In Part One of this blog miniseries, we learned how Victorian doctors defined “hysteria” and how they treated it. Spoiler alert: doctors used various methods of stimulation to bring women to achieve the “hysterical paroxysm”, i.e., an orgasm.
Around 1879, the electric or electro-mechanical vibrator was introduced into doctors’ tools of the trade for treating hysteria. Vibrators were first used in France, then this method spread to the rest of the European continent, England, and America.
But what did the Victorian vibrator look like? One perhaps imagines corseted women cowering as a mustachioed doctor approaches with some bizarre Steampunkish contraption… Continue reading →
I recently saw a revival of the play In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl. In case you haven’t heard about this play it takes place in upstate New York in the 1880s. A doctor provides treatments for hysteria – to both women and men – using the latest technology, the electric vibrator. In the course of the play there is emotional and sexual discovery amongst all the characters, along with several orgasms.
I originally saw the play in February 2009 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California. The play had been written for the Berkeley Rep and made its debut there before being launched on Broadway. I’m not a theater regular – I do see shows from time to time – but when I heard about this play, I absolutely had to see it.
When I was thinking about what to write for Naughty Flings, an anthology with the theme of springtime, the quintessential springtime myth came to mind, i.e., the story of Persephone. I decided to revisit this myth, but to put a new spin on it, which proved pretty easy.
I thought I’d end the year by starting at the beginning, and by doing so, I have to start with the end of a life. Carl Degler, professor emeritus of American history at Stanford University, died on Saturday, December 27, 2014, at the age of 93. It was an article by Degler that was influential on my embarking upon a career writing Victorian erotic romance. Continue reading →
I see this advice to writers a lot. I see it coming from readers, bloggers, and other writers. It does seem to be fairly common in the romance genre, both textual and visual, to have beautiful heroes and heroines and I am terribly guilty of it, but for my own personal reasons. Continue reading →
The General’s Wife is erotica in the sense that it is Clara’s sexual journey. It is also a romance, but more on that in another post.
Trapped in a loveless marriage, our heroine Clara develops a crush on a man who works with her husband. Paul Bridgers is an unlikely hero. For today’s Snippet Sunday*, I’ve chosen a passage where Clara goes out of her way to meet “Mr. Bridgers” — as she calls him — in the village near where she lives. Continue reading →
In order to answer this question, we need to establish if there is indeed a question here to answer.
Well, is My Secret Life an autobiography or a work of fiction? If it is a work of fiction, then trying to ascertain who Walter was is moot. If it is autobiographical, then someone (or perhaps several someones) wrote it, and, the question then becomes, who? Continue reading →