This is a memoir. It describes a love affair, a dramatic break up and what happened next – a sexual odyssey.
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.
Some light BDSM, some sex magick, some 5 rhythms dancing and a couple of Bronze Age Stone circles also feature.
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. I’m proud of this book. If Sun Dog, my first novel, written ten years ago, is a coming of age novel, then this is some kind of ‘coming into middle age’ sequel.
What other authors have said:
Monique Roffey’s book is incredibly brave, funny and heartwarming. Where most writers would fear to tread in fiction, Monique has kicked the doors open with an honest memoir about the sexual and emotional journey she went on. Writing about the (sometimes uncomfortable) truths in her soul-searching, Monique shows that being open and upfront about sex can be an empowering thing. A lovely, touching, beautifully written book; recommended.
Zoe Margolis, aka the Girl with the One Track Mind
‘Monique’s book was a huge affirmation for me as a mature and fully active, sexual woman. Being a sex writer myself I know how difficult it is to convey the subtle dynamics of romantic relationships and sexual adventures through words on a page, yet Monique has managed to do just that in a bold, courageous and uncensored way...Monique’s writing style..is intimate and engaging and reveals a deep vulnerability, as well as an infectious enthusiasm for living life to the full.’
Kavida Rei, author, Tantric Sex
‘Brave and poignant. Read it and if you’re not churned inside out, you may consider yourself dead.’
Kapka Kassabova, author, Twelve Minutes of Love
“An intelligent, dark, thorny book about sex.’
Robert Rowland Smith, author, Breakfast with Socrates
‘Amazingly honest, very well written and a fascinating window on women’s sexuality’.
PRESS – UK reviews
‘This book is astoundingly brave. It is funny. It speeds along. It has magic at its heart – that indefinable sliver of human warmth and hope that all the best, most searching memoirs seem to have. Moreover, Roffey’s somehow irrepressible willingness to share begins to seem generous, infectious even….I found myself knocked off course in a rather moving and indescribable way….she actually makes a writerly choice to remain ‘blind’ because ‘I wanted to turn darkness into prose’. Well good. Because isn’t that exactly what we need in writers – the brightest, most adventurous and self-scrutinizing ones – like Roffey – to do: to take the darkness and turn it into something so blazingly alive that it can shine a light on the rest of us?’
Julie Myserson, The Observer
‘Less of Belle de Jour’s lifestyle raunchiness and far more honesty about sex feels – as opposed to how it looks…Roffey’s writing soars when she’s describing the intense grief she experienced at the end of a great love affair that prompted her journey…Roffey is both wise and moving when examining her desire for romance: her propensity for creation myths in relationships; and how her ex ‘had a talent for love’…Roffey asks serious questions about what place sex has in modern relationships, and is blessed with an admirable honesty.’
Alexander Heminsley, Independent on Sunday
Her account of her sexual odyssey which moves from sex clubs in French libertine resorts to tantric sex workshops in Somerset is called With the Kisses of his Mouth (a quote from the Song of Solomon). It is a vivid, entertaining and unexpectedly moving read about a middle aged woman’s attempt to find enlightenment through sex – a kind of Eat, Shag, Love. It is not coldly erotic like Catherine M, or unrepentantly horny like Samantha from Sex and the City. It is a good deal more rueful and emotional.’
Daisy Goodwin, The Sunday Times
‘She trawls Craig’s List for casual encounters, the “zipless fuck” that Jong brought into the light in her 1973 classic Fear of Flying. But in an age when it’s so easy to have a zipless fuck, the appeal soon palls. Roffey heads off into new territory, exploring her sexuality and ultimately her humanity in a series of tantric workshops and therapies. She quite rightly points out that we are willing to develop our skills in most aspects of our lives except sex and love. She describes her experiences at workshops, in therapy, massage classes and sex parties in a skeptical and humorous way; much of this book is very funny. Roffey bravely stretches the boundaries of what she’s comfortable with and gradually becomes profoundly sexually self-aware and, she hopes, will be better at loving in the future.’
Rebecca Loncraine, The Independent
‘A brave and audacious exploration of female sexuality…The writing is spirited, candid, sometimes humorous, definitely full-on and, as a woman’s response to sexuality, refreshing. She asks questions about love, sex and relationships that we have all asked – but rarely gone to such lengths to find answers to.’
Carol Drinkwater, Mslexia
‘With the Kisses of His Mouth provides a fascinating perspective on attitudes to sex in the twenty-first century and questions what is socially acceptable for an open-minded person to be getting up to. Indeed, the reader may come to think that we all need our own sexual odyssey… of some sort.’
Clara Robinson, Erotic Review
‘Novelists such as Roffey and Rupert Thompson have been pulling the curtain back on their own lives and giving us a glimpse into their private worlds. In With the Kisses of his Mouth Roffey describes, with an often startling candour the fall-out from her partner’s infidelity and her quest to discover her own sexuality….In both cases, I’m sure, there is a limit to what the writers reveal. But there doesn’t seem much coyness in either book….Perhaps there is no such thing as too much information. We might not like all of it, we might find some of it offensive, or in bad taste, or just lacking in manners, but what’s the alternative? What’s the greater danger? Exposing everything, or exposing nothing?’
Teddy Jamieson, Herald Scotland
‘From Craig’s List to tantra classes, this is a heartbreaking and at times explicit memoir of rediscovery.’
‘In a quest to heal her broken heart, Monique Roffey started seeking answers to some powerful questions. Does ruling out love mean ruling out se x? Can you have great sex without love? Can great love survive without sex?.’
“Roffey is good at writing about raw emotions and is engaging as she embarks on her pleasure quest.’