A provocative, moving, kinky, and often absurdly funny memoir about Shakespeare, love, obsession, and spanking.
When it came to understanding love, a teenage Jillian Keenan had nothing to guide her - until a production of The Tempest sent Shakespeare's language flowing through her blood for the first time. In Sex with Shakespeare, she tells the story of how the Bard's plays helped her embrace her unusual sexual identity and find a love story of her own.
Four hundred years after Shakespeare's death, Keenan's smart and passionate memoir brings new life to his work. With 14 of his plays as a springboard, she explores the many facets of love and sexuality - from desire and communication to fetish and fantasy. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Keenan unmasks Helena as a sexual masochist - like Jillian herself. In Macbeth, she examines criminalized sexual identities and the dark side of "privacy". The Taming of the Shrew goes inside the secret world of bondage, domination, and sadomasochism while King Lear exposes the ill-fated king as a possible sexual predator. Moving through the canon, Keenan makes it abundantly clear that literature is a conversation. In Sex with Shakespeare, words are love.
As Keenan wanders the world in search of connection, from desert dictatorships to urban islands to disputed territories, Shakespeare goes with her - and provokes complex, surprising, and wildly important conversations about sexuality, consent, and the secrets that simmer beneath our surfaces.
©2016 Jillian Keenan (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
There are no words for how much I needed this book in my life. A must read for anyone kinky. The first book talking about masochism where I didn't feel crazy.... It's nice not to feel crazy.
This is a masterful memoir from a woman who has known since early childhood (before she had words for it) that she has a spanking fetish. She reveals, a little at a time, her memories of how her understanding of her spanking fetish developed and how she wrestled with divulging her kink and making it work (or not) with her relationships. She's also a Shakespearen scholar, and she skillfully explores sex and relationships in Shakespearean plays. The literary analysis never feels academic -- she has conversations with the characters; they're alive to her.
Whether you're into spanking or another kink, or you're just curious and open-minded about all things sexual, you'll learn much from this book. The style is candid, personable, as if you're sitting together, sharing truths. Keenan's narration is superb.
This was definitely a great read. It was super interesting and made me think of things in a way I would have never done before reading it. The author was funny, honest and smart. I never wanted to put it down (or press pause in this case)
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