“Go through life with grace and humor.” ~Bambina Olivares (aka B. Wiser)
Bambina has been a lifestyle and fashion journalist for over thirty years and has been traveling the world for around that time. She was originally raised in Manila and left to study art history in Paris, taking a long time before deciding to return to the Philippines. She wrote Making Love in Spanish at a time when she had concluded a marriage and started dating as well as traveling. The seed idea for the novel came from some of her somewhat interesting dates during that time, and in particular, after she told a friend about one of her questionable dates, her friend suggested that she write about these.
As Bambina had been brought up in the Philippines, she was raised in an environment where class distinctions were strong, and after her mother once commented, during one of their trips together in New York, that their limousine driver was flirting with her, she decided to build some satire around the notion of what would have been a scandalous relationship across classes.
Bambina intended the main character, Maxine, to be a cosmopolitan, well-traveled Filipina who was also informed by, but not tied down to, her own upbringing where matters of sex and sexuality were concerned and to be reflective of her own sense of humor as well, as Bambina tends to see the humor in situations. Bambina remarks that some of the experiences she describes into the book are hers and that others come from stories from other people, such as her friends, and that the most fun part was “going a little crazy,” as it was a work of fiction. Weaving elements of Filipino culture into the story was also something she liked doing, as well as choosing Latinos to build on from their supposed reputation as well as to deconstruct the tropes around these. What Bambina found challenging, however, were writing out the sex scenes which were in the book, as she wanted to avoid the usual cliches around these as well as making these varied and keeping the choreography realistic. As she remarked, she wanted to write out a book that was well written and which just happened to have a lot of sexual content, rather than a book which was mostly erotica. Bambina also remarked that she wanted to note what went on in a person’s mind, as sex is as much mental and psychological as well as physical.
Although Bambina admits that the story could have taken place in any major city, she set the book in New York, as it was a place that she was very familiar with. She also notes that the sexual adventures of an older woman are different compared to those of younger women, as older women know who they are and what they want, compared to a younger woman.
In regard to sexual relationships, Bambina notes that women are culturally and socially conditioned to not say “No” where the sexual advances of men are concerned. She also notes that women are brought up to please their men and that their own sexual needs come a distant second, and that there are more studies on male sexuality compared to female sexuality.
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