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Legendary erotic jewelry designer Betony Vernon has a new book out, The Boudoir Bible (Kindle; hardcover). I don’t have a copy yet, but the book has been described to me by friends as the Vernon’s own tome about making the most of a refined sex life, with Vernon’s pro-kink, sex-positive point of view throughout.

It’s no secret that I’ve always wanted pretty much everything Vernon makes. And what I think will be really cool is the book launch event coming up here in SF on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT). The “Conversation & Book Signing with Betony Vernon” is with Jimmyjane + Arkitektura’s Design Assembly – and Vernon will be interviewed by Jimmyjane’s own Ethan Imboden. Vernon and Imboden are at the top of the high-end sex toy design genre, and I think it’ll be really interesting. Oh – and it’s free.

THE PLEASURE PALETTE: “Creating a new design language for sexuality”
Conversation & Book Signing with Betony Vernon
Jimmyjane + Arkitektura’s Design Assembly
Tuesday, April 30, 2013 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (PDT)
San Francisco, CA
Register here on Eventbrite.

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There is so much to discover and explore in the SHOW Studio Selling Sex exhibition (and you’ll remember I loved the Selling Sex: Atsuko Kudo: Dressing for Pleasure video). The next items I wanted to show you are items from the Selling Sex shop: the outrageous pieces by Betony Vernon and Shiri Zinn – which some of you will recognize as featured designers from upscale sex boutique Coco de Mer.

Above is conceptual sex toy designer Shiri Zinn’s Red Ceramic and Gold Dildo with Red Burlesque Strap (£200). It is red Nappa leather with an ornate Chinese satin back, and the dildo is ceramic with a 9-carat gold flower design. Also in the exhibition is Zinn’s crazy Diamond Set Flail Whip, set with 500 diamonds (price upon request). SHOW Studio tells us, “Shiri Zinn centres her work on modern day perceptions of eroticism and empowerment. Her work represents a dynamic fusion of art, jewellery, fashion accessory and product design.” Celebrity owners of Shiri Zinn products include Madonna, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham.

From the Selling Sex show (and shown below) is the sterling silver Urn Anal Dilation Diletto Kit (£6,950) by American-born, Paris-based jewellery designer Betony Vernon. It’s part of Vernon’s Sado Chic line, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the show. Vernon’s work is legendary, and is a naughty darling for many celebrities including Christina Aguilera and Gwyneth Paltrow. It’s amazing and super cool to think that she’s been designing and selling such edgy and gorgeous high-end kinkyware for at least two decades.

Here’s a fascinating interview with the remarkable Betony Vernon:

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For the past month, Christina Aguilera has been slowly trickling out artwork and teaser hints about her next album, Bionic. In the few images we’ve seen, she’s in some serious fetish gear; one image has her in a black latex vintage-style girdle. Which, by the way, is certainly custom-made because it isn’t easy to find a full, vintage-style latex girdle with garters like hers, believe it or not. I’ve looked. But it’s the promo photo above that intrigued me, and the most recent press that accompanies it. In an interview this week, Aguilera told paps she’s been reading erotica in the bathtub — of course I was hoping for some familiar titles — and goes on to say that the books are waterproof. That narrows down Christina’s self-titillating reading selections to only two books: Aqua Erotica: 18 Stories for a Steamy Bath and Wet: More Aqua Erotica (out of print). Aqua Erotica is like a million years old, so it seems an odd choice. Cleis Press should send her some of my new titles; looking at her choice of top-shelf sex accessories I think she’d get a lot more mileage out of Girls On Top, even if it’s plain old paper (until Amazon releases a waterproof Kindle, that is). Because in the photo above, she’s flashing a very sophisticated sex toy: in her hand is a $1,5000.00 silver handjob ring for men, the Betony Vernon Petting Ring. “It is a double ring that holds the index finger and thumb in the chi mudra position; the gesture used in meditation for a one-pointed mind and for a perfect hand job as well.”

Well okay, then. I’ll check out Christina’s new album.

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If we had more money than we needed I’d tell you to get these four luxury sex toy items I spotted at Coco de Mer today. I want, I want them all with a rob-a-bank to get off kind of lust. Don’t look at the prices.

Top left: Betony Vernon Seven Pearls Massage Ring “Though pearls are no longer a mandatory fashion statement, we can still revel in the joys of their luminous beauty, both as a fashion statement and to enhance our masturbation skills and aesthetics. The rings sensual powers are not evident, so it may be worn discreetly from the office, to a cocktail party, and better yet, straight down between the sheets.”

Top right: Hot and Cold Ceramic Dildo “A sexy, hollow ceramic dildo by Coco de Mer, with a rose print and finished with a cork for temperature play. Warm your dildo up with hot water or cool hot orifices down by filling your dildo with cold water. With the liquid inside, this dildo feels weighty and the smooth ceramic will simply glide you to satisfaction! This product has been designed in Collaboration with Ceramic Artist Adele Brydges.”

Bottom left: Remember Me Ceramic Dildo “Remember Me’ is a beautifully streamlined ceramic dildo designed by Coco de Mer & Adele Brydges. The vintage style logo and exquisite silver locket is engraved with the words, ‘Lovers, Adventurers and Dreamers.’ Based on an antique dildo, which was made as parting gift for a lover. Open up the silver locket to reveal a little mirror, which is perfect for looking, exploring and loving yourself, and on the other side insert a picture of a long-distance lover to remember them and re-create memories. This is both a beautiful love token and functional sex toy.”

Bottom right: Rose Bird Ceramic Butt Plug “An approachably smooth ceramic butt plug with a delicate rose print. Use plenty of lubricant and foreplay to ensure a smooth entry. After it is in position, have sex with your lover. The sensation will be very pleasurable! Designed for Coco de Mer in Collaboration with ceramic Artist Adele Brydges.”

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