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Anita Pallenberg remembered by Marianne Faithfull | Music | The Guardian

4 Minute Read

Talking about Anita is something I have to do. I don’t want who she really was to be forgotten. People think of her in one way – a 60s muse, all that shit – but she was so much more than that. A really talented artist, a great actor, intelligent, funny, thoughtful, fearless… she truly didn’t give a fuck what anybody thought of her. I was desolate when she died. Until she got very ill, we spoke on the phone most days. I don’t want to sound sentimental or sappy, she’s worth more than that. She was so important to me.To be Keith's moll was not necessarily her destiny at all. She was a really talented artistI don’t think we’d ever have become friends if it wasn’t for Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards, who became Pallenberg’s boyfriend after she dated another Rolling Stone, Brian Jones].

We weren’t naturally meant for each other, really, but because the boys were so close at the time, and spent so much time in the studio, it threw me and Anita together. We also took a lot of drugs.We had very different personalities. Anita was really sophisticated and elegant, all that, and she was very good for me on that level, as I was a bit hopeless. She would put me together, tell me what to wear, get me to look right. I’d give her books, and she’d like that. She was four years older than me – I was much more vulnerable than her. When I say she never cared what anyone said, thought or wrote about her, it wasn’t that she talked about it – it was almost if all that stuff didn’t exist. I was always so jealous of her being able to do that.

Anita was really well educated. She spoke five languages, and was a really good artist in her own right. She could have done a lot of other things – to be Keith’s moll was not necessarily her destiny at all. Keith is a very old-fashioned macho guy, who when he’s in love with a woman, wants her to be completely focused on him. I’m not putting that down – it’s just how it is. Anita rebelled a bit, of course. She did Barbarella when he told her not to. She did Performance when he told her not to [laughs] – for obvious reasons! But I have to say that taking drugs does not help your work. Don’t get me wrong, we had some wonderful times – like I remember being with Anita, Mick and Keith, [rock photographer] Michael Cooper, [art dealer] Robert Fraser, going down to Stonehenge and taking lots of acid. That was wonderful. But drugs blocked her, as they did me.

Anita started doing all the things she could have done after stopping the drugs. This was many years later. She did a fashion degree [at Central Saint Martins, London, in the early 1990s]. She started to paint again and did some wonderful watercolours – I’ve got a lot here. She did botanical drawing classes, and she was a wonderful gardener. She liked nothing better than doing the gardens for her kids. And her children [with Keith Richards] are wonderful people – her son, Marlon, his wife, Lucy, and Angela.

They were incredibly kind to me after she died, phoning me up, really making sure I felt like part of the family. Children of famous people aren’t always like that, I tell you. They had very difficult times. We all did – Anita could be a difficult woman, and I don’t want to idealise her. But once she got clean, things were so much better.Her getting ill was terrible bad luck. She got diabetes first of all, and when she was diagnosed, her nose was in the air about it. “I’m going to cure myself with diet!” she said. If only I’d said, “Are you out of your fucking mind, you nitwit!” If you don’t treat diabetes with insulin, it goes to your whole nervous system. She’d get things her body should have been able to ward off. Then she had to give in, of course, and she found it hard to inject. To be clean and have to take a drug was tough for her.I do wonder how her life would have been different, of course, but come on, she had a wonderful life.

I miss calling her up about a lyric, and her always saying something brilliant. I miss her more than I can tell you. Every morning, when I wake up, I read a poem that makes me think about her, Sara Teasdale’s There Will Be Stars. It speaks to me so much about her [reads]: “There will be stars over the place forever, though the house we loved and the street we loved are lost… there will be stars forever, while we sleep.” That’s Anita to me.

Read the full story here: Anita Pallenberg remembered by Marianne Faithfull | Music | The Guardian

Women over 50 see sexual harassment very differently than millennials – Mashable UK

5 Minute Read

Somewhere between the main course and dessert at a dinner party, I became aware of a colossal chasm in the way my generation and my parents' generation perceive sexual harassment. It was during a recent trip to my parents' home in rural Warwickshire, England, that I found myself embroiled in conversations about sexual harassment and sexual correctness with women over the age of 50.


Read the full story here: Mashable UK

Penelope Cruz hates ageing questions |

2 Minute Read

The 43-year-old actress - who has son Leo, six, and daughter Luna, four, with her husband Javier Bardem - has said she is sick and tired of being asked questions about ageing in Hollywood, and admits she no longer answers questions on the topic, as she thinks its "crazy".

She said: "Journalists have been asking me, since I was, like, 22, 'Are you afraid of aging?' That is such a crazy question for a 22-year-old girl or, for that matter, for a 42 year old. I combat that craziness by refusing to answer the question.

"When it comes to talking about ageing as an actress, I feel like, 'What the f**k? I'm not going to give you even two minutes to honour your question. It doesn't deserve that.'"

Source: Penelope Cruz hates ageing questions |

The Emancipation of the MILF | The Cut

19 Minute Read

Does sexual freedom belong only to the young? Claire Dederer doesn’t think so. About six years ago, Claire Dederer realized she had a problem. The problem had to do with sex. It had to do with desire. It had to do with being a middle-aged wife and mother and needing and wanting to be seen and known by new people in a new way, maybe even by people she didn’t particularly like or love or respect all that much. Her problem had something to do with sex but didn’t stop there. It assaulted her notions of what it meant to be a grown-up woman in the world and wanting to have romantic encounters with men who were not her husband. She loved her husband. Obviously, she loved her children, her family, the life they had built together. And at the same time, a part of her wanted to step outside the boundary of the polite, middle-class domestic life they’d drawn around themselves. Or, to put it more crudely, she wanted to fuck around.

Read the full story here: The Emancipation of the MILF

A Feminist Arrives in Nakedland

1 Minute Read

I casually mentioned to people that I was going to Cap d’Agde this September. Most of my friends didn’t know where that was or what it was and I would just tell them it was “the south of France on the Mediterranean.” But those that did know were surprised that I was going to a nudist town where you could be naked 24/7, even in the supermarket.

You see, I’m a native New Yorker and an old-school feminist in my 50s. Though I write and publish erotica (currently working on the novella Two Dukes are Better than One), most of my friends and colleagues are completely unaware that I’m a nudist. And somehow they think it does not go hand in hand with being a feminist.

I would have thought that too – when I was much younger.

I came to nudism in mid-life in a round about way. As a literary agent, I found myself representing the memoirs and fiction of porn stars, all of whom spent large parts of their days naked in public. When the editor of the science fiction imprint at one of New York’s large publishing houses invited me to a naked dinner party in a Manhattan restaurant, I asked every female friend I had if they would accompany me, and not a single one said ‘yes’. So I asked the mother of one of my son’s classmates, who was also recently divorced, and we bonded over this bizarre opportunity to expose ourselves.

I was very nervous about going naked in public, even though it was in fact being seated in a restaurant. I told the host that it was possible that I would walk in, disrobe, and immediately run out. He told me I would feel completely conformable in a matter of minutes. I didn’t believe him. Then he asked me if I was an “at home” nudist, meaning someone who took her clothes off as soon as she got home, and the answer was ‘yes’. I often write naked. I live on the 18th floor overlooking the Hudson, so no one can see me.

It turned out that I really liked being naked within this group.

I realized that I was completely unused to seeing the naked human body over about age 25 (unless I was looking in the mirror or was with a lover). As a culture, we just don’t see naked men’s and women’s bodies as we age.

Most of the members of this naked dinner group were over 40, so I was on the younger side. They were also mostly male.

I liked that.

I liked that this was an opportunity to ogle the naked male body in a casual setting, while drinking wine and discussing books or politics. And I liked the fact that they were seeing me in all of my real-life, un-airbrushed, middle-aged voluptuousness.

I also liked being able to see the bodies of the other women, some as old as 70, so I knew what I had to look forward to. I was truly amazed at how beautiful we all were.

Being naked together - meant we knew nothing about each other before we spoke. It made us all surprisingly equal, and, as a feminist, that was empowering for me.

I found myself gravitating to the nudist communities in New York. I visited the Light House Beach on Long Island (no longer there after Hurricane Sandy) where there were cook-outs and all day-long parties. And the naturist beach at Sandy Hook in New Jersey, where it was actually legal to drink on the beach (I brought chilled white wine).

The nudist dinner group disbanded, but I was lucky enough to date a fellow nudist who took me on a nude cruise to the Bahamas, Jamaica, Honduras and the Cayman Islands. In addition to lounging on beautiful Caribbean beaches naked, we also had the opportunity to eat our meals naked. It was a carefree delight and I genuinely resented getting dressed when the trip was over.

So with all that background information, it should be no surprise that when the opportunity to stay in the naturist town presented itself, I jumped at the chance, because in addition to being a nudist, I am also a Francophile. So this was a trip to be naked on the beach and eat fabulous French food while drinking amazingly good and cheap French wine. What’s not to love?

We flew over from London on Ryanair, a discount air carrier that made the trip extremely affordable. I was going with the original mother of my son’s classmate (now a decade of nude meals and beaches later), and an author who I had befriended in the naked saunas of New York City’s Spa Castle, a giant Korean water retreat in Queens, where segregated same-sex nudity is practiced in relaxing heated pools. We rented a flat for four nights, and were in France by mid-afternoon.

Packing for this trip was a breeze. Only sun tan lotion and sarongs, and some clothing to wear at night while we shopped in the many stores that offered everything from Wonder Woman-like art armor to G-strings and thigh high boots.

It was mid-September, so it was an off-season, and there were no families with school-age children. This nudist town is actually a vacation retreat for European nudist families. I was thankful to avoid the possible run in with naked kids.

To our great good fortune, the weather was still warm, and the ocean was calm and warm enough to swim in. We ate delicious French meals in a restaurant overlooking the sea – croque monsieur, seafood salads, and steak frites. All naked.

And then we shopped in the locale grocery stores for pate, olives, meats and cheeses, stark raving naked. At first it seemed extraordinary. By the end of the week, it felt like I had been doing it my entire life.

Now there is a part of Cap d’Agde that is adults only. It’s a section of the beach where naked people express their ‘love’ for each other, and themselves, openly. You can just stroll by and see what’s going on. No one bats an eye.

Also some of the apartment complexes have adult-friendly nightlife and shopping offering sexy clothing and sex toys. There’s always an interesting parade of women (the men NEVER dress up) in equally interesting but awkward clothing that you can tell was recently purchased.

Everyone is completely free to express themselves in a way that is just nonexistent anywhere else.

I’ll be going back to Cap d’Agde. It’s a place where I fit in, in all my nakedness, because everyone just lets it hang loose.

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