In 2015, I set off on a 3,497-mile trip across America to rebuild my orgasm from the ground up. What started as a quest for the ultimate auto-erotic experience became a fantastic voyage into my own body.
My experiences took in a ‘masturbation master class’ in New York with the legendary 1970s feminist Betty Dodson, a weekend with the first African American Surgeon General, Joycelyn Elders, who was fired by Bill Clinton for suggesting that solo sex should be talked about in schools and an amusing encounter in Texas with Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe. Along the way, I was immersed in a countercultural America of marijuana lollipops, alien pleasure cults and ‘Eco sexual’ sexologists.
The resulting memoir, Sex Drive: On The Road To A Pleasure Revolution, described by the London Times as “Frank and Funny,”is about desire and pleasure and loss, merging sexuality and spirituality, eighteenth-century erotica and Enlightenment philosophy. It explores female sexuality in an honest way and welcomes a new wave of sex-positive feminism into the twenty-first century.
As well as reading from some of the juicier sections of Sex Drive, I will be sharing some of the secrets I learned about masturbation – from “fast food” masturbation to the many mind-blowing “gourmet” varieties. We’ll end a fun evening by playing “Solo Sex Bingo,” an amusing and anonymous game where we learn about each other’s clumsy, funny and poignant entrées into solo sexuality as children as well as listening into some of the idiosyncratic fantasies we all have as adults to accompany our bedroom private time.
Stephanie Theobald is a novelist, journalist and broadcaster known for her playful and thoughtful work around sexuality and alternative feminism. The former society editor of Harper’s Bazaar is the author of four novels and writes regularly for the Guardian, the Sunday Times and Elle. Her new book, Sex Drive: On The Road To A Pleasure Revolution explores female sexuality in an honest way and has been described as “frank and funny” by the Times of London and “Eat Pray Love meets Thelma and Louise” by the Observer. Oscar-winning actress and writer Emma Thompson has urged the curious to “read it and quiver!"