Having said all of that, hope springs eternal. Letting go just a little bit means I’m able to see things more clearly and the Muse is able to beat it into my thick skull that it’s time to be adventurous again, it’s time to play with words again. It’s
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Having said all of that, hope springs eternal. Letting go just a little bit means I’m able to see things more clearly and the Muse is able to beat it into my thick skull that it’s time to be adventurous again, it’s time to play with words again. It’s
Monday, March 28, 2016
Saturday, March 26, 2016
by Jean Roberta
The Saskatchewan Writers Guild, to which I belong, has a long history of paying writers to do readings and run writing workshops in public places, including schools and libraries. Several years ago, I was hired to be “Writer in Residence” for one week in a public high school.
Now that I am known to the guild as an erotic writer, I’ve been invited to give a talk on how to write erotica in the “Write After Lunch” program in the guild office in June. Here is the catch: these talks are supposed to last for twenty minutes at the very most. They are scheduled between noon and 1:00 p.m. on weekdays, presumably so that attendees can squeeze a little writing advice into a flexible lunch hour.
What to say about erotica in twenty minutes? Of course, so much depends on the audience: will these be journeyman writers who have already written for publication, but haven’t written explicitly about sex? Will they be fledgling writers? I simply don’t know, and I’m not sure anyone in the guild office can foresee who will show up.
Since I can’t assume a lot of knowledge in the audience, I think I will tackle the myth that a story can be made erotic by the addition of sex scenes. As several other people have mentioned in this blog, the sex in an erotic story or novel has to be consistent with the rest of the plot and the cast of characters. Actual sex or a sex fantasy in the mind of the narrator has to be foreshadowed from the first paragraph. Who is attracted to whom else, and how is that attraction expressed? There is usually an obstacle to the fulfillment of desire, if only in the form of social conventions that tend to prevent new acquaintances from ripping their clothes off and doing it in the streets. Think about how you can use the obstacle(s) to prolong the erotic tension.
If I have time, I will mention stereotypes: characters with enormous body parts (boobs or dicks) are likely to seem like cartoons, which is fine if your intention is to write parody.
To think outside the usual, consider Elphaba the green witch in the musical Wicked: she grows up thinking of herself as ugly, but eventually, she meets a man who finds her beautiful in a different way from the women he has been raised to consider attractive (e.g. Galinda the Good Witch). Think about how to create an Elphaba character: an apparent loser in the competition for a date whose appealing qualities can be shown to another character as well as to the reader. Another way to describe this exercise is the way Lisabet does it: how can you subvert the conventions of various literary genres, or turn them upside down?
I suspect I already have enough material for at least a forty-minute talk, which means that I will have to cut to the chase, much like the writer of a flasher.
I'm glad I have so much time to prepare. Brevity is probably not one of my more noticeable qualities as a writer, so this exercise will probably be good for me. Luckily, there will be time for Q & A after my talk. I assume that's when I can tackle questions about research, and whether (or how) to describe sexual activities outside one's experience.
If you had never read or heard any advice on writing erotica, what would you want to know? Comments welcome.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
by Kathleen Bradean
In science news: subatomic particles have an odd habit of seeming to be in two places at once, or, disappearing then reappearing. A few scientists have guessed that this means there might be parallel universes that those particles travel through. Imagine finding a strange little kittenish thing and bending down to pet it, only to find that it's the dangling lure attached to an angler fish the size of a garbage truck that we can't see because it's sitting in a fourth dimension that we can't perceive. Or, if you prefer, imagine the particles are Alice going through the Looking Glass, then popping back into the parlor nanoseconds later, only not in the exact same place she left it.
Writers and readers don't need to be told that parallel worlds exist. The universe inside a story isn't anything like this one. That scene where you stepped in gum and spent five minutes trying to get it off the sole of your shoe with flimsy napkins? Gone.
The tedium of traffic? That happened between scenes, as you magically time traveled to the next interesting thing.
Just a regular old day where nothing spectacular happened - good or bad - but filled with so much adulting that you surrendered to the couch, snacks, and mindless tv once you got home? Yeah. Never happened. And yet, somehow, miraculously, there's food in the fridge, gas in your car, clean clothes in your closet, and if there isn't, it's a plot device.
People might complain that it isn't realistic to skip all the inbetween stuff, but real life can be so overwhelmingly dull that we try to escape it by... making up stories. Honor that by leaving out most of the moments that don't move your story forward. A touch or two of real life in a tale is a good idea, but use it sparingly for greater effect.
As Lizabet touched on in her article on dialog, people don't talk in logical, linear sentences. Their words wander all over the place, loop around, and waste a good deal of time. You don't want to write dialog the way people actually speak but rather want to give the impression of reality. That's true of all your story, from the meet to the seduction, through the sex, to the end. Get down to the essence of reality but treat it like a strong spice that can easily overpower everything. Give your readers a mirror to step through and a parallel universe that will leave them pleasantly mussed before they return to this one.
And whatever you do, don't let them pet the quantum kitten.
Posted by Kathleen Bradean at 12:21 AM
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Silence is Golden
To be published by Sexy Little Pages
Deadline: April 22, 2016
If someone is unable to speak, how do they communicate with their partner? If a sub or Dom can't hear well in crowds but loves to play at parties, what mechanisms are in place to ensure everyone stays safe?
Not just gags and sensory deprivation! We're looking for contemporary kink-inspired tales encompassing a range of diverse characters and intense, sexy storylines about communication, that make us squirm in our seat. Tell us about every body, not just white, cis and able. Make your stories hot with your characters reflecting real people across the spectrum of size, colour, gender and ability.
Deadline 22nd April 2016. Word count 4000-6000. New writers welcome.
Please read our full guidelines at www.SexyLittlePages.com/submissions for how to submit your story (and a few things we are and aren't looking for!)
Questions? EMail: email@example.com
Editors: Sandy Lowe and Stacia Seaman
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publication Date: Summer 2017
Theme: Short story lesbian romance about falling for the girl next door.
Payment: $50 and 2 contributor copies
Deadline for Submissions: June 30, 2016
Sometimes the most intriguing girls are right next door—BFFs, ex-girlfriends, new girls in town, party girls, study mates, teammates, and sexy strangers. All it takes is a night out, the right moment, or an accidental kiss to discover what's been there all along—the perfect girl for a love that lasts a lifetime. Best-selling romance authors tell it from the heart—sexy, romantic stories of falling for the girls next door.
Guidelines for Submissions
- Unpublished short stories preferred
- Contemporary romance preferred but all romance sub-genres will be reviewed
Word count: 2,000–5,000 words
- Electronic submissions only to:firstname.lastname@example.org
- e-mail subject: Girls Next Door_ Author Name or Pseudonym _Title
- MS Word document attachment (story)
- e-mail body: story title, author’s legal name, pseudonym if any, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, 50 word bio; if story previously published: anthology title/publisher/pub date
- Arial; 12 pt
- Double-spaced; standard paragraphing; no HTML
Submission receipt within 7 days; submission decisions by March 2017
Multiple submissions (no more than 2) accepted
Questions? EMail: email@example.com
Edited by D. L. King
To be published by Cleis Press
Deadline: May 1, 2016
Payment: $100 plus 2 copies of the anthology
D. L. King is looking for your absolute best lesbian erotica.
First, let me apologize for the extremely short window in getting your submission in. The publisher would like to return to the tradition of publishing Best Lesbian Erotica in December, and to do so they need the manuscript in fairly short order. Unfortunately, the terms of the book were just recently worked out and there’s very little time left. BUT I have every faith in you. I know you can deliver a fabulous story in the time allotted! So, please read on…
What is sexy? What makes one story so hot you sweat? Is it scorching because it tells the truth? No, I don’t mean non-fiction or memoir. I mean, does it strike a chord? Does it touch your soul or maybe your core? Is it earth-shattering, tremor-inducing, pass out sexy? That’s what I’m looking for because, after all, this is Best Lesbian Erotica!
Your story can be about a match made in heaven or about a bar pickup; it can be about a couple who have been together for forty years or two women who just met in the cafeteria line their freshman year at college. You can set it in the Wild West, on a pirate ship or even in Ohio. Tell me a story of sweet love or one of rough sex meted out by a strict dominatrix. Tell me about sex with a beautiful ghost or about getting it on before the kids come home from school. Set it in a campground and people it with a group of butches or turn a bachelorette party into an orgy.
You get the picture: The sky’s the limit. But it has to be good—no, it has to be the best. Your characters can be any age and ethnicity, your story can be sweet or harsh, it can be about love, lust, or adventure but it must be between two (or more) women and contain explicit sex. Send me stories that are sweet, kinky, sexy, romantic and/or dangerous but most of all, send me stories that will singe my sheets. All characters must be at least 18. No scat and no snuff.
Stories should be between 2,500 and 4,000 words, double-spaced, 12 pt, Times New Roman. Please indent the first line of each paragraph one-half inch and do not include extra lines between paragraphs. No fancy fonts, no weird sizes, no bizarre formatting, no strange colors.
Never before published stories are preferred but reprints will be considered as this is a “Best” anthology. You may submit up to two stories. If you submit a reprint, you must own the rights. Please include the date of publication, title, editor and publisher.
Send your story as a .doc (NOT a .docx) attachment and include the title, pseudonym (if applicable) and your legal name and mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line should read: Submission: TITLE. Please include a 50 word bio. Direct any questions to the same address. (If you are absolutely unable to send a .doc attachment, I will accept an rtf.)
Questions? EMail: email@example.com
Monday, March 21, 2016
By Lisabet Sarai
"Oh, Maleek, oh, can you do me a big favor, Oh, please, please, please ...?""Tianna, baby, I'm on my break and I've done all the favors I'm doing for you for one week."She grabbed his meaty arm and nuzzled her delicate chin in the hollow of his massive biceps. "Oh, Maleek, honey, just this one favor?"Damn, she's good, I thought. Poor Maleek didn't stand a chance."Ain't no such thing as one favor with you, Tianna. Okay, what you want?""Take this guy up to CT scan for me so I can go see Terry Hanchuck."Maleek made a face and whined, "Oh, what you want to bother with that chump for?"Tianna just smiled, her green eyes gleaming. Maleek just shrugged his shoulders, took hold of the gurney and guided it and its passenger onto the elevator as Tianna bolted away like a fawn.Now Maleek was muttering under his breath."You hear anything about Hanchuck?" I asked him."Huh? Ah, well, sir, a friend told me his arm's broken in four places. Looks like his career might be finished.""I guess he shouldn't have disrespected Mr. Bubba Washington."Maleek's face broadened into the widest smile I could imagine on a human. "Damn," he said, "I thought I was the only one who thought like that in this town.""Serves the prick right," I said. "Maybe he'll have to get a real job now, like cleaning out pay toilets."Maleek's smile became even broader and brighter. When we got to CT scan he patted me on the shoulder and said, "Be cool, man."
I picked up the pepper grinder and ran my finger over the black signature scrawled on the bottom. I am looking, I said to myself, with knowledge, at the autograph of a man who knows what she looks like naked. A man who has had his dick in her. A man who has fucked her. And then I knew who he was—who he really was.“Doña , tell me about your first time.”She began dropping pieces of okra into the oil. She stirred them with a fork.“May I know?”“I suppose.” She glanced at me sideways. “But only because it’s you. It’s between us.”“How old were you?”“Younger than you.”“How did it happen?”She watched the okra frying for a moment, then put down the fork. “In my father’s house.”“Tell me please. What was it like?”“We had a guest. He had been a friend of my father’s for many years. He was working in the movies, but he wasn’t famous then, not yet. But you knew he would be. His name was Gabriel.”“He made love to you? How?”“In the kitchen, just like this.”“A kitchen?”She put down the fork and leaned a little on the stove, looking me over, that wicked twinkle in her eyes. “You don’t think people fuck each other in the kitchen? The kitchen is a good place to fuck.”
“You wouldn’t shoot me,” he said smugly, briefly glancing at the gun, his mouth twisting into a smirk. “And what’s more, you couldn’t.”Now see? That pissed me off and I forgot about the instant attraction I felt toward him.“Oh, I could,” I assured him. “And each time you open your mouth, it gets more and more likely that I will.”He chuckled again, and this time, able to see the movement on his lips as well as hear the sound, produced an even stronger reaction in me. Arousal flooded my system. The masculinity that oozed out of him caused my pulse to accelerate and I was pretty sure my heart was tryingto beat its way out of my chest.“You couldn’t,” he repeated. “You want to know why?”I gritted my teeth. “Humor me.”“Because the safety is on, and even if you did somehow get it off before I managed to get the gun out of your hand, you wouldn’t risk losing your job by shooting a fellow hunter.”“A fellow…what?” I cocked my head to one side and lowered the gun a little. “You’re kidding me.”I was usually great at sniffing out a lie, but I didn’t detect one.That was a relief. For some strange reason, I didn’t want this beautiful man to turn out to be a liar. Arrogant jerk was bad enough.A grin was his only reply—a really sexy grin—but I pretended not to notice it and continued to scowl at him.“How do you know I’m a hunter?” I asked.He shrugged. “Only hunters hang around in alleyways in the dead of night.”“Right.”“Or hookers,” he mused.I was so furious that my glare, already frosty, must have turned glacial.“Drug addicts or…”“Okay, I get it. I get it. Good call.”“Besides, you’re carrying a stake.”
ResearchBy Lisabet Sarai“Miss Meriweather. Increase the gain by another order of magnitude. Ah—oh, by Newton’s apples!—”“Is that too much, Professor? Shall I dial it back?”“No, no, we must continue. Another notch, please.”“But your face is scarlet, sir. And your member—Oh, God, are those sparks?”“To be expected when experimenting with electrical forces, Miss Meriweather. Adjust the rheostat as I’ve instructed. Argh—that’s good, excellent...Oh! More. More...!”
“Sir, the boiler will blow. The needle’s halfway into the red zone already.”“We need more power—more steam—oh, incredible! Amazing! We shall be the first to chronicle the detailed response of the male organ to various levels of electrical stimulation—oh, by Aristotle, turn it up, girl! Don’t stop now!”“I smell burning. And you’re drenched with sweat.”“All—all the better—ah! Enhances conductivity—what? What are you doing?““Protecting you from excessive scientific curiosity. I don’t want you hurt.”“But—I was so close to a breakthrough... Unstrap me immediately, Miss Meriweather. If you won’t assist me, I’ll have to man the controls myself.”“Sorry, Professor. I can’t do that.”“You disobedient little hussy! And where—oh, by Pythagoras, you’re not wearing knickers!”
“Before you research artificial sexual stimulation, sir, shouldn’t you investigate the real thing?”
Until next month...!
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Ah, the weekend! Time to relax, unwind, curl up with your honey (or honeys!) and of course add more steamy goodness to your latest work in progress. But I hope you'll also take a few minutes to post a bit of your sexiest prose, because today is Sexy Snippet Day!
The ERWA blog is not primarily intended for author promotion. However, we've decided we should give our author/members an occasional opportunity to expose themselves (so to speak) to the reading public. Hence, we have declared the 19th of every month at the Erotica Readers and Writers Association blog Sexy Snippet Day.
On Sexy Snippet day, any author can post a tiny excerpt (200 words or less) in a comment on the day's post. Include the title from with the snippet was extracted, your name or pseudonym, and one buy link.
Please post excerpts only from published work (or work that is free for download), not works in progress. The goal, after all, is to titillate your readers and seduce them into buying your books!
Feel free to share this with erotic author friends. It's an open invitation!
Friday, March 18, 2016
When I first began the research for my novel set in the 1910s, I expected to learn about the past—ideals and attitudes and fears about sexuality a hundred years ago. Since then—it’s been almost a year now since I started this project--I have learned a lot about how sex was discussed in that time, but I’ve also realized how much of these same concepts and feelings inform our current attitudes toward sexuality.
One of the many time-honored mythologies about sexuality is that it is a natural, physical act that lies beyond the reach of culture. There is some truth to this, of course, but sex is so much more than bodies. As erotica writers we know it’s about stories we tell ourselves.
One historical reference that has really stayed with me is Lynda Nead’s Myths of Sexuality: Representations of Women in Victorian Britain. Nead’s book focuses on images in the visual arts, in particular the image of the “fallen” middle-class woman. The painting above is “Misfortune,” the first in a triptych known as “Past and Present” (1858) by Augustus Leopold Egg, which hauntingly portrays the downfall of a respectable wife and mother. In this painting, the woman has literally fallen down on the floor in her emotional anguish at the discovery of her adultery.
Like HEA’s and HFN’s required in a marketable romance today, stories about women who strayed from the path of virtue in Victorian England had to follow one accepted trajectory. A wife who had sexual relations outside of marriage would be expelled from polite society forever. Inevitably abandoned by her wicked lover, her only recourse was prostitution. While she might enjoy the luxury of a first-class brothel for a while, after a few short years she would be walking the streets, infected with venereal disease and clutching the body of her illegitimate child who died in her arms. Her own death came soon after, either by starvation, illness or drowning herself in the river, as we see in Egg’s third painting in the triptych, “Despair.”
In other words, ladies, don’t seek sexual gratification with anyone but your husband. It won’t end well. Or will it?
William Acton, author of Prostitution Considered in Its Moral, Social, and Sanitary Aspects in London and Other Large Cities; with Proposals for the Mitigation and Prevention of Its Attendant Evils (1857), disagreed. In his sociological study, he found no organized progression between the stages of prostitution. Many women, although admittedly of the working class, had sexual relations that involved the exchange of money, but went on to marry and have families. Prostitutes at higher-class brothels sometimes married their patrons and claimed they made attractive mates because they knew what men wanted. Acton asserted that most prostitutes died of the same diseases ordinary people did. Comparing the health of a prostitute at age 35 to that of a married woman or a working seamstress, he wrote:
“We shall seldom find that the constitutional ravages often thought to be necessary consequences of prostitution exceed those attributes to the cares of a family and the heart-wearing struggles of virtuous labor.” (Nead, p. 148)
But why let reality get in the way of a good story? It was true enough that a woman suffered far more social opprobrium for extra-marital sex than her spouse. An unfaithful husband could discreetly step out of the bounds of propriety, then step back in again if he so chose, with no loss of status. His wife was expected to look the other way.
Ironically, although women suffered more for an affair, it was assumed they had no sexual desire of their own. Her husband’s negligence was presumed to lead to a woman’s weakness to the overtures of a seducer. A commentator in The Westminster Review (1850) summed up the contemporary understanding:
“In men, in general, the sexual desire is inherent and spontaneous, and belongs to the condition of puberty. In the other sex, the desire is dormant, if not non-existent, till excited; always till excited by intercourse... If the passions of women were ready, strong and spontaneous, in a degree even approaching the form they assume in the coarser sex, there can be little doubt that sexual irregularities would reach a height, of which, at present, we have happily no conception.” (Nead, p. 6)
Sir, I do agree, you had no conception indeed.
It would be nice to say this is all in the past, but we face many of the same issues today, albeit in a moderately altered form. Women are still divided between good girl and slut. The sexuality of good women is focused on one partner. The slut asserts her sexuality and is thus regarded as degraded, dangerous and uncontrollable. Kim Kardashian’s nude selfie brings out offended sanctimony worthy of the church ladies of yore (although a good number of finger-shaking critics were men).
Many people in the United States oppose not only abortion but birth control. As in Victorian times, only the female’s situation receives censure and punishment. I personally am quite confused as to why men rarely (I can’t think of an example) speak up about the consequences of a governmental restriction of birth control. Don’t men care if female contraceptives aren’t covered by insurance or, if things proceed along the desired trajectory of some extremists, are outlawed as they were from the mid-nineteenth (1873) to the mid-twentieth centuries (1965)? Surely, gentlemen, this will affect your intimate lives to an extent that merits protest?
More to the point, what are the stories we tell ourselves today about sex? Moral and religious restrictions have been loosened, but instead our public expression of sexuality is constrained by aesthetics. Only slim, beautiful people between the ages of 18 and 30 are considered worthy to be sexually active in our imaginations. The media portrays older or “ugly” people being sexual as gross and ridiculous. Marital sex is depicted as dull or nonexistent. Attractive unmarried people, on the other hand, engage in abundant hook-ups via Tinder, indulging in unrestrained anal and oral sex and threesomes. Women still seem to get the short end of the stick, so to speak, vulnerable to date rape and selfish lovers who don’t “give” them orgasms. Still it seems everyone is having more and better sex than you are. What can you buy to improve the situation?
The most obvious example of the continued degraded status of sexuality is the attitude toward erotica. Erotica writers are still considered “lesser,” not good enough to write “real” literature. We do it for the money--remember, I didn’t say these concepts were based in reality, did I?--and there is no art to our stories. We simply write down our own experiences, being sluts and all, because who else would be shameless enough to write about sex? Aesthetics come into play, too. I’m often told that I “don’t look like an erotica writer.” This suggests a rigid conception of the profession to say the least. Oh, but we’re also frustrated housewives who have to resort to fantasy unlike the capering nubile folk on Tinder who are getting the action. There is no winning this game.
I’m feeling like I have to provide an antidote to all this, but of course I can’t. Sex eludes our control, especially when a partner is involved. It threatens the work ethic, because who feels less like serving the capitalist machine than a person who has just had a satisfying orgasm? Still, I can’t help but think that studying the history of sexuality, talking and writing about our sexual experiences, thinking about new ways to express sexuality both in public and in private, all of this creates stories about sex that are fresh and true and real.
That’s got to make a difference. And surely, in some of our tales, the wife will get up from the floor, dust herself off, and take control of her destiny.
Donna George Storey is the author of Amorous Woman and a collection of short stories, Mammoth Presents the Best of Donna George Storey. Learn more about her work at www.DonnaGeorgeStorey.com or http://www.facebook.com/DGSauthor