Viking Wolf – a sexy snippet

 

 Hoorah for Vikings!

After many months of writing sweaty, kinky, warrior sex, ‘Viking Wolf’ is on the brink of hitting the shelves.

 Eirik and his wickedly sexy brother, Gunnolf, will be with you on 13th August.

In anticipation, I have another steamy snippet for you.

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He must have beaten Faline quite recently, for the welts were still livid across her buttocks — blue, without any hint of yellowing. He unclasped his belt and pulled the leather through.

“It’s shameful for a man to harm a woman, or for him to take her body when she has no desire.”

“You think this one has no desire?” Gunnolf slapped Faline’s backside and I winced to see her flinch. “She likes to fight but she likes fucking even more… and she is made for fucking.”

He lingered over the last word and pulled the belt tight between his hands but, instead of raising his arm to strike her with its edge, he pulled her hands awkwardly behind her back, wrapping the belt’s length around her wrists.

Lowering his mouth to the bruise on her rounded cheek, he bit the flesh savagely.

(coming… oh so soon!)

 

 

Viking Thunder erotic sexy romance

Grab the first segment of the story from Amazon

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Want to be the first to hear when it hits the shelves?

Join my newsletter for giveaway editions and first eyes!

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Also, follow me on BookSprout – for early eyes copies…

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Viking Wolf

 

I’m still in the writing cave, wresting with Eirik and his wickedly sexy brother, Gunnolf.

Today, I have a NSFW steamy snippet for you – from my upcoming novel, ‘Viking Wolf’, the second volume in the ‘Viking Thunder’ series.

Viking Thunder erotic sexy romance

Grab the first segment of the story from Amazon

 

 

From ‘Viking Wolf’…

Viking Wolf teaser

I knew he was there; sensed him before seeing him. I could taste the growling thunder on my tongue. Something in me was stirring, waiting to uncoil.

“No more running.” His grip was firm on the yoke of my gown, drawing me up, to stand before him.

I tipped back my head in surrender, waiting for the warmth of his lips, his tongue. The smoke clung still, and the aroma of sex. He was not the man I loved, but it was not love I sought from him. I was my own woman, and slave to no-one. Eirik had left me to fend for myself, and so I would, without regard for him.

There was triumph in Gunnolf’s eyes, for he was about to take what his brother presumed to own. He placed his hands about my throat, lifting my chin with his thumbs, opening me to his kiss. I was falling and there was no going back.

His hands moved to bare the swell of my breasts, covering them with warm palms, thumbing my nipples. Dropping his mouth to take one hard point between his teeth, he devoured me with his suckling and teasing until my cunt clenched. I wanted him inside, making me forget that I’d ever loved Eirik.

Between the dark forest and the sea beyond, we lay down, the softness of my sex welcoming his fingers and then the thick column of his cock, entering my wetness, beneath a sky that cursed us with its rolling thunder.

The crows were circling, cawing their fear, high above, before a jolt stabbed jagged, tearing the sky. I returned the roughness of his lust, biting his lip, breaking his skin with the drag of my nails, pinching the underside of his buttocks. He was wild and thorough, taking me violently. I had only one thought: that he must not stop.

“Mine now.” He crushed my lips to his as he came, pulsing thick, his hands holding me to the depth of his final thrust.

Viking Thunder trilogy banner

Viking Wolf is due for release in mid-2018

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Join my newsletter for giveaway editions and first eyes!

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Dirty 30: a review

 

 

As Rose Caraway writes in her introduction to the ‘Dirty 30’ anthology: ‘There is power in erotic 51uoNnKDMtL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_storytelling. Our fantasies are infinite, and just as much a part of us as our arms and legs. Between identity and desire, we are complicated and beautiful and intense. And so is Erotica.’

It’s my pleasure to have a short story featured in ‘Dirty 30’: ‘The Honeymoon’ – telling of temptation and of relationships not being quite what they  appear. My own work often explores the darker side of desire, revealing what’s unconsciously hidden, or purposefully concealed.  Stories which play out similarly tend to make me smile and there are plenty of those in this collection: cleverly structured tales that offer a wry surprise and a bold twist at their conclusion…

Among my favourites are ‘Return of the Snow Queen’ by Tamsin Flowers, and Janine Ashbless’ ‘Sweet Hel Below’. I was in a swoon with both these tales, which play into my own love-affair with fairy tales, and with Norse mythology. Exquisitely told, and seriously seductive, both stories delve the struggle within us, between light and dark. Tamsin’s story, inspired by ‘The Snow Queen’ surveys the ease with which we are tempted (albeit within a world in which a sliver of magic mirror may distort our vision and lead us astray). Janine’s portrayal of  the Norse underworld is no less enchanting, exploring our fascination with mortality, and the dual nature we each harbour: of shadows, doubt and putrefaction, versus our vitality and capacity for self-sacrifice and love.

dirty 30 anthology janine ashbless

RA Goli’s ‘The Seer’ also draws on Norse mythology, using that rich seam of magical lore to explore universal truths: our desire to know what awaits us, and to understand what aspect of our frail humanity will bring us true contentment.

Sommer Marsden’s ‘Thunderclap’ and Malin James’ ‘Canvas’ also evoked a strong reaction from me, using gorgeous prose to delve emotional truths. In similarly sumptuous literary style is Brantwijn Serrah’s ‘Life Drawing 101’, and ‘A Polite Fiction’, by Terrance Aldon Shaw.

Meanwhile, Chase Morgan’s ‘Honey, I’m Home’, Elliot deLocke’s ‘Torrid Zone’, Sonni de Soto’s ‘Do Not Disturb’ and Michael Lewis’ ‘The Thief’ each use action and suspense to enhance their atmosphere of highly-charged eroticism.

And, I MUST mention Landon Dixon’s ‘Moby Tit’, and Spencer Dryden’s ‘The Dude’, which are both masterpieces in their own, unique style. Landon has skilfully woven his bawdy ballad of a man obsessed with breasts, while Spencer’s story, told anecdotally during  a radio phone-in, uses the brevity of dialogue to keep us hanging upon the turns of the tale, until the marvellous ‘punch-line’ of the ending.

Dirty 30 rose carawayIt’s always a delight to work with Rose, whose enthusiasm for our genre is inspirational and uplifting. I love her forthright attitude towards erotica, and sex! As an author and editor, Rose encourages us to read (and write) to liberate our sexual fantasies, to expand our self-knowledge, and to express ourselves without shame or inhibition.

Hooray for erotica!

As Rose says: ‘Erotica can be whatever we want it to be’.

The Dirty 30 anthology is incredibly diverse, well conceived and executed, and damned hot!

Time to discover your new favourites….

Find ‘Dirty 30’, published by Stupid Fish Productions, here

 

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Best Women’s Erotica (Volume 3)

It’s my pleasure to give a cheer for the release of Best Women’s Erotica Volume 3, in best women's erotica 3 rachel kramer bussel Emmanuelle de maupassantwhich I have a story, set in Rome, called ‘Through the Lens‘.

Pick up any of the books in the Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series, and you’ll find stories diverse and inventive and, foremost, hot!

However, those stories won’t just scratch an itch! By stealth, they’ll change you.

Erotica, at its best, has our brain performing a whole new Tango.

Best Women's Erotica teaser Emmanuelle de Maupassant - Cleis PressRead stories about women breaking conventions and refusing to conform to others’ expectations and you cannot help but feel empowered.  You cannot help but be changed.

In this anthology, you’ll find your own ‘scorchers’, of course, but you’ll also find stories to touch and inspire you.

My own ‘flaming chillies’ favourites include ‘Demon Purse‘ (I’ve just discovered an inner-demon-dominatrix fantasy – thank you Sommer Marsen!) and Annabel Joseph’s ‘Making It Feel Right‘ (I love stories which switch from where I first think they’re headed).

I adore Dee Blake’s ‘Bibliophile‘, whose protagonist is aroused not only by the reading of erotica, but by the physicality of the pages, and of the formation of the words. Her meeting with a writer of erotic fiction proves the perfect match for her own particular kink.

For their tenderness, in delving our uncertainty, fears and vulnerability,  Brandy Fox’s 512YDFWmS5LOverexposed‘ and ‘Watch Me Come Undone‘, by August McLaughlin, are especially moving.

Meanwhile, Lyla Sage’s ‘Romance and Drag‘ gives an interesting take on gender fluidity and how it can play into our sexuality.

What I love about the Best Women’s Erotica series, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, and published by Cleis Press, is that it encourages us to reassess our attitude towards sex, and to embrace our sexual fantasies, old and new. We see women navigating their way towards the sex they desire and emerging, as a result, with greater confidence.

Volume Three in the BWE series punches home this message more than ever before, showing us the many faces of desire, and emphasizing the validity of our choices. It encourages us to own our sexuality and to delight in it.

I’m raising my glass to that, every time!

 

Purchase your copy, here

best women's erotica 3

erotic fiction - Best Women's Erotica Volume 3

Author Influences : Terrance Aldon Shaw

Terrance Aldon Shaw (TAS to his friends) has written more than 70 erotic short stories, 10001405_268601389969496_1314269374_nand is currently at work on a novel The Seven Seductions. His work explores the thoughts, feelings and emotions that accompany the erotic experience.

Having worked as a musician for much of his adult life, eking out a modest living as a singer and a classical composer, TAS stresses that music has been the primary influence on his writing: not just his love for classical works and grand opera but classical-influenced jazz and 70s rock, folk, bluegrass and country, hip hop and rap.

TAS asserts, “There’s nothing that equals the power of music to express emotion, to evoke atmosphere, and establish mood. This is why a film without a score often seems to fall short of its potential, lacking the full measure of visceral impact—just compare the scene in Jaws where the shark attacks the boat, first without John Williams’ music in the background, then with it. Whether conjuring a sense of existential anxiety and dramatic tension, desolation or euphoria, claustrophobic horror or the sublime vastness of space, nothing comes close to music.”

Comparing musical composition with that of writing, TAS underlines, “You have to be able to discern structure. Melody, harmony, and rhythm have to be coordinated to form a coherent statement. When I sit down to write, I consider the musical quality of the words, the prose-melodies that are created by the artful combination of words and phrases gradually built up into the literary equivalent of a symphony (that word, by the way, means ‘sounding together’). The way writing sounds when read aloud is important; if it doesn’t flow, if it doesn’t reach out and tickle the reader’s ear—if it doesn’t make music—it’s not ready to publish.”

Terrance Aldon Shaw Moon-Haunted heart quote 2

As to how we make music with words, TAS advises varying the length of our phrases, never letting rhythms become too predictable, and avoiding repeated syntactical patterns. He emphasizes, “Understand that each word (or each note) carries its own innate energy, like a charged particle. If you arrange words carelessly, putting similar words too close together you drain them of their emotive power.  Finally—and this is quite important, I think—don’t always play your music in the same key. Vary the mood and pace—especially in multi-chaptered works. Occasionally, dark clouds need to roll in and, sometimes, the sun needs to break through the dark clouds, if only long enough to keep the reader interested.”

He adds, “Great music has a sense of flow, an inevitable logic, leaving the impression that every constituent element is perfectly coordinated with every other. In the great operas of Wagner, particularly Die Walküre and Siegfried from Der Ring des Niebelungen, the music never seems to pause. I want that quality of sensuousness—that inevitable sense of flow—to permeate my prose and animate my storytelling .You can’t be a great composer if you only grasp what’s on the surface. You have to appreciate the way disparate elements come together. You have to see it all from the inside.”

Terrance Aldon Shaw Moon-Haunted heart quote 1

TAS is profoundly near-sighted, which perhaps explains his desire to evoke sensory detail. As he comments, “When you’re a storyteller, everything you see and hear and touch has its own story.”

Nevertheless, he has a love of photography, sculpture and painting, and these have influenced some of his stories directly. In Night Vision, based on his own experience, the near-sighted narrator takes off his glasses and sees a jazz ensemble ‘reduced to its essential shapeless elements of light and colour’. As TAS explains, this gave him sudden appreciation of the nature of abstract art. He names ‘the intriguingly distorted figures set in the bleak urban landscape of Di Chirico’s The Disquieting Muses’ as an influence and Jackson Pollack’s Mural, which he believes ‘evokes its own strange multi-verse of fractal layers, like grains of sand under a powerful microscope’. As he notes wryly, “If you can’t find a story prompt there, you’re not looking.”

TAS points out that theatrical and cinematic works ‘all begin with the written word’. He comments, “I’m attracted to the same qualities in film that I find irresistible in books; an evocative sense of atmosphere, and sharp narrative focus (look at Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men based on the P.D. James sci-fi novel, or Kathryn Bigelow’s dystopian masterpiece, Strange Days with its seamless tracking shots and breathtaking leaps into the realm of virtual reality). I also appreciate intelligent storytelling that does not patronize the viewer with obvious ‘set-up’ dialogue or linger on superfluous detail: I am reminded of those long stretches of silence in the films of Alfred Hitchcock, so richly detailed—a perfect example of showing as opposed to telling. And then there’s that wonderful Pixar animated film Wall-E, where the poignance of the story is heightened by the lonesome stillness of an abandoned earth.”

He adds, “I also adore movies that engage my playful side (Charlie Chaplain’s City Lights and Modern Times, The Marx Brothers A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races, Kevin Smith’s Dogma, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, and absolutely anything by Mel Brooks. And . . . and . . . and!  I LOVE Joss Whedon’s stuff for its intelligent ‘meta’ storytelling, its wisecracking archetypes, and its cheeky—very intentional—employment of bathos. These are all things I aspire to in my writing. Effective scene-setting through the evocation of atmosphere, an unblinking eye for crucial detail, and an uncompromising demand for clarity of narrative.”

He also muses, “I’m moved by great dancing in the movies and I admire those who can dance well—their gracefulness is just so often a mystery to me, I can’t help but be dazzled even as I’m sad that I can’t join in with them. In my writing, I often refer to dance, employing it as a metaphor, sometimes citing the techniques, or the physical characteristics associated with dancers.”

Terrance Aldon Shaw Moon-Haunted heart quote 3

TAS asserts that he ‘categorically rejects magical thinking and superstition’, yet admits that tales of fantasy and magic have deeply influenced his own storytelling. Beyond early influences of fairy tales and myths, Shakespeare and the Hebrew Bible, he is drawn to ‘sweeping, mythic, quasi-poetic narratives’: Stephen King’s Gunslinger, and William M. Miller’s Canticle for Liebowitz (which he callsprobably one of the greatest sci-fi novels ever written, and certainly a great work of humanist fiction’).

TAS tells us, “Angela Carter’s Bloody Chamber blew my mind apart and put it back together in the same revelatory instant—such beautiful, daring language! Reading Anais Nin is like soaring across the astral plains and never wanting to come down again. Imagica, by Clive Barker, is a creepy, atmospheric tour de force, while Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is powerfully thought-provoking, exploring the conflict between faith and science, politics, and sex. What all these books have in common is that they’re intelligently conceived, elegantly written, evocative, colorful, always—always!—feeding the reader’s intellect while stimulating the imagination. That’s the kind of book I love to read—and certainly the kind of book I want to write.”

Other books that have stayed with him are The Engineer of Human Souls by Czech author Josef Skvorevski, which he calls ‘a tragi-comic masterpiece of sex, politics and academia as seen through the bemused eye of a cynical college-English professor and political refugee’. TAS notes that Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage, ‘with its deeply sympathetic yet relentlessly unblinking descriptions of suffering’ has influenced not only his writing, but his life.

Unsurprisingly, given his musical ear, TAS also has a love of poetry. He explains, “I came to deeply appreciate poetry through my interest in classical music, and the masterful settings of the great poets by modern composers, like Benjamin Britten and Ned Rorem. When I heard a setting of a poem that affected me, I went out and bought everything I could find by that poet, looking for things that I, too, could set to my own music: everything from medieval lyric fragments, Chaucer and Shakesperare’s sonnets, to Blake, Keats, Shelly, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Tennyson, to Walt Whitmann, Emily Dickinson, W.B. Yeats, Wilfred Owen, Vachel Lindsay, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, e.e. cummings, Sylvia Plath, W.H. Auden, Robert Frost, and Pablo Neruda in translation.”

He continues, “Poetry has taught me the importance of being concise and a sense of rhythm. I loved poetry long before I became serious about writing prose.”

In his writing, TAS gives us all that is ‘distilled within that secret place where love and madness meet’. He tells of what might have been; tales not only of mortality and desire, but of nostalgia, regret, isolation, loneliness and longing, lost inspiration and the search for one’s place in the cosmic scheme of things. These aspects he surveys through the lens of the erotic, inviting us to scrutinize ourselves as sexual beings: naked, vulnerable, passionate, longing. Only in so doing can we know ourselves.

As Mr. Shaw declares, writers ‘live in hope that what they write will have meaning, though it is almost always left to readers to find it’.

 

Works by the author

Terrance Aldon Shaw’s Moon-Haunted Heart comprises fifty short pieces, exploring the The Moon-Haunted Heart (print cover image) 4 - Copy (4)human condition through the lens of the erotic. See my review here.

Eight Erotic Tales print (front) cover 1Another of his short story collections is Take Me Like the World Ends at Midnight. As TAS tells us, “They say forbidden fruit is always the sweetest. These eight short stories are about the thrill of the unexpected; a handsome stranger’s touch in a dark theater, a night of passion with the most unlikely of mystery men; the sheer adrenaline rush of sudden contact; the silent promise of ecstasy.”

 

About the author

Terrance Aldon Shaw (TAS to his friends) lives in a 167-year-old farmhouse in the heart of southeast Iowa’s Amish country. His neighbours do not know what he does for a living. (Sometimes, he’s not quite certain himself.)

 Find Mr. Shaw’s reviews, musings on the craft of writing and short stories on his site: Erotica for the Big Brain

Find him also:

On Smashwords 

On Amazon

On Facebook

On Goodreads

 

Part Five: Behind the Erotic Pen – interviewing the authors of ‘For the Men’ anthology

This is the final installment in my review of the tantalizing new anthology, For the Men erotic fictionwritten For the Men (and the Women Who Love Them), edited (and narrated) by Rose Caraway

Rose Caraway erotic fiction author interviewTwenty-five tales: from bitter chocolate and acidic citrus, to lush caramel.

In this series, I’ve shared insights from the authors: their thinking as they wrote each tale…

The collection aims to show that erotic fiction isn’t just for women. The  Rose Caraway reading narrating erotic fiction conduit for author passion‘erotic’ in literature has the power to speak to everyone.

In Part One, I looked at the theme of ‘watching and being watched’: our desire to exhibit ourselves sexually, the thrill of revealing, and concealing.

In Part Two, I delved tales filled with tension and conflict, exploring dichotomies of power: giving and receiving, vulnerability and strength.

Rose Caraway  Erotic Fiction audio quote express your sexualityIn Part Three, I looked at stories in unusual settings: futuristic, supernatural, and off-planet: locations thrilling and unexpected.

In Part Four, I examined psychological and emotional depth within some of the stories, taking us to places unsettling, in which to face our own truths.

Here, I present tales which combine fantasy with ‘the everyday’: on journeys, within the home, on the simple Rose Caraway quote on honest and unflinching audio narrationsetting of a farm. We see the meeting of strangers, and passion between those in established relationships.

Jade A. Waters and Spencer Dryden both contribute ‘handyman fantasies’ to the collection. Jade’s 73A portrays the fantasy of sex with a stranger. She recalls a crush on a handyman who came to work on her satellite dish, admitting that she considered trying to get him back for ‘more repairs’. Jade combined that memory with another of a good-looking painter working on a neighbour’s fence. The result is sassy and humorous.

jade a waters author erotic fiction eroticaIt came together like a lust letter in my head!” she admits, adding, “While I think the anonymous sex/no strings attached sex idea often appeals to men, I don’t think that’s lost on women, either.

Jade muses on perhaps Emma Stone or Blake Lively playing her lusty jade-a-waters-for-the-menheroine, with a confident, dude next door as her handyman suitor: Gerard Butler, Wentworth Miller, or Simon Baker.

Spencer describes his tender handyman story, MILF and Cookies, as a ‘holiday romance suitable for the Hallmark Channel, if Hallmark gave us erotic romance, told from the perspective of the male protagonist’. For his fantasy casting, he’d use Matt Damon and would love to hear reader’s thoughts on who’d be suitable for his female protagonist.spencer-dryden-for-the-men

He tells us, “Like many of my short format male POV works, an earnest but somewhat clueless guy falls into the orbit of an enchanting woman… From that, I’m sure something could be inferred about my own romantic encounters!”

Terrance Aldon Shaw’s Making Hay is a re-telling of one of the classic Norse myths: a tale of lust, of longing, of restlessness, and our search for our place in the scheme of things. It’s set on a small tenant farm, such as his paternal grandfather worked upon, struggling to make ends meet and could be set ‘somewhere between the late 1930s and early 1960s’.

He asserts, “I wanted to write a story about men and women working side by side, doing real, hard physical labor, and respecting each other for their work.” He notes that people ‘close to the earth’ tend to be more ‘matter-of-terrance-aldon-shaw-for-the-menfact about sex’. Meanwhile, ‘hard work in close proximity often becomes an aphrodisiac in itself’.

In writing the tale, Terrance gave thought to what a man in this setting would find attractive and desirable. He tells us, “Gunni is not just physically beautiful but is given the great compliment of being ‘a good worker’.” Meanwhile, she is physically strong yet has a certain vulnerability: a ‘subtle duality’ as Terrance puts it.

“I also thought it would be interesting to describe these people’s relationship with the machinery they depend on for their livelihood. (Is Erotic fiction Terrance Aldon Shaw quotethat ‘a guy thing’ or what?) The image of the baling machine as a kind of sexually voracious creature–comprising both male and female characteristics, really gets to the essence of this story.

Terrance emphasizes that the need to harvest promptly, before the hay is ruined by rain, lends a sense of realism and urgency, which underscores the erotic elements in the story.

As for the inspiration behind the tale, Terrance explains, “The god Odin assumed human form to learn the ways of men. He plucked out one of his eyes in exchange for the gift of foreknowledge, and, in the guise of a farm hand, seduced the maiden Gunlöo.”

Terrance Aldon Shaw quote erotic fiction pornA fan of the TV series Vikings, Terrance imagines Kevin Durrand (who plays Harbard, the bard/wanderer) and Alyssa Sutherland (who plays Princess Auslaug) in his main roles, saying that Alyssa ‘would make a lovely Gunni, with just the right amount of vulnerability and spunk’.

Rachel de Vine‘s Hitchhiker gives us a female protagonist with an uninhibited attitude to sex. Rachel recalls her own youthful days of hitch-hiking around Europe, feeling that ‘anything was possible’. Rachel wished to present hiker Jezebel ‘without her being judged and found morally lacking’. She tells us, “I wanted my female character to be bold and fearless, and honest about her intentions and needs.”rachel-de-vine-erotic-fiction

For Jezebel,  and trucker Hermes (the name Jezebel gives to him as the Greek god of travelling), Rachel imagines casting Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson from the TV series Poldark, admiringhis dark intensity and fiendishly good looks’ and ‘her mass of auburn hair and strong character’.

D. Lovejoy describes Take It Like a Man as ‘a humorous story about a guy whose wife uses her seductive wiles to convince him to try pegging’; meanwhile, he is anxious as to what this means for his manhood. Dahlia explains, “I wrote a story I wanted to read—sexy and funny with a touch of the ‘forbidden.’ I love when erotica uses humor; it’s a great tool for lowering defenses and allowing the reader to dahlia-lovejoy-for-the-menexplore new possibilities and discover new turn-ons. I wanted to show how sex doesn’t have to become stale or predictable. Exploring fantasies together is a great way to connect and keep the fires burning. And things don’t have to go perfectly. It’s fine to laugh together when they don’t.”

As for her leading man, she laments that Seth Rogen doesn’t make erotica.  

Josie Jordan’s The After Party gives the reader a very steamy ménage, her female protagonist entering into a consensual encounter with two men.

She notes, “It’s the first erotic story I’ve written without a woman being thejosie-jordan-for-the-men main character. I figured being approached in a club by a gorgeous girl who wants to go home with you would be a popular male fantasy. Except there’s a twist: she wants his best friend to come too. I thought couples could read this story together and imagine themselves in this situation.”

Josie imagines Channing Tatum as her leading man, and admits that the fantasy is one she has come close to enacting in real life. She muses, “I’ve always wondered what it would be like. I had so much fun fantasizing about it to write this story!”

***

Erotic fiction isn’t just for women. It’s for everyone.

Explore the unexpected, and the uninhibited.

To read more from the authors behind this exciting anthology, you may like to read parts one,  two, three and four.

for-the-men_cover-copy-back-02An audio version is now available to complement the e-book (narrated by huskily voiced, utterly fabulous Rose Caraway.

My darkly erotic story, ‘Labyrinth’, features in final place in the collection, following stories by authors Adrea Kore, Tamsin FlowersRachel Kramer BusselAllen Dusk, Terrance Aldon Shaw, Rachel de Vine, Jade A WatersDorothy FreedD.L. KingChase Morgan, Marc AngelCharlie Powell, Landon Dixon, Sonni de Soto, D. Lovejoy, Erin Pim, J.T. Seate, Spencer Dryden, Winter Blair, Simon Drax, Lynn Lake, Josie Jordan, Daily Hollow, and T.J. Christian.

Find out more here, in Terrance Aldon Shaw’s interview with Rose: on creating an Stupid-Fish Rose and Dayv Caraway interview erotic fiction pganthology attempting to encompass the scope of male desire, on advice to aspiring writers, and the importance of plain speaking when it comes to sex.

You may enjoy a peek at my own interview with Rose, and husband Dayv, on their superb work in creating for-the-men_official-cover-copyerotic audio-fiction and anthologies.

More from Rose, including sexy snippets from each story, and her own interviews with each author, at Stupid Fish Productions.

Purchase your copy of ‘For the Men: And the Women Who Love Them’ from Amazon.

Part Four: Behind the Erotic Pen – interviewing the authors of ‘For the Men’ anthology

for-the-men erotic fiction fantasy For the Men (and the Women Who Love Them) is the latest anthology release by editor (and narrator) Rose Caraway, gathering together twenty-five authors, each with their own, tantalizing flavour, filled not just with strawberry creams but with dark truffles, delicate marzipans and sharp ginger.

The collection aims to show that erotic fiction isn’t just for women. The  ‘erotic’ has the power to speak to everyone.

For the Men erotic fiction In this series, I’m sharing  insights from our authors. Read on, to discover their thinking as they wrote each tale…

In Part One, I delved the theme of ‘watching and being watched’: our desire to exhibit ourselves sexually, the thrill of revealing, and concealing.

In Part Two, I examined tales filled with tension and conflict, exploring dichotomies, emmanuelle-de-maupassant-quote-erotic-fictionparticularly relating to power: giving and receiving, vulnerability and strength.

In Part Three, I looked at stories in unusual settings: futuristic, supernatural, and off-planet: locations thrilling and unexpected.

In this instalment, I look at two tales which defy erotic fiction’s reputation for focusing only on the superficial. They demonstrate not only the power to arouse the reader, but to engage us with psychological and emotional depth, taking us to places unsettling, in which to face our own truths : Odd Man, by Sonni de Soto, and Charlie Powell’s Winning Big. 

Sonni’s Odd Man explores the psychology of jealousy, and the fragility of our relationships, built upon assumed identities. Using an intimate narrative voice, she probes our vulnerability.

Sonni drew on her own experience of open relationships in writing her tale, wanting to explore not only the thrill of the fantasy but the ‘train-wreck tragedy’ that can come from attempting polyamory. Her story aims to show that we cannot expect our relationships to remain unchanged by time.

sonni-de-soto-for-the-men-erotic-fictionAs women have been emboldened by feminism and attitudes of sex positivity, becoming more open in articulating their needs (which may include the desire to have sex with more than one person), Sonni believes that men are faced with pressures to find their role. She notes that, in dismantling traditions, men can feel vulnerable, questioning not only the validity of their relationship but their ‘value’ as a man. Her story aims to confront some of those anxieties.

She admits, “It can be scary and, even, disheartening but, instead of looking at this as a relationship-ending inevitability, it can be seen as an opportunity. To grow as individuals as well as partners. As I age, the more it seems that the only way to keep the promise we bought into when we were young is by being open to change.”

In casting a film version of her complex story, she sees Ryan Gosling as her protagonist, Russel Crowe as his romantic rival and ‘someone ethereally beautiful’, like Olivia Wilde, as the woman in their lives. Sonni advocates for evolving and adapting, believing that happiness is ‘something we must strive towards everyday’.charlie-powell-for-the-men

Charlie Powell’s story, Winning Big, is a bittersweet tale, exploring the themes of infidelity and lost love, as well as whether we can love someone without being sexually compatible. She says, “Sometimes, great sex isn’t enough – you can have that with someone and they can still be bad for you. Don’t be surprised if that means you never lose the temptation to go back there…” 

Charlie does not offer a ‘happily ever after’. Her clever, smoothly narrated tale explores the forbidden: our desire to be unfaithful to those who trust us. She explains, “I wanted to show that people are complex.” Her story is set during a hen celebration, when the bride-to-be sees the old flame she has never been able to forget. She is moved to act where she knows she would be best advised to leave well alone.

As for who would play her leading roles, she admits to adoring the film ‘Riot Club’. “I found it very sexy,” she reveals, “…almost against my better judgement. I’d love to reunite Max Irons and emmanuelle-de-maupassant-for-the-men-anthologyHolliday Grainger.” Charlie’s story is set at a race-course, a predominantly male domain, which she notes is an environment she finds inherently sexy.

My own story, Labyrinth, also focuses on uncomfortable themes. It looks at our tendency towards self-destructive behaviour, our struggle to fulfil the roles others expect of us, and our internal conflict, including the compulsion to hurt those we love (whether physically or emotionally).

***

Emmanuelle de Maupassant erotic fiction versus porn what is the difference author quoteMore from the authors behind this exciting anthology in part five.

Erotic fiction isn’t just for women; it’s for everyone.

Taste the unexpected, and the uninhibited.

Twenty-five authors bring you tales of temptation and seduction.

for-the-men_cover-copy-back-02An audio version is now available to complement the e-book (narrated by huskily voiced, utterly fabulous Rose Caraway.

My darkly erotic story, Labyrinth, features in final place in the collection, following stories by authors Adrea Kore, Tamsin FlowersRachel Kramer BusselAllen Dusk, Terrance Aldon Shaw, Rachel de Vine, Jade A WatersDorothy FreedD.L. KingChase Morgan, Marc AngelCharlie Powell, Landon Dixon, Sonni de Soto, D. Lovejoy, Erin Pim, J.T. Seate, Spencer Dryden, Winter Blair, Simon Drax, Lynn Lake, Josie Jordan, Daily Hollow, and T.J. Christian.

Find out more here, in Terrance Aldon Shaw’s interview with Rose: on creating an Stupid-Fish Rose and Dayv Caraway interview erotic fiction pganthology attempting to encompass the scope of male desire, on advice to aspiring writers, and the importance of plain speaking when it comes to sex.

You may enjoy a peek at my own interview with Rose, and husband Dayv, on their superb work in creating for-the-men_official-cover-copyerotic audio-fiction and anthologies.

More from Rose, including sexy snippets from each story, and emmanuelle de maupassant quote porn versus erotic fictionher own interviews with each author, at Stupid Fish Productions.

Purchase your copy of ‘For the Men: And the Women Who Love Them’ from Amazon.

Part Three: Behind the Erotic Pen – interviewing the authors of ‘For the Men’ anthology

I’m delighted to announce my inclusion in a tantalizing new anthology,for-the-men erotic fiction fantasy written For the Men (and the Women Who Love Them)

The collection aims to show that erotic fiction isn’t just for women. The  ‘erotic’ in literature has the power to speak to everyone.

Editor (and narrator) Rose Caraway has gathered together twenty-five tales, each with its own, tantalizing flavour.

emmanuelle-de-maupassant erotic fiction fantasy men womenIn this series, I’m sharing  insights from our authors. Read on, to discover their thinking as they wrote each tale…

In Part One of this series, I looked at how several authors in the collection explore ‘watching and being watched’ in their stories, looking particularly at our desire to exhibit ourselves sexually, at the thrill of revealing, and concealing.

In Part Two, I examined how some of the stories in ‘For the Men’ delve into tension and conflict, exploring dichotomies, particularly relating to power: giving and receiving, vulnerability and strength.

This time, I’m looking at stories which locate our fantasies in unusual settings: futuristic, supernatural, off-planet or elevated from the everyday. They feed into our primal impulses but do so in locations for-the-men-erotic-fiction-tj-christian-quote-enhancedthrilling, fascinating and unexpected.

When we enter the realm of fantasy, there are no limits, so it’s no surprise that two of the tales in ‘For the Men’ have sci-fi settings.

T.J. Christian’s innovative story, Enhanced, evokes stylishly sexy 1982 film Bladerunner, probing the pitfalls of technology, in a society where upgrades to our limitations are the norm. In such a world, the author speculates, wouldn’t we lose sight of what’s real, and what it means to be human, where ‘the lines between human and artificial become blurred’? His story also explores the philosophy that we rarely know someone as well as we imagine, and that our actions (or inaction) directly affects the mental state of others.

T.J. sees his leading man, Tom, played by Adam Driver allen-dusk-for-the-menand his female protagonist acted by the enigmatic Rooney Mara. He adds that Tom’s dislike and resentment of his employer is likely to resonate with many men.

Allen Dusk’s Wayward Drift, set on another planet, gives a nod to the exotic bar scenes from Star Wars. His lead character enters an alien strip club and is bewitched by a dancer with hypnotic moves, who makes him an intimate proposal.

His space pirate might make some readers think of Harrison Ford as Han Solo, but Allen imagines Jason Statham as his lead, and Remy LaCroix as the stripper, slathered in glitter makeup to transform her.

Allen found inspiration for his story during a visit to his local strip club (with his wife). He tells us, “There was one raven-haired beauty who caught our eye, not only because she was jaw-droppingly gorgeous with graceful moves, but because she had this distant look in her eyes that said ‘I’m not here for you, I’m here for your money, so pay up’.”

His tale touches on the theme of loneliness, his main character having developed a relationship with his spacecraft. We see him as a ‘stranger in a strange land’ and as a man with misogynistic tendencies.

Allen notes that most of his erotica work is female-erin-pim-for-the-menfocused but was eager to make this story male centric, turning the lens on male sexual experience and perspective.

Erin Pim takes her erotic tale in another direction entirely, but one firmly set in fantasy, within the format of a crime thriller. She hopes it will appeal to men and women alike. She wrote Undercover Cop as if it were a screenplay, scene by scene, cinematic style.

Her strong female lead uses her sexuality to apprehend the perpetrator of a bank robbery: a role in which she imagines Emily Blunt. For her perpetrator, she imagines Johnny Lester, scruffy, cocky, handsome, and unhinged, or Games of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster.

She tells us, “Rose’s call for For The Men was an inspiration in itself, as I’d never thought about writing with a man’s aesthetic in mind, and was curious to give it a try.  Rose is a fantastic editor, who continued to ask questions and push my piece to its limit. She even suggested that I read a ‘Stuff You Should Know’ article winter-blair-for-the-menon hostage negotiations.  I want readers of my story to feel sexually empowered enough to act out similar scenarios in their own bedrooms.”

Two of the tales within the collection take sexual fantasy into the supernatural. Winter Blair’s Lonely Spirits is an erotic ghost story in which she imagines Jensen Ackles as her leading man, with his ‘soulful eyes’. Winter aimed to write from the man’s perspective for the action of her story and notes that, to her surprise, her methodology ‘really wasn’t that different’. She notes her intention not only for the reader to be aroused but to contemplate what it is to be lonely, to seek companionship and to find redemption.

Meanwhile, Daily Hollow’s The Devil Went up to the Bronx was written back in 2013, as his first foray into erotica. Firmly tongue-in-cheek, his inspiration was Adam Ezra Band’s music video for ‘The Devil Went up to Boston’. This is a great example of combining daily-hollow-quotehumour with sexy storytelling. In an imaginary filming of the story, he sees Ian Somerholder playing the Devil, and Courtney Cox as Marge.

Adrea Kore, the author of Dance for Me, stresses the transformational potential of our sexual fantasies. She tells us, “If readers feel inspired by this story to own and explore their fantasies, I’d feel my work as ‘sexual provocateur’ is done.”

She relates a reader messaging her to share that they were inspired to perform an erotic dance for their partner after reading Dance For Me, which is set in a high-octane sex club environment. “They both ‘thanked me’ for the sex that happened later!” Adrea smiles, adding that it’s responses such as this that convince her that writing erotica ‘has value beyond adrea-kore-for-the-men-quote-erotic-fictiontemporary titillation’.

Adrea emphasizes the associations between dance and female sexuality, reminding us that ‘they are apparent in so many cultures, from Middle-Eastern belly-dancers to clubs featuring exotic dancers for male titillation in Western culture’. She explains, “In Tantric practices, to dance for one’s Beloved, to express Shakti (the divine feminine) and Shiva (the divine masculine) through movement, making your partner the sole recipient, is one of the sacred rituals for deepening intimacy.”

Speaking of where she gained her inspiration for Dance For Me, Adrea tells us that she’s always been fascinated by the ‘inherent theatricality’ of sexuality, and has been keen to explore the idea of dancing for a man as ‘a gift – expressing desire through the art of dance’.

***

More from the authors behind this exciting anthology: in parts one, two, four and five

Erotic fiction isn’t just for women; it’s for everyone.

Peel back the pages and discover.

Taste the unexpected, and the uninhibited.

Twenty-five authors have pooled their talent to bring you teasing tales of temptation and scorching stories of seduction.

for-the-men_cover-copy-back-02An audio version is now available to complement the e-book (narrated by huskily voiced, utterly fabulous Rose Caraway.

My darkly erotic story, Labyrinth, features in final place in the collection, following stories by authors Adrea Kore, Tamsin FlowersRachel Kramer BusselAllen Dusk, Terrance Aldon Shaw, Rachel de Vine, Jade A WatersDorothy FreedD.L. KingChase Morgan, Marc AngelCharlie Powell, Landon Dixon, Sonni de Soto, D. Lovejoy, Erin Pim, J.T. Seate, Spencer Dryden, Winter Blair, Simon Drax, Lynn Lake, Josie Jordan, Daily Hollow, and T.J. Christian.

Find out more here, in Terrance Aldon Shaw’s interview with Rose: on creating an Stupid-Fish Rose and Dayv Caraway interview erotic fiction pganthology attempting to encompass the scope of male desire, on advice to aspiring writers, and the importance of plain speaking when it comes to sex.

You may enjoy a peek at my own interview with Rose, and husband Dayv, on their superb work in creating for-the-men_official-cover-copyerotic audio-fiction and anthologies.

More from Rose, including sexy snippets from each story, and her own interviews with each author, at Stupid Fish Productions.

Purchase your copy of ‘For the Men: And the Women Who Love Them’ from Amazon.

Part Two: Behind the Erotic Pen – interviewing the authors of ‘For the Men’ anthology

I’m delighted to feature in a tantalizing new anthology, for-the-men erotic fiction fantasywritten For the Men (and the Women Who Love Them), edited by Rose Caraway.

As we know, erotic fiction isn’t just for women; the ‘erotic’ has the power to speak to everyone.

The collection features twenty-five tales, each bite offering a new flavour: from darkly bitter chocolate, to lush caramel, with some tangy surprises.

As a reader, I love it when a story keeps me thinking long afterwards, moving me to speculate. We don’t need all the answers on the page. We, as readers, should be ‘filling in the spaces’, finding parallels to our own experience, or emotional state. Through contemplation of the fictional, we take away some understanding of our own self. For me, this is what’s meant by finding ‘truths’ in fiction. I discover what is true of myself in reading about others’ motivations, behaviours and choices.

In this series, I’m sharing insights from the authors of ‘For the Men’. Last week, in Part One, I looked at stories exploring the theme of sexual exhibition, revealing what is usually concealed, for the delectation of other eyes. Today, I’m looking at dichotomies, particularly those relating to ‘power’.

Adrea Kore, in Dance for Me, explores seduction through performance, showing a woman’s elation and liberation through ownership of her sexuality. Her character reveals herself through dance, and is ‘fully seen’. In this way, she demonstrates both ‘vulnerability and power’.

adrea-kore-for-the-men-quote-erotic-fictionAdrea goes on to say that, in contemporary sexual culture, we tend to think of men being ‘hardwired’ to initiate. In Dance for Me, Adrea presents, first, her male protagonist as the recipient of pleasure, through dance. She explains, “In the second scene, the dynamic is reversed – he becomes the giver and she the receiver. Of course, the sharing of pleasure in reality is not so clearly polarized – the current of energy flows both ways, in varying intensities. Across the two scenes in this story, there’s an exchange in roles of who primarily plays the giver and the receiver.”

In response to editor Rose Caraway‘s call, I wrote Labyrinth: a scenario of sexual and emotional conflict. I look at our self-destructive side, and how we channel that ‘destruction’ onto those we love. In association with this, I wanted to look at our desire to inflict (and receive) pain as well as pleasure. I find it fascinating how these two opposing elements sit alongside each other, whether we speak of physical pain/pleasure or emotional.

My story uses the metaphor of the maze. We are ever seeking, though for what, we emmanuelle-de-maupassant-for-the-men-anthologyare unsure. Within, are our unspoken yearnings, and our fears, our ‘monsters’.   Our inner life is the labyrinth: action following on from action, leading us to where we stand now. We are as we are in this moment, though shaped by moments that have gone before, and the promise of those yet to come.

We are the protagonists of our own stories. We wander our personal labyrinth, slaying ‘monsters’ as we go. This very act of exercising choice, of being active in how we determine our path, brings our sense of ‘being alive’. In this, there is another dichotomy: that of passivity and action.

In a similar vein to Adrea Kore, Rachel Kramer Bussel emphasizes  that ‘dominance is not a one-way street; it’s an interplay’. For Picturing You Naked, Rachel relates ‘the way desire can overtake us, especially at work, when we’re supposed to be thinking about other things’, and the ways in which a dominant/submissive couple can ‘push each other’s boundaries’.

Rachel asserts that, although her businessman talks tough, he is ‘undone’ by his partner’s charm and creativity. She adds, “I liked the idea of him getting flustered by her. They are equally masterful. I want readers to enjoy the wordplay.”

for-the-men-fiction-erotic-rachel-kramer-bussel

As for who might be cast in the role of her heroine, were the story to be filmed, Rachel mentions Emma Stone, for her mischievous personality. 

Dorothy Freed conceived her story, Love Sling, first from a submissive female point of view. She then became curious as to how it would read from a Dominant viewpoint. The second version of the story is ‘longer and more detailed, presenting more of the male protagonist’s feelings and motivations’. She underlines, “I intend my portrayal to illustrate how much care, consideration, and understanding is involved in safe, sane, consensual BDSM.”

Casting a film version of Love Sling, Dorothy imagines actors similar to Mickey dorothy-freed-for-the-menRourke and Kim Basinger in Nine and Half Weeks. 

D. L. King believes her stories speak to men ‘because they can see themselves in the role of the protagonist’. She prides herself on showing ‘the softer, emotional side of the male psyche’ and underlines, “It’s different from its female counterpart, but is there, hiding in plain sight, waiting for the right woman to notice. I notice.”

As to who she’d cast to play her characters in Cupcakes and Steel, she opts for Margot Robbie as her dominant female, and Eddie dl-king-for-the-menRedmayne as her male lead.

Simon Drax’s The Binding of the Babe in the Backseat evokes his own fantasy of being in a position to save a sexy woman (in bondage) from danger. His character does battle, winning the woman’s respect, and his ‘reward’ in her arms.

Full of action, the story quickly evokes tension. Meanwhile, his damsel in distress isn’t passive (she bites off her attacker’s nose). Simon notes the arousing dichotomy of a ‘powerful woman’ being in a vulnerable position.

He pictures Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Taxi Driver, and Chyler Leigh as Erin.

simon-drax

Discover more from the authors behind this anthology, in parts three, four and five.

***

Erotic fiction offers an amazing space in which to explore. Dare to dip your toe into the unexpected, and the uninhibited.

Twenty-five authors have pooled their talent to bring you teasing tales of temptation and scorching stories of seduction.

for-the-men_cover-copy-back-02An audio version is also available to complement the e-book, narrated by huskily voiced, utterly fabulous Rose Caraway.

My darkly erotic story, ‘Labyrinth’, features in final place in the collection, following stories by authors Adrea Kore, Tamsin FlowersRachel Kramer BusselAllen Dusk Terrance Aldon Shaw, Rachel de Vine, Jade A WatersDorothy FreedD.L. KingChase Morgan, Marc AngelCharlie Powell, Landon Dixon, Sonni de Soto, D. Lovejoy, Erin Pim, J.T. Seate, Spencer Dryden, Winter Blair, Simon Drax, Lynn Lake, Josie Jordan, Daily Hollow, and T.J. Christian.

Find out more here, in Terrance Aldon Shaw’s interview with Rose: on creating an Stupid-Fish Rose and Dayv Caraway interview erotic fiction pganthology attempting to encompass the scope of male desire, on advice to aspiring writers, and the importance of plain speaking when it comes to sex.

You may enjoy a peek at my own interview with Rose, and husband Dayv, on their superb work in creating for-the-men_official-cover-copyerotic audio-fiction and anthologies.

More from Rose, including sexy snippets from each story, and her own interviews with each author, at Stupid Fish Productions.

Purchase your copy of ‘For the Men: And the Women Who Love Them’ from Amazon.

Part One: Behind the Erotic Pen – interviewing the authors of ‘For the Men’ anthology

I’m delighted to announce my inclusion in a tantalizing new anthology,for-the-men erotic fiction fantasy written For the Men (and the Women Who Love Them)

The collection aims to show that erotic fiction isn’t just for women. The  ‘erotic’ in literature has the power to speak to everyone.

Editor (and narrator) Rose Caraway has gathered together twenty-five tales of assorted flavour: from bitter chocolate and acidic citrus, to lush caramel. Some come with surprises, hidden nuggets of pleasure unearthed with each bite.

emmanuelle-de-maupassant erotic fiction fantasy men womenIn this series, I’ll be sharing  insights from our authors. Read on, to discover their thinking as they wrote each tale…

A prominent theme through the anthology is that of exhibiting our sexual selves, of revealing what is usually concealed, for the delectation of other eyes. There are tales not only of being watched, but of watching, illicitly, or through invitation.

Chase Morgan, the author of Night Watch, points out that the very act of reading is voyeuristic (magnified many-fold when we’re reading erotic fiction). He explores this theme explicitly in Night Watch, noting, “I love Rose’s calls because she makes a point to encourage authors to write without boundaries. My intent was to take the reader chase-morgan-for-the-men-anthologydown a darker path.”

He emphasizes that he prefers to leave characters without any particular ‘face’ but, were he to cast actors for a film version of his story, he’d choose Edward Norton, for his ability to use facial expression to convey conflicted feelings.

Speaking of her story, Dance for MeAdrea Kore tells us, “I love dancing, and have often noticed how much men love being ‘danced to’. Giving a man your sensual and sexual attention through movement, eye contact and energy, and touch if you’re actually dancing with them,… it can be a total turn-on for both people. I confess I’ve done it often enough in life to want to explore it in a story.”

Adrea reminds us that dance has long been used to both honour and seduce men. Just think of the days of Salome and her dance of the Seven Veils.

adrea-kore-for-the-men-quote-erotic-fictionShe reveals, “The first half of Dance for Me is only a slight fictionalization of a night out I shall always remember. Gorgeously corseted for my date, it was a spontaneous flow of events – but I got to be ‘the girl in the cage’ that night. The spontaneity of it all meant there was very little time for me to be nervous!”

As to who would take the leading roles in her story, were it to be filmed, Adrea imagines Clive Owen, saying he ‘plays a contained character well’, and the ‘sensually gracious and feline’ Scarlett Johansson.

Marc Angel also indulged a personal fantasy in writing The Bust, delving voyeuristic pleasure, and the theme of infidelity, when a man discovers his wife unexpectedly in the arms of another. He examines the anger and pain evoked at discovering betrayal, as well as arousal and shame.

Marc tells us, “I wanted to explore a less indulged side of male sexuality. marc-angel-for-the-menInstead of reacting with horror or anger if you found your partner having sex with another man…what if you found yourself turned on? It might open a door…”

Marc imagines Bruce Willis as the protagonist, with Scarlett Johansson returning to set as his cheating partner, and Ryan Gosling as the other man.

More from the authors behind this exciting anthology, in parts two, threefour and five.

Erotic fiction isn’t just for women.

It offers an amazing space in which to explore, and it’s for everyone.

Dare to dip your toe into the unexpected, and the uninhibited.

Twenty-five authors have pooled their talent to bring you teasing tales of temptation and scorching stories of seduction.

for-the-men_cover-copy-back-02An audio version is also available to complement the e-book (narrated by huskily voiced, utterly fabulous Rose Caraway.

My darkly erotic story, ‘Labyrinth’, features in final place in the collection, following stories by authors Adrea Kore, Tamsin FlowersRachel Kramer BusselAllen Dusk, Terrance Aldon Shaw, Rachel de Vine, Jade A WatersDorothy FreedD.L. KingChase Morgan, Marc AngelCharlie Powell, Landon Dixon, Sonni de Soto, D. Lovejoy, Erin Pim, J.T. Seate, Spencer Dryden, Winter Blair, Simon Drax, Lynn Lake, Josie Jordan, Daily Hollow, and T.J. Christian.

Find out more here, in Terrance Aldon Shaw’s interview with Rose: on creating an Stupid-Fish Rose and Dayv Caraway interview erotic fiction pganthology attempting to encompass the scope of male desire, on advice to aspiring writers, and the importance of plain speaking when it comes to sex.

You may enjoy a peek at my own interview with Rose, and husband Dayv, on their superb work in creating for-the-men_official-cover-copyerotic audio-fiction and anthologies.

More from Rose, including sexy snippets from each story, and her own interviews with each author, at Stupid Fish Productions.

Purchase your copy of ‘For the Men: And the Women Who Love Them’ from Amazon.

Women Writing The Erotic: Part Two

women-writing-erotic-fictionIn this series (within the 130 authors survey), I’m sharing women’s views on exploring sexuality through fiction. If you haven’t already read Part One, it’s the best place to begin.

Here, we look at recurring themes within erotic fiction. 

What do we find to challenge and empower us?

What motivates us to write within this diverse, often liberating, yet sometimes misunderstood genre?

Writing ‘sex’ is a pathway to understanding. We recognize that we are more than intellect, and more than emotion. We are also ‘of the body’.

In writing erotic fiction, we use sex as the lens through which we explore our world and our identity.

We, as writers, look at how sexual impulse shapes our motivations, and how it impacts our relationships.

We speak our desire and, in doing so, our voices only become more powerful.

At its best, erotica reaches far beyond formulaic parameters and the ‘comfort’ of perceived ideals.

At its best, there are no parameters.

Kristina Lloyd asserts, “The erotic disrupts, destabilizes and threatens order, both personal and social, and its power is widespread and pervasive.”

lidia-yuknavitch-author-quote-truth-of-bodyChristina Mandara voices the opinion that women’s reading material is being dictated to them: a view shared by Sorcha Black, who believes, “The policing of women’s sexuality includes censoring what we read.”

While being receptive to critique (as would be expected in any genre) we, as authors, need to stand resolute in our belief that sexuality is a valid theme for literary exploration, and that we have the power to write as we see fit.

I.G. Frederick notes, with frustration, “It’s perfectly acceptable to use sex to sell anything from cars to beer, but we’re discouraged from examining the impact of sex on relationships in works of fiction.”

Many of the women taking part in this survey note commercial ‘constraints’ within the genre — such as are difficult to ignore for any writer seeking to earn an income from their work. However, we can argue that responsibility lies with us, as authors, to become less commercially risk-averse. If we write from a place of truth, we’ll find our audience.

Brantwijn Serrah praises erotica’s ability to play with possibilities, assisting ‘readers and authors in exploring new ideas about sexuality’.

Fiction Mirrors and Identifying the ‘Self’

In exploring the psychology of desire, how we behave ‘in the raw’, erotic fiction invites us to open our minds to all possibilities. It has the power to delve not just our fantasies but our truths. It holds a mirror to versions of our ‘self’ rarely let out in polite company; within that mirror, we gain deeper understanding.

nya-rawlyns-author-quote-erotic-fiction-literature-21st-century-emmanuelle-de-maupassantRemittance Girl, in her article, On Writing Erotica, explains her desire ‘to articulate the conflict within ourselves, to make sense of it, and then to reach out to others via the page’. Nya Rawlyns believes the genre has the power to ‘redefine how we see ourselves and our society’.

Sessha Batto emphasizes that her goal is ‘to trace a character’s growth, as revealed through sex’ and to ‘dig deeply into a character’s personality and motivations’, as ‘catalysts for growth and personal discovery’.

Malin James states,Authorial intent comes down to one thing: I want to understand.” She underlines that fiction ‘can reflect the human condition in all its individual, specific forms. It can explore the cause and effects that drive our lives and form our emotional realities.” She adds, “I write to explore and reflect experiences. I like digging beneath a constructed, social surface to get at an emotional reality.” – read more from Malin on her intent here and hereremittance-girl-quote-fiction-reality-author-erotic-fiction

Fantasy v. Realism

Fantasy (all the ‘what ifs’ of our imagination) is a well-recognised aspect of erotic fiction. If not here, then where else, can we explore ‘the forbidden’. As Malin James stresses, “While a great deal of erotica falls into a realistic vein, much of what people actually want is that which they can’t (or don’t feel they can) have in real life. This is why rape fantasies, incest and other transgressive sexual acts continue to sell erotica and generate clicks.” – more on ‘fantasy’ here

 Janine Ashbless sees fiction as ‘a safe area in which to let our darker selves, our fears and our desires, out for a little exercise…’

It may seem contradictory to seek out greater realism within erotic fiction.siri-ousdahl-author-quote-erotic-fiction-21st-century-emmanuelle-de-maupassant-sex However, the majority of writers with the 130 authors survey assert a desire to write recognizable, diverse characters, and situations, with psychological depth, to better allow readers to empathize, and enter into alternate possibilities.

Siri Ousdahl declares, “I’d like there to be a larger place for high-quality, graphic sex writing: fiction that is not coy, does not romanticize or trivialize, and is psychologically realistic.”

Tobsha Learner comments,I like to make my characters normal people with fallible, normal bodies of all ages. The premise being that lust, sex and love is not just something that happens to gorgeous under thirty year olds, with ridiculously youthful and beautiful billionaires.” She asserts, “There is a certain joyful bawdy finger up to the Heavens when such coup de foudres fall upon our heads, whether we be 80, 50, 30 or 16.”

Similarly, CA Bell declares, “I’d like to see sexy, real, and honest writing: no billionaires who can shag for hours and come five times a night.” In her own words, Elizabeth Safleur writescontemporary billionaire erotic romance with a lot of fantasy’ but admits that she’d ‘like to read stories that involve real people, who aren’t great at being together (yet) and figure it out’. She adds, “Instead of the sex being amazing right off the bat, what did they do to make it great? I’d like to read something that allows for insecurities… vulnerabilities can be sexy.”

Diversity

Krissy Kneen tells us, “I’d like to see a broader range of people represented, fat people, old people, the disabled, all types of sexual orientations. I’d also like to see more gender fluidity. I think the masculine/feminine divide is boring and needs to be retired. Manly men and femme women is a cliché that really must go.”

Zak Jane Keir is keen to see more trans characters represented in stories remittance-girl-erotic-fiction-quote(where the plot extends beyond the surprise reveal of them actually being a §transperson). She laments the ‘generic’ in erotic fiction.

Sorcha Black also asserts her goal of challenging assumptions about gender roles and sexual attraction by avoiding ‘stereotypes’. She explains, “A lot of my characters are sexually fluid and are also into kink. I don’t have to limit myself to what’s expected. It’s far too easy to paint caricatures.”

On the theme of ‘perfection’, Madeline Moore states, ”We’re all looking for it and when we’re in love we believe, for a brief time, that we’ve found it.” However, she laments that women often feel that sexual encounters should be ‘perfect’, while men have ridiculous expectations of ‘perfection’.

Lily Harlem underlines her interest in exploring flawed characters, ‘because no one in real life is perfect or makes the right decisions all of the time’. Meanwhile, Donna George Storey notes that fantasy sex is ‘soothing’ but that she’s ‘now trying to capture something more real’. She explains, “I appreciate that erotic fiction often explores a world where characters are free of sexual repression. You meet a gorgeous partner, fall into bed immediately, and the physical tobsha-learner-erotic-fiction-quoteexperience is fantastic even though you don’t know his/her name. The female version usually has the gorgeous partner falling in love for the first time in his life after the aforementioned great sex.” Donna asserts, “I’d like to see more celebration of the magic of sex between people who know each other well. I’d like to acknowledge that time and trust are important in creating a situation where great sex can happen. Couples who’ve been together for a long time are not necessarily bored with each other. They can go deeper, they can play, they know each other well enough to trust it will be mutually enjoyable.”

Cecilia Tan notes her aim to write ‘power dynamics between lovers’ and the ‘ways they explore each other’s inner lives, imagination, and fantasies’.

In the realm of BDSM themed erotic fiction, Nicolette Hugo would like to see ‘alternate sexuality explored more positively’, stating her irritation with ‘sadism being relegated to villains.’. KD Grace explains, “I’m sick to death of weak, cardboard women being written as subs and mean, unlikable, men being written as Doms (or, even worse, as really creepy, stalker types). I want depth, I want a connection that has more to do with what drives the characters, and with the chemistry between them, and less to do with the trappings.”

Zak Jane Keir expresses her desire ‘to share a worldview that isn’t entirely mainstream’.

Meanwhile, Adrea Kore reminds us, “Human sexuality is vast, varied, and complex. The spectrum of people’s turn-ons and kinks is almost verging on infinite. And so is writing about it. As authors, we don’t all have to be covering the same ground… there is room for diversity.” – more here

Themes: Identity

Many authors view ‘identity’ as a prevalent theme, often expressed through understanding of the self (and what motivates our behaviour). Cate Ellink describes this as ‘finding your place in the world’. Malin James notes that she is drawn by the fluidity of the concept of self, and ‘sexuality as a window into deeper understanding of ourselves and each other’.

Cari Silverwood asserts that her stories aim to make us question our ‘relationship with the world and humanity’, to the point where we are ‘uncomfortable and, even, disturbed’. She embraces writing fiction with ‘an inherent moral challenge’.

Remittance Girl, in exploring darker elements of human nature — ‘guilt, emmanuelle-de-maupassant-erotic-fiction-writing-quotemistrust, fear and emotional wounding’ — shows characters obliged to ‘reconstruct their identity in the light of what they’ve done’ –more here. We watch her characters push through their inner-sanctions, and see how they deal with the consequences. In this way, her work exposes our uncertainty and our inconsistencies.

Elizabeth Safleur states her fascination with the theme ofbecoming more yourself’, telling us, “Most of my women are fiercely independent… [but] often find it difficult to reconcile that quality with their submissive and other kink/BDSM yearnings. I’ve noticed a new pattern lately, which is people believing they don’t deserve love, not deep down. Who said writing isn’t cathartic?”

Brantwijn Serrah also explores the theme of identity, of ‘who we are in our most naked moments’. She asserts, “It’s amazing to me how much can be understood through our sexual self.” Nicolette Hugo similarly refers to ‘acceptance of self’ as a theme in her work.

Themes: Truth and Deceit

So many authors, across the centuries, have sought ‘truth’ and, conversely, examined the deceits we perpetrate.

Erotic fiction well lends itself to exploring ‘grey areas of morality’, as Tobsha Learner calls them: to the small lies we tell ourselves, to our unspoken motivations, to the ways in which we manipulate or make use of others. Nicolette Hugo refers to this ‘moral duality’ in her own work, alongside ‘the marriage of sex and violence’.

Donna George Storey states her major theme as ‘the lies we tell, whether malevolent or benevolent… and especially lies involving sex’. Donna explains, %22we-must-kill-the-false-woman-who-is-preventing-the-live-one-from-breathing-%22-quote-helene-cixous“I love exploring the slippery relationship between truth and fiction. The stories I value convey truths that spring from careful thought and deep feeling, truths we often keep secret from others and ourselves. Exploring those truths is what I aim for when I write.”

Sessha Batto views sex as ‘a vehicle of revelation, a way to expose characters when they are most open and vulnerable’. She writes sex to ‘expose the parts we tend to keep hidden’.

Themes: Freedom and Constraint

Another common theme for exploration is that of the nature of freedom (as explored in Siri Ousdahl’s novel, ‘Constraint’). We speak of sexual liberation as a form of ‘freedom’: to make our own choices, without inhibition or shame.

The pursuit of freedom is a preoccupation of my own, although I little realized it when I began writing, exploring the myriad ways in which women are ‘pinned’, ‘exhibited’ and ‘dissected’ by society.

Cecilia Tan takes this idea further in linking sexual expression to creative expression. “Just last weekend I was in a workshop for writers where I discovered that one of my main underlying themes is equating sexuality with creativity at a metaphoric level. My characters tend to be not only on a search for love and sexual gratification; this is usually tied up with their need for creative or artistic expression.”

cecilia-tan-erotic-fiction-quoteShe adds that the public versus private face of a person can exist not only in terms of their sexuality (how they express it to the world versus how they are in private) but their art form (dance, painting, sculpture, music, songwriting, writing, and so on).

Themes: Connection, Yearning, Trust

Tobsha Learner asserts, “The erotica reader doesn’t just want to look; they want to be in the skin of the protagonists. They need to feel the aching frustration and longing and then the blissful release of orgasm, both in the emotional, physical and sometimes spiritual sense.”

Tobsha underlines the importance ofpsychological foreplay’ in erotic fiction (a factor that is largely irrelevant to pornography) – more here.

Lily Harlem asserts her exploration of the ‘many complications that arise from the emotions of love and lust’ – a theme mentioned by many who responded to the 130 authors survey. A significant number underlined, as we might expect, interest in delving the complexities of connection and, as Malin James calls them, ‘social and sexual power dynamics’.

Kay Jaybee, alongside quite a few of the respondent authors, is fascinated by the BDSM world. She tells us, “I don’t inhabit that world, but the psychology of it, the dynamic of total trust that it requires, is an endless source of inspiration.” Meanwhile, Madeline Moore tells us that she writes about people who are ‘in a state of yearning’ or ‘obsession’.

sign-my-death-with-your-teeth%22-author-quote-helene-cixousThemes: Mortality

Shanna Germain notes her desire to break open the relationship between sex and death, to ask her characters ‘How are you going to handle this? Will you grow and change? Will you show your true self? Or will you hide?’ Malin James, too, finds herself returning often to explorations of mortality and ‘the relationship between sex and death’, as does Christina Mandara. 

Cultural Relevance

Shanna Germain underlines that, of all genres, erotica (and horror) most reflect ‘the mores of our current culture’. She tells us, “Sci-fi looks ahead, fantasy looks back, literary fiction looks askance. But erotica looks right at the now and says, ‘This is happening, in the streets, in the bedrooms, in the bars.’ Where will erotica, as a genre go? It will go where the culture goes. I hope it goes somewhere open-minded, joyous, and hot as fuck.”

As Remittance Girl asserts, “I hope that I can play some small role in the evolution of erotic writing and help, if only in a tiny way, to push it into the light, and towards being recognized as a fertile and unconstrained form of critically recognized literature.” She urges us, “We are adventurers. We are explorers. Be brave. Dare to write what frightens and unsettles us, as well as what delights us. In doing so, we may write words worth remembrance.” – more here

It’s time for us to write our own rules.

We can be whoever we wish to be.

Own your sexuality, own your voice, own your words.

In Part Three: Inspirations, influences, and the relevance of gender

Further Reading 

Coming Soon…

Writing Craft

Authors’ Recommended Reads

Author Influences: music, theatre, dance, fiction, art

My thanks go to the following authors for giving their time and for their candid answers; my thanks also to authors who contributed their views anonymously.

Tobsha Learner, Laura Antoniou, Susan St. Aubin, Shanna Germain, Remittance Girl, Malin James, Janine Ashbless, Adrea KoreKristina LloydCecilia Tan, Donna George StoreyKathe Koja, Justine Elyot, Sorcha BlackCari Silverwood, Siri OusdahlZander VaneTamsin Flowers, Krissy KneenZak Jane Keir, Jade A WatersKD Grace, Kay Jaybee, Nya RawlynsSessha Batto, Rose CarawayTabitha RayneElizabeth Safleur, Devi AnseviK. L. Shandwick, I.G. Frederick, Jacqui Greaves, Ina MorataFinn MarloweElsa Holland, Elizabeth SchechterLucy Felthouse, Alexis AlvarezLily HarlemMadeline MooreRia Restrepo, Scarlet Darkwood, Victoria Bliss, Jane GilbertCharlie Powell, Cate Ellink, Lee SavinoElizabeth BlackFelicity Brandon, Nicolette HugoAmelia SmartsSue MacNicol, Cassandra ShawArdent RoseSylvia Storm, Renee Rose, Rachel de Vine, Cherry Wild, Patient Lee, Pandora Spocks, Suzette Bohne’ Sommers, Molly Synthia, Meg Amor, Lizzie Ashworth, Cara Bristol, Finn Marlowe, C.A. Bell, Brantwijn Serrah, Aubrey Cara, Kathleen Bradean, Stormchase, Lisa Fox, Allyson YoungEmma JayeDee Maselle, Christina MandaraSue LyndonRebecca Branch, Molly Moore, Vanessa WuJaye Peaches, Ashe Barker, Tilly Andrews and Catherine Mazur.

Under the Skin: with Tobsha Learner

Erotica.

Too formulaic? Clichéd? Predictable?

It’s impossible to lay these failings at Tobsha Learner’s door. Original in the extreme, she writes to explore, to fling open doors, to see where language might take her.

She is a risk-taker.

tobshaauthorshotRejecting typical notions of what constitutes ‘literary quality’, her own narrative voice is distinctly lyrical yet she also weaves a good tale. Ms. Learner is a story-teller.

British-born Tobsha originally trained as a sculptor of stone, before she began sculpting words. After around 25 years as a playwright, she moved into novels (thrillers and historical fiction) and her sexy, soulful fables, glittering with lashings of the erotic. Tobsha aims to deliver more than titillation. She delves the psychology of characters, exploring power-play and moral ambiguity.Her first collection of short stories, Quiver, has sold over 200,000 copies. Her latest novel, Picture This, is a study in corruption,quiver the erotic gaze and the creative process.

Tobsha, as writers, we process and refine our experiences, influences and thoughts onto the page, inviting our reader to then enter their own process of interpretation. As we know, there are some stories that change us forever. Years later, we recall how such books made us feel, even if we cannot recall the details. Which authors have stirred you to new understanding of yourself?

I tend to go for the DNA of plot. As a child, I was deeply obsessed with the Robert Graves edition of the Greek myths.

In my thriller writing, I’ve referenced a number of these consciously: Orpheus and Eurydice, the Minotaur, and Medusa.

tobsha-learner-yearnI lost my father when I was 16, while in the middle of studying King Lear for my O’ levels, so this play has particular emotional power for me. Various Shakespearian characters fascinate me: Ariel, Puck, Ophelia, King Lear (and his fool) and Falstaff (an incarnation of Bacchus really).

Many stories have thrown new light onto my own emotional experiences, as has some poetry. In terms of short story craft, authors who stand out for me include Greene, Dahl, Chekov, Bukowski, Nin, Poe, Maupassant, Lawrence, Turgenev, Nabokov, Isaac ben Singer and Wilde.

16171282I’m eclectic in my influences. Definitely, when I discover a new writer who has broken a rule, or who perhaps has an original onomatopoeia to her/his prose, it can be inspiring.

Which themes tug at you?

Each author has an emotional template resonating under each story or narrative, regardless of their conscious intention. For me, quintessentially, it’s free will versus determinism. In terms of my erotic writing, I look at how instinct and sexual desire can over-ride the rational.

tremble-by-tobsha-learner-paperback-2012Are you influenced also by film?

My original training as a scriptwriter (and my experience as a playwright) has influenced my writing, in that I try to make it as visually simulating and visceral as possible. I tend to like films with a magical blend of great dialogue and plot but which also use the craft of film making to tell the story: mise en scène, visual subtext, great editing and so on (such as in the early Coen brothers’ Blood Simple).

As a former sculptor, tell us your artistic influences.

I once played with the idea of basing an erotic short story around a very graphic 19th century sculpture of a male angel in Prague Caste. He was a very defined, handsome man with wings of about eight foot tall (everything in proportion!). I’m inspired in the moment but then it all gets fermented and used later in imagery far less consciously.

louise-bourgeois-maman-1999-steel-35-ft-in-height-tate-modern-london
Louise Bourgeois, Maman (1999) Tate Modern, London, 35 ft

I might be expressionistic (as opposed to cubist!). Certainly, as I get older this evolves like an underground stream of passing references and obsessions. I know I’m a little baroque in language (and I don’t necessarily like this about my work). I love the video instillation of Bill Viola, some of the drawings and sexual themes of Emin, and I really appreciate the cultural madcap commentary of Grayson Perry. When I was a sculptor in training, I was orientated to the narrative/figurative – with, I guess, similar feminist/sexual themes to Louise Bourgeoise. Lately, the abstract and more muted sublime has begun to appeal.

1710567Tell us a little about your writing processes.

I’ve developed a very specific writing process that really heralds back to my playwriting training at N.I.D.A [the Australian equivalent of RADA]. Paul Thompson was my lecturer and mentor then, and he taught us to breakdown each scene with ‘units of action’: what happens in that scene physically and plot-wise. Beforehand, I’d develop character backgrounds (for all characters – detailed for protagonists) as well as undertaking research and creating a plot line. I know this is very unromantic in terms of how people like to imagine writers sitting down to a blank sheet, weaving from their imagination, but I truly believe in the craft of writing (talent being about 10% of the equation, and the rest sheer bloody-mindedness and making the discipline of writing a daily habit).

Do you listen to music while you write?picturethis-cover-tobsha-learners-next-book-picture-this-will-be-available-on-amazon-from-november-2017

I can only write to classical music, without lyrics, but, at other times, I enjoy The Clash, T. Rex and Nick Cave.

How did you approach the writing of your latest release, Picture This, set in the art world of New York?

I interviewed a number of gallery owners and artists, as well as visiting locations. I drew on my experiences as a sculptor and observed artist friends’ ways of seeing. I explore the dilemma that all working creatives face, of ‘commerce versus the artistic soul’.

tobshaauthorshotTobsha Learner was born in Cambridge and raised mainly in North West London but has lived and worked in Melbourne, Sydney, Los Angeles and London. She is the author of three volumes of short stories (Quiver, Tremble and Yearn) seven 2116855novels and dozens of plays. Her latest release is Picture This. Besides writing erotic fiction, she is known for her historical fiction, and for her thrillers (writing as T.S. Learner  – The Sphinx, The Stolen and The Map).

Read more about Tobsha Learner here, in her interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, or view her chatting about her work here.

www.tobshaserotica.com

www.tslearner.co.uk

picturethis-cover-tobsha-learners-next-book-picture-this-will-be-available-on-amazon-from-november-2017More about Picture This

English instillation artist Susie Thomas finds herself investigating the supposed suicide of her female lover Maxine, a young sculptress, while embarking on an affair with notorious gallery owner Felix Baum.

Tobsha is among 130+ authors who took part in my recent series of articles on ‘Writing Erotica’. Find out more here.

Damage by Josephine Hart: a review

Damage is a tale of desperate erotic obsession, and its inevitable path to destruction.

The narrative, told by the male protagonist, eminently respectable, and respected, cabinet Damage Josephine Hart a review minister Fleming, is clinical in its formality, in keeping with his social position. His life revolves around public service, and the care of his family and, at the heart of this seeming ‘order’ he is deeply unhappy.

This very formality, with its lack of true passion, has suffocated him, so that we have some understanding of his leap from empty order into consuming chaos, into the danger of an affair with his son’s fiancée, Anna.

The icy detachment of this narrative is a perfect foil to Fleming’s inner turmoil and the depth of his catastrophic infatuation. His spiralling descent is forever tempered by a façade of civility and order. Josephine Hart’s sparse, simple, even elegant language balances the fevered undercurrents of Fleming’s psychological state.

DAMAGE_610‘… my life would have been lost in contemplation of the emerging skeleton beneath my skin. It was as though a man’s bones broke through the face of the werewolf. Shining with humanity he stalked through his midnight life towards the first day.’1992 film Damage Jeremy Irons Juliette Binoche Josephine Hart a review of the book Emmanuelle de Maupassant

His affair with Anna is both an awakening and a dream-state, a loss of self to the intoxication of desire, and a finding of the self.

Fleming tells us: ‘I eased her gently to the floor. Leaving my elegant disguise on the sofa I became myself.’

We are left in no doubt that destruction is inevitable, that Fleming is at the precipice. There are no mitigating circumstances, and we know that there will be no happy ending, or forgiveness. What we see is a chillingly honest portrayal of sexual obsession, and our potential for destruction: lives damaged, or soon to be so.

Many will be familiar with the wonderful film of the same name, starring Jeremy Irons and 1992 film Damage Jeremy Irons Juliette Binoche Josephine Hart a review of the book Emmanuelle de MaupassantJuliette Binoche, directed by Louis Malle, in which we witness more of the sexual nature of the affair. In her book, Hart does not describe sex at length, and yet we are left in no doubt that the acts are intense.

Fleming tells the reader: ‘We were made for other things. For needs that had to be answered day or night – sudden longings – a strange language of the body.’

They involve a degree of mild violence and of domination (there are references to slavedom, to being tied, and blindfolded, of Anna giving herself over to his will, of being physically ‘arranged’). These scenes leave us with a sense of the brutality of Fleming’s sexual desire, and of Anna’s desire to submit to it.

… there would be time for the pain and pleasure lust lends to love. Time for body lines and Damage-film-still-007angles that provoke the astounded primitive to leap delighted from the civilised skin…There would be time for words obscene and dangerous. There would be time for flowers to put out the eyes and for silken softness to close the ears.’

This is a love story of sorts, as Fleming proclaims in the closing lines, but the journey is heartbreaking, unsettling, terrifying. It is a nightmare from which the protagonists cannot wake. We are shocked, horrified, even to the bitter close, but cannot look away.

Hart reminds us that, when tragedy strikes, as when Anna’s brother Aston kills himself ‘silence, separation and sadness… become a way of life’ trapping us ‘in the unresolved agonies of long ago’. In some part, this is offered as a reason for Anna’s detachment, but we are not invited to judge, only to witness.

We see Fleming acknowledge his folly, cruelty and deceit. He takes full responsibility, never Josephine Hart Damage review by Emmanuelle de Maupassantattempting to apologize or make excuses. He is in the grip of what he knows will destroy him, and we abhor him for it. And yet, we see that he is powerless, just as Anna is powerless.

They are presented as equally culpable and yet, equally, without blame. They are damaged and are destined to destroy not only themselves but others.

At one point, Fleming asks Anna: ‘Who are you?’ and she replies: ‘I am what you desire…’ While Fleming fantasises about the possibility of leaving his wife and living with Anna, she realises that their relationship is outside of normal bounds and social conventions. It is only there that it can exist.

1992 film Damage Jeremy Irons Juliette Binoche Josephine Hart a review of the book Emmanuelle de MaupassantJosephine Hart achieves something rare in this novella: a helplessness that speaks deeply to the reader, a knowledge that, however sane and ordered our life, we carry our own destructive flame, the potential for our own acts of ‘damage’.

E-Lust Blog Roundup No. 84

Elust 84 header
Photo courtesy of A to sub-Bee

Welcome to Elust #84

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #85 Start with the rules, come back August 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Lightweight
About Those “Apple Thighs”
Why the Hell Haven’t I Rebelled Yet?

 

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

IDENTITY – hiding the evidence
friday flash–service

 

~Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

Good In Bed

*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*
All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

 

Erotic Fiction

Ride
Pubic Disturbance
Colds and Lust
Sex Machine
Chemistry
A Dirty Bathroom Floor
Tether
I’m Sorry I’m So Silent
S’il Vous Plaît
Edge of Morning
Dancin’ (Most) of the Night Away
Airport Arrivals

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

42 Kinds of Casual Sex
Living in Fear – An Essay on Male Entitlement
Pride

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

How To Give A Bare Handed Spanking
Reconciling dominance and love
She’s a Very Kinky Gor

Body Talk and Sexual Health

Run the good race
IUD DIARY #1 (1.5 WEEKS LATER)

Erotic Non-Fiction

We Made A Resolution To Make Love Everyday
The 20 Minute Orgasm
More on cunt, corridors & Schroedinger’s cock
Stoned Birthday Sex
Room with a View
I’m Not Done With Your Throat Yet
It’s a strange path to trust.

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Poly and Pets
mono-poly

Writing about Writing

Why Write Erotic Fiction?
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Why Write Erotic Fiction?

why write erotic fiction Emmanuelle de MaupassantSeveral months ago, I invited writers to ‘share their secrets’; just over 130 responded, writing honestly of their experiences – more about them here. It’s been a delight to see how various authors approach the writing process, and the manner in which we choose to focus our erotic lens.

As Adrea Kore reminds us, “Society is hungry for more ways to open up dialogue about sexuality – between women, and between men and women. Erotica, and the sharing and discussion that takes place around the reading of erotica, is one such conduit of dialogue.”

Erotic fiction can move us, disturb, confront and warm us. It compels an emotional, intellectual and visceral reaction.

While porn strikes a blow to the groin, erotic fiction adds an upper cut to the gut, wrenches the heart and arm-wrestles the mind. Erotic fiction follows protagonists not just in their pursuit of pleasure, but into the spaces they find fearsome. It examines our choices, and the resulting consequences.

Jonathan Kemp explains, “I don’t consciously set out to write something that will arouse eroticism, I set out to describe and represent sex, or sexual encounters. If it turns the reader on, great, and I know from some readers directly that it has; but my main consideration is the language I use, the ‘reality’ I try to convey, the experience I try to explore, the subjectivity or subjectivities I am aiming to articulate or express. I’m very interested in sexuality as a form of sociality, of bodies being together, sometimes in public spaces, sometimes private. I think there is an almost anthropological or ethnographic element to why I am drawn to these situations and encounters. I want to show erotic forcefields at work, hopefully as a way of entering the territory of what it means to be human through a different doorway.”

In exploring compulsion, and destructive relationships/liaisons, we reach into the darker corners of the human condition. It’s obvious that this constitutes intent beyond writing ‘to entertain’ or ‘to arouse’.

Shanna Germain asserts, “I write to fuck with your brain, your heart, your morals, and your sense of self, to make you question your assumptions, to unpack your moldy baggage, to open your heart with your bare hands to see what makes it beat. I open people’s minds like a sneaky spy. They come for the naked; they stay for the accidental learning. I like to give people a slant-mirror. Not a perfect reflection of themselves, but a could-be reflection. One that helps them feel less alone if Shanna Germain author quote erotic fiction Emmanuelle de Maupassantthey’re struggling or uncertain or scared. One that says, ‘Look, everyone’s been there. Everyone’s failed.’”

Our genre allows us to enter the psyche in unexpected ways, distilling motivations and fears. We access a realm often defying words.

Remittance Girl tells us, “I’m interested in looking at where boundaries leak and fail, where human eroticism bleeds into the non-sexual parts of our personas, our lives and our society.” She encourages readers ‘to think about how their erotic desires constitute and shape and twist the very complex individuals they are’.

As Adrea Kore underlines,Erotica seeks to arouse, but it may also confront, provoke, and subvert. This is why I am drawn to writing in the erotic genre. It’s why I feel proud of my craft. Sexuality is such a vital part of the map of the human psyche. Sexuality reveals so much of ourselves.” (more here)

Remittance Girl comments on ‘bone-deep erotic yearning’, saying, “Erotica can be breathtakingly beautiful because it’s about us at our most naked, our most vulnerable. It is an exposure of both our passions and our hideous flaws. Our destructive jealousy, our brittle pride, our hunger for what doesn’t belong to us, our need for the strange and the transgressive.” 

  

Exploration and Transformation

The majority of writers note the importance of ‘transformation’ within fiction. As Adrea Kore notes, “…where there is transformation, there is always a story.”

Brantwijn Serrah states that she wishes to create fiction exploring how sexuality informs the Self. Catherine Mazur echoes this, saying, “I’m interested in how sex impacts a person’s world view.”

Transformation is at the heart of every story arc, even within flash fiction. The reader should be able to feel their way into the margins, filling in the gaps, invited to create their own ‘backstory’ for protagonists, and projecting possible consequences onto unfolding events.

To engage us beyond ‘insert tab A into flap B’ we need to witness an element of transformation or growth within a story, to see how a protagonist has gained greater self-knowledge.

Nya Rawlyns asserts, “Much of what passes for erotica today feels stale, too often reflecting romance tropes. Lust and desire, needs and wants… all have consequences. I’m interested in how an individual changes under conditions of denial or when personal and other boundaries are smashed. What excites me is when a writer peels away the socially acceptable and reveals the most intimate cravings of tortured souls. I want to step far outside the boundaries of acceptable and explore the intersect of pain and pleasure, right and wrong, good and bad, need and desire.” 

Sessha Batto asserts, “My goal is not to arouse the reader but rather to trace a character’s growth, as revealed through sex.” She notes that some of her sexual scenes are ‘disturbing’ rather than arousing because those situations ‘dig deeply into a character’s personality and motivations, as well as being catalysts for growth and personal discovery’.

Jade A Waters adds, “Sex is transformative. I tend to take my characters on journeys of discovery, often as an echo of something I’ve learned in my own life.”

LN Bey notes the attraction of accompanying characters on a journey, saying, “They change, but not always for the better. They’re exhausted. Maybe they failed. Maybe they failed Adrea Kore erotic fiction sex sexuality author quote taboo Underworld Emmanuelle de Maupassantgloriously, or succeeded but had to make sacrifices. These are elements I enjoy exploring in my erotica.”

In reaching into ourselves, through fiction, we cannot but emerge changed, better understanding the light and dark of our nature.

Adrea (whose last name ‘Kore’ is another Greek name for Persephone, meaning ‘maiden’) explains this through the metaphor of entering, and emerging from, ‘the Underworld’. She explains, “I resonate with the idea that writing about sex and sexuality is akin to going down into the Underworld of our bodies, and of society; sometimes speaking the taboo; sometimes bringing things up and out into the light so they can be seen more clearly.” She imagines Persephone rising up from her subconscious, bursting onto the bright white page to spill over with insights and stories. Adrea stresses that, like Persephone, she feels ‘deepened and transformed’ by her time in darkness. (more here)

 

Engaging Mind and Body

Some authors note that they began writing erotic elements into fiction from a young age, while a far greater share turned to these themes later in life. As to what keeps us writing in this sphere, authors repeatedly underline a feeling of ‘addiction’, asserting that writing ‘the erotic’ allows deeper exploration of the human psyche and that, once accessed, this cannot be put aside.

As Zander Vyne asserts, “Few other genres allow such creativity and freedom.” Catherine Mazur muses on how far sexual arousal produces an altered state of consciousness not unlike intoxication or a dream state’ while Madeline Moore is intrigued by the shifting sands of our sexual preferences. She notes our fundamental sexual nature, saying, “Even the absence of sex is sexual. How long can you miss kisses? It fascinates me.”

Susan St. Aubin tells us, “I’m interested in the mystery of human life, and sex is a big part of that, perhaps the thing that most illuminates the mystery.”

Erotic fiction invites intimacy with readers on a level unseen across other genres, emotionally and physically. Most authors feed on the positive energy of feedback, and it drives them to write on, probing deeper into ‘fearsome’ spaces. We may write ‘for ourselves’ but there is an electrifying thrill in the knowledge of touching readers, moving them at the most profound level.

As Kathe Koja puts it, she seeks ‘connection’: the ‘profoundly human action of mind speaking to mind’. Malin James notes her desire to reach ‘under a reader’s skin and make them feel something’. She stresses, “I want to bypass the intellect and connect with the reader in an emotional or experiential way.”

Erotica lends itself well to exploration of ‘grey areas of morality’, as Tobsha Learner Remittance Girl author quote erotic fiction Emmanuelle de Maupassant intent self-reflectioncalls them: to the small lies we tell ourselves, to our unspoken motivations, to the ways in which we manipulate or make use of others.

Adrea Kore emphasizes, “Erotica writes into areas of the human sexual psyche and behavior that some genres gloss over or shy away from. Erotica brings into the light contradictions between our inner sexual desires and our outward behaviour. What do we secretly long for, and to attain that, what lengths would we go to?” (more here

Shanna Germain adds that ‘sex and death’ are recurring themes in her work, having the potential to show us at ‘our most human and naked’. She notes, “How we react in those moments is something I’m fascinated by. I want to break those moments open in my characters and ask, ‘How are you going to handle this? Will you grow and change? Will you show your true self? Or will you hide?’”

Adrea Kore emphasizes the power of words to change us at a physical level: a truth we can attest to. Certain images, painted in words, once read, refuse to let us go. She advocates, “The ideas we consume contribute to our growth or our atrophy. Language and ideas, once encountered, live inside you, and can effect changes, both subtle and catalytic. Words endureAnd the feelings they conjure up in the body can endure too, leaving traces, imprints in the cells, the memory.” (more here)

 

Fear and Arousal

Several writers mention the connection between fear and arousal, drawing direct inspiration from film and books in the horror genre. In fact, almost 20% of writers within this survey also write ‘horror’ (under alternative pen names) or blend horror elements with the erotic.

We are drawn to what terrifies us: not just the gore-taloned goblins of childhood nightmares but the horror of our mortality, and the transience of all we care for, the destructive, selfish impulses we battle to control. 

Raziel Moore notes, “I like to write people encountering their monsters – interior or exterior, and being devoured by them, or not.”

What horrifies us invites investigation; it’s here, where we are most unsettled, that we find insight, that we learn more fully who we are.

Kathleen Bradean asserts,Horror and erotica both seek to evoke a physical reaction; they’re the most closely linked genres. There’s a Venn diagram where they intersect. That’s where I like to hang out. Erotica teaches you how to evoke the senses as no other genre can.” She adds, “I’ve been drawing on that heavily of late, to convey the heat and humidity of a tropical island.”

Erotic fiction quote intimacy Emmanuelle de Maupassant authorMadeline Moore echoes this, saying, “Many of my ideas could be erotica or horror, depending on the way I twist the tale. I find it interesting that it’s so easy to see a concept going in either direction. I wonder if there’s always a horrifying aspect to sex; or a sexual aspect to horror. Adrenalin is adrenalin, after all; same physical experience interpreted in different ways. It’s all in the mind.”

Adrea Kore tells us,I believe an audience comes to any art form wanting to be shown the known in the unknown, or the unknown in the known. Even if this desire is in the subconscious, even if the audience is only partially aware of this desire, it is present. Erotica as a fiction genre plays constantly on this tension between the known and the unknown, between concealing and revealing.”

Remittance Girl explains that we, as writers, can manipulate the mind of our readers. She believes that the better we know someone’s psyche, the better we penetrate their vulnerabilities. She states, “What do you fear? What do you fear you are? What do you fear someone sees in you or believes you to be? What turns you on and turns your stomach at the same time? For me, good mindfucks are really about the dark recesses where you fear to go, and yet they have an irresistible allure.” (more here)

 

Visceral Reactions

As in any genre, authors note their desire to engage readers emotionally and intellectually, exploring our vulnerabilities, insecurities and anxieties, addressing universal human experience..

In examining the choices we make in pursuit of sexual pleasure, we unpick the threads of Adrea Kore author quote erotic fiction sexuality Emmanuelle de Maupassantour compulsions, the dichotomy of pain versus pleasure, and the enigma of sexual connection as the route to ‘loss of self’.

Remittance Girl writes, “There is a unique exposure that occurs in authentic moments of erotic desire that can strip away all our contrivances, our courtesy, our sophistications. I write with the intention to arouse, but not at a specifically genital level. My aim is to prompt the reader into what I would call an aroused state of self-reflection.” (more here)

It’s evident that the fist of ‘the erotic’ has the power to reach far beyond a punch to the genitalia. And yet, such arousal is part of the recipe.

Authors consistently note pleasure in engaging readers viscerally. Moreover, a significant number of authors state that they view a piece of writing to be a success specifically if it arouses them while writing it.

Adrea Kore explains how she views the dynamic between sense-memory and the writing mind, and between the author and the reader. “In my erotica writing, I reach for a tryst between the truth of sensation and the tease of imagination. I’m engaged in translating the sensations of sex into imagery, in a way which will transmute back through the body of the reader into arousal. In this way, erotica is a kind of sex. This, I believe, is what all effective erotica does. It’s also a core part of what makes the act of writing pleasurable for me.” (more here)

Devi Ansevi calls herself ‘a narcissistic authorial voyeur’. Rachel de Vine admits, “I just enjoy sex – reading about it, writing about it, doing it. What can I say…?” Allen Dusk notes that, while writing, he often needs to ‘stop and take care of matters’ to allow him to return to the page with ‘a fresh perspective’. Aubrey Cara describes her short stories as ‘up to thirty pages of a specific kink, gratuitously dished out’. Sylvia Storm states, “I write to turn myself on. Arousal has to be there when I write erotic scenes, and it has to transfer to the page. I have to be able to come back to a scene later and have it turn me on when I read it again.”

Does every piece of erotic fiction have the power to arouse every reader? Surely not, since we each display our own preferred palette. It would thereby seem unfair to judge the ‘value‘ of a piece of erotica only by its sway in physically arousing us, in being able to ‘twang our personal kinks’.

 

Promoting Ownership of Sexuality

Most authors note some desire to battle ‘sex shaming’, wishing to promote open-minded attitudes and tolerance, to raise awareness of the breadth of sexuality, and encourage acceptance and ‘ownership’.

Adrea Kore author quote erotic fiction Emmanuelle de Maupassant

Adrea Kore affirms this, saying, “There’s more than enough shaming around sexuality in the world. Erotica as a genre can contribute to the dialogue of ideas around sexuality… It has the power to allow people to claim their kinks, predilections and desires more confidently in their actual lives, and also to transform negative or misinformed attitudes towards certain aspects of sexuality.”

Rose Caraway, speaking of her narration of audio erotica, sees it as an ‘antidote to the sleeping potion we’ve been under‘. She explains, “With every story I narrate, that spell begins to lift; lust is no longer a hidden dark secret within us. The moment I speak the words, I’m removing another layer of shame. The author begins this process when they put pen to paper. Together, we’re helping people awaken, at their own pace. Each story narrated acknowledges sexuality, our own and others’, because it’s being read aloud. Those words want to be heard, making us stronger, so that we can better express and own our sexuality.” (more from Rose here)

Frank Lee comments, “Erotica has the potential to empower people, women especially, to help us stop stigmatizing sex and view it rather as a vital, healthy force.” Terrance Aldon Shaw echoes this, saying,Sex is neither dirty nor shameful. Ignorance and innocence are not the same thing, and society needs desperately to grow up.”

Kristina Lloyd relates this to her own journey, saying, “Through writing, I’ve learned so much Emmanuelle de Maupassant author quote Erotic fictionabout my own sexuality and desire. Writing has given me an understanding; it has allowed me to own a sexuality I’d been conflicted about and confused by when I was younger.”

Nicolette Hugo states, “I write about domination/submission and sadism/masochism in a way that is accessible, to show that a woman in a BDSM relationship can also be a feminist, empowered and fulfilled.”

Elizabeth Safleur adds her desire ‘to help other women be brave, to discover and be true to themselves’.

Patrick Califia states, “I always thought sex was one of the most important aspects of the human condition and deserved its own celebration and interrogation. I also wrote as an act of political outrage, to rebel against standard heterosexuality and push back against repression of queer and female-bodied pleasure.” However, he adds that people ‘are so obsessed with the indecency of my topics that most seem unable to assess whether I have said anything new or moving about human nature, or if I’ve described people’s emotions and behaviour in a striking way’. He continues, “Few seem to understand how much I care about the quality of the writing itself. I feel that I’ve always pushed myself as a writer [having been published since the 1970s] though critics would have it that the only thing I’ve cared about is shocking people and attacking mainstream feminism.”

Adrea Kore also views her writing, particularly as a female author, as a political act and a creative one. She underlines, “Women writing and speaking about their own desire, being openwith what gives them pleasure and turns them on … even finding the words for that is something that is still seen as taboo in corners of Western culture, let alone in comparison to cultures where women are more repressed ideologically, and socially. I think this applies to all women’s stories, but particularly those around sexuality. The political aspect of it, the desire to confront and subvert, is a strong motivation for me – as strong as the desire to seduce and arouse.”

Tobsha Learner has written of the fates of minorities under political regimes, ‘illuminating stories yet to be told’. Jonathan Kemp cites similar motivation, noting a desire to ‘give voice to the voiceless’. Krissy Kneen adds, “I’ve pushed towards exploring marginalised sexualities, from the viewpoint of older people, disabled people, people with obscure fetishes. It’s an unending quest to express sex as a growing changing thing.” Charlie Powell also writes on themes of disability, body confidence and feminism.

 

A Larger Universe

Jonathan Kemp tells us, For me, one of the tasks of the writer is to push boundaries, explore the unexplored… to speculate, experiment, challenge readers in subtle ways, have them consider something new, or consider something in a new way, visit places they have never been, take them Jonathan Kemp fiction author quote Emmanuelle de Maupassantinto worlds that are foreign and slightly magical or dangerous, or squalid… I don’t look for identification in the fiction I read, I look for difference…”

Laura Antoniou voices a dominant motivation for authors exploring ‘the erotic’: the desire to write beyond what is expected, beyond the familiar, beyond what we find comfortable. In her mind’s eye, “Trying to write a heterosexual, male dominant, eventually monogamous story? That’s just too weird for me. My world is so much bigger. I keep writing for my small but supportive readership: those who like a larger universe to play in.”

  

Further Reading in this series

Coming Soon

  • Authors’ Recommended Reads
  • Writing Craft
  • You may like to view this post, on the Male/Female Hand, in which readers are challenged to identify writers’ gender.
  • Men Reading Erotic Fiction – looking at why men seek out fiction in this genre, and their preferences for style and content.
  • The Erotic Vein: the male pen – on trends in men’s authorship of erotic fiction.

Articles by Adrea Kore: here and here and here and here

Articles by Remittance Girl: here and here and here and here

My thanks go to the following authors for giving their time and for their candid answers; my thanks also to authors who contributed their views anonymously.

Tobsha Learner, Laura Antoniou,  Susan St. Aubin, Shanna Germain, Remittance Girl, Malin James, Janine Ashbless, Adrea KoreKristina LloydJonathan Kemp, Patrick Califia, Maxim Jakubowski, Cecilia Tan, Donna George StoreyKathe Koja, Justine Elyot, Will CrimsonRaziel Moore, Sorcha BlackCari Silverwood, Siri Ousdahl, L.N. BeyZander VaneTamsin Flowers, Krissy KneenZak Jane Keir, Jade A WatersAshley Lister, KD Grace, Kay Jaybee, Nya RawlynsTerrance Aldon Shaw, Sessha Batto, Rose CarawayAllen Dusk, Tabitha RayneMarc Angel, Elizabeth Safleur, Jeremy Edwards, Spencer Dryden, Devi AnseviNicholas Tanek, K. L. Shandwick, I.G. Frederick, Jacqui Greaves, Ina MorataFinn MarloweElsa Holland, Elizabeth SchechterAleksandr Voinov, Lucy Felthouse, Alexis AlvarezR.V. Raiment, J.D. Lexx, Lily HarlemThomas Roche, Madeline MooreRia Restrepo, Scarlet DarkwoodWade Esley, Victoria Bliss, Jane GilbertJim Lyon, Charlie Powell, Cate Ellink, Chase Morgan, Lee SavinoC.P. McClennanElizabeth BlackC.J. Czelling, Felicity Brandon, Nicolette HugoFrank Noir, Amelia SmartsNobilis Reed, Sue MacNicol, Cassandra ShawArdent RoseSylvia Storm, Renee Rose, Rachel de Vine, Cherry Wild, Patient Lee, Pandora Spocks, Suzette Bohne’ Sommers, Molly Synthia, Charlie Bee, Meg Amor, Lizzie Ashworth, Cara Bristol, Finn Marlowe, C.A. Bell, Brantwijn Serrah, Aubrey Cara, Kathleen BradeanJay Willowbay, Stormchase, Lisa Fox, Allyson Young, Vinnie Tesla, Emma Jaye, Dennis Cardiff, Dee Maselle, Frank Lee, Christina Mandara, Big Ed Magussun, Sue Lyndon, T.J. Vermillion, David Flint, Delores Swallows, Vanessa Wu, Ian Smith, Rebecca BranchJaye Peaches, Molly Moore, Ashe Barker, Tilly Andrews and Catherine Mazur.

First Inspirations

writing erotic fiction authors Patrick Califia Jonathan Kemp Tobsha Learner Remittance Girl Janine Ashbless Kristina Lloyd Adrea Kore Emmanuelle de MaupassantOn inviting authors to share their thoughts regarding writing ‘the erotic’, I couldn’t have imagined that so many would respond, nor that they would answer with such honestly. To find out more about them, click here.

This series of articles is the result, tackling our inspiration, our motivation and our intent, our use of fantasy, and our desire for authenticity. Why do we write in this genre, so maligned, so sneered at, so disregarded?

These issues deserve further discussion and analysis; they are a starting point for onward debate.

 

First Inspiration

There’s no doubt that, as writers, we tackle more than ‘sex’ in our storytelling. We write conflicted emotions, shame, regret, obsession, and the compulsion that sits alongside desire. We write the complexity of the human condition.

Some authors emerge in creative fireworks, realizing almost instantly what they wish to achieve, and blazing their trail brightly, capturing startling nuances of the psyche.

However, in many cases, we begin by dipping our toe in the water, writing primarily to arouse, rather than stir intellectual or emotional debate. It’s a good place to start too.

Remittance Girl quote on Erotica Erotic Fiction TransgressiveSometimes, the revelatory urge to write in this way can come as a huge surprise to the author, as if characters have turned wayward, leading us down a path hitherto hidden.

Commending our thoughts to paper is wholeheartedly liberating. We emerge braver, and that’s a wonderful thing.

As the seed matures, we begin to see layers beneath layers. We seek out the deeper psychology of our characters, and more intricate reflections of our own passions.

Perhaps, more than any other, writing ‘the erotic’ lends itself to this exploration.

 

Early Awakenings

While the majority of surveyed authors began writing fiction with erotic elements well into adulthood (in their 30s and 40s, with some even finding their inspiration much later, in their 60s and 70s) a significant portion mention first writing in this way as teenagers. A handful recall having written ‘excitingly’ at an even younger age, being unaware fully of what they were exploring, but realising, on reflection, that they were expressing first awareness of sexuality.

Patrick Califia tells us, “I started looking for sex in fiction and non-fiction as soon as I could read! I was hungry for acknowledgment of what went on behind closed bedroom doors.”

Cecilia Tan adds, “I have some notebooks from when I was 11 or 12 years old, but there were some earlier diary entries (that I destroyed) probably going back as early as 7 years old. It began as a private exploration of my own interior mental life and became the drive to express myself creatively and as an activist, trying to create a world more cognizant and tolerant of my sexuality (which is to say bisexual and BDSM-based).”

A voracious reader from a young age, Adrea Kore recalls finding a steamy paperback at the age of just five or six. She remembers, “I felt guilty as hell, but I scoured those pages looking for the ‘rude’ scenes – and let me tell you, I was well rewarded in that book! I remember being both fascinated and horrified. I knew what a penis was, but it was for peeing, so the fact that women were described putting one (well, several) in their mouths was pretty shocking for me.” (more here)

Catherine Mazur relates a similar experience, saying, “I’ve had an intense, almost academic, interest in sex since childhood. I find everything about it fascinating, from the scientific and anatomical/physiological aspects, to its influence on culture and language. I recall wanting to know everything about it (and continue to feel that way).”

Janine Ashbless echoes this, mentioning telling herself stories from adolescence, whichEmmanuelle de Maupassant quote erotic fiction she later recognized as being ‘paranormal erotica’. She notes, “It just needed me to discover the genre and realize there was an outlet!”

Shanna Germain recalls writing fiction using erotic elements from the age of about 16, although without full understanding of either fiction or the erotic. “I was definitely trying to figure those things out,” she asserts.

Tilly Andrews remembers crying on reading of the death of Ginger in ‘Black Beauty’, and realising that writing ‘could have a physical effect on a person’. She adds, “A few years later, I stumbled on my brother’s ‘girlie’ magazines and I read some of the stories; of course they also had a physical effect on me. That is when I realised the power of erotica.”

LN Bey comments, “I’ve been kinky since before I knew what sex was—BDSM chose me. I finally decided to apply what writing skills I have to the creation and study of it.”

 

‘Truthful’ Perspective

Adrea Kore remembers being in her mid-twenties, studying feminism and theatre, and dating a poet, when she discovered Adrienne Rich’s poetry.  “There was a line: ‘in my rose-wet cave’. It entranced me, I associated the image with being underwater, yet it was also botanical. Fragrant and secret. Hidden away, deep-hued and moist. This evocative image for the female genitalia set off something subtle but profound in me.” She began to seek out women’s writing that was ‘re-writing the experience of feminine desire and describing the desiring female body’, and began exploring those ways of writing herself in her journals.

Adrea Kore author quote erotic literature writing craftAdrea tells us, “What I most felt drawn to reading was the feminine experience of the world, and stories of growth, transformation or dislocation, felt through and mediated by the body. These were the things that I began to write about: Love and longing. Loss. Translating the physical arts I most loved into words: my experiences of dancing and life-modelling. Then, more arduously, carving out narratives of sexual trauma. Death. Then, the sensual pleasures. Sex. Light, dark, light, dark. Always this dance, and writing has helped me embrace the totality in the supposed contradictions.”

Donna George Storey notes, “I wanted to read about real experiences. So I figured I had to write them! I wanted to tell my truth about the female sexual experience. I know there are many truths. I felt that literary fiction always focused on the negatives: adultery, frigidity and social censure. Good girls were not allowed to write about pleasurable sex; they and their characters couldn’t enjoy it without some negative consequence. Male writers never got our experience right, in my opinion. The first sex scene I remember reading was that between Sonny and Lucy in Mario Puzo’s ‘The Godfather’. Even in my [limited] experience, I knew it was not how women got off in real life.

Emmanuelle de Maupassant erotic fiction quoteSimilarly, Devi Ansevi recalls wanting to portray an authentic woman’s perspective. She underlines,“Most of the stuff I found when I first started writing fell into two extremes: written from the male perspective – too short, too mechanical, too much like Playboy porn, too unlike how I experienced pleasure; or written from the female perspective – hyper-romantic metaphorical descriptions of making tender love after both parties have declared undying adoration. I wanted hot, detailed, messy sex from a woman’s perspective.”

In the same way, Jonathan Kemp tells us,“The impulse to write about sex was twofold. It came from reading others and seeing what they did with it. People like Edmund White, Genet, Neil Bartlett, Oscar Moore, Kathy Acker and Alina Reyes. But it also came from a desire to write about my own sexual experiences and describe the subculture of gay cruising in London: to celebrate promiscuity, hopefully push boundaries (creative or otherwise), and give voice to the voiceless, in the case of my first novel, ‘London Triptych’.”

Around a third of the authors taking part in this survey state that they wrote first in other fiction genres but found themselves drawn towards exploring protagonists from a sexual angle, which inspired a new writing persona. Most compartmentalise their genres for commercial reasons, using alternative pen names for other writing.

KD Grace explains,“I’ve always had an open bedroom door policy with my fiction, no matter what I was writing. Sex is as much a part of our lives as eating, sleeping, and interacting with other people, so why shouldn’t it be part of our fiction as well. I first brought erotic elements to the forefront when I wrote a little piece for the now defunct UK women’s mag, ‘Scarlet’, which had a section called ‘Cliterature’. That was the first time I was published.

Susan St. Aubin recalls, “As a student of creative writing at San Francisco Erotic Fiction Yellow SilkState University in the 1970s, I wrote the usual stories about sex and human relationships, which begin with a couple meeting, going to the apartment of one or the other, going to bed . . . and then the next morning. One day I saw an ad asking for erotic stories for a journal called ‘Yellow Silk’. I had one of those flashes of inspiration, a realization that I’d been writing erotic stories all along, and all I needed to do was fill in what happened during those three dots . . . In 1984, my first erotic story was published in ‘Yellow Silk’; it won first prize, worth $25, which was more money than I’d ever made from writing.”

Sue Lyndon tells us, “I’d been reading ‘naughty’ books for years, but didn’t consider writing one until about a year after I’d been writing mainstream sci-fi and fantasy. One day, my heroine misbehaved, and the hero was upset with her, so I thought, “You know what, she really needs a spanking!” From there, the book became a spanky smutfest; I was hooked!”

 

Revelations

A great many authors report feeling a sudden, almost revelatory, compulsion to dissect their characters in a new way, taking them into the realm of the erotic.

Kay Jaybee asserts that the impulse came very much as a surprise, saying,It came from nowhere, with no warning. One minute I was eating a Mars Bar cake, the next I was writing a cross-dressing story on a napkin.”

 Victoria Blisse tells us, “I had a dream (this is my lesser known ‘I had a dream’ speech) it was an erotic dream and it wouldn’t leave me alone. I told my husband and he wisely suggested that I write it down. He read it, liked it and said it was good enough to show others. So I popped it onto literotica.com and, having receiving positive feedback, I continued. I might never have started without my husband’s encouragement.”

Tabitha Rayne notes that, as soon as she began writing erotic elements into her fiction, ‘It felt like discovering a new colour‘. “I couldn’t stop expressing myself in the erotic. It was like opening a door to myself,” she asserts.

Almost a third of the writers surveyed mention sharing early attempts with their bed partners, writing to arouse. Many continue to do so after decades of writing, finding their lovers to be reliable critics.

Raziel Moore notes that his writing began as correspondence with a lover, then grew Emmanuelle de Maupassant quote erotic fiction visceral intellectual emotionalinto exploring more deeply, probing into how people tackle their monsters.

Will Crimson jokes, “The most important question any male erotic writer should be asked? Have you ever used your erotic writing superpowers to seduce women? His answer is, Yes. Shamelessly. (Well, maybe a little shame.) My first piece of erotic writing opened the hearts (and more importantly the legs) of several women. This was before I was married and before I fully understood or appreciated the extent of my XXX powers. You know, with great power comes great responsibility… Truth be told, I write all my erotica for women.”

Some authors identify their yearning to write the erotic with a particular life event. Meg Amor experienced her revelation on hitting fifty. She emphasizes, “I realized that I wanted to ‘rebel’. I wasn’t ready to hang up my sexual slippers and sink into plain cotton underwear and sensible shoes; that impulse became a compulsion.”

Patient Lee wrote her first story while pregnant with her third child, explaining, “My libido was going haywire!”

For Ashe Barker, the idea of writing erotic fiction grew as a slow burn. She recalls, “I used to commute a lot. I spent more hours than I care to remember in motorway traffic jams, and would run erotic fantasies through my head. I had favourites I would ‘replay’ again and again, and of course new ones would pop up. Over the years I plotted lots and lots of snippets and scenes. I had quite a vivid collection by the time I started to write any of them down. In the last three years or so, many of my motorway fantasies have been developed and placed in my stories.”

 

Seeking the Echo of our Desire

Siri Ousdahl admits that her writing was borne of dissatisfaction with available fiction, “I’ve been very sexually active; kink was part of my life even before I was sexually aware: stained into my bones. I wrote the book I did in part because I was sick of the fact that the most common (and most commonly accepted) narrative about women and BDSM was predicated on innocence: she doesn’t know anything and someone more experienced leads/corrupts/tempts her into it. To me it felt insulting, and it had little to do with who I am. I really enjoyed writing ‘Constraint’, creating a complicated emotional arc for my characters. I’d now like to unspool more of their psychological tangle, following them through the consequences of their actions.”

Patrick Califia explains that he too was inspired to try his hand at writing because he wasn’t finding what he wanted. He tells us, “There was so little same-sex erotica, and almost none that featured sadomasochism. I wanted fiction set in the time that I lived in, with characters facing dilemmas about sex that I too pondered late at night.”

Sessha Batto tells us, “My motivation is to write the books I want to read that no one else is tackling. It’s hard to find anything that captures my interest, that isn’t the same old tired plot in a new wrapper. The only way to get around it is to tell my own stories.”

We each tell our own stories, our own truths: the truths that creep upon us until we cannot help but speak them.

Read on, to discover what keeps authors writing: their lasting inspiration, their motivation, their intent, their dark dreams and white-hot flashes of transcendence.

 

Further Reading

Coming soon…

  • Authors’ Recommended Reads
  • Women Writing the Erotic
  • Writing Craft

My thanks go to the following authors for giving their time and for their candid answers; my thanks also to authors who contributed their views anonymously.

Tobsha Learner, Laura Antoniou,  Susan St. Aubin, Shanna Germain, Remittance Girl, Malin James, Janine Ashbless, Adrea KoreKristina LloydJonathan Kemp, Patrick Califia, Maxim Jakubowski, Cecilia Tan, Donna George StoreyKathe KojaRaziel Moore, Will CrimsonSorcha BlackCari Silverwood, Siri Ousdahl, L.N. BeyZander VaneTamsin Flowers, Krissy KneenZak Jane Kier, Jade A WatersAshley Lister, KD Grace, Kay Jaybee, Nya RawlynsTerrance Aldon Shaw, Sessha Batto, Rose CarawayAllen Dusk, Tabitha Rayne, Marc Angel, Elizabeth Safleur, Jeremy Edwards, Spencer Dryden, Devi AnseviNicholas Tanek, K. L. Shandwick, I.G. Frederick, Jacqui Greaves, Ina MorataFinn MarloweElsa Holland, Elizabeth SchechterAleksandr Voinov, Lucy Felthouse, Alexis AlvarezR.V. Raiment, J.D. Lexx, Lily HarlemThomas Roche, Madeline MooreRia Restrepo, Scarlet DarkwoodWade Esley, Victoria Bliss, Jane GilbertJim Lyon, Charlie Powell, Cate Ellink, Chase Morgan, Lee SavinoC.P. McClennanElizabeth BlackC.J. Czelling, Felicity Brandon, Nicolette HugoFrank Noir, Amelia SmartsNobilis Reed, Sue MacNicol, Cassandra ShawArdent RoseSylvia Storm, Renee Rose, Rachel de Vine, Cherry Wild, Patient Lee, Pandora Spocks, Suzette Bohne’ Sommers, Charlie Bee, Meg Amor, Lizzie Ashworth, Cara Bristol, Finn Marlowe, C.A. Bell, Brantwijn Serrah, Aubrey Cara, Kathleen BradeanJay Willowbay, Lisa Fox, Allyson Young, Vinnie Tesla, Emma Jaye, Dennis Cardiff, Dee Maselle, Frank Lee, Christina Mandara, Big Ed Magussun, Sue Lyndon, T.J. VermillionDelores Swallows, Vanessa Wu, Ian Smith, Jaye Peaches, Stormchase, Rebecca Branch, Molly Moore, Molly Synthia, David Flint, Justine Elyot, Ashe Barker, Tilly Andrews and Catherine Mazur.

130 Authors of Erotic Fiction

Authors Erotic FictionWhen I put out a call to writers asking them to ‘share their secrets’, I could not have imagined that just over 130 authors would respond, giving their time generously, and answering my questions with such honestly.

Earlier this week, I launched the first two articles: ‘Men Writing Erotic Fiction’ and ‘Men Reading Erotic Fiction’.

I’ll be posting further results of the survey over coming weeks. The issues touched upon deserve further discussion; we hope that they inspire writers and readers alike.

Before entering into the meat of the survey, I believe introductions are in order. I’d like to share some insight into the background of members of our writing community, and to look at our writing intent. What has drawn us to write erotic fiction, and what keeps us here?

Myriad Faces, Myriad Pens

Writers of erotic fiction: Kinky? Sex-crazed?

Perhaps!

The reality is that we hail from all walks of life, we are of all ages (from our 20s through to our 70s and beyond) and of various professions (yes, we have day jobs).

Many of us have written beyond the genre of erotic fiction, in the spheres of journalism, travel writing, and across other avenues of fiction and non-fiction. Some have written for notable editions, including such newspapers as The Guardian and The Times, and for magazines: Penthouse and FHM… and Good Housekeeping.

We tend to write only in our leisure time, having full-time jobs. A small number are in their retirement years. A handful of authors devote themselves full-time to writing.

The majority of respondents to this survey continued their education beyond the age of 18; some have Doctorates or PhDs. Around 10 percent are currently employed in the sphere of education, including higher-level academia. Around a third mention having formally studied literature; a quarter have studied music, visual arts or performing arts. These are incredible statistics, revealing not only the level of education of ‘our’ writers, but perhaps something significant about the relationship of the erotic in fiction with its expression across other art forms. A handful of respondents note professions in applied or theoretical science (also a highly ‘creative’ sphere).

Donna George Storey describes her writing style as literary, feminist (focusing on the female experience) and realistic. She tells us, “I lived in Japan for three years, receiving my Ph.D. in Japanese literature. My writing is influenced by Japanese poetics and the literature of the ‘pleasure quarters’: Japanese erotica of the pre-modern period.”

Cecilia Tan has worked in performing arts. Tobsha Learner began as a sculptor of marble (she credits the tenacity involved in helping her writing technique) before becoming a playwright, and then releasing her first erotically themed short story anthology, Quiver. Malin James was a ballet dancer until 18, before training as an actress in New York, working in theatre until she was about 25. She notes, “I suspect my experiences as an actress have informed my emphasis on character driven stories. Art is also a big influence – I often start a story sparked by a visual image. Edward Hopper and Jack Vettriano are particular favourites.” Adrea Kore has earned her livelihood as an actress, dancer and theatre director. Renee Rose is a professional dancer, which she notes inspires her writing. Jade A Waters has studied circus arts, as well as theatre. Madeline Moore has worked as a screenwriter for television. Krissy Kneen has a background in theatre, screenplay and visual arts. Lee Savino, besides studying English literature, minored in music and has been involved in theatre. Suzette Bohne’ Sommers has a background in performance and visual arts. Jane Gilbert and Rebecca Branch have an art history background. Nya Rawlyns studied art history and visual arts. Elizabeth Black majored in art at college and has a theatre background. I could go on… Many have worked previously in education (some still do so).

Categorization

There is such diversity under the label ‘erotica’ that many authors dislike the umbrella, failing to identify their own writing with that of other titles similarly listed. While most readers currently appear to associate erotic fiction with ‘steamy romance’, the authors in this survey write erotic themes and elements across all manner of fiction, commonly exploring fantasy/sci-fi/speculative, and horror themes. Some write in historical settings, or view their work as stand alone ‘literary’ with eroticism either at the heart of the story or feeding in to support character development.

More than half of the authors within this survey describe themselves as writing across multiple sub-genres within the label ‘erotica’.

Most respondents have written elements of BDSM. A significant number have used erotic elements to enhance romantic plots (without necessarily classing themselves as writers purely of ‘erotic romance’).

Most dislike being categorized, feeling this to be an unnecessary restriction and a simplification of their concepts. Labels are often the product of being sold through such channels as Amazon, with authors having limited control over where they are positioned. Moreover, a significant number lament that the ‘erotica’ label can be a hindrance, since it relegates their work to a restricted zone within Amazon, losing visibility.

Around half of our authors additionally write fiction (or non-fiction) without erotic elements, commonly using an alternative pen name.

Remittance Girl adds, “It is a writer’s obligation to attempt to take their readers to new places.  There are, it is famously said, no new stories under the sun. But there are endless ways of telling, looking at and approaching old ones.  This can be as radical as presenting readers with alternate universes, or inviting them to examine the interior of an erotic relationship from a fresh perspective.” (more here)

Fantasy, Realism, Authenticity

40% of those taking part in the survey say that they are inspired by their own emotional or sexual history in writing. Meanwhile, 56% say that they call upon their fantasies, and 21% say they knowingly draw upon experiences they’ve read about or heard second hand.

For many of us, our inner erotic landscape revolves around fantasy, with limited relation to any ‘real’ situation we’d find ourselves in. As writers, we thereby tread a tricky line between realism and innovation, practicality and originality. We wish to portray emotions and motivations which ring true, while offering the reader an unexpected experience.

Writers tend to conduct some degree of research (into historical settings or BDSM practice for example) in pursuit of realism, hoping that readers will be able to relate more easily to the journey of their protagonist and empathize with conflict on the page.

However, we are creating fiction, rather than an educational text, or a ‘how to’ manual. Saying this, most authors are keen to portray sex acts ‘realistically’ (do your legs really bend that way?).

Authors also emphasize that they can feel torn between creating powerfully arousing erotic writing, and creating a ‘realistic’ setting through which to address socio-political issues (such as advocating for freedom of sexual expression, or overturning racial/sexual stereotypes).

Another focus, expressed most especially by women authors, is that of writing for the ‘modern’ woman: the desire to create female characters with their own agency, forging their own path, rather than being passive recipients of sex/love. This presents particular challenges when writing fiction embracing predominantly submissive themes, in which a woman consents to ‘training’ and endures, often, activities involving dubious consent.

Questions of authenticity prevail also in relation to representing characters with disabilities, and of various ethnicities, and body types, and ages, and sexual orientation (including trans-gender protagonists and those with fluid gender identities). Writing ‘the other’ with realism is a concern, although authors argue their ability to place themselves within other minds, and within unfamiliar situations, through the application of imagination.

We want to write about how sex makes us feel, looking at the bad and the ugly besides the good, looking at regret, insecurity and obsession as well as transcendent joy.

As Remittance Girl assures us, “All fiction carries the traces of its author. The difference between really good writing and mediocre writing is not when the characters emerge changed, but when you know, as a reader, that the author has also emerged changed.” She asserts that no piece of writing should leave the writer ‘unscathed’, that we ‘expose something true’ of ourselves and that is always ‘a frightening thing’ (more here).

Ina Morata gives evidence to this, saying, “Sex is the medium I use to investigate psychological boundaries: my personal insecurities and fears. I explore who I am and see how far I can push myself. Erotica, more than any other genre I have worked in, allows me to do this without feeling contained or isolated. Writing erotica has been the best move I’ve ever made; I’ve evolved so much since I began.”

Emmanuelle de Maupassant erotic author quote dark eroticaImportantly, the vast majority of writers agree that they pen their words with the intention of reaching out to an audience. As Cari Silverwood notes,As a writer, I’m not an island. I need my readers. Would I write if I had no readers? No. No. No.” Erotic fiction invites intimacy on a level unseen across other genres, emotionally and physically. There is an electrifying thrill in the knowledge of touching readers, moving them at the most profound level.

Read on, to discover how we, as authors, lay ourselves bare. Which knots hold tightly onto their secrets? What thoughts come to us by night, and haunt us by day? What first inspired us to pursue ‘the erotic’, and what keeps us coming back? What compels us, and what future do we envisage for our writing?

Where are we going, and why…?

Further Reading 

Coming Soon…

Writing Craft

Authors’ Recommended Reads

  • You may like to view this post, on the Male/Female Hand, in which readers are challenged to identify writers’ gender.
  • Men Reading Erotic Fiction – looking at why men seek out fiction in this genre, and their preferences for style and content.
  • The Erotic Vein: the male pen – on trends in men’s authorship of erotic fiction.

My thanks go to the following authors for giving their time and for their candid answers; my thanks also to authors who contributed their views anonymously.

Tobsha Learner, Laura Antoniou,  Susan St. Aubin, Shanna Germain, Remittance Girl, Malin James, Janine Ashbless, Adrea KoreKristina LloydJonathan Kemp, Patrick Califia, Maxim Jakubowski, Cecilia Tan, Donna George StoreyKathe Koja, Justine Elyot, Raziel Moore, Will Crimson, Sorcha BlackCari Silverwood, Siri Ousdahl, L.N. BeyZander VaneTamsin Flowers, Krissy KneenZak Jane Keir, Jade A WatersAshley Lister, KD Grace, Kay Jaybee, Nya RawlynsTerrance Aldon Shaw, Sessha Batto, Rose CarawayAllen DuskTabitha RayneMarc Angel, Elizabeth Safleur, Jeremy Edwards, Spencer Dryden, Devi AnseviNicholas Tanek, K. L. Shandwick, I.G. Frederick, Jacqui Greaves, Ina MorataFinn MarloweElsa Holland, Elizabeth SchechterAleksandr Voinov, Lucy Felthouse, Alexis AlvarezR.V. Raiment, J.D. Lexx, Lily HarlemThomas Roche, Madeline MooreRia Restrepo, Scarlet DarkwoodWade Esley, Victoria Bliss, Jane GilbertJim Lyon, Charlie Powell, Cate Ellink, Chase Morgan, Lee SavinoC.P. McClennanElizabeth BlackC.J. Czelling, Felicity Brandon, Nicolette HugoFrank Noir, Amelia SmartsNobilis Reed, Sue MacNicol, Cassandra ShawArdent RoseSylvia Storm, Renee Rose, Rachel de Vine, Cherry Wild, Patient Lee, Pandora Spocks, Suzette Bohne’ Sommers, Molly Synthia, Charlie Bee, Meg Amor, Lizzie Ashworth, Cara Bristol, Finn Marlowe, C.A. Bell, Brantwijn Serrah, Aubrey Cara, Kathleen BradeanJay Willowbay, Stormchase, Lisa Fox, Allyson Young, Vinnie Tesla, Emma Jaye, Dennis Cardiff, Dee Maselle, Frank Lee, Christina Mandara, Big Ed Magussun, Sue Lyndon, T.J. Vermillion, David Flint, Delores Swallows, Rebecca Branch, Molly Moore, Vanessa Wu, Ian Smith, Jaye Peaches, Ashe Barker, Tilly Andrews and Catherine Mazur.

Men Reading the Erotic

Almost fifty male readers of erotic fiction (some wishing to remain anonymous) have shared their views on how this genre compels them, and how it has shaped their thinking. A significant number of these readers have been so stirred by what they have read that it has inspired their own writing.

You may like to visit the first article in this series, which looks at the motivations of men ‘writing the erotic’.

Erotic fiction explores human experience through the lens of sexual desire. It has the power to move us, to disturb, to confront, to inspire, and to warm us. It goes far beyond titillation. It has the power to examine the psyche in unexpected ways, allowing us to access a realm of paradoxes.

As ever, your comments are welcome.

  

Why Read?

Need a quick ‘sexy fix’? There are plenty of magazines and films to help you on your way. Seeking both a visceral and cerebral experience, of bringing your own imagination to the erotic? It’s time to explore what fiction has to offer. Words on the page urge us to bring our own interpretation.

Erotic fiction invites intimacy and, in so doing, builds a far deeper relationship than porn. Your response to the words is unique to you.

 

Owning Your Sexuality

Dayv Caraway, of the hugely popular Kiss Me Quick’s Erotica Podcast, notes that erotic fiction encourages us to feel that we have ‘permission’ to be sexual. He explains, “It’s more socially acceptable for men to have casual sex but it’s not so usual for men to be encouraged to explore the emotional aspects of sex. The reverse tends to be true for women.  Erotica gives men ‘permission’ to have an inner dialogue with themselves, and with their partner. This is something that porn does not; it doesn’t offer sexual language for dialogue. It doesn’t aid communication with a partner. If anything, porn can create barriers, as women especially sometimes feel ‘betrayed’ by their partner watching (and masturbating to) pornography.” 

Terrance Aldon Shaw emphasizes, I try to uncouple sex from shame, to demystify what has too long been unspeakable (and thus, frightening).” He adds,Porn does not teach you how to be a man. It does not even teach you how to have sex. Erotica, on the other hand, can enlighten. Anything that gets men to THINK positively about sex beyond the clinical aspects of the act ought to be welcome, especially in a time when far too many are getting their information about sex and relationships from pornography.”

 

The Echo of Self

There’s no doubt that readers seek out works with a very particular agenda, wishing to findScreen Shot 2016-06-05 at 15.23.10 copy a mirror to their own preoccupations, to find a recognisable reflection of their sexual thoughts via fiction. They seek not only self-knowledge but validation of shared ‘sexual humanity’. There is an urgent need to find a resonating truth, to read what already plays out in our imagination.

Thomas Roche mentions the work of Patrick Califia, saying, “His early writing (particularly during the time he publicly identified as female) was audaciously rough and hardcore, and I liked that.” Another reader notes, “Hardcore lesbian and gay BDSM was about as far as I could get from my upbringing, but finding those subjects within fiction profoundly affected me.”

Readers taking part in this survey cited their most common fantasies as those involving domination, submission and bondage, with just as many men seeking out fiction in which women are dominant, as tales where the male protagonist dominates.

 

Paradox and Transgression

The paradox of the illogical underlies much of the frisson in erotic literature: the desire to transgress, to overstep social norms, to act (via the safe realm of fiction) as we wouldn’t in real life.

As one reader puts it: “I’m attracted to the inherent illogicality of BDSM. The desire to be beaten, controlled, humiliated, or to do the beating for that matter, makes no logical sense—and yet it’s what has driven some of us since early childhood, before we even understood what sex was.”

Some readers mention interest in incest-themed fantasies (including the ultra-taboo mother-son scenario), or the seeking out of fiction exploring abduction, rape and torture. More than half mention interest in reading non-consent stories, and those incorporating ‘rough sex’: a statistic which echoes women’s own fantasies of being sexually overwhelmed or taken ‘against their will’ (naturally, within the confines of fantasy, where they are, ultimately, in control). Readers make a firm distinction between their ‘real life’ actions and what they pursue in fiction.

We each draw our own lines in the sand, creating our own definition of the transgressive, as it applies to our own inner limits. It is the thought of crossing those very lines that excites us; the illicit thrill of our moral repugnance.

Naturally, transgression is a moveable feast, since what appears transgressive to one person will be ‘everyday bread and butter’ to another: among such themes, we can class desire between protagonists of widely differing ages and inter-racial sex. The latter, particularly, seems a bizarre ‘taboo’ in our 21st century world and yet, for some readers, it remains so.

 

Shaping Perceptions

Anyone who has been moved emotionally by a film, or by fiction, knows the power of storytelling. Beyond entertainment, it has the power to shape our perception of our own self, to improve our self-knowledge and to extend our empathy with others.

emmanuelle de maupassant quote porn versus erotic fictionOne reader asserts, “I’ve been able to positively enhance my pleasure by knowing myself better, through reading fiction. I’m convinced that reading erotica can bring benefits beyond the bedroom too, making us more self-aware. I still have some way to go to express my desires, being afraid of receiving an adverse response from my partner, but I’ve learnt that women possess a tremendous well of sexual desire, needs, interests and fetishes. They share the same sexual drive as men.

Thomas Roche adds,Much of the erotic fiction I enjoy is about female pleasure. I honestly believe it has made me somewhat more sympathetic to women’s concerns, especially with regard to sexism and misogyny.”

Dayv Caraway underlines, “ I’ve become more aware of women as sexual beings through reading erotica. There’s a common perception that women don’t have the same sexual drive as men. Historically, men have been freer to express their desire. Erotica shows that women do think about sex outside of monogamous relationships and ‘romance scenarios’. Reading erotic fiction has also made me more comfortable with myself sexually and it’s brought even more dialogue to my relationship with Rose. We were good before, but we’re even better now. We talk to each other more openly about everything now, not just sex.” 

 

 Male Versus Female Focus

Most male readers interested in erotic fiction mention having read variations of ‘steamy romance’ (it being most readily available). However, the vast majority express their disappointment and disinterest, finding stories repetitive and predictable. As one respondent put it, there seem to be endless variation of ‘a billionaire initiates me into the ways of the lash’.  

Even setting aside the well-worn tropes of the genre, it seems hardly surprising that romantic fiction, being largely female-oriented (and female voiced), might fail to address male sexual preoccupation.

However, there are exceptions to this ‘rule’, with some male readers noting their interest in reading ‘female focused’ fiction, written by women, with an eye to ‘learning more about female desire’.

Dennis Cardiff tells us, “I generally prefer to read erotic books written by women, even lesbian erotica, as I want to see inside a woman’s mind. It’s a path to learning how to please a woman. I find women often hard to understand and generally mysterious. 

Another reader mentions, “I prefer fiction by women, mostly because I’m curious as to what a woman chooses to write about.”

One states, “Female POV is what works for me, regardless of whether it is a male or female author. First-person, preferably, but that’s not an absolute.”

Another comments, “I’ve been reading erotica off and on for about 22 years. I was an English major in college, but I didn’t try taking stories apart and seeing how they worked until recently. I find that male writers tend to use more physical description, without much happening internally for characters.”

Dennis Cardiff adds, “Although I have enjoyed erotica written by men, I generally find it more crude, more dominant, less sensual.”

One male reader praises Kristina Lloyd for her characters’ self-examination, and lack of naivety. They also praise Tiffany Reisz, saying, “She uses wish-fulfilment tropes (mostly wealth, power, and outrageous situations) but writes with realism. Her unrepentant rebels have a lot of fun, and all the good lines.”

Will Crimson states,“What currently appeals to me is the writer’s ability to describe sex indirectly or in novel ways. Also, for me, what makes sex erotic isn’t the sex but the emotional context: Why are characters having sex? Why do they want it? What do they want from it? How do their desires compliment each other or conflict? How are they affected by it? Our bodies are our means of expression, but our minds make us erotic. Sex is always an expression of who we are and writers who capture that meeting of human desire and erotic imagination, its conflict and resolutions, are the writers I admire.”

Thinking beyond ‘romantic fiction’, most male readers note no significant preference for male or female authorship, being more interested in individual style. Dayv Caraway notes, “Raziel Moore and Allen Dusk are edgy, but so are many female writers I know, such as Malin James. Knowing that they’re men may influence my perception of a story. It’s in the back of my mind.  However, I think fiction reflects the writer’s personality more than their gender. In the fiction we broadcast, which tends not to have a ‘romantic’ focus, there isn’t a great deal of difference in theme or approach between men and women writers. Good storytelling is good storytelling.” 

 

Encouraging Male Readers

Dayv Caraway comments, “Men aren’t generally reading erotica because it’s hidden in the romance section. They aren’t usually cruising that aisle, or sharing those recommendations with their friends.”

Will Crimson comments that, as far as he can gauge from readers visiting his online site, perhaps only 20% are men, but that he finds them more ‘interactive’ than his female readers. He muses,That may simply be because women feel less safe. The online experience for women can be entirely different (and more threatening).”

Dayv adds,” I enjoy so many themes and angles in this genre, but I do know that I’d like to see more Terrance Aldon Shaw quote erotic fiction pornsci-fi with erotic elements. I think there’s still some way to go before erotic elements become more visible in ‘mainstream’ fiction, and this would be great to see.” 

One reader points out that ‘though the execution may be lacking, people will crawl across the broken glass of bad prose to find that which tweaks their kinks’.

Saying this, there is an almost unanimous cry for eloquent, powerful prose, and for fiction that has the ability to engage us more deeply, through character development, so that we’re invested in the outcome of each story. Readers want to see the psychology of characters laid bare; they want to examine motivation and see protagonists dealing with the consequences of their choices. Writers take note!

What can we do to encourage men to more readily explore erotic fiction? Perhaps, foremost, we should stop making assumptions about what women or men ‘should’ be reading.

Our desire to fulfill our sexual nature shapes us as much as our need for intellectual and emotional fulfillment. Embrace it as an element of your mental and physical health. Embrace it through art, and film, through poetry and fiction.

Acquire an anthology of short stories, and read them aloud nightly, in the style of Scheherazade; seduce your partner with words. Tune in to audio readings of erotic fiction. Spread the word little by little; share recommendations, share positivity.

Above all, don’t feel shame at indulging fantasy through reading fiction. The likelihood is that you’ll gain far more than a ‘quick thrill’; be prepared to have your eyes, and your perceptions, blown wide open.

Dayv Caraway comments, “I’d like to see people become more accepting of erotic content in books. We’ve come a long way in accepting ‘nudity’ in mainstream culture, no longer equating it only with sexual intention. We need the same degree of maturity about erotic fiction.

In exploring sexual themes, our barriers are eroded. We come to recognise the breadth of sexual possibility, and how our sexual-self feeds into other facets of our psyche; in knowing ourselves, we gain better understanding of others.

Our journey continues in achieving tolerance of individual choices, including those relating to how we express our gender and sexuality. In setting aside shame, refraining from judging others, and opening ourselves to the myriad shades of the human palette, we may take real steps towards living in harmony.

 

 

Further Reading

The Male / Female Hand

The Erotic Vein: men writing erotica

Remittance Girl: on writing the taboo in erotic fiction: here and here

The Kiss Me Quick’s Erotica Podcast: for fiction and audio recordings (my thanks to Dayv and Rose Caraway, who also feature in an interview here).

 

My thanks to all readers who took part in this survey, many of whom asked to be quoted anonymously. For a full list of writers who contributed their thoughts as readers, see the foot of the page here, within the Male Writers article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dayv and Rose Caraway: Up Close and Personal

 

Toes tingling and pulse racing, it’s my delight to welcome erotic audio fiction legends Dayv and Rose Caraway, of the Kiss Me Quick’s Erotica Podcast. 

Dayv and Rose reach a huge audience with their audio broadcasts, sharing erotic short fiction and interviewing authors in the genre. Stupid-Fish Rose and Dayv Caraway interview erotic fiction pg

Sexy-voiced Big Daddy Dayv is partner-in-crime to author, editor and podcaster Rose. He is occasional narrator, joint interviewer, and the man ‘behind the scenes’, juggling audio engineering and creating graphics. As he likes to joke, he is ‘Ben’ to Rose’s ‘Jerry’, bringing texture to her exotic erotica ice-cream. 

 

Rose, how does it make you feel to read erotic fiction aloud?

When I narrate erotic fiction I feel entrusted, alive and connected. I feel like a conduit. Early in the morning, after I’ve had my coffee and read the latest news, I listen to my neighborhood. If there’s nobody mowing, weed whacking or working on their car, then it’s safe to hop over to the other computer in my office and switch on the recording equipment. I check levels, make sure that sound is good and then, I close my studio door. I am in my space, my portal. Ready to take passengers on a journey. Rose Caraway reading narrating erotic fiction conduit for author passion

Narrating erotica makes me feel complete. Believe me, I know how silly that sounds, but Erotica completes me. I feel sexy, honored, and without a doubt—empowered. That goes without saying. But, honestly? Narrating makes me feel part of something bigger than myself. A movement. I’ve never felt part of a movement before. When listeners hear me narrate a story, I hope they can hear the author’s passion and mine. We are communicating—communing.

I feel integral.

I feel that audio erotica is the antidote to the sleeping potion we’ve been under. With every story I narrate, that spell begins to lift; lust is no longer a hidden dark secret within us. The moment I speak the words, I’m removing another layer of shame. The author begins this process when they put pen to paper. Together, we’re helping people awaken, at their own pace. Each story narrated acknowledges sexuality, our own and others’, because it’s being read aloud. Those words want to Rose Caraway quote on honest and unflinching audio narrationbe heard, making us stronger, so that we can better express and own our sexuality: we become fucking validated, man!

 

What’s the most common feedback you receive from listeners regarding the work of KMQ and their enjoyment of erotic fiction?

Rose: Ever more women are finding the empowerment to get in touch and say thank you for the KMQ Podcast. That was lacking in the past, with most feedback coming from male listeners.  Women are responding to me, as a woman, writing about sex. It’s liberating for them to know that it’s normal to think about sex, and to sometimes want sex down and dirty and fast. Men and women are really far more similar than we realize. 

Dayv: We’ve received thousands of emails, and 70% of our email feedback is from men, mostly thanking us. People often say that the KMQ Podcast has helped them communicate with their partner. Some even say that our work has ‘saved their marriage’, helping open dialogue. We’ve been moved by those messages. Erotic fiction invites conversation in a way that no other medium can. 

Rose-Caraway Erotic fiction Author-Photo-201x300Rose: It gives me goosebumps thinking about this. One woman told us that our show had reignited her sexual desire, and inspired her to take steps. That’s what erotic fiction can do: it gives us a comfortable place from which to explore and understand ourselves better.  

 

What would you like to see explored through erotic fiction? 

Rose: I began writing erotic fiction because I wanted to show what happened ‘when the lights went out’. There are still so many occasions where film and television and fiction don’t show the sexual element, almost as if we can’t handle it. It makes me feel cheated, and I want to address that. If we’re to believe that a male character is aroused and about to have sex, show us an erect cock.

Dayv: I enjoy so many themes and angles in this genre, but I do know that I’d like to see more sci-fi with erotic elements. I think there is still some way to go before erotic elements become more visible in ‘mainstream’ fiction, and this would also be great to see. 

Rose: In writing, I like to try something new and I’m willing to go to the edge, exploring the bowels of eroticism, looking into the driving forces. I want erotic elements to make the story Dayv Carawaymore meaningful. I think it can work with all genres. Humour can also be part of the storytelling process.

Dayv: I’d like to see people become more accepting of erotic content in books. We’ve come a long way in accepting ‘nudity’ in mainstream culture, no longer equating it only with sexual intention. We need the same degree of maturity about erotic fiction.

 

Rose, what inspires you to write fiction with ‘erotic elements’?  

Rose: I’m creating a place for my erotic thoughts and dreams. This cements them into existence, as if giving birth to a new scenario. Writers have multiple personalities, which we explore through our words. Everyone should try writing, or get behind a microphone and record their thoughts. It gives you the opportunity to examine your thoughts, and to reflect on your motivations. It’s also energizing to examine new angles. When I read something by another author that’s inspirational or compelling, there’s magic there. 

 

Dayv, how has your perception of women been shaped by erotic fiction?

Dayv: I’ve always liked women, and was raised in an all-women household. I have a deep respect for women and I hope that shows. 

I’ve become more aware of women as sexual beings through reading erotica. There’s a common perception that women don’t have the same sexual drive as men. Historically, men have been more free to express sexual desire. Erotica shows that women do think about sex outside of monogamous relationships and ‘romance scenarios’. 

Rose: And that women’s sexuality isn’t just one dimensional.

Dayv: It’s also made me more comfortable with myself sexually and it’s brought even more dialogue to my relationship with Rose. We were good before, but we’re even better now. We talk to each other more openly about everything now, not just sex.

 

What are you offering listeners?

Rose: I want to bring a wide range of stories to listeners, so that they feel not only inspired but comfortable, and so that they feel encouraged to communicate and be fulfilled. Foremost I Rose Caraway fiction eroticwant to break down notions of sex being ‘bad’. 

Long term, I want to put erotica on the map much more boldly, and make it easier to find. You have to jump through hoops to find it on retail platforms. The more writers out there using erotic elements effectively, the more visible it should become. We mustn’t be afraid or ashamed. 

 Dayv: By listening to erotic fiction, we’re encouraging people to feel they have ‘permission’ to be sexual. It’s more socially acceptable for men to have casual sex but it’s not so usual for men to be encouraged to explore emotional aspects of sex. The reverse tends to be true for women of course.  Erotica gives men ‘permission’ to have an inner dialogue with themselves, and with their partner. This is something that porn does not; it doesn’t offer sexual language for dialogue. It doesn’t aid communication with a partner. If anything, porn can create barriers, as women especially sometimes feel ‘betrayed’ by their partner watching (and masturbating to) pornography. 

Meanwhile, men aren’t generally reading erotica because it’s hidden in the romance section. 

raziel moore close enough erotic fictionThey aren’t usually cruising that aisle, or sharing those recommendations with their friends. 

 Incidentally, when men contact us with requests it tends to be for ‘cuckold’ stories or multiple partners. Meanwhile, we found women responded well to the ‘high tension’ in Raziel Moore’s ‘Close Enough‘ 

 Rose: I like to be challenged, and I think our listeners do too. 

Erotic fiction can shed light on so many topics, but we should, at the same time, remember that it’s not real. It’s a fictional space from which we can explore. 

 

How have you navigated ‘disapproval’ of your work?

Dayv: We have to be honest to do this right. We’ve thrown everything into this and we’re so proud. If people ask, we tell them, otherwise I just say that I produce audiobooks. Plus, I weigh 250lb. I’m a big fella, so nobody gives me shit! Just joking! Our family members, my mum, dad and sister, have been supportive. My life has drastically changed in the last five years and it’s been great. Our family members have had their eyes opened, in the best way. They’ve seen Rose Caraway erotic fiction author interviewthat taking risks can be good. 

Rose: Absolutely! Mostly, I’ve experienced nothing but support online. The exceptions have been from a handful of strict, religious men. As I say, I’m all for promoting a positive attitude towards sex, encouraging people to realise that it’s not something evil for which you will go to hell. 

 

Rose, do you consciously use your voice in a particular way for reading erotic fiction?

I try to read honestly, by remembering that I do have listeners with me. I want them to hear the pulse of the story as it was intended and not be distracted by over-performance. You can tell when a narrator is enjoying what they’re reading, as their voice disappears behind the story. Every once in a while, you can hear them smiling.

I don’t know if I’ve said this to anyone other than Dayv, but there have been some really special moments in my studio. Some people call it ‘being in the zone’. I think of it as a kind of ‘conductivity’. It may be because I’m a writer that I feel kinship; something special Rose Caraway  Erotic Fiction audio quote express your sexualityhappens with certain stories…

While I’m narrating, every so often I’ll feel as if I’ve slipped into the author’s writing room. I’m there, looking over their shoulder, watching them write. There’s darkness all around us, a black void I can’t see beyond, but I know that the writer can. The writer—always dressed in a black suit—sits in a simple wooden chair, at a matching wooden desk. There’s paper on the desk and it’s illuminated, becoming the light in the room. The writer is listening to their Muse and I’m listening to the scratch of their pen on the paper. I can feel their words filling my throat.

When a story is well-edited, without confusion as to who’s speaking, no awkwardly repeated phrases, no vague intent, no unnecessary or overly complicated action, no distracting plot side-steps, and no rambling sentences, I can lose my breath at all the right moments. The story tells itself. Unflinching and honest.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Rose: It’s good to look at your intent. Whatever that is, give it your undivided attention. Remember that it’s ridiculous to imagine that you’ll become a millionaire.  

Spend time on your skills and, when you believe you’re ready for someone to offer feedback, pass it to them to read and critique.  Choose someone you trust, with a good eye for detail. it’s impossible for you to see everything in your own work. Do read aloud to yourself too, as part of the editing process (or have a friend read to you).

As a quick aside, make sure that your story works equally well in audio as in print. We are an ‘on the move’ people, with most of our audience listening at work, or at home while they do Dayv-Caraway-300x300their chores. They prefer the privacy and intimacy of audio. I love narrating, speaking directly to listeners. 

Dayv: Audio is a great way to access male fans of erotica particularly… and I want to remind writers that there’s a lot more to erotic fiction than writing romance. Remember that when thinking about potential male readers/listeners. 

Rose: Read and write. Write and read, everything you possibly can. Don’t focus on marketing and social media to the detriment of your writing craft. If you want to make money, spend time on creating good erotica.  Don’t be afraid to fail. Write bravely. ‘Kill’ your baby and birth a new one if need be, but don’t stop. Ultimately, breathe through your ink. Be so good that you cannot be ignored.

 

You can visit gorgeous Dayv and charming Rose for more at the Kiss Me Quick’s Erotica Podcast site, and find them on Twitter and Facebook.

More from Dayv in this article, on Men Reading Erotic Fiction.

 

 

Moon-Haunted Heart: a review

As the author, Terrance Aldon Shaw, declares, on entry to this anthology, we see the tremble of his ‘naked soul… manic, howling, vulgar’ with its ‘white-hot wants’. He exposes every emotion, from sorrow to exultation, ‘roaring blood and brimming brain’. He gives us all that is ‘distilled within that secret place where love and madness meet’.

He tells of what might have been; tales not only of mortality and desire, but of nostalgia, regret, isolation, loneliness and longing, lost inspiration and the search for one’s place in the cosmic scheme of things. These aspects he surveys through the lens of the erotic, inviting us to scrutinize ourselves as sexual beings: naked, vulnerable, passionate, longing. Only in so doing can we know ourselves.

As one of his characters muses, when we define something, it ‘stops growing, becoming static’. In honour of this, I’ll avoid defining these little pieces of magic too closely.

Diverse in style, from dialogue bathed in the colloquial slang of the American Midwest, to 28807874richly poetic, dramatic prose, they are also diverse in content. Some capture a fleeting moment of desire, or offer a glimpse at the eternal. They unfailingly explore the human condition, in all its madcap glory.

There is cleverness, playfulness, wit and wisdom, light as well as dark. There are words that curl and dance on your tongue. Speak them aloud, and you’ll hear their music, just as the narrator voice suggests in The Purview of Small Minds (an homage to Lolita). Even a single word can delight with its rhythm and structure.

Mr. Shaw gives us wry comedy in Señor Gordo (dialogue with a willful-minded penis) and macabre humour in Drunk and Disorderly, nostalgia in A Sense of History (cataloguing a mattress’ exploits), and cheeky verbage in describing the ‘gossamer prisons’ of a woman’s underwear in Mazelblum: ‘frilly gussets and diaphanous drawers, hot-pink tangas like tulle fig-leaves, raspberry hipsters, tangerine boy shorts and sea-foam green bow cheekinis, French-cut mesh and jeweled G-strings like removable vajazzle facades’.

There is also much poignancy. The author writes: ‘Very few people have the maturity to understand that it’s our flaws, our slight imperfections, our deviations from the norm that make us interesting. These are the things that pique our curiosity and, ultimately, kindle our desires.’

There is regret for a life half-lived in Salix Sepulcralis, in which we are invited to see ourselves one day no more than a ‘mass of diverse necrotic tissues’, a ‘voiceless assortment of cells in random, untidy decay’.

Where Mr. Shaw uses poetic prose, it is lush, as in Nox: 

‘The ancients believed that darkness was a thing substantial, that Night poured into the world from below, a malignant emanation of the nether regions, filling the dome of heaven with a miasma of poisonous atoms, even as the moon cast its spell of madness from above.’

My favourite of the tales is La Sonnambula: a story of obsession, and the grotesque, told with delicious theatricality, an opera diva’s stalker at last fatally cutting off his penis and sending it to the object of his admiration, wrapped in a skein of her hair.

There is an undercurrent of the disturbing, and of the bittersweet philosophical. In A Little Death, ‘she howls as if to frighten away the dark things beyond the guttering firelight, the fears that lurk behind the mirrors she loathes to look in, the doubts that would whisper to her when she is alone.’ In Ad Astra, we feel the ‘dread of standing still, of being in one place too long, of rooting too deeply in the soil of past pain or bleak future’.

As Mr. Shaw declares, writers ‘live in hope that what they write will have meaning, though it is almost always left to readers to find it’.

These tales are the outer ripples of memories lost. Search your own past and you’ll find their echo. They float here on a ‘lawless realm of dreams’ where time ‘moves as easily backwards as forwards’. Step your way through the fragments and seek out the shards glittering most brightly. Your touch will inevitably linger, perhaps where you least expect it.

Those slivers may prick your tender flesh.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

 

The Author

Terrance Aldon Shaw describes his work as ‘psycho-rotica,’ exploring the ‘complex, fascinating inner world of sex’, all the ‘thoughts, feelings and emotions that accompany the erotic experience. You can purchase Moon-Haunted Heart from Smashwords and find Mr. Shaw’s reviews, musings on the craft of writing and short stories on his site: Erotica for the Big Brain.

 

 

A Review of Licked : Tales of Salt-Sweet Delight

Licked : seven tales of oral pleasure : a review

1fd25a7c1fb4e91da3a2e82318309941As Adrea Kore explains, in her interview with editor Jillian Boyd: ‘Going down’ connotes the Underworld: descending beneath. Basements, underwater caves, places of darkness and mystery… Venturing into the unknown, we yearn for a little danger, a little adventure, but sometimes also treasure, and discovery.

This anthology is devoted to the delights of sexual scent and juices slick, to our impulse to Adrea Kore Lickedlose ourselves in another, to the luscious lapping of a lover’s cream.

Kinky

Rob Rosen rises to the challenge of defining kink, in ‘Sanitised For Your Pleasure’. His futuristic, dystopian setting lends itself well to contemplation of how sexual ‘norms’ are shaped by cultural trends. In his world, pills are popped to eliminate anything deemed unsavoury, from body odour and body hair, to bad breath and dandruff. Eventually, babies are born without these ‘offensive’ extras. He imagines a society in which the human organism has no scent of its own, and no flavour. 4902cbfe47e4963927a76b1d543de84aIn such a setting, to seek out sex with smell and taste becomes a fetish in itself. Finding an arse crack tickled by hair takes the protagonist to heady heights of arousal. This is a clever celebration of the human body, in its all sweaty, hairy glory.

Intense

One of my favourite writers of erotic fiction, Adrea Kore, explores the torture of desire, of compulsion and addiction, in ‘Wet Satin Plaything’. She writes not only to arouse but to challenge us intellectually and emotionally. Her cleverly embroidered story of revenge is haunting, its prose woven with poetic refrain. Each sentence is a perfect melody in itself. Adrea Kore Licked quoteMeanwhile, her descriptions of oral sex are unsurpassed. I was left dry-mouthed and anticipatory.

Joyous

In ‘Rip’s Reward’, Marie Piper gave me my first ever reading of ‘Western style erotica’ and I found it utterly charming, as well as more than a little arousing. Marie truly had me rooting for her characters’ happiness.

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Robin Watergrove’s confiding narrator voice, in ‘Just Thirsty’, bathes us in tender, sensuous prose: We’re unmoored; no voices now, too far off shore to make sense of each other’s words. I rock against her body and she pulses back against mine. Swimming in the smell of her, soaked into the sheets.

 

e-is-for-cunnilingusWitty

Dale Cameron Lowry’s ‘Sucker for Love’ begins by musing humorously on the attraction of certain flavours of the body, and his early introduction to the notion of oral pleasure: I found out about oral sex for the first time like many children my age did: by listening to BBC World Service over breakfast… it was the year U.S. President Bill Clinton scandalized the American citizenry with his sexual shenanigans. Our protagonist’s mother explains that it’s an acquired taste, like beer: ‘Grown-ups like to taste their lovers.’ she says. His childhood-self scoffs: ‘Beer smelled like wee. Genitals made wee. Never mind what anuses did. I didn’t want any of it near my mouth.’ As the tale unfolds, it is tender and romantic, satisfying and whimsical.

Erotic Soviet, Alphabet 1931, MerkurovWistful

Suanne Schafer, in ‘Feeding Her’ gives us a poignant story of how illness (and mastectomy) can change our self-image and others’ perception of us. Showing a talent for penning ‘believable’ characters, Suanne unfolds a tale with sensitivity and emotional depth.

Mysterious

In ‘Vapour, Venom, Oleander’, Jessica Taylor conjures ancient Greece, as her prophetic Sibyl of Delphi interprets the fumes of the Oracle, advising Romulus on the founding of Rome.

RevelatoryScreen Shot 2016-03-28 at 10.47.29

Let go your inhibitions and inhabit your senses. Embrace these tales of salt-sweet delight and, in so doing, discover oral pleasures anew.

As Adrea Kore invites us: ‘Get Licked. You know you want to…’

Edited by Jill Boyd, the edition is available here.

Why I Write

Thank you to the lovely Kay Jaybee, for first hosting this interview.

 

I want. I want. I want so many things.

I want to explore what might be or might have been.

I want to rewrite the past and create whatever future I choose.

I want to reshape ‘the truth’, to view the world from inside other skins.

 

Emmanuelle de Maupassant quoteAs Sylvia Plath said: ‘I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life.’

Like many writers (I suspect), I have a laptop stuffed with snatches of writing and story outlines, ideas I’ve been exploring, thoughts I’ve spilled out, tens of thousands of words as yet unseen. Some of my most brutal writing is there: my resentments; the pain scraped from my bones and the pit of my belly; desire pushed from the slow ache of my cunt.

When you write from that deep place it changes you; all the creatures from your dark corners come creeping out.

It’s damn liberating!

When I write, I don’t need to hold back. The greatest challenge is only that I be honest with myself, writing what I want to rather than what someone else might think I should be writing.

Cautionary Tales Emmanuelle de Maupassant quoteI’m often asked why I don’t write a ‘real’ book (in other words, one that doesn’t include sex). Bizarrely, exploring sexuality and desire on the page isn’t celebrated in the same way as the exploration of other human themes, such as grief or unrequited love. No matter that literature exploring sexuality often does so in the context of far wider human experience. Think of Jeanette Winterson and Fay Weldon; they cover it all. They aren’t looking to someone else for permission as to what they write.

There are things that won’t let me rest, themes I keep returning to, unpicking the knots. For me, it’s the desire for freedom, to be less constrained by social conventions, to speak my mind, and to speak the truth of my body too.

Other authors’ works which draw me back time and again explore, overtly or covertly, the themes of madness and imprisonment: as in Sarah Waters’ Affinity, Fingersmith and Little Stranger, in Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and the novels of Wilkie Collins. What is it to be ‘mad’ and are our minds ever ‘free’? Angela Carter and Michel Faber, in their gorgeously rich prose, tackle these themes too.

In my case, this search for freedom has led me towards the erotic genre.

When I began, I remember feeling as if I were hacking off the outer layers of myself.

Emmanuelle de Maupassant quote - Twitter sizedIt felt dangerous. I was standing on a cliff edge, and that sense of stepping off the precipice made me feel sick, but also elated. I felt alive. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to turn back, because how can you when you’ve tasted freedom?

You’re pulling the words from where they resist being found but if you lock them away, they’ll squash the life out of you.

Everything I write draws on something from within myself. Yes, it’s fiction, but the heart of the story always reveals my preoccupations. My fears prowl the pages, as well as my fantasies.

As Lidia Yuknavitch says: ‘What is underneath what you want? And what is underneath that?’

vivid flowers with text kindleI want to explore the bittersweet; those things we rarely dare look at, feelings intense and wild and violent and unexplainable. On the page, I can play out anything my heart bird cover talesdesires, explore anything, be anything.

You may visit my author page on Amazon here

Or follow me on Facebook.

 

Adrea Kore: Hand of a Stranger

Within the rich, dark sea of tales, there are midnight words whispered betwen lovers. There are secrets, concealed and revealed. There are a thousand versions of yourself, and a thousand versions of desire.Adrea Kore - hand of a stranger flash fiction

In that fantasy realm, we may relinquish control, or we may enfold and possess. We may flee, while wishing to be found.

There, lush and sensual, raw and red, teasing and taunting and tantalizing, are the words of Adrea Kore.

Hand of a Stranger is a flash-fiction piece: a fantasy about desirability, explored through the themes of pursuit and capture. Its melodies are haunting, and its rhythms those of anticipation.

 

‘Let the shimmer of my stockings under streetlights be your lure. I hear and don’t hear your stealth-clad footsteps, trailing me. Block after block, past sordid bars and shut-eyed houses. I want not to know the dark lust you harbour at the glimpse of suspenders through my skirt-slit. Swishing so close to my sex, where you want your cock to be.’

 

Adrea Kore - Hand of a StrangerTo hear the full (6 minute) audio recording of this velvet fantasy, inspired by Film Noire, and to learn more about intent in erotic fiction, visit Adrea’s website.

 

 

Adrea’s poetry and short fiction appears in the following editions:

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In the words of Adrea Kore:

 

‘Erotica writes into those areas of the human sexual psyche and behaviour that some other genres gloss over or shy away from.

Erotica reveals the links between our inner psychological desires, our motivations and our sexual actions.

Erotica asks complex questions about consent, personal limits and relationships. And it doesn’t just ask these questions of the characters. It asks them of the reader, also.

This is why I am drawn to writing in the erotic genre. It’s why I feel proud of my craft. Sexuality is such a vital part of the map of the human psyche. Sexuality reveals so much of ourselves.’

 read more in Adrea’s Earthing Eros: The Makings of Erotica ii

Adrea Kore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peep Show: a review

The exhibitionist in us wants others to disapprove, as well as to admire, for it is in this that we find the tantalising ‘edge’.

Wilmington, North Carolina, 1950 by Elliot Erwitt
Photograph by Elliot Erwitt (1950)

Here is the line in the sand, and here we are, stepping over it.
Here is my body; here is my lust.
See it in my fingers and in my eyes, and in my quickening breath.
Look away if you don’t like what you see…
Except that I know you won’t.

Peep ShowPeep Show: Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists, edited by the Queen of Erotica, Rachel Kramer Bussel, is a gem of an anthology: each story perfect in its own right, original and well-crafted, surveying the paired delights of voyeurism and exhibitionism.

‘Clean and Pretty’, by Donna George Storey, is a sensual masterpiece, displaying the very paradox at the heart of the collection: that the essence of our desire to be watched, to ignite the flame of arousal in others, is based not just on the notion of seeking admiration but also on a yearning to defy boundaries, to defy the watcher’s approval, to defy commonly-held canons of ‘decency’.

Bruce Webber
Photography by Bruce Webber

Every act of exhibitionism is a performance, as in Jennifer Peters’ gloriously bold ‘People in Glass Hotels’, and in Lolita Lopez’s ‘Indecent’.

Of course, the coin’s reverse is all the more potent when illicit. Forbidden pleasures are, inevitably, the sweetest, as we see in Elizabeth Coldwell’s tantalising ‘Audience Participation’, and in Nobilis Reed’s cleverly rendered and multi-threaded ‘Glass’: both extolling the joy of watching, uninvited.

Hans Mauli
Photograph by Hans Mauli

Rachel KB’s own contribution to this treasure trove, ‘I’ve Only Got Eyes For You’, and Angela Caperton’s ‘Calendar Girl’ end the collection on a note lavender-sweet and dumpling-soft, showing that exhibitionism is not confined to the shadow-world. Every one of us can enjoy the act of display, and there are so many ways in which to do so, to the enrichment of our self-esteem, while feeding a secret desire to shock.

Perhaps the jewel in the crown is L.A. Mistral’s exploration of the relationship between the knowing performer, and the open watcher, writing in ‘The Theory of Orchids’: ‘The more we cherish something with our eyes, the more it flourishes. Our attention changes both who we are and what we look at. Our watching changes everything.’

Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Maniquí tapado (Mannequin covered), 1931
Photograph by Manuel Alvarez Bravo (1931)

We read for entertainment, but also to know ourselves better, to find an echo within the pages, and to witness parallel universes. Knowledge of each ‘other life’ opens a door within our own.

Mannequins, E1 by John Claridge (1968)
Photograph by John Claridge (1968)

Reading, of course, is an act of voyeurism in itself, and this anthology, by its very nature, encourages us to embrace the process.

Read, and watch, and enjoy.

(For more voyeuristic delights, you may like to visit my Author Page on Amazon to see where my pen has been tickling…)

Coming Together in Verse: a review

Coming Together In VerseHere is an anthology for those who delight in both the sensual word, and the inherent comedy of sex, in all its vulgar glory. Here are words intense and poignant, whimsical and witty.

Here is power, conveyed in the sparsest of phrases:
‘He is wordless and unknowable
He is appetite and need
The thrust
of flesh
of horn’
(Janine Ashbless ‘Minotaur’)

Here is the pulsing corporeal:
‘Let the wall be my backbone
as I give up gravity to you’

and
‘Your tongue and teeth interrogate secrets
Embedded long ago in arteries and skin’
(Adrea Kore ‘Threshold’)

We can taste the ‘scattered seeding dream’ on the ‘platter of my tongue’
(Adrea Kore ‘Best Enjoyed Hard’)

 

Adrea Kore Threshold erotic poetryJade A Waters and Tamsin Flowers‘ contributions are
intensely sexy, while AJ Chilson and Ashe Barker prove themselves masters of the short form.

 

It’s impossible not to smile at KD Grace‘s ‘Dodgy Bus’ and Lisabet Sarai‘s clever parody of ‘The Night Before Christmas’; Bella Settarra‘s ‘If I’d Wanted Sex’ is a delight, as is Kay Jaybee‘s saucy alphabet.

 

Meanwhile, Ashley R Lister’s ‘Old People Sexadrea kore poetry‘ is feverishly naughty and utterly irreverent, embracing the ridiculous.

Janine Ashbless also achieves this with aplomb in ‘On Erotic Vocabulary’:
‘Mighty Weapon makes me queasy
Throbbing Manhood sounds diseasy’

and in her playful ‘Song for Whoever’.

Here is an anthology bursting with treats and treasures. You’ll want to dip in time and again, to savour its moods and melodies.

Coming Together in Verse, edited by Ashley R Lister

Wanted: Intelligent Smut

 

 

Yes, yes YES!!!

Such is the battle-cry of millions of insatiable readers in the erotic-romance genre: currently worth around $1.5 billion Dollars annually (more than any other).

Yes, women have sex drives (as do men).

Yes, women have fantasies (as do men).

Yes, women sometimes just want to get down and dirty (need I say more).

Fear of Flying - erotic fiction

It’s clear that the popularity of e-readers and tablets has aided sales of erotic fiction, offering as they do the chance to enjoy any amount of knee-trembling ‘naughtiness’ with anonymity.

Looking back to the 1970s, Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying was one of the first to gain international bestselling status, with the uninhibited ‘flying free’ of Isadora, on a wild journey of liberation and self-discovery. Nancy Friday’s taboo-shattering My Secret Garden (1973) not only sets out to show us that we are not alone in enjoying fantasies (the kind that nancy_friday  erotic literature still have women wondering if they are the only ‘bad’ girls thinking saucy thoughts) but that, whatever spice your imagination can conjure up, someone else is undoubtedly doing the same, and possibly adding quite a few jalapenos on top.

Although I grew up on the salacious 1980s offerings of Jackie Collins and Jilly Cooper, eating up each morsel like a dog falling upon a plate of fat sausages, these days, I much prefer my fiction without ‘hearts and roses’. Erotic literature is widely classified as exploring sexual themes for their own sake, viewing our humanity through the  lens of erotic desire. The development of a romantic relationship is not obligatory to the menu.

Classic examples come from the kinky pen of the late 18th-century’s much fanny-hill by-john-clelandimprisoned Marquis de Sade and John Cleland, whose Fanny Hill (1748) inspired over two centuries of obscenity trials and censorship. Brazen for its time, Theophile Gautier’s Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835) sees a woman use her beauty to captivate not only a young poet but, disguised as a man, his mistress! It oozes sexual deception and intrigue. Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (1899) similarly shocked readers by its Mademoiselle de Maupin heroine seeking out passion for its own sake, beyond the confines of her marriage. Also published in 1899, The Torture Garden, by Octave Mirbeau, follows desire and depravity to a shocking, sadistic paradise, where debauchery knows no bounds, its premise being that self-knowledge and fulfilment are only attainable by experiencing extremes. Reaching back even further into the annals of sexy literary history, there is The Perfumed Garden. Written in the 16th Century, it looks at the sexual customs and behaviour of Arabia in the Middle Ages (much as the Kama Sutra reflects ancient Hindu culture).

Henry Miller Tropic of Cancer Other storm raisers, banned from public consumption for decades, include D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer (bawdy adventures in 1930s Paris) and Tropic of Capricorn (debauchery in Lady Chatterley's Lover  erotic fiction 1920s New York).

The question is, amidst a sea of erotica, how do you locate the more challenging, intelligent sauce? The sort that not only arouses at a visceral level, but inspires us to rethink sexual conventions: to challenge our minds as well as delivering a thwack to the groin.

In Delta of Venus, Anais Nin pens several provocative and elegantly Delta of Venus, Anais Nin - intelligent eroticastyled tales: a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian milliner leaves her husband for a mini-break to the opium dens of Peru.

Another titillating collection is The Gates of Paradise: 35 stories exploring the infinite variety of erotic experience, by such authors as Tennessee Williams, Marguerite Duras and Isabel Allende. Ms. The Lover - Duras - erotic fiction Duras is best known for her poetically scribed The Lover.

Belle de Jour (1928), by Joseph Kessel, inspired Luis Buñuel’s film Belle-de-jour  Catherine Deneuve (starring the luscious Catherine Deneuve). A wealthy Parisian housewife seeks fulfilment of her own vivid, sadomasochistic fantasies via a brothel, where she submits to her customers, revelling in (yet also repulsed by) her ‘debasement’. Each evening, she returns home to her oblivious husband.

Another French novel better known as a film adaptation is Emmanuelle Arsan’s Emmanuelle (1959), whose protagonist embraces the full Emmanuelle - erotic fiction scope of her sexual nature. Served with a dollop of French philosophical reverie, it’s smut at its most stylish.

There is a wealth of contemporary erotic fiction for you to explore, covering every nuance of kink and desire. The more time you spend looking, the more likely you are to find a tantalising surprise. Standing on the sado-masochistic shoulders of Pauline Réage’s Story of O (1954) is Anne Rice’s 1980s Sleeping Beauty Trilogy Story of O - erotic fiction BDSM(written under her A.N. Roquelaure pseudonym). It has spawned a rich seam of fairy-tale inspired erotic tales. Meanwhile, Twilight has brought forth a host of alpha-male werewolves and lustful vampires.

My modern day recommendations are Tobsha Learner’s kaleidoscopic anthologies of short stories: Quiver, Tremble and Yearn. Highly original, provocative and Tobsha Learner - Quiver - erotic fiction often shocking (erotic encounters at the dentist’s and a disembodied penis providing endless nights of pleasure), they admirably challenge conventional notions. More a ‘wake-up’ call than overtly sexy, I find Tobsha a breath of fresh air.

For a dystopian erotica mash-up, treat yourself to a look at Steelwhisper’s masterfully written George. Disturbing, and infinitely touching, it is one of the most powerful pieces I’ve come across in the erotic genre.

For hauntingly beautiful, evocative and challenging short-stories, visit the sites of Malin James and Remittance Girl.

Indulge the paradox of sexual agony and ecstasy via Jonathan Kemp’s 26: ‘visions of excess’ burning brightly beyond the civility of language and manners, taking us on a journey of transcendence, of sexual gratification and drug-induced otherness.jonathan-kemp-26-erotic-fiction

Or venture into the radical sex writing of Patrick Califia; I recommend his gothic classic, Mortal Companion, as a great place to start.

We are in charge of our sexual choices: we don’t need ‘permission’ to bed as we please, and the same applies to what we choose to read. I say, dare to be as adventurous with your erotic reading as you would be with any other genre.

Make free to add your suggestions for reading below…

(you may like to visit my Author Page on Amazon to see where my pen has been tickling…)

Praise for ‘The Gentlemen’s Club’ – by Emmanuelle de Maupassant

 

 

reading a book vintage retro Praise for ‘The Gentlemen’s Club’ – available for download from all Amazon sites – including Amazon UK and Amazon USA. 

 

Twitter

‘I could not go to sleep thinking about your book. I stayed up and read it cover to cover. The most erotic novel I recall reading.’ – Guillermo Tomas

‘An elegantly written piece of period erotica. I was engrossed and highly aroused.’ – Sir to You

 

Escapology Reviews

‘The Gentleman’s Club turned me into a pool of jelly. So hot it set the bathroom on fire and a victorian fainting fitfire crew had to hose me down’ – Vikki Heaven

 

Voracious Reader Reviews

‘Have some type of cooling method handy when you sit down to read this.  There’s just something so deliciously naughty about the steamier seedier side of things when everyone is supposed to be so stiff and proper. I simply love it. This is well-Victorian bed lady reclining erotic thoughtswritten, creative and hot. Enough said. Now, go. Run and get it, if you dare…’ – Carol

 

Erotica for the Big Brain

‘Emmanuelle de Maupassant brings a refreshing confidence to her writing. Her work has already begun to enrich the genre, and readers need look no further than “The Gentlemen’s Club” to vintage reader retro Victorian maybeunderstand why.’ – Terrance Aldon Shaw

 

victorian corset adultery

 

Amazon US

‘Erotica – and historical fiction – doesn’t get any better than this. If you haven’t read it, buy it.’ – Seattle Reader

‘A beautiful example of erotic literature – one that shows the genre to be capable of intelligence and elegance. Wonderful and truly impressive.’ – Malin James

 

Victorian in reclineAmazon UK

‘A masterpiece of erotica: every paragraph has you begging for the next. An exciting story of lust, passion and romance. Sexually explicit, but not offensive; it will broaden your sexual mind and sexual appetite. If you buy one book this year, make it this one. I am in great anticipation of the follow up.’ – Pauline

‘I came across this author quite by accident. I am glad that I did! I The Amorous Drawings of the Marquis von Bayros 7thoroughly enjoyed this erotic novella as, unlike some of this genre, it was able to hold my interest from an intellectual and visceral stand point. If only some Men of my acquaintance had similar talents! I particularly appreciated the theme of a liberated woman, throwing off the Ziegfeld-Follies-Girls-1920-Broadway-18strictures of society (still resonates in this day and age)’ – Melanie

 

 Amazon Canada

‘This book. This book! This is the book I wish I had written. The Alice Wilkes  Ziegfeld Follieslanguage…oh, the language! It grabs you and propels you smack dab into Victorian London from the first paragraph. It weaves a net about you, it draws you in. Iit has you shouting ‘yes, yes, yes,’ like Meg Ryan at the diner, because finally there is a well-rounded, well-written, exquisitely crafted story which redeems the genre.’ – Julia Rist

 

take a peek via the ‘look inside’ feature on Amazon