The Baroness' First Annual Sexy Holiday Gift Guide!
While some of you more organized and diligent sorts may have already completed your HOHOHO shopping, there are many of us who still have yet to commence such activities . . . So to assist you in your quest, I’ve compiled a list of a few select items your favorite human might appreciate (and maybe even adore):
Books are always tops of my list for gifts I love to give and receive. I won’t upload my Amazon* wish list for you to copy - it’s far too long to include here and I wouldn’t want to bore you with all the 19th Century academic texts, obscure conceptual art archives and first edition vintage erotica over which I drool, but I will happily give you a few examples of sexy and decandent books sure to please even the most stiffly upper-lipped of friends.
* I’m so conflicted about using Amazon. It’s simple and fast and easy, but I would much prefer to support small, independent book sellers and recommend you do the same as much as possible.
Michael Faudet’s Dirty Pretty Things - Prose, poetry and little erotic short stories about sex and relationships. A perfect little tome to flip through and be inspired. And titillated.
Vox by Nicholson Baker. Classic erotica. A phone conversation between a man and a woman which gets very sexy, very fast. I read it in college and used to pick it up to reread on the occasional rainy afternoon at least once a year. Until someone borrowed it and never returned it. Damnit. Must get new copy.
Lingerie is a go-to gift for a reason. Even if your beloved doesn’t don the stuff everyday, I honestly don’t know a single woman who doesn’t appreciate having some sexy items in her arsenal. There are even some of us who enjoy wearing our silks, satins and laces when no one else is around. And if the doorbell rings and you don’t have time to get dressed, the postman will surely not complain. You may begin receiving more mail than usual!
Things to know: Her sizes and color preferences. You can’t go wrong with black. Some women loathe red and think it’s cheap looking while others go mad for it. Better to know that she adores Navy Blue than to see her face contort and fake a halfhearted thank you when she sees the aqua ensemble you went with. I used to go to a place in the states called Anne’s Silks and Satins in the 90s in a quaint little seaside town. Anne, a well-preserved cross between Dolly Parton, Ann-Margaret and Ann Richards, (former Governor of Texas), kept detailed index cards on each customer so when their paramour came in in search of a gift, they walked out with a perfectly fitting something that would surely be met with a positive reaction. I miss that place.
If anyone wants to get me a gift, I would not say no to a pair of these from one of my fave shops to stock up on guilty pleasures - Sensuelle in Zurich. Here you can find goodies for all the adults on your list. And you’ll likely want to pick up a little something for yourself as well. After all, you’ve been good this year, haven’t you?
This is on my list. At the very top. (Just under the books.) I just can’t decide which one I want. I’m thinking gold. It will go perfectly with the Joan Holloway look which I pulled together quite well for Halloween, if I do say so myself.
Shoes, glorious shoes! We all need them. Andwhile we don’t exactly need 100 pairs, you’d be hard-pressed to find a woman (and many men too) who would not be thrilled at the thought and would happily make closet space for oodles of shoes. The thought of someone else picking out a pair of sexy heels or boots they would like to see on you is a gift in itself and the concern of buying shoes for feet other than your own should not deter you. . . That’s why we keep our receipts, darlings!
Enter Colette Sol, my favorite locally designed collection of delicious shoes and bags. Colette has a local private showroom where she’d be more than happy to host you and a group of your closest shoe-loving friends. You won’t go away empty-handed, believe me. And people will be stopping you on the street asking you where you got those hot, red and black, snakeskin ankle boots. (I have these and love them so much I’m almost afraid to wear them. They are on display in my office. I really like looking at them. I’ll wear them tomorrow.)
Sometimes you don’t feel like digging out the ribbon and wrapping paper; sometimes it’s just better to create an experience. One of the best dining experiences you can treat someone to is at Maison Manesse. While there are many lovely restaurants in Zurich I can recommend, only one comes to mind when I think of a true, unique eating experience - a series of culinary moments. Trust me. Go see sexy Miguel and tell him The Baroness sends her love and will be back soon.
Let’s see . . . am I missing anything? . . . ah, yes! Jewelry! There are two designers I’m currently drooling over. Cristina of Atelier McDaniel is all about stars - rings, necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks . . . Cristina has been creating fabulous pieces since 2014 and each time she comes out with a new one, I want it. My latest desire is a pair of her pavé diamond star earrings. Maybe I’ll make a few more holes in my cute little ears so I can have a pair in each size. See darlings, for every challenge, there is a solution.
This summer I had the pleasure of attending a wedding in the south of France of two of the most charming, handsome and stylish men I know. The guests ranged from a J.Crew model to a set designer for the upcoming Wonder Woman movie to two incredible jewelry designers. Gisele Ganne is one. (I’ll be sure to tell you about the other when her new collection comes out.) When I first saw Gisele's work, I was unsure I could pull it off. It’s so dramatic and makes such a statement and is so stunning and gothic . . . but then I thought, Oh Baroness, you are dramatic and stunning and like to make statements! Her work is perfect for you! The only problem is deciding where to begin. Which I’m still doing. I plan on choosing my first piece and telling my accountant it’s what I’d like from him for Christmas. Seems only fair. He does owe me. Or is it that I owe him? . . . Anyway, you’ll likely have a hard time choosing as well, but you surely cannot go wrong. I know you’re all fabulous enough to pull off one or several of these stunners.
I’ll stop here so you have ample time to check out all these inspired ideas and to purchase them all! Don’t delay! And be sure to tell everyone The Baroness sent you. You’ll be sure to get extra special treatment. Maybe even a cheeky pat on the bum, if that’s your thing.
Don't tell Ron, but I'm thinking of whipping up one of these to put under his tree. It's just so hard to decide which one. Your votes are welcome. And remember, it's a surprise!
Here’s hoping Santa gets you everything on your list, whether you’ve been naughty or nice.
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“MY VIETNAM” is a project about Vietnamese identities across borders
A cooperation of the Goethe-Institut Vietnam & the literary online magazine Zzz Review.
Four second-generation Vietnamese writers from the Czech Republic, Germany, France and the US, and five young authors from the North and the South of Vietnam write short plays of five minutes length on what Vietnam means to them. Each piece draws upon personal experience and questions of cultural identity.
Each piece will be performed in a non-theater-space that will be recorded. The plays will be performed and filmed in the language of the respective writers. Each audio-visual recording will be subtitled in English, Vietnamese and German and placed online onto the project-landing page of the Goethe-Institut. This creates a basis for an important cultural dialogue across boundaries.
This fundraising serves to finance the five plays by the Vietnamese authors. The four productions from Germany, France, the Czech Republic and the USA are financially secure.