An easier question: what is Vaginal Fantasy? It’s a book club organized by Felicia Day, Veronica Belmont, Bonnie Burton and Kiala Kazebee (aside: this crew has some of the most OG twitter handles of all time: @veronica?! @kiala?!! I’m so jealous of your first name twitters.) They choose two supernatural romance novels to read each month, then host a discussion with ample amounts of adult beverages and tangential hilarity on a Google hangout.
First of all: Felicia Day! If you’re not familiar with her, go watch Dr. Horrible immediately, then return to this post. …Then watch episodes 7.20, 8.11, and 8.20 of Supernatural. Felicia Day is my nerdspiration. She makes me want to play video games and dive into the sci-fi and fantasy worlds instead of just dragging my toe in the water. Her vast knowledge of (and participation in) these genres is a little intimidating, and makes me want to learn more about it so I can be part of the conversation. The “conversation” in general, not like, with her in my head. I swear. Above all, what impresses the hell out of me is her confidence and dedication to the idea of “owning what you like.” I’m pretty sure she said those exact words on one of the episodes, but I’ve watched so many this week alone that I can’t recall which one…
Own what you like. Why is that such a novel concept to actually practice? (Book pun. Nailed it.) The way the Vaginal Fantasy ladies fly their freak banners is so awesome and freeing, it’s contagious. If you’re anything like me, half the battle to accept embarrassing reading preferences is admitting it to yourself. (I realize that, since you’re reading That’s Normal, you have likely already done so.)
Here’s my personal example: I have a fairy…thing. I blame it on my formative years as an only child in rural Oregon: we lived on 16 acres of forest a half-mile from our closest neighbors. My siblings were dogs, chickens, and sheep; my friends were woodland creatures, real and imagined. Jesus, that is unfortunate to admit in a public forum. But it’s true.
One hopes these oddities are cured with the onset of adulthood, but no: as a 25 year old woman, I will inhale a Fae-infested urban fantasy series like it’s my last day on Earth. Thought-provoking nonfiction? Not as much. I’ve had some serious book guilt, is what I’m saying. Leave it to something called Vaginal Fantasy Book Club to make me embrace my predilections.
TL/DR: I like fairies and I like that I like them.
Even though Felicia is what brought me to VF, the other ladies kick ass, as well. Meet them:
A favorite line: “Ehh…He has pointy ears.” Felicia: “What’s wrong with pointy ears, Veronica? You have an elf problem?” “As an elf-pointed-ear person also, um…we don’t date our own kind.”
Bonnie Burton is an author and journalist who is big in the Star Wars fandom; she has a taxidermy collection to rival that of The Bloggess. Bonnie also wrote a book I really want to read, called Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean To Each Other And How We Can Change.
A favorite line: “I pretended until almost the end of the book that Brisbane was a werewolf. I had to, because it was boring. I tried to get into the book, but it was like, ‘Where is my sex?!'”
A favorite line: “I like these kinds of glasses because when you get drunk, you can’t break them as easily.”
The book club hangouts feature smart commentary on gender issues and world building along with increasingly (as Bonnie’s giant wine glass drains) tipsy observations on kilts, tiny baby hands, the perils of your boyfriend actually being a dragon, and a few snort-laughs. And of course, the classic dilemma in any romance novel discussion: whether the sex scenes are “too rapey.” Here’s one of their first episodes:
Here’s their most recent episode:
I highly recommend checking out their Goodreads group to see what kind of books they have read (they didn’t do the Fever series I think because it really gets good around book 3) and what members are talking about on the forums. They’re currently reading two Kresley Cole books that they will discuss in a hangout on May 28th: Shadow’s Claim and Poison Princess. I don’t know if I have time to catch up, but I’ve watched almost all of the hangouts without reading any of the books, and they were all incredibly entertaining.
Thank you Bonnie, Felicia, Veronica, and Kiala, for making it so fun and normal to enjoy this genre! I can’t wait for the next episode (and TINY WINE, duh).
Have you heard of this book club? Who wants to join Vaginal Fantasy with me?