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"Get the butter." Paul, Last Tango in Paris (1972) [before engaging in anal sex with Maria Schneider]

In mainstream cinema: Last Tango in Paris (1972)

The Surrender : An Erotic Memoir (2004) - Toni Bentley [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"I am sitting on the threshold. Perhaps this is the final paradox of God's paradoxical machinations: my ass is my very own back door to heaven. The Pearly Gates are closer than you think."


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal sex

The Surrender : An Erotic Memoir (2004) - Toni Bentley

From Publishers Weekly
"I am sitting on the threshold. Perhaps this is the final paradox of God's paradoxical machinations: my ass is my very own back door to heaven. The Pearly Gates are closer than you think." Bentley is writing of her rhapsodic experience with sodomy. So some will call this memoir blasphemous, others spiritual; some pornographic, others erotic. What it is, is wonderfully smart and sexy and witty and moving, a tale of unbounded passion that leads to transcendence. The tale is paradoxical in more ways than one: aside from Bentley's ass leading to heaven, she finds that submission leads to freedom-a freedom she had never known as a dancer with the New York City Ballet (about which she wrote her first book, Winter Season), nor in her failed marriage, nor in any of her other polymorphously perverse sexual experiences. While deeply serious, Bentley is also hilarious as she describes the delights of crotchless panties ("they come in many different styles-each with its own je ne sais quoi") and touching in an imagined obituary for her lover, A-Man ("He was the only one who took time to be friends with my cat.... He was the one with whom I couldn't tell whose pleasure gave me more pleasure"). Bentley's honesty about the most intimate of subjects is daring and delightful for those willing to follow her to, so to speak, the end. --Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com
If you knew the name Toni Bentley before her self-combustion in The Surrender (ReganBooks, $24.95), it was probably for her extraordinarily agile contributions to the tiny world of ballet writing: Her first book was Winter Season (1982), produced at the tender age of 21 (early for a writer, not for a dancer). Exquisitely written -- as fleet and muscular as a thoroughbred -- the book was a splendid manifestation of grace and grit. She went on to ghostwrite Suzanne Farrell's virtuosic memoir, Hanging on to the Air, in which Bentley (a Balanchine product herself) captured the heady business of falling in love with one's own Pygmalion. Bentley wrote two more books after that, but she seemed to undergo the typical arc of the aging dancer: The books were less ambitious, signaling a diminishing agility -- these were character parts, no bravura performances. There was Costumes by Karinska, about Balanchine's costume designer, and then Sisters of Salome, about the seductions of dancing the part of the legendary femme fatale. But the principal roles seemed to elude her.

Now, in her fifth decade, Bentley has turned the camera on herself in what can only be called a spectacular flameout. The Surrender: An Erotic Memoir is her account of her addiction to anal sex and her burning jones for an inamorato she identifies only as A-Man. The book, none of which can be adequately described in a family newspaper, is mind-boggling in its rawness. It is dirty, foul-mouthed, gawdy as redlight porn -- an apotheosis of female self-loathing. And yet the prose yearns, with the perverse grace of a long-past-it dancer, for readers to see it as art. More than one book critic -- mostly men -- have referred to it as "a masterpiece."

Bentley calls her erotic quest "Finding Paradise," and she even summons God into the equation: "I am an atheist, by inheritance. I came to know God experientially, from being [expletived] in the [expletive]." You get the idea. Aside from the shock factor, which is considerable, there is a creeping ridiculousness here: Throughout the book she alludes to "the backstory" of her love story, the "behind-sight" of her perspective. When she confronts A-Man's Other Woman, she writes, "I guess she didn't know the whole of it. Or the half of it. Or the back half of it." By the time you finish this paean to her stern, you're red-faced as a schoolgirl: Not from the naughtiness, mind you. From the horselaughs. This once elegant writer is hoofing her heart out. And peeking in you are made to feel -- there's no other way to say it -- as silly as an ass. --via Amazon.com

inspired by http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/001700.html [Jun 2005] which features some recommended reading on Catherine Breillat

See also: erotic fiction

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