Fifty Shades of Anaïs Nin.

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Photo: Richard Merkin

You can keep Anastasia and Christian.

I’m going back to my Anaïs Nin.

I noticed it came up over and over in our discussions on elephant about Fifty Shades of Grey: “skip that stuff and go for Anaïs Nin.”

So true. Such a powerful writer. And Waylon mentioned earlier when we were debating about Fifty Shades that media always seems to say, every decade or so, “here’s a book or television show that finally empowers women to talk about sexuality!”

Well, Anaïs Nin was so empowered, and empowering, a full century ago.

In her own words on love, sexuality and many things in between:

1. “Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.”

2. “I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”

3. “I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”

4. “I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don’t know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness. In reality those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my ‘idea of them.’”

5. “Do not seek the because—in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions.”

6. “Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.”

7. “You don’t find love, it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, and what’s written in the stars.”

8. “I hate men who are afraid of women’s strength.”

9. “There are two ways to reach me: by way of kisses or by way of the imagination. But there is a hierarchy: the kisses alone don’t work.”

10. “Our love of each other was like two long shadows kissing without hope of reality.

11. “You cannot save people. You can only love them.”

12. “Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy.”

13. “When one is pretending, the entire body revolts.”

14. “Passion gives me moments of wholeness.”

15. “I have decided that it is better not to love anyone, because when you love people, then you have to be separated from them, and that hurts too much.”

16. “The body is an instrument which only gives off music when it is used as a body. Always an orchestra, and just as music traverses walls, so sensuality traverses the body and reaches up to ecstasy.”

17. “It takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before… to test your limits… to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to stay tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

18. “Don’t wait for it,” I said. “Create a world, your world. Alone. Stand alone. And then love will come to you, then it comes to you.”

19. “The enemy of a love is never outside, it’s not a man or a woman, it’s what we lack in ourselves.”

20. “Stories do not end.”

So, that’s only twenty. But stories do not end.

Keep writing.

Write it with your bones, with your sweat, with your kisses.

Write it with shoulders colliding and tangled knees.

Write it from thousands of miles apart.

Write it from the opposite sides of the room.

Write with a whisper, with sighs, with the words that are stuck in your throat.

Write from where you ache, where there used to be fingerprints, where it’s hollow.

Write with your fever, with loneliness, with ecstasy.

Write by yourself in the thin hours that stretch between too late and too early.

Write to a lover.

Write to a stranger.

Write to the one you just thought of when I said, “write to ‘the one.'”

All the “tie me up, tie me down, spank me” madness in the world can’t hold a candle to the raw beauty of two people, fearlessly baring themselves (and not just their bodies). Write your own story.

Like all fifty shades of elephant journal gets sexy on Facebook.

 

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Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven.
She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds.
Kate’s books are now available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.

She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives.

You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.

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anonymous Feb 21, 2015 9:46am

I love Anais Nin. Her writing is exquisite. Her work shouldn't even be included in the same discussion as Fifty Shades of Garbage

anonymous Feb 1, 2013 11:27am

I have never read any of her books. Suggestions on where to start??

anonymous Jan 8, 2013 3:51pm

[…] Write it like a love story, to the one who got away, the one you never met, the one sitting on the other side of the room. […]

anonymous Oct 18, 2012 11:36am

[…] ~ Anais Nin […]

anonymous Aug 16, 2012 5:17pm

[…] […]

anonymous Jun 29, 2012 6:22am

[…] […]

anonymous Jun 25, 2012 4:18pm

[…] Nin in her own words on love, sexuality and many things in […]

anonymous May 26, 2012 3:22pm

[…] Personally I’d take some Anais Nin over E. L. James any day. […]

anonymous May 24, 2012 1:53pm

sigh…

    anonymous Aug 3, 2012 3:08pm

    Thanks for expressing this sentiment. Mass culture has a short attention span, and memory.

anonymous May 24, 2012 7:14am

LOVE this. I read the first chapter of 50 shades and made roughly the same comment about Anais Nin. Thanks.

anonymous May 24, 2012 5:40am

Man-fred is the man I am going to love. He may not yet be born. I have often loved men who are not yet born.
A.NIN.

anonymous May 24, 2012 4:41am

BRAVO KATE!

anonymous May 24, 2012 3:22am

Damn, woman. That was fantastic. All your words went straight to my heart. Thank you.

anonymous May 23, 2012 11:07pm

You know there's a perfume…Anais Anais…my personal favorite. : )

    anonymous May 24, 2012 12:14am

    mine too!!

    Kate Bartolotta May 24, 2012 6:20am

    I've seen it but can't think of what it smells like. Most perfumes make me sneezy!

anonymous May 23, 2012 10:57pm

Wow! I wanna read everything Anais Nin ever wrote now, thank you!

anonymous May 23, 2012 10:37pm

Good stuff, Kate.

    Kate Bartolotta May 24, 2012 6:21am

    Merci Beaucoup. When will you be having Cocoa with Suzuki Roshi? I'm waiting for it!

anonymous May 23, 2012 10:28pm

Anais Nin rocks because she demonstrates how eroticism is truly in the mind. Get the mind tickled, everything follows.

    Kate Bartolotta May 24, 2012 6:22am

    Yes…I think there's a quote about it being the biggest sexual organ.

anonymous May 23, 2012 9:46pm

I <3 Anais Nin, her writing never fails to get me hot and bothered.

    Kate Bartolotta May 24, 2012 6:22am

    Yup. Marguerite Duras too.

Melina Powers May 28, 2017 1:30am

<3