Category: Uncategorized

Technicolor Sex

Marilyn Monroe in a read dress against a green floral background for Technicolor Sex by Malin James

Marilyn Monroe, circa 1952. Image courtesy Getty Images.

You know how sometimes, every now and then, sex can light you up? It’s the kind of sex that squeezes your heart and gobbles it whole. Sublime, intense, shattering sex that leaves you wrecked and soaked and scratched and bruised and so happy you could cry?

Yeah. I love sex like that.

I used to associate catastrophically good, mind-altering sex with kink because, when I was younger, the only time I experienced it was in kinky situations. The impact it made on me drove me to experiment with all sorts of sexual deviance, which was great and profound in its own way, but it also kept me from understanding my natural sexual wiring until much later.

Recently, I’ve come around to realizing that, while I am definitely a kinky person, kink isn’t actually what drives my sexuality. Intensity does, and kink is one possible way for me to get a hit of that drug.

Note: When I say “kink”, I’m referring to all of the kinks I enjoy, plus the million other kinks that fall under the term’s umbrella. Unless I specify a particular kink by name, just figure I mean it as a placeholder for anything that falls outside the sexual mainstream, whatever that is….

Some people have a central kink around which other kinks play out, like the sub who loves spanking but isn’t into service. I don’t have a central, identifying kink. I have a spectrum of equally weighted, kinky options. That’s because, for me, the turn-on isn’t the kink itself, but the intensity that comes from engaging it.

I’ve written before about how I don’t identify as a Domme because it comes with a set of expectations that don’t consistently apply. While I enjoy playing that role, I slide in and out of sexual dominance depending on what I’m doing and who I’m with. For me, sexual dominance is an impulse—awesome when it’s instinctive with a partner, but not necessarily something I pursue for its own sake.

Unlike someone whose sexual identity is fairly set, my sexuality is fundamentally intuitive. I’m kind of like a tuning fork—I ring at different frequencies with different lovers because different people tap different aspects of my sexuality. This isn’t to say that I don’t have my own preferences and boundaries. It’s no secret that submission isn’t my thing. Masochism, however, is. I like pain – both dishing it out and taking it – but only if it’s part of my natural dynamic with a partner.

And that’s really the thing for me—my dynamic with my partner. It doesn’t matter if it’s a one-time thing or a long-term relationship, more than anything, I respond to connection – that humming recognition that you both want to fuck. While I really enjoy a lot of different kinks, the intensity I crave has more to do with a feedback loop than with the kink itself, and what creates that delicious feedback loop changes from partner to partner and moment to moment.

So, when I say that my sexuality is intuitive rather than definitive, I really mean that my sexual response cues off a feedback loop. Kink can, and often does, form the basis of that connection, but sometimes it just happens out of the blue. It’s a lot like dancing – you move with each other’s impulses and improvise, so dancing with one partner is nothing like dancing with someone else. I’m hyperaware of my partners’ impulses, and that awareness shapes my response. It creates a sort of bespoke sexual experience, but what fits one partner in one moment, won’t necessarily fit another.

That’s why, while I love rough sex, I’m only going to want it with certain people because it’s not about rough sex, per se. It’s about rough sex with someone I want to have rough sex with. So, as much as I enjoy restraint and watching and being watched and group sex and fucking in places you shouldn’t be fucking, I love vanilla too. For me, it’s not about what we’re doing; it’s about how it feels while we’re doing it.

If I get that intensity through missionary with unbroken eye contact, fine. If I get it through edge play, voyeurism, or trusting a partner enough to push my own boundaries, fine. In the end, it’s all just a gateway to the kind of intensity that makes for the kind of sex that dismantles your brain and turns you into a cock or a cunt and the basic need to fuck.

That isn’t to say that I can’t enjoy kink or have amazing sex without that brain-dismantling intensity because I can and have and will. In the end, I love sex—kinky sex, or sex that’s as vanilla as it gets. The kind of sex that I’m talking about here is just one variation in a million. I just happen to love it because it’s as context dependent as I am.

For me, at its best, sex is a function of impulses and variables and kink is just one of those variables. While I genuinely enjoy kinky, filthy filth, the intensity I want is a product of dynamic and connection, informed by, but not dependent on kink. It’s just as likely to happen with eye contact as it is with anything else.

I like it when sex is the unpredictable product of impulse and instinct. I like it when sex surprises me. Within the boundary of certain hard limits, my sexuality is fluid enough that it doesn’t hold a definitive shape, which means that sex is always something of an adventure. Even if I’ve been with someone for years, something – an emotional quirk, a request, whatever – can hit me in a way I didn’t expect. That sudden change in frequency is the shot of sexual adrenaline that starts the rest of the feedback loop.

It’s like alchemy and it’s different with everyone. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it reminds me what having a body is all about. That’s when you get sex that’s shattering and cathartic; sex that’s so intense and so fucking good you have to check for a heartbeat after. That’s sex in blazing Technicolor. Kink or no kink, I love Technicolor sex.

On Submission & Strong Women

Black and white of a woman wearing black boots and ball and chain by Ellen von Unswerth for On Submission, Strong Women and The High Alpha by Malin James

Ellen von Unwerth, from Revenge

I had a brief conversation the other day that got me thinking. I’m going to paraphrase chunks of the exchange rather than quote directly (because consent), but I’ll stick as close to the original as I ethically can.

So, here’s the opener:

Hi Malin. As a high-alpha male, I appreciate strong women. Dominant women are a rare challenge. I love your work – it gives me a lot of insight into how strong women tick. 

Given my initial response, the smart thing to do would’ve been to ignore it and move on. Unfortunately, those three sentences annoyed the fuck out of me so I responded with this:

A rare challenge…interesting. Care to unpack that?

Here’s his response:

Sure! For alpha males there’s nothing as exciting as an alpha female. Alpha females handle themselves, which is great (and rare with women in my experience, IMHO), but even more exciting is the challenge I mentioned. When a strong woman breaks and submits to you, that’s the biggest high you can get as a Dom. All women, alpha or not, want to submit to a strong man and being the only man that an alpha female submits to is a fucking high.

So…setting my visceral response aside, what he’s essentially talking about is a fetish for strong women. That, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing. Strong women rock in all kinds of ways because there are all kinds of ways in which women are strong. Where it goes wrong for me is in why he appears to fetishize a particular kind of female strength.

He doesn’t love strong women because he thinks strong women are interesting. He doesn’t love strong women because he wants to submit to a worthy Domme. He doesn’t even love strong women because he thinks an alpha female is the only kind of woman who can match his “high alpha” self. He loves strong women because they’re a challenge.

Let me rephrase that. He loves strong women because making a strong woman “break and submit” to him is a challenge.

The attraction isn’t in the woman. It’s in a narcissistic fetish for a certain kind of power. He wants to be the very special, uber-alpha male who breaks an unbreakable woman and makes her submit. He’s not fetishizing her strength, he’s fetishizing the idea of being the only one who can strip her of it.

Needless to say, I’ve got a few issues with this. The first is that it devalues the actual submission of actual female subs (many of whom are fucking bad-asses). The second is that it makes the “strong woman” in question a challenge (ie: a thing to surmount) rather than a person, and any view that reflexively turns a person into something other than a person is pretty much a no-go for me. The third is that this appreciation for strong women is entirely ego driven. Here’s what I mean….

If you work from the stated assumption that “all women, alpha or not, want to submit to a strong man” (*eye roll*), you get the implication underlying the attraction –  that any guy can make a submissive woman submit because women are, by nature, submissive. It takes a “high alpha male” to break the “rare” dominant woman.

That particular appreciation for female strength has nothing to do with respect or actual, you know, appreciation. It’s a purely reflective thing – the value of her strength is in how brightly it highlights his.

Full disclosure: I have a button here. Though I’m not a Domme, I am naturally dominant with a wide streak of  don’t-tell-me-what-to-fucking-do. I’ve written about how my natural dominance attracted an ex who was, to put it bluntly, a diagnosed sociopath who loved me best when I was needy (“but only for him”) and who wanted to “crush me and break me and make me his”. (Direct quote. Fuck it).

That’s not to say that this gentleman is a sociopath. To be honest, I don’t think he really understood what he was saying. It just rubbed my fur backwards and, once I got over my initial annoyance, I didn’t like how it unpacked.

Essentially, this kind of attraction turns a very specific form of female strength into fetishized commodity while dismissing all the other ways in which women are strong. In other words, it turns female dominance into a kind of drug that makes a certain kind of man feel special. It has nothing to do with the woman or her dynamic with that man. It has to do with the ego boost that comes from fucking her in a particular way.

It also turns the “rare” alpha-female one of two things:

  1. a disposable experience, or
  2. a possession to groom and keep.

Either way, it’s no good. Every woman does not crave submission, and those that do should have autonomy within their submission. Anything else falls back on a cultural mode that normalized a husband’s right to spank his wife for failing to make the perfect pot roast.

In the end, there’s a fundamental difference between spanking Lara Croft and spanking Lara Croft’s alpha female glory to the breaking point. The spanking isn’t the issue – it’s the motives behind it that makes the difference between awesome and toxic. If a dominant woman (or man) trusts you enough to submit to you, even if only for a night, that should speak to the connection and trust between you, not to your prowess as an alpha.

Fetishize power in a partner. Revel in it. Love strong women. Love strong men. Just don’t turn whatever happens into proof of your Domminess. Don’t fetishize the ego boost that comes with “breaking” someone you perceive to be strong. Sex and submission aren’t about how alpha you are. They’re about feeding off each other’s strengths – that’s the real fucking high.

NB: I realized after I posted this that I should clarify some terminology as usage in that conversation got fairly muddy.

“Alpha male” and “alpha female” don’t equate to Dom and Domme (or sadist or top). All alpha means it that someone has what might be called a dominant personality. Some alphas have personalities that are more dominant than others, as do some betas, etc. All dominant people are not alpha, nor are all alphas dominant.

Alpha, dominant and Dom are often equated in casual conversation, which is fine insofar as it goes. It’s just important to acknowledge that a person’s alignment in social hierarchies may differ than their (natural or chosen) position in sexual power dynamics.

As for the term “strong women”, it most definitely does not apply exclusively to dominant women or alpha females. Some of the strongest women I know are subs. Sexual wiring has little, if any, bearing on a woman’s integrity, resilience or strength.

Pillow Talk Secrets: Happy New Year

PIllow Talk Logo - girl with black hair on pillow making red pouted kissy faceTamsin Flowers, Jade A. Waters and I are ringing in the New Year with the latest Pillow Talk Secrets session. This time, Tamsin took advantage of the reflective nature of the holiday to  ask Jade and I for our thoughts on 2014 and our hopes for the new year. Of course, we turned the tables on her and made her share too!

Below, you’ll find an excerpt from the conversation. Just click the link that follows to read the whole thing on the Pillow Talk blog. We’d love to hear your reflections on the year that’s passed, and goals for 2015, so please feel free to leave a note in the comments. We love it when you do. And now, without further ado, I give you the first Pillow Talk Secrets session of 2015! 

PILLOW TALK SECRETS

Tamsin: Hello ladies. How are you both doing today?

Malin: So good! How are you Tamsin? Jade?

Jade: Great! So nice to be here with you both.

2015T: It certainly is good to meet for the first time in 2015 – Happy New Year to you both and to all our readers!

J: Yes, Happy New Year! *Blows party whistles* *Throws confetti*

M: I love the New Year – it always feels good to start fresh. *removes confetti from hair* 😉

T: It is great to have a fresh start. Now, let’s get going on today’s business – our look back over 2014 and our look forward over 2015. I’ve got a few questions to put to you two – starting with what was the most surprising thing writing erotica taught you about yourselves last year?

M: Oh boy.. Well, I think the  biggest thing it taught me was that I’m far more comfortable with myself sexually now than I’ve ever been. I don’t seem to have the hang-ups that plagued me as a younger, non-erotica writing woman.

J: It certainly does have that effect, doesn’t it? Something about writing erotic things adds to one’s erotic nature, I think.

T: I agree. And on a similar note, the more erotica I write the more comfortable I am with the fact that I’m an erotica writer. At first I didn’t want anyone to know – but now I take the opportunity to tell more people and most of them receive it very well.

J: I just love that feeling! I find the reception being positive is true, too.

M: Yes! It’s kind of funny to realize how much apprehension you can have about writing erotica when you first start playing with it. It’s nice to let that go as you develop as a writer.

J: I wrote about that acceptance of myself as an erotica writer back at the end of 2013 – and this year, having been one with it and really truly loving it, I would say the most surprising thing I learned is what a damn work horse I can be. I mean, I know I go at it sometimes, but I’ve had to pull back from working myself to exhaustion a few times. That was a shocker. I’m sure you both can relate to that, too.

T: Absolutely – that was one of my answers – I’ve surprised myself with my sheer doggedness when it comes to getting stuff done!

M: I never would have called myself a workaholic until this past year, but I’ve been surprised, like both of you, by how much it’s actually true. I guess loving your work brings that out!

J: Yes. But one of the things that’s helped is that you both have been around to “talk me down” when I’m taxing myself. I think that’s one of the greatest things we’ve done for one another (besides all the “talking up,” of course).

M: Yeah – that support really has been critical. It’s easy to push too hard, or get too low. Having two partners/friends who can offer that bit of perspective is just invaluable.

T: It is a wonderful thing, and I wouldn’t be without you two! Now, what’s the most interesting or surprising thing you’ve learned about the industry over the course of 2014?

M: For me it was a fairly general realization. I was surprised by how unstable the market has gotten recently, and yet, within that, how many other options writers have. That and how unfailingly supportive other writers are.

T: That was totally going to be my answer – just how fantastic the erotica community is. We might supposedly be competing against each other but every writer I come across is generous with their support.

J: Yes. It’s a tight-knit group – probably the most lovable and delightful group of all the writer groups I’ve worked with. Considering how much flak the genre can get, it’s wonderful to have that support.

T: If we don’t help each other, who will?

J: Right!

T: Now, turning to what we’ve all been writing, tell me each of you, what was your hottest sex scene of the year?

J: I don’t know if I can pick one! One? Hmm…Malin, what’s yours?

M: Hey! Look at you tossing me the ball!

J: It’s a damn hot potato!

M: Well, okay…. Let me see. I’m not sure if it’s my hottest, but one of my favorites is in a story coming out in Best Women’s Erotica 2015. The story is called “Star F*cker” and the heroine has sex with a hot actor in an elevator. I really, seriously loved writing that scene.

J: Oh my god, I love “Star F*cker.” I’ve read this one, people – you’re going to die it’s so good.

T: It was definitely super hot! Let’s just have a couple of sentences to give our readers a little taste…

Click HERE to read the rest of the conversation… And Happy New Year!! xx.M

 

Pillow Talk Secrets: Tell Me Who You Love

PIllow Talk Logo - girl with black hair on pillow making red pouted kissy faceHello all! Welcome to the newest session of Pillow Talk Secrets! I’m Malin, your hostess for this round. Today my lovely colleagues, Jade and Tamsin, and I, are going to talk about influences – namely the books and authors that have most influenced our work. There’s erotica in there, of course, but other genres too, so please read on to find out who has gotten under our skins and into our heads. Fair warning though – when the three of us start talking about books, gushing and wells of enthusiasm are inevitable, so be prepared. And on that note, here we go! xx.M

Pillow Talk Secrets

Malin: Hello ladies! How are you doing today?

Jade: Hi you! Just lovely. How about the two of you?

Tamsin: Hello lovelies, I’m just fine thank you!

M: Excellent! We’ve all been so busy, I’m glad we’re getting to chat today. I’ve been looking forward to this topic since we decided on it a few weeks ago. We’re talking about our writerly, and readerly, influences. Shall we jump right in?

J: I love this topic. Let’s dive in!

T: Ah – I have to say, I’ve not been so sure…you both know but the readers might not, that I actually wrote my first published erotic story before I’d really even read any! So, I can’t claim to be well read and I think I’m playing catch up with you two!

J: To be honest, I hadn’t read all that much erotica before I started, either. In fact, I wrote my first piece when I was like 16. I’d only read a handful of stories by then.

M: Same here. While I read erotica, my real influences fall outside of the genre… So, in that case, if we’re all influenced by work outside the genre, let’s start with non-erotic fiction. Without thinking too hard, which books or authors come to mind?

Prayer for Owen MeaneyT: I just have one go-to writer – John Irving. Well, obviously there are others, which I’ll come on to but for me, he’s a genius. The characters he creates literally stay with you for years, and they’re all totally individual and intriguing. And he’s one of the very few writers that can have you crying with laughter on one page and then sobbing your heart out on the next. His talent is extraordinary and he has a lot in common with another of my favorites, Charles Dickens. They both write long, involved, complicated stories which you can really sink your teeth into.

M: Ahhhh! John Irving is wonderful. Which of his titles is your favorite?

T: The first Irving I read, and still one of my favorites was A Son of the Circus. And then of course, Owen Meany – the nativity scene is my favorite all time scene in any book.

J: So, nobody smack me, but I never read John Irving. Or much Dickens, for that matter, so I’m impressed.

T: Oh, missy, get to the library now!!!

M: I’m sorry – my geek is getting activated. I’m going all single-minded! Tamsin, for Dickens, if you could only pick one Dickens ever to have read, which would it be?

T: Dickens? Bleak House. Oh, and Great Expectations!

M: I love Bleak House! I’m going to admit something here – Bleak House is actually one of the books I had in mind when I started conceiving of The Briary, (my WIP). That and a couple of Wilkie Collins novels and Dracula. Always Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

dracula-coverJ: Yes to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Wow, I loved that one. I read it in high school and couldn’t put it down.

T: God yes! And, of course, as a woman who’s written two vampire novels, Stoker is an inspiration. And Collins too!

M: Oh, I love Wilkie Collins! The Woman in White is still a big favorite! Jade what about you? What’s stayed with you?

J: See, I was all caught up in Margaret Atwood and a few too many rounds of Jane Eyre, (I read that about 12 times by age 10). Plus, I tended to read a lot of more contemporary authors – Anne Rice was one, but more Carol Goodman (LOVE that woman), and Anne Bishop on the spec fic side. Oh and V.C. Andrews. But weren’t we all influenced by V.C. Andrews?

T: No, – I read V.C. Andrews but I didn’t really care for her.

M: I read a couple of V.C. Andrews novels – Flowers in the Attic because EVERYONE read Flowers in the Attic, but I wasn’t a huge overall fan either, though I did like the gothic luridness of the books I did read. Going back to Atwood, what was it about her work that stayed with you?

 

I’m going to stop before we get too deep into it. We get into the good stuff with Anne Rice, Shanna Germain, Angela Carter, Sacher-Masoch and more. Click HERE to read the rest of the conversation. 

And if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter you can take a peek at the last one or sign up here!

Pillow Talk Secrets: She’s a One Man Woman – But Does She Have to Be?

Hello everyone! It’s time another installment of Pillow Talk Secrets in which Jade A. Waters, Tamsin Flowers and I chat about erotica, writing and sex. This time around, Tamsin is our host for a discussion on why, in mainstream erotica, a heroine must often be justified in sleeping with multiple partners or risk be considered unsympathetic. It’s a knotty question, and it was a great deal of fun to tackle with these ladies. Here’s an excerpt of the conversation below. I hope you enjoy… xx.M

Pillow Talk Secrets

 

Tamsin: Hello, girls. Nice to see you!

Jade: You as well! How are you?

T: Great!

Malin: Hi ladies! I’m here!

T: Hello, gorgeous!

M: Ah, now this is how I want to start a day – chatting with the two of you. Nothing tops it.

J: So true! Now, who’s leading us today?

M: Our lovely, Tamsin, I believe! And I think she’s got something really interesting in mind.

J: Bring it, T!

T: Okay, I’m going to launch us straight in to today’s topic: Is it all right for the heroine of your book to sleep with more than one partner? This is a question that’s been batting around my brain for quite some time now. As you two know, I’ve just finished the first draft of my sexy spy thriller, Honeytrap, and my heroine certainly gets called upon to cosy up with the villains as well as the good guys. But I remembered reading somewhere that it’s a big no-no to readers if the heroine sleeps with multiple partners. How would you two handle this dilemma?

M: So, I have a couple of thoughts right off the top of my head. The first is that context is probably critical – how and why is she sleeping with multiple partners seems to make quite a difference in how readers respond… What do you think, Jade?

J: I agree. There are so many variations here – is she a free bird, is she cheating, is she in a negotiated polyamorous situation? Maybe we should focus on one at a time.

T: Ooh! Free bird is a new expression for me. I like that!

Why should she choose between them?

Why should she choose between them?

J: I just made that up. 🙂

M: I love it! Interestingly, I think the free bird scenario is the trickiest for writers. There’s still  surprising amount stigma attached to a female character who sleeps with multiple partners for no other reason than she wants to. Her own desire might be perfectly valid justification, but that doesn’t seem to settle well with readers in general. It’s a real shame, actually. There’s a lot in that restriction that doesn’t sit well with me.

J: I think that’s still, sadly, largely due to the real life cultural view on women having multiple partners – and it translates directly into people’s reading.

T: And this is where the question is interesting. Obviously, if someone buys a menage story, they’re expecting multiple partners. But there seems to be a real move in the market towards erotic romance rather than plain erotica at the moment – and with it comes a demand for the heroine to be, how shall I put it, better behaved or in lurve!

To read the rest, click here!

Pillow Talk Secrets 2: Those Boys, Alphas and Doms, Oh My!

KissyFaceTalkingDirtyHello and welcome to the second session of Pillow Talk Secrets! This is Malin, your host for this round, and all I can say is that Tamsin, Jade and I have quite a chat lined up. You see, all three of just read Those Boys, which will be coming soon from Go Deeper Press – it’s the highly anticipated sequel to Alison Tyler’s fantastic novelette, Those Girls. Of course, we wanted to discuss it right away, but instead we decided to be incredibly good and save it for this session. As you can imagine, by now, we’re dying to talk to each other about it so, rather than torture ourselves any longer, we’re going to jump right in and get this party started!

Pillow Talk Secrets 2

Malin: Hello ladies!

Tamsin: Hello Malin, hello Jade!

Jade: And hello to both of you!

M: So, I don’t know about you two, but I’m dying to talk to you both about Those Boys. Should we start there?

T: Absolutely. But before we launch in, we should tell people who might not know this is the second book in Alison Tyler’s series that started with Those Girls – both published by Go Deeper Press.

J: Yes, and that we were fortunate enough to score ourselves an early copy of Those Boys – quite possibly because the Universe is just amazing – and wow are we happy about it!

The gorgeous cover for Those Boys, by Alison Tyler. Courtesy of Go Deeper Press.

The gorgeous cover for Those Boys, by Alison Tyler. Courtesy of Go Deeper Press.

M: It was a really lovely treat. There’s a lot of food for thought in both the first book, and now the second. For those readers who haven’t read the first book yet, let’s do a really quick run-down.

T: No spoilers!

M:  I would never! Okay. Summary not spoilers: it’s told from the POV of a Dom named Sandy. This man is the real deal – a Dom’s Dom. Basically, the novelette is about how he goes about initiating the lovely, slightly stand-offish Vanessa. How’s that?

J: Good – and I want to add this little piece I once read on Alison Tyler’s blog – I can’t remember her exact verbiage, but she said she originally thought Sandy was going to be a she, and then Sandy become this beautifully bisexual Dom. But the key, or the power of Sandy, was that it didn’t matter who he had control over – only that he had that control. The magic is being in his head, because he’s such the Dom’s Dom, as Malin said.

M: And there is magic in his head. You rarely see such a nuanced, authentic portrayal of a dominant in erotica, especially a male dominant, which is a shame.

T: But, I have to admit to a little disappointment with Those Girls, (shock! horror!).

J: What?!

T: Not because it wasn’t brilliant – it was! But it was too damn short! I wanted more. Straight away!

J: Oh well then, in that case…I totally agree.

T: I think Sandy’s character really came into its own, though, in Those Boys. I really got much more of a feel for him – this is a massive development on the first story and with the addition of a new character, Rem, we really get to understand how Sandy’s mind ticks….

And that’s just part of the conversation. To read the rest, in which we talk about fictional doms and a catch-all of related things, click here. I hope you do….

Pillow Talk Secrets: We Have Lift Off!

KissyFaceTalkingDirtyI’ve been keeping a project under my hat for awhile now – a joint venture with two other erotica writers whom I admire, respect and adore, Jade A. Waters and Tamsin Flowers. When erotica writers talk shop, that means, almost invariably, that we talk about sex – everything from how to manage pronouns when writing an orgy to the glories of strap-ons and fisting. Needless to say, the three of us talk a lot of shop, and we decided it might be fun to you listen in. The result is Pillow Talk: Erotica Writers Talking Dirty.

Below, you’ll find the first official session of Pillow Talk Secrets. What is Pillow Talk Secrets? Read on to find out. We’ll be posting the Secrets every six weeks or so on our permanent home, pillowtalkwriters.com, where you can also sign up for our monthly newsletter. But, since this is our baby’s first day, we decided to post the first Secretes session in its entirety on each of our sites,  just this once. So keep on reading and see what we’re about! Speaking for all three of us, I hope you enjoy…   xxx.M

Pillow Talk Secrets!

Jade: Good morning, ladies! The day is finally here. Our official Pillow Talk Secrets launch!

Malin: We’ve been so busy at it, it’s hard to believe!

Tamsin: I think it might have crept up on some of us!  So what’s on the agenda, Jade?

J: Well, I figured today we should let our readers know what we’re all about, and then a little about each of us and how we met.

M: Perfect. Who wants to start? Maybe with a bit about what we’re doing?

J: Exactly. What is Pillow Talk? How should we describe ourselves?

T: Starting with the obvious, three writers—of erotica, naturally—similarly dirty minded!

J: Which basically means, dirty dirty dirty talk. Yes?

M: Yes. It’s also probably the biggest reason we became friends in the first place—erotica definitely brought us together.

J: I just smiled when you said that, Malin. It’s true! I still can’t remember who I friended first—it was so fabulous in both directions—but was it you, Tamsin?

cheer

Jade A. Waters, Resident Cheerleader

T: I think so—we met on Twitter over a discussion of a pair of boots Alison Tyler was lusting after—and you very quickly became my chief cheerleader.

J: Oh, that’s right! I was squealing and dancing all over the place, as I usually do (also, Alison Tyler has some wickedly good taste in shoes!). But I think we got closer once I realized you wrote a zombie erotica book—because I thought that was wild—and then we started emailing….

M: I had no idea you guys started talking over Alison Tyler’s awesome taste in shoes! That’s fabulous…. And then of course, Tamsin’s zombies are…well, let’s just say I’m not a zombie kind of girl, but it’s the sexiest, most inventive set of zombies I’ve ever seen.

T: Ah, I use those zombies to hook all my friends!

J: I knew you were up to something! 🙂 Meanwhile, as Tamsin and I became cohorts…

M: Jade and I met at a reading for The Big Book of Orgasms! It was the first reading either of us had ever done—at least of erotica.

T: God, you two are so brave! I don’t know if I could stand up in front of a room full of people and read out my very filthy words!

J: I think it worked out because we both have theatre backgrounds. Also, we were in the Good Vibrations Vibrator Museum, so it was inspiring.

M: Ha! Yes, it was. Plus, the audience was friendly, so it was easy to jump in.

T: So tell me, what was the filthiest sentence you had to read out in front of all the strangers?

M: I read “Hard Knocks,” which is all about coming from being spanked, so the whole thing was pretty filthy. That said, “More blows slapping my sensitive, soaking cunt” might win.

T: *Sniggers.*

J: See, this is a hard question (pun intended) only because my filth gauge is a little questionable. In my story, “The Flogger,” a woman discovers her prim and proper boyfriend has found her dusty old flogger in the closet. Still, I think for me it was “cupped her slit with her whole hand.” I get a total visual every time I read it.

T: Like I thought—totally embarrassing! So pleased I don’t live near enough to have been roped in on that! But back to how we all met…

M: Tamsin—I know we met through Jade, but I’m trying to work out how we started emailing like maniacs…

T: I probably found you through stalking Jade’s twitter feed!

J: Ha! I remember telling you, Malin, that she was adorable and delightful, so that might have been part of it. Tamsin’s a hoot. (Hear that everyone? A damn hoot!)

T: Don’t scare the readers, Jade!

M: I adore that you just said “hoot.” And yes! I remember that. I had a question about something, so I emailed Tamsin, and she was lovely enough to help me out. Then we started chatting and off we went.

This is so NOT how it works. Unless we're dreaming...

This is so NOT how it works. Unless we’re dreaming…

J: I swear, it’s like destiny. *Clap of thunder.* *Parting clouds.* *Gentle rain ensues.*

T: Okay, moving swiftly on…

J: Yes, sorry. (Malin and I always get so damn gushy.) Let’s tell our readers a little more about Pillow Talk Secrets. What’s our goal?

M: I’d say to give readers a peek into a real friendship between real writers. Plus, sometimes people have interesting ideas about what erotica writers are like. I mean yes, we talk about sex.. kind of a lot. But we’re very well-rounded people, even discounting the filthy minds 😉

T: There are misconceptions about erotica writers, too—and we want to blast them out of the water. For example we don’t sit around writing in lacy lingerie sets. Well, I don’t. I can’t vouch for you two!

malin

Malin James, tea and glasses in action!

M: I’m more of a tea and glasses kind of girl…and yoga pants. Yoga pants are good.

J: Ditto.

T: You wouldn’t catch me dead in yoga pants!

J: Silly. I’m sure you look smashing in yoga pants.

T: But exercise clothes are for exercise! I like to sit at my desk in a smart pin-stripe suit!

M: Hmm. I need more power lunches. Possibly with martinis….

T: See, there’s the difference between us—I’m uptight London and you’re cool California girls.

M: And yet, we work so well together!

T: Hats off to that!

J: Oh nelly. I think our readers are in for a treat with the three of us—a bunch of goofs, I tell you. So…let’s tell them more about what we’ll cover. For example, we’ll be doing this piece—Pillow Talk Secrets—about once every six weeks, right?

M: Exactly. And each Secrets session will be a little different. Sometimes we’ll talk about kissing (in fiction, of course), or strap-ons (in fiction, of course)…

J: *Snort.* We’ll also be laughing a lot, clearly. 😉 But strap-ons are such a great topic.

T: Actually, I just wrote a story about a strap on…

J: Yeah you did. It was smokin’.

M: That’s why strap-ons were on my mind. Ahem…

The power-lunching and classy Tamsin Flowers

The power-lunching and classy Tamsin Flowers

J: We’ll also be talking about other erotica topics: limb arrangement, orgasms, couplings…

M: Pronouns! That’s a thing with threesomes…

J: We’ll have excerpts sometimes, too.

T: Maybe discuss books that we’re reading… And guests. What about the guests?

J: Yes! Definitely guests. Maybe even some competitions and prizes.

M: We’ll also talk about our works in progress or other exciting things that are happening to one or two or all of us.

J: For sure.

T: But as today’s our first time (we’re virgins?), the obvious topic is beginnings…. So how did you two get started as erotica writers?

J: Malin, you first.

M: Well, the short version is that I’ve been writing pretty seriously for about ten years, but I only started focusing on erotica about two years ago. Before that, I wrote the occasional bit of erotica, but only for myself. Then I stumbled over some open submission calls and started submitting to anthologies. Pieces started getting accepted, and suddenly, I was writing a lot more erotica.

T: Thank goodness!

M: After The Big Book of Orgasms reading, (where Jade and I met), I went to erotica full-time, and I’m happier as a writer than I’ve ever been.

J: Funny you mention “happier as a writer than [you’ve] ever been”—that’s exactly where I’m at, now. I started in spec fic (which I still love) and occasionally wrote erotica, but I didn’t know what to do with it. I ended up at a Fantasy/Sci-Fi writing conference having submitted a piece for a critique workshop. The readers flashed me raised eyebrows, and the workshop leader said, “Do you realize you’ve written a piece about a stripper werewolf?”

M: Did you realize you’d written about a stripper werewolf?

J: Honestly, it hadn’t dawned on me until he said it, and the group pointed out I had a flair for titillation…and suddenly, I’d found what really drew me! What about you, Tamsin?

T: I was dabbling in fiction, not too successfully, when I stumbled across a submission call for erotic short stories. So I thought to myself—yeah, I could do that. Despite the fact I hadn’t actually read any erotica at that point.

J: Whoa. Really?

T: Sure—I had read nothing! So I read one free short story, just to check how saucy I needed to be, and then I wrote one and sent it off. And…it got accepted—I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t because it was a really weird story, set in a dentist’s surgery…. Very strange. But I haven’t stopped since! And I’ve read a few more stories since then!

M: Your dentist story sounds great by the way. I love weird.

J: Me too. Spec fic background!

T: I wouldn’t say it was weird-good—just plain strange. A girl with dental phobia gets fingered by the nurse to make her forget she’s having a filling. It really made me feel squeamish about going to the dentist for quite a time!

M: Tamsin, you just cracked me up. I’d love to read it.

J: Me too!

T: Ha—one day I’ll send it to you both and you can see what I mean.

M: For what it’s worth, the first erotic story I ever sold had absolutely no sex in it. Lots of kissing (and it was hot kissing), but no sex. Go figure.

J: Well, I just have to say, I’m so glad we all made it to erotica—and of course, into each others’ orbs.

T: So am I—I’m having a blast with you two!

M: Likewise! Cheers to erotica and the people who read it!

J: Hear hear! Speaking of our readers, we should tell them about the newsletter.

T: Yes. Once a month we’ll be sending out a newsletter packed with all our latest updates—new releases, blog tours, details about forthcoming sessions and what we’ve been up to. Please sign up to make us feel popular.

J: Yes, please do! There’s a signup right here at http://pillowtalkwriters.com.

M: And you can also find us on Twitter and Facebook, as well. We’re everywhere. Everywhere! *Cue charmingly evil laughter.*

T: There’s simply no escaping us!

J: But we promise to make it a sweet experience.

M: Always…

T: You two sweet talkers!

J: Who, us? 😉 All right, I think that definitely gives our readers a good sense of what Pillow Talk is all about. Perhaps we should save more deliciousness for our newsletter?

T: You can sign up for the first edition now—and then it really gets going on 20th June…. Okay, I think it’s time to wind up proceedings.

M: I think so.

J: Agreed.

T: Hopefully we’ll see you at our next session—and please share your thoughts with us on Facebook and Twitter in the meantime.

M: Absolutely. We’d love to hear from you.

J: And thanks so much for joining us

XOXO,
Jade, Malin and Tamsin

Good Intent

Today has the dubious honor of being my birthday, so I’m going to take the opportunity to indulge in a bit of purely random media sharing.

This is one of my favorite music videos. It’s for a song called Good Intent, written and performed by an Australian artist named Kimbra, whom I really hope ends up enjoying a long, successful career.

I love this video, (as well as the song) for a lot of reasons, though the two that come most immediately to mind are that it’s a stylistic throw-back to the 40’s and, even more tellingly, that it’s a fairly accurate picture of what’s going on inside my head when I write. Take that however you like…

With that,  I give you, Good Intent. I hope you enjoy it at least half as much as I do.

A Bit About Me

Black and white photograph of a woman in a black dress wearing white glovesI learned about sex and all things erotic from books. Always a precocious reader, it was several years before real life caught up. By the time it had, Interview with a Vampire, Exit to Eden and gothic romance had given way to more explicitly erotic works – The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, The Story of the Eye, The Story of O, Emmanuel, not to mention, quite pivotally, the work of the great Anais Nin, whose diaries introduced me to the psychological power of desire.

These stories were something new, deeply personal narratives that knowingly walked the line between the fragile and profane. They were my first introduction to the relationship between sexuality and the psyche, between sex and the self, and it’s that relationship that I comes back to again and again in my work.

Sex can be joyful or painful, wholesome or filthy, or anything in between. The people involved determine what “kind” of sex is being had, far more than doesthe physical act would alone. The crack of a belt can be the sound of home. Missionary can be an emotional land mine. It all depends on who’s bringing what to the table, or to the bed.

Sex is communication, possibly the most primal form of communication human beings have. This is what fascinates me – how people relate to each other, and themselves, through sex, sexuality and sexual identity. This is why erotica draws me, and where its value and potential  lie. In no other literature can we so examine and enjoy the sexual impulses that drive us, many of which we don’t quite understand.

Hello, Lovely

nude on bedWelcome to the official website of writer, Malin James.

Smut. Porn. Slut Lit. Dirty Stories. Other words for erotica. All of them are good. They’re cheeky, filthy, defiant words. In the 21st century, they conjure sweat and instinct and satiation, which is fantastic, because for too long, they conjured shame. I’m not particularly interested in shame.

That said, none of these excellent words communicates a quality that is specific to the word erotica, one that has always drawn me in. Leaving porn, smut and slut lit, with all their strengths aside, the word erotica calls to mind more than the graphic description of people fucking, (though fucking is critical). As a word, erotica goes beyond the gorgeous demand of the physical to explore the psychologies and emotions of the people involved. The words “porn” and “smut” invite you to watch. “Erotica” invites you to feel. It asks you to slip into different skins. Erotica wants you involved.

But in the end, that’s all academic. It doesn’t matter whether you call it smut, porn, or good, clean fun. Whether it’s a sassy romp of a one night stand, or a slow slide into much darker places, erotica demands.  It demands attention and immersion and, quite deliciously, participation  – if it’s done right. My hope, my aim, is always is to do it right.

Erotica is a greedy genre. It’s also serious fun – serious, sexy fun. I look forward to sharing it with you.

XX. M

© 2017 Malin James

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