Archive for March, 2014


The history of sex in the west has a mirror in the art-world of burlesque.  Today, most see it as a bawdy comedy combined with a striptease finale.  And its true that it comes from the Italian word ‘burlesco’ or ‘burla’, meaning a joke or mockery.  But with so much to mock in Victorian England, burlesque was quite popular in London theatres from the 1830s to the 1890s.  It parodied serious theatre offerings like Shakespeare, often twisting the original scores by re-writing them with comedy lyrics.  Today, burlesque has gone through an international revival, regaining some of its status – but what is the story of burlesque?

The Victorian burlesque style was taken to New York in the 1840s.  Women wore tights, scandalous in the Victorian era.  A woman-run production that showed under-dressed hotties masquerading as sexually charged fathers and brothers, pushed boundaries.  And they were a sensation!  Public outcry and efforts to prohibit these shows simply fueled the public’s demand for more.  As New York burlesque shows were beginning to blend with the minstrel shows, the minstrel element of the shows also gave way to a new generation of black performers.  In 1890, The Creole Show débuted and re-shaped the minstrel all-male tradition with female cast members.  Other show such as Oriental America provided a scathing social commentary of America at home and abroad.
Back in London, by 1890, burlesque’s popularity had faded in favor of more wholesome fare.  Meanwhile, in Paris they had their own version of the chorus line with the can-can dance.  In the Follies Bergere and the Moulin Rouge, burlesque became striptease with ever more elaborate costumes.  Back in New York, ‘The First Real Queen of American Burlesque’ Millie DeLeon, who had a flair for the dramatic, would ‘accidentally’ forget her tights and get arrested.

Striptease came into its own during 1920s burlesque when film and radio began to rival Vaudeville. At places like The Ziegfeld Follies, the flow of booze fueled the attraction to the risqué shows.  This scene grew and led to the elevation of the art form in the 1930s as seen in the work of Josephine Baker.  In the 1940s the heavy hand of censorship struck down during wartime America.   The  world of Burlesque would be marginalized for many decades, until the 1990s when it went through a renaissance.  Today you can find major events that showcase burlesque’s high-art status in the places that invented it – London, Paris, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans.

Talk to Tippy

Posted on: March 26th, 2014 by Madison Lake No Comments

Talk to Tippy for outrageously honest advice. Call it the second opinion we all wish we had. Unabashed and candid and insightful – trust Tippy for guidance with dating, relationship or sexual conundrums. Yes, you can Talk to Tippy.

Dear Tippy,

My husband keeps hinting that I should get a boob job since I’m no longer nursing or having any more babies. (I’m a B cup.) I’m not sure if I want to do this or not, but I also want to keep him interested and hot for me. What should I do?


Flat Franny


Dear Miss Frances,

Okay, let me get this straight. You want to know if you should spend thousands of dollars to undergo major surgery so your already-normal-sized breasts can be artificially enlarged by the implantation into your body of foreign objects so you can keep your husband – WHO IS MARRIED TO YOU FOR BETTER OR WORSE – interested in sex?


Listen, hon. I don’t know your husband or how serious these “hints” of his are, but if he requires larger breasts as a condition of staying “hot” for you, he’s a total asshat.

I’m not saying that NO ONE should have breast implants – in some cases they’re a lovely option, especially for women like my friend Angelina who recently had reconstructive surgery. But if you have even a shred of doubt that this surgery is right for you, you should tell your husband and anyone else who suggests you need bigger boobs for the sake of being sexy, to suck it.

Perhaps you could suggest that Lover Boy get a penis enlargement.  There’s still tons of ads from reputable doctors that are seeping through well filtered email applications that I’m certain could help him out.

Bottom line: If you don’t think there’s anything wrong with your body, there’s not. And don’t let ANYONE tell you otherwise.  Anyone can get boobs.  Men can get boobs.  Dogs can get boobs.  If you do go through with this, then what’s next?

I need a martini.



Got a question or a comment for Tippy?  Email her



Celebrating Women’s History Month and the life of a monumental figure in the history of Rock and Roll, we will learn about the iconic and irreplaceable Sister Rosetta, who sexed up the gospel and blues she grew up with in the church. Although not a household name, this top billed act enjoyed in a long career that spanned and influenced generations.

If you’ve never heard of her, its understandable.  She doesn’t get the usual superstar treatment.  But from the age of 4 she was called a musical prodigy.  At 6, her guitar playing was billed as a ‘miracle’ as she traveled throughout the US, with her mother in an evangelical Baptist troupe, performing part-sermon part-gospel concert shows and gathering fame along the way.  After moving to Chicago in the 20’s, she married an abusive preacher, but fixed herself up with a new stage name, Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  It was at this church she would really start to lead people.  She divorced the preacher.

Tharpe began recording with electric guitar.  The enhanced impact was incredible.  Her cult of magnetism combined with the pulsating swing of her blues guitar was the birth of Rock and Roll.  Her songs had a huge influence on Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Elvis.  In New York, electrified with big bands behind her in places like The Cotton Club with Cab Calloway, Tharpe pushed spiritual music into the mainstream.  Her recordings got pretty heated and the fantastic song ‘Rock Me’ distills the feeling of how she pushed sexual boundaries in the American recording industry with just one chorus.   She seemed to lose control of the material she was recording in these years, but her audience grew and that is  all that seems to have mattered.

And her flamboyance didn’t stop there.  In golden age of Gospel, Rosetta divorced her second husband and went on tour in the U.S. with her lover Marie Knight in the 1940s.  They traveled all through the deep South together, for 20 years, playing to white and black audiences, strictly segregated ones.  Then she turned her back on Marie and married a third time, in an elaborate ceremony at Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C. in 1951. Guests paid to attend, and the event, which featured a gospel concert after the vows, was also recorded and issued on vinyl.  Despite this effort to create a buzz, her career declined.

In 1964, at the height of the blues resurgence in England, she toured Europe with Muddy Waters as part of the Blues and Gospel Caravan.  A concert, in the rain, was recorded at an abandoned railway station in Manchester.  In the video (on youtube) you get a feeling for the international concert’s lasting impression on young faces seeing extraordinary things done with an electric guitar by this 50 year old Godmother of Rock and Roll.


Talk to Tippy

Posted on: March 19th, 2014 by Madison Lake No Comments

Talk to Tippy for outrageously honest advice. Call it the second opinion we all wish we had. Unabashed and candid and insightful – trust Tippy for guidance with dating, relationship or sexual conundrums. Yes, you can Talk to Tippy!  

Dear Tippy,

I’m divorced, mid 40’s and have just started back into the dating game.  Frankly it’s easier than I thought. However, part way through every date I get totally tongue tied and silly when I start to think that I’ll have to be a knock out in bed or are we going to take it that far or how do I look to him or how can I initiate this and how can I make it easy on myself and still good for him and on and on until I drive myself crazy.  I’ve probably lost out on a few good candidates with this behavior.  I don’t even know how to start to talk sexy to someone because that part was non existent in my marriage.  It would help if I had a script.  Then at least there would be a few lines I could rely on.  Do you have a fool proof (and I really mean that) list of things I could say?


New Nancy


Dear Nance,

My God, girl, you need to be easier on yourself.  Why not relax and wait to be entertained?  Why is it all up to you?  There have been some times when I’m so over being the Belle of the Ball that I actually discover that others are happy to step up.  So, that’s one thing.  Number two, is take a breath.  It’s just a date.  Number three, since you asked, here’s a list of fail safe, fool proof, simple list of questions that can be delivered casually -early into the date, on the phone, in a sext or in passing, but left to the simmer in the imagination for a while will deliver a whopping result or instigate a delicious conversation.

What’s your favorite position?

Where is your favorite place to be touched?

What part of my body do you like (touching) the most?

What exactly does an orgasm feel like to you?

Do you have a favorite part of foreplay?

What unexpected thing turns you on?

Is there a love scene from a movie you’d like to recreate?

What’s your favorite thing about being on top?

What’s your favorite thing about being on the bottom?

What time of day do you most prefer to have sex?

The two of you will probably be ridiculously turned on before you reach the third question and when that happens, just let nature take its course.



Got a question or a comment for Tippy?  Email her

Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was the poet of what is now generally known as masochism.  Venus in Furs, the best of Masoch’s novels, was written in 1870 and for its time was as shocking as a book could be.  Although it describes all of the elements of masochistic sex — fetishes, whips, disguises, fur-clad women, contracts, humiliations and punishment — Masoch’s eroticism has a loving power that transcends the body and ultimately helped transform society.

As the main character, Severin finds his ideal in the cruel hands of Wanda von Dunajew.  Infatuated with Wanda, Severin asks to be her slave.  They travel to Florence together and Severin takes the generic Russian servant’s name of “Gregor” and the role of Wanda’s servant.  In Florence, Wanda treats him brutally as a servant, and recruits a trio of African women to dominate him.  Severin describes these experiences as suprasensual.

Astonishingly, this narrative was based on a true story.  In 1869, Masoch and one of his infatuations, mistress Baroness Fanny Pistor actually signed a contract making him her slave for six months!  The two of them would pose for the above photo.   Famous at the time for his nonfiction, they took aliases and went by train to Italy – he traveled in third-class while she sat up front in first-class.

In the end, Severin loses Wanda to her real desires for another, and he is transformed about the very essence of love and sex.  It is here that we catch a glimpse of Masoch’s feminist philosophy when Severin says,  “She can only be his slave or his despot, but never his companion.  This she can become only when she has the same rights as he and is his equal in education and work.”

After the success of the novel had quieted, he worked for women’s rights and fought against antisemitism in Austria.  In the 1880’s he edited for a very progressive journal that worked for Jewish integration in Europe and also rallied for women’s education and suffrage.  As a creative artist and a revolutionary figure in the history of sex, Sacher-Masoch opened the minds of 19th century readers and showed that masochism is something far more subtle than the enjoyment of pain.