We’ve all heard that finding your true self-comes from travelling. From exploring the globe to discover the deepest parts of your very soul. But where would you travel to find yourself in a truly sexual way? To find the most intimate and sensual part of yourself?
Stephanie Theobald did exactly that when she travelled to and across America on the most erotic road trip possible in search of sexual discovery, and she has graced our bookshelves with her findings. Let me tell you, woman to woman, this road trip was so intense I felt like I was right there with her driving past every road sign and discovering each toe-curling element that she uncovered.
Both Stephanie Theobald and Jack Kerouack uncover each secret throughout their adventure, and while this review will not reveal any spoilers (it’s totally worth the read, I swear!), I can solemnly swear that these secrets can become learning material to revolutionise your life under the covers. And so it would, as our fabulous author is an excellent sex educator, and educate she does! She truly, truly does.
She begins by describing the routine of almost mind-numbingly boring regular sex, suggested by the theme tune on the television. The music plays, and she knows it’s time to have their weekly sex-sesh (sesh being that one time). The whole book contradicts this. I mean, how many times does that damn theme tune need to come on before you realise that sex should be more than that? It’s certainly enough to inspire a whole best selling book. And while the sex was far too mundane for her, we’re (a little) glad that she had to go through it to inspire this belter!
Spending time with a range of interviewees and unearthing a variety of sensual bite size sexual golden nuggets, one of which being a Jocelyn Elders, who is a naughty silver kitten – well in her eighties, who enjoys regular sex and is getting jiggy with it more than ever, despite her fragile bones! After being interviewed by Theobald, it became clear that her restrictive upbringing and the disapproval around sex has formed the sexual lioness she is today. She explains that whilst employed as Bill Clinton’s Surgeon General, she got fired due to suggesting that “masturbation should be talked about in schools”. Where is this freedom of speech that America so often boasts about? Nonetheless being fired from her job back then could be the best thing that ever happened to her. As the book explains, “she’s unstoppable,” and the chapter revolving around this wonderful woman shows her for exactly who she is: a woman who believes women and girls should understand their sexuality and be able to “take control of their lives”.
Theobald’s life motto is “not to say no to anything” so you can imagine how raunchy this risky fairytale can get. We don’t want to kill the suspense that we can already sense building within our readers. If you’re looking for a book that will entertain, educate, and even give you a few chuckles then this one is for you. Revolving around sex, masturbation and even death (but no spoilers here!) then I implore you to buy this book. Here’s hoping your sex life will live happily ever after!
More than this we have been lucky enough to pick Stephanie’s brain on her Sex Drive adventure and her quest for her missing orgasm.
Do you find that the response to sexual topics differs between the UK and USA? If so, how? Why do you think so?
-I think that every country is repressed in its own way. When I’m in America, they have the idea that the UK is this liberated place with Monty Python people dressing up in women’s clothing and male pantomime dames etc. When I did a story on Betty Dodson’s masturbation master class for Elle magazine a few years ago, my New York friends told me that Elle US would never have published something so explicitly sexual. And yet in the US I found they are much more open about exactly what it is sexually that they want. E.g., “Yes, I would like you to come round this evening and have sex, maybe using toys and definitely I would like a lot of head, but I don’t want you to kiss me and I’d like you to go home afterwards. Thanks very much. Looking forward.” Rather than the English thing of making some ego-centric guy dinner and then him being terrible in bed and not daring to say what you’d like and ending up making him breakfast the next morning. Sometimes I think the British are more experimental and ‘eccentric’ around sex. E.g. the very traditional champagne house Veuve Clicquot awarded the 2017 New Generation Business Woman of the year prize to the inventor of a smart vibrator (The French house said this would never have happened in France but they let the UK division of the house do it because “Les Anglais are eccentric, n’est-ce pas?”)
Sometimes though I feel that the English are too humorous around sex. Laughter dispels sexual energy. It’s kind of a nervous reaction to it. I think we need to try and be a bit more serious about sex.
People say ‘sex sells’ but there seems to be some sort of prude like a reaction to many people. Why do you think this is the case?
-Ha, that ‘Sex Sells’ thing is such a load of rubbish. I had it in my mind when I first wrote Sex Drive. My friends kept saying “there’ll be bidding wars all over the world for it.” But in the event it was the hardest book I have ever had to sell. This is because the kind of sex that sells is unrealistic stuff like Fifty Shades i.e. a Mills and Boon romantic framework with some kinky sex on top. Or anything male-oriented i.e. all that Page 3-type stuff. Or books with lots of scientific figures in which makes people feel less embarrassed about buying it. Sex Drive is about masturbation- something I discovered is a huge taboo. And that’s weird because it’s only sex with yourself! And it can help make you much better at sex with others. I think it is natural that women especially are a little reticent around sex. It’s been taken out of our hands for so many hundreds of years by men who want to use it for their own ends. But I have noticed from my reading gigs that once the sexuality conversation starts among women – on a savvy, sophisticated level – we don’t want to shut up.
That said I think the honest female sexuality is finally beginning to “sell”. Following the #metoo thing, publishing houses are all a-flutter to get feminist tomes out now. Penguin signed two big books last week. And they are finally starting to understand that feminism can’t just be academic. You have to get into your body too. I’m glad Sex Drive is coming out at the tip of this new arrow.
If you could offer our readers one piece of advice revolving around masturbation, what would it be?
Do what I call “The 21-Day Challenge,” i.e. spend 35 minutes a day alone with your naked body for 21 days. Tell your partner to do the washing up, turn off your Wi-Fi, go into your bedroom and lock the door. You don’t have to have an orgasm. The important thing is to spend time alone with yourself. Become intimate with your body again. Feel your breasts, your buttocks, your belly. Most of us live in the future. “Oh, I’ll become desirable when I’ve lost a couple of pounds at the end of this week.” But stay in the moment. This is you, right now. You might be 36. Imagine how beautiful you’d think yourself if you were 56. And if you’re 56 you’ll think, wow, I guess I’m not 86. Meanwhile, I now know that you can be very hot and desirable at 86. Remember all those people you’ve had sex with whose bodies weren’t perfect, but it didn’t matter. Anyway, this is all about you and the great thing is that nobody knows what the hell you are getting up to in your bedroom for those 35 minutes. Don’t forget to take in lube (coconut oil or almond oil are good and cheap) and don’t feel compelled to get into sex toys, but you might want to try out a few. After a while you might want to masturbate to orgasm. Sometimes with just clit stim. Sometimes with a dildo in your vagina too. The bottom line is that you are going to emerge from your bedroom after this 21-day-challenge an all-powerful goddess! Do it at the same time as your female friends and swap notes.
Do you feel like there has been a progression in the way the world views female empowerment and sexual empowerment?
I think the concept of female “wellness” has been a big break-through in female sexuality. It’s a Trojan Horse way of getting female sexuality on to the agenda in very prudish areas like the mainstream media. People laugh at Gwyneth Paltrow but her Goop store in London has a “Sex Cabinet” alongside all the expensive makeup etc. This is symbolic as it is saying “Female empowerment means nothing unless sexuality is in the mix.” I think we are at a good point for female sexuality. The first sexual revolution in the 1970s was all about men. They weren’t even asking about female orgasm or if we had them. What is happening now is a second sexual revolution. The internet gets a bad rap because of bad porn but it’s also brought us good porn and loads of Instagram clit and vulva and female sexuality-centric accounts. #metoo has also put an interesting issue on the table. I don’t think we’re going to solve it through politics or intelligence. Or rather, we will only go a certain way to solving it through those means. I think we need to forget about men for a while, get back to our bodies, rediscover the power that lies in our bodies and then go and sock it to them from there.
You said you were travelling for a ‘lost orgasm’. I think this is a concept that a lot of women are going through. In fact, a lot of women can’t orgasm from penetrative sex, which makes them feel like they aren’t normal. What are your thoughts on this? Can you reassure our readers?
I would love to reassure female readers that I only have penetrative sex on very special occasions. I.e. when I am extremely turned on. One of the most valuable experiences in the Betty Dodson Masturbation master class was when Betty had us insert our fingers slowly up our nostrils to see what a sensitive matter penetration is. Personally I never have sex with guys unless they’re open-minded enough to possibly have something put up their arse at some point because these are guys who truly understand the nature of penetration. It’s a massive vulnerable-making thing. Meanwhile, the sensation you get from a dick in a vagina is thanks to the nerves spreading out from the clitoris and hugging around the vaginal walls. So sure, vaginal penetration can feel good but the jackpot spot is the clitoris. The reason we should refer to our genitals as “the vulva” is because the word encapsulates the whole system: inner labia, outer labia, vagina, urethra or pee hole and the clitoris. If we just say “vagina” we’re talking about what is essentially the birth canal and we’re leaving out our primary sex organ – the clitoris. It’s like talking about men’s genitals and going on about the balls all the time and hardly ever mentioning the penis.
To what extent do you think confidence has an effect on our sexuality?
Confidence, of course, has a huge affect on our sex lives. But you can be confident and sexual unconfident. So I recommend buying Sex Drive and talking about it with your friends afterward. I intended it as a conversation-starter. Get guys to join in the conversation too. We need sexually enlightened men in the Second Sexual Revolution. And if you’re a smart guy you’ll want to understand how women really think and work. I’m seeing a lot of positive signs that young women are over the whole ‘shame’ thing around sex and are ready to move on to a new era. I see this as a time of awakening.
Would you recommend other people going on sexual soul searches? If so, why?
I think women would definitely benefit from tuning into their bodies more. Taking time out to think what it is they really desire, what really turns them on and then bringing that to their relationships. If you don’t like reading books or going to talks, then just masturbate more! Put it into your diary like a date at the gym. I wouldn’t necessarily say you have to go on a crazy road trip around America- I’ve done that so you don’t have to! But I think it’s important that women are reminded that we are powerful, that we have an aura and that we can charge it up. The phrase “sexual soul searching” sounds like a bit of a downer and I can tell you that sexual searching actually leads to a lot of pleasure. And there’s a limit to the amount of times we can talk about Brexit. As Timothy Leary said back in the 1960s about LSD: “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” I’d say, “Go to your bedroom, lock the door, lie on your bed and float off on your magic carpet.” Solo sex is free and it will put the light back in your eyes and the spring in your step. Most importantly it will help “open you up” as they say in the advanced sex world.
Many thanks Stephanie for chatting with us and allowing us to be a part of your journey x
Sex Drive is available on Amazon
Images with credit @circehamilton
Hello, I am Kitten T the Editor of #itsakittensworld, passionate about sexual liberation and anything which encourages female sexual empowerment. I Love horses! You can follow me on Twitter for my latest views on the world of KK