Pillow Book Gallery

Issue 9 is here!

• December 20, 2013

Leigh Magdalene is featured on the Issue 9 “cover”, in a layered photography composition by Art Director Paul Deeb.


Fans of Jillian and David Jacobs will be pleased to enjoy the final installment of the series The Day Long, The Night Through with Part 3 – Dream, Dream, Dream. Jillian and Jacob give us a view into one of their most intimate and loving moments.

Also enjoy:

Beau Matin Pour Mon Amour – breakfast in bed never looked so good…

Episode 11 – a comic retreat that once again pushes cameraman Brad a little out of his comfort zone…


Test Shoots 9 – introducing Elise Dawn, Sawyer, and Kelli Lox.

Enjoy it all, and please send us your comments!

Go to The Gallery.




Pillow Book Gallery Issue 8, Now Screening

• November 4, 2013

Pillow Book Gallery Issue no.8 Trailer from Pillow Book Gallery on Vimeo.


In Issue Eight

Our Pillow Book Productions erotic feature for Issue Eight is “The Accidental Bear” featuring adult film stars and real life romantic partners Will Swagger and Allen Silver. I somewhat cheekily derived the name for our film from the classic 1985 Anne Tyler novel (and subsequent movie) “The Accidental Tourist”. As a final touch for the film the name seemed a good fit, however, in retrospect it has come to represent for me a good deal more than, at first, it metaphorically implied.

In approaching any of our work for the gallery, I try to avoid preconceptions and cliché’ whenever possible.  They become something of a creative straight jacket, preventing the discovery of new paths to pieces that are interesting, fresh and alive.

We had worked with Allen Silver and Will Swagger previously during a short photo shoot, visited their home and discussed their life together in some detail. Following these interviews, I decided to make our first erotic film with two men a continuation of the “reality based”, quasi-documentary style, explorations of adult film that we had undertaken in our previous film “Trains” featuring Lily Cade and Dylan Ryan.

The principal photography for “Accidental Bear” took place in February of 2013 at Will and Allen’s San Francisco home. I wasn’t to begin editing the film until August. During the intervening period of time I spent many long hours looking through the raw footage (roughly 16 hours from three different cameras). This process of “scrubbing” the raw footage is usually where my ideas about the structure, mood and style of a film are formed. I struggled… and in May, after more than two months of review I was no closer to an idea of how to cut the film together than when I began. The project went on the proverbial shelf. I was not sure when or if I would return to it.

In the beginning of August Tamara and I were in Seattle for the exhibition of “Trains” at the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. It was during this trip that I started thinking again about my problems with Allen and Will’s footage. I spent a significant amount of time at the festival looking at “Gay” art and, surprisingly, my answer came into focus. I realized that what I had been trying to make was a “Gay” erotic movie, or more specifically, my preconception of what a movie like this should be. The best “gay” art at the festival wasn’t really “gay” at all; it was fresh, alive, imaginative and occasionally focused on same sex sensuality. When I returned home I looked at Allen and Will’s footage again and saw the authentic loving character of these two beautiful men that had been clearly in front of me all along.

It was at this point that I coined the film’s title. Anne Tyler’s novel has a subtext of differentiating between tourist and traveler. The tourist brings his home with him while travelers visit other locales, at home with whatever they discover. In the difficulties I had experienced during my process of making “Accidental Bear” I was not unlike Macon Leary, Tyler’s protagonist, initially something of a tourist hiding behind preconceived ideas, ultimately experiencing a new reality after seeing those preconceptions laid bare.

“The Accidental Bear” is a film that I am proud of not only for its artistic merit, I am proud of what I learned creatively and spiritually during my process of making the piece. Tourism is, after all, a pursuit where comfort is king and it is not enough to simply talk about where we have been and what we have seen if our true aim is to be a traveler. A little discomfort, as it turns out, is a good thing for the creative soul, something the traveler learns from, and perhaps eventually, takes in stride.


Enjoy Issue Eight, as always I look forward to your comments


Paul Deeb

Finding Our Pillow Book Audience

• September 20, 2013

Finding an audience for erotica can be challenging.  Indeed, it is something that we spend an enormous amount of time thinking about here at Pillow Book.  Sharing erotic material is not a thing that most of us (and I think that Tamara and myself would include ourselves here) are inclined to do.  If we see a great movie, attend a wonderful performance, read a great book or thought provoking article it is all too easy to pass it on via Twitter, FaceBook or any of the other stars in the growing constellation of social media.  Erotica is different; our nature is to keep it to ourselves, we don’t message a friend with “I just found the most incredible porn site”.  In light of this I am particularly gratified and inspired by many of the intrepid individuals who blog in exactly this way.  Of particular note today (for us here at Pillow Book) is the premier of the R rated version of our short film “Mistress” on the Pillow Book Gallery Vimeo Channel.  Not long after the film was posted we received a very gracious review from Lucie Blush on the We Love Good Sex blog.  Our thanks to Lucie, both for spreading the word to her readers on our behalf and for pointing out to me that it’s time for us here at Pillow Book Gallery to be more proactive in the sphere of reviewing.

Mistress from Pillow Book Gallery on Vimeo.

“Pillow booking” on Tumblr

• August 30, 2013

Jim Heights in the title shot from the Pillow Book Productions film “Beau Matin Pour Mon Amour”

That’s right!  We have taken the Tumblr plunge at Pillow Book Gallery.  We invite all of our tumblr fans to check out our newest Pillow Book site.  In addition to following our own photo stream you can take advantage of the research that we’ve been doing into the sensual side of tumblr.  Enjoy! and tell us what you think…



“Pleasing things: finding a large number of tales that one has not read before. Or acquiring the second volume of a tale whose first volume one has enjoyed. But often it is a disappointment.” ― Sei Shōnagon, The Pillow Book

• August 27, 2013

…or in this case coming across some stock footage that I had totally forgotten about.  This short piece of film was shot in Baltimore around 2003 and I later used it in the Pillow Book Productions test film “Sway”.  I forgot that I had recorded a half hours worth of this ethereal, beautiful interaction of sunlight and rain.  Perhaps I should organize our stock footage archive more regularly…


Unlikely Sunshine from Paul Deeb on Vimeo.

Pillow-Booking in Seattle

• August 7, 2013


Tamara and I just returned from our whirlwind tour of Seattle and the exhibition of ”Trains“, our short film starring Dylan Ryan and Lily Cade, at the 2013 Seattle Erotic Art & Film Festival.  In addition to thanking everyone in Seattle for contributing to one of the hippest, most vibrant and beautiful urban experiences that we’ve had recently,  special thanks are due to the staff at the Art and Film festival and the Foundation For Sex Positive Culture.

“Erotic” art exhibitions are events that we have learned to approach with an open mind and an eyebrow raised, as the consideration of what is “erotic” usually tends to overshadow and dominate the consideration of what is “art”.  The 2013 Seattle festival was an extremely pleasant surprise.  Allena Gabosch, Sophia Iannicelli and their staff assembled a perspective offering significant depth, subtlety and nuance to eroticism as the subject and muse for artistic exploration and, unlike many marginal venues chosen for the exhibition of work in this style, the gallery at the SoDo ShowBox was stylishly retrofitted for the event – clean and professionally lit.

As trepidatious as we may be about erotic art festivals, we tend to regard film exhibitions (even those featuring our own films) with more suspicion.  All too frequently these events are staged as mass titillation events complete with cliche burlesque music, tacky gags and overly boisterous emcees exhorting the audience to “get FILTHY!!!”; the mock provocational humor of adolescence.

Perhaps we are finally ready to evolve.  DeAnna Berger, and her film festival staff have taken a higher road. The curated exhibitions chosen for the film festival included both historic and modern viewpoints on erotic film, its evolution and development as an art form.  Featured in the short film screenings (in addition to our own film “Trains“) were other domestic and international offerings running the gamut from the lightly comic to the avante-garde documentary style.

Finally… a film festival that seeks to provoke the mind and feed the heart in addition to intriguing the libido. We were very proud to be part of what I hope will be a long-running component to Seattle’s incredible cultural tableau.

On the lighter side, a little

pillow-booking from our trip…

Excuses For a Little Motoring

• July 30, 2013

Testing out our new Go Pro video camera (complete with suction cup mount) on a little ride through Napa Valley wine country.  Truly amazing footage from such a compact and durable device.  It got a little bruised, however, when I mounted it to the side of the car and lost it on a particularly sharp corner (suction cups like even surfaces and there are few of these on our Triumph).  Great fun!  Now the challenge will be finding a way to actually use it in the studio



Why Pillow Book Gallery?

• June 14, 2013

Yes, I do love the Peter Greenaway film.


But the real inspiration for our gallery comes from the broader idea of a pillow book, literally, a collection of notebooks or notes which have been collated to show a period of someone or something’s life.  Pillow books were originally used by concubines in geisha house, containing explicit illustrations and notes as references for sexual techniques. Some describe a pillow book as a collection of articulated observations – thus a curated sampling.

The pillow book establishes taste.


A notable literary example is the well-known and often-referenced The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon. The author, a court lady during the 990s and early 11th century Japan, records, in lists of all kinds, her personal thoughts, observations, poetry, and opinions, as well as some of the opinions of her contemporaries.

Paul and I are artists. We have worked in the art and design realm for our entire lives. The idea of our virtual gallery and our online magazine was born from the desire to share intimate artistic works – traditional physical visual art, and multi-media productions – with an appreciative audience.

I haven’t yet written any poetry, but you will be sure to find here the following: personal thoughts, observations, and opinions about the creation of our films and art, our relationship, our bodies (by way of recipes for food and drink that bring us pleasure), and our brains. I’ve been reading some life-changing books on neuropsychiatry lately. We want to entertain and amuse, but we also aim to please.

In a review by Adam Gopnik in the April 1, 2013 issue of The New Yorker, Lutece Chef André Soltner tells Gopnik, he counts his cooking “by the looks of satisfaction on the faces of the people who have eaten my food…I want them to be pleased.”


We couldn’t have said it better.

Bonne nuit, doux rêves…

Great Stuff You Can Learn from a Sex Worker

• June 8, 2013

Fair warning to male readers – very female-focused content, potentially very boring for you. I promise I won’t do this too frequently, maybe.


I have awful menses. Hormone fluctuations that cause nuclear meltdowns in my relationship, heavy bleeding that tests the limits of “Ultra” tampons, general weariness and soreness. Ugh. What started as a fairly benign condition in my teens, with almost no annoyances, has grown into a monstrous incident during my late 30′s and early 40′s.


Recently, I was traveling away from home and ran out of supplies; my usual brand and style of tampon was not available at the local Safeway, so I went to the second-best choice – surprisingly, a brand (o.b.) I had abandoned years ago for the benefit of cleaner fingers. One went in, and lo-and-behold, I soon realized that it has a markedly better absorption and leak-preventing design and I decided to stick with it, despite the cleanup required. I felt like I had improved my situation. Then, I got to thinking…


I remembered a few tweets I had read a month or so ago from a fascinating young woman, Miss Maggie Mayhem. She had been traveling in the Yucatan and was lamenting that she did not have her menstrual cup with her, or could not find one to buy abroad. Menstrual Cup? What? Am I really that out of touch? Is this my mom’s fault? Is this the kind of stuff I miss because I don’t read “women’s” magazines?

My bleeding time came around and I was, again, on a trek to the local drugstore for supplies. This time, I looked around a bit more, and guess what I saw? A simple lonely box barely caught my attention amidst the trillion brightly-colored boxes of every size and shape imaginable, all decorated with abstract female-looking patterns and sparkly ink…It was a box of disposable “Softcups”. After much study and inner turmoil over whether I was ready to risk trying something new, I took the leap and bought the box. The manufacturer recommends trying it for the first time on a light-flow day, just until you get the hang of the insertion and such. I took a chance and stuck one in right away despite the warning and it worked like a charm. I fell in love. The box also noted one of the benefits of softcups over tampons was that you could engage in intercourse while using it. Aha! I can see how that would be very useful if you need to be on camera, but that would be the furthest thing from MY mind during my period.


I have since done additional research and found non-disposable versions and also some non-disposable pantiliners for backup. Yes, I have some “granola” tendencies. I bring my own bags to the grocery store, I recycle, and all that jazz. I’m looking forward to the experience and I like the idea of being more in touch with my feminine issues. It’s actually a fascinating situation. I wish I had known about this sooner.



If you are interested in learning more, some helpful links are:



To better periods…


Fast Day

• May 31, 2013

deprivation. postponed comfort. self-righteousness. brutal awareness. withdrawal. injustice. and my all time favorite, boredom.


These are the things we feel on days that we fast, usually two times in seven days. “Fasting?!”, my mother said. “That can’t be good for you.”

Most days, we all bathe our cells in insulin as our bodies struggle through the stress of digesting sugars, fats, and other oh-so-wonderful, supposedly evil, things. Fasting is a way to give our bodies a rest for awhile. Kind of like a reset button.

Paul and I have experimented with “reducing” together since we met – me struggling with just a little bit too much around the middle, Paul struggling with a little bit more. We’ve laughed about it, fought about, even made films about it, like this one:

We’ve done calorie counting, the “meat diet”, exercising like crazy, “being moderate”, and now this. Nothing has really worked incredibly well, honestly, because we just couldn’t do it forever. Intermittent fasting seems to be the most sustainable solution and we are very interested in the benefits that may be associated with it.

{disclaimer: the author is not a medical professional. Seek advice from a trusted source before beginning a new regimen} ha. But, I trust Scientific American. How Intermittent Fasting Might Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life: Scientific American.

We don’t necessarily want to love longer, we just want to live better, right now. For us, that means being able to hoist sails, bicycle anywhere (especially up hills in San Francisco), climb a few flights of stairs without being winded, not be self-critical when we are naked, and prevent disease and prescription-medicine-dependence that could send us to the poorhouse in a matter of seconds. We want to be strong, and good-looking, mostly to ourselves. We’re our worst critics. But, you know how bored I get.

What excitement is there to my day when I can’t think about what yummy things I might be able to consume next? And what about that cocktail I don’t get to have? How will I not be bored? Why does everyone else get to sit by the waterfront and eat really yummy things whenever they want? Why does everyone else get to have fun and I don’t?

On fast day, I eat about 250 calories for breakfast around 8am and then eat another 250 calories around 8pm. Lots of water. Oh, the misery. Have you ever tried to put together a 250 calorie “snack”? It’s a good thing we like savory things for breakfast. Forget about that buttered toast, croissant or muffin, or even “healthy” oatmeal; way too many calories.


Instead, try a small piece of smoked trout (57g=90 cal) topped with two teaspoons of whole grain mustard (20cal), 1/2 cup of  horseradish/leek (or pick your favorite flavor) Farmhouse Culture sauerkraut (30cal), and a small apple (55cal). I have some decaf coffee with a little bit of almond milk (about 20cal) and the balance is taken up by the various minutiae of calories in the various nutritional supplements I take. Repeat this meal at dinner, or really mix it up (!!) by having half an avocado instead of the fruit and kraut, or just go really simple and eat some organic ramen noodles with a couple of wild shrimp thrown in.



Sweet Bar cupcake

But, the reality is that all you can think about on most days is the stuff you can’t have.  Like this:







….or even something as simple as toast.

You have to remind yourself, all day, how you are doing something good for yourself, and it’s only a few more hours, and tomorrow is almost here – when you can eat again. In the meantime, you desperately cling to your self-righteousness, and sleep so well you will want to fast again in a few days.

It’s making a difference. But Paul gets very cranky. He’s strong; I know he’ll make it.


So, what do we do instead of eating and drinking on fasting days? Scrabble. I still win most of the time.


à votre santé,


Looking Back

• May 28, 2013

Whenever there is a significant date or holiday, I usually try to remember what I was doing on that date a year ago. It’s often very hard. I often can not remember. So, I either have a bad memory, or I am not doing anything that is memorable enough to remember.

Last year around Memorial Day, we were in the process of packing everything up and moving to Oakland. I had made Paul crazy by starting to actually pack everything about 2 months before that, because we knew we were moving and I wanted to get a “head start” on it so it would be less stressful at the end. That was a bad idea. Even I grew tired of searching through boxes for the little things I needed, or I would get mad at myself and just try to do without. It made the house look really ugly, even uglier than it already was.


the room full of boxes


Our mood was depressed, but also celebratory, jubilant. We couldn’t wait to get out of Phoenix. Temperatures were already in the low 100s and we could only think of cool, beautiful California as we tried to avoid the heat in any way possible.

Over the many years I lived in Phoenix, and the handful that Paul lived there, we had become more and more disgusted with the entertainment and food/drink choices. In our last few months there, we ate regularly at only about three restaurants, the only ones that we thought were worth anything in the entire metropolitan area of the 7th largest city in the U.S., and this was our primary form of entertainment, unfortunately for our waistlines. The restaurants provided us with many comforts – air-conditioning, food and drink, and people-watching. Keep in mind that we know we do this (self-imposed isolation and overly-curated thinking) to ourselves – in eschewing most popular pasttimes such as watching TV, playing in our watching sports, having children to raise, and generally poo-pooing group gatherings. As you may have caught on from my other musings, food and drink in our solitary company were a primary source of amusement.


posole at Dick’s Hideaway in Phoenix, AZ




Last Memorial Day was no exception. Memories restored courtesy of the plethora of documentary footage in the library. I don’t think I would have remembered were it not for that. Apparently, there were cocktails or some other form of amusement earlier in the day. Then, just before we could really just accept that this holiday would probably be a bust for us, we gave it one last shot. There was a BBQ joint just down the street that we had been meaning to try. And what is more appropriate for making Memorial Day memories than eating PIG?!

There is no footage of the aftermath of that situation, but I’m pretty sure it involved sleeping really poorly and having a lot of regrets the next morning.

So, this past Memorial Day? We had a huge fight. It was really bad. We were in the middle of another move. Do you think these things are related? Is it just moving stress? I haven’t fully recovered from it yet, so that story will have to wait until I can make sense of it.

Everyone has Docking Drama

• May 23, 2013

We live on a sailboat, which sounds a little crazy to most people. After trying many land-based living arrangements, this one suits us best, right now. The separation from land-based stress is one of the best attributes – you really do leave work behind when you come home.  We have chosen not to have TV or internet on the boat, so when we want to plug in, we have to actually go to the office, so it really makes you consider your priorities before deciding what you want to do. Can that long email wait until I get to the office tomorrow morning? Yes. Can that Google search I just thought of wait until tomorrow? Yes. You get the idea.

But, boat life is not without its share of stresses. Other boaters will know what I am talking about when I say “docking drama”. This is the wide range of stressful, marriage-ending, bitter, angry, impatient, crazy, silly, foolish, stressful, and self-loathing things we feel when any of us tries to either leave the slip, or come back into the slip. {You remember going to the beach when you were a kid, how idyllic it all seemed when you thought about playing in the sand and bouncing in the waves. You somehow forget about the mile you had to walk across hot pavement while dad made you carry two beach chairs and a cooler fool of ice and food.} Docking is kind of like that.

Perhaps you have one of those powerboats with bow thrusters, four-way controlled steering and a hull made mostly of fiberglass – just about any low-grade captain can pull off a fairly decent maneuver with this equipment. And even with all of that power-assist, if you hit the dock while you are coming in, you don’t put a big gash in your nice shiny varnished wood rubrail that takes you weeks each year to maintain. However, there are those of us who have vessels with lead-filled keels and ballast of 32,000 pounds, all under the control of a tiny propeller under the water with blades about the size of your radiator fan. Steering, backing up, turning, and all other normal maneuvering functions can be likened to driving a school bus, in reverse, blindfolded.

No matter what the experience level of the boater, docking is where all communication and experience seem to disintegrate. Even with hours to prepare for either departure or arrival, we all seem to forget that this aspect of a day on the water requires as much skill or more as the sailing or motoring in between. Captains don’t communicate with crew and it all falls apart. Dock lines and fenders end up on the wrong side of the boat, causing a last-second scramble to get them in place on the landing side; the distance between dock pilings is always “narrower” than you remember; lines get tossed in the water instead of on the dock; husbands scream at wives, wives scream at husbands, and on it goes.

Recently, my home dock in Oakland was graced with a week-long visit of the 70-foot Maserati racing yacht, which just completed a record-breaking voyage from New York to San Francisco. They were docked about 25 feet from me and I got to watch all of their comings and goings.

Record sailing voyage wrapping up in S.F. – SFGate.

Almost every afternoon, they would take a demonstration sail with a group of guests on the boat. You would think these guys would NEVER have docking drama, right? You can sail a 70-foot yacht around Cape Horn, and you’d have that kind of simple shit handled, right? WRONG.

Trying to depart from the dock during one of our typical SF Bay “breezy” afternoons, the captain had clearly not communicated any kind of departure plan with the crew. I watched them try to steer off the side-docked position with the wind at their beam. {for non-sailors, that means it was a total bitch, like trying to bike uphill with a 30mph wind in your face} Captain assumed the guys would know that he wanted to head in reverse to get off the dock, rather than trying to point the bow into the wind. They had no idea. They pushed the bow, he would yell (they wouldn’t hear him in the wind), they would push some more, he would wave him arms around, they would run around not knowing what to do.

even the pros have docking drama

The boat would move off the dock and then slam back again. Finally, after about 10 minutes of working against each other, they had a little meeting of the minds and things became a little more clear. All they had to do was talk to each other.

I thought back to all of the times we’ve docked and undocked and how inept I always felt. Self-loathing ensues…”How can I be so bad at this?” “Why can’t we just slide gracefully into the slip like everyone else?” “Why can’t we be happy like everyone else?” “Why can’t I have perfect hair like that Italian sailing chippie”. You see where this line of thinking goes…

After seeing the Maserati crew, I felt a little less bad about all of those times and, next time, maybe I can give us a little break when we don’t quite get it right. We’re all the same; we all have our docking drama, our relationship challenges, our miscommunications and misinterpretations, our fights, and our making-up.  At least we have boat insurance for the docking mishaps.


A quiet moment

Happy Docking,


Genuine Pleasure

• March 9, 2013

Awards Season is upon us! The current excitement is focused around the 2013 Feminist P*rn Awards, now in its eighth year.

“The Good For Her Feminist P*rn Awards seek to honour groundbreaking filmmakers and performers who are making erotic movies and media that focuses on genuine pleasure, marginalized communities and hot, engaging sex.” (www.facebook.com/FeministPrnAwards/)

The list of nominees is long, and diverse. We are very excited to have been nominated for our film! It is our first year, and we were able to complete one film for entry – a very special compilation of shorts called “Day Dreams Night Music“. Made up from a series of eight vignettes, it is composed of photography and video that is richly visual and stark, sensual and sexual. It presents a dream-like vision of companionship and desire.  Review copies are available by request, tamara@pillowbookproductions.com. The DVD will soon be available for sale in our SHOP.

Among the nominees are many industry veterans, established studios, and some newcomers like us. The awards events are being held simultaneously with the Feminist Porn Conference, in Toronto, ON, April 4-6. For more information on the conference and events, http://thefeministpornbook.com/conference/about

It is sure to be a weekend of great insight, education, conversation, and entertainment. Paul and I hope to meet you when we are there!

the joy of women

• March 8, 2013

ts 5You can tell a lot about a community of women based on the behavior exhibited in a locker room. I can say that I have been in locker rooms all over the country (!). I grew up in western Michigan and enjoyed a pleasant upbringing among three male siblings and traditional, caring parents. I was fortunately never tortured through “gym class” in high school because we had no sports program; however, I heard and read stories about the tortures and humiliations of exposing one’s pubescent self to the critical  eyes of their peers. Lucky me to have missed out.

I started making locker room observations at a late age, about 5 years ago when living in Baltimore, MD. There, I observed a noticeable, extreme (in my opinion) case of women in locker rooms making sure that no one saw them naked. I saw special towels that were elasticized across one edge, and sewn together to make a kind of “wrap dress” that could be worn right after showering; clothing would usually be slipped underneath and over with contortionist skill, to avoid being naked for even a moment. There were even curtained changing rooms in the locker room. Did these women think that there was some kind of overpowering sexual energy that was going to float out into the air if someone saw them naked, and they would be oggled? Or was it a worry about being judged for their flaws?

Now I am so happy to be living in the wonderful, open, permissive city called Oakland, CA. It filled me with great joy when I discovered that the women in my local Y were the opposite of what I saw in Baltimore – they were letting it all hang out! They weren’t flamboyant about it, or cocky, just naked, and not worried about it, one bit. After all, we’re just trying to change clothes and get a shower, aren’t we?

I see the most absolutely beautiful women every morning – real women. These women have all colors of skin, and the most beautiful hues. They are older than me, younger than me, and diverse in so many ways. They are not thin OR fat, they are just so WOMEN. And they are all beautiful, and I just love being with them, all of them. They make me glad to be a woman so I can be naked too.


In Defense of Language, part two

• March 2, 2013



In October of 2012, I came across a social media post by sexualcandor.wordpress.com on the use of the term “sex-positive”.

How Sex-Positive is the Phrase Sex-Positive?

The tagline for “Sexual Candor” reads: From shame and repression to acceptance and joy.

This was an inspirational find for me. I was intrigued by the question posed…”what does sex-positive” mean to you? I was surprised to learn that some people interpreted the phrase with negative connotations. To me, this discussion was an example of the delicacy of language; it cemented in me a further level of sensitivity around  the work that Paul and I do, how we talk about it, and how we promote it.

Don’t we all want to be less ashamed of our sexual selves, unembarrassed by promoting pleasure in many forms, and able to energetically promote portrayal of sex as part of our healthy, beautiful, meaningful lives? I do. I encourage others who have a voice in promoting a “sex-positive” culture to use your words carefully; consider the delicacy of language and remember that we can earn the respect of our audience if we shy away from jokingly using negative terms about ourselves.


In Defense of Language, part one

• February 28, 2013

IMG_1477_HDR (1)We recently attended a local “erotic” film festival. At the beginning of the screening event, the emcee, in an effort to incite the crowd into an enthusiastic viewing state, told them to be prepared – that what they were about to see was “filthy”, “dirty”, “smutty”, and “raunchy”. The crowd cheered and whooped and hollered, gleefully! What we did see, truthfully, was mature entertainment that was silly, explicit, and fictional, simply put.


While I understand and accept that some events are indeed trying to create a fun, energetic atmosphere where mature material can be viewed without shame and with real enthusiasm, I think that in this case, and in others, the language chosen to describe it only further degrades the product and further stigmatizes adult material. When those of us in the adult industry (and those who defend it) have to spend so much time fighting for our right of free speech, and fighting against the overly generous use of the word “obscene”,  isn’t it time we did ourselves a favor and put helpful words in the mouths of others?

Our Modern Pillow Books

• July 30, 2011



This thought, delicately inscribed in calligraphy slightly over one thousand years ago, was taken from what is now the most well known surviving example of a pillow book.

In addition to journal entries, keepsakes and other memorabilia, the pillow book of a court lady such as Sei Shonagon would also contain her “morning after letters” or “zuihitsu”.

These letters were an important element of social etiquette between lovers.  A man, on the morning after an intimate encounter would send to his lover a poem inscribed on beautiful paper with a small flower or blossoming branch in receipt of which the beloved would return a brief note of their own.8k031

Illicit romantic liaisons, although common to ancient aristocratic Japanese society, were exceedingly private affairs.  Consequently, few pillow books survive.   These beautiful collections typically came to an end, with their authors, on a funeral pyre; their contents never disclosed.

This blog, Pillow Book Gallery, is our vignette of a life together.  A glimpse of the Pillow Book that we assemble from our day to day experiences as we work, create, laugh and dream.  Alternately humorous, quirky and thoughtful; at times beautiful and occasionally silly; we aim to entertain and invite all to join us as we explore “the inseparable arts of life and love“.


Interested in learning more about Pillow Book, or commissioning a project of your own?

Be sure to visit us at