In 2013, four years after Nick Knight's seductive Wallpaper Magazine shoot culminating in the SHOWstudio project Soft Furnishings, the image-maker invited celebrated erotic jewellery designer Betony Vernon to discuss pleasure and society's view of sex in the 21st century. In a revealing interview with Lou Stoppard as part of the The Boudoir Bible project , Vernon confessed to Stoppard that 'even though we're living in a super sexual atmosphere, pleasure is still a taboo'. While talking about her aims to dismantle this taboo, Stoppard asks Vernon why pleasure, precisely, is tabooed, and not the previously thought act of 'sex', to which Vernon confidently replies, 'pleasure is power, a sexually-appeased person is an empowered person. We can't deny that our sexuality has been controlled by the establishment and still is.' It's this very sentiment that has dictated Vernon's life work.
It's no secret that Vernon has spent the last three decades using her designs in her freedom fight for sexual pleasure. Her best-selling work The Boudoir Bible successfully straddled the worlds of art, jewellery, design and erotica and yet, despite all that she's done, Vernon's latest publication proves her work is not done. Published by Rizzoli New York, PARADISE FOUND: An Erotic Treasury for Sybarites traces Vernon's own journey to 'an intimate paradise', featuring her renowned 'jewel-tools' and the poetic advice on how to reach new levels of pleasure by the very collectors of her objects from around the world.
Unfolding image by image, Vernon gently invites the reader into her own masterly-curated world of 'Sado-Chic' through erotic images of chains, cuffs and more that explore sensual empowerment. Weaving sex and submission into all that she designs, Vernon is the master of sexual nuance. 'My primary goal as a designer is to better the quality of everyday life, so I imbue my designs with the power to please,' the designer affirmed in a statement to press.
Separated by chapters that don't skirting around the topic Vernon's work is triumphant in confronting, a dreamworld of pleasure awaits its readers, evidenced by chapter titles Intimate Bonds, Scepters of Desire Orchestrating the Senses, Tickle Your Fantasies, Erecting the Temple, and Role Play; all of which allude to Vernon's diverse fantasies and inclusive view on sex.
Described as a 'thoroughly exquisite addition to the library of anyone with interest in erotic design and photography', PARADISE FOUND is not only for sex lovers, but those who appreciate the art of beautiful imagery too, with many of the publication's spreads featuring photographs by Nick Knight - particularly from the aforementioned project Soft Furnishings - which details Vernon's exquisite designs.
Whether you're a Boudoir Bible devotee or new to Vernon's work, the comprehensive book is sure to have you hooked, literally or metaphorically - you decide.