Tag Archives: Tamsin Flowers

What I Intend When I Write About Sex

Old Couple and Young Woman at Cafe by Frank Paulin (1961)

Old Couple and Young Woman at Cafe by Frank Paulin (1961)

The post also appears as an article in MultiLove (July 29, 2105).

What do I intend when I write about sex? I intend a lot of things and they vary from piece to piece, so let me back it up a step.

What do I intend when I write?

This is more straightforward because the answer hasn’t changed in fifteen years. For me, authorial intent comes down to one thing: I want to understand.

The first story I ever wrote was a vignette called “Passing Unnoticed”. It’s never been published and likely never will be. It’s nothing more than a moment between a tired, jaded young woman and a tired, hopeful old man. It’s not an erotic story, but there is a sexual tension to it that stems from their recognition of something in the other. I wrote that first story because I was struggling to understand two halves of a coin—how do you go on when you want to let go; and how do you let go when you know your life is done?

I still don’t have the answers to those questions. Sadly, writing that story didn’t give me access to universal wisdom. What it did give me was a window into small, specific truths, which I used to explore my questions through small, specific characters. As with so many things, there is no one answer—there are as many answers as there are people to ask questions. So I started asking more questions and I wrote stories for each:

What do you do when you find the child you thought you’d lost?

What do you do when your perception is dangerously wrong?

What do you do when your own nature is trying to kill you?

What do you do when you realize that you’re fundamentally alone?

That’s why I started writing – to explore questions like that so I could try to understand what it is to live. Fast forward 12 years.

I’d always written erotic stories, but only for myself. My intention in writing them was to explore my fantasies and turn myself on. My intention didn’t change when I began submitting to erotica calls, except that now I also wanted to turn the reader on. At that point, my writing had two different purposes: the literary was for exploration and the sexual was for titillation. It wasn’t until about a year ago that this began to change.

When I wrote “The Second Letter” I wasn’t thinking about turning anyone on. I was thinking about what happens when you compromise yourself for something you desperately want. In other words, I was asking a question: How do you recover a self you’ve willingly given up? That was the first time I consciously engaged a question through a sexual lens. (I’d been doing it subconsciously for years, but never with intent).

After that, my intent began to stray. I became less deliberately concerned with arousal, and more concerned with trying to understand, because sex is really effective way to engage the human experience. I’d been so caught up in the demands of the market that I created a divide in my writing where one didn’t have to exist. I could write about sex in the same way that I write about everything else, which was exciting because sex is the easiest and most natural way for me to engage the questions I tend to explore in fiction.

The authors who inspire me—Angela Carter, Sarah Waters, Marguerite Duras, Anais Nin—undermine that same dichotomy. Their work explores what is is to live, love, hate, and hurt, and they do so beautifully (and arousingly) with sex. They’re a sort of intersection between the literary and erotic. Realizing that gave me permission to integrate my authorial intents, so now what I intend when I write about sex is the same thing that I intend when I write—I want to understand. If my stories turn someone on along the way, that’s wonderful. That makes me genuinely happy. But I no longer feel compelled to engineer that affect the way I used to.

I realize the phrase “engineer that affect” could be easily misinterpreted. I don’t think writing to get a reader off is in any way less valid than writing for some other purpose. If that’s your passion, that’s what you should do. There is a sensitivity between writers on either side of the porn vs. erotica debate, just as there is contention along the commercial vs. literary divide in  mainstream publishing, and that divide has become increasingly pronounced in the post-FSOG erotica.

Recently, Remittance Girl wrote a searing analysis of what the erotica market has become, while Tamsin Flowers examined the market issue with a pragmatic, unflinching eye. Each piece looks at the issue from a different angle—Remittance Girl’s from the literary, and Tamsin’s from the commercial. Interestingly, both come to similar conclusions—that erotica is no longer what it was and that authors dissatisfied with the market as it is would be best served by writing in a new or different genre.

I highly recommend both articles. They’re prompting important discussions regardless of how or why you write because, for me, there is no value judgment in being a commercial vs. a literary writer. It’s simply a question of where your work fits.

These two pieces prompted me to think about authorial intent because understanding why you write about sex can help you understand where your work does or does not fit. And yes, it’s true that writers write for more than one reason, but there’s usually one overarching motivation that drives the majority of your work. Do you write predominantly to turn the reader on? Or do you write for other reasons—to explore, understand, critique or examine everything from socio-cultural issues to love, death and what it is to be human?

If the former, your wheelhouse is very likely in the commercial realm. If the latter, perhaps you fit into the historical definition of literary erotica. Either is valid. The point is that knowing where your intent and passion lie (even if only from piece to piece) means being able to position your work appropriately.

For my part, knowing that my primary intention is to understand rather than turn-on helps me make larger choices—am I willing to compromise to get commercially published? Am I willing to publish less widely to love what I write? And how can I get my work to readers who want it? Because that’s important too. Readers are the other half of the equation – without readers, I can write to understand all I like, but it’s a self-serving exercise if I can’t connect with someone else.

For me, compromise feels uncomfortable, because in order succeed in a commercial market, I’d have to write away from my natural intent, which means that I’ll very likely have to find different ways of getting eyes on my work. That’s a good thing to know. It will allow me to write in the way that is most satisfying to me, without wasting emotional energy banging at a door that won’t open.

For authors whose work fits cleanly into a market, that a wonderful thing and I hope you take advantage of it. However, those of us with less clear cut paths have to be flexible and creative in pursuing new ways to connect readers with our work. In the end, all I really want is to pursue my intent and match my work to as many readers as I can. I would love for other writers to be able do the same.

Pillow Talk Secrets: All About the Dirty Deeds

PIllow Talk Logo - girl with black hair on pillow making red pouted kissy faceWelcome, once again, to another edition of Pillow Talk Secrets. This time around, Jade guides us through a chat about pairings, positions and preferences. We’re dishing some dirt, so feel free to join us on the Pillow Talk blog, or reading down to the bottom of the excerpt and clicking through at the jump. Either way, we hope you enjoy! xx.M

Pillow Talk Secrets

Jade: Hello, ladies! How are you both today?

Malin: I’m doing really well, thanks! How are you, Jade? Tamsin?

Tamsin: Very well, thank you.

J: I’m so glad to hear you’re both well. I’m very excited for our session today, and I suspect there’s some real dirtiness ahead. 😉 Shall we get to it?

M: Sounds good!

T: Fire away, Jade.

J: All right then. Today, we’re talking about favorite pairings and acts to write in erotica. Hot! Let’s kick off with pairings: one-on-one, threesomes, different gender combos, etc…any particular preferences?

M: Well, I’ve always loved writing m/m/f threesomes—my WIP is about how one develops longer term, (among other things). That said, I just wrote my first m/m last fall and kind of loved that too.

T: Yeah, I enjoy the old m/m/f—my novel Her Boss & His Client was about one—and that was so much fun to write. Double penetration and the rest! 😉

J: Right! You know, I haven’t written a ton of threesomes myself, but I did love penning the few I tried. So far I’ve only run with m/m/f. Have either of you given f/f/m a whirl, and if so, what do you feel are the differences in actually writing them (besides the obvious, of course)?

M: I wrote an f/f/m very early on—the story is awful, though the pairing was fun. I think the biggest difference, (for me), is that with m/m/f I feel free to just go to town, whereas with f/f/m, I’m very conscious of the fact that the f/f portion can accidentally come off as a bit performative, (as in “bi for his benefit”). While there’s nothing wrong with that in print or in life, there are other aspects of that dynamic I want to explore more.

J: That’s a really good point, Malin. That performative piece is so ingrained as a societal fantasy, it’s something to be mindful of.

M: It’s true…that said, I’ve read a lot of stories that dig into powerful, sexy stuff with f/f/m’s. There are a lot of different power dynamics to play with—same with m/m/f.

T: One thing about writing anything with three people involved is the need to be a little more specific about whose body part is whose—you can’t just say “his cock” if it could be Tom’s cock or Dick’s cock. And you need to be really clear for the reader on the logistics—it can certainly get confusing when there are six hands, six arms and legs, and multiple genitalia!

The kissJ: And that’s the same for more than three, too—I wrote a fourway orgy (in space, no less). It was three men and a woman. Mind your pronouns was the name of the game!

M: Absolutely—pronouns and body parts get really interesting when there are more than two people to manage. Same with action—it’s easy to accidentally focus on two of the characters and leave the third (or fourth) in some sort of sexy holding pattern. It’s like juggling balls (ha). You’ve got to keep all of them in the air.

T: Smart analogy!

J: Yes. Body part circus! 🙂 It’s something we have to pay attention to no matter what, but it’s certainly heightened in the three-four-five-(whoa wouldn’t that be fun?)-ways. So, while all the pairings are lovely, it’s clear we tend to gravitate to one-on-one for the majority of our writing. Let’s focus on specific acts in couple erotica then, no matter what the gender pairing. Shall we start at the beginning? They meet, they make eyes, and then…there’s the kiss! What are your thoughts on writing the kiss?

If you’d like the answer to that question, (and so many more), click HERE.

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. 

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Pillow Talk Secrets: Details, Details, Details

PIllow Talk Logo - girl with black hair on pillow making red pouted kissy faceIt’s time for another installment of Pillow Talk Secrets! This time around, Tamsin, Jade and I are dealing with the devil – the devil in the details, that is. How much physical / erotic detail do we prefer a story to contain, both as writers and as readers? And we’d love to know what you think. Would you rather the protagonist have “dark” hair, or do you want a fully painted picture of her “curling raven locks”? Feel free to leave a comment below or, even, better, follow the link and jump over to the Pillow Talk website to finish the conversation and let us know what you think there. Either way, I hope you enjoy! xx.M

Pillow Talk Secrets

Jade: Hello, ladies! So nice to be back together again! How are the both of you?

Malin: Hiya! I’m doing good—got my first cup of tea right here, so I’m feeling fine (though I’ll feel better after the third!).

Tamsin: Hello girls—hope you’re both well!

J: Good to see you both. I’m very excited for today’s session! Shall we dive right in?

T: Absolutely!

J: All right—today is all about the dirty deets. As in, how much specific physical detail do we like to read and write in our erotica? It’s a pretty broad topic. Any initial thoughts?

T: Just to explain how this topic came up—I was having a chat with Malin as she’d been beta reading something for me, and I pointed out that I’d never mentioned what colour hair the protagonist had. So I asked her if that mattered.

Eye Color Detail

Her eyes were the most amazing shade of…

M: And my response was that, for me, it definitely didn’t. I actually preferred it. I’m a “less-is-more” kind of girl whether I’m writing or reading. I like selective amounts of specific detail, and then I like to let my brain, (or the reader’s), fill in the rest.

J: I get the sense this is a common feeling for the three of us—and maybe a lot of other erotica authors as well. Sometimes, too much detail can throw things off. For example, if a character is described as having enormous breasts, or a certain color hair, or a freckle on the forearm… that paints a very specific image.

T: I find there’s nothing worse when I’m reading a story if the action breaks off for a whole paragraph of physical description, like the writer’s going down a checklist of hair, eyes, height and so on…

M: Absolutely. It feels manufactured. You basically want your reader to identify with the characters—if you lay in a ton of generic detail (large breasts, curly hair, etc), it can make it more challenging for the reader to put herself or himself in the story.

J: I don’t want to discount some detail—I think some detail orients the reader. The key is just enough, without becoming overkill.

T: Drip feeding it is the preferred way, I think. A small, specific detail here, another there, to build up a gradual picture—not all at once.

M: It’s also important to drip feed those details (I love that, by the way) in as they become relevant. Don’t give us a dossier the moment the character walks into the room…

Click here to continue the conversation!

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