Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Ten Erotic Books We Couldn't Live Without. (This one goes up to eleven)

In honour of World Book Day (yes, that's today), the girls and I here at Lust Bites thought we'd celebrate by sharing a few of the top erotic picks from our bookshelves. We're a diverse bunch, with widely differing tastes, and I think the list below reflects that. So, here without further ado, in no particular order are the books that we admire, aspire to, and take to bed.

1. Macho Sluts by Pat Califa.

This book was a favourite with at least three of our members.

Mathilde says: 'Macho Sluts is unbelievably good and my copy is well-worn and much loved. All kinds of whizzy things going on with gender in that book. Seriously ground breaking at the time it was published.'

2. Toward the End of Time by John Updike.

Nikki says: 'The central character is married but has this strange sort of affair with what could be a woman or could be a roe deer! Slightly futuristic, and very earthy at the same time.'

3. Ishtar Rising by Robert Anton Wilson.

Janine says: 'A slightly bonkers book about why women's breasts are really really great and how we should all love them. By one of the world's more famous pagan anarchists.'

4. Mr Benson by John Preston.

Mathilde says: 'My all time personal favourite book. The story of a cute little twink, Jamie, who goes looking for a Master and finds more than a master, he finds: Mr Benson! I want to be Mr Benson when I grow up. (And by 'grow up' here, I mean grow a penis.)

5. Lord Wraxall's Fancy by Anna Lieff Saxby.

Kristina says: 'The man you love to hate.'

Madelynne says: 'The man you hate to love.'

6. Beauty's Punishment by Anne Rice (A N Roquelaure)

Alison says: 'The second in the series. I always liked this one the best, with the townspeople and the pony boys... there is one stable scene I'll never forget.'

7. My Secret Life by 'Walter'.

Kristina says: 'Disturbing, compelling, infuriating, darkly sexy, & truly pornographic in its fascination for detail.'

8. Yellow by Makoto Tateno

Madelynne says: 'Two drug snatchers, one gay, one straight. Edgy, complex, funny and absolutely riveting, and I just love the way Taki extracts himself from all those clinches.'

9. Dominant by Felix Baron

Madeline says: '...decidedly masculine in style, yet surprisingly gentle in its
description of a sensitive man who longs to share his perversity with an
eager, honest woman. And the sex is explicit, stylish and hot.'

10. The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon by Tom Spanbauer

Shanna says: 'This lyrical, sensual, almost-cowboy book about a bi-sexual boy named Shed will break your heart, turn you on, and break your heart again.'

11. Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil) by Charles Baudelaire

Alison says 'I was seduced by the translated words of this poet, eg...

"As others might with tenderness
Rule your life and your youngness
I shall rule you with a fear."

Or "I shall beat you without rage
Or hate, as Moses struck the rock,
As a butcher strikes his block,
I shall make your tears assuage."

So, there you have it. Now it's your turn to share some of your favourites with us, and recommend some titles we may not have discovered yet. There were plenty of other books we considered but couldn't quite squeeze onto the list, but I'm sure the girls will tell you about those in the comments.

Then, when you're finished here, why not nip over to and celebrate the literary form by helping preserve the world's greatest book collection by adopting a book at the British Library. There's a whole range of titles to choose from, including everything from Wuthering Heights to Trainspotting to Where the Wild Things Are. (Hmm, I might have to adopt that one myself.)



Now I know my ABCs…

I first had the idea more than ten years ago. A slew of sexy little anthologies you could slide into your purse or backpack, whipping one out when you wanted to lose yourself in a brief burst of primal pleasure:

A is for Amour.
B is for Bondage.
C is for… well, it was originally Carnal. And then Concubine. I dabbled with Cunt and Climax, but finally settled on Co-Eds.
D is for Dress-Up.

And it was over a table in the Cleis offices in San Francisco when I got the nerve to pitch them. What publisher would sign on to 26 books at once? Cleis would. There was a bit of shuffling at first, over cover designs and layouts. A bit of discussion on the topics themselves. K is for Kissing? No… too sappy. Kinky? Yes, much better. And if O is for Orgies then M can’t be Menage. Should A be for Anal? Or is that too in-your-face? (To play around with body images for a moment.) If P is for Panties, then U can’t be for Underwear and K can't be for Knickers…. You get the picture.

Even beyond the titles, this was one of the most difficult series I’ve ever worked on, because the books are so short. Only 12 stories per tome. You might think that would make things easier, yet sometimes I received more than 300 submissions for a theme. But cream rises, and ultimately I chose my favorites. Stories that were sexy and sophisticated, like Pervertable by fellow LustBiter Mathilde Madden, featured in B is for Bondage:

You look so big—tall and bulky—filling the shop’s doorway in your leather jacket, with your shaved head and slightly greying moustache. Every inch the old school master. You smile at me, a little indulgent smile that I hope means that you find me as dream-fulfilling as I do you, and then you give a little jerk of your head that makes me trot after you, as if the response is already hardwired.
I've known you less than twenty-four hours.

And College Reunion by Andrea Dale from C is for Co-Eds:

“Count them off,” Grant growled.
I wanted to giggle, my predicament was so clichéd. But no laughter was able to bubble past my lips. It wasn’t so much fear as anticipation that caused my breathing to quicken. Pressed against the hard, polished wood of the old desk, my nipples were taut and swollen. My cunt quivered, my clit throbbed, and I could smell my slick arousal.
Any moment now, the hallowed halls of my alma mater would resonate with the sound of Grant’s broad palm making sharp contact with my mostly bare ass.
Hell of a college reunion!

And Puss-in-Boots by Shanna Germain from D is for Dress-Up:

I found them by accident. I’d given up the search, days and days, maybe a week ago even. Then, the night before his birthday, there they were, in the window of a second-hand store: the boots. Knee-high, black leather with at least a five-inch heel. Even through the window glass, I could tell the leather was that soft, stretchy kind, something with enough give to slide over my muscled calves. I leaned in closer to the window, put one hand up to block out the glare from the street lamp. The toes were long, but not pointed. Jesus, they were perfect, just what my husband had asked for. I’d been so sure I wasn’t going to find these boots that I’d already bought him an expensive back-up gift. Who cared? I’d been given a last-minute blessing and I wasn’t about to turn it away.

And from my own story, Above You, in A is for Amour:

It’s as if he’s never seen a girl with dyed black hair before. Never seen pale skin or dark eyes, all of the things that make me an aberration in Hollywood where blonde and blue are the only colors in the crayon box. But I’ve seen people like Adam before. Tall, lean, and handsome in a hick sort of way. He’s probably very suave (in Erie, Pennsylvania), but a little bit more earnest than the type I go for. Read between the lines: I’m just like Adam. I yearn for the ones who ignore me.
Adam says that he loves me.
And he says it even before I go down on him in the elevator.

So here they are. The first of the series. Four luscious, lovely little books. With perfect pin-up princesses adorning the covers. So divine. So damn sweet. Ready for the plucking…

And now that you know your ABCDs. Next time, won’t you play with me?


P.S. Post a comment sometime this week, and I’ll choose from the group to win a copy of the first four books….signed by me and sealed with a kiss.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lustbites answer your questions...

After a few requests, we've decided to have an 'Ask the Writers' post in the near future.

Do you have a burning question we might be able to help with? (NB: not of the medical sort, love, we're not insured).

Post your questions here or email them to us at ... oh lord, what was the email address again? My lackey is on holiday and everything's all gone to pot. Hold on.

Ah, here we go: lustbitesblog at yahoo dot com

Ask us about writing, publishing, characters, fashion tips - uh, maybe not fashion. Ask whatever you fancy (within the bounds of good taste). We'll pick a dozen of the best questions and do our best to satisfy you, as ever.

Our ears are a-quiver.

Fire away.

X Nikki

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Girls as Boys: Cross Dressing the Other Way

Guest Blogger: Fiona Locke

‘Frank, I am very sorry to hear how badly you behaved this morning. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. I intend to punish you severely. Prepare yourself at once,’ I added, getting out the rod. He glanced at it with a look of fear, and a hot flush rose to his cheeks.

He let down his trousers and placed himself in position across the end of the sofa.

I tucked his shirt up and began to apply the rod, and as I was angry with him, I laid on the cuts smartly, raising long, red weals all over the surface of his white bottom. He wriggled, writhed, and rolled about in pain, half turning over on to his side for a moment, so that I saw the front part of his naked body. And what I saw paralysed me with astonishment.

‘Frank’ was a girl!


That was the scene that did it for me. Frank & I is one of the great classics of Victorian flagellant erotica. And I read a lot of such stuff. Punishment always turns me on, but in this instance it was the idea of a girl being punished as a boy, by a man who doesn’t know she’s really a girl.

Cross-dressing is a common fetish if you mean men dressing as women. Transvestites describe the joy of wearing soft feminine things, so unlike male clothes. I experience the reverse when I hide my girlish curves in boys’ clothes. It’s strangely erotic, the thick and unflattering cotton Y-fronts and boxer shorts that cover so much more than a flimsy pair of knickers. I feel surprisingly vulnerable, stripped of my feminine wiles and charms. The strict headmaster of my fantasies might take pity on a whimpering girl, but he’s not about to be lenient with a boy.

I’ve done a lot of roleplay as a boy. School canings across my taut schoolboy shorts. Formal 19th century birchings in my Eton tailsuit. ‘Rent boy’ scenes in my Edwardian boy’s suit. (Honestly, before Tipping the Velvet, I had no idea any other girls were into dressing as boys.)

I have some modern clothes too; teen boys’ stuff fits me pretty well. I have to bind my breasts and tuck my hair up under a hat, but I’m reasonably convincing if I don’t have to talk. My boyfriend took me to a strip club in the States once and the low lights helped my disguise. One of the dancers asked if I was gay, but she didn’t suspect I was a girl! Using the gents’ loo was an especially naughty thrill, though I didn’t have the courage to use the urinal. I chickened out and went for the privacy of the stall with the locking door.

Of course, the costume I love best is the one I don’t own (yet). In the days of Nelson’s navy, common seamen were flogged, but midshipmen were bent over a cannon and caned. It’s one of my oldest and most enduring fantasies – a girl who disguises herself as a young gentleman and suffers the wrath of a zealous young lieutenant. I wrote that story, ‘Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter’, for Sex in Uniform, managing to combine three of my fetishes: caning, uniforms and cross-dressing.

I wrote another girl-disguised-as-boy story for Sex and Music called ‘The Apprentice’. And when Nexus Enthusiast commissioned Over the Knee I couldn’t resist another chance to indulge my peculiar kink, this time in a pure spanking arena. But enough teasing; here’s a taste. The narrator, Angie, always wanted to know what it’s like to be punished as a boy. In this scene she’s role-playing a schoolboy who’s got on the wrong side of a bully.


The cane slashed through the air and into my bottom with astonishing force and I couldn’t hold back the breathless cry of pain as my body tried to process the sensation.

The pain began to swell and crest until I thought I couldn’t bear it. I bounced on my heels, trying to will the sting away. My nails gouged into the windowsill and I gritted my teeth, reminding myself that I was a boy.

Boys don’t cry, I thought, desperately needing courage. I repeated it in my head like a mantra.

When he finally stopped, I stood up, stumbling a little.

‘Back in position,’ he ordered. ‘I’m not finished with you yet.’

With a soft moan, I resumed the position.

‘This time you can drop your trousers, boy,’ he said. ‘And your underpants.’

I gasped.

‘You heard me. You’re a cry-baby, Shepherd. And cry-babies are punished on the bare. Now take them down.’

‘But Carruthers—‘

‘Now, boy. I want to see those baby-cheeks. Drop your trousers or I’ll do it for you.’

I blushed so hard my scalp tingled. But I wasn’t about to disobey. With a mournful sigh I bent to the task, unbuckling my belt and unfastening my trousers. I held them up for a moment before letting them slip down to the floor. They puddled around my feet and I stood before him in my boy’s underpants. Putting them on earlier had felt sexy and transgressive, but now I was self-conscious. I knew Peter was thoroughly enjoying my discomfort and I hesitated only another few seconds before hooking my thumbs into the elastic and pushing the cotton underwear down my thighs.

‘Feet apart.’

I managed to shuffle my feet away from each other until they were about twelve inches apart. Then I felt the cane tapping against my backside. I winced. I knew he would use it hard. After all, he wasn’t punishing me; he was punishing a boy who had broken the schoolboy code by telling tales. No matter how much you were bullied, no matter what was done to you, you did not squeal. As always, he had set me up nicely.

Don't miss our Valentine's Comp. Enter by Wednesday to be included in the draw. See the side bar for details

Coming Attractions

Monday sees another guest star gracing Lust Bites. Fiona Locke is best known as the queen of the well spanked bottom after her recent Nexus release Over the Knee, but she'll be here to talk about one of her other favourite topics – cross dressing. The other kind. Women dressing as men. It'll be a flurry of highway-women and pirate dandies… well, that's what I've got my fingers crossed for.

Wednesday sees Lust Bites own delicious diva Alison Tyler talking us through our ABCs as the start of her gorgeous alphabet collection hits the streets. The collection features many a Lust Biter and there will be excerpts galore to whet your appetites.

On Friday Nikki Magennis has a question: Beautiful or Sexy? What? We can’t have both? Sexy for starters and beautiful for dessert?

Mathilde Madden

PS: Eyes right - don't forget the Valentine's Comp. Open until Weds

Friday, February 23, 2007

ASKING FOR TROUBLE: read it and win

It’s the last Friday of the month, time for our second Hot Slot of 2007, a regular feature in which we bring you a snippet of pure unadulterated filth, also known as an excerpt from one of our novels or stories. Today, I’m taking the floor with my award-winning, dark and sleazy, psychological thriller and all round dirty book, Asking for Trouble.

I’m also giving away one signed copy. Usual rules apply ie. we don’t really have any. Just add a name and a comment to this post some time before the end of February. Any old comment will do. A simple 'mmmm' is fine by me. Very fine, actually. I'm a big fan of 'mmmm's. The winner will be announced early March when we do the draw for our Valentine’s competition. And if you haven’t yet entered our Valentine’s comp, why the devil not?

ASKING FOR TROUBLE by Kristina Lloyd

Back cover (more or less)

‘I wasn’t too keen on baring my innermost fantasies. They weren’t exactly clean and sweet and besides, I didn’t know if I wanted them fulfilled. Ilya wanted me to confess all so he could make my bad dreams come true. If I’d realised how well-suited he was to do that – to drag my dangerous dirty fantasy down into his dangerous dirty reality – I might have kept my mouth shut. But I didn’t. I told him everything.’

When Beth Bradshaw – the manager of an arts bar in the seaside town of Brighton – starts flirting with the mysterious Ilya, she becomes a player in a game based purely on sexual brinkmanship. The boundaries between fantasy and reality start to blur as their relationship takes on an increasingly reckless, addictive element. When Ilya’s murky past catches up with him, he’s determined to involve Beth and she finds herself being drawn deeper into the seedy underbelly of Brighton where things, including Ilya, are far more dangerous than she bargained for.


In this excerpt, Beth and Ilya haven’t even met. They are neighbours and have flirted in a slightly scary way from across the street. Ilya has somehow got Beth’s home phone number. Here, he’s encouraging her to tell him about the time she had sex on a rural train station platform. It’s starting to get a little heated.

The entire chapter, by the way, is written as a phone conversation. Yup, that’s around 20 pages of phone sex.


'Go on, Beth,' he challenged gently. 'Just unzip. That's all. You're on the platform at Ford, pressed up against a wall, at the back of this waiting room. You're so horny, so hot. The sun's beating down, probably making the concrete white, hurting your eyes. Behind Ben – his body's up close to yours – you can see trees and bits of fields. The sky's blue, blue, blue. No one's around, so Ben unzips you. How did he do it, Beth? Was it slow and teasing? Or was he hungry for you? Was he desperate to slide his fingers inside your knickers?'

I swallowed hard. 'No,' I said. 'It was like this. Listen.'

I moved the receiver into position, holding it across my belly. Making sure the mouthpiece was close enough, I fumbled for the zip-tag with my left hand. The metal gave a light, tinny clink. Then I unzipped. As my fingers eased downwards, the teeth unlocked with a low, steady purr.

Congratulating myself, I released a gentle sigh. Then I cradled the receiver into my neck, hunching one shoulder to keep it wedged there.

Eager for his response, I let my fingers stroked mindlessly along the grinning lips of my fly.

'That was nice,' he said. 'Not too fast, not too slow. What happened next? Did he slip his hand into the gap? Did his fingers slide into your knickers? Did he touch you?'

'Yes,' I whispered.

There was silence. Then he said: 'How? What sort of knickers were you wearing?'

'I ... I don't know. Can't remember. I just remember – oh God, I was so horny – I remember his fingers running along the leg of my knickers, just a fraction inside. Then he kind of moved the gusset and he began ... he began touching me, fingering me. "God, you're wet," he said. His voice was all whispery and groggy, and his body was still close to mine, shielding me. I had to hold onto his shoulders. I felt weak. I was about to come.'

'Did you come then? Did you come with his fingers? Or was it later, when you fucked? Or both? Twice?'

'No, when we fucked,' I said. 'I came when we fucked. I really, really came. I was so – '

'So horny.'


'And now? Are you horny now?'

'Yes.' I could scarcely hear my own words. My voice was like a breath catching in my throat.

'Where are your hands?'

'One's kind of here, readjusting the phone every now and then. And the other ... It's near my fly.'

'Are you masturbating?'

Oh, his voice. It was hypnotist-soft.

'No,' I said throatily. As I spoke one of my fingers stole past my open zip and into my knickers. I skimmed across my swollen vulva then withdrew. I felt as if he were watching me.

'Do you want to?' he asked. 'Are you ready to?'

'I don't know,' I said weakly. 'But I need to – '

'Touch yourself, Beth.'

It was what I craved. I ached to caress myself, and I don't know why, but I wanted his permission. Feeling freer, I edged into my knickers once again, via the zip of my skirt. With my index finger, I sawed along my cleft – it was so slippery and open – and my moist flesh pulsed in gratitude.

'Is it good?' he asked.

I dipped my fingertip into my entrance and stirred a lingering circle there, resisting the urge to penetrate myself fully. 'Yes,' I murmured. 'It's very good.'

'Keep doing whatever you're doing, Beth,' he said, 'and tell me about you and Ben. The train station, behind the red brick thing, and his hand is in your skirt, past your knickers. His fingers are all over you, inside you. Is that right?'

'Yes, yes. His fingers were so good. I was ... my cunt ... it was just melting into his fingers. I could hardly stand. He kept me pushed against the wall, holding me upright with his body. And his fingers worked. There was no one around. I was ready to come. I was groaning, trying to be quiet, just in case.'

'Did you tell him you were ready to come?'


'What did Ben do?'

'He unzipped. He checked over his shoulders and he unzipped.'

'Sound effects?'



I held my breath, my fingers teasing. My clit was fat and tender, like a fruit about to burst with ripeness. I heard the sound of flies being unzipped. His flies. I could picture a crotch, bulging, and the zip unteething over it, gaping to expose underwear. I imagined an erect cock springing out: the erect cock of my faceless man whose name was Ilya. Ilya Travis.

If you want to find out what happens when Beth and Ilya meet, there's another excerpt here - which may make you think I'm obsessed with thoughts of sex and seduction up against a wall. And you're right. I am. Madly. If you want to find out even more, then head for Amazon UK or Amazon US and buy my lovely book. Or try one of those old-fashioned bookshop places. Thank you.

Kristina X

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Oh no, not another one of those scenes...

Awhile back, while struggling with a story, I wailed at my coauthor, “If I have to write another lesbian cunnilingus scene, I’m going to throw my laptop through the window!”

(The funny thing is, she remembers it differently: That she was wailing at me. But I know which story I was stuck on, and I’m happy to report that I unstuck myself, finished it, and sold it. Maybe we were wailing at each other…)

I wrote a lot of short stories last year, most of them erotica. I was privileged to have been asked to contribute to some invitation-only anthologies, and in this business it’s good form to produce when asked, so you’ll be asked again. Of course, the flip side is that I was occasionally writing stories about themes that didn’t necessarily spark for me. So I had to step back and figure out what did spark for me so that I could write a good story that fit the theme.

And I realized: It’s not about the sexual act by itself. It’s all about the characters.

It’s the first time they’ve had sex under this set of circumstances. They may have inserted Tab A into Slot B many times before, but not here, not now, not with whatever emotions they’re feeling and not with whatever situation they’re experiencing.

As I was mulling this about last week, writing snippets of this essay in my head, the page proofs arrived for my upcoming book A Little Night Music (written as Sarah Dale with my other coauthor, Sarah J. Husch). Re-reading the book for the first time since we turned it in last autumn, I was able to step back and analyze how the sex scenes in the book progressed, and what made them more than Tab A and Slot B encounters.

(If you’re an absolute purist about spoilers, then don’t read on. But I honestly don’t think anything I mention will ruin the book for readers.)

One of the major themes of the book is control: Having it, losing it, needing it, and needing to let it go. In the first sex scene, there’s a minor back-and-forth exchange of control. Hannah, the heroine, swore nine years previously, as a teenager, that she’d have a night of passion with her rock star crush, Nate. Now she’s working for him, and she plans to wait to have that night until after her job is done. Her plan goes awry when he makes it clear that he’s just as interested in her, and they agree to “get it out of their systems” so they can work together effectively. (Yeah, right, like anybody believes that will work!)

Buoyed by the heady knowledge that he wants her, she’s confident and flirty. She takes the lead, he takes it back—they’re equal, sharing the roles of seducer and seduced. But by the end of the scene, he’s reduced her to a puddle of lust—and it makes sense. He’s the rock god, she’s the adoring fan.

There’s a sharp contrast between that scene and one at about the midpoint of the book. Nate, a recovering addict, has successfully resisted an offer of drugs, but wakes up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, hammered by nightmares. The only thought he can cling to is that he wants Hannah.

This scene is short and not as graphic as many others in the book. She’s half-asleep, he’s half-desperate. There’s little foreplay; it’s right into the action, the need. It’s less about the sex itself and more about how this scene reflects Nate’s emotional change. He can allow himself to lose control when he’s with her, because it’s a safe place for him. His craving for her outstrips his craving for drugs, and (as he later realizes) his love for her gives him the strength to resist temptation.

Throughout the book, Nate encourages Hannah to take control. There’s never any hardcore BDSM; he simply finds it erotic when she’s on top, and he also knows that although she’s sexy and self-assured, she’s still questions whether she can compete with the starlets and supermodels of his past. Taking control boosts her confidence.

The final scene I want to mention is one that happens soon after the first of a series of dark moments for the heroine. As in every romance, there’s a point where it looks as though the two can’t be together, and Hannah has decided that’s true. She hasn’t told Nate yet, though, and she wants them to have one more incredible night together before she leaves.

We chose, however, to write the scene from Nate’s point of view. Without his urging, Hannah takes control. She’s powerful, wicked, seductive. All he knows is what she wants him to know: an incredible night.

But the reader knows there’s more to it than that, that it’s the last bright moment before darkness. Writing it from Hannah’s point of view wouldn’t have worked, because it would have been too sad, too focused on the knowledge of what daylight will bring. Ideally the reader will be swept away in Nate’s point of view, enjoying the eroticism, but still knowing what Hannah’s trying herself to ignore: That it’s a goodbye.

I think by the time they get to Tab A and Slot B in that scene, nobody’s going to be thinking “Oh, it’s another Tab A and Slot B.” Certainly it doesn’t read that way to me—and I’m the one who sometimes wants to throw her laptop out the window on occasion.

So that, I think, it what it comes down to. Know your characters. Know the theme. Know what changes for them when their lips meet and their hands start to roam. Know how they’ll be different afterwards when they’re lying sated and sweaty.

Or just start writing, and watch all that develop.

(A Little Night Music by Sarah Dale will be an August 2007 Cheek release. An excerpt from the novel (where Nate’s in control, incidentally) appears in the Wicked Words anthology Sex and Music, currently available.)

Dayle Dermatis
(aka Andrea Dale, ½ of Sophie Mouette, and ½ of Sarah Dale)

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Best of Both Worlds? F/M/F themes in Erotic Romance

Okay, let’s start with a personal note: I’m bisexual. I like it here on the fence. Not only can I see my house from here, I can look into the neighbors’ bedrooms, and who knows, maybe the neighbors are cute chicks and hot guys. (No, I don’t actually spy on my neighbors. It’s a metaphor. Work with me.)

The point is, I like women—women’s bodies, women’s soft lips, women’s minds and attitudes. And it seems the longer I’m happily married, the more likely I am to completely crush on women, whether celebrities or people I actually know. (Maybe I need the balance to stay on the fence?)

And I’m not alone in this. A survey released in 2005 by the US Centers for Disease Control* concludes that 11.5% of women 18-44 have had sex with another woman at least once; 3% had fun with both men and women in the previous twelve months. Younger women seem to be considerably more adventurous in this area than older ones. (I always knew I was ahead of my time!) Not exactly overwhelming, but seemingly, more and more women are at least willing to admit to curiosity in this area.

How many? One not-exactly-scientific poll revealed 63% of women surveyed said they’d at least fantasized about same-sex encounters and/or threesomes. (Granted, this was a survey done by the men’s magazine Club—no big surprise that women who read a magazine full of pictures of naked women might be bi-curious!) Girls who date boys but don’t rule out girls are all over the media, and don’t even get me started with bi chic in the music industry and Hollywood. (Unless it involves Angelina Jolie deciding to leave Brad Pitt for, oh, Gina Torres, or better yet, staying with Brad and dating Gina too. Then I want video. Please.) And the mere existence of books with titles such The Straight Girl’s Guide to Sleeping with Chicks, Same-Sex in the City, and Threesome: How to Fulfill Your Favorite Fantasy is enough to let you know that "mostly-straight-but…" f/f and f/f/m-threesome fantasies have become pretty accepted.

Or have they?

There’s scads of absolutely brilliant lesbian erotica out there. (Check out the annual Best Lesbian Erotica and Ultimate Lesbian Erotica for a sampling. You might see some familiar names in the table of contents…) But if female bi-curiosity is running as rampant as it sometimes looks like it is, you’d think hot girl-on-girl action and juicy f/f/m threesomes would appear more often in erotic romances aimed at the mostly straight, but potentially curious, woman.

And, to my sorrow, they’re not.

“To my sorrow” not just because I want to read them, but because I want to write them. Threesomes, though challenging to write (what with pronoun problems, flipper arms, and choreography—and the cats don’t work as stunt doubles when I’m trying to figure out if three human bodies can actually align that way) are also a lot of fun. More pretty bodies in action! More opportunities for conflict and resolution! More potential love to go around! And of course, more orgasms!

On a more serious note, writing about “first times” allows you to explore all sorts of fascinating emotions, from desire to fear to curiosity. A woman going from bi-curious to actually making love to a woman for the first time, whether alone together or as part of a threesome, gives a writer ample room to play with the character’s emotional state as well as show a good old girly good time.

But this particular “first time” just doesn’t seem to be popular in erotic romance.

Two guys and a girl in lust and love? Popping up everywhere, in the small press, in e-books, and in books from Big New York Romance Lines. Guys getting hard for, and then falling hard for, other guys? Getting more mainstream by the day. Sexy lesbian romances? Check the small presses and the e-publishers and you’ll find them.

But a romance heroine who wants the best of both worlds—a muscular male and the girl of her dreams—and gets what she wants? If she’s out there, I haven’t found her yet. I’ve found m/m/f happy endings, but except in some older Black Laces—and we seem to be moving away from it as the stories become more traditionally romantic—no two women and a guy settling down in happy tri-ogamy.

What I’ve been finding is a tease at female bisexuality, a wink and a nod, and then back to the Almighty Penis.

Don’t get me wrong. I love me my hot sexy heroes and their appendages, and I understand that the majority of our female audience is primarily if not exclusively aroused by boy-bits, and the boy they’re attached to. But I get a bit tired of throwaway scenes, not really connected with the main plot, where the hero sets up some girl-girl smooching and sits back to watch, or does it because he knows, due to some astonishing male/domly intuition, that She Wants It. And then the second woman disappears without forming any real connection with the heroine other than an orgasm or two and nothing changes. The heroine gets no insights into herself, other women, life, the universe and everything—even though you’d think it would be worthy of at least a “Well, that was fun! I should try that again sometime.”

Okay, I get very tired of these scenes, this throwing in a “bi” scene that doesn’t add anything to the plot and doesn’t engage the heroine’s emotions. (Even in a negative way. It might be interesting if she decided that on second thought it had been a bad idea and it led to a conflict with the hero. But no, she just goes along…)

It reminds me too much of male-oriented porn, or the out-of-the-blue “oh, you’re bi? Want to have a threesome with me and my girlfriend” invitations that bi women really do get (usually from vaguely creepy guys whose girlfriends have zero interest in a f/m/f threesome anyway.) Bad enough dealing with that silliness in real life—can we at least get sexually confident, self-aware women enjoying the full spectrum of their sexuality in books that are supposed to be female fantasies, written by women for other women to enjoy? I’d like to think we females are capable of getting into our own girl-girl naughtiness if we feel so inclined and then grabbing a hunk to add to the fun. That we can set up a threesome to enjoy the best of both worlds and gratify our own desires as well as those of the guy in our life. (Or at least we can enjoy a well-written heroine who’s into it, just like we can one who’s a bit kinkier than we might be, or who’s dating a vampire, or something else outside our realm of experience or just plain impossible, but fun to read about and drool over.)

Could it be that—gasp!— we can appreciate the occasional HEA that involves both Mr. Right and Ms. Right, hard cock and hot pussy, a best girlfriend who’s also a lover and a male lover who’s also a best friend? Not two women sharing a man (I can see where it wouldn’t be a big hit with most female readers) but three people sharing each other.

Lots of readers seem to eat up that ending with two guys and a woman, but would they buy the other way around? Is that version of the happy ending a little too much female queerness for erotic romance, as opposed to erotica, to handle? Conventional publishing wisdom says the market isn’t there. But until recently, conventional publishing wisdom said there was no female market for male-male love stories, and now they’re selling like chocolate at the post-Valentine’s Day sale. So what do you think, fellow writers and gentle readers? FFM triads—bring it on or don’t bother?

* Okay, we don’t want to think about why the CDC needed to do this survey, but presumably they made efforts to do it carefully and objectively.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone!

Things you might do in the Year of the Pig:

  • see Charlotte's Web
  • take a mud-bath with a close friend
  • support Compassion in World Farming

Janine Ashbless
(I'm a Fire Horse, which is the worst possible marriage material in a woman ;-p)

Coming Attractions

When we talked about male/male smut and male/female/male ménage Teresa Noelle Roberts asked me when we were going to talk about female/female smut and female/male/female ménage. Good point, Teresa, and my answer is this very Monday, when Teresa herself will be here to wrestle this subject away from the boys who have stolen it and talk about girlie shows for girls.

On Wednesday Teresa's other writing half Dayle A Dermatis will be hosting our chat, asking writers if they ever get bored of writing smut. And readers, can you ever tell? We'll brace ourselves for your thoughts on that one.

Unbelievably, it's the last Friday of February at the end of this week. Which means our regular porn-o-rotica slot. Kristina Lloyd will be here with a dirty excerpt from her all-conquering, award-winning epic novel Asking for Trouble.

And don't forget our competition. Still running until 28th February.

Tilly aka Mathilde Madden
Keeper of the sacred Lust Bites schedule word document

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Erotic Circus

‘…Even as she convulsed with the orgasm, she knew somewhere within herself that this abandon was what drove her, what she had always been chasing, as she danced and flirted and listened for the roar of the crowd out beyond the stage. The sensation of being fucked beyond reason was the same as that of dancing herself to a frenzy, surrendering to the desires of the audience, of her lovers, her own body.’

I wrote Circus Excite over the course of one intense and feverish summer. I was in love with everything – my new boyfriend, my first book contract, the circus that I was creating inside my head.

I was terrified too, of course. Along with My First Contract came My First Deadline. White knuckle typing.

I’d been working for this for years. Only, I hadn’t considered what writing erotica would mean to me. A smut writer? How sexy, frightening, outrageous and strange.

Circus Excite is Julia’s story – how she falls in love with the life and idea of the circus: brazen, fantastic, louche and romantic. But as I wrote the book, I found it was as much of an adventure for me as it was for my heroine.

Writing such private, secret, intimate thoughts down on paper scared me. It was something like the dreams you have as a kid about turning up at school naked. Because I found I could only write the scenes if they turned me on – there’s a fierce honesty in writing erotica that meant I had to lay bare my darkest inner self.

In the book the ringmaster (ah! the ringmaster!) leads Julia through her sexual awakening, manipulates her actions and dares her to shock him. He teaches Julia to love the ethos of the circus - a place where nothing is as it appears. From the darkness of the tent come dazzling spectacles, freaks and clowns, glitter and smoke and mirrors…

I had a ball researching. I spent the summer visiting circuses and burlesque shows. I saw the beautiful Speigeltent, and interviewed the lovely Foxy Rouge. I have a box full of ticket stubs and articles on Blackpool Pleasure Beach, stills from Moulin Rouge and notes from the Chinese State Circus. Circus is a visual feast.
Eroticism blends beautifully with the whole idea of circus. Both are a celebration of fantasy, and both are unashamedly hedonistic. Both are also often a guilty pleasure, seen as separate from other more ‘serious’ arts. But as my character learnt to love the circus, so I learned to love writing erotica. It became a playground for my fantasies, somewhere I could let my imagination run wild.

Under the ringmaster’s influence, Julia finds the courage to explore her kinks. The other performers were fabulous opportunities to try out different scenarios – the earthy, fuckable Joe and the enigmatic Sylvie are two of my favourites. Their encounters with Julia are usually woven into their acts, so they become part of the whole circus. Contortion, illusion, and acrobatics become sex scenes. The difference between the highly charged performances and life backstage blurs.

As the circus tours, Julia grows stronger. She discovers more about her sexuality and her love of performance, until at the climax she has the confidence to …

But I can’t give away all the secrets here, now can I? If you want to know the full story, you’ll have to buy a ticket to CIRCUS EXCITE…

Visit Nikki's blog for a taste of Circus Excite

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


It’s Valentine’s Day and all the world is wearing its very best underwear. Whether you got a single red rose, a sackful of cards or a gas bill, your day’s about to get a whole lot lustier. Because ladies and gents, our beautiful blog is barely 2 months old and yet … drumroll, please … we’re already bringing you another glorious giveaway competition!

Yes, it’s filth for free. We’ve got 4 bundles of love on offer, each including a copy of Sex in Public, the latest short story collection from Black Lace. Sex in Public is one of the strongest hottest anthologies Black Lace have published and we’re all proud as punch. It features stories from several of your hard-working, smut-addled lustbiters: Nikki Magennis, Portia Da Costa, Mathilde Madden, Madelynne Ellis, Sophie Mouette, Kate Pearce and Kristina Lloyd (aka me). Check out Nikki’s post if you want to be tantalized by our first lines and Kate’s post for some seriously steamy words on cowboys and Essex. (Not cowboys in Essex, you understand. We’re talking Stetsons and spurs here, not dodgy builders.)

What else? All the prizes are different and some books are even signed. We’ve got a range of Black Lace and Cheek novels, an erotic memoir from Suzanne Portnoy, plus two top US anthologies – Caught Looking and Best Gay Erotica (both Cleis Press) – featuring stories from Shanna Germain and Alana Noel Voth. The one thing each bundle has in common, apart from hot characters, horny action and top-notch writing, is a copy of our newest and fantastic-est UK release, Sex in Public. (Released in the US on April 3rd which is really quite soon.)

So what do you have to do to stand a chance of winning? Easy. Just comment on this post. Say anything you want – say ‘whip me with roses’, ‘I love you, Lust Bites’, ‘moonbeams and starlight’. Basically, say 'Yes please! Me want!' You don’t need a blog account. Join in as ‘anonymous’ or ‘other’. Just remember to leave a name for us to call out when we do the winners draw in March. We’re holding the doors open till the last day of February so keep the comments coming.

And, because we care enough to blog the very best, we’re also offering you a dozen fascinating facts about all the writers in the competition. (They were clean out of roses.) Actually, it’s a baker’s dozen because we like to do things differently. Also, still doing things differently, some of the facts are barefaced lies. Can you separate truth from fiction? Who’s being honest? Who’s telling porkies? Remember, we’re writers. We get paid to make stuff up. You really shouldn’t trust us, you know.

This isn’t part of the contest. It’s just for fun! Yeah, OK, so some of you are already having fun. But remember, love doesn't come without pain and the course of BDSM never did run smooth. So here are some snippets about us, vaguely related to love, lust, Valentine's, coupledom and, err, quadrupledom. Tell us how many of the facts are true. Shout ‘J’accuse!’ and point your finger at the fibbers.

OK, lie detectors at the ready ...

True or false?

  1. Madelynne Ellis (Passion of Isis) has a romantic boyfriend who once sent her a hug in the post by drawing around his hands and arms, and cutting them out of paper.
  2. Suzanne Portnoy (The Butcher, The Baker, The Candlestick Maker) once held a small select Valentine’s party in her hot tub with 3 other guys.
  3. Mathilde Madden (Equal Opportunities) had a male escort called Mark Valentine in her novel, Mad About the Boy. (I don't mean she had him. Well, she might've done ... who knows? I'm sure she wanted to. What I'm trying to say is she created a character with that name.)
  4. Nikki Magennis (Circus Excite) was once picked up by a stranger who gave her a crushed Valentine's rose he found in the street.
  5. Kate Pearce (Sex in Public) struggled with long-distance love and, after getting on the wrong coach one Valentine’s Day, ended up four hours late for a date with her boyfriend. That poor, poor boyfriend is now her husband.
  6. Janine Ashbless (Burning Bright) once proposed to all the men she knew on a leap year Valentine’s day. The hussy.
  7. Sophie Mouette (Cat Scratch Fever) is made up of two people, Teresa Noelle Roberts and Dayle A Dermatis. One of them has single pierced ears and tattoos; the other has multiple piercings but no tattoos. If it’s true, can you guess which one's which?
  8. Alison Tyler (Tiffany Twisted) once broke up with a boy on Valentine's Day. The last she heard, he was still holding a grudge. (Ah, young love. They were 10 at the time.)
  9. Alana Noel Voth (Best Gay Erotica) has a heart ‘n’ dagger tattoo on her ankle.
  10. Portia Da Costa (Gothic Blue) has a double crush: two guys, one name. Valentino is the hero of her forthcoming novel, Suite Seventeen, and is also a character played by Vincent D'Onofrio in a film called 'The Velocity of Gary'. (Yes, we know she's bonkers but we love her.)
  11. Shanna Germain (Caught Looking) has been proposed to over a dozen times but only once said ‘yes’, to a guy who promptly broke her heart.
  12. Kristina Lloyd (Asking for Trouble) dreamed of marrying her first serious boyfriend whose surname was ‘Fullalove’.
  13. Madeline Moore (Wild Card) once hand made (yes - hand made) a shirt for her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day and he said, ‘Thanks, I didn’t get you anything.’

Whaddya reckon? Would we lie to you?

© Lust Bites

  • The image at the top of this post is Toxic Schizophrenia by Tim Noble and Sue Webster. In real life it flashes.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fantasy and Reality

Special Guest Blogger: Emily Dubberley

As a full time sex writer, I divide my time between writing erotica (for my fantasy site, Scarlet magazine – - and Penthouse, among others) and writing ‘real’ sex advice (for everyone from Forum to Look). I also undertake a monthly feature for Scarlet called Emily at Large, in which I go off and try something sexually adventurous each month, from attending a naked disco to sploshing to having my vagina cast in plaster of Paris.

There’s an intriguing blend of fantasy and reality in sex writing. People assume, when reading my Emily at Large adventures that I’m some larger than life sexual adventurer, when in reality, nothing suits me more than a massage, some kissing and good old-fashioned missionary. If I write an article about group sex, there’s an expectation that I must get it on in orgiastic style every other weekend. And just by merit of being labeled a ‘sexpert’ numerous men are terrified of the idea of introducing me to their parents (for every cloud…).

People assume that magazine reality and reality are the same thing. In fact, ask most sexperts and they’ll admit to having a certain ‘persona’ for their media work – we cry, have crappy relationships and have occasional lousy sex just like anyone else. But in magazine reality, we’ll smile sweetly, give objective advice and pretend that nothing ever shakes us. It’s a necessary evil – if you have to keep a straight face when someone tells you they let their dog lick them out, or when someone’s buttocks are bouncing inches from your face at a sex party, you soon learn to apply the ‘mask’.

And then comes erotic fiction. Although the stories I write tend to be fantasies, I’d be lying if I said reality had no bearing on it. My characters have a tendency to share certain physical attributes with me. They like to be fucked the way that I like to be fucked – except in the case of extreme fetish, in which case I’ll generally chat to someone who is into that scene to get their bearing on what’s hot. And yes, there have been times when I’ve regretted not having a notepad next to the bed when a partner tries something new and arousing.

In certain cases, I’ve felt obliged to email a ‘muse’ a story I’ve written to check they’re OK with it appearing, as I’m sharing a personal part of their life as well as mine. Even though I always change identifiable details – name, hair colour and, on occasion, gender – I still think it’s only polite to check that the person who inspired the story is happy with their write up.

And then there are the times when fantasy is used to feed into reality. I will freely (OK, slightly guiltily) confess that there have been occasions when I’ve written an erotic story with the express intention of seducing someone. I’ll email a prospective conquest an erotic story I’ve written (albeit someone who I’ve already established has a certain amount of interest in me). I’ve never been so crass as to put them in the starring role (that comes once I know them a lot better) but I will send them something I think will turn them on. It’s a surprisingly effective technique (if not exactly the definition of ‘playing hard to get’). And on occasion, they’ve gone on to inspire future erotic stories courtesy of real life entertainment...

If I look back over the erotica I’ve written over the last six years, I can track every relationship or even crush that I’ve had and gauge a fair amount about my state of mind at the time. As such, even the stories that are the most fantastical have a degree of reality about them. They reflect the person I was when I wrote them.

When I review other people’s erotic books, I’m often curious about the relationship between their words and their personalities. I’ve met a hard-core femme domme writer who’s a softly spoken mum; a woman who writes almost exclusively from the perspective of a gay man; a softly spoken shy French girl whose words portray extreme submission. I wonder whether their erotica reflects their true sexual personalities or whether it’s pure imagination. And yet I’m guilty of the same thing I hate in other people – judging authors from their writing. You wouldn’t expect a crime-writer to be a murderer, so why expect an erotica writer to be obviously sexually voracious?

Sex is a real thing, with everyone having their own perspective. As such, writing about it will always bring the question ‘how much of this is true’? But really, does it matter? If you’re reading a sex column and you think ‘that sex tip wouldn’t work for me’, don’t follow it. If you’re reading an erotic story and getting off on it, who cares who wrote it? When it comes down to it, only you can create your own sexual reality. Anyone who believes anything else is clearly a fantasist.

Emily Dubberley

Coming Attractions

You should see it round here. Everyone's dusting and hoovering and baking cakes. We're all wearing dintsie little maid outfits. No smut is getting written. And all because sexpert, author and journalist Emily Dubberley will be ringing the doorbell on Monday, here to be our very first guest blogger. As a writer of both sexy fiction and sexy non-fiction she'll be talking about blurring the lines between fantasy and reality when telling tales.

And before you get a chance to catch your breath from that, on Wednesday, Kristina Lloyd will be here to unveil our massive Valentine's Competition. Win your body weight in erotic fiction. Or something. Kristina will also be carrying on the fantasy and reality theme by inviting you to unravel the secrets from the lies in a saucy Valentine's game.

And how could we possibly end a week like that? Why, with a trip to the circus, of course. Roll up, roll up for more fantasy and reality this time in the form of magic and illusion. Nikki Magennis and her delicious Black Lace debut novel Circus Excite will provide all the sparkling sensual entertainment you need to close the week.

Happy Viewing!

Tilly aka Mathilde Madden
Amateur werewolf bondage enthusiast

© Lust Bites

Friday, February 9, 2007

Casting GOTHIC BLUE and CONTINUUM... or something like that

Eek! Agh! I’m supposed to write something about GOTHIC BLUE and CONTINUUM today and I don’t really have the first idea what to say. I’m rubbish at promo and I don’t know how to write articles, so all that leaves is just yattering on about stuff, the way I do on my own blog

Right, GOTHIC BLUE then…

Would you believe that this was supposed to be a vampire erotic novel? I was all set to have a brooding, handsome vampire living at Sedgewick Priory, but when I proposed this to the editor at the time she said, ‘ooh no, vampires are old hat in erotica… Anne Rice has done it all already…’ or words to that effect. Now, lovers of sexy vamp novels today are probably thinking ‘What!?!’ It doesn’t seem possible, given the truly world conquering popularity of vampire erotica nowadays, that a decade or so ago, the subgenre could have been deemed such a no-no. Anyway, I had a bit of a rethink and came up with a new paranormalness [paranormality?] for my hero Count André Von Kastel and made him a sort of semi benevolent sorcerer by default. He’s had the mockers put on him by an evil sorceress and he’s cursed to languish alone in near immortality, pining for his true love, who's trapped as an incorporeal spirit in a blue crystal bottle. There's a way out of this dilemma for both him and his beloved, involving a bit of sex magic, but he's just waiting for the right 'participant' to come along. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it sounds pretty bonkers, but it did seem like a good idea at the time! J

It wasn’t difficult to ‘cast’ as Count André. I already had a perfect ‘template’ guy in mind, and I built the character around him. And who better to make into a pale, spooky, semi supernatural being living in mournful seclusion than a tanned and healthy world class super sportsman? Yep, I’d been watching Wimbledon not long before I started writing GB, so Count André is modelled on a young, long haired André Agassi… LOL

As it’s ten years since I wrote GOTHIC BLUE, a lot of brain cells have flowed under the bridge since then, so I can’t remember much about some of the other characters in it. The heroine is Belinda Seward [a slight Dracula type homage, obviously, with the book showing its vampire roots] and she has a steady boyfriend and travelling companion called Jonathan [another Drac ref]. I don’t think I had a template guy in mind for Jonathan, but looking back at him across the years, I seem to see a young, fresh Tom Hanks, much as he looked in movies like 'Splash' or 'Big'. Jonathan is a straightforward, uncomplicated sort of chap, passionately in love with Belinda, but a bit befuddled by all the hokey erotic goings on at the Priory.

Reading the above [if you’ve not fallen asleep by now] you’ll have gathered that I always tend to use my current ‘lust object’ of choice to create the heroes in my books. I see it as a fine and harmless way to have a wild sexy fling with an otherwise completely unattainable guy such as a pop star, a film or movie actor or a sportsman When I came to write CONTINUUM, I had a passionate ‘thing’ for Kevin Bacon – stemming from films like 'He Said, She Said', 'Flatliners' and 'Tremors' [oh, those long lean legs in those tight blue jeans!] So one of the principal men in CONTINUUM is a geeky but quirkily handsome boy next door/sex maniac called Kevin Steel. Heroine Joanna has a spiky and sometimes combative relationship with naughty Kevin, but he’s always there when she needs him, for sex or otherwise.

But Kevin isn’t the only template bloke in CONTINUUM. Around the time I wrote the book, I’d also been avidly watching reruns of Twin Peaks, so some of the men from that rather peculiar series got supporting roles. Agent Dale Cooper himself aka Kyle Maclachlan is Halloran, Joanna’s stern but sexy boss, and the role of Denis Davidson, the sly and provocative human resources supremo at her firm is ‘played’ by Mr David Duchovny in an off beat and titillating pre Fox Mulder guise. Denis has a delicious habit of becoming ‘Denise’ now and again, so I drew on the image of David looking rather fetching in high heels, lipstick, a glossy wig and a power suit when he appeared as a cross dressing DEA agent in the second series of TP.

Well, that’s all I can really think of to say about GOTHIC BLUE and CONTINUUM for the moment. It's not much, I know, but I did warn you. The best way to find out more about the books is to read them. I hope you'll find them fun and entertaining... ;)

If you want to try before you buy, you’ll find an excerpt of GOTHIC BLUE here, and excerpts of CONTINUUM here and here.

You can now buy the newly reprinted and gorgeously rejacketed CONTINUUM from and

GOTHIC BLUE has an equally spiffing new cover and it’s currently available from It’ll be available from on 3rd April.

Thank you for your kind attention...


WendyPortia aka Portia Da Costa
First Lady of Black Lace [© Tilly and who am I to argue?]

Thursday, February 8, 2007

I am so famous

The UK is covered in snow, but I still urge you to rush out to the newsagents and buy a copy of The Daily Express because today it features and interview with me! Me! ME!

Yes, I know eveyone in the rest of the world is desperately jealous. Don't worry. I'll try and get a scan or something up. I have a PDF - that's not a lot of use, is it?

Tilly aka Mathilde Madden
Famous Person

ETA: And Equal Opportunities even had a little flurry on Amazon today. I knew I had a reason for doing this.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Sexual Soundtrack...

by Alison Tyler

You think I’m going to list my top ten favorite sexy songs, don’t you? But I can’t do it. I mean, I know that Marvin Gaye is probably the world’s number one “go to” man to create an erotic mood. Who can deny the power of Sexual Healing? And then there’s Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" and Teddy Pendergrass (Choose Me) and Barry White. Oh, god, Barry White.

But here’s the thing. My favorite music conjures memories of moments—flashbacks to my past—and while some songs might make sense in a sexual way—most do not. How many other people find Tom Waits’ “Such a Scream” an aphrodisiac? Is it only me?

Still, music and sex are permanently entwined in my life. I’m always on the lookout—or on the listen—for songs that will hit me, caress me, wrap me up tight. I’ve been like this for years. Anyone who knows my writing will recognize that I steal many story and book titles from song lyrics: You Can’t Always Get What You Want, With or Without You, Tiffany Twisted, Miss You, Slave to Love, Love at First Sting, Why Can’t I Be You?

So here I go. I’ll give it a shot. Not the sexiest songs every written. But the songs that have meant the most to me… and to my libido. In other words…

Favorite Songs to Dream to, to Kiss to, to Fuck to:

Venus in Furs: My first record player was a hand-me-down that only worked if you balanced the correct amount of change on the arm of the needle. Still, I managed to play my vinyl endlessly. I owned every Lou Reed and V.U. album released, and I spent hours listening to “Venus in Furs” (Kiss the boot of shiny, shiny leather, Shiny leather in the dark, Tongue of thongs, the belt that does await you, Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart) and fantasizing about what it would be like to make out to the soundtrack created by the Velvet Underground.

Crimson and Clover: This was my first real slow dance… to the Joan Jett version. In the back yard of my friend Stephanie’s house on a patio lit by candles, clinging to a boy I’d known for years. Understanding that everything was changing now. But not understanding why. (Yeah, my, my such a sweet thing, I wanna do everything. What a beautiful feeling…)

Tainted Love: Starting in junior high school, I worked at a beauty supply store. We sported teased 80s hair and wore too much cherry gloss and candy-tinted blush, and our music was the same, jell-O colored, sheer delight. Perfect to dance to, to kiss to, and according to my co-workers, to fuck to. Give me more, I wanted to beg the older girls I worked with as I soaked in all of their secrets. Tell me more. Tainted Love takes me there.

Comfortably Numb: I’ll admit, I don’t even remember his name. But he sold flowers from a stand outside of the clothes store where I worked. And he came over one night with a copy of The Wall. We made out hard, and I remember the way his big hands, more like paws, slid up and down my arms during Comfortably Numb. (There is no pain you are receiving…)

D'Yer Mak'er: My first real beau. He of the Zig-Zag man tattoo. He of the stolen Harleys. He of Led Zeppelin. And this one is my favorite. I might have written Girls of Summer for him, but he was no pussy Don Henley man. His music tastes were as dark and as hard as the rest of his world. And I know this is the sappiest of Zeppelin. But, Christ, when he disappeared, it’s all I could play.

I Put a Spell On You: In college, I won a contest for a deejay spot on UCLA’s alternative music station: State in 50 words or less why you want to be a deejay. I was the only entrant out of 300 who didn’t start my essay with “I want to be a deejay because…” I landed the midnight – 3 a.m. shift, and my boyfriend and I made love in the tiny little studio, fucking to Screaming Jay Hawkins’ I Put a Spell On You. So it wasn’t actually “alternative.” Nobody else was awake or listening.

Sign Your Name: Read my story 10 Minutes in the 80s, and you’ll understand why Terence Trent D'Arby made my line-up.

Protection: In the 90s, I was romanced to Massive Attack during a decadent affair that took place in a one-room flat by the railroad tracks. I still can’t hear any cut off Protection without thinking of Josh, and the two of us, pressed up against the cracked plaster wall as the next train rumbled by. (I'll stand in front of you. Take the force of the blow.)

Famous Blue Raincoat: This is all I have to say: Dawn. Paris. Balcony. And the background rumble of Leonard Cohen’s whiskey voice.

But my best, weirdest, wickedest sexual encounter occurred to the tune of Ode to Billy Joe. There, I’ve said it. I’ve laid my soul bare. Sweet little Bobbie Gentry crooned about that dusty, Delta day, while I was bent over, getting taken from behind. Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge, while my man was thrusting into me good and hard. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know why. Shouldn’t we have been listening to NIN (I want to fuck you like an animal)? Or Nirvana (do it and do it again)? The Cure (punish me with kisses) or The Clash (No one will guide you)?

No, it was Bobbie Gentry.
And I’ll never forget it.

Laugh if you will. Point fingers if you must.

But please. Now, it’s your turn. Favorites? Guilty pleasures? Songs that make you go weak in the knees. Share them if you dare.


“The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say.”
—Pink Floyd

Best American Erotica

What does it mean to be the "best" at something? And who decides? It being the best really an objective thing that can be scored and measured? Or is it more subjective, due to the whims of the judges, the state of society, the weather?

These questions might be even more pertinent when we're talking about art-forms, such as painting or writing. I love Picasso's tweaked portraits, but am rarely moved by Monet's gorgeous gardens (even though I know I should be). And, even as a writer, I sometimes struggle to get through the classics, those books that have been deemed as the "best of" the past.

However you define "best," when it comes to erotica, this year's edition of Best American Erotica (which hits U.S. bookstores today) is likely to have a story that fits your definition. From a girl who smells of salt-sea and asks for star-shaped tattoos ("Blue Star," Sera Gamble) to a woman who goes in search of her husband's lover and finds way more than she expected ("Dangerous Games for Competent People, Kim Wright), these pieces show off the erotic storytelling ability of some of the most amazing writers in America. Chosen and edited by Susie Bright, the stories are hot as hell, filled with sexy men and women and they invite you to think and feel (in all senses of that word).

I'm honored (and still pinching myself) because I have a story in this year's collection as well! Susie Bright describes it this way, ”Shanna Germain’s story, "Entry Point," of a family camping trip, reveals a married couple who discover something in their own relationship because of their grown lesbian daughter’s example.”

For me, it’s a story of joy, discovery, sensuality, and hope. Of people coming together, physically and mentally. And however else you define it, I think that those are always the best kinds of stories. I hope you think so too.


Shanna Germain