Sunday, November 18, 2018

100 STROKES OF THE BRUSH BEFORE BED: "The Erotic Adventures of a Sexually Ravenous Girl"


Melissa Panarello’s semi-autobiographical novel,100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed [Italian: 100 colpi di spazzola prima di andare a dormire], has sold over a million copies. The following excerpt from a New York Times book review will serve as the plot summary: “The erotic adventures of a sexually ravenous girl...A wisp of a book [with] a wallop of an impact.” 

In the book, which is written in diary form,14-year-old Melissa, “five-foot-two”, “pretty” with a “lovely little face”, masturbates in front of a mirror and at school: 

“Often with my image reflected in the mirror, I slip my finger inside, and I look into my eyes [...]” (2) “[...] I touch myself, experiencing awesome orgasms, intense and brimming with fantasies” (13) “Desire took possession of me even during school hours when, certain that no one was watching, I straddled the iron support of the desk and leaned my Secret against it with a gentle pressure.” (17)

Melissa performed oral sex on Daniele, an indifferent, insulting and irritating 18-year-old, at his vacation home until: “[...] all of a sudden there was a surprise: my mouth filled with hot, sour liquid, thick and plentiful [...] I drank the liquid because I didn’t know what else to do with it [...]” (Eventually, Melissa lost her virginity to Daniele. She was still 15, but he as 19.)

In reference to a substitute teacher who is “not only very smart but good-looking” one of Melissa’s classmates asked, “Wouldn’t you let a guy like that bang you?” “No. I’d rather rape him,” answered another coed with a laugh. 

Inside the “smoking room” of a palazzo, Roberto, a left-wing activist, instructed Melissa, on her 16th birthday, to perform oral sex on five men: “[...] you must draw near, when we tell you, and take it in your mouth until it comes. Five times, Melissa, five. Henceforth we shall no longer speak. Perform your task well.” Melissa wrote: “I returned home full of sperm, my makeup smeared. My mother was waiting for me, asleep on the couch.” (55)

Melissa Panarello

After perusing the Internet for porn, “I search for everything that simultaneously excites and sickens me.”, Melissa “[...] entered a lesbian chat room.” The next morning she received a message from Letizia, a 20-year-old bi-sexual fellow Catanian. (76-77). Subsequently, Letizia sent Melissa a nude picture “[...] her breasts, like two gentle hillocks topped by two large pink circles.”, which caused Melissa to remove her panties, slip beneath the covers, and “[...] put an end to the sweet torture that Letizia had unwittingly set in motion.” (79)

At 1:18 P.M., Melissa met 35-year-old Fabrizio, “[...] not quite handsome: tall, robust, thinning salt-and-pepper hair [...]” in the “Perverse Sex” chat room. By 9:00 P.M., Fabrizio, married with a daughter, and Melissa had sex in Fabrizio’s car. “The next time little one, we’ll be more comfortable.”

Melissa searched Il Mercatino for a math tutor. “Only one was available. A [27-year-old] man [...]” “My name is Valerio. Don’t ever call me Professor; you’ll make me feel too old.” (87) After their first meeting, Melissa wrote: “Here I go again, the same old same old. What can I possibly do about it? I can’t avoid arousing someone I find attractive, sitting so close to me [...]” 

After their first tutoring session, they had phone sex. “We touched ourselves while on the phone. My sex was swollen like as never before, and Lethe was flooding the Secret in waves.” At 10:15 he said, “Good night, Lo.” “Good night, Professor.” (91) Subsequently, they had sex on a rock and then in his green car. “On the way home, he told me we better stop seeing each other as teacher and student [...] [because] he never mixes work with pleasure.” (106) However, they returned to that location after the following conversation that took place outside of Melissa’s school as her schoolmates looked on:

“Rape me tonight.”
“No, Lo...it’s risky,” he replied.
“Rape me,” I repeated, at once bossy and wicked.
“Where, Mel[issa]?”
“The place where we went the first time.”

A week later, Letizia and a teen lesbian met Melissa at her school. Subsequently, Letizia and Melissa had sex. Interestingly, using a method that isn’t foreign to lesbians, Melissa fantasized about a man to reach maximum pleasure. Melissa wrote that while Letizia was performing oral sex: “[...] I recalled the invisible little man who used to make love to me in my childhood fantasies [...] It was then that my orgasm arrived, so powerful it had me panting.” (137)

A review in Oggi (Italy) relates one of the best takeaways from the book: “Melissa has ripped away the veil of hypocrisy that hides the real life of today’s teenagers, a life far different from the platitudes of TV sitcoms.” Oggi (Italy)


Melissa P. (2005) is based on 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed; but, it has been reported that Panarello did not support the film, because the film is too loosely based on her book. And I would concur, because except for a few scenes (e.g., Melissa masturbating in the mirror and at school), the film veers too widely from the book. However, there is a scene in the movie that’s not in the book that’s worth sharing. (See below)

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Wilmot's "Song of a Young Girl to Her Ancient Lover"

The Poetry Foundation wrote that John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester (1647–1680), "was the cynosure of the libertine wits of Restoration England." And that Wilmot "[...] was ranked as a poet second only to John Dryden, a judgment accorded as much to his genius as to his scandalous lewdness." 

Anthony Madrid shared in his post, "Porn Poetry" on The Paris Review, that the students in his poetry section were "squirming" after an undergraduate read aloud Wilmot's "Song of a Young Girl to Her Ancient Lover".

Song of a Young Girl to Her Ancient Lover

Ancient person, for whom I
All the flattering youth defy,
Long be it ere thou grow old,
Aching, shaking, crazy, cold;
But still continue as thou art,
Ancient person of my heart.

On thy withered lips and dry,
Which like barren furrows lie,
Brooding kisses I will pour,
Shall thy youthful heat restore
(Such kind showers in autumn fall,
And a second spring recall);
Nor from thee will ever part,
Ancient person of my heart.

Thy nobler part, which but to name
In our sex would be counted shame,
By age’s frozen grasp possessed,
From his ice shall be released,
And, soothed by my reviving hand,
In former warmth and vigor stand.
All a lover’s wish can reach
For thy joy my love shall teach,
And for thy pleasure shall improve
All that art can add to love.
Yet still I love thee without art,
Ancient person of my heart.

A LIT24 student aptly analyzed the poem on eNotes by posting that the: "[...] bawdy verses satirizes the desires of an old impotent man to be reinvigorated and aroused by the warm caresses of an imaginary young lover." 

Wilmot "[...] presents the desires of am old man to be fondled by the young woman as the desires of that young woman herself."

"The young woman is presented as being very submissive and willing to sacrifice all her joys and pleasures of being wooed by a young and virile lover for the sake of stroking her 'ancient' lover and kissing him to revive his dying sexual drive"

"The young woman assures her old and impotent lover that she will use all the sexual techniques ['art'] at her command to give him the maximum sexual satisfaction and thereby prove that she loves him all the more."