Raunchy and bittersweet holiday read

Provocative and explicitly candid, With the Kisses of His Mouth is a raunchy and bittersweet holiday read. It’s the story of a relationship, a messy break up, and what happens next.

In her own words, UK author Monique Roffey says: “From November 2006 to June 2010, my quest for sexual self-knowledge led me into the worlds of casual sex dating sites, Western neo-tantra, Native American neo-shamanic sacred sex practices known as Quodoushka, the libertine clubs in the famous swinger’s resort of Cap D’Agde, and to a cave in a massif in the south of France where Mary Magdalene is said to have escaped and prayed for thirty years after the death of Christ.

“I wrote this book in the hope that my flawed love story will resonate with readers. Also, I have hope that my quest will inspire others (male and female) to ask questions about their sexuality too, maybe even to explore as I have.”

Roffey was born in Trinidad. She is the author of Sun Dog and The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2010.

Her visit to the nudist resort in the south of France is faintly repelling. Descriptions of group sex, often publicly performed, are witnessed by masturbating perverts she calls the meerkats.

The Independent’s
review says: “Who knew so much intimate stroking could start to feel monotonous? By the time she is studying under the tutelage of a man named Harley SwiftDeer Reagan, the sexual discoveries are bordering on parody.”

Well, that’s a bit harsh. Regardless, it is a brave memoir that ultimately discusses the issue of wanting to be loved, although I’m not convinced she has looked in the right places. The sexually promiscuous people she journeys with do not offer her the long-term relationship she seeks.

With the Kisses of His Mouth, by Monique Roffey, published by Simon & Schuster, $A29.99

More on Monique’s books: www. moniqueroffey.org.uk

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