Please Don't Do That To My Eames Chair
Giles Dodson (b. 1973) is revolutionizing interior design with his unorthodox reimagining of Feng Shui, detailed in his newly published self-help book, Spark Jouissance: A Master Class in Interior Decorating. Originally a playwright from Liverpool, England, Dodson attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where he was fatefully introduced to his lifelong friend and freshman roommate, Ralph Fiennes. Dodson rapidly emerged in the public eye after his first post-graduate project: a minimalist play entitled The Spy Peels His Apple Counterclockwise. The play— featuring a nude Fiennes, one rocking horse, and a script of only 17 words—was heralded by critics, putting Dodson on the forefront of modern minimalist theater in Europe. After moving to Berlin, Dodson experienced a series of critical failures, beginning with the box office flop Don’t Tickle the Cat and the infamously controversial A Clown About Town. Leaving Berlin, Dodson abandoned the world of experimental theater and relocated to Hollywood, where he discovered veganism and a new fan base after publishing a series of wildly popular self-help books. His newest book, Spark Jouissance, topped the New York Times bestseller list for three weeks. Here is an excerpt of the first chapter:
Finding the Spark
July 24th, 1995— I was beginning to feel as though I’d overstayed my welcome in Berlin. Earlier that week, my manager dropped me for failing to produce any new material in six months. The pressure was getting to me. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t write. My diet consisted of mostly Kinder Bueno bars and Anisette. That afternoon, I was detained at the mall for a particularly embarrassing incident—“under the influence,” I dropped my trousers in what I thought was a public sauna but was actually a woman’s dressing room at the Armani Exchange. That was the night I spiraled out of control.
I awoke sometime in the late afternoon, on my knees and face down between two cushions of a garish velvet loveseat in a suite of the Adlon Kempinski Hotel. Turning my head slowly to the left and then right, I realized my wrists were tied tightly to the opposite arms of the chair. A gentle breeze coming from the open window quickly informed me that I was pantless. As the events of the night slowly came into focus, I began to understand that the kind brunette woman I picked up at the street corner next to the döner stand had very likely taken my wallet and half the contents of the overpriced mini bar.
In my compromising position, the embarrassment I felt was rapidly replaced by a sense of dread as I realized my hands were bound far too tightly to untie by myself. Lying prostrate with my face against the purple velvet cushion, I felt an unparalleled rush of adrenaline. There was something undeniably arousing about this sensation of mounting terror; pressing my face deeper into the upholstery, the mingling sensations of velvet and anxiety were absolutely intoxicating. I nosed further into the abyss of the couch cushions. What an electrifying sense of helplessness! Surrendering to the nihilism of the couch, I suddenly experienced a feeling of superabundant vitality—a jouissance that transcended fear and pleasure altogether. It was religious.
Then it came to me like the voice of Angel Gabriel, and I saw it all so clearly— after three years of writer’s block I finally had an idea for my next novel. Elated, I began shouting, “I need to write this down! I need to write this down!” A staunch German hotel attendant unlocked the door. Unfazed by my predicament—I suspect during her tenure as a hotel maid in 1980s Berlin, she had seen worse—she untied me with ease. Without taking even a moment to find my trousers, I sat right down on my newly beloved couch and began writing a new novel.
After leaving Berlin, I paid the hotel an exorbitant amount of money to take that velvet couch back to California. Returning to my home in Toluca Lake, I looked around at my minimalist mid- century furniture. It all felt so dull. I walked around my house, running my hands along the backs of the chairs, shoving my face between the pillows. It was all so banal compared to the thrill of my purple loveseat. I created a new rule for myself—if you touch it, and it does not bring you jouissance, then you must get rid of it! It is a whole new kind of minimalism: purely libidinal.
After only two days of adopting my new rule, my house was entirely empty, save for my velvet couch, a closet full of my ex-wife’s clothing, and a copy of Der Strewwelpeter, a book of German cautionary fables. Over the years I have added only a few more items that spark jouissance in my life—like a painted portrait of my younger self that I keep in the attic for staring at during times of moral turmoil. I’ve also hired a butler named Guillaume, whom I don’t entirely trust but can’t quite figure out why. Four years ago, I replaced my Tempur-Pedic mattress with a sensory deprivation tank that I special-ordered from Sweden. Since that fateful morning in Berlin, I haven’t experienced a single day of writer’s block.
What my analyst calls “paraphilia,” I call “enlightenment.” Don’t let the double standards of western medicine pathologize your creative process. The pharmaceutical industrial complex stigmatizes natural methods of stimulation to keep turning an enormous profit on Adderall and Vyvanse. What they don’t want you to know is that jouissance has been a creative asset to the greatest minds in history. Did you know that Salvador Dali used to sleep with keys in his hand? Igor Stravinsky used to stand on his head every morning. Japanese inventor Yoshiko Nakamatsu dives underwater until inspired by a new idea; he says this usually happens just “0.5 seconds before death.” Nakamatsu invented the floppy disk. What will you create?
By following the 26-step plan of my Spark Jouissance Method, you too can unlock your creative potential through the libidinal power of sexual terror.
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Following the novel’s meteoric success, Dodson has received many requests to provide his services as a personal consultant in interior decorating. Particularly popular among the Hollywood elite, Dodson’s long list of clients includes Johnny Depp, Lars Von Trier, and Britney Spears. Dodson’s work is credited as Jeremy Iron’s primary motivation to purchase his medieval castle in West Cork.
The complete copy of Dodson’s Spark Jouissance: A Master Class of Interior Decorating will be available for purchase on Amazon, barnesandnoble.com, and Kindle on October 5th.
Talent: Jocelyn N and Staz
Photographed by: Mario Kroes
Styled and Art Directed by: Mui-Hai Chu
Hair by: Nathaniel Dezan
Makeup by: Dana Delaney
Manicure by: Steph Stone