Good sex is out there, and Brisbane has a club for it — although it might not be what you think.
Everybody loves a little horizontal hoola, the ol’ hanky-panky or even some afternoon delight — but are you ready to discuss it with your book club?
Brisbane’s Good Sex Book Club meets monthly to celebrate and explore the labyrinth that is all things sex and titillation through lustful literature.
bmag caught up with writer and Avid Reader events coordinator Krissy Kneen to talk about the appeal of erotic fiction and the Good Sex Book Club.
“People have realised they can be aroused reading fiction,” Kneen says.
Kneen, an author of several works of erotica, began the Good Sex Book Club as research for her upcoming novel.
“We have looked at books by the likes of Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller and Marquis de Sade, along with contemporary authors,” she says.
“We talk about how different people look at sexual relationships.”
Kneen found that the recent success of the Fifty Shades trilogy created a gateway for those who delighted in references toward taboo subjects.
“A lot of people hadn’t read sex literature until they read Fifty Shades of Grey for the first time and realised that Fifty Shades was just one example in a very broad field.”
Despite its success, Kneen thought the E.L. James trilogy was limp compared to other works of sex-fiction.
“It really doesn’t engage with how people can have an S&M [Sadomasochistic] relationship and enjoy that as being positive, or pleasurable.”
There have been filthier — and better — books out for decades, according to Kneen.
“Pauline Réage’s The Story of O was repackaged up like a Fifty Shades book, so now people know: ‘Oh, here’s the book about discipline!’”
As well as making for exciting reading, erotica touches on other stimulating points — whether you’re a voyeur, exhibitionist or just plain Jane.
“We can certainly learn that humans are incredibly diverse, and that our pleasures are unique,” Kneen says.
“You can really get to the heart of what makes a human being tick when you’re looking at sexuality.”
While the subject matter can get hot and heavy, or downright confronting, Kneen says the book club is plenty of fun, so if you are up for some bashful banter, this might be the club for you.
“Sex is funny, and also the way people write about sex can sometimes be hilarious!”
Although the books aren’t without artful insights, Kneen says the stories allow readers to play with dusky desires whilst engaging their minds.
“Sexuality is an area where you can challenge peoples’ reading by exploring the darker sides of sexuality; the sides of sexuality that are not represented in our culture.”
She says talking openly about sex with someone other than your favourite hairdresser can be positive for all involved.
“It’s an area where you can create change.”
So put away your pajama pants and sport your best Agent Provocateur — the next Good Sex Book Club meeting is on Wednesday 5 November at Avid Reader in West End (193 Boundary St), looking at The Earl-King by Michel Tournier.