A Sensual Solstice: The Divine Rebirth of Women’s Sexuality

Ladies, is it hot in here or is it just us?

Every time I turn on my TV or computer I see a new trailer for “Magic Mike,” the absolutely delicious looking new movie that casts some of Hollywood’s finest young actors– Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, True Blood’s Joe Manganiello , Matthew McConaughey, and Matt Bomer—in the roles of male exotic dancers. Women are burning up Internet message boards about this movie, which features our favorite screen hunks putting on fetish and fantasy costumes and bumping, grinding and stripping off for our pleasure.

Elsewhere on the silver screen, Rapid Heart Pictures is bringing us horror movies filled with screaming and scantily clad males.  Yep, this time it’s the guys running screaming in the woods and getting caught in the shower–it’s about damn time!

Each time I turn on the radio I hear the hottie Usher Raymond telling me to relax and get on my back as he makes me “Scream,” or the equally hawt Trey Songz asserting that “I Invented Sex.” If your tastes run more toward metal, Black Veil Brides is a talented and model gorgeous band that performs well-crafted anthems of rebellion—all the while saying in interviews that they want to “go balls deep” for female fans in an ongoing effort to “make them happy.” And alt dance group Blood on the Dancefloor asserts in the song “Sexting” that “You’ve seen what my thumbs can do/now it’s time to use my tongue on you.”

Go into any bookstore and you’ll see display racks featuring the title Fifty Shades of Grey, placed prominently beside the John Grisham-style best seller fiction and the latest self-help tomes—though in a way, I guess ‘50 Shades’ could be considered a ‘self-help’ guide all its own….Ahem!

Playgirl magazine is still published quarterly and PlaygirlTV is available on cable, and new publications like Pool Boy magazine–and, of course, the Good Vibrations e-zine–are offering refreshing new takes on the concept of male centerfolds and sexy images as well as women’s erotic fiction.

And on TV reality shows are finally getting interesting, particularly with the premiere of Showtime’s Gigolos, starring the beautiful men of Garren James’ Cowboys4Angels escort agency. Give me those hunks over the Bachelor and the Situation any day!

Hey, what’s going on? Could it be that pop culture, in both its mainstream and alternative forms, is finally catching on to the fact that women have hormones and basic physical and sensual needs? Lawdy, who’d a thunk it?

Of course, this isn’t the first time that women have been targeted as a potential audience in the arena of mainstream erotic entertainment. Throughout the 1980s and early ‘90s, male exotic dance groups were popping up all over the country; both big city acts like The Chippendales, La Bare, Manpower Australia and Hollywood Men and countless local groups performed everywhere from major concert venues to neighborhood watering holes. Hot movies like “American Gigolo,” “A Night in Heaven,” “Two Moon Junction” and “Thief of Hearts” all explored the common theme of good girls goin’ bad; exploring their naughty sides and fulfilling their desires with the help of smokin’ hot hunks. TV talk shows addressed hot button topics like porn for women and the male exotic dance craze. Magazines like Playgirl presented sizzling centerfolds for our pleasure. Companies like Good Vibrations brought us the toys and tools we needed to satisfy. And books like “My Secret Garden” and adult filmmakers like Candida Royalle brought our fantasies to life, both on screen and between (book) covers.

Then, for whatever reason, the well ran dry in terms of women’s erotic entertainment. Sure, we still had our ongoing underground sex movement that consisted of alt and feminist porn films and erotic reads published through independent presses, and toys brought to us courtesy of Good Vibes. Yet while the major male strip troupes continued to dance their way through show clubs in Vegas and LA, most of the suburban and small town dance groups have all but disappeared. Today’s talk shows center around brawling babes and paternity tests, ad nauseum; and, aside from the occasional male butt shot presented in some random rom com, when was the last time that a mainstream motion picture addressed the topic of women’s sexuality?

For a while it seemed that the frank exploration of women’s fantasies and desires seemed taboo at best, if not nonexistent. So what prompted the change?

Oh, I don’t care, let’s just enjoy it Ladies; and let’s get out and support those who are finally acknowledging and satisfying our need for quality sensual entertainment.

Megan Hussey

Megan Hussey is a Florida-based journalist, feminist activist and erotica author. Please visit her website.

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