In the realm of seduction
The Japanese, more than anyone else, know how to elevate the art of sensuality and seduction to a higher level. There are actually several Japanese movies that changed my (sex-)life. ‘Warm water under a red bridge’ for example, broke the taboo of female ejaculation in the sweetest, most poetic way. Or the luminous ‘Tokyo Decadence’, that showed me how sex can be as much a ritual as the traditional tea ceremony. But the movie that had the biggest impact on me, was ‘In the realm of the senses’.
It is based on a true story: In 1936 a beautiful prostitute named Sada Abe -accidentally?- strangled her lover during a sexual climax. She cut off his penis and carried it around in her handbag for days. “I wanted to take the part of him that brought back the most vivid memories,” she said when they found her, wandering around in a state of bliss. In Japan, her name is still a symbol for the breaking of sexual taboos.
In 1976 Nagisa Oshima made one of the most controversial movies of all time, based on these events: ‘In the realm of the senses’. It caused a huge scandal, and it’s still censored in Japan. Was it art? Was it porn? I remember watching in amazement as I realized the actors were having real sex with each other!
But more than that, I was incredibly moved by the two lovers. They completely devoted their lives to each other, to sensuality. Even scenes that could have turned out rather bizarre -like when Sada’s lover inserts an egg into her- were poetic and meaningful. I decided that I wanted to be where these two were: in the realm of the senses.
I recently watched the movie again. It hasn’t aged a bit. It makes Fifty Shades look wimpy! (and not just because of the egg-scene) Also, I was reminded of my resolution, all those years ago, to devote my life to sensuality. So much I’ve learned since then! About pain, about pleasure, about how one rarely comes without the other. I found out who I am. So go ahead, watch this ‘dangerous’ masterpiece. Just remember, once you’ve entered the realm of the senses, there’s no way back.
REFLECTIONS FROM YOUR MIRROR
FOR THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD
Between king and QUEEN
Who is Tasya van Ree? The mysterious girl in the big black hat has been fascinating art connoisseurs and fashion lovers alike since she burst onto the scene with her stunning black-and-white photographs of celebrities like Michelle Rodriguez and (one-time lover) Amber Heard. I asked the Hawaiian-born visual artist of Dutch-Japanese ancestry (41) about her art and soul. “Between both King and Queen is where I exist.”
Sara Mearns (31) is New York City Ballet’s boldest ballerina. A passionate, intense dancer, she started dancing at 3 and starred in Swan Lake when she was only 19. But instead of resting on her laurels, Sara has kept challenging herself with daring projects, from a collaboration with hip-hop dancers to a leading role in a Broadway show. I talked with the fierce Swan Queen about sacrifices, body confidence, and how to turn pain into gain. “I’m not the typical skinny, tall, long-neck kind of ballerina.”
The art of love!
Get your creative juices flowing
This Valentine’s, don’t wait around for that love-note or those fancy chocolates to feel loved and desired. Express yourself to fall in love with yourself, now!