Our Flower Blooms Power!

Picture of billie best

billie best

Billie Best is the author of 3 books and 200+ blog posts at her website billiebest.com where she explores midlife reinvention, relationships, wellness and tech from a feminist perspective. Her most recent book Clitapalooza: Her flower blooms power is a sex-postive thriller romance called by Kirkus Reviews “A cheeky exploration of sex and feminism…” She is available for interviews, podcasts and public appearances. Her memoir How I Made a Huge Mess of My Life (or Couples Therapy with a Dead Man) released in 2020 has received stellar reviews. Currently she lives in Oregon with her boyfriend and her dog

Share On:

Our Flower Blooms Power!

Do you use a vibrator? Is it connected to an app on your phone? Does the app have controls that personalize the experience and make your pleasure feel like a game? Or maybe you went to one of those websites that let you design a digital lover, your dream companion, someone who looks like your idea of sexy and speaks tenderly to you, says the things you want to hear. If you’re not doing these things, maybe your daughter is, or your granddaughter. Healthy liberated women explore their bodies and enjoy intimacy. But when it comes to sex tech, we need to be smart about the risks.

An orgasm is the perfect pleasure. It burns calories, refreshes our blood and brain, relaxes our muscles and moisturizes to our skin. It opens our mind to positive thoughts and allows us to focus on our inner being. Orgasms are part of wellness. No surprise then that feminism is influencing healthcare to pay more attention to the clitoris. But it’s an ironic moment. The clitoris has been denied and ignored by doctors for centuries. Ignorance abounds. Purity culture still dominates social values. And yet, our lady bits are a magnet for money. A woman’s sex life has become the focus of biotech brands. Pills, surgery, and gadgets are being developed to address every imaginable female trouble from the shape of our labia to hot flashes and low libido. Orgasms are being monetized. The clitoris has become a profit center. It’s a gold rush.

Clitapalooza: Our flower blooms power

What could go wrong? That’s what my new novel Clitapalooza: Her flower blooms power is about. It’s a sex-positive satire about a happily married 60-ish woman who wakes up one day with a need to break all the rules she’s ever obeyed. She quits her job to farm butterflies without consulting her husband, and he’s so pissed off, he refuses to have sex with her. So she takes her frustrations online, and the fun begins.

Clitapalooza book cover

My inspiration for this story comes from my own life. I started out trying to write a second memoir in 2021 after I had lived with my new partner for just a year. I was looking for a project and I thought I had a grab bag of funny stories about our trade-offs and unexpected physical chemistry. But writing about us was a huge invasion of our privacy. The experience was too fresh. I lacked the long horizon perspective that I had when I wrote my first memoir several years after my husband died. It’s much easier to write about dead people. I don’t have to wake up in the morning and face my deceased husband over coffee. He might have had something to say about the way he was portrayed. Also, my marriage to him began to crumble when I got hooked on farming. So, lots of parallels between me and my Clitapalooza protagonist. But instead of another memoir, I decided to write fiction about a woman my age with an active sex life.

In 2006, I wrote a short story called The Nanotube Toothbrush about a woman who buys an internet-connected robotic toothbrush that comes with a customer service avatar. But my beta readers, all women friends, didn’t enjoy the read. They had no frame of reference for the technology. It wasn’t relevant to them. They weren’t interested. They didn’t think it was real. They thought it was science fiction. I thought it was futuristic. But you can’t argue with your readers. By 2021 internet-connected devices, robots, and avatars (aka, chatbots) were mainstream. So I built my recent novel on that short story about the intersection of technology and a woman’s personal life. Her mistakes are costly. Also very entertaining.

I was married for 32 years. Clitapalooza is an unconventional romance in that it challenges traditional narratives with an aging but lusty marriage and an empowered perspective on intimacy. Even in the most ideal marriages, couples can make choices that push them apart. An emotional episode can kill the chemistry that holds them together. But the girl’s got to have it, and she’s not willing to settle for two-finger yoga in the bathtub. Is sex with a robot cheating?

Robots are part of our lives now. Our phones, our cars, our digital assistants, our games and gadgets, and our sex toys all use technology capable of acting with agency based on instructions written into software. Like every other aspect of our world, our sex lives are a target for artificial intelligence, androids, and games. Women should expect that. We should be proactive in learning and teaching each other, especially girls, about the risks of sharing our most intimate moments with data-gathering brands. Sex tech poses the same privacy, hacking and fraud hazards as our phones and our computers. What’s the most embarrassing thing that could happen?

Clitapalooza is a sex-positive feminist revenge fantasy with smart women weaponizing their intelligence to outwit a predatory biotech brand posing as a women’s wellness innovator. It’s the story of what can go wrong with a woman’s sex life when she takes her lust online and philanders with a chatbot. Girl talk drives the plot. I promise you will laugh out loud. The upshot is the patriarchy isn’t going to help us fight the patriarchy. We need to look out for ourselves. We need to promote sexual literacy and the many ways our flower blooms power.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Never Miss a Blog

- sign up now!