Read Jealousy: The Other Life of Catherine M. by Catherine Millet Helen Stevenson Online


Catherine Millet’s best-selling The Sexual Life of Catherine M. was a landmark book—a portrait of a sexual life lived without boundaries and without a safety net. Described as “eloquent, graphic—and sometimes even poignant” by Newsweek, and as “[perhaps] one of the most erotic books ever written” by Playboy, it drew international attention for its audacity and the apparentCatherine Millet’s best-selling The Sexual Life of Catherine M. was a landmark book—a portrait of a sexual life lived without boundaries and without a safety net. Described as “eloquent, graphic—and sometimes even poignant” by Newsweek, and as “[perhaps] one of the most erotic books ever written” by Playboy, it drew international attention for its audacity and the apparently superhuman sangfroid of Millet and her partner, Jacques Henric, with whom she had an extremely public and active open relationship. Millet’s follow-up answers the first book’s implicit question: how do you avoid jealousy? “I had love at home,” Millet explains. “I sought only pleasure in the world outside.” But one day she discovers a letter in their apartment that makes clear Jacques is seriously involved with someone else. Jealousy details the crisis provoked by this discovery, and Millet’s attempts to reconcile her need for freedom and sexual liberation with the very real heartache that Jacques’s infidelity causes. If The Sexual Life of Catherine M. seemed to disregard emotion, Jealousy is its radical complement: the paradoxical confession of a libertine who discovers that love, in any of its forms, can have a dark side....

Title : Jealousy: The Other Life of Catherine M.
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ISBN : 9780802119155
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 185 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Jealousy: The Other Life of Catherine M. Reviews

  • M. Sarki
    2019-03-01 13:33 is said that the future narrows once we cease to believe it is eternal…___Catherine MilletI am over fifty pages into my new read by Catherine Millet titled Jealousy and I have to say that this memoir is far more cerebral than The Sexual Life of Catherine M.. There is plenty of hard core sexual intelligence on the pages of her first graphic memoir, but this particular book hasn’t even offered a hint of decadent indulgences as yet. In her opening she is obviously leading up to why she wrote this book and she is taking her sweet time about it. Not that it isn’t worth reading. The book reminds me of a sort of text book as she drops the names of pertinent philosophers and film makers whose influences were made on what she is writing, and at some point it is hoped she begins to feel something besides her own thinking about it. She is analyzing everything. I feel the letter she found regarding her husband’s romantic involvement with somebody other than herself, the letter that we were previously warned about in the commercial hype of blurbs and jacket notes, is beginning to be revealed, and the dealings to follow are why we are reading her again in the first place. That, and to get a few more erotic details regarding her sexual escapades, if truth be told. And why not? Why not tell the truth as she so boldly and bravely did in the first book, unsettling the nerves and relaxed muscles now poised in my chair and ready to do battle with distractions everywhere. The travel that is still necessary to her business causes Catherine to delay her direct dealings with her husband over this matter. Far away she is left to her own devices, her mind dredging up old memories, crafting scenarios in which she sees her husband having sex in several positions in different rooms of special houses. All a fabrication in the mind of Catherine M., but there is no denying the trysts did take place without her knowledge of them. What was previously taboo in the couple’s relationship is now front and center on the stove, and the telephone blazes long distance with the truth and lies still to be told and believed in. The discovery of a new Catherine M. involves the old one as well as every man she ever put herself in intimate company with. Everything has changed for Catherine upon learning of her husband’s love for another woman than herself. What once was just in her mind a sexual act has become something more dangerous and frighteningly defenseless. I see perhaps where this memoir is going. In her first book Catherine maintained she had sex with a thousand others simply to have sex and be willingly taken across taboos she would never choose by her own doing. She allowed herself to be led into these sexual adventures in order to feel freed and less prejudiced. There was never any emotional link to any of the strangers she let physically inside her. But her husband, Jacques, on the other hand, had developed emotional ties to a young pregnant woman, and Catherine discovered this secret relationship after viewing nude photographs her husband had taken of the girl with her legs splayed open and clearly pregnant, something Catherine could no longer become, I assume, after having already had three abortions during her active past. The other relationships she discovered in his journals and love letters were also obviously emotional attachments he had kept from her. It was their mutual taboo, their understanding and agreement as a couple, that the lovers they each would take for sex would be kept private from each other, and through the years Catherine had no problem with that arrangement. Jacques claimed he wanted no longer to hear any more of the stories she willingly would tell him when they had first met. But when she discovered the letters, photographs, and journals her husband kept and realized these women were more than just sex partners her imaginings became devastating to her. Left to her own fantastical world she habitually inhabited, even at work or play, Catherine M. was feeling herself crazy and completely out of sorts. Her obsession with Jacques grew until not only was she climbing up the stairs to his studio almost every day to further her investigative work, but she was beginning to remove items and keep them in her own drawer for the purpose of dealing with her grief, at least for the moments she looked at them, more straight on. That did not prevent her thinking of vengeance, feeling like an extra in his new film, or fantasizing now about Jacques and his lovers having sex, instead of her own fantasies she had employed for many years that no longer worked for her. She was feeling her life becoming undone.Catherine still had not confronted Jacques about these lovers, he had no knowledge of her spying on him, and I am certain all this will have to be dealt with by book’s end. But so far I am half way through and there is still much ground to cover. The writing is so good. The book reads like a novel almost. I find similarities to my favorite philosopher Gilles Deleuze as she lets the writing discover for itself where she is going. There is no hurry and the rhythm is so enjoyable. I am not wanting this book to end. I feel in matters of intimate relationships, sexual experimentation, and the subsequent discovery that nothing really does ever end, that each answer creates a new question if one is willing to go deeper and deeper into the object of their personal desire. I feel this is an important book and somehow it has been discounted because it came on the heels of a somewhat pornographic sex memoir. This is an important academic textbook in many ways. It is most definitely a serious social study of our human condition.Another page torn from one of Jacques’ journal and stuffed into the pocket of a robe he wore on vacation finally offers the tipping point for Catherine and Jacques after one year enmeshed in their crisis together. Whereas previous arguments, discussions, and graphic emotional upheavals between the two allowed nothing sympathetic or even empathetic to issue from Jacques, arriving home to see the torn journal page and a note from Catherine finally makes its mark on him. Suddenly he is remorseful and wanting to make things right with her as she is shivering, frightfully coiled in the fetus position in the back bedroom. Jacques becomes everything she was hoping for each time she had pressed him for details throughout the running year of her suffering. But it is almost too late as Catherine is finally pushed over the line of her grief, feeling as she did when she learned her mother had committed suicide. Her memory holding what remained of that day when she identified the body and witnessed the open window her mother had jumped from and the stool in front of it she used to climb in order to fling herself out. I am gratefully prescient to the fact that Catherine must eventually recover somewhat enough from her demented crisis in order to write this intelligent book, but at this point in the memoir she is suffering in savage proportions.I have only four more pages to go in my reading of Catherine Millet’s Jealousy. I am deeply saddened and seemingly feeling adrift in a new tumbling and vacant sea she has made for me. My despair at not having another book of Millet’s to read is tempting me to look for her book on Salvador Dali who she mentions briefly twice in Jealousy. Dali is one iconic art figure who said he could live without anyone, and now she has perked my curiosity for what she may have discovered for herself while writing her book on Dali. I am aware of Dali’s rather rich existence in his personal world of fantasy. I know about Millet’s. I am being honest about my own in light of what I know now. I prefer my virtual world over a reality that hurts too much, that is so lacking in meeting my needs. I understand why these fantasizers do it, why they embrace a world of their own making. I have done it often enough in my poetry. It is not as easy as it looks. Millet’s fantasies were well-developed, but still not strong enough to take on the reality of her relationship with Jacques. But she found a way to incorporate the real lovers in his life into her own masturbatory imaginations. She embraced her pain with feelings of ecstasy. People like Catherine Millet are easily tossed to the side, discounted for their perverted and deviant ideas, especially if they are of a sexual nature and extremely promiscuous as hers are. But a writer like Millet cannot be discounted. She is too good, too fine, to operative in her compositions of excellence to be denied. There is truth in every thing she says. I cannot believe I found her. What a lucky fortune I have made by delving into my own obsessions and fantasies. It can only be hoped we still hear more from Catherine Millet and I, for one, will be looking for her.A most important sentence I found within the last few pages of this fine book is revealed within the light of herself as she was writing this memoir. The sentence could not be more true or better written. It is worth studying completely as if understanding it potentially becomes a part of your final grade:The distance we set between ourselves and the events of our past life, which reduces their scale, the backlog of things we failed to notice at the time, the logic which connects them, which back then was invisible, the light shed on them by the epoch they belong to, which mankind already considers a moribund piece of history, their ultimate strangeness, which makes us look back on the person we were as though they were a different being, all these things conspire to turn our past into a dream.

  • Evan
    2019-02-25 12:36

    Good lord is this book pretentious. File this one under French sluts who think they're Plato.The nonchalant sexual libertinism that marked Millet's attitude in her previous book, The Sexual Life of Catherine M., has given way to jealousy in this sequel memoir, in the wake of her discovery of the side amours of her lover, Jacques, with whom she is having a relatively monogamous relationship. She realizes her reactions are hypocritical and complex, and her attempts to sort through and hash out these feelings and their sources make up the contents of the book. Millet is thoughtful and meticulous in the process, probably too much so, and the result becomes wearisome and exhausting very quickly.The Sexual Life of Catherine M. had a little something for everyone: dirty sex interwoven with thoughtful musings about same. This time we get mostly the philosophy; her rambles are often so long-winded that it's no surprise that she had the stamina to give good blowjobs.This is one of those books where words like "onanism" and "anodyne" are used repeatedly instead of words like "masturbation" and "soothing." In fact, there should be a drinking game for every time "anodyne" is used in this book; it would make for a welcome anodyne for the painful reading.To her credit, Millet admits on page 77: "I am not always as acute as my eye is sharp -- as you can see from this book."Millet continually goes off on analytic rambles and in the course of them I often wondered how she got from point A to point Z. Or, by the time I got to point Z I'd forgotten what the hell point A had been.Several times she'll write something overanalytically, then repeat it more directly with the preface: "In other words," which makes you wonder why she just didn't go the more direct route to begin with.I honestly don't think there's enough here for a whole book. Millet beats a dead horse so as to to see what a dead horse looks like at various stages of tenderizing and decay.So, it's off to find a book better suited to my onanism and anodyne relief.

  • Travis McClain
    2019-03-10 17:44

    I read The Sexual Life of Catherine M. in 2009, in which Millet candidly recounts her libertine lifestyle. The titillating subject material was only part of the appeal; her unapologetic candor was what really struck me. Shortly after finishing that memoir, I learned that Millet was set to release a companion volume, Jealousy. I became instantly intrigued. This was, after all, a woman who wrote in explicit detail of her years in the swinger lifestyle, in which sexual partners are ephemeral. What would be the object of her jealousy? How would such a woman even feel or process jealousy?As it turns out, Millet grew into her jealousy with Jacques Henric--her husband. Catherine continued her sexual adventures with the full knowledge of her husband, but was stunned to discover that he had in turn been involved with various women as well. No expectation had ever been placed on his monogamy, nor had he made any commitment to that effect. Yet despite the hypocrisy in her outrage, there is an understandable and accessible sense of betrayal--at least, insofar as she articulates her side of things in Jealousy.Monogamists will likely thrill to this with a sanctimonious self-righteousness of vindication that even the author of "the most explicit book about sex ever written by a woman" (Edmund White, speaking of The Sexual Life of Catherine M.) eventually discovered the power of a meaningful, monogamist relationship could unnerve her. That may well be, but it is not itself evidence that Millet was wrong to enjoy the sexual life she has had--nor anyone else, for that matter. Rather, I see it merely as an epiphany of a woman who has discovered a dynamic to her relationship with one man that was not really present in any of her other relationships.Sexuality is a poorly understood subject in our society, despite our inheritance of centuries of reflection on the matter. I won't now go into the "Westerners are prudes" speech we've all heard ad nauseam, but I will point out that in this specific incidence, I think it fair to draw an analogy to non-sexual experiences we have all had. Think of all the teachers you had throughout the years, each trying to guide you through a given subject. Remember how you struggled with something for years (in my case, I always had problems with literary analysis) and then, all of a sudden, along came that one teacher who put it to you in a manner that made it accessible and understandable?We have been instructed by various teachers over the years, so why would this one manage to get through to us when others could not? Was that teacher unique? Had we been incapable of "getting it" until then? Does the credit lie with our previous teachers, whose efforts chipped away at us over the years and our enlightenment was the result of their collective work rather than the uniqueness of this one teacher? Who's to say? Very likely, all of these and other elements were in play. It does not mean, however, that we were wrong to have not understood the material with previous teachers. It merely means that the dynamics were different.In point of fact, Millet characterizes her philosophy on the relationship between sexuality and love:"I am aware that my conception of books is similar to my conception of love! Although I am a libertine, I have definitely never been flighty. I consider people who have one love affair after the other as though they were members of an alien race, whose language and customs are mysteries to me. I am hopelessly, discouragingly sceptical [sic] about those romantic souls who succumb to love at first sight. My own experience is so different! It took many years, thousands of conversations, a few shared tribulations, until, without of course having thought it through, I identified the feeling I had for Jacques as a feeling of love." (176-177)I found Jealousy much more affecting than The Sexual Life of Catherine M. and it is a shame that it is the earlier volume that eclipses its counterpart. Jealousy reveals an emotional vulnerability the likes of which I have rarely encountered. My heart broke for her as she became anxious even passing near the steps that led to Jacques's study. I cringed at her obsessive fantasies of him with other women. There were times I wanted to hug Millet, and times when I wanted to share with her my own experiences. Of course, I could do none of this; she was not actually here with me.As much as I recommend Jealousy, I think it necessary that you first read The Sexual Life of Catherine M. The earlier work establishes the context in which to fully appreciate Jealousy, and I think that readers of Sexual Life will find Jealousy a fascinating confession the likes of which were not readily apparent in that first volume.There are two formatting problems I have with Jealousy as a book. Firstly, the entire memoir is full of run-on sentences broken up by several commas. I suspect this is a direct consequence of having been translated from French. I would have favored breaking these passages into smaller sentences, even if that defied the original structure of Millet's manuscript...but of course, no one asked me. Secondly, the paragraphs ought to have been broken more frequently than they were; several paragraphs consume whole pages. Again, this is likely because it is a translation and I suspect Millet's original French manuscript looks a little different. I don't recall these issues with The Sexual Life of Catherine M., which was translated by Adriana Hunter, so it may well be that my issue is with Helen Stevenson.

  • notgettingenough
    2019-03-23 11:39

    So, it’s Mother’s Day here and I just don’t understand any of it. Like this….A friend warned me yesterday that it was going to be Mother’s Day today and had I forgotten? Well, not so much forgotten as not noticed, but I’m not a mother, Stephen, so? There are advantages, you see, to not being one. But you have one, he replied. That’s easy. My mother would kill me if I so much as mentioned such a piece of marketing crap designed to make mothers feel even worse than they did before.Lined up at the Post Office a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t help wondering about the movies you could buy for your mother leading up to the big day. Lots of Audrey Hepburn, for example. Why? Why a bunch of movies about other women looking better and managing better and having better husbands and – is that really what mothers want? Wouldn’t they want sex videos of men with useful attributes and a chance to say to hubby why can’t you do that?As it happened, last night, I was at a dinner party the point of which was to induce a baby. This was mostly done with basil and chilli, though as far as I know it didn’t work. Picture, if you please, Kate and Michael. Michael pours himself a drop or two of wine. Kate snarls what are you doing. Um, Michael tentatively replies, having some wine? Kate snarls back how come I’m not allowed to have wine and you are?Huh? I mean, really. HUH!!!! What the fuck’s going on here? Well, I knew, and I was a bit surprised Kate hadn’t noticed, but anyway, I thought I’d point it out. Helllooo, Kate. You are about to have a baby? And your husband isn’t? It doesn’t matter, though, what I think. The woman went and had some wine because it’s all about being equal and that’s what makes them equal. If he has wine then she will too even if she shouldn’t. Honestly. Where do people get this puerile idea that this is what equality is? I wonder if the guy’s expected to have a crap while her baby’s coming out because that’s as close as he’s going to get to the experience. Is she going to be squatting on her bed (or whatever it is they do) saying ‘Well I’m ready, are you ready, Michael?’ and a bit later ‘Michael. What the fuck? It’s just a crap, get on with it.’ ‘That’s all very well for you to say, dear, but you know very well this is a very special crap and I have to get it just right. You know what they said at the clinic about this.’ I wish men didn’t have to be girls these days.I felt like saying to Michael dump her. Right now. You’re a nice looking chap and you can come with me. But. I no longer have sex with Michaels. I lived with one for quite a while, greatly regretted it and really I just don’t want to get that close to one again. Which is a pity since one of the better offers of sex I’ve had lately has been from a Michael and the whole situation isn’t readily explicable. In fact, I’m thinking I might have to back down on my principles here. The last few nights I’ve been to a couple of dinner parties, I’ve met four very nice men, and….they are all called Michael. Every one of them. I’m dying to have sex, I mean, really, dying. So if you are reading this and keen and your name’s Michael, do me a favour. Tell me the truth about everything. The wives, the children, the commitments, the psycho stuff you want to do, the psycho stuff you want me to do. No problem, honestly, I don’t care. But lie about the name. Please?The weird thing about all this is that as far as I can tell it’s only a female thing, this idea that has such a following now about everybody having to share what the woman’s going through. I’m thinking especially of those women who make their husbands diet because they are. If I can’t eat dessert, then you can’t. It’s sick!!!!What about this: e a bloke whose electric drill breaks down in the back shed. So he brings a hammer into the kitchen, smashes the Bamix with it, because that will make the two of them equal, his wife will be properly sharing his moment of frustration.Equality isn’t about all being the same. Why is that such a hard concept to understand?PS: just in case it isn't clear. I have not read this book. But I ran out of room on my other Millet book review, so...Oh, I forgot. Speaking of woman and men being equal and the same, I like this:That's the cartoon, but Randall Munroe did a bit of actual work on this and found out that the difference between genders wasn't that big on colours.But then, to quote:So I was feeling pretty good about equality. Then I decided to calculate the ‘most masculine’ and ‘most feminine’ colors. I was looking for the color names most disproportionately popular among each group; that is, the names that the most women came up with compared to the fewest men (or vice versa).Here are the color names most disproportionately popular among women: 1. Dusty Teal 2. Blush Pink 3. Dusty Lavender 4. Butter Yellow 5. Dusky RoseOkay, pretty flowery, certainly. Kind of an incense-bomb-set-off-in-a-Bed-Bath-&-Beyond vibe. Well, let’s take a look at the other list.Here are the color names most disproportionately popular among men: 1. Penis 2. Gay 3. WTF 4. Dunno 5. BaigeI … that’s not my typo in #5—the only actual color in the list really is a misspelling of “beige”. And keep in mind, this is based on the number of unique people who answered the color, not the number of times they typed it. This isn’t just the effect of a couple spammers. In fact, this is after the spamfilter.I weep for my gender. But I don't. Imagine a world where men liked dusty rose as much as women do. It's some place I don't want to be....

  • Cari
    2019-03-17 17:26

    Points granted for Millet's candor: jealousy, being on the nastier side of the emotional spectrum, is not something most people want to admit to or analyze in regards to their own situation.Points deducted for attitude: holy hell, this woman is pretentious! Look, lady, you're giving in depth descriptions of how you crawled around on the floor, sniveling and searching your significant other's private stuff in order to find more proof with which to enlarge your wounds. You freely admit that this practice continued for years. Considering these pathetic facts, try not to be so freakin' smug about it.Further points deducted for display of selected self-awareness: Millet admits to crisis-inducing jealousy, she admits to impossible expectations of her lover being so intuitive as to read her mind and behave in certain ways, and she admits to behavior like searching his things for more evidence after he's already admitted to his actions, but when it comes to acknowledging her own hypocrisy, there's a distinct lack. (If you've read The Sexual Life of Catherine M. you already know what I'm talking about. Even in Jealousy she makes mention of her own transgressions, although she does so as if hers are acceptable while his are not.) Lip service is paid late in the book, but it's only that, you can tell she's not really acknowledging any double standard.Overall it was nice to read about someone delving into the muck of jealousy. Unfortunately, Millet thinks she's much more clever than she actually is, the writing is pretentious to the point of being ridiculous, and it's probably safe to skip this one unless you really enjoyed her previous work.

  • Adrienne
    2019-02-26 18:17

    An intense if not slightly introverted read, some parts of which I had to re-read. However the point was not lost on me and I'm really glad I went on this journey with Ms Millet. Fortunately for the reader she has a habit of relaying her thoughts and then reiterating them in simpler manner which reinforces her initial point. God I'm beginning to sound like her LOL. Not a sexual (in fact not sexual at all) book, it's a reflection of the other side of her life. I (wrongly) assummed that the events which take place in this book arose after she had written TSLoCM. not so they happened before that book was even properly conceived, and TSLoCM was written in part aas a result of the events which happen in this book. The only issue I have with this is the end which a) makes it clear that there will not be a sequel (although why would we need one) and b) made me feel sad that Ms Millets verve has become tainted with melancholy thoughts of old age.....I can understand that you can't be a dreamer all your life but I felt as though she'd slpped quietly into the relms of mature woman far too easily as though the gamut of emotions she felt on finding out about Jaqcues had somehow stripped her of her vitality. I'm sure thats not the case because she wrote TSLoCM after his indiscretions were uncovered and that book screems of vitality. So perhapes this book reflects more how she felt att the time and not so uch how she feels to-day. Was it worth the cover price? Yes, I'm glad I read this, although it's not necessary it does complete the wheel.

  • Lee Kofman
    2019-03-21 18:22

    This memoir is quite tedious and self unaware. Unfortunately the book only supports the irritating commonplace that women with voracious sexual appetites suffer from psychological problems. Also, Millet's art critique’s tendency for abstraction makes the writing truly irritating and unreadable even for the intellectual wannabe as myself.

  • S'hi
    2019-03-03 14:34

    Already within the first few pages I resonate with images and feelings of being drawn in magnetically to something of which I long seem to have been aware yet not yet known. The familiarity of words as veils rather than meanings clothes the language she uses, despite translation from French, so that I feel exposed to thoughts and actions I have long attempted to voice for myself. Part of me wants to put the book down before it alters my own perceptions and capabilities beyond the purity I still long to retain in my memory of them – my supposed innocence of which I had so little practice and claim. The title of the book is not a feeling that I have much felt within myself. It is more one that others, for their own reasons, seem to have felt about me. And that has been my innocence more than any choice I made to act or not act in so many situations, especially where men were concerned.Already I am challenged to consider how far I might walk through this door – knowing, as always, for whatever return there is no going back.

  • Miranda
    2019-03-03 11:21

    Millet's writing about encountering the infidelity of her long-term partner, Jacques Henri, reminded me of Simone de Beauvoir's novella The Woman Destroyed. Both are conceptual, speculative accounts of the annihilating self-abnegation that is sometimes the result of jealousy. As in The Sexual Life of Cathering M., Millet's writing is painfully revealing and while I marvel at her ability to make herself so vulnerable, I have to admit it's not easy to like her by the end of the book. Jealousy debases us in humiliating, haunting ways.

  • Marco
    2019-03-04 13:26

    Terwijl Catherine er meerdere mannen op na houdt is ze ziekelijk jaloers op de minnaressen van haar vriend. Een zoektocht naar de ondoorgrondelijke zieleroerselen van een moeilijk mensongelofelijk saai, niet te doorgronden boek. Het enige wat interessant aan het boek is dat nu toch duidelijk is dat deze nymphomaan ziek in d'r hoofd is.

  • Mickey Monroe
    2019-03-14 18:15

    I got this author's name from The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George from Ms. George's list of books to read. Catherine Millet's The Sexual Life of Catherine M. was recommended reading. Since that was not yet available, I checked out this sequel. Here we go again. I read a few pages and wasn't interested. I have the first one now. We'll see how it goes.

  • Rebecca
    2019-03-25 16:42

    better than the sexual life, her first book. at least i thought so...i guess i got tired of reading about all her conquests and this had more depth and weight to it. maybe i'm just equating melancholy and substance, though.

  • Lucie Novak
    2019-03-12 12:43

    A good book. Explaining that jealousy is not only sexual. If you redad my book, you would understand why this book is close to me. I liked this, and because I like the author, I was sorry to read about her turmoil.

  • Petr
    2019-03-22 11:18

    Interesting book with a lot of erotic tension. Reads like a minor psychological thriller: "How will it end? Will they stay together? Will she find her balance again?"

  • Scarlet
    2019-03-22 12:15

    Not my kind of thing...