Category Archives: Uncategorized

Photo Lust: Witchy Women

I am loving this witchy editorial shot by photog Tim Bret Day. Part Salem Witch Trial, part rock n’ roll, and heavy on the sex appeal, this shot really embodies the juxtaposition of darkness and light, the contrast of masculine and feminine, and the fascination-repulsion contradiction of sex in modern American culture. What are your thoughts?

Photo of the Week: Lara Stone for French Playboy


The amazing Lara Stone, image courtesy of French Playboy



Image courtesy of French Playboy.


Maximize Your Morning

Image courtesy of Jean Vallette

Here’s an informative (and fun!) article from Women’s Health Magazine that not only promotes morning sex but also gives some pretty cool tips that I, myself have never tried. The powers of menthol, anyone?

Have a wild romp in the sheets pre-work and enjoy the sexy skip in your step all day. Remember, not only is sex a morale booster but this article also claims that it helps to boost overall happiness and immunity. Don’t hit the snooze button tomorrow morning—tap that ass instead!

Memory Tapes: Best Make Out Music–Ever!

Make out music genius: Memory Tapes' Dayve Hawk

While Venus in Heels might be a relationship-centric blog, I think that there is a total intersect between music and love. I mean, c’mon! Most of the tunes that dominate the airwaves —or your headphones—are sonic tales of love, lust, loneliness, and desire. That said, I figured I’d use this opportunity to turn you on to one of my current favorite artists: Memory Tapes.

This dreamy project is the brainchild of reclusive New Jersey-based multi-instrumentalist Dayve Hawk, who has a knack for creating nostalgic dreamscapes with languid beats, wistful guitar strums, and layered synth tones that are simultaneously  beautiful and achingly melancholy. Since first hearing Hawk’s ethereal tracks late last year I haven’t been able to stop listening. Memory Tapes’ arresting debut Seek Magic consists of eight delicate yet dynamic tracks that bleed seamlessly into the next, making for a different kind of listening experience—one which can easily feel like a transcendent musical haze. rather than a typical headphone sesh. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve idiotically missed my subway stop while being fully immersed in this album.

Memory Tapes is not only a great listen, but it’s even better make out music. There’s something inherently romantic in the drowsy keyboards and heartbeat-like percussion, and the lyrical content on songs like “Bicycle,” which recalls a tender yet naive coupling. If you’re searching for some new music to lock lips to, or just something to rock out to, why not try Memory Tapes on for size.

What’s the Temperature of Your Sex Life?

Photo by Diane Arbus

It goes without saying that sex is an integral part of any healthy relationship. But after watching this week’s intimacy-themed episode of Tough Love Couples on VH1, I was completely blown away by how many people (on the show and beyond) are dissatisfied with the all-important sexual component of their partnerships. Some of the couples never have sex (one boyfriend described his sex life as “ice cold”), and one very unlucky woman has never experienced an orgasm—which is not surprising seeing as recent studies report that around 10% of women have never had one. The bottom line: when the sex isn’t working there’s definitely larger issues at hand.

The sex-related problems of these televised twosomes range from trust issues and infidelity to communication and the understanding of each other’s unique desires, but something that struck me as odd was the fact that the couple dubbed the “Dramaramas,” who notoriously fight dirty, were the pair with the most successful sex life. Funnily enough, my boyfriend and I thought that comical title would be most apt for our own love story. While we are both lovers, we are also fighters, but this seems more like a personality thing rather than a fatal flaw—if you ask anyone they’d describe both of us as opinionated hot heads.

"Tough Love Couples" cast members, courtesy of VH1

In some cases though, frequent verbal sparring might be covering up for something lacking in the bedroom—I am always telling people that if I’m not fucking, I’m fighting—or it’s an indication that perhaps the romance is over and it’s time to move on. But honestly, I am really convinced that a healthy dose of conflict helps to keep you interested. Love and hate are so closely linked, and when you get your tempers enflamed it’s hard not to get all fired up, if you know what I mean. They didn’t call it “hate sex” for nothing.

While fighting isn’t a solution by any means, it is a good gauge for seeing the dynamics of a relationship. It forces you to ask questions like, “is there enough fire here to maintain this?” and “what exactly is the glue that’s holding us together?” If there’s still love and attraction between a couple the conflict most likely stems from sexual tension—I know this from experience. And, in reality, if I find myself in a situation with someone where all we do is fight and everything about them annoys me (which seems like the case with the couples on the show) then it’s obvious that there’s nothing left but animosity between us.

I did find myself in this situation with my ex-boyfriend of three-years. It became apparent that I was using him as a placeholder until I could come up with a better plan, or find a better man. It got to the point where the thought of having sex with him would literally turn my stomach (why did he always smell like sweaty balls?), and we would maybe see each other once a week for an awkward dinner outing and a chaste goodbye kiss in his car. When I finally broke it off with him, he was so blindsided it was painful for me to watch, but ultimately I knew that neither of us were growing or moving forward and I, myself, was far from happy.

I guess what I am really trying to say is that I think everyone benefits from taking action. Whether this means taking positive action and making an effort to love and respect your partner in a way that will make you both happier, learning to communicate what you both want so you will spend more time satisfied in the sack than fighting it out verbally, or to stand up and address what you truly want and need and if your needs aren’t being met then leave, dammit! It’s like what a wise man once told me, it’s better to be alone and happy then with someone and miserable

Photo of the Week: Girl on the Motorcycle Redux

"Girl on the Motorcycle" redux. Image courtesy of Jacques Magazine

Highways and Bi-ways, Part I

Girl-centric photography courtesy of Helmut Newton

If you were to ask me my sexual preference, my immediate reaction is that I’m straight. I have always envisioned spending my life with a male companion, having children in the traditional—but non-suburban—fashion, and getting old with a partner who will most likely need to pop a few little blue pills to get his ya-ya’s out. But underneath my straight girl exterior is a steaming libido for the tender touch of a woman. I would never deem myself a full-time—or even part-time—dweller of the Island of Lesbos, but I have had my girl-on-girl moments that, to me, felt far more serious than some people’s bullshit Liberal Arts college experimentation or feigned fantasies about lip-locking and cherry lip gloss.

In my wild high school days, I was always stealing kisses from girls. But not in the misogynist-centric Girls Gone Wild sense. It was never for shock value, or to say I did it, or to carve another notch on my proverbial bedpost. I have always acted on instinct, and what feels good to me at the time—an urge that has given me many colorful experiences, but has also caused me to hurt people and made me question whether I was living my life selfishly. But, as they say, no regrets. It’s all just free love, right?

In college I met Aja.* We were fast friends at the lame fashion school we both attended in downtown San Francisco. She was a half-Jamaican, half-Filipino firecracker with a pervy older boyfriend, and an energy that just made me feel warm whenever I was around her. While everything seemed very innocent at first, soon she was showing me explicit photos of her and her boyfriend’s raunchy sexcapades—cum shots, amateur blow job photography, and penetration snaps that would make even the jaundiced editors of Penthouse magazine blush. While I was majorly turned off by the very female-unfriendly subject matter of the photos, and the up-close-and-personal angles of my newfound friends, Aja was always a great friend and clothing construction mentor, who would help me sew and draft patterns when my extreme dyslexia took over.

One night everything changed. It was the evening before Easter Sunday, and she wanted to come over to give me a brand new sewing machine and help me with my sewing homework. I think we had to make a vomit-worthy poet blouse and I was getting stuck on the gathered Shakespearian-like sleeves. She arrived at my house in a circle skirt and cropped sweater, all of which she had made and altered herself. She wasn’t wearing underwear. We quickly got to setting up the machine and sewing my blouse. Afterwards we rewarded ourselves with a joint out on the back porch. I began to sense something in the air, like the thick tension when two dogs are about to fight or when firecrackers ignite in the muggy summer night sky. There was a perceptible shift, and it felt imbued with heavy masculine energy.

Photo courtesy of Photo Forum

Once inside she pounced on me. I was surprised but part of me just intuitively knew she wanted me. Aja was not a gentle or experienced lover of women. So accustomed to pleasing her porn-obsessed boyfriend, her touch was rough and her jabbing motions were incongruent with my soft form. Since I knew I wouldn’t find pleasure at her hands, I took over. I figured that if I knew what I wanted I could translate that to her unique urges and then guide myself from there.

In my experiences with men, I find great satisfaction in taking on the roll of the pleaser. But with women I find it to be an otherworldly thrill that moves my body in ways that I had never even fathomed. Watching her get-off was something I had never experienced with men. Their selfish whimpering at climax, and hair-grabbing moves never do much for me, whereas the giving-and-getting of pleasure with women is a mutual treat that has a different ebb and flow that is more wave-like and less like a rocket launcher.

Aja and I spent a few more warm spring nights discovering each other’s bodies and staying up all night laughing. I cut her off when she mentioned that her slime ball boyfriend wanted to join in our innocent fun. I didn’t want his grubby paws anywhere near me or my newly discovered sexual identity and autonomy. I think that is also the reason why I come back to—or dream of—being with women: there is so much inherent power and magic in finding arousal without the presence or aid of a man. And while Aja fucked like a man, she was all woman.

* Names have been changed.

Threesome, Anyone?

Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg in the movie "Performance" indulging in a little group fun.

Super Sexy Tip of the Week

Maggie Gyllenhaal, courtesy of Agent Provocateur

With Mercury in Retrograde until May 11 it seems like everything that can go wrong most definitely will. Volcano, anyone? If you’re having a long string of bad days, try mixing things up by wearing your best lingerie on a banal-seeming weekday. Donning a little Agent Provocateur under your business casual will spice up your workday (how can your spirits not be lifted when wearing seductive underpinnings?) and it will also help get you in the mood for an inspired mid-week romp in the sheets. Consider this the antidote to your mid-week sex slump and a cure for the Retrograde blues!

Strangers On A Train: Hungry Looks From Married Men, A True Story


As many of you know, although I am unmarried, I wear a stacking of rings on my left ring finger—yeah, you know that finger. I can’t recall why I first slid them on, but the rings have been a sort of a metaphorical place holder for the past 3-or-so-years. To be quite honest, I have spent the last four years in two different relationships so I have been technically “taken” just not exactly married off in the big white dress amongst swans, a violinist, and members of my family I wish I didn’t have to invite. I also liked the feeling of being in a different category, and in that way inaccessible to men whereas in the past I felt like the male attention aimed at me made it seem like I was somehow too available. I liked the feeling of being mysterious, unattainable, and in a sense safe from looks, advances, and the daily douchebag encounter—or so I thought.

This brings me to the topic of today’s post: Married Subway Sneaks. Feeling joyously free from a lot of the unnecessary attention I used to get from random men, these days I sit quite confidently and relaxed on the subway—well, unless there are creepy peeps or crackheads making a racket or acting psychotic. On one of these typically peaceful subway rides whilst listening to my iPod at full blast I started to feel that unmistakable wolf stare, you know that hungry look that strangers give you on public transportation to let you know that they’re interested? As I gradually looked up to see whose radar was on me, I was shocked to notice that it wasn’t a sleazy construction worker teeming with testosterone, nor was it an aggressive baby thug full of feigned bravado. Nope, it was a quintessentially normal married dude in jeans, sneakers, and a blazer whose insatiable gaze had disturbed my once-peaceful subway ride into Manhattan. When I got off at Chambers Street I could still feel him watching me walk away, his eyes burning a hole into my ruffled mini dress, his visual appetite pulling the zipper down.

Once I noticed this married F-Train Romeo stealing glances at me I began to see that this wasn’t a one-off encounter. The closer I paid attention, the more I realized that myriad married men were looking at me on the subway. All types of hitched former bachelors were making eye advances at me. Was there an unspoken agreement between spoken-for urbanites that I wasn’t privy to? Was this a worldwide phenom, or just a New York thing? Does this happen to other ring-wearers fully immersed in the married life or was I merely an easy target because I haven’t truly crossed over to the other side yet? Whatever the case, I felt like I had definitely tapped into a secret world of stolen subway glances between outwardly coupled parties and it made me wonder why it feels strangely safe and OK for these men to express interest and attraction to someone else in their same marital status. Does it somehow make it right to eye-stalk someone who is also skirting the line of adultery?