While the XXX magazine industry blossomed in the 1960s and boomed over the ’70s and ’80s, it soon gave way to DVD and late-night Gone Wild commercials. Now, the overwhelming majority of explicit material is available online and most young men have never known the panic of hurriedly stashing their centrefold under the bed. Despite the cultural waves of celebrating or repressing sexually explicit media, every culture has had some form of erotic media.

The Kama Sutra

Perhaps the most renowned piece of erotic literature is the Kama Sutra. Believed to have been written by Vatsyayana Mallanaga, the Kama Sutra takes a holistic approach to human sexuality and fulfilment. It is divided into seven parts. Those parts discuss everything from the basics of loving someone to the ethical implications of having an affair.

Sexual Union

The second instalment, titled Sexual Union, is usually what comes to mind when someone mentions the Kama Sutra. It features explicit positions and techniques in bed, many of which are familiar to the modern reader. However, there are plenty of variations that can help spice things up!

Consider the Bull Position or ‘Virsha’ which takes reverse cowgirl to a whole new level. Men get to lay back and enjoy the view, while the receiving partner leans forward to grab their partner’s shins or ankles for more control when riding.

If you feel like getting literally tangled in the sheets, try out the Lotus or ‘Padmasana’ position. Sit cross-legged and have the receiving partner sit in your lap facing you, their legs wrapping around your lower back. Then, explore the range of rocking, grinding and gyrating motions available to you in this intimate entanglement.

The Kama Sutra has inspired countless drawings, paintings and sculptures, often in places of worship and art galleries. Many modern reprints of the Kama Sutra come with their own interpretations and illustrations of the poses. 

Insightful & Culturally Intriguing

When it isn’t serving as a how-to for up-and-coming porn stars, the Kama Sutra is among the most culturally significant texts, especially given the insight it offers into the cultural and philosophical attitudes of the time. It discusses key pillars of attraction and compatibility and examines in detail the role of courtesans and wifely duties. The Kama Sutra offers a unique perspective on the most desirable attributes at that time. It’s interesting to see how our understanding of relationships and sex has changed over time.

While many of the beliefs in the Kama Sutra don’t align with modern views, the historical value of the text is undeniable. History often focuses on trade, war and religion so understanding how ancient cultures viewed sex and relationships is important too. Aside from earning a place in museums and galleries, it’s a pretty interesting read to spice up your repertoire.

Adult stores, often referred to as adult toy shops or sex shops, play a complex role in society. They are more than just a place to purchase sexual products. These establishments offer education, empowerment and exploration. They provide individuals and couples with the resources to improve their sex lives and explore their bedroom interests. Adult stores are definitely more than just a display case and some kinky costumes!

1. Creating a Safe and Inclusive Space

One of the primary purposes of adult stores is to create a safe and inclusive environment where individuals can explore their sexuality free from judgment or stigma. Unlike the impersonal experience of online shopping, adult stores offer a physical space where customers can interact with knowledgeable staff, ask questions, and seek advice tailored to their own preferences. This openness empowers customers to make informed decisions about their sexual health and pleasure.

2. Promoting Sexual Health and Wellness

Beyond the sale of adult toys and accessories, many adult stores offer a wealth of resources and information aimed at promoting sexual health and wellness. From workshops and educational events to writings and online guides, these venues provide valuable insights into topics such as anatomy, communication, consent, and pleasure enhancement. By prioritising education and awareness, adult stores empower individuals to take control of their sexual health and explore their desires in a safe and responsible manner.

3. Fostering Intimacy and Connection

At their core, adult stores are about more than just products—they’re about fostering intimacy and connection between partners. Whether it’s playing with new toys, exploring fantasies, or simply spicing up the bedroom routine, adult stores offer a myriad of options for couples looking to deepen their bond and rekindle their passion. With so much available, adult stores encourage individuals to get to know themselves and couples to get to know each other.

Fun Fact

  • The world’s largest adult store, located in Las Vegas, spans over 70,000 square feet and shows off everything from adult toys and lingerie to adult entertainment and novelty items.

Adult stores serve as invaluable resources for individuals and couples seeking to explore and enhance their intimate experiences. By providing a safe, inclusive, and educational environment, these establishments empower customers to embrace their sexuality, prioritise their sexual health, and deepen their connections with their partners. Whether it’s through the purchase of a new toy, attendance at a workshop, or simply a conversation with a friendly staff member, the value and purpose of adult stores extend far beyond the products on their shelves.

It’s about time you reach out; I don’t like to be kept waiting, but I am a forgiving mistress. Leave your work and worries at the door and step into MY domain. I am your ultimate escape, the perfect, powerful woman to take orders from. You aren’t the boss here, I am. So be good and follow me down the hall to the Dungeon.

I can tie you up and let you watch me enjoying myself, I want to hear you plead for me, for my body, for release. Let me make you pay; I have floggers and paddles available that create the perfect array of dull aches and sharp tingles. Or maybe I will blindfold you and tease you endlessly, edging closer and closer… All of those sensations to bring your focus back to the present, back to me and only me. Find release in your submission to me. 

And when you are craving carnal intensity, there’s the flogging frame to create the perfect pose of intimate vulnerability. Let me drag my nails across your skin before bringing my whip down smartly against you. Let it all out, every groan and sigh of pleasure dedicated to me. Beg for me, plead with me, I want to know just how much you want me. We can role-play, dress up, dirty talk, all you have to do is ask politely.

We can find an arrangement that suits you; harsh when you deserve it and tender when you need it. The perfect dynamic to bring you to breathless satisfaction. We don’t have to part ways just yet; let’s unwind together; curled up against each other’s bare skin. We can talk about things or imagine what we will do next time, or perhaps just let our breath sync up in peaceful bliss. 

Let us live out the perfect experience that is every bit as cathartic as you hope for. I’ll take control so you don’t have to, and you’ll obey your mistress because I will reward you. I know you’re busy, but you know you need me…

Henry Miller was a celebrated American author known for his bold and often explicit writing. His works “Tropic of Cancer” and “Tropic of Capricorn” both faced backlash and bannings given their sexually-explicit nature. Miller’s works helped redefine Western culture’s expectations and acceptance of mature literature. Meanwhile, the privacy of love letters between him and his lovers emboldened his writing even further. Referring to another famous author, Miller even wrote

“I wish God had given me the gift of writing about sex like D. H. Lawrence. Somehow my efforts always seem crude and shocking.”

Despite this harsh self-critique, Miller’s personal letters often involve very affectionate phrases such as “You’re food and drink to me” which break up the more explicit content. 

Letters to Anais Nin

Anais Nin is an accredited author in her own right, and her letters to Miller fuelled his passionate writings. When they were apart, Miller wrote

When you return I am going to give you one literary fuck fest—that means fucking and talking and talking and fucking.”

They often shared steamy memories, future promises and steamy hypotheticals.

With Miller’s characteristic stream-of-consciousness monologue style, it’s easy to imagine the lonesome author narrating the letter through his daydreams and fantasies. 

I feel your soft mouth closing over me, your leg clutching me tight, see you again in the kitchen here lifting your dress and sitting on top of me and the chair riding around over the kitchen floor, going thump, thump.

Letters could take weeks or even months to arrive and the drawn-out angst of awaiting a reply must have been agony. Compared to the near-instantaneous responses lovers can access now, the wait must have been practically unbearable. Much like the internet, the postal system held many a secret between lovers. Miller was acutely aware of the possibility of a mistaken recipient, remarking

God forgive me if this letter is ever opened by mistake. I can’t help it. I want you.”

These personal communications rarely appear publically, though Anais Nin’s family saved her personal diary and letters she kept from Henry. They were published after her death as part of an homage to her career in erotic literature. These two authors made their careers pushing the boundaries of published work, and their love lives clearly served as inspiration for their explicit narratives.