Welcome to our Par Femme Book Club: a safe space for well-read women to reveal the titillating, back-arching, lascivious literature that's been ruling their worlds. Enjoy the below selection from our resident sexologist, Tammi Ireland of @BAREsexology.
1. A Girl’s Best Friend! by Monica Haviland
Erotica turns me on like nothing else; I love trawling vintage bookstores for paperbacks that fit in my purse. When Gould’s Books in Newtown recently moved, my partner and I madly filled four bags for just $10 each, and I grabbed this from the Erotica section because of the cover. It’s one of the best, most fast-paced sexual novels I’ve read. Following roommates Reba, Chance, and Sue, each chapter explores a different sexual encounter. From first-time lesbians to hate sex, masturbation, cross-cultural encounters, power dynamics with authority, orgies, anal, and more, A Girl’s Best Friend! is hot as hell.
2. Essays in Love by Alain de Botton
My favourite book of all time. Modern philosopher Alain de Botton explores the lifespan of a relationship through the story of Chloe and his narrator. Alain wrote this book, his first, at 21 years old—the same age I was when I first read it. I wrote notes in the spine with the names of boyfriends who resonated with various lines, and every time I re-read it, I react differently to what Alain has to say. Dog-eared and covered in scribbles, Essays in Love is one of the first items I’d save if my home caught on fire.
3. Dear Lover: A Woman's Guide to Men, Sex, and Love's Deepest Bliss by David Deida
David Deida is a spiritual sex god. While his books are usually aimed at men, Dear Lover is written from the perspective of a man to his female lover, asking her to embrace her feminine spiritual intimacy in all aspects of her work, family, relationships, lovemaking, and more. It’s beautifully written and worth a share with your own Dear Lover, to help you both shift your perspectives of your day-to-day relationship to a higher understanding of lover’s bliss.
4. Sex Drive: In Pursuit of Female Desire by Dr. Bella Ellwood-Clayton
This book was an aha moment for me. Sexual anthropologist, Bella Elwood-Clayton, explores the female brain, how hormones impact your sex drive, and what you can do to embrace your feminine side and remove the stigma of sensuality. I read this book when I was coming of age and it completely changed the way I approached my relationship with sex.
5. Monica Bellucci by Rizzoli
When God created woman, it was in the image of Monica Bellucci. The ultimate femme, Monica’s sultry sexuality is captured by the world’s best photographers in this 240-page book published by Rizzoli. While the cover image is by far my favourite, seeing Monica come of age through the pages and within the styles of different photographers helped me to learn a lot, such as to embrace my curves, own my femininity, and wear black all the time.
Words by Tammi Ireland. Tammi is the founder of @BAREsexology: a sex education platform for the modern woman. Follow her here.