Erogenous Zones: An Anthology of Sex Abroad by Lucretia Stewart (Editor)

Travel, like sex, is the search for the unknown. What, after all, could be more unknown than a sexual experience in a strange land, or with a stranger? This question, or preoccupation, informs much of the most insightful and eloquent travel writing we have. Major writers–from Byron to Casanova, from Gustave Flaubert to Graham Greene, Henry Miller to André Gide, and from Christopher Isherwood to Isabelle Eberhardt–experimented sexually when traveling, often finding themselves willing and able to surrender to the moment in a way they could not at home. In the pursuit of pleasure or adventure, or simply another kind of experience, these writers expanded their knowledge of the countries and societies in which they found themselves. Sometimes they fell in love, sometimes not, but their erotic encounters irrevocably colored their perceptions of abroad forever.

This rich material, arranged by region, makes for exhilarating reading. The travel writer, novelist, and critic Lucretia Stewart has gathered the best writing in the field, from travel literature, diaries, memoirs, autobiographies, and letters. The landscape is remarkably diverse: from Hemingway’s Paris in the 1920s to Paul Theroux’s extraordinarily visceral depiction of an African leper village to Paul Gauguin’s quiet sojourn in an undeveloped Tahiti to Geoff Dyer’s wistful contemplation of a hippie beach in Mexico to Aimée Crocker’s orgasmic experience with a Chinese violinist in Shanghai. All the while, we are caught up in the moment, mesmerized by the articulate, penetrating, and arresting glimpses of the world that these writers have shown us. This is a witty, incisive, erotic, and totally original collection.

Read Aimée Crocker’s story included in this book

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