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Santillo. La Petite Mort

Softcover, 8.1 x 11.4 in., 2.21 lb, 208 pages
US$ 30
La Petite Mort—‘the little death’—is a euphemism for orgasm, but the women who masturbate for Toronto photographer Will Santillo ripple with the pleasures of life. This book presents the finest of Santillo’s intimate portfolio, in which each model decided and directed how she would self-stimulate to climax. In accompanying interviews, Dian Hanson speaks with 37 of Santillo’s models about overcoming inhibition and achieving orgasm in front of a stranger with a camera.

Customer reviews (6)

The Ultimate Intimacy

Self-stimulation in front of the lens
The title means “the little death,” a euphemism for orgasm, but the women who exuberantly masturbate for Toronto photographer Will Santillo in this book are as lively a bunch as you’ll ever meet. Santillo conceived the project 13 years ago to include a thorough cross section of women: young to old, slim to thick, perfect beauties to those not considered beautiful until seen through his lens. The one constant would be that each would decide and direct how she masturbated to climax while he captured the moment.

From previous projects with amateur subjects Santillo had come to believe that masturbation is a far more personal act than most sex play because it is conducted almost exclusively in private. He set out to reveal the diversity and creativity with which women approach self-stimulation, and to portray the beauty of ordinary women in the throes of orgasm—a beauty far richer than the male-oriented depictions seen in pornography. Santillo says he seeks to uncover the hidden face of his subjects, and indeed, it’s the faces that best show the intensity of response in these artfully explicit photos.

Framing these lush, sepia-toned pictures are Dian Hanson’s interviews with 37 of Santillo’s models. Their candid insights discuss overcoming inhibition, giving in to exhibitionism, and achieving orgasm in front of a stranger with a camera. For all who are curious about just what the woman next door—or one’s own wife—gets up to in her private moments, La Petite Mort is a breath of life.
The photographer

Will Santillo studied photography at M.I.T. under Minor White and has worked in the fields of fashion, corporate, architectural, and intimate photography. His photos appear in the Mammoth Book of Erotic Photography, TASCHEN’s New Erotic Photography, and in the monograph Flagrante Delicto. He lives in Toronto.

The editor and author

Dian Hanson produced a variety of men’s magazines from 1976 to 2001, including Juggs, Outlaw Biker, and Leg Show, before becoming TASCHEN’s Sexy Book Editor. Her titles include the “body part” series, The Art of Pin-up, Psychedelic Sex, and Ren Hang.

Santillo. La Petite Mort
Softcover, 8.1 x 11.4 in., 2.21 lb, 208 pages

Customer reviews (6)

A bit too staged for my taste

Howard, October 27, 2021
Personally, I just couldn't get into this one. I was hoping for something that felt more natural and unstaged. But most of the images here felt very performative and exhibitionist. And that sort of thing can be seen anywhere. This book claims to have used amateur models, and I was hoping for more of a fly-on-the-wall approach. But that's just my personal taste. The photography is still very nice, and as always, the book is very well made. Others will surely enjoy this book more than I did.

Santillo touches upon the right spots.

Christian, October 27, 2021
I purchased this book for my female friend as inspiration for us to create some sensual images. She was impressed by the images that related to her. Those being in an environment that would be conducive in achieving her deepest emotions.

5 stars

Sasha, October 27, 2021
A wonderful book !!!

Good book

JF, October 27, 2021
Visual excitement cubed.

Topissime !

Riguidel Bertrand, October 27, 2021
Arty and sexy book. Female orgasm as an art performance !!

Women's orgasm

Faust, October 27, 2021
Women talk about their sexual experience/ orgasm. Wonderful book.
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