Delta of Venus


Maybe it’s all the Femmethology hoopla, but dear readers I must confess that I have a full-on femme crush.  I’m tempted to say that the object of my affection is June Mansfield aka Miller, but it’s also Anaïs Nin, who writes about June so passionately in her diary (The Diary of Anaïs  Nin, Volume One).   Or rather, I’m crushing on Anaïs’s June for all the reasons I would be afraid to fall for someone like her in real life–except for college, which hardly counts.  (Remember, twentysomething darlings, I’m old enough to say things like this.  Once you start buying anti-aging potions you can be dismissive about the foibles of youth too.)  

You’ll find a passage from The Diary below for your enjoyment.  For added swooning, check out a young Uma Thurman as the reincarnation of June in the film Henry and June.  For photos of Anaïs and June, and to learn more about Nin’s life and work including her famous erotica, visit The Anais Nin homepage.

Without further ado, I give you The Diary of Anaïs Nin:

“I love June for what she has dared to be, for her hardness and cruelty, her relentlessness, her egoism, her pride, her destructiveness….  I worship the courage to hurt which she has, and I am willing to be sacrified to it.  She will add me to her other admirers, she will boast about my subjection to her.  She will be June plus all that I am, all that I give her.  I love this magnified woman, bigger than other women….

It was not only that June had the body of the women who climbed every night upon the stage of music halls and gradually undressed, but that it was impossible to situate her in any other atmosphere.  The luxuriance of the flesh, its vivid tones, the fevered eyes and the weight of the voice, its huskiness, became instantly conjugated with sensual love.  Other women lost this erotic phosphorescensce as soon as they abandoned their role of dance-hall hostesses.  But June’s night life was internal, it glowed from within her…. It could appear in totally unexpected places, early in the morning, in a neglected cafe, or a park bench, on a rainy morning in front of a hospital or a morgue, anywhere.  It was always the soft light kept through the centuries for the moment of pleasure.”

Whose soft light has inspired your femme crush?

PS  For inquiring minds:  The image that appears in this post doesn’t depict Anaïs or June.  I just like the vibe, which captures the mood of the bohemian lesbian subcultures that thrived in Paris during the interwar years.


5 Responses

  1. *sigh* Ah, Delta of Venus. I was probably too young to read it when I did… I think I read it before I came out. I should go find more of her work.
    I don’t know if I have a Femme Crush worth talking about- if I ever do I’ll let you know!

    I’m not a bit surprised to hear that you were so precocious! Do read more & let me know what you think. xo SF

  2. I publish and blog about Nin (…great post about Anais & June. You’ve seen the movie (H&J)?

    Thanks for writing. Love your site! -SF

  3. anais nin is one of my favorite writers. i cannot think of her without also thinking about henry miller. they are both one-of-a-kind writers who use language in such a daring way — miller more violent, nin more sensual. your post makes me remember the potent vividness of nin’s writing.

    Hi abbagirl, Glad to meet another Nin fan. I just started reading your blog and have appreciated your posts. Come back and see me again! SF

  4. ms. lemur, i also read ‘delta of venus’ at a tender age. i found it in the attic of the house we had moved to, along with ‘the senuous man’. together they made for a vivid if idiosyncratic version of sex ed 202.

    thanks from bringing back the memories with this post, sf.

    OMG I found The Sensuous Man too! I guy that my mom was dating gave her boxes to store in the basement of our house. Mom and Mr X went their separate ways. Many years later, the boxes were still in the basement. I broke into them as a teenager and found, among the pots and pans, all kinds of goodies with titles like Wanda and Her Whip. Someone needs to write a post about first encounters with erotic writing! xo SF

  5. […] Comments Kim on High Fashion Androgynyleo on Delta of Venusabbagirl on Delta of VenusSky Blue Press Editor on Delta of VenusLemur on Delta […]

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