This month, we're delighted to be publishing a book that is the first of its kind in Ireland. Bare: Irish Women's Sexual Fantasies explores female sexual fantasies, written in explicit first-person narrative, from over one hundred women living in Ireland.
'Bare is not just a nicely-produced book giving a fascinating insight into the hidden desires of Irish women, it is also an important part of a conversation that is beginning to rumble along, louder at last.' - Sunday Independent
Just like the women who wrote the fantasies, the editor chose to stay anonymous under the pen name of Julianne Daly. She shares her thoughts on the process of putting Bare together below.
I am well-known amongst my friends and acquaintances as someone who will talk about anything. I like to discuss the un-discussed and name the elephant in the room. However, even I find it difficult to talk about my sexual fantasies. This just feels like a step too far even when in the company of my best friends, never mind polite company. Even one of my closest female friends, who is similarly open and honest, stopped me in my tracks as I told her about this book. She assured me that there was no way I would be getting a story from her – some things are just private.
As for the men I speak to about it, they are generally fascinated by the idea. They ask me about it every time I see them. I thought I was putting this book together for Irish women, but it seems it’s for the men also.
The stories in this book reflect the very different sexual tastes we women have. Some of them are very graphic, some romantic, some quite innocent and I must admit that some did surprise me. There are fantasies about sex with priests, gardaí and two brothers as well as fantasies about sex with strangers, friends’ husbands and exes. It seems we are all very different when it comes to what turns us on.
We hope that by bringing together the sexual fantasies of the ordinary Irish woman we can start a conversation about sex and how women in this country think about it or women’s attitudes towards it. Based on the reaction to the book so far, this conversation is certainly going to happen. It seems there is a real hunger to know what other women are thinking about sex. Some women talked about not feeling normal.
Some women worried that there was something wrong with them, as heterosexuals, in fantasizing about other women. In the submissions we received, it’s clear that Irish women fantasize about all sorts of things. Most of the women have never played their fantasies out in real life, though some of them toy with the idea of it. For most, the fantasies are imaginary, arousing scenarios normally kept to themselves. Many of the contributors emailed me to say how happy they were that the book was being put together, excited to be part of the project.
I was reminded by someone of the controversy created after a quiz on the Late Late Show back in 1966 where, during a light-hearted quiz, Gay Byrne asked a man what colour his wife’s nightie was on their wedding night. A bishop in Galway denounced the Late Late Show from the pulpit and said he was “disgusted by the disgraceful performance”. It will be interesting to see if Ireland has moved on.