LITEROTICON | tobias
  
Congratulations Australia for this amazing vote. As unnecessary as the survey was I am absolutely emotional upon this huge and overwhelming majority supporting mariage equality. Now, politicians, do get your shit together and do your job. Quick and well.

Survey question:
Should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?
Answer by Australia (Total)     YES 61.6

LITEROTICON | tobias
  last edited: Tue, 03 Oct 2017 14:43:20 +0200  
Hijra Lives In Bangladesh is a new photobook produced by the UN. I find it very moving and well done. Even though Hijras are now legally recognized social recognition appears to be stil a long way to go. This lavish photo book wants to  help in the process. It pairs portraits with quotes which together form a bigger picture about life as a Hija, life as the third sex or as we would say, transgender women.
The book is very well done, the photos are very matter of fact but expressive just because of this perceived simplicity. And the quotes are used as a tool to tell the story using what lastly becomes a collage of the womeb's own words. Although for safety reasons photos and quotes do not match, which in itself says a lot. There are many quotes that resonate with me, in their very own way. But this one does especially as it shows how simple it could be to help in a sustainable manner. If you ask what people really want.
An ashram has been built for us in Narayanganj but I think we should have been given a garment business instead. Then we would have employment and society would have benefited."
- Sani, Dakar

This is the original  download link.
The file weighs just some friendly 4.6MB.

This is a little movie about the book:


Story of a Battle
by UNDP Bangladesh on YouTube

Not leaving anyone behind – photo-book ”Hijra Lives in Bangladesh”

Image/photo

More than half of the third gender population experience violence, discrimination and abandonment or sexual assault and abuse at early age in their natural families. This was said today at a panel discussion following a launch of a photo-book ”Leaving no one behind: Hijra Lives in Bangladesh”, in BICC, Dhaka. Members of the third gender communi...

LITEROTICON | tobias
  last edited: Thu, 14 Sep 2017 15:14:27 +0200  
Many male sex shop customers head straight towards trans porn section, browse a bit and if they purchase they turn defensive, stressing they were not gay.
That interest is reflected by many porn sites, unfortunately most of them refused to stay away from disrespectful search terms. That is, until now. Hopefully this will transpire more respectful language into the mainstream, and as a positive side effect, help achieving more respect and equality.
This article from the very manstream glamour magazine is just one of the many articles writing about this. Way to go!
How Mainstream Porn Is Finally Making Room for Trans Performers

Though trans porn is a growing niche in mainstream adult entertainment, much of it still employs derogatory elements. But the tide is turning.

LITEROTICON | tobias
  
This post is about a book which has not been published yet. But I believe that "Sex Drive" by Stephanie Theobald will be an important book. One might call it her pleasure autobiography, or how from the realms of a failing marriage via Betty Dodson's living room and her Bodysex worshop she finally managed to connect with herself and her sexual needs. How she learned to allow herself pleasure and orgasms just for the sake of herself and her pleasurable well-being.
Pleasure is important, sex and orgasms are integral parts of ourselves, yet for many of us our sexual allowance is nothing but limiting, if not strangling.
I am very much looking forward to this book and hope it will really help many to build a new and healthy relationship with themselves. This is important.



Sex Drive

Image/photo

How one woman's road trip became a sexual revolution
 book
LITEROTICON | tobias
  last edited: Mon, 28 Aug 2017 20:08:21 +0200  
Sometimes life surprises us with beauty and erotic power at the least suspected places. Such as a hotel toilet. Currently on a holiday trip we visited castle Bötzelär which is a beautiful hotel today. Additionally you can marry there, enjoy some local art exhibitions or just have piece of cake and a coffee.
And at the toilet I was struck by this colour- and powerful sculpture. Sorry, I do not know the artist or anything, but I love the multilayered female and self-aware erotic pride it displays, the stories it tells. I read in there stories of pride, empowerment, sadness, but (literally) also hurt and pain. But all in all with an overall sense of stubborn positivity.
Very multilayered and, as good art should be, thought provoking to create one's own stories.
Positioning such a sculpture at a toilet is an act of subversive thoughtfulness. Love it.
(Please especially note the dancing female figure on the neck, composed of vulva, labia and clit. Also love the proud menstrual power symbolism.)
Honestly, I wonder who created this.
Image/photo

LITEROTICON | tobias
  last edited: Mon, 28 Aug 2017 10:50:36 +0200  
Trixie de la Tour comes across like a powerhouse. She has  started salons and meetups for people to tell and listen to funny and sexy stories to.an attentive audience.
The podcast documents some of these events and te definetely worth a listen if you want to laugh, be well entertained and feel welcome with other people who are open and love to talk and to hear about sex. And it is amazing how very wide range of topics are. Relationships, funny sex mistakes, sexual human interaction, how it feels if your parents double as your professional gyn ...
The Bawdy Story Telling Podcast is very muchvworth a listen. Be sure to make room for laughing out loud and feeling just good afterwards.

Link to Bawdy Storytelling website

LITEROTICON | tobias
  last edited: Mon, 05 Sep 2016 22:12:15 +0200  
What was it like when you visited a sex shop for the very first time? How did you feel? Shy, anxious? Excited? Overwhelmed? At least for me this description does ring so true. At least in the beginning.

It was 1996, I was in London for a few months and strolling around one of my then favourite places, the Tower Records store at Piccadilly Circus, where I closed almost each Saturday visit to London centre.
It was a kind of ritual: Get out of the tube, get one double choc muffin and one doughnut at what I today believe was a Duncin Doughnuts. I became aware of that chain only years later. After that, cross the street via those traffic lights and get into Tower Records. This kind of equalled heaven, though a very consumerist one. CDs, music books, magazines ... even some pretty specialized stuff. At the time The Beatles Monthly was still in print. I also got quite a few Beatlefan Magazine, a fanzine from the USA. Awesome! Plus it was there that I listened to  The Beatles Anthology Vol. 2 for the very first time. Those infectious giggles during And Your Bird Can Sing! And that otherworldly first take of Tomorrow Never Knows. Made me so high. Sounded very contemporary to me, it was Britpop at full swing. Blur, Oasis everywhere. I still do think that first take would have made a more than impressive cut, though I am glad they did not stop there. :)
Today that Tower Records store is no more. I believe they have turned into some fashion stuff or ... I don't know. But at least ... not Tower Records.

It must have been one of those music filled evenings, that I decided not to drive home at once but just to stroll about, without looking at the map to see where it would take me. At first I came past all those theatres and musical venues. It felt so magial, glamorous, only to walk past those houses, only to read all those signs.
I took the chance to extend my growing collection of those infamous sex worker advertising cards they used to place inside those iconic red phone boxes. To me those were exciting too, a phenomenon and cultural expression I needed to document. So I made it a habit to collect some of them once in a while. But only a few, as I felt taking too many of them would be disresprectful towards those women who depended upon this kind of advertising. But the phone boxes were becoming more and more plastered with these cards, so ... yes, I am very definetely a collector. :)

And then I turned around ... and found myself in the midst of London's red light district. I had never seen something like this before, had never been to Hamburgs Reeperbahn or the likes. I hesitated, but then I decided to take a look. Again, exciting as heck, all those luscious lights and signs, this time advertising sexual excitement of the verious kinds. Not that I was planning to take part in that. At one shady byway an old man with quite a few missing teeth offered me "You want a nice young lady, sir?" I declined. I also did not feel like starting a discussion about the varying definitions of "nice young lady", but anyway. I hurried back to the main street.
And there it was. Right at a street corner, a comparably safe haven among all this sensory overload ... an adult book store. Yay, books! Oh, that was much more to my taste! Yet, also exciting. Erotic photography, paintings and other art books ... wow. Little tobi in wonderland. :)
Then I saw that sign. An arrow. There was another floor, below.

And
down
I
went.

As I descended this mysterious staircase I was passing eye masks, black feather boas, handcuffs and whips on display. Okaaay. Then the stairs took one sharp  right turn
...
and I was standing in a fully fledged sex shop. The first moment I must have looked quite confused, but I said to myself, now that I was here, I could as well have a good look around. And so I did. I saw a lot of stuff I had only read about, dildos, vibrators, more or less sexy lingerie, several aphrodisiacs (so that  was what Carlos Peron's song The Spanish Fly was all about ...)  and ... porn. So far I had only seen some soft porn magazines at school (someone had brought it ...), but this was a bit more exciting. Real pussies, real cocks, unashamed on display, in full action, in all their glory. I was just about to finish my tour , as a group of asian tourists descended the staircase, just like I had done a few minutes earlier. But this was like from some kind of slapstick movie. As soon as they turned around that corner, all the men went: "Aaaah!" and, with just a tiny delay, all the women went "Eeee!". And the things got tumultuous. The men were trying to enter the shop, but their women grabbed them one by one and dragged them back upstairs. It took a while before the shop fell silent again.  
Oh, these are truly priceless memories. Another example of "this could not be scripted".
I stayed a while longer and did watch some more people's reactions as they turned around the corner. It was hilarious, pretty good fun. I also watched the shop assistant, who was pretty indifferent to it all.
From then on I knew: A sex shop is nothing to be afraid of, it can even be fun.
;)

LITEROTICON | tobias
  last edited: Sat, 03 Sep 2016 07:26:03 +0200  
2016 has been an exceptionally strong year regarding albumgasms.
  • David Bowie: Dark Star
  • ANOHNI: Hopelessness
  • Anoushka Shankar: Land Of Gold
  • Brian Eno: The Ship
  • Paul Kelly: Seven Sonnets & A Song

Plus some awesome mind blowing leftovers from 2015 that landed in my sonic universe with great, almost embarrassing latency:
  • Thighpaulsandra: Golden Communion
  • Kamasi Washington: The Epic
  • Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly

Plus as of now 2016 is far from over. Another Yello album is about to land within a few weeks, but even though this is highly anticipated good news, I am still not sure whether I am really going to like it. Got to wait and hear. And who knows what is yet to come? The traditionally dense christmas season has just begun, yesterday I bought my first Speculaas cookies 2016. ;)
But all this mindboggling awesomeness might very well be topped by an album I did not expect at all, and if I had, my hopes would not have been too high. Be careful what you hope for, especially with old heroes.
Silver Apples are a legendary electronic pop avant-garde band that started in 1967 with the a self made jumble of oscillators, knobs, tapes, radio receiver and the likes. Originally a duo consisted of Simeon who created this strange instrument and Danny Taylor, drums. Today Simeon is the only surviving member, and after his 90s comeback was tragically cut short by a heavy tour van accident it took him until 2007 to really relaunch Silver Apples to much acclaim. It was a bit strange. Up until that tour many of us Silver Apple fans felt a bit lonely and isolated, as they seemed to be nearly forgotten after never really making it. But that tour caused quite a frenzy among many music lovers and it was beautiful to witness Simeon finally getting the recognition and adoration he deserves for being a founding father and pioneer of electronic music. Musicians have long been fans. John Lennon is said to have been a fan and Simeon jammed with Hendrix on his legendary studio recording of "Star Sprankled Banner" that was made before  the legendary Woodstock performance. Even though Simeon says that he remains uncredited he does cherish the memory, and rightly so. He released his own version on a limited edition vinyl only album that you could buy only directly from him. There it is called "Anthem". He says that there he has not been mixed as much into the background as on the official Hendricks release. My own copy is still unplayed.
And on a more contemporary note, Portishead even created a very loving homage to their heroes by crafting their song "We Carry On" after Silver Apples' grooves and style. Fan video footage of a joint performance can be found on the web.

And now we have got the surprise of an unexpected brand new album which even does live up to the cult status success of the Silver Apples debut.

Silver Apples: Clinging To A Dream
Image/photo

I have just finished the very first listen via Spotify, where it has already dropped, the CD is expected to land inside my letterbox on Tuesday. And ... yes, this album is a Silverapplegasm. Unique and challenging in an awesome way.
I am totally biased with this one. This band has been highly influential for me, their erotic "Love Fingers" did play a role during the most important time of my life: Falling in love with my now wife, during the time of chatting, showing each other music we love and quite some playlist flirting. ;)
And now the new album. "Clinging To A Dream", which is a line from the song "The Edge Of Wonder" which Simeon already played life here in Leipzig, 2012. Just imagine my astonishment when I discovered it in my Spotify Release Radar playlist. Instantly I pre-ordered the upcoming CD and decided not to worry as I would surely / hopefully learn to love the album.
To be absolutely blunt: My expectations have been very much surpassed. This is a worthy new incarnation, 48 years after the debut Silver Apples still sound fresh, strange and avant-garde. Still fully themselves. No compromises.
Compared to today's electronic music it sounds rather minimalist, which is due to the fact that Simeon is still using the old self made jumble of oscillators, strange knobs and circuits along with some found sounds, just as he did in the early days. They say he had to adjust his playing after the accident, but he surely is a master. Incomparable.
The songs are again admirably strange, with "The Edge Of Wonder" being the most accessible. But the stranger he gets, the more I love it. Once again he has found a wonderful flow of strangely minimalist groovy pop songs intermixed with very experimental tracks, partially merely soundscapes, very atmospheric like some very strange soundtrack music.
Very clearly Simeon still has a whole lot of fun creating and is curious enough to take another risk. He has already collaborated with young techno musicians, this again is truly himself.
What an experience. I love it. Put it on repeat. These sounds and grooves are so awesome they literally make me horny. Edgy, unique, archaic yet fully and unashamed itself. An album with character. Very much a candidate for album of the year, and 2016 has seen quite a few strong and very strong releases.
And now I am off to another Silvergasm.
Image/photo

LITEROTICON | tobias
  last edited: Tue, 09 Aug 2016 00:32:18 +0200  
Today I learned that Joani Blank has died on August 6 2016. I must admit that I did know quite a lot of her endeavours and valuated them, but I did not realize that they were all hers. For example she was the woman behind the awesome Vulvart Tumblr which had not been updated in quite a few years but still is very much worth a look for all its vulvawesemness. She released "Femalia", a book of vulva photographs, which does help to demonstrate the beautiful diversity of vulvas. There is none alike, but all beautiful.
I just love her dedication to the cause and her courage. And you surely needed a whole lot of courage (and boldness) to fund a publisher for sex-related books in 1975, and even call it "Down There Press". That name alone ... And then, one year later, open "Good Vibrations", a pioneering feminist and sex positive sex shop in San Francisco.

There are so many sex education rock stars, and so overwhelmingly many of them are women. I raise my imaginary hat and give my dreadlocks a happy swirl in honour for them. We would really need a Literoticon Hall Of Fame, and Joani would very much belong into it.
Below is an interview with Joani Blank from supposedly 2015. You get to see what I guess is her living room (with this famous, iconic Jan Saudek photograph on the wall) and you get to meet the great Carol Queen showing you a around in today's Good Vibration shop and the Vibrator Museum.


Joani Blank - Sexual Education for Happiness
by Respectful Revolution on YouTube

She also has written two sex education books for children. They do show their age, but kudos to her that she released them under a creative commons license as a "donate if you want to" download from her personal website. I am attaching them here in order to keep the memory alive even if the website should vanish some day. Attaching a screenshot from today as prove.

Creative Commons License
A Kid's First Book About Sex by Joani Blank is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
The Playbook For Kids About Sex by Joani Blank is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.


Image/photo

LITEROTICON | tobias
  last edited: Fri, 08 Jul 2016 22:30:14 +0200  
Just stumbled across this awesome explainer video by London's Thamse Valley Police that explains the basics of consent in the most British way possible: by comparing sexual consent to a cup of tea.
One might think consent is so simple and easy no one would ever need to create an explaner video. Every day life proves different. So, should you have the need for a simple, even humorous lesson upon consent, this might be a strong contender.



Tea and Consent
by Thames Valley Police on YouTube

LITEROTICON | tobias
  last edited: Tue, 10 May 2016 21:11:50 +0200  
There are so many things you can do inside a living room, it is centre of the house and the ultimate space to reflect the real you. All other rooms serve a special purpose, the kitchen, the sleeping room, the bathroom, ...
Sexuality is the centre of our personality, yet the least goal oriented aspect of our selves. It engages the most varied combination of all our senses: listening, seeing, speaking, tasting,  touching and more. It is literally a body-mind experience and as such belongs to the most profound means of experience and expressions at our disposal. The deeper you immerse yourself the more you will discover the real you. Sexuality is the ultimate artform, most satisfying when done playfully and without purpose.  Eroticism is its sensual sibling.

Sexuality is the living room of the soul.
Welcome to LITEROTICON, the erotic living room.