Live shows like the Folies Bergère, Le Lido and the Moulin Rouge in Paris have been titillating their audiences’ libido by having their female dancers expose their voluptuous breasts since November 1881, when Rodolphe Salis created what was initially called Le Cabaret Artistique, in Paris’s Montmartre district – the city’s bohemian centre. Today in some American and European cities like Las Vegas and Amsterdam, as well as many locations around the world it is possible to watch performers having sex live in front of an audience. From a review I read online this is a pretty daunting experience and not for the faint-hearted.
Old time fun arcades have had peepshow machines where the viewer or voyeur, have been able to turn a handle and watch young ladies undress. The early machines were probably circumspect in that they didn’t show much bare flesh, let alone full nudity. The peep show goes back to 15th century Italy, but pornographic peep shows are a relatively recent phenomenon from the late 19th century, likely due to the advances made in photography.
Prehistoric porn has been found in cave paintings in Australia dating back 28,000 years. Nudity in Western art, mainly the female form, has always been acceptable and goes back to the 4th century B.C. Michelangelo's 'David' has an uncovered penis, although unfortunately for the female voyeur it does not have an erection. From the earliest days of photography, pornography was a major genre.
Literature has from the first also titillated our sexual desires over the years. There are many novels with and without illustrations from the 18th and 19th centuries. John Cleland first published 'Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure', popularly known as 'Fanny Hill', an anglicisation of the Latin 'mons veneris', the mound of Venus, in London in 1748. In 1960 Britain had a sensational trial about whether or not to ban 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover' by D.H. Lawrence as it was considered obscene in many circles.
More recently, 'Fifty Shades of Grey' by E. L. James has aroused some controversy and with sales of 110 million copies and film rights have made the author, formerly a London housewife, a very wealthy woman.
I’m assuming that Ms James was only putting her fantasies into print when she penned her now famous novel.
The literary reviews of the book were anything but enthusiastic, but this in no prevented the book from becoming a best seller. According to Wikipedia, Salman Rushdie, no stranger to writing erotica himself, said “I’ve never read anything so badly written that got published. It made 'Twilight' look like 'War and Peace'. Maureen Dowd described the book in The New York Times as being written “like a Bronte devoid of talent” and said it was “dull and poorly written.” Others were no less unkind, but condemnation was not universal. British author Jenny Colgan in The Guardian wrote "It is jolly, eminently readable and as sweet and safe as BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism) erotica can be without contravening the trade descriptions act” and also praised the book for being "more enjoyable" than other "literary erotic books". Ms James is, of course, laughing all the way to the bank.
I recently read 'When Irish Eyes are Smiling' subtitled 'The Erotic Adventures of a Young Man' by Andy Carpenter.
The plot is not complicated but there are many surprises in the story with an Agatha Christie-like twist. All the participants are consenting adults.
The book may not be great literature but it has humour and is fun and very easy reading in the manner of chick-lit novels of Jojo Moyes, Sophie Kinsella and Danielle Steel.
The action, with lots of sex, takes place mainly in Ireland where the author pursues the delights of Irish women as well as enjoying gourmet food, wine and beer, including the world-famous Guinness beer.
All in all, this is a delightful book although I must warn the reader that the sex scenes are extremely graphic.
If you don’t mind a spade being called a shovel when it comes to sex and you enjoy letting your sexual fantasies run a little wild you’ll enjoy this quite erotic but very romantic novel.
'When Irish Eyes are Smiling – The Erotic Adventures of a Young Man' is available as an e-book from Smashwords, Amazon and other e-book retailers for only $4.99.
For a glimpse into the book and selected extracts go to Andy’s website at www.andysirishadventure.weebly.com