Archive for March, 2016

The History of Sex – Part 197 – Sky High Fashion

Posted on: March 31st, 2016 by Madison Lake No Comments

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The (not so) Socialist Republic of Vietnam crowned it’s very first female billionaire last week and can you guess how she did it?  Simple really, just turn the feminist back clock a few decades, dress your flight attendants in bikinis and BOOM you’ve got billions of Dong!  No, not that dong, but probably also that kind of dong…

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao made her first million when she was only 21 years old by trading fax machines and latex rubber.  Now only 45, the VietJet Aviation CEO is worth 1.37 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires index.  Her flight attendants aren’t required to wear bikinis but the other choice, a traditional Vietnamese tunic with pants, is losing popularity among the staff. 

first FAThe look of flight attendants uniforms has changed drastically throughout the almost century that they’ve been serving our skies.  When the profession was introduced in 1930 all flight attendants were also required to be registered nurses and they dressed in military grade uniforms to match their skills.  This rule quickly faded away due to the high demand for nurses during WWII.  Suddenly the requirements for flight attendants became more physically rigorous (as in height, weight and age) and less skill based (can you walk and carry a tray?).   

singIn the 1960s when branding and advertising ruled, uniforms looked futuristic and often matched the airplanes (if a plane was able to wear a miniskirt and gogo boots.)  In 1972, Singapore Airlines released photos of their air hostesses branding them “Singapore Girls” and dressing them in traditionally colourful sarongs.  This move mirrored what was happening in the U.S. with blatant objectification of flight attendants in order to get more business.  Luckily, as women’s rights progressed, so did the styles in the sky.  In the 1980s uniforms started to include (gasp) pants!  This isn’t to say that the new mandatory wares are completely lacking in style: famous designer Zack Posen was recently hired to revamp the uniforms at Delta Air. zack

The pattern we are seeing is that airlines in the East are still enjoying patriarchal fashion ideals in order to make more money.  For example, Korea’s Asiana Airlines says it’s mandatory to wear skirts and India’s Go Air hires female attendants exclusively their excuse being that it saves on fuel costs.  Meanwhile in the West both male and female flight staff wear similar uniforms, or are at least given a choice between pants and a skirt.  Unfortunately, without bikinis and a motto like VietAir’s beautifully simple “Enjoy Flying!” the West just isn’t raking in the same amount of Dong.

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Communing with the Moon: first weekend away

From an evening sky just turned dark, the moon rises. Bare branches reach, striving – for what? The moon seems to ask, “What time is it?” And replying silently, she said, “Time stops, there is no time, it stops here.”

Salt spray drifted on breezes straight from the tops of high-surf-warning waves. At 2 pm on a sunny (for now) afternoon, foggy mist and clouds promised arrival along with a very high tide.

She looked north along the desolate and brutal beach to where the man had disappeared. She saw his barefoot tracks in wet sand. “This is a never-turn-you-back-on-the-sea kind of day,” she thought. Tide brought one wave closer, too close.

Out of the mist from the north the man came. She wrapped her scarf tighter, like she’d wrapped him the night before, in the field with the moon, under the moon, the moon rising above branches, softness underfoot releasing its earthy smells, his pleasing and slightly sweaty fragrance rising with his heat.

She watched him run past her on the empty beach, as he’d planned, now heading south into the wind. A growing wind, obscured landscape, air heavy with salt and moisture. The cadence of bare feet falling on sand, rhythmic like a metronome as he shrank smaller and smaller into the the distance. She didn’t care that temperatures were falling, that the sun had disappeared. She’d come all this way to feel cold, to listen to crashing waves. She’d come all this way to feel.

Again, the man came north, running through waves shallow upon the shore. He was a man built to move; move on a bike, up hills, move through water, down rivers, and move into her.

Her mind wandered again to the night before, to the field behind his house where a tractor stood waiting for morning workers. She’d leaned up again a solid tire, felt the immense treads beneath her ass, leaned back and breathed in the moon, the night, the soils and sounds. Threw her head back to look at the vastness of stars.

He’d moved in against her, pressing her hips into the tire. “The moon is watching me,” she thought, pushed up against the massive tire of a yellow Caterpillar backhoe, a machine waiting to plant a new almond orchard in straight rows north to south. “Why is this so exciting?” Up against the tractor, earth caked into treads, his face pressed into her breasts. Her hand dug into dirt behind her – the tire – while the other pulled the hair on the back of his head. A moan escaped her lips, almost as deep and guttural as the tractor’s motor on ignition.

The man ran by again, in the waves, watching the sea. “It’s winter,” she thought. “Who is this crazy man running back and forth because it makes him happy?” Who is this crazy guy coming back to me, now totally wet and shirtless and shivering?

This coast, this part of California, a fragile part that she’d been coming to for 50 years, a coast of exposed cliffs, barren beaches, wind swept highlands of cattle and scrubby land. This coast of high surf. “Is this why I’ve always loved this place, that I knew someday that I’d bring this man here?”

“Loins,” she suddenly thought. It’s not a word that she used often, except recently, when she could barely prevent her attention from drifting to her loins, or his. She couldn’t remember ever having felt like this, an arousal in her loins that seemed to last for hours, to recede and then return. It was a hot, almost burning sensation, the female equivalent of a teenaged boy’s perennial erection perhaps, sometimes welcome, sometimes mortifying. Only she wasn’t embarrassed because no one could see. Even he couldn’t tell how much he aroused her. How could she tell him this? Words wouldn’t come, but she could take him to places with her, to her fantasies, her dreams, and out into the landscape she so far shared with no one. She could wrap her legs around him as snugly as he held her, more closely and passionately than she’d ever been held. She could feel hard thighs, grip the slightly soft padding around a lean waist, run her hands down over his perfectly shaped ass, hard yet soft and so round.

He said, “Roll over onto me,” so she did, lay with her full weight pressing him down, feeling his hardness against her stomach, between her legs, inside her and out. With her hands, she pulled his arms over his head and moved deeply into and onto him, feeling a tiny thrill of power, a tiny bit of momentary domination as if it was fun to trade those feelings so that in the end there was a balance. She asked him if she wasn’t too heavy and he murmured no, and buried his face and mouth between her breasts, breathing deeply as if he might suffocate.

And outside above the surf, birds on wind, lifting and floating on thermals. Not gulls but crows. Immense, healthy very black crows celebrating a sunny day, their poetic dance climbing and diving, playing and sparring, a trio of crows advancing, retreating. Waves, curvy and sensual, twisting, rolling, undulating.


About the author: Daphne Devina is an essayist and artist with an irrepressible curiosity about life, adventure, and especially men. Join her as she explores a new world of irresponsibility after many years of juggling career, kids and marriage. Can she finally “have it all?” Can she reawaken passion in a body long dormant?

  • This is the third and last installment in a series written for Madison Lake Pages. Read here Part 1 and Part 3.

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Hello and happy Monday!

I hope you had a wonderful Easter holiday with your family and friends. If you’re not celebrating this holiday, I still wish your weekend was fabulous!

I had a lovely weekend – we did some cooking, painting eggs, but mostly eating, laughing and having a fantastic time with my dearest ones. And as with any weekend, I wish it lasted longer.

Now I’m back in my studio, getting organized and ready for getting back into my writing mode. But first, a song for you. My friend recently introduced me to Cate Le Bon and I fell in love with her voice and style immediately. Listen to Cate Le Bon’s song Are You With Me Now below.

Love,
Madison

The History of Sex – Part 196 – Make Me Up

Posted on: March 24th, 2016 by Madison Lake No Comments

With this colorful Easter weekend ahead of us, this weeks History of Sex delves into the story of people painting their faces…not their eggs!

The use of cosmetics dates back thousands of years and became a part of everyday life amongst the ancient Greeks and Egyptians.  Eyeliner, rouge and various anti-wrinkle creams were commonly used by the upper and ruling classes all with very natural ingredients of course.cleo

In ancient China around 3000 BC staining one’s fingernails was used to represent social status – gold or silver, black or red. On the other hand (pun intended) the lower classes were forbidden to wear any type of bright colors on their nails.

Centuries on, in countries dominated by Christianity (mainly Europe), it was considered sinful and immoral to wear make-up but many women did so nonetheless.  ancient egyptian cosmetic (1)The higher in status a person was, the more leisure time he or she had to spend indoors, which kept their skin enviably pale.  Because the lower classes basically did all the grunt work and were often exposed to the sun, it became fashionable for them to apply skin whiteners to emulate the pasty upper classes.  Among the products used were white lead-based “paints” many which also contained dangerous arsenic causing possible illness and death.

Pale faces were also a big trend during the European Middle Ages and saw both men and women applying paints and powders to their faces daily, hence the term “Powder Room”.

powderDuring the first decade of the 1900s make-up was not excessively popular and was hardly used at all except by the few that wanted to look paler.  There wasn’t even a cosmetics industry at this time and one could only purchase these products at theatrical costume stores.  Rouge was still considered scandalously provocative and was mainly used only by “ladies of the night”.  Some resourceful women used burnt match sticks to darken their eyelashes and eyelids and geranium and poppy petals to stain their lips.

In 1909, Max Factor created a cosmetics line for stage and screen actors in Los Angeles and in 1910 make-up became even more fashionable in the U.S. and Europe owing the fame and influence of ballet and theatre stars like Mathilde Kschessinska and Sarah Bernhardt.  Colored make-up was introduced in Paris upon the arrival of the Russian Ballet (also in 1910) with ochres and crimsons being the most typical shades.

make upIt suddenly became acceptable for the “literate classes” of women to wear make-up although men still often saw rouge as a mark of sex and sin (more old-fashioned slut-shamers!)  In 1915, a Kansas legislator even (unsuccessfully) proposed to make it a crime for any woman under the age of 44 to wear make-up “for the purpose of creating a false impression.”  

The feminist movement of the 60s and 70s influenced the cosmetic industry to create more natural products just for skin care as opposed to make-up commonly marketed for simply sexualizing women and often hurting their skin in the long run.

As we all well know, cosmetics is now a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry and sadly people with darker skin are still using skin whiteners and bleaches in order to seem more “pristine”.  Men are also now regularly using concealers and color toners and some cosmetics brands have even released specific lines just for men.  modern_makeup So guys, now you don’t have to be an actor or a rock star to use make-up…it’s okay!

Creative cosmetic applications are currently an important part of fashion for all classes, a way of expressing yourself through how you wear it, or whether you wear it at all!

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Okay, so my friend and I blew it. Her second piece on dating beyond youth is delayed due to a massive art structure she is installing in Sacramento, CA. Her hands are literally tied. (no sexual innuendo here). The second story in the three part dating series will continue next Tuesday.

Since I was expecting her story today, I am unprepared. What can I blog about? What can we talk about?

Is the topic of after prime dating of interest to you, or do you think it’s a null and void issue that you’re tired of hearing about?

Does it gross you out, or are you one of the many who are single and stuck in the mid-life dating crisis? One way or another, we’d love to hear your stories, so bring it on.

Romantic Short Stories Contest

THEME: Dating after youth or midlife dating stories

Your stories can be long or short, funny, serious, kinky, sad, surprising, whatever, but they need to be real. Tell either your story or a friend’s story (anonymously of course) but tell it truthfully. That’s what this is about so we can share our experiences.

These stories will be published on this blog anonymously unless you specify that you want your name included. DO put your age and where you are from so we get an idea of demographic. 

There will be three prizes given out for this writing contest:

  1. First prize – $50 Amazon gift certificate
  2. Second prize – Three Madison Lake books of your choice
  3. Third prize – One Madison Lake book of your choice

Send your story to madlakepages@gmail.com.

Deadline is May 1st.

Get those minds and pencils sharpened, dust off your laptop, pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea or a nice glass of wine – and water of course – it’s going to be a long haul.

Ready, set…Go!

Love,

Madison

author writing laptop