Happy Woman’s History (or Herstory) Month!!
This month, I’m going to blog every day about various women and the impact they have had on society and culture as we know it. Some you will know, some you will not. I hope that you get something from each post. This is a challenge for me, as I only post maybe 1-2x a week. I enjoy challenges though I hope you enjoy my thoughts.
Meet Anais Nin, bohemian artisan and psychoanalyst, who lived a life of whimsy and hedonism, maintaining two marriages, one on each coast, and basically following where her heart and loins led her.
What is most famous for is her erotic writings and is heralded as one of the finest writers of erotica. She was one of the first women to write notable erotica and is arguably the first woman in Western culture to rise to high prominence as an erotic author. She started out writing stories and getting paid for them by private readers. Then she moved into getting them published for broader audiences.
Best known as a journalist, her published journals gave interesting insight into how she viewed her role as a woman, a sexual being, an erotic spirit, and her open approach to society and culture. Though she was often called upon by those in the feminist movement to speak at their forums, panels, and schools, she never aligned herself with the “movement”, preferring to not engage in the politics of it. Still, she was indeed a feminist, as she took on a genre of writing principally dominated by men until then. She wrote from a woman’s perspective and created characters that were strong and indulgent, not merely vessels or receptacles.
She has some remarkable quotations that resonate with what #KSFem is all about
What I like best about myself ..is my audacity,
my courage. The ways I have found to be true to
myself without causing too much pain or damage..
What I hate so much is my vanity, my need to shine,
my need of applause and my sentimentality. I would
like to be harder. I cannot make a joke, make fun
of anyone, without feeling regrets.
Electric flesh-arrows traversing the body. A rainbow of color strikes the eyelids. A foam of music falls over the ears. It is the gong of the orgasm.
Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.
Passion gives me moments of wholeness.
Man can never know the kind of loneliness a woman knows. Man lies in a woman’s womb only to gather strength, he nourishes himself from this fusion, and then he rises and goes into the world, into his work, into battle, into art. He is not lonely. He is busy. The memory of the swim in amniotic fluid gives him energy, completion. The woman may be busy too, but she feels empty. Sensuality for her is not only a wave of pleasure in which he has bathed, and a charge of electric joy at contact with another. When man lies in her womb, she is fulfilled, each act of love is a taking of man within her, and act of birth and rebirth, of child bearing and man bearing. Man lies in her womb and is reborn each time anew with a desire to act, to BE. But for a woman, the climax is not in the birth, but in the moment when man rests inside of her.
I disregard the proportions, the measures, the tempo of the ordinary world. I refuse to live in the ordinary world as ordinary women. To enter ordinary relationships. I want ecstasy. I am a neurotic — in the sense that I live in my world. I will not adjust myself to the world. I am adjusted to myself.
I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.
I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.
Thank you for your thoughts and for helping to make it safe and acceptable for women, especially those in the West, to feel free to write about sexuality and passion. We salute you!