Last night, Salman Rushdie shared sex tips with a bulging, giddy crowd on the fourth floor of the Union Square Barnes & Noble, during a reading from his newest novel The Enchantress of Florence.
Rushdie began by reading a passage about the effete main character, who has an obsession with tulips; images of the flower are tattooed all over his body, including his “buttocks” and the “thick shaft of his penis.”
“I had to go speak recently at the Ottawa Tulip Festival,” Rushdie told the crowd, laughing and wiping his nose. “They liked this bit.”
His reading went on to include more excerpts, the most memorable being a skimmed-over three-way between the tulip boy, love interest Qara Koz (or Angelica), and her servant girl “Mirror.”
During the 3-way passage, tulip-guy’s character begins to ruminate about the staying power of his relationship with Angelica: “Yes, I have you,” he says, “but only until I don’t.”
Mr. Rushdie, who has proclaimed he’s gotten sick of batting away rumors of his new affairs after his split from model-philosopher-gourmand Padma Lakshmi, had essentially dialed up the libido in the room to 11 by the time his Q and A rolled around.
“I didn’t write the Kama Sutra, but I wish I had,” Rushdie answered the unfortunate questioner who was under the impression he had been the author of the sacred text.
But he also called the Kama Sutra “suggested reading” to prepare to embark on his newest book; in fact, sex books in general are good foreplay, he said, for getting it on with The Enchantress.
“I’ve noticed a lot of reviewers seem to fall upon this passage about the use of nails to heighten sexual pleasure, and looked at me sort of strangely as a result,” he said and snuffled. “I keep saying Kama Sutra, Book 2, Chapter 4, it’s all there.”
“There are these 3 quite large works about the heightening of sexual desire,” he said, and now the crowd was getting a little giddy.
“There’s a lot of stuff about preparations; things you can taste, and drinks, and liquids that will help you.” He giggled, everyone laughed.
“I’m not able to say whether they do or not, some of them may require boiling the testes of a pregnant she-goat. No, sorry, that’s not possible. But you see what I mean; it requires a certain amount of work.”
He proceeded to detail the application of something to the “male sexual organ, which allows you, in theory, to have 100 ejaculations a night. Now, this is a thing which I have not tested,” he said, putting his hands up in a sort-of cease-fire gesture. The entire floor erupted into raucous applause. “But I offer it to you as a piece of ancient wisdom, what we call the wisdom of the East.”