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Erotic Lives of Women by Scalo


Photographs by Linda Troeller Interviews by Marion Schneider


Questions from interviews in media from New York Times to GQ, London.


How did you decide to make the Erotic Lives of Women book?


When I turned forty I entered an erotically aware period and began thinking how I might photograph my experience. I began observing other women. On a train I saw an older woman in her seventies strutting through the corridor in spike heels, make-up and a fur. She projected an openness that made me think “hot woman.” I decided I wanted to express that sensation in pictures.



What happened in the process of finding women to be part of the book?


Actually I started asking what appeared to be attractive women to be in my project. I was shocked that some of them were beaten down from break-ups, divorces and disappointments, and felt they were not as erotic as they wanted to be. I was surprised.


A woman from Florida in early fifties told me her forty-year-old boyfriend died of a heart attack and her youthful, sexy desire died right afterward. Another women, 45, from Italy fell off a horse and during a slow recovery lost her sexy edge and felt old. They both thought the photo shoot would help them re-activate their erotic moods. Then I met Val, in her 50, who told me no amount of exercise got rid of her small existing tummy, so she took action and switched to wearing black camisoles that covered it and always wore black stockings that made her legs more film and available.


I began to see that the book project could educate women and men in how women establish and re-establish their sexuality. I discovered that a key to create erotic moments is to recharge –through a positive relationship, therapy, makeover, fitness that re-animates blocked sexuality.


How do some women fuel their sexuality?


There is a process for women at any age to “evolve” and feel in touch with their “hot’ selves. One woman developed a system of touching herself to orgasm and then blessing herself with that vibrant energy, imagining it spreading as white light onto her arms and legs. She created a kind of ritual to potentially enhance her aura and energy.


Eroticism is not longer associated solely with ” sex,” but it is a vital “turn on to life.” Even my 70-year-old mother saw how to increase it on a TV talk show and ordered the recommended vibrator for orgasmic stimulation. She used it to satisfy and uplift her mood even after she lived in a nursing home. I’ve heard women refer to their vibrators as “21st century toys with a spirit.”


I partnered in the project with Marion Schneider, a German writer, who suggested she interview the women I had contacted and encouraged me to photograph women of all ages, not just the older ones I had been selecting. I agreed.


What is your process of capturing women’s sensuality?


I look for atmosphere and choose a “sense” of what each woman is feeling, almost as if I catch what is oozing from the psyche. In the photographic moment, I have become aroused and even cried because of the closeness of the situation. I could not have anticipated the profound experience women have had being photographed.


You and Marion are in the book as well. Why?


We wanted to show our solidarity with women who were taking time to talk about a sexual subject, which still has taboos in some religions and countries. We also wanted to learn more about our own erotic tendencies.


I learned that I had been a very caring person, obliged to care for people since I grew up taking care of my parents. At that time, I would easily offer people to enter my personal space as part of friendliness. Through the project, I discovered how my relationships took liberties and that I had not learned to establish ‘boundaries.”  The erotic impulse connects with a desire to go deep, deep into body sensation, and you can interpret this connection as ‘love’ when it is really, sometimes it is only someone taking ‘liberties’ or simply really “enjoying’ creative erotic interplay. I learned how each women needs to confront for herself, what is her healthy sexually in terms of religion and health. Some sex counselors say that ‘everything that doesn’t please’ is unhealthy. I encourage women to learn about boundaries” and find a place of sexual and sensual exploration that supports their life direction.


You started shooting your next book, “Body feeling”? Tell us about it?


Marion Schneider and I focus on women’s experience of their orgasm. We have photographed five women so far and are interested in meeting others. This topic is very intimate and euphoric so we are gaining new insights to share with our viewers.


We interview the women with a digital tape recorder and then I photograph with a digital camera.


The questions are:


What is your definition of orgasm?


What was your first orgasm? Then we ask them to show it to the camera.


What was your strongest orgasm? Then we ask them to show it to the camera.


Do you have any fantasies that influence your orgasm? Can you show it to the camera?




For a Portrait Session Contact Linda at Address Below


Linda Troeller will shoot your Goddess Portrait at home or at a spa location.

She has been working with Kat James, who takes women on Total Transformation trips and Marion Schneider's spa Toskana Therme.   The  shoot involves each person choosing clothes and locations. Georgianna Nicols, who holds a major corporate position, presents her "new" self with Linda's creative style portrait.


Linda's experience includes her portraits with women from 35 countries for her book, Erotic Lives of Women, Scalo.