Tag: turn-ons

Jade & Malin Talk 50 Shades

Jade & Malin, minutes from embarking on the FSoG experience.

Jade & Malin, minutes from embarking on the FSoG experience.

Hello everyone! I’ve got a bit of a departure for you today. Over the week-end my lovely partner in crime and platonic valentine, Jade A. Waters, and I saw The Movie. We got to talking about it over lunch, (of course), and decided that, in the face of so many proper reviews and opinions, we’d skip writing anything truly critical and record an off-the-cuff conversation instead. We meandered, we drifted, we laughed a lot, (we might have even snorted). Most of all, we had a lot of fun making this recording. A few notes before you press play:

1. We went into this with a particular context in mind – that FSoG is a formula romance, and the kink / BDSM elements were going to be geared for a primarily vanilla, mainstream audience. Also, R rating.

2. We tried to consider it through the lens of the audience it’s intended for, (rather than our own erotica writer / kinky person perspective)

3. The most pornographic moment in this film was the opening credits with Christian Grey’s wardrobe. See #1 on context and rating.

4. We get kind of loud at points so apologies if we laugh you out of your earbuds.

5. There are outtakes at the end! Listen on through if you can!

And now, without further ado, Jade and I talk 50 Shades. Thanks for joining us – we hope you enjoy the conversation at least half as much as we did.

xx.M

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!

The Slap, or The Intimacy of Violence

four image screen capture from Max Landis's short, The Slap

Screen captures, YouTube. From Max Landis’s “The Slap”

Earlier in the year, a video called “First Kiss” went viral. It featured people who had never met before sharing a kiss on camera. “First Kiss” generated some controversy because, as it turned out, the strangers in the video weren’t “normal people,” but were, in fact, actors. Apparently, this turned a lot of people off. Personally, I didn’t care. Actors or not, the people in the video were still kissing strangers and, as a former actor myself, I can tell you that it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re getting paid – kissing someone you don’t know is legitimately awkward, no matter how many times you’ve done it, (particularly when you’re going in cold).

Anyway, another video came out several months later in the wake of “First Kiss.” Filmed by a different director, this one was called, “The Slap,” and featured, unsurprisingly, randomly paired strangers slapping each other. I was intrigued so I watched it, expecting a tongue-in-cheek parody. What I got surprised me instead. Here – take a look:

Important Note 1: This may be stating the obvious, but this video shows a whole lot of people slapping each other in the face. If that makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to skip it, and just read on.

So, here’s why I like this video – “The Slap” shows a form of visceral intimacy that we rarely talk about in civilized culture. Just as kissing is widely acknowledged to be an intimate act, so to is hitting someone, (as well as getting hit).

Important Note 2: Allow me state up front that consent is everything. The people in this video agreed to slap and be slapped. It is never all right to haul off and hit someone without their consent – unless they’re trying to hurt you. If they’re trying to hurt you, please, by all means, go to town.

Now, back to my point. The violence in “The Slap” is entirely egalitarian. Everyone’s on board. Everyone knows what they’re about to do. And yet, they all hesitate before doing it. There’s a breathless moment right before they each strike that I absolutely love. It’s like that silent negotiation right before a first kiss, when your lips are almost touching, but you’re still not sure it’s going to happen. That is intimate. And just as with a kiss, once they’ve gotten a taste for it, they want more. They laugh, they hug, they kiss, they scrunch their shoulders in that oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-I’m-doing-this way that happens when a person is super giddy and getting away with something.

The thing is, they are getting away with something in a way. They’re getting away with feeling good about hitting someone and getting hit. That right there is a modern taboo. We tell children not to hit each other. We raise ourselves to avoid violence, and for the most part, this is a very good thing – abuse is real. Harm is real, and so is victimization. These things are fucking abhorrent. But between two consenting adults, moderate violence can be shockingly sweet. It can be the foundation of a bond, a friendship, a brief connection or a life-long affair. It is, very legitimately, an intimate act, and intimate acts are powerful.

We are animals, after all. Regardless of how civilized we are, our impulses are not always civilized. There’s something about a slap that can send us back to our primal selves just as quickly as a kiss can – sometimes playfully, sometimes not. This is why, when people talk about how satisfying martial arts can be, I completely understand. Sparring is the epitome of consensual, controlled, disciplined violence, and that’s a powerful thing. The same goes for spanking and other forms of BDSM play, which involves forms of what many people call violence. And yet, hitting and being hit, in consensual BDSM contexts, is the height of intimacy – the exchange of power, trust and, at times, deep emotion. Between two people who agree to the exchange, violence can be many things, including sexy, delightful, charming and sweet.

It’s the sweetness that I see in “The Slap.” I can understand it making a person uncomfortable. I’ve been hit and I’ve hit back. Sometimes it can be lovely. Sometimes it definitely is not. But when it is lovely, it can be a powerfully intimate thing. Moreover, it’s an intimately human thing, and that, if nothing else, makes it worthy of consideration and, in my opinion, respect.

The Threesome App

Image courtesy newsone.com

Image courtesy newsone.com

I was scrolling through Sex in Words a while back when I saw a link to an interview in HuffPo’s Gay Voices. Apparently, there is now a threesome app. Called 3nder, it helps coordinate threesomes between consenting adults. Gay, straight, bi, transgender. Doesn’t matter. If you’re a grown up, and you want to get it on with two other grown-ups, there is now an app for that. Isn’t the 21st century grand?

Which brings me to what I find fascinating about the whole notion of an application designed  to facilitate a sexual dynamic that is, by it’s very nature, non-traditional. The fact that 3nder exists signals, to me, that non-traditional sexual dynamics are mainstreaming, while the fact that the article highlighting the app appeared in a major news outlet, (granted, it was HuffPo’s alt. sexuality page), likewise signals a sea-change in Western sexual culture. But, as encouraging as 3nder is, it’s also a curious thing. After all, for the longest time, threesomes were negotiated in more, (ahem), hands on ways. The app, though terrifically efficient, eliminates the subtle negotiations that send three people tumbling into bed, often unexpectedly.

But that’s the old-fashioned romantic in me talking. If 3nder gets mutually interested parties together, I can only see it as a win.

BDSM, kink, non-monogamy in all it’s forms.. all of these practices have been going strong for generations, though almost always in secret, (to paraphrase Eddie Izzard, no one wants to be killed with sticks. The fact that articles on threesomes and polyamory have been showing up with increasing frequency in mainstream (liberal) media outlets like Salon.com and Slate, tells me that more people are experimenting with their own desires, which strikes me as a healthy thing.

Even in our parent’s comparatively liberated generation, you didn’t really talk about sex, let alone, fucking two people at the same time. Now, rather than being a shameful, secret fantasy, threesomes have become just another form of good clean fun. While it’s true that the notion may still strike many people as wrong, for those who are curious, or who already know that they love a little m/m/f, (or m/m/m or f/f/f or f/f/m) action, the cultural shift is a promising thing. So, while it’s great that the app exists, I love that there’s a market for it even more.

Audible Orgasms

TBBOOSo, the title of this post isn’t really fair.. or, at the very least, it’s possibly, slightly, potentially misleading. This post is not, in fact, about loud, orgasmic sex, though what I have to say may serve as inspiration.

The Audible I’m talking about is the Amazon audio book company, and the orgasms I mentioned are the subject of The Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories. Yesterday, the little collection that could was released in audio book format, available now through Audible.com (see what I was doing there with the title? Clever, I know…).

The entire anthology is narrated by the incomparable Rose Caraway, hostess of The Kiss Me Quick’s Erotica Podcast, which, for me, only adds to the thrill, because hearing my story, “Hard Knocks”, read by one of my favorite authors is a bit of a surreal thrill. Eventually, I’ll end up writing a review for the audio version of the collection, (and while I can’t promise to be impartial, I can say that I’ll be honest). In the meantime, here’s short excerpt of “Hard Knocks” to whet the appetite.  Rachel Kramer Bussel brought together a group of talent for this thing that can’t be topped. My story notwithstanding, it’s a honey of a collection. I hope you check it out 😉

Update 4/10/14 – You can read my Audible.com review here!

Excerpt: “Hard Knocks”

“You absolutely cannot make someone come just by spanking them.”

I say this with an authority that I, admittedly, don’t possess. Still, the idea that you could orgasm just from having your ass sufficiently smacked seemed ludicrous  – the stuff of erotic stories and porn. Max is completely undisturbed by my lack of faith.

“Yes. You can.”

Max leans back in his chair, long-legged and lean, the shadow of a smile pulling his mouth. It’s easy to miss, but I’m a very observant girl and I like observing Max.

“Really,” I say, skepticism quirking my mouth.

“Really,” he replies. His eyes flicker over my plump bottom lip, but he doesn’t take the bait. He lights a cigarette instead.

“Well, I suppose if you do a little extra work in addition to the spanking – the clit is a magical thing….”

“No,” Max says, stubbing out the cigarette after only three drags. (Yes, I noticed how many drags. Like I said, I’m observant. Max and I had only been dating for a month and there was still quite a lot to observe).

“Just spanking,” he continues, calmly holding my gaze. “If it’s done right.”

Something flashes through his gray eyes, and I suddenly have the feeling that he knows what he’s talking about. I’m intrigued and nervous and a little bit scared. And surprisingly turned on. I lean back in my chair.

“Show me,” I say.

My chin lifts a notch in challenge. Max smiles, this time a full, real smile that reaches all the way up to his eyes, warming the wintery gray.

“Stand up,” he says warmly, lovingly, as if he’s asked me to an especially fabulous dinner.

“Wait, now?”

I’m ashamed to say that “now” comes out a bit of a squeak. Very undignified. Not my best moment, but I’m wishing I hadn’t gone there – up to this point, I’ve had lots of deviant vanilla sex, but never crossed the boundary to anything like S/M.

“Now,” he says, smiling like the big bad wolf. “Don’t worry, Jen. I’m not going to eat you. Not yet.”

Review: Best Women’s Erotica 2014

BWE'14 Best Women’s Erotica 2014, edited by Violet Blue. Cleis Press. (December 2013). ISBN: 1627780033

For those unfamiliar with the Best Women’s Erotica annual series, it has become a benchmark in excellence as far as women’s erotica is concerned. While the standards are always high at Cleis Press, each installment of Best Women’s is, arguably, the cream of the cream, so when I say that Best Women’s Erotica 2014 is one of the strongest in recent years, this is no small thing.

Before I go on, I’d like to share an excerpt with you, so you can see what I mean. This is from one of my favorite stories in the collection, “Monsoon Season” by Valerie Alexander.

Excerpt:

He came over the next night like a proper date. Clean T-shirt on and a bottle of wine in his hands, which I accepted before saying, “I don’t want to open it right now, though.”

Colton looked disappointed. I couldn’t explain that I needed him sober, needed to know how willing and ready he really was for all the dark magic spells I wanted to unleash on him. Bossing him around, pulling him over my knee and spanking him, slap- ping his beautiful mouth just before he came. I had no logical reason for thinking he was sexually submissive, or that he’d done anything like that before, but then again, our animal hearts know what they know.

“Where would you like to go to dinner?” He was formal and polite.

I leaned back on my enormous black couch. “We can go out later. If we’re hungry.”

He looked at me with suspicion and uncertainty. I remembered that he was over a decade younger than me and probably nervous. So I patted the sofa and ordered him to sit with enough authority that he instantly obeyed.

His lean, rangy body felt like my property already. Like it was a time-lapse error that I hadn’t officially fucked him yet. I looked over his dark hair and sun-bronzed cheekbones, his hard tattooed forearms. My hormones careened like drunken fireflies.

“I’m going to have my way with you now, and you’re going to obey and do everything I say,” I told him. “Understand? If you have any objections, say them now.”

His body was so stiff. His voice the whisper of an echo as he said, “No objections.”

I unwrapped him like a present, pants off first, followed by his navy boxer-briefs. His thigh muscles were almost as rigid as his cock. I could guess at the kind of sex he was used to having, the masterful young seducer, suave in his technique and just a little more detached than the girls wanted him to be. Which was why his poker face was so tight with control now as I pulled the front of his T-shirt up and behind his head and then down his back to bind his arms at his sides.

Now he was porn: the naked and half-bound boy with a hard, scarlet cock. I wanted to take his picture, but we weren’t there yet. Instead I climbed onto his lap and pulled up my dress.

“Consider this an audition,” was an arrogant thing to say as I pushed my pussy into his face. But his mouth ransacked me with feverish thirst, confirming that just maybe he did like to be bossed around by dominant women. I spread my knees open as his tongue pushed inside me with such energetic desperation that I suspected it would ache later. His arms struggled against the shirt until I rapped his ear in admonition. “None of that,” I said. “Mouth only.”

His hands clenched helplessly at his sides. I pushed his head back against the sofa and pulled my hood back from my clit. I leaned back just enough to make him work for it, a test of the agility and control of his tongue, and then gripped his hair and rode his face, a dreamy euphoria melting through my cunt. Brief, searing waves broke through me, blotting out the world for a few seconds.

I fell back on the cushions and caught my breath. His eyes searched my face for a sign of approval. His cock was so hard it looked painful.

Review:

What makes this collection such a stand-out is that it mixes sex and literature seamlessly. While the stories are all, undeniably, sexy, there is a deeper, emotional resonance to them, as well.

Because the collection is so consistent, there are literally no weak links – every story deserves to be there. As such, it’s impossible to choose the best of the bunch, so instead, I’m going to give you an overview a few of my personal favorites. In addition to “Monsoon Season,” which really is a stunner, “I Hate Sex” by Tamsin Flowers stood out, not just because it involves a daring, sex-in-public scenario, but because it really is about a woman’s relationship to sex and how it changes. I liked Oleander Plume‘s “Out in the Open” for a similar reason. In it, the painfully shy protagonist exercises her sexuality online before engaging in an impromptu, RL interaction. “Toys” by Jade A. Waters is a charmer of a story about a woman with a boxful of sex toys in her closet and the man she finally gets to use them with, while “The Cake” by Ingrid Luna absolutely surprised me. At first it seems like a story about a woman playacting the role of a 50’s housewife, but it quickly flips the reader’s expectations about power, dominance and control. And yes, it prominently features a perfect, beautifully iced cake.

I could go on and on – they really all deserve a mention – but I’ll leave you with just one more, the unexpectedly beautiful and affecting “Chrysalis” by Nikki Adams. It’s about a high-powered attorney who never allows her female lovers to spend the night, until she enjoys a heated encounter with a beautiful trans woman named Zhanna. The story is both incredibly hot and sweetly tender, all while gently subverting standard gender norms.

As with the rest of the stories in the collection, “Chrysalis” displays a depth, sensitivity and prescience that prove, irrefutably, that erotica can be beautiful and powerful reflective of real experiences in real life. Based on that alone, I recommend Best Women’s Erotica 2014 – the title really says it all.

Talking Dirty

Bath TelephoneRecently, a good friend reminded me of just how much I love talking dirty – not so much the “I wanna fuck you, baby” sort of dirty talk that you get in a lot of porn, (no disrespect. It just doesn’t do it for me), but rather the really creative, eloquent filth that says more than just, I wanna fuck you; it tells you exactly how and when and where. Museum? Hotel? Shower? Tell me. Alone? In public? Tell me. The devil’s in the details, my friends.

So, I was thinking about what a pleasure it is to turn someone on, and to be turned on, by the use of clever filth. This brought me to thinking about words in general, and how certain words pack an erotic punch while others don’t. There’s a reason you see “cock” much more often than “penis”, and “cunt” much more than “vagina” in erotica. While there’s nothing wrong with “penis” and “vagina”, the images they inspire are a bit more clinical, whereas “cunt” and “cock” imply the full spectrum of recreational uses those body parts can be put to. Which leads me to my point.. or rather, to one of them. Words used well can be almost as sexy as hands on your skin. There is no substitute for physical contact, but words can heighten the intensity of an inevitable fuck, (and I do mean “fuck” and not intercourse). That anticipation is delicious in and of itself.

This leads me to a second point, one that I hadn’t considered before. People who read and write erotica, (myself included), engage in a form of very public dirty talk. After all, talking dirty is what erotica really is – the stringing together of words with the express purpose of turning someone, (in this case, the reader), on. When I work on a story, no matter how emotionally nuanced, everything I write, every word, is designed to build sexual tension, so that when the story reaches it’s climax you’ll want to as well. I want to push those sexy, oh-god, buttons, so it’s a wonderfully satisfying when a reader tells me that a story was hot. If it happens to inspire other emotions as well, then so much the better.

So, thank you to my friend, for reminding me of how sexy and amazing dirty talk is. A nimble tongue and a filthy mind are a terrible thing to waste.. 😉 xxM

A Question: On Women and Homoeroticism

two men kissingI originally posted this question on my other self’s blog, but I thought it would do to re-post it here given the nature of the subject… Thoughts and opinions are more than welcome. My only request is that you be respectful, partcularly as this has to do, explicitly, with something that turns people on. xx. M

This is really more of a question than a proper post, but I’ve had an idea for an article and I want to solicit some opinions before I write it.

A friend posted a video of two men kissing the other day and the response from women was, shall we say, heated… as in, every single woman who responded thought it was hot. Granted, there was some selection bias, but it was enough to get me thinking. So I did some shallow digging and uncovered a comparatively large cache of media, mostly written, though there’s plenty of visual too, (cheeky little gifs), that cater to women who love watching homoerotic situations and / or gay sex. The fact that M/M erotica and porn do very well with the female demographic, (and not just in the gay community), tells me there’s something there. What I’d love to do is figure out what that something might be.

From a personal angle, I can absolutely see the appeal of watching / reading about two men, (just as many men find the idea of two women to be a fine thing) but I’d like to go beyond “yeah, that’s hot” to figure out why. So, I’m soliciting opinions and thoughts on the subject.

A few guidelines first though:

1. If the thought of two men engaging in sexual contact isn’t your thing, that’s absolutely fine. I know that there are plenty of men and women who would prefer to take a pass. That said, please don’t blast the notion in your comments, because the reality is that there are many people who would take seconds on that dish. Please respect the fact that it’s a personal preference and do not treat the question as an attack on your own predilections.

2. As I mentioned above, I’m keeping the inquiry pretty restricted to women viewing / reading about two (or more) men. If, however, there’s an angle that involves the converse appeal for many men in watching two women, please feel free to mention it.

3. Be respectful. This question involves sex, homoeroticism and certain aspects of voyeurism. As such, some folks may find it uncomfortable. Again, that’s ok. Just be sensitive to the tastes of others. In short, see #1.

Thanks! I appreciate the time anyone takes to weigh in!

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