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In Unmasked LIVE, Sexuality Takes Center Stage

Unmasked LIVE, a blush-worthy performance of essays and poems from the new anthology, Unmasked, Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at Center Stage Theater in Santa Barbara's Paseo Nuevo.

The production is directed by Maggie Mixsell and features writers and performers Cheri Steinkellner, Perie Longo, Nancy Shobe, Andrea Estrada, Deborah Donohue, Maya Shaw Gale, Linda Stewart-Oaten, Tanya Ko Hong, and the anthology’s editors Marcia Meier and Kathleen A. Barry.

In these days of heightened awareness of women and sex, #MeToo revelations and soul-searching over sexual harassment, Unmasked LIVE offers a look at the inner world of women, sexuality and intimacy, and how important it is to talk about healthy sex, the presenters said.

“This collection of essays and poetry is meant to bring post-50 sex out into the open, to proclaim it is important, it is natural and healthy and, for some women, it is absolutely necessary,” Meier said.

Gloria Steinem said: “Sex for women after 50 is invisible for the same reason that contraception, abortion, and sex between two women or two men has been forbidden: sexuality is supposed to be only about procreation.

"This lie was invented by patriarchy, monotheism, racism and other hierarchies. Sexuality is and always has been also about bonding, communicating, and pleasure. Unmasked helps to restore a human right,” Steinem said.

Unmasked, the book, is a collection of 33 poems and 20 essays by published writers who are also mothers, grandmothers, playwrights, professors, teachers, psychotherapists, copywriters, city council women, and a model for a foot-fetish website.

They come from places as diverse as Australia, Iran, California, Delaware, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Washington, and Wisconsin. Many have prestigious fellowships and Pushcart Prize nominations and other awards to their names.

They range in age from 50-87. For more about the anthology, visit www.weepingwillowbooks.com. More on the performance is at www.weepingwillowbooks.com/Unmasked-live.

— Marcia Meier for Weeping Willow Books.


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