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The Sexual Life of Catherine M de Catherine…

The Sexual Life of Catherine M (original: 2001; edição: 2003)

de Catherine Millet

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1,2982811,150 (2.65)17
A window into a life of insatiable desire and uninhibited sex - this is Parisian art critic Catherine M.'s account of her sexual awakening and her unrestrained pursuit of pleasure. From the glamorous singles clubs of Paris to the Bois de Boulogne, she describes her erotic experiences in precise and beautiful detail. A phenomenal bestseller throughout Europe, The Sexual Life of Catherine M., like Fifty Shades of Grey, breaks with accepted ideas of sex and examines many alternative manifestations of desire. Told in spare, elegant prose, her story will shock, enlighten and liberate you.… (mais)
Título:The Sexual Life of Catherine M
Autores:Catherine Millet
Informação:Corgi Books (2003), Paperback, 224 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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The Sexual Life of Catherine M. de Catherine Millet (2001)


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Catherine Millet, una figura de gran prestigio en el ámbito de la estética, autora de ensayos y monografías sobre artistas contemporáneos, decidió explicar su intensa y tumultuosa vida sexual, con una crudeza y una claridad absolutamente inesperadas. El resultado es sin duda, uno de los libros más audaces y sorprendentes de la literatura francesa en el terreno de la tradición erótica. Y, desde luego, uno de los que ha causado mayor expectación.
  GermanRestrepo | Nov 12, 2020 |
Imagine a person who is a gourmand, obsessed with food. They note every single ingredient in every dish, how they were mixed together and how that felt. Then every detail about how those ingredients were cooked and what it smelt like, what it tasted like, what it felt like to eat it and then what it felt like after the meal too. Now imagine that person is also a glutton.

Now substitute food for sex and you have the thread of this book. There is so much descriptive graphic sex in this book that it stood up on its own on the bedside table.

Sounds sleazy I guess but let me assure you that it is anything but. It is really well written and perceptive and engaging. You won't learn any new tricks from this book but you will recognise some honesty and let's face it, honesty about sex is pretty damn rare.

If you are caught up in morality, or even worse sexual politics, you will find much to feed your prejudices here. In fact there is so much to object to here that the church has had to employ eunuchs to read it, not me though!

I once read a very long article by the food critic, A.A. Gill. The article wasn't about food but it was about him going to LA to make a porn film with the industry professionals. Never a man to be afraid to take a wrong step it too was a revelation about the reality and the sheer physical endurance of those he worked with. He described them as athletes. To make a parallel from there to this book is no great step. This woman was gifted at the kind of sex she enjoyed.

Initially there was some much sex that I actually got splashed while reading it. But after a while the sex just fades away and her voice becomes much clearer and a clear voice it is too. I was touched by her bravery and her honesty.

Give how "weirded up" sex is in the media is really surprised me that such a book exists at all. You now what I mean, advertising is full of sex but you wont see and nipples and if anyone actually lets them slip, why, the entire media has a collective ejaculation about it.

This book is a real breath of fresh air and I guess you could say that it is one woman's way of normalising something that has long since ceased being normal and she did that by a most unusual form of sex to boot. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |

Please note due to issues with space the start of this, the first 23 days are here: http://www.goodreads.com/story/show/55807?chapter=2

Day 24 I’ve been trying to work out how to describe my latest knitwear creation. Just imagine you were getting too much. Honestly, way too much. You can’t wake up in the morning or walk down the street for lunch without somebody wanting it. So you put on this jumper and I’m buggered if I understand what happens next. Something to do with quantum physics, at any rate. You are size 6 or so, you put on this jumper and voila. You are an enormous, completely shapeless blob. In the movies this wouldn’t happen. Somehow everybody would know the truth of what was underneath this jumper.

But this, as Detective-Constable Luke would say, is real life. Nobody wants to have sex with you who sees you in this jumper. Even people who know for a certain fact what is underneath this jumper, perhaps because they personally gave it a close examination no more than just before you put it on, do not want to sex you. Even people who have no more than a genetic memory of their neanderthal ancestors seeing you in this jumper do not want to fuck you. If you ever want this to be the case, drop me a line. I will rent you my jumper.

Well, all yesterday I was trying to figure what the bright side of this thing is. I have it on right now, just to ward off the cat who has taken an inordinate liking to me. She hasn’t actually suggested consumating our relationship, but….

Day 25 So, I wake up yesterday morning in bed with a rather nice looking erection. Not mine, it was just next to me. It’s warm enough that we are bare and it is hard not to notice. Unfortunately I’ve become a bit of a scientist over the last year or so…so instead of just hopping right on it, which would normally be my wont, I felt duty bound to conduct a small experiment.

You remember the jumper I was talking about yesterday. I couldn’t help it. I said ‘just hang on for a moment, I want to show you something’. And I raced off, slipped on the jumper and came back. I was half way through asking ‘Do you like it?’ when – Oh my God!! ‘Where’s it gone?’ I asked, looking at where it had been just a moment ago. ‘Where’s what gone?’ he asked, looking down at - ? Exactly. My jumper had made a penis disappear. Not just an erection, a whole penis had left the room. I’m thinking of advertising for volunteers. Imagine you could find the penis who could stand up to this jumper, laugh at it like it was Leonard Cohen looking down the abyss, and carry on doing its thing. Imagine what a fine thing that would be. I think I woke up then. I don’t want to call this a nightmare because it had a very nice penis in it, but.

Day 26 So I’m walking down a rather dodgy street yesterday, and a man jumps out from an even grottier looking side street and says ‘Come with me’, beckoning behind him. I should have scurried on, head down, but I don’t seem to be made like that. I stopped and looked questioningly. ‘Come with me to that phone box,’ he said, pointing, and to round off this invitation – which sounded more like a command – he said ‘I am Russian,’ as if that were a complete explanation of the situation. Well…some of you will know that Polish men on the wrong side of middle-aged, corpulent in ill-fitting suits make me weak at the knees and here was a Russian…the next best thing. I managed to keep my clothes on, but I trotted off after him, we entered the phone box and he said ‘I have card’. I was about to say ‘Sorry, mate, I’m strictly cash only’ when he pulled it out – his card, girls, his card…I’d like to pop a penis into this story, but in all conscience… – and ah. Of course. The light bulb did that extra little twist, connection is made with the socket. A phone card. He somehow thinks being Russian and illiterate in English is a disadvantage in a public phone box. I hated to disavow him of this idea, but.

God. When was the last time I was in a phone box? And why? If not to have sex, then surely at the very least to organise it. I have no idea how phone boxes work, let alone ones that don’t take money. Still, let me see…if we slot this in here and then push these - soon enough he was happily talking away in Russian and I was dismissed with a small wave of the hand.

Oh. So that’s it? Somehow I expected more of an encounter with a strange man in a phone box.

Day 27 There are all these days lately where humour is lost in a wasteland of how things really are. I'm sorry.

Days where you simply see things with straighforward clarity. I take it all back about the jumper, it was most unchivalrous. There is nothing about me that anybody would want to come near with a barge pole. I'd be better off with any other body in the world. Pop another brain in it and I could even become a human being. I am unfuckable. Which at least means I can wear the jumper and not feel like I'm damaging my chances. I have none.

Day 28

It so happens that my best ideas often make people laugh. And that my being sad does too. So, I’m in a clothes shop earlier and I pick out a large shapeless green T-shirt to try on and ask my friend Heather what she thinks of it. ‘Great, if you are giving it to a man.’

I end up in the changeroom with the thing I want and the things other people want me to try on. The green T-shirt first, which is a large and I am an extra-small. I come out, look in the mirror and sum it up: ‘It says I don’t even try to get sex any more. I’ve given in.’ For some reason everybody in the shop laughs. I have this absolute compulsion to want to look sexy in oversized men’s clothes. Other girls look gorgeous in men’s shirts. Why can’t I????

So then I try on this dress Heather has said will look great on me. It’s empire-line, so you know, how on earth anybody could possibly think of giving it to a short girl with tits is beyond me…I come out, look in the mirror and observe ‘It makes me look like I’m pregnant without the advantage of having had sex first.’ Honestly. Shop cracks up. Lady comes out of the booth opposite to apologise for laughing in the closet. ‘Well, it does. Look at me…’ And this is really true, I was even standing in that way pregnant women and really tall skinny men stand on a backward slant. ‘See?’ I said rubbing my pregnant stomach. ‘I can’t even stand up straight in it.’ ‘You do not look pregnant.’ I’m told. ‘You look cute.’

I was so depressed I bought the maternity dress, a skirt and two tops. NOT the I-don’t-want-sex one…I just haven’t quite given up hope yet. Now I’m trying to decide if I want a boy or a girl and what I’m going to call it. Just in case. I mean probably I’m not pregnant….


Day 29 Remember the anti-sex-penis-disappearing jumper? Well, I've done a deal. I've managed to give it away. It's a story involving a dildo, a packet of strawberry cake mix and an Elvis Presley movie. I can't say more, I promised not to, but suffice to say that everything that ensued was worth it. The jumper is no longer a blemish on my life. It's made me feel like maybe I can get sex after all....I'm hopelessly optimistic, sigh.


Day 30 Earlier this year I saw a friend I hadn't seen since uni days. I lusted after David back then. I mean couldn't look at, smelled lust, desperately hoped it wasn't stamped on my forehead. Surely it dripped off me. He had the body of a labourer, a gravelly voice that sent shivers up your spine and he spoke like a poet. Hey, he was a poet. In lieu of being able to do anything about my terrible lust I organised for my family's publishing business to put out a book of his poetry.

Now he is fat, and I mean really fat and his skin is horrible and, oh, fuck David, I sort of wish I had been left with that memory of a craving that was never satisfied but now no longer wishes to be.


Day 31 So my friend Jane calls me the other day and I ask her what her sex life's like and she says, quick as a flash, 'better than yours' - no, actually, she says 'definitely better than yours' and I think fuck. I'd only asked because she's the one person in the world I can safely consider myself to have a better sex life than. She has four young children, her husband's in gaol, she's working and studying to get a better job. How can she have any sex life at all, let along a good one? Meanwhile, my sex life's completely fucked. Not fucked. Fucked. I don't know. You tell me.

She filled me in and I'm torn between scratching her off my list of friends because she is happy as, and being so, so pleased for her because she's the most gorgeous girl with the best eyes in the world and lips men must desperately want to kiss, and she's brave and inspirational and she deserves every good thing that could happen to her.


Day 32 If I might start off with an apology. Jane, you are totally my best friend again since it turns out this person you've been laying has a dicky heart and is too scared to get excited. I'm truly sorry that your sex life is at least as bad as mine again.


Day 33 Wherein our intrepid scientific researchers explore whether eating way, way too much food puts you off sex. I mean, not 'you'. That's unscientific. I mean 'one'. Or 'Us'. Maybe we can say 'us'. We cannot give you the results yet because we are waiting for the peer review. We apologise for this delay. Our investigation has been thorough and we did achieve statistical significance. But still. We wait. Sorry.


Day 34 I go past the newsagent and buy a packet of chips. Scoff it down. Walking back ten minutes later I buy another packet. 'Trying to fatten myself up', I explained. 'You don't often hear ladies saying that,' he replied. And he continued 'but why do you want to?' I was a bit lost at that. Was it a compliment?? An insult?? I mean, a guy says why do you want to LOSE weight, that's a compliment. What was this? I was wearing this huge shapeless poncho thing Mandy lent me because my jeans are so close to falling off that most of my knickers show. I was never never young enough to see that as a fashion statement. I'm certainly not now. 'Why do I want to?' 'Because I don't have a belt?' Somehow it was a bit of a relief when we got onto how crap the Australian cricket team is.


Day 35 Fuck. Honestly. You just don't expect to open up Bloomberg in the morning and find out your sex life's just become comparatively worse. Yep. My friend Jane's husband is getting out of gaol several years early. I'm happy, okay? OKAY!!!


Day 36 5.30am I’m doing something that is making the cat dribble with the sheer pleasure of it – and yes, I can do it to boys too, but unlike the cat, you get a bib. I can’t help reflecting on what a life the cat has. Pleasure on tap, without any of the human failings that might prevent that for us. There’s no not-in-the-mood, no I-don’t-seem-quite-able-maybe-tomorrow, there’s just cat-wants-cat-gets.

Oh, and should I ever do it to you, please don’t do what the cat did, please don’t dribble in my cup of tea.

Not, ummm…not that I’d be drinking tea while I was...you know....


Day 37 A small South Kensington adventure. One moment you are thinking hamburger and fries for dinner and the next something catches your eye down a little sidestreet. Bookshop. You discover a little French quarter. A couple of French bookshops, crepes, grocery stores, patisseries. And what’s over there? A bakery with a queue of people waiting to get in – it’s raining, it is 5.15pm. All in all it seem improbable. The Hummingbird Bakery. Never heard of it. Look it up. A bit more of America infiltrates. Australia is to come, I guess.

Then I come upon something I’ve really only begun to eat since I came to the UK earlier this year: Moroccan.

Now I’m feeling like you do when you haven’t had enough for a while and suddenly you get too much. I hadn’t eaten a proper meal since breakfast yesterday, I’d been awake all night courtesy of residing in a railway station for the duration. Now I tucked into this:

Traditional moroccan vegetables soup with chickpeas, lentils, tomato, coriander and argan oil, served with
home-made Moroccan Bread

Couscous merguez
Traditional Moroccan fluffy fine couscous, served with lamb spicy sausages, with seasonal vegetables broth, harissa, and
sweet chickpeas.

I would have thought it divine even if I hadn’t been not getting enough. But now….Excuse me while I take my jeans off and lie down for a bit.


Day 38 So I'm sitting in this Moroccan restaurant and while I'm waiting for my food I watch the lady a couple of tables away. She looked like a socialite, slender as one must be, but she was hoeing into a large quantity of food. This was a lady who enjoyed her tucker bigtime - as long as nobody was watching. That somehow doesn't surprise me.

But come getting the bill time she looked at it and said to the waiter 'No, I'm sorry, I'm not paying this. This is a bill for about six people. Look at me. I eat like a bird.' I would have choked on my food if I'd been eating at the time. 'Call the press' I felt like saying. 'The Giant Prehistoric Moa Bird is not extinct after all. Alive and well in South Kensington.'

What the hell. It worked. The poor waiter took the bill away, brought it back and whatever amount it now was the woman was willing to pay it. Yes, in case you are wondering. There were prices on the menu she ordered from.

I know this has nothing to do with sex. Not even to do with not sex. Sorry.


Day 39 I have sex on the brain. I can't help thinking there are better places for it.


Day 40 I’m in the bath, got in a bit early, watching bits of me slowly disappear. Toes, knees, thighs, pubic hair, stomach and –. It occurs to me after a while that breasts are unsinkable. I could have drowned to death in there, breasts would have remained standing tall. Not so much shining beacons as beacons with hard red bits on top. Sailors on planks of wood desperately paddling about the bath looking for salvation would have said to each other ‘Land ahoy’ and as they climb up onto my breasts I hope they have the gratitude to afix their mouths, one apiece to those little hard red bits, and make them happy. While the rest of me drowns.

It’s obvious in hindsight. The Titantic should have been tethered to a large pair of breasts. Then it really would have been indestructible. They would have had to rename it, of couse. Titanic Tits. I like that. Class. Pure class.


  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
I only got two-thirds of the way through "The Sexual Life of Catherine M." It's not a good book, but that doesn't mean it's not, in its flawed way, an interesting read. In it, Catherine Millet, the editor of a noted French art magazine, describes her swinging exploits in clear-eyed detail. She describes having carnal relations with hundreds, if not thousands, of men in swinger's clubs, parking garages, bachelor apartments, and just about everywhere else in Paris. She doesn't seem to regret her sexual exploits, or, indeed, tell us how she feels about them. Her sexual exploits are presented matter-of-factly: they're just experiences she had. The book has received terrible reviews, both from professional critics and LibraryThing readers, but I think it's this flatness of tone (and perhaps an absence of contrition) that really put readers off. If what I read can be believed, many French folks seem to be able to take sex utterly casually, and this drives a lot of Americans absolutely nuts. Just because orgasms were had doesn't means lessons were necessarily learned: one thing doesn't necessarily follow the other, at least in gay Paree.

There are, in any case, things I genuinely liked about the book. Millet's artistic background shows through in places: she's very cognizant of how she presents her body, and some of the scenes she describes almost are almost reminiscent of artistic tableaux. She also understands what Al Pacino's character in "Glengarry Glen Ross" understood about sex: it's not the orgasms or the mechanical aspect of it that people tend to remember but the fleeting, liminal, ambiguous moments that take place between people in intimate situations: an unexpected caress, a touch, a meaningful glance. "The Sexual Life of Catherine M." contains lots of these little moments, even if the author often follows them up with something like "I had relations with a dozen other men that night as well."

A lot of reviewers here have expressed the opinion that Catherine Millet is an obviously damaged woman, and some have said that they feel sorry for her. I'm undecided on this point. There's a lot that suggests that Catherine did what she did for reasons that weren't altogether healthy: she seems to have used relationships with men to escape her suffocating family life, and she doesn't seem to know how to flirt or seduce her partners. Maybe, like many sex addicts, she got naked and had sex with people because she couldn't figure out how relate to them any other way. But her sexual life also bears an uncanny resemblance to her earliest sexual fantasies and she seldom expresses any regret about what she did or tells the reader that she didn't get what she wanted out of her adventures. It's possible that she's just a highly sexual person and that's all there is to say. And that, really, is the other problem with "The Sexual Life of Catherine M". It lacks any semblance of dramatic structure. It's more of sexual diary than an actual story, so it's not too surprising that it grows tedious after a while, despite all the erotic goings-on. Still, maybe that's the point. The title of this book is "The Sexual Life of Catherine M." However much sex she's had, I suspect that what's described here is just a sliver of her overall experience, and perhaps the only part of herself she intended to show her readers. Reviewers who felt sorry for her might have considered the fact that this lady edits an art magazine, so I'm sure that she's got some other stuff going on in her personality and in her brain. But this book is mostly just about her sex life, and that's both a good thing and a bad thing. ( )
5 vote TheAmpersand | Apr 30, 2017 |
I found it sad. I felt sorry for her, so empty. ( )
  Regyna2167 | Jan 16, 2016 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 28 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I suppose there is a sense in which ''The Sexual Life of Catherine M.'' might be perceived as an erotic breakthrough, a daring leap into a place where no woman -- or man, for that matter -- has gone before. But that immediately raises the question: Is this really a place worth getting to?
''The Sexual Life of Catherine M.'' is as ponderous as it is heavy-breathing, which is saying a lot. As the author pursues ''fornicatory communion'' as frequently and publicly as possible, and as she approaches her mission ''with the application of a musician composing a fugue,'' she totes her critical acumen to places where it is not entirely useful. Her book lurches to and fro between the frankly obscene and the absurdly high-minded.
adicionado por Shortride | editarThe New York Times, Janet Maslin (May 23, 2002)

» Adicionar outros autores (41 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Millet, Catherineautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Coumans, KikiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hunter, AdrianaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Matarín, SergiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Vosmaer, MartineTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Zulaika Goicoechea, JesúsTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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A window into a life of insatiable desire and uninhibited sex - this is Parisian art critic Catherine M.'s account of her sexual awakening and her unrestrained pursuit of pleasure. From the glamorous singles clubs of Paris to the Bois de Boulogne, she describes her erotic experiences in precise and beautiful detail. A phenomenal bestseller throughout Europe, The Sexual Life of Catherine M., like Fifty Shades of Grey, breaks with accepted ideas of sex and examines many alternative manifestations of desire. Told in spare, elegant prose, her story will shock, enlighten and liberate you.

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