Books

Tales from the Boudoir

Betony Vernon by Ali Madhavi. Courtesy of Rizzoli

Betony
Vernon by Ali Madhavi. Courtesy of Rizzoli

Amongst the daily blogs and fashion sites I trawl through — sifting through comments that liken a printed onesie to an old master, or oversized peacoats to a buttered crepe — I came across something new and titillating from a designer by whom I’ve long been fascinated.

American-born, Paris-based erotic jewellery designer, sexual anthropologist, and sexual consultant Betony Vernon, has come up with a saucy little book that’s
bound to be a bedside table favourite. Vernon – all red locks and lips, part Pre-Raphaelite muse, part seductress Salome – is the perfect ambassador for her own designs and her comprehensive tome.

She has created jewellery for a number of design houses, including Missoni, Gianfranco Ferre, and Fornasetti before branching out on her own in 2001 to create her collections of fine erotic jewels and tools. There is nary a rubber gimp mask and surgical anal speculum device to be found amongst her designs. Her pieces are less de Sadean torture dungeon and more what she calls ‘Sado-Chic’– sleek, well crafted jewellery that doubles as pleasure ‘tools’. Having previously held workshops on the art of sexual pleasure, Vernon now shows you the ropes with a twenty-first century take on sexuality.

‘The Boudoir Bible: The Uninhibited Sex Guide for Today’ aims to peel away some of the taboos of pleasure, remove shame and guilt, and empower readers to experiment with more
‘unconventional’ practices. Beautifully illustrated by renowned artist Francois Berthoud, the book looks at the fears and cliches that hold people back from exploring their sexual and sensual potential, with chapters on flagellation, rope bondage, tickling, and restraints. “By revealing the secrets of the Sexual Ceremony,” states Olivier Zahm, editor-in-chief of Purple magazine, “she turns what most people consider fetish, perversion, and kink into an intimate science and joyful self-expression.”

It’s the modern day ‘The Joy of Sex’ for the post-noughties. Pick up a copy and surprise your lover with a fun night in.

‘The Boudoir Bible: The Uninhibited Sex Guide for Today’, by Betony Vernon, Rizzoli New York, 2013.

Illustrations by
Francois Berthoud. All images courtesy of Rizzoli

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