William Shakespeare is celebrating his 400th birthday, and Sexpert.com asked, “What does that have to do with sex?” Enter Jillian Keenan with her brilliant new book Sex With Shakespeare, out tomorrow from William Morrow. The journalist, who raised a lot of eyebrows with her New York Times “Modern Love” piece Finding The Courage To Reveal A Fetish (spoiler alert: she’s into spanking) is also a former dramaturg, and has now written a memoir that uses Shakespeare’s famous plays to draw out her own personal stories while delivering shrewd commentary on love, romance and sexuality.
And as if Keenan weren’t clever enough, she created this hilarious, sexy Shakespeare quiz for us! Take the quiz to find out which Shakespeare play best suits YOUR sexual personality, and the sexual activities to go along with it. Enjoy!
TAKE THE QUIZ!
What’s Your Shakespearean Kink Syle?
Question 1: You deserve to be punished. How?
- You’ll go to bed without dinner . . . but only if your spouse comes, too.
- What?! Heck no! The only person who tops you is YOU.
- You’ll be monogamous for <long, heavy sigh> a week. Maybe.
- You should be mocked, humiliated, and locked in a dungeon. A dark dungeon.
- A spanking. Obviously.
Question 2: Your crush is . . . a bit different. Why?
- S/he’s your boss.
- S/he’s your family’s mortal enemy.
- S/he is a different person every week!
- S/he’s your prisoner of war.
- S/he’s a talking donkey.
Question 3: How’s your sex life?
- Not great. Whether it’s war in Cyprus or the fact that you’re in disguise, something keeps getting in the way.
- The sin of self-love possesseth all thine eye. In other words, you do you.
- Good wine is a good familiar creature . . . if it be well used.
- Bloody. Very bloody.
- Almost as good as the meat pie you ate on your last trip to Rome.
Question 4: Who is your Romeo and Juliet spirit animal?
- The Nurse: She’s nurturing, loyal, and hilarious.
- Tybalt: He’s tough and determined.
- Romeo: He’s passionate and goes with his gut.
- The Prince: He’s in charge!
- Mercutio: Why wouldn’t it be Mercutio?
Question 5: What’s your ideal date?
- The activity doesn’t matter—it only matters that you’re with the one you love.
- Dinner at your favorite restaurant, followed by a nightcap at your apartment.
- It varies! There are so many factors: the day, the company, your mood . . .
- A cage fight. In an abandoned subway tunnel.
- Always the same thing. The same . . . very specific thing.
Question 6: Which Shakespeare character turns you off the most.
- Hamlet: He’s way too indecisive.
- Ophelia: She’s such a victim.
- Helena: She’s way too clingy.
- King Duncan: Learn to fight back, man.
- Hero: Perfection is boring.
Question 7: Which Shakespeare character turns you on the most?
- Imogen! Despite everything, she stands by her love.
- Benedick! He knows what he wants, and has the brain to get it.
- Puck! Who doesn’t want a shrewd and knavish sprite?
- Tamora! Goth girls got it going on.
- Caliban! The less said about why, the better.
Question 8: Which line from the Sonnets sets your mad blood stirring?
- “If the dull substance of my flesh were thought, / Injurious distance should not stop the way.”
- “’Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed / When not to be receives reproach of being.”
- “When I consider everything that grows / Holds in perfection but a little moment.”
- “For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright, / Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.”
- “Such is my love, to thee I so belong, / That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.”
Question 9: It’s Shakespeare movie night! What do you watch?
- Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.
- Gil Junger’s Ten Things I Hate About You.
- Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet.
- Julie Taymor’s Titus Andronicus.
- Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool.
Question 10: What’s in your toy box?
- Rope, handcuffs, and bondage tape.
- Phthalate-free toys from your favorite body-safe, sex-positive vendor.
- A mask, four different vibrators, and a flask. Oh, and a banjo.
- Two hairbrushes and an old report card.
Which number corresponds with most of your answers? Tally your results, and then read on to learn how you get down and kinky with Shakespeare!
- You are . . . patience on a monument You want real love, and you’re willing to wait for it. You’ll enjoy: Twelfth Night, paired with a healthy sprinkle of bondage and sensory deprivation.
- You are . . . a hard-hearted adamant You know what you want, you know what you like, and you’re not going to let anyone change your mind. You’ll enjoy: Much Ado About Nothing—almost as much as you’ll enjoy arguing about it later with a partner who is as strong-minded as you are!
- You are . . . falser than vows made in wine Variety is the spice of life! You change your mind fast, and your partners even faster. You’ll enjoy: the Sonnets and role play, both of which will feed your insatiable appetite for variety.
- You are . . . savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust You don’t do anything gently, especially sex. You’ll enjoy: Titus Andronicus and any kind of safe, sane, consensual play that is (almost) as brutal.
- You are . . . a devil, a born devil, on whose nature nurture can never stick You’re a total freak–and perfect just the way you are. You’ll enjoy: The Taming of the Shrew and some consensual TPE (total power exchange).
More About “Sex With Shakespeare” – Synopsis
Having been raised in a household where familial estrangement was the norm, Jillian turned to Shakespeare for explanations of love, human connection, and ultimately, her own sexuality. At an early age Jillian recognized that she was obsessed with spanking, that it was a pivotal part of her identity. Since she wrote about the shocking topic in her New York Times “Modern Love” essay “Finding the Courage to Reveal a Fetish,” Jillian has received thousands of powerful, heartbreaking emails from people around the world who say they finally feel understood. In Sex With Shakespeare, Jillian enmeshes her narrative of a growing self-awareness with the characters and plotlines from plays such as “Macbeth,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” and “Othello.” In doing so, not only does Jillian chart her own interactions, but she also provides a new and nuanced interpretation of these cultural icons we’ve all come know.
With heart, humor, and unwavering knowledge of the Bard himself, Jillian Keenan keenly utilizes these plays to discuss fraught topics such as love, romance, sexuality, and above all, the differences between our most private and public selves.
About the Author
As a literary nerd, a pop culture enthusiast, and former dramaturg (in Singapore and London), Jillian lives and breathes Shakespeare. She received her BA and MA from Stanford and has written on topics from human rights to sexuality for numerous publications such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, Washington Post, Slate, Foreign Policy, Marie Claire, and The Atlantic. Jillian lives with her husband and cat in New York City.