“Little Death” Reading List
PEGGY loves books because reading makes you smart and being smart makes you sexy or something! Here’s a list of some of those that influenced me, directly or indirectly, as I put this issue “Little Death” together:
Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky: Sex Criminals, Vol. 1 (2014)
This is the cute comic that I talked about in Editor’s Letter – Check it out!
Melissa Broder: So Sad Today (2016)
“One way to feel isolated is to unintentionally develop an odd sexual fetish at a very young age. Next, spend your adolescence reinforcing that fetish through masturbation, until you can only reach orgasm in relation to that very specific fantasy. After that, live your teen years in fear of revealing your secret sexual preference. Eventually, you might want to let a few sexual partners know of your fetish but definitely downplay it.”
Thus begins the chapter My Vomit Fetish, Myself in which there’s so much truth to be found not only about vomit fetishes, but about fetishes and sexual fantasies in general. The chapter is a part of Melissa Broder’s book So Sad Today, in which she writes with humor and honesty about sex and being really depressed and everything that comes in between.
Marguertite Duras: The Lover (1984)
“He calls me a whore, a slut, he says I’m his only love, and that’s what he ought to say, and what you say when you just let things say themselves, when you let the body alone, to seek and find and take what it likes, and then everything is right, and nothing’s wasted, the waste is covered over and all is swept away in the torrent, in the force of desire.”
This semi-autobiographical novel is one of the most beautiful stories ever written. It tells the story of a 15-year-old French girl who lives with her mother and two brothers in Saigon during the last days of France’s colonial empire. Crossing the Mekong River on a ferry, the young girl attracts the attention of an older, wealthy Chinese man, which is the beginning of a tumultuous romance. To Marguerite Duras eroticism and death are always entwined, and the mix runs through her work like a river that feeds everything it passes.
George Bataille: Story of The Eye (1928)
“‘Milk is for the pussy, isn’t it?’ said Simone. ‘Do you dare me to sit in the saucer?’
‘I dare you,’ I answered, almost breathless. The day was extremely hot. Simone put the saucer on a small bench, planted herself before me, and, with her eyes fixed on me, she sat down without my being able to see her burning buttocks under the skirt, dipping into the cool milk.”
This is only the beginning of the sexual adventures that the narrator and his friend Simone, two young teenagers, take on in George Bataille’s famous novella Story of the Eye. As the story develops, it gets more and more perverted: Prepare yourself for orgies lubricated in urine and blood, and hard-boiled egg that are inserted into vaginas – Just to mention a few things.
Michael Aaron: Modern Sexuality: The Truth about Sex and Relationships (2016)
Let’s throw in a little sex-positive psychology: In Modern Sexuality Michael Aaron addresses all sorts of issues around sex and sexuality in our lives today, such as Is sex addiction really a thing? – Always drawing from the latest research and his experiences as a sex therapist. If society has ever made you feel that your sexuality is wrong or disgusting, reading this book is sure to make you feel better. Aaron writes in one of my favorite passages:
“[I]f you come away from this book with only one central idea, I want you to come away with the knowledge that being sexual – knowing oneself sexually and really experiencing it to its full vitality – is one of our main gifts of living and being human. As long as what you are doing is safe and consensual, acting on your sexual interests is as close as it get’s to being ”one” with the world.”