Paula Jacob and the power of being a free woman
Paula Jacob, editor-in-chief at Glamor Brasil, passionate about literature and cinema, and writer of erotic stories at @wetvividdreams, takes us on a delicious journey of discovery and contact with our intimacy. We talked to her about her look at the erotic, about female inspirations and about living a life outside the cages that trap us, after all, there's nothing better than living *without shame*.
by Gabriela Marcotti
Tell us where did the desire to have a space to express your stories come from? Was it natural?
The desire to write them was natural. I always had notebooks, diaries and notes in books of thoughts, poems, stories, loose ideas… As I am a journalist, writing ends up gaining a more technical space in life, even more so considering the rules of the Portuguese language of the work itself. And that, of course, is great for me in this space, but I missed something more sensitive and creative. Then I sat down to write a story, back in 2018, and accidentally it turned into an erotic tale. I found it surprising, I liked the exercise and started to explore it in myself. I've always read Anaïs Nin, Bataille, Henry Miller, I find the subject fascinating within the history of literature, so it was as if I found myself in myself. Exploring and unraveling these paths of what eroticism was for me and erotic writing itself – what would be my voice, the bias of the stories and so on. After some time, with stories stored in my notebooks, I talked to my friend and illustrator Brunna Mancuso about it – she was interested in illustrating. The initial idea was to make a book that merged our works, but the pandemic came and we decided to create the Instagram profile. People were talking a lot about sexuality, neediness, contacts, low libido, it was a good time to put this out into the world. Funny, for me (us, Brunna too), this process has always been natural. But I remember when I shared it with people close to me before launching Wet, a dear friend told me "what a beautiful thing, and what courage". I reflected a lot on this phrase, I kept thinking how much a space of desire and pleasure is still a taboo in society. Yes, it takes courage to do this.
Paula, many people see sexuality as the scripts created by Hollywood movies... We love that your content is very real and stimulating in different ways. How do you see the erotic today?
After I started writing the short stories, I decided to take courses on eroticism within literature, understanding it in philosophy and also in psychoanalysis – I'm still studying.
Sexuality and sex itself (which are very different things, it is worth mentioning) have always had a very boxed social place, sold as a rule to everyone, with a specific script. However, we know that this is not the case. Each person is a person, each body is a body. Not everything will work for you, and that's okay. What's worth is exploring, letting yourself be felt, allowing yourself to be found within yourself and not being afraid to overflow your wills (alone or accompanied). Due to cinema and mainstream pornography, and advertising, which uses sexual resources to sell products, the erotic has been lost in contemporary society. Physical exchanges became shallow, pleasure boiled down to something or someone very standardized. And actually the erotic is the opposite of that. Today, I see a slight change in this discourse, but we are talking about something that has historically (and for a long time!) been a social issue. Speaking is different from doing, understanding in the head is different from understanding in the body. Things will actually change when people stop fearing this contact with their own intimacy. And this is a collective gain, but as a consequence. The important thing is how each one is within themselves, always respecting the process. Not being in a rush to resolve overnight and not charging yourself for it are important things to keep in mind.
You once wrote “Colours, sounds, smells and touches: we want to sharpen your senses”. How revolutionary is thinking about feeling so holistically in a world with little attention? Do you believe this is a way to connect with our intimacy?
Looking back at society, much has been done to alienate human beings from their own bodies (physical and psychological). Going against this movement is quite revolutionary because it means finding yourself, facing the fears, the traumas and the hard parts too. Not only: allowing yourself to feel (be it pain, love, sadness, joy, fullness...) is to get in touch with existence itself. It is not possible to live a life trying to escape these things.
This consequently takes the place of eroticism and the pleasures of life. Stirring up the senses is, for me, a very beautiful and powerful way of getting in touch with what is most natural and ancestral in the body.
For a long time society denied female pleasure in many ways, what does it mean to be able to talk about it and impact so many women?
Wet's tales are always narrated by a woman. I'm a writer, Brunna is an illustrator. It is a context designed to place women as protagonists of their own desire, of their own history of sexuality, far from predetermined standards or scripts. Being able to write these stories and share them with others is quite rewarding. I receive many messages from women on the profile praising and thanking the stories, phrases and poems. There's nothing like it. If what we do there reaches and inspires someone, I'm already happy. I also think it's important for men to be part of this transformation, after all we live in a macho/patriarchal society. As long as they don't also let go of taboos and social impositions on sex/sexuality and male domination, there's no point. They are part of the followers and readers, they are a minority, but at least they are there.
Do you believe that there were some significant events that put you in this place of a woman so in control of herself, so free and so true to her nature?
Analysis, analysis, analysis (laughs). A set of factors, in fact, that involves psychoanalysis, studies, experiences. We mature in different places within ourselves from the moment we are ready and able to face all that makes up our existence. The encounter with feminism also brought me tools to understand what a personal or social imposition was; which places I had to look more closely in my daily life to deconstruct internal prejudices. It is a long process, which is still happening and, I believe, will happen for a lifetime. We change a lot according to time, context, our desires. As long as I feel true to my essence, things will flow.
Féminine, our new collection, talks about this woman who doesn't fit into standards, who overflows, who is everything! Tell us a dream or fantasy that you will live dressed as a female lol
The collection is, in itself, a dream, one of those to live with your eyes open – excellent!
That comfort of being, of looking in the mirror and feeling good about what you see there. So it's easy to overflow, whether reading at breakfast, or in front of the person you love, or undressing to take a floral bath on a sunny afternoon. It's like Wet for me, it transports me to this magical place that we can, yes, live every day.
by Gabriela Marcotti.