Female Desire: An Anthology on Sex and the Movies - CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS!

I'm pulling together an anthology about women, sex, and film. I want to hear from you about your relationships - intellectual, physical, personal, whatever - to sex and desire on movie screens. I want to hear about your matinee idols, teenage crushes, masturbatory fantasy, or your views on cinema sex scenes and heartthrobs.

I'm particularly keen to hear from LGBTQ voices, but welcome essays from any perspective or tone you choose. Desire is as individually specific to us as our relationships with certain films are, and so I'm also eager to hear stories that are in some way personal to you. I've attached a longer call for submissions below to give you a better sense of what I'm after. 

So I want your essays, whether they're critical analysis or personal love letters, running anywhere between 1200-3000 words. 

There is definite publisher interest at this stage and you can expect to be paid if your pitch is accepted! So please do read on to see the brief for writers below. 

DEADLINE for pitches of roughly 300 words: Friday April 20 2018 
Please send all pitches to femaledesireanthology@gmail.com 

And as always, feel free to drop me a line at www.twitter.com/christinalefou or my email christinamnewland@gmail.com 


For too long, writing about the specifics of sex and desire was liable to make a woman feel like a slut, or underline our gendered difference as a writer in a way that can feel discomfiting. But there is a tradition for it, too, from Anais Nin’s erotic diaries to the strange history of Playgirl Magazine.  

In film culture, women’s sexuality has for so long been defined not just by the male gaze, but by harassment, fear, sexual violence and domination. It makes talking about enjoyable, consensual sex - the female sex drive vis-a-vis cinema - feel all the more celebratory and necessary. Moviegoing has so much to do with the act of looking: a notably political and sexual act when men do it, and a potentially subversive one when women do it. 

I’m looking for pieces that examine and celebrate the physical desire and emotional fantasy unique to the female and female-identifying gaze. Shouldn’t there be room within film culture for talking about sex openly, voraciously, and intellectually? And desire doesn’t only have to be sexual. It can be innocent and fanciful, like a pre-teen crush; or a pure aesthetic appreciation that makes your hands tingle. Do you wonder if the sexual and the cerebral can find a meeting place somewhere in the middle? All the more reason to write. 

Anything from love letters to movie stars, odes to female-directed sex scenes, your relationship with feminist porn, and explorations of whether women ‘look’ differently than men (without implied domination?) are welcome. How does the lesbian gaze cut across women’s objectification onscreen, if at all? Do the countless strip club scenes in macho filmmaking fall under a different light from a lesbian perspective? What about critiques of gay male love stories whose gaze skews pleasurable for the straight woman viewer? Do you know an obscure or classic film that reckons with the hungry, desiring woman in a fascinating way? 

Give me personal diary entries about your relationship with the movies, male pin-ups you posted on your wall or masturbated over, how you learned sexual and romantic behaviour from movie relationships; where feminism fits (or if it fits at all) into the equation. What does a trans woman do with the endless cisgender female bodies tumbling around onscreen? Is there a beguiling safety from the hurt and fear of heterosexual dating if you pine for film stars instead? If you’re in a long-term relationship, does cinema offer a beautiful variety of sex and sexual partners at a distance? Is there a gap between what you like in a film star and what you like in a flesh and blood romantic interest? 

I want to build a new language to use to discuss films, bridging the traditional modes of criticism and essay-writing with the personal and confessional. Aren’t all the films that really move or excite us deeply stimulating on a personal level? Let’s find a way to bring our various sexualities, our bodies, and our appetites into the conversation. Let’s write tongue-in-cheek filth, or critical examinations, or pining odes to Michael B. Jordan. Run wild with this. I’m waiting to hear what you’ve got! 

Email me with your pitches by 20 April: femaledesireanthology@gmail.com 


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