About the book
From the legendary co-author of The Ethical Slut comes this meditation on aging. With the awareness and insights she has garnered through life as a kinky celebrant of alternative and extreme sexualities, Janet W. Hardy’s Notes of an Aging Pervert considers everything from wrinkles and hair loss to body modification and conscious dying – and how to fit into the changing human forms we end up becoming along the way.
This concise collection of spirited essays and joyful illustrations is often funny, occasionally sad, and sometimes mind-bending. Who among us can actually imagine an existence outside time, space, and the body? Assuredly a great read for anyone whose pathway diverges from the main road, Notes of an Aging Pervert is also a book for those who are aging – which is to say, everyone. Any queer-identifying person, and a sizable number of straight ones, will find some rich, inspiring, and provocative ideas to ponder here, all shared in straightforward, accessible language that does away with the jargon often defining discussions of such complex subjects.
The Excerpt We’ve Chosen for You: A Glimpse into the Book
…by the time I started my life as a pervert, I was starved for ecstasy — for a path out of all the hard work of thinking, a controllable way to achieve an altered state of consciousness.
Remember, my fantasies were and are about catharsis. When I was exclusively a top, I had no idea that kink could take me there — and I wasn’t self-aware enough (or unselfconscious enough) to tell my partners that I needed them to cry and beg. So it was only when I began to bottom that I started to recognize the ecstatic potential of bottoming to heavy pain.
A memory from around 1991, when I was just beginning to experiment with the business end of the riding crop:
I’m lying face down on the bed. He’s caning me, going a bit faster than I can manage with my breath and muscles. I start to wail and beg; there may have been a bit of thrashing as well. The caning does not stop. Somewhere through the cloud of endorphins, I think: Well, I’ve tried begging and I’ve tried thrashing and it didn’t make this stop…. So why bother? I go utterly quiet, feeling the blows but not feeling any need to do anything about them… and I go flying, zooming around the corners of the room and looking down admiringly at my welted ass, for the first time of many.
That first experience resembled my fantasies of resistance and punishment only on the surface, but I learned early on that resistance and punishment were extremely tricky to enact. (In thirty-plus years as an active practitioner, I can count the scenes that met that desire on one hand — either someone falls too deeply into the fantasy of being “bad” and feels awful, or someone gets angry in a real-world way. Either outcome is not fun, at least for me.)
Failing that, catharsis worked fine.
Having tasted ecstatic kink, I wanted more of it — a lot more. My then-partner and I had by that time become moderately famous in the world of community-based BDSM (we’d written at least one well-received book each, back in the pre-Internet days when there was almost no information in print about the whys and hows of kink), and we were being invited to speak at quite a few of the leather conferences that were then springing into existence as a gathering place for pervs of all backgrounds, kinks and orientations. And the thing about what one friend calls “the leather rubber chicken circuit” is that while you’re in a strange city, you meet new people, and you play with them.
It may seem a contradiction: I learned from playing with strangers that love is essential to any successful kink scene. Which is not to say that those one-off scenes were bad (some were, most weren’t). The corollary to my theory is that love happens in odd places — sometimes in a dungeon in a strange city, with someone you’ll never see again.
About the author
Janet W. Hardy is the author or co-author of more than a dozen groundbreaking books about relationships and sexuality, including The Ethical Slut, which has sold more than 500,000 copies to date and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She founded Greenery Press, where she served as editor-in-chief for more than 25 years. Janet lives the life of a kinky poly queer genderbent geezer in Eugene, Oregon, with her equally kinky poly queer genderbent spouse.
You can find the book here.