What’s it’s like to be translated into 8 languages

I’ve been promising to do this for ages, and I’ve finally got round to it. For those of you who are interested in such things, this is what it’s like to have your book translated into other languages. Sadly, it involves no globe-trotting on my part.

The 52 Seductions – a guide for US readers

52 Seductions by Betty Herbert -  now available in the USWell, hello and welcome.

I’m delighted that my book’s finally available in the US – I’ve spent the last couple of years advising readers on round-the-houses ways to get their hands on a copy. Now, it feels a bit less contraband. Providing you have a Kindle, that is.

So anyway, here’s a few things that it may be useful to know.

1. First things first: you can buy it here. I gather you’re allowed to be direct about this sort of thing in the US, right? ;-)

2.  The 52 Seductions started off as a blog. (There’s some of it still online here if you want to get a taste.) Me and Herbert would take it in turns to seduce each other once a week, and I’d write up.

It’s (hopefully) a funny, moving and true account of a real marriage, looking at what you can do when the first flush of lust fades. I wanted to write a book about real sex, rather than idealised, glossy sex. I’m so over that stuff.

Betty Herbert

This is me. Hello!

3. I don’t blog much at this site anymore – once the year of seductions was over, I felt it was time to move on – but you can find me over at bettyherbert.com, where I talk about sex, love and relationships.

I also have a new blog at discernment.co.uk, where I’m learning how to make better choices in everyday life.

4. You can download a PDF of the first couple of chapters here. There’s also a resource pack for reading groups here.

5. I’m online way too much, and always love to chat. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Herbert is very shy and doesn’t like to interact at all. Sorry. I know that’s disappointing for some people. It’s just not his thing.

6. Press and blogger enquiries – please get in touch via the contact form below. I’m always happy to send out PDF copies of the book for reviewers, or write guest posts, or be interviewed (I also love hosting guest posts by the way).

7. Did I mention that it’s on sale now on Amazon for the bargain price of $3.99? That’s literally – and I don’t get to say this often – a lot of bang for your buck.

Viagra and the mythical man-unicorn

Viara and the myth of the man-unicorn | Betty Herbert

Reblogged from bettyherbert.com.

So, Viagra is now off-patent. Yes, it’s been a full fifteen years since Richard and Judy sent that middle-aged couple off to a hotel room with a packet of little blue pills and the chance to discuss the results on live TV. Hard to believe, isn’t it? (I may as well surrender to the double-entendres early.)

Since then, erections have changed for good. We’ve long lived with the myth of the perma-hard man, eternally baying for sex in a desperate effort to quell his raging stiffy. Viagra practically made that an obligation. Suddenly, erections became public property. There was simply no excuse not to have one anymore.

Clearly, Viagra has been a godsend for many men (and their partners) who have faced years of frustration at their insubordinate members. But it’s not a panacea. Plenty of people can’t use it (those with heart conditions, for example), plenty of people won’t benefit from it (including those whose erections have been lost due to prostate surgery) and plenty more don’t have access to it.

The wider issue is that we rarely speak the truth about erections. They’re fragile things, easily affected by emotional and physical states like tiredness or depression. Most men will experience an elusive erection at some point in their life (and not just because of ‘brewer’s droop’, that re-machoing of threatened manhood) – it’s normal, and yet we commonly portray it as a crisis. The ever-erect man is as elusive as his mythical cousin, the unicorn.

We need to stop talking about erections as the be-all and end-all of sex. They are not the only locus of male sensation; and they are not the only way that women can receive pleasure. The sole purpose of sex is not to create and spend an erection – that’s just a bizarre impression that we get at school. We can let go of it as adults. We have better imaginations than that.

That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with seeking treatment if it’s a long-term problem (not least because it can point to a range of underlying illnesses). It’s just that I think we should acknowledge that men have bodily insecurities too. While women get fed up with seeing thin, airbrushed beauties everywhere in the media, men can rightly feel aggrieved that they are expected to have access to an endless stream of tumescence, while an absentee erection is generally a sign of weakness or failure.

Sexual feeling resides in our whole bodies – and our minds. A lost erection doesn’t have to be the end of sex: it can instead be a chance to break up the in-out monotony, and to escape from the bizarre race-to-orgasm that happens so often in the bedroom. Forget Slow Food – this is Slow Sex: exploratory, appreciative, deliberate. It’s a chance to open up a dialogue about pleasure, sharing fantasies, learning about touch and reigniting our senses. As this article suggests, unreliable erections can make us better lovers.

And that’s all of us, not just those of us with a penis.


The 52 Seductions – now in paperback!

I’m delighted to announce that The 52 Seductions is now available in UK mass-market paperback (I know, the last edition looked pretty  much like a paperback too, but this one is a bit smaller and cheaper).

If you haven’t already read it, you can download a free sample here. Amazon are currently selling it for the bargainous price of £4.69.

If you’re a blogger or journalist interested in reviewing the book, please contact Sarah Maltby at Headline. And look out for my guest posts on some excellent blogs over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I’ve re-vamped my blog for the new year – including a new blog called The Final Push, which will start this week. Do let me know what you think.

Finally, The 52 Seductions also launches in Spain this this week (published by Suma de Letras), and I am greatly entertained by trying to read my copy – without speaking a word of the language. The photo on the right is ‘Early Morning Wake-Up Call.’ They look absolutely beautiful though, and I’m very proud of them (if not of my skills as a linguist).