writing.
Join Lisabet's List on Yahoo for exciting chat, contests, and up-to-date information on publications and events: lisabets_list-subscribe@yahoogroups.com



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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Faithless
Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky


'09 Book Reviews

Anthologies

A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Frenzy
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Novels

A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Broken
Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Exposure
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Faewolf
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Shuck
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Transgressions
Review by Vincent Diamond

Non-Fiction

Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister