Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Sex toy review

I’m introducing a new feature thanks to the kind folks at sextoy.com: weekly reviews. I had initially thought that this might be a good way to meet my goal of financing a cup of coffee quarterly through the use of affiliate links on my blog. However, I actually am impressed with sextoy.com. Their review coordinator, online store, and shipping division all seem incredibly organized and timely; they have a solid variety of toys and books; and they manage to make room for both romantic distractions and hard-core S&M.

This week I’m reviewing a lovely art book: Let Them Eat Cheesecake, the Art of Olivia. This is a hardcover, full color, book of fetish/erotica illustrations by Olivia De Berardinis, with an introduction my Hugh Hefner. Olivia worked, perhaps most famously, for Playboy magazine, but certain images in this book can be recognized from other contexts such as posters and gift cards.

The book features a collection of Olivia’s work from the 80s and early 90s. The style is both distinctive and reminiscent of 1980s punk aesthetic complete with neon colors and big hair. Some images featuring extensive tattoos, animal print skin, and dramatic manes reminded me of the covers of paperback science fiction fantasy novels targeted toward adolescent boys. Others feature classic pinups complete with vintage lingerie. My favorite element of Olivia’s style, however, is her detailed and highly realistic rendering of shear fabric and the nuances of the female form. Skin-tight outfits flirt with optical illusions making the viewer wonder if it is in fact clothing or tattoo. And just when you think you have learned to spot the subtle differences, Olivia throws some truly fantastical images into the mix that cross the line from body art to mystical creature.

My complaint about this book is that a lot of the imagery had a very strong 80s look to it. Not surprising given the period during which these images were produced, but big hair just isn’t sexy anymore. The pin-ups made up for it though, and the retrospective is interesting.  It would be more interesting to me though, if images were organized in historical order so that the evolution of Olivia’s work was more evident.

This book would make a great gift. Provocative without being explicit, it provides just enough plausible deniability to be a good display item and conversation starter. The images come from a collection of drawings, paintings, water colors and pastels showcasing a wide range of rendering techniques, and are accompanied by technique notes and artist’s comments.

Feel free to take a look at the Sex Toy Store, and book section, or go directly to Let Them Eat Cheesecake. Yay sex toys!

Written by kinkinexile

December 5, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Posted in product review

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