Hey everybody! Malin James, Tamsin Flowers, and I are back again with our newest Pillow Talk Secrets…and this time we’ve had a lovely conversation about everything taboo—from the underaged and adulterers to the beasts and undead! Oh my! Please join us as Malin lead our highly controversial conversation. And as usual, I’ve posted a snippet of our session here with a link to continue back to our site at the end, or you can hop on over now to read Secrets in full.
Thank you so much for joining us!
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 categories 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.
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!
I rarely write while drinking. For one, I’m usually out with friends, and sitting down to pen something wouldn’t work in the moment. Then, there’s the fact that my creative process simply doesn’t flow under those circumstances. I might have some good ideas, but they won’t come to fruition in any sort of cohesive way until I’m completely clear-headed.
That’s why today’s poem is a bit of an anomaly for me. A month ago, my friend and I met and played our usual rounds of dice games over drinks at a local bar. And as the evening progressed, we shared a powerful conversation on those people who rip you right out of your comfort zone—loves who make you see things differently, move you in ways you didn’t imagine, and break straight through to your soul. Sadly, he had to leave soon after, but I was still buzzed and nowhere near ready to drive. So I sat in my car for a while, texting friends, reading blog posts, and replaying the conversation.
It was then this poem started writing itself, inspired by the heady nature of the discussion and some memories of my own. I wasn’t able to finish it that night, but I’ve finally pulled it up off my phone notes and touched up a few spots. For the most part, I left the original poem intact.
So today, I’d like to share “He’s Got Her” with you:
Jade A. Waters
He’s got her
Her limbs stretched across this bed
Wrist to headboard
Foot to base
But this has nothing to do with
It’s the way he looks at her
The way he sees inside her soul,
The way his fingers dig
So deep inside her cunt,
Finding her secrets
And all her dreams,
With the flick of his wrist and a glint in his eyes.
She thinks for a moment
It’s not right that he can do this,
Not right that he can take her
From cynical to believer in seconds
But he does,
Every time he holds her
This is what she realizes
As he circles her clit with his tongue
And drives those fingers inside;
He’s got her,
Ensnared her heart and soul in his net
For a lifetime to come
Because it’s supposed to be,
Was meant to be.
So when he thrusts into her,
Grunting, bearing, deep and loving,
This love he takes from her
This love she freely shares,
It was never hers to give in the first place
Because she’s always
Belonged to him.
I hope you enjoyed it.
Photo courtesy of Molly’s Daily Kiss
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A few weeks ago, the charming Jane Gilbert shared a hilarious post on erotic euphemisms. We’ve all read them—and I’m sure we can all agree they’re positively terrible. They tend to do a fine job of turning the reader off while simultaneously detracting from the story, because things such as coffee beans, spongy stems, and turgid manhoods are probably best left for comedy.
Which is why, I suspect, dear Jane came up with a fabulous new meme—it’s called the #EuphOff, and it’s been circulating for a little bit now. I’ve been slow to join in due to all the stuff, but with the challenge of writing a 500-word story using as many euphemisms for sex and body parts as possible, how could I pass this up?
(You’ve been warned.)
Purple prose is definitely not my thing, so a giant thank you to Jane for the challenge as I actually found this really fucking hard (and not in a good way).
But, after you’ve read through to the end—if you can make it to the end—please be sure to jam your clicker on the coffee bean to enjoy more trembling oysters and vibrating sabers from other writers! Believe me, there were some fantastic entries.
Now, without further ado:
For the Love of a Stable Boy
Princess Abigail jumped when Donnie emerged from the shadows, her lush orbs rising and falling as his bare feet crunched across the woodsy floor. Under the cascade of light blessing them from the moon above, she made out the hunger in his eyes. His was unrestrained lust, the natural state of a man come to implant her with his seed.
“Abigail,” he said, his voice a throttled cry slicing through the chilly night, “I’ve been waiting for you.”
Abigail’s cherry-tips hardened, and a thick syrup brimmed in the marshmallow cavern between her thighs. They’d spent years playing at the river’s edge when they were young, despite her father’s repeated warnings that he was just a lowly stable boy—but having spied him bathing at the edge of the pond, caressing the dagger between his legs so that it grew into a swollen beast desperate to plunge into her darkest cave, she knew he was nothing the term boy could properly fit. Now, the steel-cut landscape of his chest glittered in the moonlight with a fine layer of velvet moss, and beneath his abs there jutted the one-eyed snake that dwells between a man’s hips, a fleshy sword ready to spear her inner path to take from her the maidenhead she could only give but once.
Before Abigail moved, Donnie pressed his tumescent rod against her. She gasped, but he swept her in his arms as her head fell back in a whinny.
Could he read her impure thoughts? Did he know her marital hopes?
Could he smell in the air the ripe scent of nectar that circled in her lady passage like the love that swarmed her heaving bosom?
“Donnie,” she whispered, “do you mean it?” She gnashed her teeth despite her hands swift to roam the ridges of his chest, then grazing the hollow of a belly meant to flatten against hers when he would impale her with his love stick.
“Oh Abigail,” he said. “You are the maiden pure as the driven snow, sweet as the taste of honey, and curved like a cello I’ve longed to play.”
He smothered her in a tender kiss, then, his hands gripping the sweet round of her bottom and raising up the folds of her skirt. What could she possibly do? A tide of desire surged her love haven, and as his heat-seeking protuberance snuck against the bare, ivory skin of her quivering thigh, she muttered, “But I’m a princess. My sacred pearl can only be given once—”
“Then let your maidenhead be mine, my darling,” he said. “I am the one for you. I promise.”
Abigail did not protest as Donnie laid her down and lifted her skirt above her head, burying his puckered lips between the rippling wings of her butterfly. She bleated in longing as his tongue drilled into her seeping cavern, and when she began to seize, Donnie rose up on his knees, grasping his baton. “Let me pollinate you with love fluid to show my honor for you, Princess.”
At this, Abigail surrendered. Donnie pierced her with his stem, stinging her with the repeated seesaw of his hips. Pleasure permeated her once-sealed tunnel, and as Donnie bucked like a wild stallion and exploded with cannon fire deep within her silk canal, she knew.
He was the one.
Special bonus narration by Exhibit A!
Wow. My eyes and ears are bleeding. Yours?
Flick the bean for more!
I’ve been in a really funny headspace lately. It’s one that did more damage than good, but I think one we all go through from time to time, to one degree or another (or maybe I’m only saying that so I don’t feel crazy). But in truth, life happens—it’s just that sometimes, it’s full of giant elephants blocking your way between the landmines that can blow your path to smithereens.
So let’s see. Where do I start?
I’ve been working on this book. It’s an exciting one for me, a standalone story that I started as what I’d intended to be a quick detour before I sat down to draft the sequel of the book my agent is currently shopping around. This baby’s got a lot of elements going for it that have my engines revved…first, there’s a bunch of exhibitionism (as I’ve said before, I am a bit of an exhibitionist). Then, there are a few relationships happening for my darling lead female—not in a poly way, but in a super complicated way I’m enjoying navigating. And then, there’s said lead character—a woman who definitely doesn’t fit the current mold of female protagonists (read: naïve virgins), and who is instead a highly educated divorcée ready to break free of her troubled old life. Score!
But here’s the thing: this poor book has been taking a beating from day one.
It took seven weeks to draft my last book, but this one has had a perilous path, interrupted in more ways than I can count. There was the one-month break. Then the two-month break. Then that other break. Then the rewriting that had to happen since I kept trying to write while I wasn’t sleeping much, or while I was sick. Or…well, you get the picture. It’s just that, for some reason, I can’t seem to get my time and focus into the game on this one.
Okay, truth be told, I laughed as I typed “for some reason”—because my life has been a hot mess for a few months now. For the last five I’ve been contending with an oil-leaking car (finally fixed…I think) and the HOA waiving threats of fines about for the spot I “took too long to clean” (too long was a week, guys, a week) and now the manner in which I’ve cleaned it (because “soap is bad for the environment”). I’ve still been running Jade’s Cat Hospice, which strangely sucks up a lot of time when you consider chasing cats down and medicating them multiple times a day, with one of them using the litter box as her hiding spot when she’s on to me (oh my god STOP that, kitty, stop!), and twice weekly email correspondence with the vet tech. Then there was the cold from hell that completely knocked me out, ironically, for the few days I took off from work to get some editing in on the damn book. I can’t seem to solve my plantar fasciitis problem, and spend a surprisingly large amount of time working on that (stretching, icing, ordering new shoes, returning crappy shoes, wondering if I’ll ever run again, stretching, icing…). My sleep is fortunately not as bad as it was during my 6-week chronic insomnia run last year, but my trick of moving to the couch if I can’t fall asleep and waking up there with a messed up back in the morning is getting kind of old. Then there’s family drama happening that’s kind of boggling my mind, and on top of that, some shit went down at my day job that was serious enough I might need to consider legal help, but I’m not sure if—with my tendency towards insane stress levels—this is the route to go yet.
But all this is neither here nor there. There are children starving in Africa, right? This is what I learned growing up: my problems are not real problems because there are children starving in Africa. It’s a mantra I repeated to myself for decades, one that left me unable to acknowledge until way later that witnessing my parents’ terribly messy divorce when I was a child actually did have an impact. It was a mantra that prevented me from realizing that raising my sister for two years while I was 11 and my parent worked graveyard did force me to play the grown-up when what I needed was to be a little girl and cry. It was the same mantra that had me putting on my game face after a series of emotional and physical traumas in my teens and twenties, because it was easier to just smile, laugh it all away, and keep it quiet than handle it for what would be about a decade. And later, it would be this very same mantra that, when I was performing aerial circus stunts as I mentioned in my interview with Molly Moore, would lead me to break myself in the middle of a performance because I didn’t believe pain could stop me—or should stop me. Ps-shaw. Hell no. I didn’t do pain. I was a superhero and had no time for pain, relaxation, feeling hurt, any of that.
There were children starving in Africa, for fuck’s sake.
Well, the good news is now that I’m 35 and oh-so-wise (did you hear me chuckle just now?), I am less inclined to resort to the children starving in Africa mantra when I’m hurting. I totally feel pain, and I cry; heck, I even have meltdowns that could, I suppose, be hormonal, but holy shit. They happen. It’s rather bizarre, having been the levelheaded one in the family for so many years [decades], that now I actually cry and have to lay boundaries and stuff.
But that relaxation thing? That part where, when I see a big brick wall—or, say, a field full of elephants and landmines blocking every clear route—I know that I need to slow down and accept that this might be trickier than expected and that’s okay, because sometimes tricky things take time?
Yeah, that part I’m still working on.
So I think you might be wondering where the fuck I’m going with all this. Let’s cut back to the cold/chasing cats/work thing/family drama/limping on my foot on the way out to scrub more oil off the goddamn pavement moment: I finally had a whole day free to write and I simply couldn’t. I froze. I cried. I got myself caught in this loop over the fact that I was wasting my productive time to mull over all this bullshit that shouldn’t be stalling me. It was Meltdown City, and I kept wondering if I was PMSing, or worse, bipolar—because hell, that runs in the family—and before you know it, I’m on the internet taking a quiz to determine if maybe I am (who fucking does that?).
I suddenly felt like I did once upon a time, even without the Africa mantra, but damn—was I being hard on myself!
Then three magical things happened.
First, I put a call in to the wonderful and lovely Malin James. Many of you know I adore this woman—she’s like my long lost twin separated at birth—so she felt like the right person to call. She needed a few minutes to call me back, and that was okay. While I waited, I texted my other friend—a non-writer with whom I share other similarities (including some astrological traits, if you’re into that). As she texted me back, I randomly found this article by James Clear about not striving so fucking hard for goals and instead reaching for the process and savoring that. Because that’s attainable. That you can’t fuck up, or bemoan not reaching. Because it’s all about the journey, remember?
So about the time I’d gotten the gist of Mr. Clear’s very clear point, my phone went off with a text and a phone call all at once. My two dearies had come to the rescue. The texter hit me with some sweet words telling me I was going to do just fine with the book, and then some encouragement to go on a long walk and drink more (she’s an exercise fiend and a wine connoisseur) and remember we’re Geminis (and thus naturally a tad bipolar). Meanwhile, the fabulous Malin chimed in with her extraordinarily calming and logical approach to tackling huge missions while circumventing bitchy elephants and dangerous landmines in a way that made sense to me (the twin thing again).
And I’ve got to say—between these three events, I was suddenly okay with putting my story down for the day. I took a deep breath. I closed the browser telling me I was potentially bipolar. I calmly enjoyed the rest of my afternoon. I even went karaoking with another great friend (my version of the walk and drinking…instead I danced and drank) until something like 2 in the morning.
Because you know what? There are children starving in Africa. And elephants are awfully big to walk around. Also, landmines can be treacherous.
So sometimes you’ve just got to slow down and go with it.
Things are still stupidly chaotic in my life, but I’m not panicking on the book anymore. It will happen. And writing this post reminded me of a passage I scribbled from a phenomenal book I read last summer, Hillary Jordan’s When She Woke:
“I don’t have far to go.”
“That may be…or it may be that you have a greater distance than you think. But either way, you’ll get there eventually.”
You know what?