Pillow Talk Secrets: Our First Year

Hello,

Welcome to another edition of Pillow Talk, in which Malin James, Jade A Waters and I, Tamsin Flowers, get together for a chat about our favorite things – sex, erotica and…actually I think that covers it – sex and erotica!

This month we’re celebrating our one year anniversary as co-bloggers, so that’s a great opportunity to take a look back at what we’ve achieved in the past 12 months on Pillow Talk and what the future holds for us. We’re also considering the recent publication of E L James’s new baby, Grey, and I, for one, am very interested to hear what my colleagues make of this…how to put it…retreading of the same material.

So let’s get going.

Pillow Talk Secrets

Tamsin: Hello Jade, hello Malin, how are you both this afternoon?

Jade: Hello, lovelies! I’m well. How about you two?

Malin: Good morning / afternoon, ladies! I’m doing good – happy to be here with you!

T: Excellent! Yes, it’s been a little while since we all got together. But we’ve made it through our first year, so yay for us! How do you two feel about that?

Cakes on ass

It’s our anniversary so the cakes are on us!

J: Definitely a yay to that! I am tickled we’ve gone a year strong, and that it’s been such a fabulously fun year, too!

M: Agreed. I can’t believe how quickly it flew by! Our anniversary snuck up on me!

J: It was officially the 4th, yes?

M: Yep! So we’re already into our second now. We’re growing up!

T: It may only have been a year, but I feel like I’ve known you two for a lot longer! And I have to say, we’ve done some great posts during that time. Any favorites? Anything we’ve missed out on so far?

M: I think my favorite was the one we did on details in erotica, if only because there are so many ways of approaching and responding to description. But I also loved our taboo discussion. There’s so much there. It feels like we touched on a lot, but only scratched the surface.

J: I would have to say I’m torn between two – the taboo talk is definitely one of them. We covered a lot of interesting ground with what we did talk about, but I have a feeling we may need to go there again, big time. Also, I honestly really enjoyed our end of the year / New Year’s post. It felt very cozy. :)

T: I’m trying to remember our very first post – it was a little introduction to ourselves – and looking back at it, what a sweet gang of newbie writers we were!

J: Yes we were!

M: What about you, Tamsin? Any favorites or topics you’d like to get more of?


Alpha maleT:
Early on we did a post on boys, alphas and Doms – it was fun! So maybe we should do a post about some of our favorite types of erotica heroines…I’m sure we’d have a lot to talk about on that subject. What about you, Jade?

J: I think that would pose some good ideas, for sure. I also think it would be interesting to talk about crossover things…how erotica merges with other genres and such. And perhaps word choices? There are just so many great avenues to explore when talking dirty, wouldn’t you say?

M: There’s an almost endless supply of topics, it’s true. I’d also love to talk about how sex can be used in fiction. Of course, there’s the obvious turn-you-on motive (nothing wrong with that!), but it can also deeply affect character motivations and further plot. Sex is powerful in writing. It would be fun to explore why and how.

J: I totally second that. Sex can be extremely transformative, so the potential power in writing that is superb. Let’s put that on the list! I’m also curious what our readers think – are there any topics you’re dying to hear us dirty talk about? If so, please definitely let us know in the comments!

GreyT: I’d say we could have our topic for next time lined up! Now, turning to a different subject – a little while ago, E L James released Grey – a retelling of the 50 Shades story from Christian Grey’s perspective. I was so surprised when I heard about this – hasn’t that story been done to death and can she really mine anything new from it? What do you two think about this move?

J: *long pause* I’m sorry for the delay, I was just ramming my head against my desk. So…yeah. Um, yeah. I had thought for a moment she was maybe going to tell a new story from his POV, which could work out…but…not so much.

T: No, apparently it’s just the same one! Isn’t she bored with it yet?

M: I have to admit that when I first heard she’d done this I laughed – it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of an author writing fanfic for her own story! But to take the question seriously, I can see how it could be fun to explore a scenario from two different POV’s, but to redo the entire series is…a bit much. Personally, I’d be bored silly with the whole thing if I were her, but maybe she’s gotten super attached…

T: Actually, I’ve written a pair of shorts (ha!) that tell the same story from the two protagonists opposing points of view – but those were shorts. It was fun to write as the pair were very combative and had opposing views about everything, including each other. However, I don’t think I could face it for a whole novel. For example, does she reproduce the conversations that they had verbatim or has she rewritten each scene quite differently?

J: I wondered that, too. If she’s written the exact same dialogue just from his head, and I’d purchased the book, I’d raise quite a stink. It’s one thing if there’s a little overlap…and I want to say good for her for attempting to please the fans…but I’m really curious how she’s covered new turf while in his head.

M: One thing to remember is that fans of the series are really into everything about the books. Though it hasn’t gone over well critically, her fan-base might not mind her re-using dialogue…but who knows?

T: Arguably, she should keep the dialogue the same – otherwise one of them takes the role of unreliable narrator! And given the consent issues raised in the first books, I feel that could be really problematic.

(Tamsin sneaks out for a moment to take a look)

T: Yes, the dialogue’s exactly the same, so at least their stories match!

J: You make some good points, Tamsin. Hmmm. I can definitely see why fans would be excited…I just wonder if there could have been a different approach. Or maybe I’m being picky.

T: I wonder if he dances the merengue in his head every time he comes, just like she does?

J: Oh, wasn’t there something about her Inner Goddess? Maybe he should dance the merengue in his balls (just to tread new ground, you know) every time his Inner God is feeling the connection between them. Oh my word.

M: Ha! All I can say is that I won’t be picking it up – I got enough of Christian Grey’s tortured inner merengue dancer from the movie.

T: The Amazon Kindle free sample certainly didn’t tempt me into reading further… However, a quick question – are there any books you could bear to read if they were re-written in this way? Or books that you’d really love to give this treatment to?

Wide Sargasso SeaM: Yes! Absolutely! In fact, I’m not opposed the concept in general, I just think it’s best done in a considered way. I like the way Jean Rhys approached Wide Sargasso Sea – it wasn’t a rewriting of Jane Eyre, but it did fill in backstory from a secondary character’s POV. But if we’re talking a direct retelling, I’d kind of love to read Jane Austen’s Emma from Knightley’s POV. You’d lose a lot of what makes the book so good (because Emma is fascinating), but I’ve always wondered what the hell he was thinking. Oh! And I’m reading Tampa by Alissa Nutting right now – it would be interesting to have access to the boy’s POV.

J: As a lover of Jane Eyre, I am now adding Wide Sargasso Sea to my reading list! But as far as my thoughts on alternate POVs…you know, most of the books where I would love to hear this already have switching POVs between chapters and / or scenes. Oh, wait. The Sookie Stackhouse series might be interesting if we could get in Eric, Jason, Alcide, or Bill’s head sometime – but I think True Blood covered that. I guess I like the idea of alternate or offshoot stories, especially from secondary characters – but without them being retellings of the story that’s already happened. Maybe I just haven’t found a good example of this yet, though. What do you think, Tamsin?

T: My first terrible thought was, imagine Lolita told from Lolita’s POV – but actually that would be horrendous and disturbing…

J: Oh, Tamsin! You must check out Cathy Coote’s Innocents. It’s that very type of story and POV, and yes, it really is amazing but highly disturbing! (It actually switches POVs at some point, if I recall correctly.) But beyond that one…are there any other books you can bear the thought of treating in this way?

T: When I think of my favorite books, I feel they’re all too perfect to be messed about with. However, maybe I’d relish a retelling of Rebecca with Rebecca’s side of the story – she was such a deliciously wicked woman and, dare I say it, so much more interesting than the Girl. And Gone With the Wind…imagine getting inside Rhett’s head. Not to mention Ashley’s – did he love Scarlett or not? I found him so frustrating. Mmmm, now you’ve got me going on this, I’m re-imagining all sorts of classics!

M: I know! It’s hard to stop once you get going! Curiosity is one of the main reasons I love serial POV’s in longer books – I love getting different perspectives. Okay, I’d better cut myself off there. That’s a whole different discussion!

T: Right, I think that just about wraps it up for this time. We’d love to hear from any of you what books you’d give the reverse POV treatment to and also, if there any topics you’d like us to dive into in our next session. On that note, I’ll just say “Happy belated anniversary” to my two colleagues, and I look forward to seeing you next time.

M: Happy anniversary to both of you too, and thanks to everyone for joining us!

J: Aw, yes! Happy happy anniversary to the both of you. And to our readers, thank you again for joining us and we can’t wait to see you next time!

 

XOXO,

Jade, Malin and Tamsin

 

 

Pillow Talk Secrets: Discussing the Darker Side of Erotica

Hello everyone! Thanks for joining us for another issue of Pillow Talk Secrets. This time, Jade A. Waters, Tamsin Flowers and I – Malin James, your host for this episode – are talking about taboos in erotica, from underage sex to bestiality. It’s a huge subject with enough to discuss for five episodes, but we do our best to take a bite out of the elephant, (in a completely consensual, non-literal sort of way) so, without further ado, I give you…

Pillow Talk Secrets

Malin: Hello ladies, how are you both doing this fine day?

Jade: Great, thank you. How are you both?

Tamsin: I’m very well – we have the sunniest day here and it’s positively balmy! A bit of a shock to the system!

J: Oh, same here! I’ve got the loveliest glare on my computer screen. ;)

M: Ah, yes! My relationship to the sun isn’t quite so friendly, but I’m always happy for those who love it…. So, we’ve been thinking about discussing taboo in erotica for awhile. Shall we tackle that today?

T: Yes, let’s. It’s an interesting subject. **Every publisher has a list of taboo topics – incest, bestiality, rape/non consensual sex, underage sex and so on. It’s interesting that some subjects are taboo because the acts are actually illegal – necrophilia, for example – while others are widely held to be taboo on the grounds of taste, such as scat or watersports. But that begs the question, should publishers be acting as arbiters of taste in this way?

M: I think that’s a great place to start, Tamsin. I like that you brought up the fact that “taboo” covers a lot of things, from serious consent issues (like rape and pedophilia) to different kinks and sexual tastes. It strikes me that putting rape in the same general category as two teens having consensual sex is a bit disingenuous, but that’s how many mainstream publishers handle the issue. Better safe than sorry, I suppose, but it feels like a slippery slope. After all, rape is not the same thing as a consensual golden shower…

J: Right. And then we have lighter (and not necessarily illegal) taboos like the “dreaded infidelity.” Oh dear…

M: Exactly. Some acts are simply more taboo than others. Cheating in erotica (and certainly romance) is taboo, but you can get away with it, while incest is a much harder sell in mainstream publishing…unless you’re George R.R. Martin, of course.

T: I find the whole cheating thing a bit weird. This seems to be a reader taboo rather than a publisher taboo – and why not have it in a story if the cheater gets their comeuppance?

J: I agree – but it seems that, to increase readership, publishers follow the tendency. This is very strange to me, since it’s actually such a common event in real life. Plus, cheating is not necessarily a one-time thing for characters – often there’s so much more depth to it.

T: I’ve never seen it on a publisher’s list of no-nos.

M: I don’t think I have either. It might just be one that writers (and readers) shy away from, particularly in the romance / erotic romance market.

J: Maybe because we have to keep our good guys and girls looking good?

M: Possibly…personally, I’m more interested in seeing people be people, which means bad / grey area behavior, but that’s definitely not something everyone wants.

T: Actually, this whole discussion makes me want to run off and write a hot cheating story in which the cheating heroine always gets away with it! (Actually, I have had one in mind for a while!)

M: Ha! Yes! And I would read that!

J: I wrote one a long time ago that’s still awaiting some tender touch-up…it’s got the hint of some sort of affair going on, and I’ve never quite decided if I want to keep that or cut it. Time will tell, I suppose. It’s definitely not the taboo that the others are, though, for sure.

M: My story in Chemical (se)X is all about the dynamic in an affair. I guess it all depends…. Okay, so now, I’d love to actually tackle a taboo Tamsin brought up in a Skype – the difficulty with underage protagonists.

Because this is as sexually active as teens get, right?

Because this is as sexually active as teens get, right?

T: Yes, this is one that drives me mad. I think it’s perfectly valid to want to write about teenagers having sex with each other – not with adults – but within their own peer group, because of course this is what happens. And I’m sure loads of teens would want to read it – to discover more about sexuality and relationships. But it’s totally not allowed.

J: Right. We must keep the children safe, or whatever the theory is…. I get it, on one hand – but I also think it’s strange that we can have so many violent books available for teens, and yet, the concept of them having sex (which we all know is totally happening) is strongly unacceptable on the page.

M: What’s also interesting is that it really is the technicality of age that determines that taboo. Ella Dawson writes beautiful stories about college age students / people in their early 20’s and they are brilliant, but if someone were to shave the ages down to 18, the same stories would not be acceptable in most publications, and would certainly get censored by Amazon.

T: Amazon is crazy – they took down my book, Zombie Erotoclypse, because one story is called “I Was a Teenage Zombie Virgin.” The character was 18 – but just the words ‘teenage’ and ‘virgin’ in the blurb got it thrown off the site. When I changed the blurb it became once more perfectly acceptable, even though it was about humans and zombies having sex – another taboo, necrophilia!

J: 18 and 19 are legal teens! Jeezo, Amazon. It’s really something.

M: The thing is that most of those words – ‘virgin’ and ‘teenage’ etc. – are getting flagged by software that doesn’t consider context, which means that any time they pop up, it could be an issue. It’s pretty ridiculous. What I’m curious about, is why the moral police at Amazon feel the need to indiscriminately flag those words to begin with…

T: I would imagine that for Amazon it’s a business decision – in response to complaints from uptight customers who simply blanche at anything to do with sex! The moral majority – ha!

J: But you bet all your pennies that you can write wickedly dirty sex between a beast (wolf/other creature) and a woman (human) and all is a-okay. Because that’s fantasy….which erotica is too, isn’t it? Last I checked, we’re creating sexual fantasy worlds.

M: Ah! That’s interesting, Jade! And it sort of of brings up beastiality. So, werewolves and shifters are okay, but not animals (which is understandable – there’s consent stuff, etc.), but I hadn’t really thought about the why of it until just now. I’d wager it’s because the weres have a human consciousness, but it’s still a bit of a loophole, isn’t it?

Oh dear...he looks a bit spent.

Oh dear…he looks a bit spent.

T: It’s quite weird – vampire and zombies are the acceptable face of necrophilia, were beasts make bestiality okay – it’s all a little hypocritical, isn’t it?

J: Totally. And while I am not personally into stories about actual bestiality, I would in no way want to censor someone who wants to write or read it. I think it’s odd that we as a society have this crazy tendency to say, “Well, this is okay. This isn’t. And while you’re doing this, don’t write about that, because that would just be totally horrific and sinful to put out there or consume. Your brain is dirty. Stop that.” You know?

M: The thing is is that the internet is full of stories about beastiality and incest and all the rest. Half of the Literotica site is taboo sex, because people want it. It’s the publishing industry that blanches from it, possibly because these fantasies aren’t socially sanctioned. It doesn’t mean that people don’t have them though.

T: And also, it’s perfectly alright to write about any manner of violence – none of that seems to be censored. But as usual, ‘sex is far more dangerous’ – we mustn’t forget that!

J: No, no. Don’t forget it. Bring on your chain saws and masked murderers though – even those potentially killing children. That’s considered okay.

M: Well, let’s talk about taboos in BDSM erotica, because that’s where perceived violence (in the form of consensual acts) and sex often intersect.

T: Yes – but let’s face it, responses from you two on beta reading Alchemy recently made me stop and think – and then I censored myself over a couple of issues. It’s something most writers do, I think – censor themselves, isn’t it?

J: Well, I don’t know that I’d call it censorship in all cases. Sometimes, we’re trying to fit the needs of the characters, and the roles we’ve given them to play. Would you call it censorship if you’re avoiding certain acts because it doesn’t fit who they are? I don’t know that I would.

T: That’s a good point, Jade – I think in the example I just mentioned the story was in danger of veering off down a route that it didn’t need to take.

J: I’ve totally been there. In writing The Assignment, I went way too far at one point – and I reeled it back in because ultimately, it was so not who the character was. I didn’t have an issue with the acts themselves, though. They might well happen with another pairing at another time.

M: That’s a great point, Jade. And I agree with you about those acts and the pairing involved. If an act, even a taboo one, is integral to the story or the character, then you should run with it, but if it isn’t… perhaps not. It’s all, in the end, about serving the story in the best way you can.

T: And I think in that case, it was perhaps also about reader expectations – the characters had been built up one way and then stepped into an altogether darker place – which could have disturbed the readers.

J: Now that I agree is something we do – cater to reader expectations – and that is, to me, a form of censorship. Which is precisely why we’re “not allowed” to write all the taboo stuff!

M: Yes, I think reader expectations must play a large role in what’s sanctioned and what isn’t, particularly for mainstream publishers that don’t cater to a niche audience. It makes me see the value of trigger warnings (which I have mixed feelings about) and the like.

J: Dammit. Can’t we all just be a little more accepting of the creative process? And yes, those trigger warnings…I have mixed feelings on those too, to say the least.

T: But as usual our genre is somehow expected to be ever so careful – while crime and horror can do what the hell they want? It reminds me of the recent safe sex debate – no other genre is expected to be safe or educate their readers – why us?

J: Oh man. That’s a taboo too, for some! And we could spend a whole conversation on that one, I think!

M: Actually, I’d love to have a conversation one of these days on that subject alone. It’s definitely topical and very involved.

T: I can’t tell you the stick I’ve had from some quarters about not including condom use in Alchemy – and its’ a f**king fantasy!

J: Lordie. You know what I think we should do? All three of us should write a story together. It will be about a 17-year-old girl having sex with a 90-year-old werewolf where they don’t wear condoms and the werewolf has a wife, and of course maybe they like to choke each other. What do you think?

T: Can I bring an axe? And are they brother and sister?

J: Did I skip that piece? Yes, they are. Of course.

M: Ha! I think we’ve got a taboo riddled winner there!

J: *Aside* Readers, we are so going to write an entire book on this one day. Just you wait. *Rubs hands together.*

T: Yay! A three-way!

M: Well, now you’re talking ;) Okay, ladies, on that delicious note, I suspect we should wrap it up! We covered a lot of ground….

J: Totally.

T: Wonderful!

J: It’s been fun, ladies. And readers, thank you for joining us on this taboo journey…

M: Absolutely – thanks for joining us again. And, as always, feel free to leave us your thoughts in the comments. There are lots of different ways to think about taboos in erotica, and we’d love to know what you think.

T: And we look forward to seeing you next time!

M: Bye!

J: Bye, everyone!

XOXO,

Jade, Malin and Tamsin

**NB: There is one very notable exception to this – Go Deeper Press. They embrace all manner of sexualities and sexual expression and very deliberately do not censor their writers. To read a little more on why this is, please check out this powerful post by Lana Fox, one of the founders of Go Deeper.

Pillow Talk Secrets: All About the Dirty Deeds

It’s time for another Pillow Talk Secrets, everyone!

Today I’m quite excited as Malin James, Tamsin Flowers and I—your host for the day, Jade A. Waters—have a spicy new topic for you. We’ve been wanting to get back to the dirty, seeing as we are Erotica Writers Talking Dirty, so today I’m delighted to be leading our discussion on the best erotic scenes and acts to write. That’s right—you’ll be hearing all our favorite pairings, naughty deeds, and explicit (literary) moments, and we hope you’ll enjoy the ride. (Eh-hm. Pun intended.)

So without further ado, welcome back to…

Pillow Talk Secrets

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

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

Tamsin: Very well, thank you.

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

M: Sounds good!

T: Fire away, Jade.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T: Smart analogy!

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

T: I love how a kiss can give away so much about a character—people can kiss romantically or passionately but they can also kiss in anger or kiss dismissively. It can say so much without words.

M: Yes! In fact, kisses are one of my favorite things to write, precisely because so much can be communicated through them. Also, the build up to the kiss can speak volumes as well.

T: Actually, now Malin, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head—to be honest it’s the build up—to the kiss or to any other sex act—that is actually the most interesting thing to write. Once you get down to the nuts and bolts, well that’s just like the payoff to all the build up!

J: This parallels real life—we spend all that time wondering what the first kiss will be like, and all the steps that come before it are critical to that wonderful heightening of anticipation. Perhaps that’s why we enjoy writing the kiss. So much hinges on it—they do say a kiss reveals a lot about the lover, right?

M: That’s it—the kiss reveals something. Chemistry, attraction, lack of attraction (though hopefully not), in both fiction and real life. I read some erotica where they skip over the kiss and get right to the sex and I’m always left a bit cold by that. I want that kiss to set the stage, even if what follows is really filthy. Actually, filthy, hot kisses are fabulous.

J: Yes they are! Sometimes those filthy, hot kisses reveal even more than the “traditional” first kiss—there’s so much lust and fire there.

M: Totally—it’s the romance in the unexpected that I like. Kisses with a little edge always get me.

J: No matter what, I think kisses are key. You hit on it a moment ago, Malin—erotica without the kiss feels like it’s missing something.

T: This is interesting to me because my main protagonist in Alchemy xii, Harry, is obsessed with kissing—everyone, all the time. It’s how he reads people and his own kisses give away so much to Olivia about what he’s thinking and how he’s feeling. It makes their connection much deeper than if it was just about fucking. (Though god forbid he ever gets a cold—the whole of Alchemy would go down with it!)

J: *Giggles* Okay, so I think we can all agree the kiss is an imperative precursor to the tale we’re trying to tell. But as we write erotica, things tend to go much, much further—and dirtier. Let’s move to another act: what about oral sex?

T: Oh, that’s definitely one of my favorites and I write a lot of it! In both directions.

J: Me too. And I can never decide which way I prefer to write better. Let’s talk about each one individually. How about the blow job?

T: I write a lot of blow jobs. One of the biggest challenges about that, however, is keeping them fresh and different—a challenge with writing a lot of erotica, but particularly I think with blow jobs. How do you two find it?

M: I think it’s a lot like in porn—there are generic blow jobs, and there are blow jobs that, like kisses, communicate something of the relationship between the characters. As long as you’re focusing on the individuals, I think there are a lot of ways to keep it fresh.

shutterstock_116966374T: Yes—it may always involve a cock and a mouth, but different characters and context can make it different every time.

J: I would agree with that. There’s the way the characters make eyes over the blow job, the words that are used, the different sensations described. For instance, is it a blow job with a power dynamic between the pair, in which case where does the power lie? Or is it meant in more of a romantic, slow way—a sensual build to show their feelings?

M: Ooh! Yes! Power dynamics with blow jobs are fabulous! Receiving one can definitely establish dominance, but it can also establish the power of the person giving it, because let’s face it. When you give a really good blow job, you’re in control of the pleasure, and that’s powerful stuff. Also, whether or not you let the receiver finish, or leave him hanging a bit, shall we say…

T: That brings in trust issues as well—I guess you probably have to have some level of trust in someone before you’re going to be happy to let them blow you. Or certainly for some people, maybe not others…

J: That’s true for some characters too, I think. Would you say that’s more or less true for going the other way—to her?

M: That’s an interesting question. I think that the same principle of trust and potential power play does work the other way. A lot of women feel very vulnerable being gone down on so that can be a big deal. And as far as power goes, there are lots of ways to play with a man eating a woman out in a D/s dynamic—face-sitting for example. That said, just like with blow-jobs, going down on a woman can be anything from challenging to massively sweet.

J: I have to say—I love writing both ways, but there’s something I particularly love about the going down scenes where there’s some description of the cunt. Call it female pride, I’m not sure…I love when someone can creatively (or prettily) describe all that’s going on. It might be because it’s more hidden than the cock. Do either of you feel that way?

T: Yes, actually, I find it much more interesting as a writing proposition than the blow job—it takes a little more imagination and it can be so delicious when you get it right.

J: I agree. And Tamsin, I have told you before I love your descriptions of cunts in your writing. :)

T: Aw, thanks—no-one’s ever paid me such a sweet compliment before! *blushes*

M: Cunts really are kind of lovely, and as a writer they’re a wonderful way to indicate sexual response. You can ramp up the heat in a scene by a little physical description—is she wet? What’s her clit feel / look like? How is she responding?

T: There’s the potential to use some wonderfully descriptive language when talking about female arousal, that’s for sure.

J: Yep. All five senses! I would be curious what our readers think on this—in particular because most readers of erotica are women. Perhaps we might encourage some to comment. *Wink wink* *Nudge nudge* But, moving on…we should discuss the main act in erotica: le sex. :)

M: Ahhh, le sex! Yes. Where shall we start? There are a lot of options there ;)

J: Yes indeed, there are. So, let’s focus on vaginal today.

T: Absolutely—there’s so much scope there. So many different positions for a start—does anyone know how many there are in the Kama Sutra? Hundreds probably!

M: Ha! That might be one of humanity’s most enduring pursuits—how many different ways can two people fuck? Do either of you have a go-to position in your writing?

J: Well, I think that while there are a lot of ways to do it in real life, some of those positions are tricky on the page (especially since some of those positions are not known to the vast majority of people). But, I think for me, I gravitate between a few of the main ones—missionary, her on top, reverse cowgirl, from behind with her flat (does that have a name?), doggie… There are more of course, but these are the more commonly appearing ones. What about you, Tamsin?Man Over Woman Pinning Her Down

T: Obviously, missionary gets a good look in, but I always like to write about my heroines being bent over something and taken from behind, possibly when they’re not quite expecting it! And in a variety of random places—like car bonnets or kitchen counters!

M: Ha! I love that, Tamsin! And I have to admit that I love writing missionary too—it’s my clean little secret. That said, my favorite is having the couple leaned up against a wall in some sort of standing position. I like how desperate and hot the sex gets when they’re like that.

J: Oh I *love* the standing-against-wall sex scenes. Those are fun!

T: Me too!

J: But the really great part about writing the actual penetrative sex is how it all goes down, and the sensations as we write them.

M: Yes, yes! And part of that is whether or not they’re wearing condoms, or how established their relationship is. Are the sensations familiar or is it new and revelatory? And how does that play emotionally too?

T: Then of course, just like with oral, there can be a whole power dynamic at play as well. Who’s in control? Who’s driving the whole act?

J: Right. I’d like to hit on the emotional aspect again, too—because, power play or not, sex and how it’s shared between two people is an incredibly powerful thing. That on the page can be beautiful and romantic, or painful, transformative, and hard…

T: Of course, it’s that aspect that makes erotica distinct from porn.

M: That’s a key point. Much more than the physical acts portrayed, it’s the emotional tenor that defines erotica. Porn is great, but it doesn’t tend to dig into the emotional or psychological contexts, whereas erotica uses sex to do just that.

J: I know that’s why I write it—and I suspect that’s why you both do, too. It’s the drive behind it all, isn’t it? The connection.

T: Totally!

M: You nailed it.

J: Well, I feel like we could cover about a hundred more sexual acts right now (yes, a hundred!) but perhaps this is a good place to stop—we could go on forever!

T: I think we’d better finish—but at least we know we haven’t exhausted the subject! (Nor could we!)

M: Agreed. It would actually be fun to revisit it at some point, but for now, I’d say we made a good start.

J: For sure. And readers, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what you like to read in erotica—what acts are your favorite? What levels of description do you like in the acts you do read? Please share in the comments section below. And in the meantime, thanks for joining us today!

M: Thanks everyone!

T: Yes, thanks—and see you next time!

XOXO,
Jade, Malin and Tamsin

Small Breasts – A Musing from Malin

Hello Everyone!

A few weeks ago, Jade started us off on a new series wherein she, Tamsin and I will occasionally share a post, a story or a bit of news with you here on the Pillow Talk site. She started us off with a snapshot in time called “When It Rains,” a post that originally appeared on her site and which I thought was absolutely lovely.

I’m going to take a turn now and share a post I did a little while ago called “Small Breasts”. It was just selected as an Elust digest judges pick, and mostly addresses my feelings on breast size in erotica and romance, as well as in real life. It also features a portrait done by the beautifully talented artist and writer, Tabitha Rayne.

You can read the whole post here, or catch the link at the end of the excerpt below. Either way, thanks for joining us here at Pillow Talk. I hope you enjoy!

xxx.M

Small Breasts

Portrait by Tabitha Rayne

Ah, breasts. They’re lovely, right? Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about breasts, (I know, it’s hard not to), mostly because I realized that the only time I ever describe them in my erotica, is expressly to say that the breasts in question are small.  If I don’t describe them, it’s fair to say that the character’s breasts anywhere from average-sized, (whatever that means), to large and that they are, of course, lovely.

However, if I take the time to actually describe them, it’s almost always to say that they are small or “delicate” just as the bodies that go with them are “boyish” with “subtle curves.” I don’t do it often because most of the time, I want the reader to slide herself, (or himself), into the story and, for better or worse, tiny tits are not very common. At least, they never were, especially in the erotic content I read when I was younger.

In many ways, popular erotica tends to traffic in ideal body types, which means that the genre has been graced by an abundance of full, heavy, goddess-like breasts – the sort of tits a man can lay his head on after fucking the slender yet curvy woman they’re attached. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se. Erotica is, in many ways, a fantasy driven genre, and for many people, slim bodies and large breasts are the fantastic ideal. Recently though, we’ve seen more stories featuring women with true-to-life proportions, which I think is wonderful. These women are sexy and hot despite not being a size-4. They rock those goddess-like breasts in a whole new way, and it’s wonderful to see the slow integration of realistic body types in erotica. But this left me wondering about those of us who do not have full, goddess-like breasts; ladies who, rather than rocking a pair of D’s, are sitting pretty with a set of A’s?

Click Here to Read the Rest on Malin’s Site

When It Rains—A Snapshot in Time, from Jade

Hey everyone!

Seeing as how it’s a new year, we of Pillow Talk have decided we’d like to give you a little more to read over at this blog. We’ll still be sharing our Secrets sessions every six weeks or so (and you can catch the latest episode here), but between them we thought it would be fun to occasionally give you a bit of our individual news, posts and stories!

That said, I am very excited to be the first to launch our new adventure—and I’m delighted to be doing so with a personal post that appeared on my site earlier today. It’s a snapshot in time of a transformative experience for me, and I hope you enjoy it. You can catch the full post right here, or, you can read along below and click the link at the end if you’d like to continue.

Malin, Tamsin and I are looking forward to sharing more with you. Thank you so much for joining us!

XX,
Jade

When It Rains

Many years ago, I had a friend with early arthritis who mentioned that whenever it rained, everything changed for him—his body slowed, his joints ached, and he remembered how old he was (his words).

While I’ve no definitive physical reaction to rainy weather, I have noticed my own unique response to it. It’s beyond the casual gaze out the streaked, foggy window, or the perfunctory lean toward the scent of nature drenched in rainfall. Instead it’s a deep-rooted thing—a snapshot in time of an incident that shaped and changed me.

And so sometimes, when it rains, I remember.

Picture of journals

Usually, the memory comes fleeting and fast—and always, I push it aside to write about another day. But during a rainstorm a few weeks ago, I went combing through my files. I’ve been a recorder since I was a little girl, and I’ve saved most everything—I have the diary I kept from ages seven to eleven, the bounty of journals I locked in a drawer as a teen, and those I have on my nightstand as an adult. So when I found the story that’s popped into my head here and there over the last two decades, I felt inspired to finally commit the experience to words—this time as the vivid imprint that occasionally flares, something I recognize as the start of a transformation far deeper than raw, young me saw when she wrote it in calculated detail back then.

At 14, I was gangly and awkward. I had thick, bushy eyebrows hidden behind gigantic blue-framed glasses, and I wore baggy shirts and loose jeans to hide developing breasts and hips that had grown far wider than my mother’s. I’d already had braces for the first of two times, so I’d endured much of the teasing that came with them for years prior…but while my teeth were straight, I felt crooked. I felt small. I had a mind bursting with curiosity, but I, like many young teens, was just coming to understand this strange body of mine. I’d heard and read of what it could do, but I was timid, observing all the goings-on around me with a pair of huge, inquisitive eyes. Still, my body ached, somehow, for more—and at school, in my art class, I found it.

His name was Rob.

Click here to read the full post at Jade’s Site

Pillow Talk Secrets: Happy New Year

Hello!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And welcome to the first Pillow Talk Secrets of 2015! As your host today, I (Tamsin) am going to grill my two Pillow Talk colleagues, Jade and Malin, about the year that’s just closed and about their hopes for the coming year. But I don’t want to hear about all the things you already know about – the stories they’ve had out and the crazy professional triumphs… No, I’m going to drill a bit deeper with a few impertinant questions, so you can find out what it’s really like to be an erotica writer! Let’s not waste anymore time but dive right in…

 

Pillow Talk Secrets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

J: Right!

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

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

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

J: It’s a damn hot potato!

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

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

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

 

Sexy coupleExcerpt from “Star F*cker”:

Our fingers lace lightly, back to back, as we stare straight ahead, right into our reflection in the soft, polished brass. We look old-fashioned and lovely. You’re lovely, I think. By the time the doors open, my thighs are slick and I can barely breathe.

 

J: Oh yeah. That was *great*. Wow…okay, pulling it together here…so for me, I’m torn (in case that wasn’t obvious by passing the ball to Malin just now). It’s between some scenes in the book I’m getting ready to write a sequel for, and a couple of the shorts I wrote during The Calls. Do you both remember The Calls? Holy crap, that was a month.

M: I do remember The Calls. I can’t believe I cranked out that many stories in five weeks.

T: Please don’t remind me of it! I was demented!

J: Yeah, but I read a lot of the stories both of you put out that month of submission call madness – they were brilliant. It was definitely a month of creativity! All right. Let’s see…decision time. I’ll go for a scene in the book my agent is marketing right now called The Assignment. It’s a scene set in Maya’s kitchen, when she’s earned her reward for following Dean’s earlier instructions.

 

Kissing coupleExcerpt from The Assignment:

He yanked the skirt of my dress up around my ass. The stainless steel of my fridge fogged with my breath, and I shuddered as he guided his hand between my thighs. Having handed over my panties, I had no barrier to stop the greedy search of his fingers. Dean slid his fingertips along my crevice and I gasped.

“Christ, you’re wet.”

 

T: Phew! I can vouch for it – that’s a damn hot scene!

J: Thanks, sweetheart! Now what about yours?

T: For me, there’s no doubt that the year’s hottest scenes were all stacking up in the Alchemy xii episodes I’ve written so far. But which to pick…

M: OH MY GOD YES!!! Alchemy is so hot. That scene in the prologue, when Harry spanks Olivia for the first time is insane, and I’m not even really into spanking. Good god, woman. Harry…

J: Ladies and gentlemen, you heard it here first: Alchemy, Alchemy, Alchemy!

T: Thank you, lovelies – but goodness, I hope no one heard it here first – I’ve been pimping it everywhere for months!. And, Malin, that’s an interesting choice – I was thinking of other scenes…I love their first encounter in the Silver Room… Anyway, this little excerpt is how it all kicks off…

 

The kissExcerpt from Alchemy xii – New Year’s Eve:

Harry put one palm flat against her cheek, then leaned in to whisper in her opposite ear.

“I’m going to take you back to my club now and tie you up. Then I’m going to hurt you,” he said. “Is that what you want?”

When her mouth closed around his and her tongue pushed between his lips, when her kiss became ferociously deep, Harry Lomax knew his hunch about her had been spot on.

 

J: Yep. That was smokin’. *Wipes brow*

T: So those were our hottest scenes – now what’s the strangest sex scene you two wrote last year?

J: You know, I wouldn’t say I have a strange one, but I had one that was so dark I kind of floored myself. It’s coming out in Rose Caraway’s Dirty 30 Audiobook – it’s in a story called “The Bells,” which is an alt-history retelling of a certain noble’s fate. I wrote it, came out of my trance, and uttered, Where the fuck did that come from?

M: “The Bells” definitely appeals to my darker tastes. It’s really quite incredible.

J: Aw, thank you.

T: And what about yours, Malin?

M: Strange… let’s see. Oh! Yes! I wrote a story for an anthology of theater erotica. In it, two actors becomes so attuned to their characters that they become sort of empathetically possessed and end up having the sex their characters are desperate to experience.

T: Oh, I want to read that please…

J: Oh it’s gooooood. Now, what about you, Tamsin?

T: I have a little short, languishing in my pile, that’s set on a golf course – and it gets pretty strange…

J: Tell us more!

T: Suffice to say, a golfing mad husband finds a novel place to put his tee… *dirty snigger*

J: *Snort*

M: Okay, yes. I *definitely* want to read this!

T: I’m sure that can be arranged! My next question is – what were your biggest achievements of the year gone by?

M: The whole year has been a bit overwhelming as far as that goes. I think the two biggest for me were getting a story into Violet Blue’s Best Women’s Erotica, which was a long term goal, but even more so, it was getting picked as one of Molly Moore’s 20 of 2014 sex bloggers. I had no idea the year would take me in such a strong sex writing / nonfiction direction, but they have and I’m incredibly happy.

J: Both are fabulous successes! Your sex writing is really killing it, miss. You have so many strong, thoughtful things to say.

T: Yes, your essays have been thought provoking and moving in equal measure – I love reading a new post from you.

M: Thank you – I just want to keep going! What about you both? What are your biggest achievements?

J: For me, it’s a two parter – I think it might be expected that I’m going to say getting an agent, but really it’s the precursor to that: drafting the novel I wrote in six weeks. I’m still not entirely sure how that happened, but my former mentor said he thought I could write two books in a year, and when I thought about how much of a work horse I am, and then how loud this book was buzzing about in my head – I just went for it. It took six weeks with outlining, which sort of blew my mind. Now I can’t wait to write the second book!

T: That really was a truly amazing stint of writing you did then! And I’m so looking forward to the sequel.

M: Me too – you created a really intriguing arc, Jade. I want to see where it goes! But you said your achievement was a two-parter – what’s the second half?

J: Thank you, girls! The second half was finding the lovely Jessica Alvarez, my new agent. She’s a dream. :) I’m bouncing off the walls working with her!

M: Ah, yes! You did strike gold there! And so did she!

T: I have to say that was one of the most exciting moments of the year here at Pillow Talk Towers!

J: You both are so sweet. And sharing that with you two was also gold! I’ve never felt so supported. Like a trio of sisters around here! Okay, so, moving on…what about you, Ms. Flowers?

T: Mine’s pretty damn predictable. At the start of 2014, Alchemy was just a twinkle in my eye. Now I’m at the wheel of a bloody great juggernaut and sometimes I feel like I’m careering out of control! It’s taken most of my energy this year but as it only launched a couple of days ago, I can’t gauge the results.

M: Well, from what I’ve been privileged to read so far, that juggernaut is firmly under your control. I’m so ridiculously excited about that project!

J: It really is something. I swear, sometimes I think Tamsin says, “Look, there’s a mountain. I’m going to go scale that…barefoot. With a hand tied behind my back. And maybe a blindfold. Tally ho!”

M: Ha! Yes!

T: But the truth is, I would not have managed to get it going without you two at my back for the whole wild journey! Thanks, girls!

J: Oh. I’m going to get all mushy now. I just adore you both. I’m SO glad we formed this trio!

M: Me too. If I’m to be totally honest, the best things about the year have to include the two of you. I know it sounds maudlin, but it’s absolutely true.

T: Okay before this melts into mush – a quick-fire question. Where do you see yourselves at the end of 2015?

J: Do you want a serious answer or a true fiction writer answer?

T: That’s up to you…

M: Okay, I’m going to jump in and try to be serious, (because I’m ever-so-serious, *snort*). By the end of 2015, I want to have finished my first novel, The Briary, and be shopping it around. And on the nonfiction front, I’d like to start getting pieces into some of the larger outlets, so that I can move more firmly into sex writing and cultural criticism.

J: These are lovely plans, Malin. I expect we’ll see you there, for sure. As for me, I want to have written the second book of my series, and as I’m aiming to write more personal stuff on my site on a regular basis this year, I hope to have a bank of that up. What about you, Tamsin?

T: I think I’ll be resting! 2015 is going to be a bit of a roller coaster for me, so I just hope I get through it! And at some point, I’d like to get back to my little sexspionage novel and get that out into the world… So that just about wraps things up as far as my questions for you went. What’s coming up in the next newsletter?

M: Well, it would be hard to top our massive holiday edition, but a Spring newsletter is in the works. If you don’t already subscribe, sign up on the left!

Snow bunniesT: I’d also love to hear from our readers about their 2014 triumphs and 2015 plans…so on that note, I’ll sign off! See you next time!

J: Yes, thanks for joining us!

M: Thanks, lovelies! See you next time!

XOXO,

Tamsin, Malin and Jade

Pillow Talk News: Holiday Edition

Hi everyone! Our newest edition of Pillow Talk News went out to our subscribers today, and it’s a special Holiday Edition! We really, really appreciate people signing up, but as we want to provide you with a peek in case you’re still unsure about signing up, we’ve posted a little sampler below. If you like what you see, please consider subscribing—you can sign up by clicking right on that link in the left side bar. You can also have a look at the entire month’s newsletter by clicking here.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the Holiday Edition!

XOXO,
Jade, Malin and Tamsin

PILLOW TALK NEWS

Hello and welcome to the sixth edition of Pillow Talk News—the special holiday bonus edition! We’ve got holiday cheer, news galore, and lots of free reads from Tamsin Flowers, Malin James, and me, Jade A. Waters, your editrix this time around! 

We are so excited as it’s practically Christmas! Fires are blazing, snow is falling, and…look up! Is that mistletoe dangling over your head? Well then pucker on up, snicker doodle, because we’ve got all sorts of holiday kisses for you!

This time of year is all about friends and family, so we want to send a very special wish to everyone to enjoy the holidays and time with loved ones. But while we’ve got you here, the three of us have warmed our spiced egg nog and are cozied up in the back of a sleigh to share all the freshest news with you!

Click HERE to view the rest of this newsletter!