Tag: Erotic

Erotic fiction: A Fresh Start

No Comments

I‘ve finally finished unpacking. Propping a photograph on the window ledge by my bed, I glance round at my new flat. The plant that Nicki bought me as a moving in present sits next to an empty bottle of Cava and two ancient champagne flutes, remnants of our celebrations last night. A bed, two stacks of books and a bulging clothes rail make this half of the flat look overcrowded already. A second hand sofa acts as a divide between the ‘bedroom’ and the ‘kitchen’, consisting of a coffee table, three deep purple floor cushions (borrowed from the café where I work) and a 1970s kitchenette that I can’t wait to repaint.

This is my new studio flat containing everything that I own in the world. To a stranger, it might look pathetic, but to me it’s perfect.

After a relationship that should have ended a lot sooner, I finally broke up with my boyfriend of three years three months ago. I’ve been couch surfing ever since I moved out and it feels incredible to finally have my own space. I’ve craved this opportunity for so long that I don’t mind forking out the extra rent for a studio flat. Now that I’ve finally bagged a serious job, it’s time to have a place of my own as well.

Beatriz Vera / EyeEmGetty Images

The last year with my ex was unbearable. He’d always been jealous, but the further we grew apart, the more suffocating his possessiveness became. If I went out without him I’d have to ‘forget’ my phone to avoid getting fifty arsey texts and having to reassure him that no, I hadn’t danced with any guys, and yes, it was a crap night without him. It got so bad that I stopped wanting to see my closest friends – even a night with Nicki would result in a fight.

But the worst sacrifice I made was losing contact with Tom. Nicki’s my oldest friend, but Tom was my closest. I met him at my first Saturday job, waitressing at his Dad’s restaurant. He made me laugh on my very first shift and we were inseparable from that moment on, always slinking off on our breaks with bottles of half-finished wine and tasting each course, “just to make sure that it’s OK for the customers”. Little did I know that my weekend job would inspire my future career. But even then I guessed that my partner in crime would be a friend for life.

Tom is one of those drop dead gorgeous guys that every girl wants to go out with. Predictably, he’s had a string of pretty, dull girlfriends for as long as I’ve known him. There’s nothing between us, we’re just friends, but try telling my ex that. We had so many fights over Tom that I stopped seeing him and allowed us to drift apart completely.

“There’s nothing between us, we’re just friends, but try telling my ex that”

Alright, there was one time when I wondered whether anything would happen between us. We’d been on holiday together to stay with his aunty in Spain. We had so much fun spending long, lazy days on the beach, sipping cold beers with countless bocadillos. It was one of the only times in eight years of friendship that neither of us were in a relationship. In fact, I was only there to stand in for a girlfriend he’d broken up with days before.

The night before we went home he dared me to go skinny-dipping. We were sitting on the pier where one of the restaurants had placed a few tables up by the water’s edge. I knew he thought I’d never do it and I was more than a little tipsy so I pulled my strapless dress off there and then and jumped straight in. The water was freezing and I rushed to the surface, squealing.

Tom was bent over with laughter. Reaching down to pull me up out of the water, he gripped me in his tanned arms and a wave of electricity ran between us. I hadn’t been wearing a bra and, as I clambered up to him, I realised my tiny knickers were see-through from the water. Of course I felt self-conscious, but as his eyes flickered along my body, lingering on my hardened nipples, I almost forgot my embarrassment. I wanted him to look at me, I felt like it was the first time that he’d really seen me. A wave of energy rushed through me, tingling between my thighs. If I hadn’t seen the waiter walking over just then, well, I don’t know for certain, but I felt sure he’d have kissed me.

fresh start  erotic story

Westend61Getty Images

I pulled my dress on before I was seen and we sat back down to finish our drinks, but the atmosphere had changed completely. Every other night we’d been howling with laughter and taking the piss out of each other. Suddenly we were quiet, the air between us heavy with expectancy. I remember how excited I felt, but also how frustrated I was that this was only happening now, the night before we went home.

On our way back to his auntie’s apartment, he put his arm around me, a gesture that he’d repeated a hundred times, but this one it was different, more tentative, his fingers gently circling my sun-kissed shoulder. My heart was pounding, my senses felt heightened. The smell of salt water in my hair was mingling with the subtle scent of his skin. The humid night air felt like it was closing in on me with sound of music and people and chatting in the restaurants that we passed. Everything was intensified and unreal. My mind was already in his auntie’s flat, me sat on the edge of her dining table with him stood kissing my neck, pushing my dress up to my waist and slipping inside me. Tom, my best friend Tom, licking the salt water off my skin and biting down on my breasts.

But none of that was meant to be. His aunty was waiting for us with a room full of friends and neighbours. In front of this crowd of people, we slipped straight back into our familiar roles, Jess and Tom, totally platonic friends.

“Tom, my best friend Tom, licking the salt water off my skin and biting down on my breasts”

I wasn’t able to sleep that night though; it was infuriating knowing that he was lying there in the next room, tantalisingly close. I imagined him naked in bed, fighting with the blanket in the heat, as sleepless as me. I couldn’t stand it, the desire that he’d awakened in me had to be released. I slipped my fingers between my legs and imagined Tom’s strong hands running up my thighs, his hot, hard lips and soft, wet tongue inside me. I bit down on my lip and clenched the sheets. With the thought of him, hard and thick, pulsing inside of me, I reached a shuddering orgasm, before falling into a frustrated sleep.

I kiss goodbye to Andreas and Peter and bolt the door of the cafe behind them as they walk out into the dark night. It’s been a long, busy day and they’ve earned their tips, showing every customer the enthusiasm that we take pride in at Te Quiero. When the owner told me that he wanted to take a step back to start a new venture, I wouldn’t stop at the pay rise he offered me, I reeled off my ideas for a renovation and insisted on being made a shareholder. It’s a tiny amount, but it makes a massive difference. I no longer feel as though I’m throwing my energy into someone else’s project. I’m doing this for me and it’s given me the confidence to turn my life around.

“I’m doing this for me and it’s given me the confidence to turn my life around”

I walk through to the little back office, checking off the changes I’ve made with pride. The wall that I’ve dedicated for local artists to exhibit their work on is constantly changing. A portrait of a proud, moustachioed man with friendly eyes reminds me of Tom’s dad. I log in to Facebook at the office computer, welcoming the mindless distraction that will help me to switch off after a busy day. I click onto Tom’s profile page and have a flick through his pictures. This has become a habit lately, before I know it, I find I’ve wasted half an hour looking at pictures of Tom on a beach in Thailand surrounded by bikinied girls, Tom on the back of a motorbike straddling one of his mates, Tom’s familiar, magnetic grin, Tom at a food market bartering. Then, “Hi stranger” – a live message from the man himself – pops up in the corner of my screen.

I blush guiltily; does he know that I’ve been stalking him?

Me: Hi you, how’s Thailand / Laos / wherever the hell you are?

Him: Back at Cassa Davidson. But they were all great thanks.

Me: Oh my god! You’re home? I’ve forgotten my embarrassment; I’m so excited to be talking to my old friend again.

Him: Certainly am. Want to meet up soon?

Me: Yes, I’d love to. It’s been too long. As soon as you’ve recovered from your jet lag you have to come round. I’m living in Holloway now and working in a gorgeous little cafe, Te Quiero, you’ll love it!

Him: I’ve heard. I miss you Jess, it’s been over a year.

Me: I know, I miss you too. I’m so sorry that I never came to your leaving – things were messy back then. When can you visit? Wednesday?

Him: Might have to help out at the restaurant, I’m skint, but I’ll let you know.

Me: Amazing, can’t wait! XX

Him: Me neither. X

read erotic story fresh start

EmelyGetty Images

I walk to the bus stop with a spring in my step. I’ve missed Tom so much, the way he makes me laugh, his surprising shyness if I ever succeed in making him blush, the midnight feasts that we’d make after a night out. I’ve been kicking myself for sacrificing our friendship, all for my ex’s ego. I can finally see how futile it was. Nothing I did or didn’t do would have made him have faith in me. And Tom is the only guy that I’ve ever had a real, uncomplicated friendship with. Well, mostly uncomplicated.

I’ve got the next day off and spend the morning pottering around in Camden Market. In my mind, I plan what meal I’ll pick out for Tom when he comes to the café, deciding that halloumi with chorizo, apricot and a green bean salad will be the perfect combination. I try to see Te Quiero through his eyes. How will he see me now I’m finally realising my ambition to run my own restaurant?

After finding a 1930s mirror, a cashmere throw and a box of wine glasses for the flat, I cart my new purchases back on the bus. When I get to the door of my building there’s a tall, tanned man holding a massive bunch of sunflowers at my door. It’s Tom, grinning at me widely.

“House warming present,” he says as I carelessly drop my bags at my feet and wrap my arms around him.

read erotic story fresh start

Piotr Marcinski / EyeEmGetty Images

“Oh my god, thank you. How did you know where I lived? You look so well? These are so beautiful,” I cry, ecstatic and flustered and utterly surprised.

“I went to your café and you weren’t there, so I called Nicki and she gave me your address.”

By this point we’re climbing the stairs to my flat. I’m juggling the flowers and all of my bags. Tom looks awkward, as though he doesn’t know what to do with his hands.

I show him into my studio and feel suddenly self-conscious.

“I’ve only just moved in, there’s a lot of work to do on it yet,” I say, apologetically.

“It’s great, Jess,” he says. He’s not looking at the room at all but staring at me, really staring.

“You’re gorgeous.” I say. Not “You look well.” Or “How are you?” All I can come up with is the truth. He’s tanned, toned and bigger than I remember him being, he seems to fill the whole flat, towering above me.

He doesn’t say anything but cups my chin in his hand, stroking my cheek with his thumb. I freeze. I don’t know how to react, I don’t want to breeze over this gesture and spoil the moment. I want to press myself up against his hard, warm body. This is not the Tom that I remember. It’s disorientating that he can seem at once so familiar and so utterly new and exciting.

“I’ve missed you,” he says.

I can feel how much he means it and I rush towards him for a hug, but as I go to press my face into his chest he lifts it upwards gently and kisses me full on the mouth.

”As I go to press my face into his chest he lifts it upwards gently and kisses me on the mouth”

In that moment I’m undone. My desire floods to the surface and my hands run up to his face, kissing him fast and hard. He meets each of my kisses, pulling me closer, his hands up under my T-shirt, bringing every inch of skin to life with his touch. We pull each other’s tops off, hungrily, as he pushes me down to the floor, undressing and kissing me all at once. When I’m right down to my pants, opening my legs to him, he stops, kneeling above me, his chest rippling above the waistband of his jeans.

“I’ve waited so long for this moment, let’s not rush it,” he says, lifting my foot up to his mouth and kissing each of my toes. He moves up along the inside of my legs, licking and kissing and stroking my skin with his cheek. He is everything that I’ve ever fantasised about and more. As he kisses my stomach, he slides his hand inside of me and he must feel how aroused I am, because he groans.

“You’re beautiful, Jess,” he whispers in my ear, “so beautiful.”

And I feel it. More beautiful than I’ve ever felt in my life. My hips are raised off the floor, tense and expectant, willing him to go deeper and deeper inside of me. He answers each of my groans but then teases me, withdrawing his fingers with a stroke and entering again until I’m ready to explode.

read erotic story fresh start

Ashley Armitage / Refinery29 for Getty ImagesGetty Images

I reach into his jeans and tug at him, but he keeps whispering, “Not yet Jess, not yet.” He waits until I come, waves of pleasure surging through me, and with his hand still inside of me he turns me over onto all fours, pulling me up onto his lap so that I’m kneeling with my back to him. I expect him to take his hand away but he leaves it in there, slowly stroking me, reaching further and further with his fingertips whilst his other hand kneads my breast, kissing my back the whole time. Another orgasm shudders through me.

I’m still clenching and releasing in pleasure when he takes his hand away. I glance back over my shoulder and see that he’s pulled a condom out of his pocket. My mind reels, how did he know to bring a condom? Did he plan for this to happen? I expect myself to feel outraged but instead I’m even more turned on.

He slips inside of me, controlling my movements with his hands gripping my waist. It’s totally overwhelming, but at the same time, I never want it to stop. I swivel round and wrap my legs around his back, gripping onto the back of his neck and looking straight into his beautiful blue eyes. “Oh God,” he groans and speeds up, pushing me back onto my elbows so that he can lean forwards, and kiss my breasts.

“It’s totally overwhelming, but at the same time, I never want it to stop”

When I see that he’s about to orgasm I feel so aroused, so full of desire, that I climax again, clutching him closer as we shiver against each other.

We lie back on the carpet and Tom rests his head on my stomach, slowly stroking my legs. There’s so much to say but we’re both too exhausted to speak and I wouldn’t know where to begin.

After fifteen minutes of just lying there, he props his head up on one elbow and stares at me, his eyes twinkling with a smile.

“I can’t believe this is happening,” I laugh.

“I know, it’s crazy. I thought about you so much when I was away, and when I heard that you’d broken up with Sam…”

read erotic story fresh start

South_agencyGetty Images

But while we’ve been lying there in silence, my mind has been running away with me. I’m not ready to dive into another relationship yet; I don’t know what Tom’s plan is or even where he’s going to live. I’ve just got my best friend back and I don’t want to loose him again. But the idea of slipping straight back into being just mates, of him getting another girlfriend, is enough to make me feel sick.

“Tom, what’s going to happen? I’ve missed you so much, I don’t want to spoil our friendship, but I can’t lose you again. And I need this time, this place, to myself for a bit. But you can’t just waltz in here and do this and expect nothing to change. I don’t know what this means to you but everything is going to change.”

“Jess, calm down,” he says softly, placing a finger on my lips. “I understand. I don’t know what I’m doing either. I’ve only just got back from travelling. All that I know is that I’ve wanted for this to happen for a long time.”

“Since Spain?” I ask, tentatively.

“Maybe even before that. And there’s a whole list of things that I want to do with you before we start questioning this,” he says, running his fingertips over my lips.

The knot of anxiety that’s built up in my stomach ebbs away immediately. I reach across and stroke his muscular arm.

“What else is on this list then?” I ask shyly.

read erotic story fresh start

KatarzynaBialasiewiczGetty Images

He stands up and pulls me to my feet. Cupping my bottom in his hands he leans in for a long, slow kiss. I feel him harden against me and in one swift motion he’s pulled me up off the floor. Instinctively, I hook my legs around him. In between kisses and bites on my neck he starts to stream off his fantasies about us.

“I want to have you in the shower, on that coffee table, on every surface in your café, I want to kiss each inch of your body, I want to taste you, outside, in my car, on that beach in Spain, I want to watch you touch yourself.”

I groan as he drops me onto the bed.

Propping myself up on one elbow, I slip my hand in between my legs, not taking my eyes off him for a second.

“Let’s start there then,” I say, feeling more confident and sexual than I’ve ever felt in my life before, “and when we’ve crossed everything off your list…”

“Don’t worry about that,” he says, “it’s a very long list.”

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io


Categories: Reviews

Tags: , , ,

Erotic Cookbooks and Their Long, Naughty History

No Comments

A couple of years ago, Lizzy Young, a vintage cookbook dealer based in Newport, Rhode Island, began to notice a growing market for erotic cookbooks — books that typically employ naughty visuals and heavily entendred recipes in the service of seduction through culinary prowess.

“Every time I put one up it sells really quick,” says Young. “The newer generation is interested in fun, kitschy, slapstick stuff.” These days, she adds, vintage cookbooks of this nature can go for up to $100 in her online shop, almost double what she could sell them for a few years ago. While it’s tempting to tie this current demand to the appeal of erotic cookbooks as gag gifts, that misses the role they play as cultural artifacts of changing attitudes toward sex and sexuality throughout American history.

According to Katharina Vester, a professor of history at American University, it can be hard to define what qualifies as an erotic cookbook, since literature linking food and sex dates back to ancient times. But to Vester, the author of A Taste of Power: Food and American Identities, the erotic cookbook’s modern era began in the 1950s with the launch of Playboy’s food and drinks column, which the magazine subsequently spun into a series of cookbooks. (Food & Wine, for what it’s worth, began its life in 1978 as a Playboy supplement.)

“I would argue that the erotic cookbook is an invention of the male cook,” Vester says — specifically a midcentury “playboy bachelor-type who doesn’t yet have a wife to cook for him, so he performatively shows his dominance and independence through pseudo-gourmet cooking for seduction.” As such, midcentury erotic cookbooks “were all about insinuating that if you cook for a woman, you can get her to bed,” she explains. As Thomas Mario, Playboy’s erstwhile food and drinks editor, once wrote, “The smell of burning apple wood and the crackling fire beneath the thick prime steaks makes her secretly swoon.”

Due to the era’s censorship and restrictive societal and cultural codes, cookbooks with a premise of food as a pathway to sex weren’t explicitly sexual. Where titles aimed at men framed cooking as a nudge-nudge-wink-wink way to get laid, those targeting women upheld marital bliss as the ultimate prize. According to Vester, this impulse to cast food and cooking as a “stand-in for heteronormative sexuality” dates back to the end of the 19th century, a time when there was a cultural push for unmarried women to use cooking “to find husbands, and for married women to find ways to keep their husbands.”

That said, there were some exceptions. Twelve years before she became the New York Times’ first female restaurant critic, Mimi Sheraton authored The Seducer’s Cookbook, a 1963 tome containing, as she wrote, “helpful and hilarious hints for situations into which men may lure women and vice versa.” Sheraton casts women as equal-opportunity seducers, something more or less unheard of at the time. “What we are concerned with here is the delectable and subtle art of luring, tempting, enticing, leading someone into going to bed with you in the most delightful way possible,” she writes. “For if the seduction is planned artfully, it can whet your sexual appetite in the same way that a piquant hor d’oeuvre prepares your palate for the main course to come.” Sheraton treats seduction cooking as perfectly acceptable outside of marriage, and offers ideas for what to make the morning after. There are cheeky illustrations of topless women sprinkled among the recipes for strawberries chantilly, shrimp bisque, and dandelion salad. Perhaps the most notable thing about this very notable book is the fact it was published at all.

In the ’70s, as sexual freedom filtered through American culture and the modern porn industry began to boom, erotic cookbooks also enjoyed something of a renaissance: Sex Pots…And Pans (1970), Fanny Hill’s Cook Book (1971), Lewd Food: The Complete Guide to Aphrodisiac Edibles (1974), Aphrodisiac Cookbook: Meals to Pep Up Your Love Life (1975), and Food for Lovers (1977) were just a few of the many titles published that decade. Some were campy, some pornographic, and some veered toward prudish, opting for coded language about love rather than direct discussions of seduction.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Goodspeed

Lewd Food, which falls at the campy/pornographic end of the spectrum, describes itself as a book for “bawdy love games from stove to mattress” as well as for the “sex maniac’s quick weightloss lust diet.” At the more demure end is Aphrodisiac Cookery (1970), which accompanies its recipe for simmered milk with honey with a description of sweets as “proper fare for the sweetheart,” able to open the “body and soul of the receiver.” Similarly, the 1970 Lovers Dining — written by Irena Chalmers, a prolific and award-winning cookbook author — contains recipes that wouldn’t be out of place on the typical Valentine’s Day restaurant menu (clams casino, apricot parfait) but no outright sexual elements. Its intent is largely signaled by its title.

Although erotic cookbooks, with the exception of Playboy’s titles, have remained on the fringes of the cookbook publishing industry, today’s aficionados have nudged them ever so slightly toward more mainstream appreciation. You can find them on Instagram, where the account @70sdinnerparty posts vintage cookbook covers with names like Cooking in the Nude for Golf Lovers (clothes-free cooking, for the record, isn’t inherently sexual), and through cookbook sellers like Lizzy Young and Brooklyn’s Archestratus Books and Food. Meanwhile, the demand for bakeries making sex-themed treats, though not a new concept, is surging again.

The genre’s legacy has seeped into unlikely corners of popular culture. To help create the look of the titular magazine for Minx, HBO’s show about a fictional 1970s porn magazine for women, designer Elizabeth Goodspeed looked to her collection of ’70s-era romantic and erotic cookbooks, which she admires for their illustrative elements. “I’ve always been interested in collecting work that is hedonistic,” she says. “Food and sex, things that tap into base parts of being a human, in design tend to be dialed-up and kitschy more than other areas.”

Illustration was a general trend across the cookbook industry in the ’70s but one particularly well-suited to the genre, given its content and limited budgets. According to Goodspeed, the graphic design elements that distinguish the bulk of the era’s erotic cookbooks track with its corresponding trends in illustration, which was dominated by the psychedelia-tinged style of illustrators like Peter Max and Push Pin Studios. The 1979 Aphrodisia: A Guide to Sexual Food, Herbs, and Drugs, prefaces recipes intended to make readers “horny, hungry, and happy” with an illustrated cover that shows a naked man and woman sprouting from flowers that grow from a plate.

The cover of Aphrodisia: a naked man and woman rise out of flowers that sprout from a plate. Illustration.

Courtesy of Elizabeth Goodspeed

Charming as they can be, erotic cookbooks are not without their (sexist) baggage — just like many documents of our changing sexual mores. Many of them, no matter the era, are written through the male gaze, and for a cisgendered-heteronormative audience. As Vester notes, the erotic cookbooks marketed to men promote the notion of women being discardable and ingestible, not unlike a meal itself.

The problem, Emily Contois points out, isn’t confined to the erotic cookbook genre: it’s in the “dude masculinity” that fills the pages of many cookbooks aimed at men. “We tend to think of men cooking at home as egalitarian, as sharing food labor, but these ‘men’s cookbooks’ show how that sense of equal power doesn’t actually materialize,” says Contois, author of Diners, Dudes, and Diets: How Gender and Power Collide in Food Media and Culture. That failure is perfectly (if unfortunately) encapsulated by this Amazon review of The Playboy Gourmet: “My first impression of this book was, ‘Damn, where are all the naked ladies’…If you are single and like to cook and want to have sex with women you cook for then buy this book.”

That isn’t to say women haven’t exercised agency within the erotic cookbook genre. Along with Sheraton’s The Seducer’s Cookbook, titles such as the aforementioned Sex Pots…And Pans, Food For Love: What to Eat and Drink to Arouse Your Erotic Power (1968), and Dirty Dining: A Cookbook and More for Lovers (1993) attempt to position women as being in charge of their sexuality, through cooking.

But that doesn’t mean they should be used as a mirror for contemporary progressive ideas. “Some of the earlier erotic cookbooks were in some ways radical, but don’t necessarily stand the same test of time,” says Rachel Hope Cleves, a history professor who is writing a book about food and sexuality, with a section about the history of erotic cookbooks. She adds that we perhaps “ask too much of them,” to fit in today’s feminism.

Whatever their failings, erotic cookbooks — much like the broader erotica genre — can also function as an outlet for marginalized people to express themselves and find empowerment. Vester, who, like Cleves, has written about the history of the queer cookbook, points to the 1998 Lesbian Erotic Cookbook as an example: Written by and for women, it features recipes intended to nourish, along with photographs of naked female bodies that reject notions of mainstream beauty standards. Or consider The Men of Fire Island Present Hot Cookin, its pages scattered with photographs of partially nude gay men; published in 1994, amid the AIDS epidemic, it reads as a defiantly joyous celebration of body positivity. (Young, for her part, says it continues to sell well for her shop.)

Self-empowerment is similarly a focus for the new generation interested in vintage cookbooks. “Some of what our zine is trying to do is turn those tropes [of cooking to get a husband] on their heads and endorse baking for our own hedonistic pleasure, instead of thinking about it as the sort of simple thing to be offered up to a husband or as a mode of seduction,” Tanya Bush, a baker and the co-founder of the self-published Cake Zine, whose first issue is called “Sexy Cake,” told Eater.

That kind of sex positivity has found its way into the food media, too. After leaving her job at the food blog the Takeout at the start of the year, the James Beard Award-nominated writer Allison Robicelli decided to bet on herself and start what she calls “a serialized NSFW food-centric erotic soap opera, with recipes” in the form of a Substack newsletter. “It’s like Fifty Shades erotica with food,” Robicelli explains. It’s been especially cathartic for her to create content about women 40 and older, who are too often left out of horny discourse.

Now, Robicelli is working on an erotic cookbook that she hopes to sell to a publisher. “Everyone knows food can be disastrous in the bedroom, [but] I love that playfulness and silliness,” she says — it’s something, she adds, that can be missing from food publications. Robicelli imagines that the recipes in her forthcoming cookbook will diverge from the conventions of what qualifies as horny food. “It goes beyond oysters and that kind of thing,” she says of aphrodisiacs. Later, over email, she offers a case in point: “A sloppy sandwich is the sexiest food known to humankind. Seriously, eat a pastrami sandwich in bed and tell me how good it feels. (You don’t need a partner for this).”

If Robicelli succeeds, her cookbook will be one of the scant few contemporary examples of the genre; so far, the younger generation’s love of vintage titles hasn’t translated to a demand for new ones. And no matter how much erotic cookbooks may wax and wane in popularity, they will emphatically remain not for everyone. When approached for comment for this story, the owner of a lauded New York City vintage cookbook shop replied, “Thanks, for asking, but—ick!” Nevertheless, she was later kind enough to share a list of titles that might be worth exploring.

“And,” she wrote, “that’s all I have to say on the subject (gag).”

Clay Hickson is an illustrator living in Los Angeles, California. He is also the owner/operator of Caboose, a small publisher of mediocre quality.


Categories: Reviews

Tags: , , , ,

Step into the erotic fantasy world of Jean Rollin in this Lost Girls exclusive

No Comments

Led by House Of Psychotic Women author Kier-La Janisse, over the past few years Canada’s Spectacular Optical press has done outstanding work putting personal perspectives on under-explored areas of pop-culture history in books like Kid Power! and Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia In The 1980s. Now, the company is in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign for its newest project, Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema Of Jean Rollin. Written entirely by women critics, scholars,and historians, the book re-examines the work of French filmmaker Jean Rollin, best known for his 1970s vampire films like Fascination and The Demoniacs, through a feminist lens.

Edited by Diaboloque’s Samm Deighan, the book explores Rollin’s directorial signatures, like “overwhelmingly female protagonists, his use of horror genre and exploitation tropes, his reinterpretations of the fairy tale and fantastique, [and] the influence of crime serials, Gothic literature and the occult,” according to a press release. Funds from the Indiegogo campaign will go towards paying contributors to the book, as well as a full-color printing so you can experience Rollin’s dreamlike fantasy imagery in its full glory.

Perks for donating to the campaign range from $35 for a copy of the book itself all the way up to a three-day tour throughout France visiting locations from Rollin’s films for $1,000. A new $50 “The Dreamer” level gives access to the 2011 Rollin documentary The Stray Dreamer, and $165 makes you a “Queen Of The Vampires” with an array of Rollin books, soundtracks, and Blu-rays (eternal life not included).

The A.V. Club has an exclusive look at another perk available to donors, a mystery board game inspired by Rollin’s work. (Think Clue, but more surreal and continental.) “The artwork for the game is being created by Jessica Seamans, known for her work with Mondo and Landland,” Janisse says. “And we’ve just confirmed that the individual weapons pieces for the game are going to be sculpted by British FX artist Dan Martin, who does all the effects for Ben Wheatley’s films, was the effects supervisor on Human Centipede 2, and created the custom cameras used to film Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers. This game is going to be spectacular.” You can check out an exclusive first look at location and character illustrations from the game below.

We’ve also got an exclusive excerpt from Flavorwire editor Alison Nastasi’s contribution to the book, an essay about graveyard imagery in Rollin’s films. Check it out below, and then donate to the Lost Girls campaign over at IndieGoGo. You’ve only got 13 days left, so try to move slightly less languidly than a tragic immortal lounging on silken pillows, would you?


The Cemetery as a Romantic Nexus in the Films of Jean Rollin

By Alison Nastasi

From the forthcoming Spectacular Optical book LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN

French filmmaker Jean Rollin’s uniquely personal aesthetic draws on Gothic and Romantic perspectives about transcendence, the sublime, and the subconscious. The cemetery is one of the most stunning tableaux-like settings where Rollin confronts these dual forces of nature, his preoccupations culminating in his 1973 film La rose de fer (The Iron Rose), which takes place almost entirely in a cemetery.

Rollin contemplates the mysteries of death in the same vein as the Gothic tradition, where the human and divine are fraught with tension and rife with symbolism. His camera spins above a grave, capturing the scene below, like a clock moving faster and faster—a futile attempt to transcend time. Candles burn end to end during the couple’s lovemaking. At the same time, the filmmaker anchors his characters to the cemetery with a palpable sense of naturalism. Their shivers, moans, and the ambient sounds of the graveyard are vital to Rollin’s rich Gothic-Romantic palette.

The ancestral power of Rollin’s cemetery is also an entry point into the filmmaker’s fascination with the past. Rollin conjures his most obvious influences to bring this to life: art, poetry, and Surrealism. Like Arthur Rimbaud’s writing, created under the fractured influence of drugs and drink as a means of disorienting the reader by disintegrating language, Rollin channels the same with his elliptical narratives and unchained camerawork. In his 1817 Biographia Literaria, English writer Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the progenitors of the Romantic movement, writes:

“A poet… brings the whole soul of man into activity…. He diffuses a tone, and spirit of unity, that blends, and (as it were) fuses, each into each, by that synthetic and magical power, to which we have exclusively appropriated the name of imagination. This power… reveals itself in the balance or reconciliation of opposite or discordant qualities: of sameness, with difference.”

Rollin has named director Georges Franju, Luis Buñuel, and other Surrealist masters as a few of his greatest influences. “I have tried to find that atmosphere of dream, poetry and madness in many of my films,” he told Black. Just as Rollin regards French actress and muse Brigitte Lahaie a “living statue, a living painting,” so too does he treat Pascale’s character as a work of art—a statue frozen in time, resembling something like death itself.

In the 1999 episode of Eurotika! “Vampires and Virgins,” which explores Rollin’s career, Belgian actress Monica Swinn (Les démoniaques) says: “We made these films with some notion of breaking barriers.” But Rollin’s works go beyond a dalliance with the censors. La rose de fer shatters the mirror between inner and outer worlds, deliciously teetering between the mysteries of the cemetery (mortality) and the bellow of the human soul as each character comes face to face with the unknown (divinity). One distinction that’s frequently missing from examinations of Rollin’s films is the difference between terror and horror. La rose de fer demonstrates how Rollin’s use of the cemetery is life-affirming rather than nihilistic.

In her 1826 essay “On the Supernatural in Poetry,” English Gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe wrote: “Terror and horror are so far opposite, that the first expands the soul, and awakens the faculties to a high degree of life; the other contracts, freezes, and nearly annihilates them.” Rollin achieves this delicate balance and takes us beyond the everyday in his musing on life and death. There is no graphic violence in La rose de fer, only verbal confrontation and impassioned exchanges. The ambiguous ending suggests that the girl and boy will spend eternity inside the cemetery catacombs. But after locking him inside the tomb against his will, we don’t know if the sentiment expressed in the girl’s emotional speech to her lover about spending their lives together is reciprocated by the imprisoned boy—but they have now a taste for death. In the charged atmosphere of the cemetery, Rollin’s characters transcend nature and touch an otherworldly realm.


Elon Musk’s Sister Speaks About Starting An Erotic Netflix For Women

No Comments

Elon Musk may steal the spotlight, but his younger sister has a passion for business too.

Elon Musk — Tesla CEO and the world’s richest man — isn’t the only member of the Musk family with an entrepreneurial mindset. Tosca Musk, the eccentric billionaire’s younger sister, is proving that the affinity for business runs in the family. While her older brother has been working hard to acquire Twitter, Tosca has focused her energy on building a platform with a decidedly different audience in mind — women looking for romantic content to stream.

The 47-year-old is the CEO and co-founder of a company called Passionflix, which launched back in 2017. The service offers a range of movie and TV adaptations of popular romance novels and erotic fiction.

Not only does the service offer many licensed titles, but there are plenty of original productions as well — and according to a new profile by The New York Times — many of them are directed by Tosca herself.

“Most of the time people look down at romance – there is apparently something radical in having female desire as a main theme – and they don’t think that romance is intellectual enough,” she told the outlet. “I think that is wrong. Romance is about validating emotions. It’s about removing shame from sexuality. It’s about uplifting stories.”

She added: “Nothing we do is about being a victim or women in jeopardy or the domestication of women.”

Although the Passionflix CEO admits the pandemic presented a huge obstacle for the $ 6-a-month service, which only worsened as the launch of streaming services by Paramount and Disney threatened to oversaturate the mark, subscriptions are growing regardless.

RELATED: Elon Musk Blocks Kid Who Asked For $50 Thousand To Stop Tracking His Jet

Passionflix subscriptions grew 73 percent in 2021, which helped the platform secure $22 million in early funding, according to the NYT.

When it came to whether her extremely wealthy brother had invested in the platform, Tosca kept her lips sealed, telling the mag: “If I say that he is an investor, then everybody says, ‘Oh, she just got her brother to pay for it. And if I say he didn’t invest, then you all say, ‘He doesn’t support her.'”

While Tosca’s brother may be worth roughly $200 billion, through her business ventures she’s managed to create a sizeable fortune of her own that’s nothing to scoff at. Reports vary, but the Passionflix CEO is allegedly worth roughly $170 million.

NEXT: SpaceX Allegedly Paid $250,000 To Cover Up Elon Musk’s Sexual Misconduct

Source: The New York Times, Futurism

Rachel Zoe In A Black Dress

How Rachel Zoe Became A Power Lady In Hollywood And Built Her Empire

About The Author


33 of the best erotic novels of all time

No Comments

Looking for an erotic novel that won’t make you cringe? From the 20th century to modern classics, we’ve collected some of the sexiest ones.

Erotic novels can be a real hit-or-miss type of genre. These types of books often feature social commentary, philosophical questions, and generally a plot that goes beyond vapid descriptions of sex, making them some of the most interesting novels to read.

Unsurprisingly, due to the “sensitive” nature of language around sexuality and desire, some of the books we’ve listed below were subject to obscenity trials when they were published. Erotic novels have had a fascinating relationship with mainstream literature throughout history, and it’s fascinating to observe their resurgence in popularity. Whether you’re after a fantasy plot, a historical throwback, or a modern romance, we’ve got you covered with the best erotic novels of all time.

Still from ‘Secretary,’ based on the novel ‘Bad Behaviour’ (Photo: Mubi)

Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D. H. Lawrence (1929)

While it’s now known as one of the best erotic novels of all time,  Lady Chatterley’s Lover was originally published in 1929, subsequently banned for its obscenity, and then re-published decades later. It details the salacious exploits of Constance Reid (Lady Chatterley) and her extramarital affair with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. Having been adapted for the stage, film and screen, it’s one of the most successful erotic novels ever written.

erotic novels 1



The Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller (1934)

Another novel that was banned from publication, Henry Miller’s The Tropic of Cancer is a semi-autobiographical memoir of the author’s time in Paris. Chronicling the expatriate writer’s adventures with his friends, lovers, and the unique Parisian bohemians that he encountered, The Tropic of Cancer has stunned audiences for generations with its explicit sexual content, raving philosophical inquiry, and profane language.

the tropic of cancer



Story of O – Anne Desclos/Pauline Réage (1954)

Following the narrative of the protagonist, O, The Story of O details her involvement with a secret sex society. Exploring themes of polygomy, dominance, love, and submission, the erotic novel was originally published in 1954 under the pen name Pauline Réage and then revealed to be writer Anne Desclos,  around 50 years later.

the story of o erotic novel



Thérèse and Isabelle – Violette Leduc (1954)

Thérèse and Isabelle follows the tempestuous affair that erupts between the titular characters, two young French women. Violette Leduc was championed by intellectuals Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, and Jean Genet, and was one of the foremost lesbian fiction writers of her time.

Thérèse and Isabelle



A Sport and a Pastime –  James Salter (1967)

Set in Burgundy, France in the 1960s, A Sport and a Pastime is a provocative and brutal tale of desire. Narrated by a voyeuristic house guest, the novel follows the observation of fellow houseguests Philip Dean, an American man, and Anne-Marie, a local French woman. As reviewed by Sarah Hall in The Guardian: “Since its publication in 1967, during the decade of sexual revolution, A Sport and a Pastime has set the standard not only for eroticism in fiction but for the principal organ of literature – the imagination. What appears at first to be a short, tragic novel about a love affair in France is in fact an ambitious, refractive inquiry into the nature and meaning of storytelling, and the reasons we are compelled to invent, in particular, romances.”

erotic novel 3



Emmanuelle – Emmanuelle Arsan (1967)

Emmanuelle follows the titular character embarking on a journey of sexual self-discovery. Written in the first-person, the erotic novel describes Emmanuelle’s encounters with oft-anonymous male and female partners, as well as her husband. Written by French-Thai novelist Marayat Rollet-Andriane, under the pen name Emmanuelle Arsan, Emmanuelle was widely successful in France and spawned a film adaptation and multiple sequels.

emmanuelle erotic novel



Couples – John Updike (1968)

Couples details the lives of ten married couples living in a New England community who create a sex cult. While it sounds simple on the surface level, Couples embarks on an intense emotional and psychological meditation on the nature of love, sex, and commitment. A review by Time describes the events of the novel as such: “Trapped in their cozy catacombs, the couples have made sex by turns their toy, their glue, their trauma, their therapy, their hope, their frustration, their revenge, their narcotic, their main line of communication and their sole and pitiable shield against the awareness of death.”




Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth (1969)

Portnoy’s Complaint details the life of Alexander Portnoy, as he narrates it to his psychoanalyst, Dr. Spielvogel. While the novel caused an uproar when published, due to its frankness in dealing with sexuality, desire, and sexual curiosity, this erotic Roth classic is now considered one of the best novels of its generation.

portnoy's complaint



Crash – J.G Ballard (1973)

J.G Ballard’s novel has sustained a cult following, making it one of the more riveting postmodern classics of the ’70s.  Crash follows the story of a TV scientist turned nightmare angel of the highways, as he experiments with erotic atrocities among auto crash victims, each more shocking than the last. A blend of violence, transgression, and eroticism makes for a very cutting-edge read.

Crash the novel



Delta of Venus – Anaïs Nin (1977)

Using a dash of magical realism, Nin’s extraordinary erotic novel is a collection of vivid characters navigating their sexualities, taking the reader from the mysterious Parisians in France to the dens of Peru. A celebrated erotic fiction writer, Nin was a powerhouse in the genre — daring to step into a realm of fiction that had — in her time — only been reserved for male writers. Originally written in the ’40s, Delta of Venus was published posthumously after the famed erotic writer’s death.

erotic novel anais nin



The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty – Anne Rice (1983)

Retelling the folktale of Sleeping Beauty, Anne Rice’s erotic novel The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty tells the story of Sleeping Beauty being awakened with not a kiss, but sexual initiation. As described by the publisher: “Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience. Readers of Fifty Shades of Grey will indulge in Rice’s deft storytelling and imaginative eroticism, a sure-to-be classic for years to come.”

anne rice erotic novel



The Catholic – David Plante (1985)

The Catholic follows the life of Daniel Francoeur, a young gay man who grapples with his sexuality against the constraints of the religion to which he has devoted his life. As reviewed by Publishers’ Weekly: “Readers who believe that character is revealed only through action will find this novel unfulfilling: little actually happens to Daniel, but Plante’s intoxicating ability to show us everything happening within him makes this book compelling and memorable.”

the catholic



Bad Behavior – Mary Gaitskill (1988)

Bad Behaviour is an astonishing collection of short stories. Detailing the inner lives of young men and women, and their experiences of power, failure, sex, and pain, Mary Gaitskill’s erotic novel is most famously known as the inspiration behind the Maggie Gyllenhaal-starring 2002 film, Secretary.  As reviewed by Emily Temple for LitHub: “But like many young women, and many aspiring writers—young, female, and otherwise—I responded to Gaitskill’s stories instantly and intensely. I found them astonishing. I was seduced by the wildness of the characters, by their brazenness and force, even in the face of their own confusion, and often despite their inefficacy. I was interested and impressed, of course, by the amount and type of sex.”

bad behaviour novel



The Abundant Dreamer – Harold Brodkey (1989)

The Abundant Dreamer is a set of short stories that detail the life of Annetje, a woman with an alluring, magnetic attraction; a quality that plays into the dangerous and destructive nature of her behaviour.

the abundant dreamer erotic novel



Lust and Other Stories – Susan Minot (1989)

Consider yourself warned: yes, Lust and Other Stories is a sexy book… but it’s also heartbreaking. In the words of the publisher: “[the novel is] about the ways in which women and men come together and come apart again, about the disappointments and hopes of lovers who know what they want but don’t always know how to keep. [It is] a deeply poignant meditation on the nature of desire and loss.”

lust and other stories



Damage – Josephine Hart (1991)

Damage explores the life of an unnamed British doctor-turned-politician on the verge of unimaginable political success. At the same time, he is introduced to his adult son’s enigmatic, mysterious girlfriend, Anna, and proceeds to be the cause of his own destructive undoing.

damage erotic novel



Outlander – Diana Gabaldon (1991)

While Outlander is an excellent work of historical fantasy in its own right, it’s also full of some of the sexiest fiction you’ll ever read. Following the life of Claire Beauchamp, a WWII nurse who is transported back in time to 18th century Scotland, Outlander details her encounter with Highlander Jamie Fraser. What ensues is a sexy, fantastical, and adventurous series of events.

outlander amazon



Vox – Nicholson Baker (1992)

Allegedly gifted to former-President Bill Clinton by Monica Lewinsky, Vox was one of the most successful examples of erotic literary fiction in recent years. The novel functions as a transcript of the conversation between two strangers, Abby and Jim, who connect via a phone-sex line in the early 1990s. Despite being full of sexually-charged, explicit dialogue, Vox is full of humour, and questions of intimacy, love, and sex.

vox erotic novel



In The Cut – Susanna Moore (1995)

In The Cut is a novel that combines elements of suspense, terror, and mystery, to give readers a masterfully written erotic thriller. Detailing the life of schoolteacher Frannie, who gets embroiled in a chilling murder case, In The Cut details her descent into a dark, torrid sexual liason with the mysterious, key detective of the case.

in the cut erotic novel



The Lady’s Tutor – Robin Schone (1999)

A romance set in the Victorian era, The Lady’s Tutor follows the life of Elizabeth Petre, a young woman who was married off into a passionless marriage for sixteen years. Then enters Ramiel Devington, a young man who is scorned by society, yet tasked by Elizabeth to teach her the secrets of sensuality.

thelady's tutor erotic novel



The Sexual Life of Catherine M. – Catherine Millet (2002)

A graphic autobiography of Catherine Millet’s extremely liberated sex life, The Sexual Life of Catherine M (originally published in French as La Vie Sexuelle De Catherine M.) is a fascinating account of female desire, sexuality,  polygamy, and physical gratification.




Liberating Lacey – Anne Calhoun (2009)

Liberating Lacey follows the life newly-divorced Lacey Meyer who is tired of the boredom of her sex life until she meets Hunter, a younger man, with whom she gets involved in a torrid, risqué affair.

liberating lacey



Bared to You – Sylvia Day (2012)

Bared to You follows the relationship between two twenty-somethings Eva Tramell and Gideon Cross, both of whom are trying to escape the horrors of their abusive pasts. As their lives become increasingly intertwined, the erotic novel explores desire, obsession, and longing, as its protagonists try to find their way to building a healthy relationship.

sylvia day



On Dublin Street – Samantha Young (2012)

On Dublin Street explores the story of Jocelyn Butler, an American ex-pat in Scotland, who falls for the mysterious Braden Carmichael, a man that lives in her new apartment building. As the couple grows closer, they are forced to question the lives that they have been running away from.

on dublin street erotic novel



Beautiful Bastard – Christina Lauren (2013)

Originally published online as a Twilight fan fiction, Beautiful Bastard details the sexual relationship between MBA student, Chloe Mills, and her mysterious, demanding boss Bennett Ryan. As described by the publisher, the couple’s burgeoning dynamic is an “appetite for one another,” that forces them to decide “exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.”

beautiful bastard



Carrie’s Story – Molly Weatherfield (2013)

Carrie’s Story is a BDSM novel that follows the main character, Berkeley Ph.D. candidate Carrie, who voluntarily surrenders herself over to the handsome, obscure, Jonathan. As Carrie does everything to satisfy his extreme sexual desires (including hard sex, torture, and absolute obedience), Molly Weatherfield’s erotic novel explores the darkest parts of desire.

carrie's story



Rush – Maya Bank (2013)

The first book in Maya Bank’s Breathless trilogy, Rush follows the intense, obsessive relationship between Gabe Hamilton, a wealthy, powerful real estate mogul, and Mia Crestwell, his best friend’s younger sister. Acting on both of their secret desires, the couple embarks on a secret, torrid, sexual affair, until they’re faced with the possibility of experiencing something more meaningful with each other.

rush maya banks



Inside Madeleine – Paula Bomer (2014)

Inside Madeline explores themes of isolation, lust, and rage, through the life of an unnamed narrator as she traverses through a series of erotic exploits, toxic relationships, and drug use.

inside madeleine



One Night – Eric Jerome Dickey (2015)

One Night details the story of a couple who check into a motel for 12 hours — a night that involves con games, erotic interludes, jealousy, violence, and murder, and changes their lives forever. With mysterious characters, a murderous side plot, and full of eroticism, One Night is a thrilling romantic adventure.

one night



Priest – Sierra Simone (2015)

Priest narrates the story of Tyler Anselm Bell, a 29-year-old priest who breaks his vow of celibacy with MBA student Poppy Danforth. Exploring the pair’s powerful sexual connection, the erotic novel also explores their experiences navigating the intersections of duty, love, faith, and desire.

priest erotic novel



The Master – Kresley Cole (2015)

The Master details the burgeoning sexual relationship between Mafia boss Maksimilian Sevastyan, and Miami escort, Catarina Marín. As described by the publisher, after the pair’s “mind-blowing encounter burns out of control, the lovers crave more. If they escape the deadly threats surrounding them, can Maksim overcome his past—to offer Cat his future?”

the master erotic novel



Vengeance – Zane (2016)

Vengeance is an erotic novel that details the life of Wicket, whose new name is Caprice Tatum, as she returns to her hometown to exact revenge on the people that traumatised her decades before. As she reconnects with her engimatic childhood crush, Jonathan, she begins a journey of self-realisation, finding inner-strength and resolution.

vengeance erotic novel



Hate to Want You – Alisha Rai (2017)

Described as one of contemporary romance’s brightest new stars, Alisha Rai’s debut novel Hate to Want You details the mysterious relationship between Livvy and Nicholas, a couple pulled apart by generations of family conflict, yet irrevocably attracted to each other. While the novel makes use of romance tropes like sexual tension and forbidden romance, Hate to Want You is also a trailblazer in its own right with its inclusion of a diverse set of characters, including an Asian lead.

alisha rai erotic novel



Open Me – Lisa Locascio (2018)

Open Me follows the life of Roxana Olsen, an American student who ends up on an exchange program by herself in Denmark, instead of with her friends in France, due to an administrative error. After meeting the mysterious, older Soren at the airport, the relationship between the two turns romantic, and what follows is an erotic tale of power, sex, love, and belonging.

open me book



The Kingmaker – Kennedy Ryan (2019)

The Kingmaker explores the intense, once-in-a-lifetime connection between Maxim Cade, the son of an oil magnate whose empire he hates, and Lennix Hunter, a member of the Apache Nation who protests against the invasion of Indigenous land. As they meet during a chance encounter at an anti-pipeline protest, their sexy, riveting connection is undeniable, with Kennedy Ryan exploring their succumbing to the “inexorable pull” between them.

the kingmaker erotic novel



34 of the best erotic novels of all time

Categories: Reviews

Tags: , ,

‘Anonymous Sex’ anthologizes erotic stories by big authors

No Comments

On the Shelf

Anonymous Sex

Edited by Hillary Jordan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Scribner: 368 pages, $30

If you buy books linked on our site, The Times may earn a commission from Bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookstores.

“27 Authors. 27 Stories. No Names Attached. A bold collection of stories about sex that leaves readers guessing who wrote what.”

So reads the jacket of “Anonymous Sex,” whose title is a bit of misdirection. This collection of erotic short stories is not about anonymous sex. It’s not even about sex. It is sex, largely of the kinky, heterosexual variety, artfully composed. And its authors include some household names. As contributor Luis Alberto Urrea told me, “Every story in this book was written at the top of each writer’s game.”

Clamps, slaps, rolled-up magazines and nimble fingers fill these pages, which engage the upper as well as the lower chakras with stories about long-distance seduction, best-friend seduction, seduction in a Brooklyn Book Festival bathroom, seduction while skinny dipping and cyber-seduction in the year 2098, all wrapped in polished prose. “Anonymous Sex” offers an unbeatable match of writer and subject. Probably.

That’s the anonymous part: A list of author names is provided but unattributed, and the reader is invited to guess which author wrote which piece. Some readers — especially the few who have read the authors’ other work closely enough to recognize their voices — will experience this challenge as a two-fer: a parlor game within a sizzling assemblage of top-notch literary fiction. Others might see the anonymity rule as promulgating the very sexual shaming it purports to remedy, a fig leaf shielding writers’ reputations from the consequences, real or imagined, of publishing their sexual imaginings under their own names.

Are we really there? In 2022? Novelists concerned that their careers will be sullied by publishing their own made-up smut? If so, why would the editors solicit writers who require anonymity when there are so many wonderful authors happy to own their sexual stories — including, as we shall see, some contributors to this book?

Seeking answers, I consulted the anthology’s co-editors: Hillary Jordan, author of the bestseller-turned-movie “Mudbound,” and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, author of the novel “Sarong Party Girls,” along with contributors ranging from two-time Booker Prize nominee Chigozie Obioma to Emmy winner (and memoirist) Mary-Louise Parker. (Others include Helen Oyeyemi, Rebecca Makkai, Louise Erdrich and Edmund White.)

Contributors to "Anonymous Sex": Heidi Durrow, Mary-Louise Parker, Téa Obreht, Chigozie Obioma and Luis Alberto Urrea.

Clockwise from top, contributors to “Anonymous Sex”: Heidi Durrow, Mary-Louise Parker, Téa Obreht, Chigozie Obioma and Luis Alberto Urrea.

(Timothi Jane Graham; Tina Turnbow; Ilan Harel; Jason Keith; Nicole Waite)

Tan and Jordan conceived and edited “Anonymous Sex” while they were 9,000 miles apart — quarantined in New York City and Singapore, respectively. Tan explained that their approach was, in part, a way of prompting (or skirting) the modern question of cultural appropriation. “At a time when the literary and artistic world is debating who has the right to write which story, it was interesting to tell our authors, ‘You can write anything you want,’” Tan said. “So readers won’t experience each story through the narrow lens of ‘This was written by a female, trans, gay or cis male writer in India or Nebraska.’”

And then there were the practicalities. “I have zero worries about being seen as someone who writes about sex, but some of our authors shared that they were able to write more freely because their names were attached to the book, but not to their own stories,” Tan said.

“I’d say at least half of our authors wouldn’t have agreed to be part of the project without anonymity,” Jordan added. “We all signed contracts agreeing not to reveal which story we wrote for a year and a half after the pub date. At that point, the rights revert to us and we can tell if we wish, but I’m hoping everyone takes it to the grave. I certainly plan to!”

I asked a few of the authors what made them semi-willing to semi-reveal sexual fantasies that might or might not be their own, and whether anonymity was an enticement.

“I’m not a prude, at least not as a writer. I didn’t write anything here that I wouldn’t write with my name attached,” said Obioma. “People will always make wrong-headed judgments about writers. And keen readers might be able to still tell who wrote what if they read closely.”

Urrea agreed: “It’s not truly anonymous. My readers will know my story, I think. I just wrote maybe a half-click more explicitly than I would have in my own work. The ‘anonymity’ is not the writers hiding from what they’ve written, but writers playing with the audacity of the editors’ vision.”

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan is a co-editor of "Anonymous Sex."

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan is a co-editor of “Anonymous Sex.”

(Dixon Place)

Heidi Durrow, an acclaimed novelist, found that “the anonymity was a plus. Although my novel [“The Girl Who Fell From the Sky”] has been banned by school libraries and school districts, so it seems some people maybe think I’m already writing in this genre. The anonymity is part of the titillation for the reader, I hope. I know people will try to guess, but I’m not telling.”

Téa Obreht, the Serbian American novelist who won the prestigious Orange Prize in 2011 for “The Tiger’s Wife,” also sees the undercover approach as a good thing, but for different reasons. “I would have happily contributed to this anthology under my own name, but I did find the prospect of anonymity thrilling,” she said. “The book is a kind of literary masquerade ball. There’s something delightful about being invited to guess who is behind each mask. And though I expect my story to be linked to me eventually, I saw the preservation of my anonymity as both a mandate and a craft challenge. It made me pay particularly close attention to aesthetic decisions and tendencies by which I might be easily recognized.”

Parker, the actor, had strong words for writers who consider their reputations when deciding what to write (although her contribution to “Anonymous Sex” dwells inside the cone of silence). “When you worry about diminishing or enhancing your ‘brand,’ — sorry, that word makes me throw up in my mouth — you stop being an artist and become a salesperson,” Parker said. “Nothing wrong with being a salesperson, but that’s something to think about after creating something, not during or before.”

Surely these successful writers field all sorts of intriguing and lucrative offers. Why, I wondered, did they sign on to an erotica project that cloaks their credits? Several of them mentioned the fun factor, and the challenges: writing short fiction instead of novels, writing alongside stellar peers, writing about sex. “My wife made me do it,” confessed Urrea. “She said she wanted me to try something new. I suspect she was amused by my discomfort.”

Parker found meaning in the book’s sex-positive message. “Anything that makes people rethink their preconceptions is powerful,” she said. “At the moment there is very little, if any, gray area in regard to sex. Kids are having less sex because they are afraid to touch each other without consent. With young people, more sex happens on phones than with another person. Most kids have seen pornography by 10 or 11. The FBI says there are around half a million online predators searching for kids every day, but we hand our kids phones while censoring their libraries. I think we should be actively putting erotic literature in school libraries.”

"Anonymous Sex" authors

Hillary Jordan, a co-editor of “Anonymous Sex.”

(Michael Epstein)

Co-editor Jordan believes the book’s potential reaches beyond its sticky pages. “This country was founded by puritans, and many of those repressive attitudes linger on,” she says. “Women are often condemned for being openly sexual. I hope the book moves the needle away from the idea of shame and toward acceptance of sex in all its diversity.”

Several contributors found sex writing perfectly aligned with their more socially engaged writing. Obreht isn’t sure she sees the divide between erotic fiction and writing about, say, the traumas of the Balkan wars — or, for that matter, between sex and society. “Sex obviously intersects in endless ways with the most pressing social and political issues of our day,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine social progress without the ongoing effort to destigmatize sex and sexuality.”

For Durrow, crafting steamy passages during the current political morass felt like a refuge. “The last few years have been challenging for me as a writer because I felt like my imagination was caught up in a cycle of outrage or despair with never-ending news stories of corruption, racial injustice, mass death, and the slow death of democracy,” she said. “The anthology gave us writers (and ultimately our readers) a chance to access another part of our imaginations. I hope this book brings some joy. We are all due some joy after these last few years.”

Humans may not be the only creatures who have sex, but few would argue with the notion that good sex — and good writing about good sex — expresses and deepens our humanity. “This is a humanist book about our contact and care for each other,” said Urrea. “Eroticism is part of that, and it is a necessary part of literature. I wouldn’t have participated if the book only represented one expected vision. It’s important to me that the contributors represent everything that we are and dream of being.”

If “Anonymous Sex” generates enough attention to serve Urrea’s ideal, that would far outweigh the potential harm of implying it’s too shameful to put one’s name on. Perhaps its sensual union of form and content can help usher in a culture in which a writer’s erotic imagination is celebrated — and proudly named.

Maran is the author of a dozen books and a frequent contributor to The Times, among other venues.

A virtual launch for “Anonymous Sex,” sponsored by the Ripped Bodice bookstore in Culver City, will feature Heidi Durrow, Jamie Ford and Valerie Martin in conversation with the co-editors on Feb. 1.


Indian erotic literature and its significance

No Comments
Reading Time: 5 minutes


“Murder is a crime. Describing murder is not. Sex is not a crime. Describing sex is,” American cultural critic Gershon Legman said in 1949, decrying the official attitude that allowed cultural depictions of graphic violence but not sex.

As the 1960s began, however, two high-profile trials in the UK (‘The Lady Chatterley’ case) and the US saw rulings that sex in literary works could not be penalised on grounds of obscenity, and the erotic element became quite mainstream.

Sex has figured in literature, right from the ancient era, but saw a major fillip — and got differentiated from pornography — as the novel developed in the 18th century, with John Cleland’s ‘Fanny Hill’ (1748), or actually ‘Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure’, possibly being the first erotic novel.

The genre really hit its stride in the 20th century, as even established writers espoused it. ‘Josephine Mutzenbacher or The Story of a Viennese Whore, as Told by Herself’ (1906) was published anonymously, but is now attributed to Felix Salten, otherwise known for children’s classic ‘Bambi’.

Henry Miller’s ‘Tropic of Cancer’ (1934) and ‘Tropic of Capricorn’ (1939), Anais Nin’s ‘The Delta of Venus’ (from the 1940s, but published 1977), Pauline Reage’s ‘The Story of O’ (1954), Emmanuelle Arsan’s ‘Emmanuelle’ (1959), and Terry Southern’s spoof ‘Blue Movie’ (1970) are some notable ones.

Furthermore, sex scenes became common in other genres too — take Harold Robbins, Jackie Collins, and even in thrillers, say, Sidney Sheldon, Irving Wallace, the ‘Modesty Blaise’ series. A notable outlier was Alistair Maclean, who when asked about the absence of sex in his works, said it got in the way of the action.

READ ALSO: REVIEW: “Ganga’s Choice and Other Stories” by Vaasanthi

With society becoming more liberal (mostly) and new forms of media (OTT/online publishing) emerging, the trend has become common. As the success of ‘Sex in the City’, ’50 Shades of Gray’ and their ilk shows, the erotic in fiction, or even erotic fiction, no longer is seen as prurient, or as the preserve of dodgy publishers, or hidden away in bookstore corners (Indian readers of a certain generation would recall coming across Nancy Friday and ‘Letters to Penthouse’ and being chased away by bookshop owners/parents). And like other media (cinema/OTT especially), it no longer has to be apologetic, though challenges from “moral guardians” still persist.

Indians had a long tradition of erotic literature down the ages. Let alone the ‘Kama Sutra’ or the ‘Ananga Ranga’, Kalidasa and his vivid descriptions (one about Shakuntala got the British translator all worked up), Jaydeva’s ‘Gita Govinda’ (though some deem it to be a religious allegory), Vallabhadeva’s ‘Subhashitavali’, Bihari’s ‘Satasai’, Telugu poetess Muddupalani’s ‘Radhika-santvanam’ (Appeasing Radhika), and many others show that our forebears were not shy about the topic.

‘Lihaaf’ or ‘The Quilt’by Ismat Chughtai. Source: Twitter

Closer to our times, there were “bold” writers such Ismat Chughtai (‘Lihaaf’), Krishna Sobti, Khushwant Singh — never averse to pulling his punches on this count — and Shobhaa De. And now, authors don’t even need that label, as the range of anthologies, web stories, and the Indian imprint of the Mills & Boon series, apart from other works, shows.

Before listing some contemporary examples, it is important to note that the quality of the writing is important. (Many Indian-origin writers have been shortlisted for The Literary Review’s ‘Bad Sex in Fiction Award’, with two even claiming the dubious honour of  winning).

Depiction of sex should “evoke a feeling and root for the character, not make it creepy, dirty, or derogatory to any gender,” says Madhuri Banerjee, whose oeuvre, relevant here, includes ‘Losing My Virginity And Other Dumb Ideas’ (2011), ‘Mistakes Like Love And Sex’ (2012), ‘Scandalous Housewives’ (2014) and ‘Forbidden Desires’ (2016) as well as the screenplay for ‘Hate Story 2’.

Kiran Manral’s versatile as well as prodigious output, spanning frothy romance (‘All Aboard’, 2015, and ‘Saving Maya’, 2108) to ‘Himalayan Noir’ (‘The Face at The Window’, 2016), to darker journeys into mental neverlands, as in ‘Missing Presumed Dead’ (2018) and ‘More Things in Heaven and Earth’ (2021), always qualifies on this score.

She says she is “generally not very explicit and detailed, I tend to leave a lot to the imagination. My aim is not to titillate but to put the reader in a scene, so they go with the moment.”

She notes: “One doesn’t really add a sex scene thinking, okay, let’s add a sex scene here. For me, the process is very organic, if the moment is progressing in a way that one needs to write it out so the reader will experience what the protagonist is going through, then one does so. If it would seem gratuitous, then I desist. I feel it is the characters who drive what I will write and it is they who tell me when they are going to have sex, and whether I need to write it out or merely allude to it and move on.”

Kiran also admits that “sex scenes are perhaps the most difficult scenes to write, after humour“.

'Ananga Ranga' Indian sex manual written by Kalyana malla in the 15th or 16th century, and translated to English by Richard Burton in the 19th Century. (Source: Twitter)
‘Ananga Ranga’ Indian sex manual written by Kalyana malla in the 15th or 16th century, and translated to English by Richard Burton in the 19th Century. (Source: Twitter)

Some others to see include Abha Dawesar’s ‘Babyji’ (2005), a coming-of-age story of a rather precocious teenage girl student in the early 1990s — a rather tumultuous time for the Indian youth, career and otherwise — as she explores her own sexuality and navigates complex relationships, including with her classmates and adults. Ananth’s ‘Play With Me’ (2014) may seem a fantasy but also provides food for thought on the intensity and durability of relationships, longing, and emotional support.

In short stories, Apurv Nagpal’s ‘Eighteen Plus: Bedtime Stories. For Grown-Ups’ (2013) uses various forms, including the transcript of a texting exchange, to explore sexuality in urban India. The uproarious ‘At the Big Fat Indian Wedding’ set in a resort where the bridegroom is having second thoughts and his friend has a series of encounters, stands out.

In ‘Eighteen Plus Duets’ (2016), Nagpal collaborates with 18 women writers to fashion another range of sex-themed stories, including ‘A Day of Desh Seva’ (along with Jo March), a satirical look at Indian politicians and bureaucrats in the course of a day.

‘A Pleasant Kind of Heavy and Other Erotic Stories’ (2013) by Aranyani also expands the genre’s scope, especially in its first story when a post-lunch massage leads to all sorts of things.

Then, two anthologies deserve mention — ‘Electric Feather: The Tranquebar Book Of Erotic Stories’ (edited by Ruchir Joshi) (2009) and ‘The Pleasure Principle: The Amaryllis Book of Erotic Stories’ (edited by G. Sampath; 2016).

There are many more, but it’s time to ask what do we make of sex in books?

Just passing it off as a way to titillate readers, the literary equivalent of the Bollywood “item song”, would not be very valid, for it does provide insights into emotions, personal and gender relations, social mores, and norms, the state of society itself — and desires and aspirations.

While for Kiran, making her female protagonists sexually active “has been this need to show agency and female desire”, Madhuri says: “I write about women empowerment. And one facet of that empowerment is sexual liberation. I add a scene when the character has a desire and has been denied or repressed for a long time as I did in ‘Scandalous Housewives’ (2014), where each character was scorned for some reason but found happiness in a new way.”

That we can relate to.


READ ALSO: Book Review: ‘Ritu weds Chandni’ by Ameya Narvankar

Not just saucy stories: Indian erotic literature and its significance

Free erotic fiction | Where to read erotic stories online

No Comments

Tatiana MaksimovaGetty Images

Erotic fiction stories are one of the most indulgent yet easy ways to get yourself in the mood for sex or masturbation. There’s just something so stirring about letting your mind wander with a bit of erotic escapism – sexual arousal begins in the brain, after all.

Yep, good old Mills & Boon-style saucy stories, updated for the modern day. Using your imagination, you can get swept up in a whole host of different scenarios, from bodice rippers to werewolf adventures to just plain old steamy shower sex. But where, we hear you ask, are you going to find this free and – actually hot – erotica online? Well…we know a place (or two, or three).

Keep reading for our round up of the best sites for finding erotica online.

Where to find the best erotica online

Best erotic fiction stories online – Cosmopolitan UK

Did you think we’d miss this opportunity for a bit of self-promotion? Of course not! On this very site we have some excellent (if we say so ourselves) sexy stories and even a whole load of lesbian erotica for those of the sapphic persuasion.

Some of our faves?

  • “Fresh Start”: a scintillating, summer-y story about passionate embraces on Spanish beaches and the sexual tension of fancying your BFF…
  • “Comings and Goings”: an impromptu lesbian hookup in an airport leads to some spontaneous bathroom fun.
  • “Find Me”: a historical and, yes, extremely saucy tale exploring love, lust and criminals on the run.

    Best erotic fiction stories online – Bellesa

    Bellesa might ring a bell as a new gen, woman-owned porn company. Starting in 2017, it now runs a monthly subscription service (like Netflix, but with porn) and it’s since branched out into loooads of different sex stuff: sex ed articles, a hilarious Instagram and sex toys beloved by celebs like Cardi B and Demi Lovato, who teamed up with Bellesa to release a gender neutral vibe. Naturally, Bellesa has also jumped into the erotica game with a huge range of stories which are also available in podcast form for any audio porn fans out there.

    Some of our faves?

    • “Waking Up”: an *extremely* horny morning masturbation session leads to some shower fun and an unexpected bed fellow.
    • “The Upper Hand”: a sapphic fisting scene that puts consent, pleasure and communication at the forefront.
      how to clean a vibrator

      PM ImagesGetty Images

      Best erotic fiction stories online – Sugarbutch Chronicles

      Sugarbutch Chronicles has been running for the past 16 years and is full of queer-centred, erotic short stories courtesy of Mx Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them), a sex writer and author who Autostraddle referred to as: “the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queer women.”

      Alongside lots of amazing sex stories written by Sexsmith and a handful of trusted contributors, there are poems, strap-on reviews…everything you could want, really.

      Some of our faves?

      • “Climax”: A guest post recounting a solo session and an orgasmic climax in delicious detail.

        Best erotic fiction stories online – Libida

        Libida is a female-focussed sex shop which has been in the vibrator business since all the way back in 1998. Their MO is to provide a sex-toy-shopping experience which is rich in education and will help you make a safe, informed and sexy choice. As such, they’ve also got plenty of free material to feed your fantasies: from sex ed and advice on sexual health to spicy erotica.

        Some of our faves?

        • “Pottery Yarn”: A short story involving a clay dildo (don’t try this at home, folks) and a *hot* potter roomate, you can put the rest together, we’re sure.
        • “Incubus”: Yep, it’s some vampire porn…if you were into Twilight back in the day, this might be one for you…

          Best erotic fiction stories online –Remittance Girl

          Remittance Girl writes a lot of erotic stories and uploads them to her website for us to read for free. She handily describes what erotic content each story contains so you can seek out something that really turns you on (and avoid any potential triggers). Her stories cover all fetishes from straight male/female sex, to BDSM and masturbation.

          oral sex positions

          Tara MooreGetty Images

          The above are our fave erotica sites and while other sources for erotic fiction or erotica online might have a higher volume of content, they may not be as regulated or have as high moderation standards: so be warned. However, if you’re a dab-hand at thrifting and have a keen eye for erotica, check out the below: you may well be in your element…

          Best erotic fiction stories online – Bookrix

          You can download free erotic fiction from Bookrix, and as they’re ebooks, you don’t have the deal with the achey tired hand from holding a massive tome. From various adult story writers, you can choose from a short piece of fiction of a few thousand words, to a longer, more intense erotic read.

          Best erotic fiction stories online – Literotica

          This is essentially a huge catalogue of erotica, covering every erotic base from celebrity fiction to first time sexual encounters. Literotica will require you to create an account and log in, but it’s worth it for the endless stories. Beware, it can feel like finding a needle in a haystack because there is so much content. But choosing a category you’re into will narrow down your search.

            This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io


Categories: Reviews

Tags: , , , , ,

Lesbian erotic story ‘Comings and Goings’

No Comments

I missed the boat on the first wave of the dating app trend. And even after I bit the bullet and downloaded one for the first time, I still had a hard time getting on board with the whole idea of swimming through a sea of unknown faces to decide which one I might like to meet and ultimately, what, maybe even have sex with? Weird.

But eventually, thanks to some good-natured nagging from my friends, I came around and took the plunge. Met a few of the faces, went on a few dates, even had a nice little fling blossom from one of those encounters. The overall experience was surprisingly enjoyable.

So, it’s been a couple years now since my first foray into blind internet dating, and I’ll admit that I do still dip my toes in the pool now and then. Especially whenever I leave town; I find that I get really curious about what the foreign waters might look and feel like.

Even though I rarely make time to meet up with any local candidates, I’ll load up the old profile upon arriving in a new city. There’s just something about the thrill of being on an adventure, of going to new places, that lowers my inhibitions and encourages me to explore new fantasies with the notion of beautiful strangers.

Natalia Mantini / Refinery29 for Getty ImagesGetty Images

This time in particular though, I hadn’t even left the airport before I started my virtual journey.

Simply being in an airport is enough to get me excited. It’s so full of potential. Potential encounters and impending adventure. All kinds of people with all kinds of destinations. Some travelling for business. Some travelling for pleasure. Whatever it is for each individual, it makes for a lot of buzzing energy in one place. And contemplating these comings and goings seemed to have struck a chord with me on a visceral level. That familiar restlessness pressed into the denim at the crux of my inner thighs, and I started to roll with a budding fantasy.

I wonder if there might be someone else who is feeling this very same thing in this very same moment…

That’s when I realised that the wonders of modern technology could allow me to find out.

I dragged through to the last page of apps on my phone, pulled up the dating app’s home screen and logged in. Checked the profile—Oh yeah, it had definitely been a while since I last checked in. The long auburn hair I was rocking the last time I put my virtual seduction game to work was long gone. So, I switched out the pics to give new potential suitors a more accurate idea of who I was that day, gave the words in my profile a quick read-through, reduced the app’s search radius to the lowest possible setting to find the nearest contenders, and dove in.

“And we’re off,” I mumbled out loud to myself. Let the swiping begin.

No. No. No. Hard no. Nah. Oh, she’s cute.
No. No. Nope. Next. Okay, dude, why are you wearing sunglasses in every one of your pictures? It makes me trust you even less.

No. Sure. No. Sure. No. I guess, why not. No. No. Nopity-nope. No. Wow. She’s gorgeous.
No… No… No… NO.

lesbian erotic story read comings and goings

Michael DuvaGetty Images

It didn’t take long to grow bored with my little game. Taking a moment to look around at the people sitting at my gate, I noticed that almost anyone who wasn’t sleeping had their nose in a screen just like me. I locked my phone and closed my eyes. The screen had burned squares of pink and green into my eyelids. Then, vibration between my hands. The notification told me I had a match.

My stomach lurched—I’d matched with the “Wow” girl.

This was about when the thrilling anxiety started to set in.

Well, fuck. This is real now. What do I say?

I prefer to bypass the simplicity of “hey” in an attempt to score points for originality, but still try to keep it simple.

Me: Where are you headed today?

The bubbles popped up on the screen almost immediately. I stared intently as they bobbled along the bottom while I waited for her response to come through.

Her: on an adventure.

Mysterious and a little poetic. That spoke to me; I was immediately intrigued.

But how do I keep cool and clever?

Me: Well, looks like you’re in the right place.

Didn’t seem like my comment mattered though. She kept us moving forward.

Her: why are you here?

Me: I’m hoping to get on a plane soon.

Her: lol no, I mean why are you here on the app

I smirked at the screen as I typed.

Me: Adventure. 😉

Her: mm, good answer

Each one of her characters breathed more boldness through me. The moisture that had drained from my tongue seemed to have risen in my palms.

lesbian erotic story read comings and goings

Manuel Breva ColmeiroGetty Images

Me: Wanna come with me?

I held my breath as I waited. I didn’t have to wait long.

Her: I thought you’d never ask

I felt my insides contract spontaneously and my stomach flipped again.

Me: What gate are you at?

Her: b53

I sprung to my feet, swung my bag over my shoulder, and started walking towards her gate.

“Her eyes locked onto me almost immediately”

My pulse climbed with every step forward down the hall. I thought I was actually floating—that’s when I realised I had stepped on the travelator. I’m not sure how I managed to do so without noticing. I guess I was distracted.

My ears flashed hot when I stepped back on to solid ground, just past B57.

Slowing my roll as I made my approach to her gate, I scanned ahead, searching for any face that might resemble the picture on my screen. I checked the picture one more time for good measure.

My heart did a full somersault when I spotted her.

Her eyes were pointed downward towards the screen between her hands on her lap. I kept my own gaze on her as I typed up my next message.

Me: I think I see you.

A slow grin crawled across her cheeks, one corner of her mouth at a time, before she looked up. Her eyes locked onto me almost immediately. Like she already knew exactly where I’d be.

Still slowly putting one foot in front of the other, I smiled back at her. I looked around as if to ask, “What’s next?”

She took the lead.

lesbian erotic story read comings and goings

Rochelle Brock / Refinery29 for Getty ImagesGetty Images

“Oh my god, hey stranger!” Her voice was deeper than I expected it to be. It dripped slowly down my spine like warm syrup. “Fancy meeting you here.”

She uncrossed her legs with delicate ease as she rose from her seat, to meet me in the bustling artery of a hallway that guided passengers to their gates. She kissed both my cheeks as if we were old friends, although she hovered longer than was customary for most.

“How are you?” Her warm hand lingered on my arm as she spoke, steadying me. Maybe she noticed my knees going weak under her touch.

“I’m good,” I couldn’t tell what was more overwhelming—the nerves spinning around in my head or the heat stirring in my loins.

“When do you board?” she asked. “Do you have time to grab a drink before?”

I played along and checked the time on my phone. “Yeah, I think I have time for a quick one, at least.”

She set off to walk down the hall towards the nearest bar, but I grabbed her hand before she could get too far away. I think I heard her breath hitch when I did.

“I just need to use the bathroom quick,” I added. “Do you mind waiting?”

“Actually,” her every letter dripping with intrigue, “I think I need to go too.”

Oh, damn. It’s on.

We walked in silence now, side by side towards the ladies room. (One of the perks of lady-loving—no one suspects a thing when you go into the bathroom together. Little do they know…)

“Maybe she noticed my knees going weak under her touch”

We crossed paths with another woman on her way out as we walked around the corner to find a long row of identical off-white doors. The aisle before us was otherwise deserted. She took my hand and pulled me along with a little more urgency towards the end of the hall, and pressed her palm into the door. Satisfied that it was empty, she turned back to face me, pulling in with both hands as she stepped backwards into the cubicle.

My chest was tight, while my clit throbbed with earnest against the middle seam of my jeans.

lesbian erotic story read comings and goings

Rochelle Brock / Refinery29 for Getty ImagesGetty Images

I locked the door behind me, and took a moment to look at her before making any next move. She was an absolute stunner with a palpable softness about her. Dark saucer eyes, round cheeks, loose black ringlets and rolling curves in all the right places. I wanted to wrap all of her around my fingers.

With the door and wall partitions running all the way to the floor, we were perfectly hidden in our little closet full of scandal. But the space wasn’t exactly soundproof, so we laboured to stay quiet as we began our exploration of one another. No words were exchanged—we sought permission through glances and cautious touches.

“I lost myself in the swirl of the strange, new, familiar softness of her”

My cheeks tingled hot when she dropped her bag and brought her hand to my face, stroking the corner of my jaw with her impossibly soft thumb. I placed my hand over hers; almost instinctively, our fingers interlocked and our lips drew close like magnets dragging us together.

I lost myself in the swirl of the strange, new, familiar softness of her. She smelled like someone I once knew. Our hands made quick work of each other’s terrain. I was slender where she was curved. She was light where I was tense. I was firm where she was soft. Her fingers unravelled my nerves as they trailed down my back, releasing the frenzied butterflies from the hidden cage door I didn’t know existed. I ran my fingers up into the thick curls of her hair and pulled her gently by the base of her skull further into my kiss. In return, she clutched at my hips to weave me deeper into her world.

My hand slinked under the edge of her fitted denim dress, skirting the bare skin of her thigh; the aftershock of her shiver spilled out from her tongue into my mouth. I drank it in like nothing else could ever quench my thirst.

But it certainly whetted my appetite for more.

“My hand slinked under the edge of her fitted denim dress”

My nimble fingers teased between her leg and the hem of her dress until they could smell the heat of her shadows. Slowly, gently, they moved in and up towards the swollen silk of her knickers. She poured her gasp down my neck as I traced the line of her slit with torturous care, and kissed down the valley between her breasts. When I slid the silk aside and dipped my middle finger between her folds, I was met with a gush of approval. I slid her slick up to her throbbing clit and traced mindful little circles around and around. The build was almost imperceptible, but I gradually added more pressure to my stroke. Gauging the intensity of the shocks flitting down her spine, behind her knees, back into my fingers. I think I was onto something: she buried her face into my shoulder and heaved every ounce of air from her lungs to stifle a desperate moan.

Feeling her harden and open into me, I increased the quivering speed of my touch. My mouth leaned on the ledge of her collarbone; I felt the whip of her head jerking back on my lips. The cords of her neck were strained, presumably to quell the sounds training to escape.

She tapped my forearm and squeezed it tight. I took it as a sign to continue exactly as I was—she was close.

lesbian erotic story read comings and goings

Megan Madden / Refinery29 for Getty ImagesGetty Images

One of her hands gripped my hair while the other grasped futilely at the wall. I felt her clit thump back into me while her hips tried to buck me right off. As gradually as I built, I slowed my swirling roll, guiding her back down to me from her pinnacle of bliss.

The back of her head was teetering to and fro against the cubicle wall. She was all teeth and heavy breath.

I stood back to admire her in her euphoria, but it was as though I’d tripped a wire. Her eyes flashed open and she lunged at me. Hands first, then lips—hungry gratitude. She bit down on my bottom lip while she pried my trousers open and forced them down to the ground around my ankles. She then pushed me down on to the lid of the toilet and squatted down in front of me, looking up at me with her come-drunk eyes.

I shook my head in an attempt to give a compliment but I would never have found the words for even if I could speak. I ran my hand through her hair, down her face. She caught my thumb in her mouth and sucked it in deep, running her tongue along the knuckle. I felt the flick at the base of my spine where it connected with the cool porcelain behind me.

“She pried my knees apart, exposing my vulva to her”

She impatiently tugged at the waistband of my underwear. I raised my hips and we pulled them down together. She pried my knees apart, exposing my vulva to her. My breath was heavy and short all at once in anticipation of more of her tongue on more of me.

Her breath was hot and teasing as she kissed up the length of my inner thigh, ever closer to my aching core. She flicked me once, twice, between every fold. Sucking in the bud of my clit, she held it in the warmth of her mouth. My pulse tried to hit the roof of her mouth, but I felt it in mine.

The subtle shock urged my eyes open. I admired her tongue as it moved in and out of my field of vision, and noticed that though one hand was squeezing my thigh, the other had made its way between her legs. I bit my lip to stifle a groan.

She didn’t skip a beat while she rummaged blindly in the side pocket of her bag. When the rustling stopped, so did her lips abandon me. I didn’t make a note of what was happening until her face was hovering next to mine and the softest droning buzz spring from somewhere between us.

“Don’t worry,” she whispered. “I just cleaned it.”

lesbian erotic story read comings and goings

Rochelle Brock / Refinery29 for Getty ImagesGetty Images

Before I had a chance to react, the rounded edge of her tiny (surprisingly quiet) purple vibrator was where her tongue had just been. She reached down for my hand and encouraged me to take the reins. I obediently clutched the squished egg-like device and began to acquaint myself with it. She bit my earlobe approvingly and kissed me again, tongue darting in and out, as she teased at my entrance with one, then two fingers.

The tips of her fingers massaged at my opening while I pushed my clit to the brink. My hips rose in anticipation. She slid deeper and deeper until she was as far as she could reach with every thrust, curling her fingers up to my belly button every time she slid out. I like to think we were the definition of stealth, but there’s no way someone wouldn’t have heard us if they set up shop in the next cubicle over in that moment.

She nibbled at my neck as she dragged the orgasm right out of me.

Palm pressed to the side wall, eyes scrunched, jaw clenched, my head tapped the wall behind me a little harder this time. My leg started to twitch violently as my hips fell down following the harsh yet extremely welcome release. She pressed her lips to mine to distract me from the loss of her fingers, breathing life back into me.

lesbian erotic story read comings and goings

Renell Medrano / Refinery29 for Getty ImagesGetty Images

She took the vibrator from my hands, pressing the little thing silent; drawing an end to our total fluke of an encounter.

I pulled up my pants. She adjusted her dress. We picked up our bags. She opened the door to check: Yep, coast is clear. She turned back to steal one more kiss before we walked out.

We selected side-by-side sinks to go through the motions of washing our hands and checking our faces for posterity, stealing side-eye glances as she put on new, dramatically darker lips.

“Safe travels,” she said, and planted a soft peck on my cheek before walking away from me forever.

I checked my face in the mirror. I smiled sheepishly at my reflection, rubbing the echo of her dark kiss, mussed my hair back into place, and slung my bag back over my shoulder.

When I walked back out into the busy hallway, it seemed that her flight was boarding—she was already in line. We made brief eye contact without so much as another smile as I shoved my hands in my pockets and walked back to my own gate.

This erotic story by Jayne Renault was originally published on Bellesa.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io


Categories: Reviews

Tags: , , , ,

Meet the man who wrote personalised erotic fiction for horny Aucklanders

No Comments

Samuel Te Kani is an artist, short story writer and sexpert whose debut fiction collection, Please, Call Me Jesus, is out now. Maggie Tweedie talked to him.

Erotic fiction has always made me wince. I associate it with a stalker at university who wrote very graphic yet very unrealistic stories about his sexual fantasies, which oddly always took place in Massey’s music studios. It also reminds me of being confronted by my grandmother’s sexual appetite when she was “watching me swim” but actually enthralled by the pages of Fifty Shades of Grey, poolside.

After many years of avoiding erotic fiction, I received an email about Sam Te Kani’s debut collection of stories, a book called Please, Call Me Jesus. Maybe it was a sign. After all, I was a fan of Te Kani’s journalism about Aotearoa’s sex industry. I was further enticed by the provocative title. Before I knew it, I’d conceded and was sheepishly reading phrases like “Bradley felt Jimmy’s hot breath on his skin as he reached back and wrenched apart his own arse cheeks” amidst my busy Wellington flat. 

I chatted to Te Kani (Ngāpuhi) about reshaping erotica through sci-fi and fantasy, growing up as a horny gay tween in Whangārei, and how lockdown put a handbrake on casual sex in Tāmaki Makaurau. 

The Spinoff: What opened your eyes to the whips and chains of the business? How does one pioneer a career investigating sex? 

My career in sex journalism … whatever that even is, began back when sex blogging was a thing around 2013 or 2014. Back then it was quite unique. The blogging went really well, and somebody approached me to do those miniseries for Vice. 

As an out gay kid in a small town, I felt my reality rather unappealing. So, I guess my research for the book was a compounding of someone who’s really horny and has always liked writing and reading.

What small town did you grow up in? 

Whangārei so I guess small-ish. Growing up I realised I wouldn’t have access to the same rites as my heteronormative counterparts, so I began reading as an escape. I ended up spending entire summers in the library and obviously I was a very repressed and horny little gay tween so naturally I found erotic fiction. I remember the first time I found gay sex in a book was in Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis. In hindsight it was probably not appropriate reading material for a 12 year-old but I definitely loved it at the time. Then I discovered there was a micro tradition of similar writing in New Zealand. Books like Witi Ihimaera’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain were really formative for me and also Peter Wells. I feel like my first two loves were books and dick, that is what this whole collection is about. 

Sam Te Kani’s debut short story collection, via Dead Bird Books (Image: Supplied)

Were you always comfortable talking about sex? How did you evolve from a kid burrowing away in the corner reading erotic fiction in the library to publishing your work and as a “sexpert”?

Ha! Personally, I do not identify with the title “sexpert”, but it’s stuck! I’ve never had any trouble talking about sex. One of my earliest memories is when I’m about nine and my parents are getting called into the school to have an emergency discussion with my teachers because I just can’t stop talking about sex. That was mortifying for them at the time, but I look back and think it was always there, it was always going to be a thing. 

There have been a few moments where I’ve left your book lying around. One time a prudish friend opened it up curiously and was shocked by a graphic anal sex scene. I wonder who that person is for you? Who do you not want to read this book? 

My mum, she did try though and sent me a message to say, “Look I’ve read the first four pages and I love it, but I just can’t finish this.” She told me she loved the writing and asked me, “Would you ever consider writing anything lighter?” I said not really because that would be dishonest, and it would go against my experience and definitely my temperament.

You build such compelling worlds for the reader – even if the kinds of sex you’re discussing don’t always align with your audience. 

Yes, I hope that the dramaturgy is good enough that even if you’re not into anal intercourse you will be gripped anyway. 

Can you explain some of the worlds you develop and where you conjure them up from? 

Just from being a kid and using fiction as an escape. To me escapism is not a dirty word. I really like my media to be inherently world-building. I’m trying to take erotica which is too often deemed as a lowbrow genre and bolster it with more hefty elements like sci-fi and fantasy. Werewolves and the game Second Life feature in the collection. I want to create an alternative world you can step in and out of at your leisure.

Throughout the stories you develop a kind of futuristic terror. You use eco-terrorists, administrative drones and a fridge that sends dual alerts to husband and wife to let them know they’re nearly out of milk. Why sci-fi?

I love sci-fi categorically as a genre because it’s just a lab house for futures. It’s a space where we can project and reimagine where we are and where we are going. 

Also, there’s an idea that sci-fi as a genre [can be] defined as being two parts technology and one part sex.

Do you think people are turning to erotica more now in Tāmaki Makaurau because they were starved of casual sex in the lockdown?

I have a really interesting relationship with this, things like Grindr were a very profound thing when I first began blogging at 22. The idea that I could find 10 guys just by scrolling (not swiping, I hate that swipe function on Tinder) really was profound. However, the sense of adventure in having a sexual encounter has been so reduced by apps. Now your sexual encounter is like ordering Uber Eats and that totally takes the fun out of it for me. Again, use Grindr and good god, when I’m out of that traffic light system I’m going to be on it 24/7! But ultimately, I’m up for critical engagement. 

You became an internet sensation last lockdown when you opened up your writing to personalised erotic stories. How did that develop your writing? 

I wasn’t working, and the wage subsidy was a drip feed so I asked people on social media if they would be interested in personal erotic fiction. It went kind of crazy. I charged $40 a pop and was writing two stories a day with a minimum of eight to 10 thousand words a day. Looking back now I probably should have had a template for some of this work. 

So how did the personalised aspect work, did each customer explain their sexual preferences to you before you begin writing? 

Yes so, they outlined a brief and I would craft the story. Honestly there was a lot of stuff about Britney Spears, I think the #FreeBritney movement was building momentum at the time, and she was flying around the zeitgeist, like some horny Victorian ghost. As a provocation I wanted to see if I could turn myself into a fiction-producing machine. Ultimately it went really well, and it changed my writing. The briefs were expansive for me because I had to change my perspective of what I found hot to what they found hot. 

A fascinating concept, personalised erotic fiction. 

It took a lot of coffee Maggie, a lot of coffee. 

Can you give me an example of a brief that someone gave you? 

I wrote 150-200 stories. People who wanted guy on guy action were pretty cut and dried because there’s a lot of given porn-idioms for that type of content; like jocks and first gay experiences and sport-related “no homo” locker-room incidents. That kind of thing. 

It was straight girls who got weirder with it. Lots of more intimate things with idealised celebrity crushes. A few John Campbell pieces. They’re all a blur to be honest. There was a strong vibe with guys in their late 30s and early 40s wanting “mixed” stuff, like MMF, from which I’m gauging there’s some sort of bi-comfort with that demographic, as if they’ve exhausted their hetero options and are in the market for something they’ve always pretended they never wanted, but which maybe their statuses as married/fathers and thusly “hetero-confirmed” finally frees them up to  explore. I’m being wildly speculative here obviously haha. 

Was there a clear demographic within your audience?

As far as demographics go – so so broad. I just had it as an IG offering and purely through word of mouth the briefs started rolling in. Really mixed demographic, friends and family of friends and then the less I knew a person the more earnest their briefs were. Friends were maybe just being supportive so their requests weren’t nearly as invested as those coming from someone who was less concerned with lending me a buck and more concerned with the product itself haha. Also there was a really diverse range of tastes and predilections expressed in the briefs so it was rare I’d re-cover ground. That said, repeat offenders were requests for fiction featuring Britney Spears and Ashley Bloomfield (respectively) in painfully specific roles and poses. 

What writers are you into at the moment, erotic or otherwise?

Theory theory theory, doing a bit of critical and journalistic writing right now so Kristeva stuff and dipping into classic Richard Dyer. Maybe trying to resuscitate a hyper-sexed gay antagonism a la Kenneth Anger for our depressingly vanilla times. I’m sick of looking at queers on screen in pretty little straight-configured coupledom and having to pretend like it’s some sort of win. It’s fucking boring. Gimme hell please – I feel like that’d be a more accurate reflection of our abject time, which remains abject despite woke posturing and obnoxious virtue signalling. I mean have your happily coupled queers, whatever, but show me desire running amok and wreaking the havoc we know it does, queer or otherwise. And Euphoria doesn’t count because it’s just Gen X cool-hunting repurposed for Gen Z’s. Soz. 

What books kept you stimulated in lockdown?

Theory stuff mostly, I know it sounds super pretentious but I kind of only wanted to shovel in political philosophy, if only because it felt necessary when the world’s going through a big pandemic-fuelled re-jigger; and sleazy online forums of erotic fiction because those are so much fun perusing. Bordering on probbo/illegal depending where you look. 

Please, Call Me Jesus by Samuel Te Kani (Dead Bird Books, $30) is available from Unity Books Auckland and Wellington.