That was the question to answer back in 2004, when I walked away from monogamy and gave birth to my bachelor life. I had made up my mind to cultivate sex—without love or stigma—so I de-gendered bachelor and claimed that slice of male privilege as my own. With that linguistic gesture, I became a respectable bachelor, and could no longer be called out as a promiscuous slut.
“Vicki Marie Stolsen delivers a strong, smart, sexy story about defining one’s passion after years of following the rules. In this brave account of charting her own erotic map, Stolsen explores the power to be wildly curious and to declare one’s desires without apology. The Bachelor Chapters is a manifesto on becoming a connoisseur of sexual expression.” —Elise D’Haene, writer, RED SHOE DIARIES
The Bachelor Chapters tells the story of how my search for sexual satisfaction landed me in unchartered terrain along the margins of the mainstream. I wasn’t the first middle age divorceé to imagine emancipation and a steamy sex-life; what I didn’t imagine was how many ways my life would thrive when I did it.
“Not only was it an enjoyable read, but it also explored important themes in a bold and unique way. As a woman, it touched me to read of many issues that unite us as a gender. However, the book also offers new and unfamiliar perspective on race, age, and gender that are both engaging and provocative. Race is explored through interracial love, however clichéd stereotypes are avoided. The Bachelor Chapters is an uncensored and intimate glimpse into the life and mind of Vicki Marie. But no matter what age, gender, race or sexual orientation you claim…there’s something in this book for you! —Katrin Koscis, University Student, Toronto and Cartagena
Three months after the release, readers from five different countries have chimed in, and on this they agree; The Bachelor Chapters has enhanced their lives, too. Readers seek me out and explain how my story resonates with their own memories: sometimes it’s the part where I get real about love, or how I come clean on adultery, or when I parse the dissimilarities between black and white men. Or it might be the passages where I raise the curtain on lesbian and gay prejudice of bisexual’s, or how I describe the consequences of female sexual shame, or when I remind every one of the timeless injustice of slut slander and stigma.
“I read Vicki’s book in less than a week. I was mesmerized. There were moments I felt like I was reading my own story—mine’s not quite as glamorous though. I instantly connected with Vicki’s desires to make her own choices and not feel shame. I left a marriage with a man, entered into a relationship with a woman and have since, dated both. Vicki was able to put into words what I felt through the process of “coming out” again. I will re-read this book. —Julie B., Publisher, Woodinville, WA
The Bachelor Chapters is not Fifty Shades of Grey for Forty-Something’s, because my romantic tale is fact driven and could never be managed like fiction. There are more than a handful of scenes where the sex-action fires up the page, but at the same time, this mid-age memoir strives to normalize sex as it broadcasts the truth: sex is rich and rewarding even without love or partnership.
“It has been a while since I sucked a book down so voraciously. The combination of your excellent writing style, brave and confident Bachelor life, humor that I can hear as if you were talking right next to me, and most of all—the truth about us humans spoken so honestly and accurately. There is more, but I am no writer. I wish I had read this book when I was thirty. Thank you for this gift to women’s sexual freedom. Enough shame already. I’m going to give both of my thirty-something daughters a copy.” —Tamara Cottongim, RN, Ashland, Oregon
Last Friday night, I did a reading in Panama City, Panama, where I have lived since January. That makes eleven readings, six cities, and three countries so far, and next month we add Toronto, New York, Boston and Chicago to the club. What sounds jet set and glamorous is actually intimate and down to earth. As an unknown author with a new business to run, I am in the grassroots phase of wooing readers one-by-one. As I get better at presenting, the audience questions have deepened, and every exchange with each person teaches me exactly why the story I wrote actually matters to the world.
“Was not sure what to expect with this book. What I got was more than I expected. The authoress openly tells her story of a chosen lifestyle which is out of the norm, in a way that unexpectedly imparts lessons. Yes, it is hot but also teaches the freedom of a non-judgmental lifestyle. In addition, it also explores the value differences placed on male and female social behavior from a standpoint that most people do not give much thought to. She lives her life in a bold, brave, confident style in everything she does to include business, hobbies and sex. She looks to no one for validation. Such strength is rarely encountered and I sure did not imagine I would receive life-learning moments from a book about sex, love and adultery. Read and enjoy.” —Jackie R., Retired, Panama City
It’s too early to call it momentum, but something is resonating, and some of those readers have influence. Because of them, I landed a monthly gig on Huffington Post, which is in the can and ready to launch. I sign on as an advice columnist for the new dating site, Siren, set to release next month. The Bachelor Chapters will contribute to the Barcelona and Guadalajara Book Fair’s in the fall; we’ll be in Cartagena for the Hay Festival come winter. It just seemed good business to channel that energy into a crowd funding campaign, which means we’ll be on Kickstarter soon with a pitch to fund the Spanish translation.
If you’ve read the book, you’ll remember that potent revelation that I describe while in Paris with my girlfriend:
“We were a team and we were competitors in collaboration toward rapture. At that moment in my early forties, I started to understand sexual response as not simply pleasure, but as capacity. I could not believe how much I was capable of feeling.”
The business plan for The Bachelor Chapters echoes the wonder of that epiphany. At this moment in my mid-fifties, I’ve come to understand business as not simply moving product, but as generating energy. My vision for this book will take me to the some of the world’s finest cities, bring me face to face with adventurous readers, spawn an on-line audience through an influential blog, and allow me to offer expert insight to take the edge off of dating confusion. I’m counting on more energy to follow, and I’m not at all shy to tell you where I expect this to land: in bed with a seriously smart production company and their team of brilliant screen writers, making history with a sizzling hot series about a promiscuous, middle age, lady bachelor and her lovers.
“I am happy to see a woman live out of the box, challenging what you are supposed to be, to be who you are and feel free. A book full of surprises and encouragement for women to explore, feel curious and feel free. A must read for every women and a should read for men if you want to get to know women.” —Maria Contreras, owner Pole Dance Factory, Barcelona
The book is my story, but I already understand, its success will not be about me. Nobody has to be a bachelor to get the meaning of this memoir. Readers see themselves in these pages, and in spite of flaws and fears and episodes of utter dismay, they like who they see.