They say “sex sells,” but this evening gave the phrase a deeper meaning. The premier “Unmasked LIVE” show at Center State Theater in Santa Barbara on February 15, 2018, was a sold-out success. It was a refreshing, vulnerable evening of women over fifty reading selections of work from the anthology, Unmasked, Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty. Creating a safe space in the public sphere for the diversity of these women’s experiences and emotions made this show such an honor to produce and share.
We have loved hearing feedback about the LIVE show, like Beth Pitton-August shared:
"Insurgent, poignant yet humorous, the tone of the pieces drawn from the 2017 Weeping Willows Books publication of Unmasked: Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty are reminiscent of Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking Vagina Monologues… Like the V-Day movement spawned by Ensler’s work, Unmasked Live deserves to become an annual tradition that draws women (and men) of all ages together to emancipate our selves and each another from damaging cultural norms and to celebrate feminine sexual expression.”
Weeping Willow Books hopes to have many more of these shows. Look for the next “Unmasked LIVE.”
Unmasked, the book, is a collection of 33 poems and 20 essays by published writers who are also mothers, grandmothers, playwrights, professors, teachers, psychotherapists, copywriters, city council women, and a model for a foot fetish website. They come from places as diverse as Australia, Iran, California, Delaware, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Washington, Wisconsin, and more. Many have prestigious fellowships and Pushcart Prize nominations and other awards to their names. They range in age from 50 to 87.
“This collection of essays and poetry is meant to bring post-50 sex out into the open, to proclaim it is important, it is natural and healthy and, for some women, it is absolutely necessary,” editor Marcia Meier explains.
Gloria Steinem agrees: “Sex for women after 50 is invisible for the same reason that contraception, abortion, and sex between two women or two men has been forbidden: sexuality is supposed to be only about procreation. This lie was invented by patriarchy, monotheism, racism and other hierarchies. Sexuality is and always has been also about bonding, communicating, and pleasure. ‘Unmasked’ helps to restore a human right.”
Read the review of Unmasked from the Santa Barbara Independent: "This is Not Your Parents' Sex."