Category Archives: Writing Tips

F is for Floggers

There are so many good F words to choose from when it comes to sex toys – and not the one you’re thinking of, either! – that today was a difficult choice. But I’ve finally decided to go with F is for Floggers, because these toys definitely require more explanation than some of the other items I was pondering.

So, floggers. What are they? The easiest answer is that they’re for BDSM punishment and dabbling with the lines between pleasure and pain. They look something like this:

You don’t have to necessarily be involved in a hardcore BDSM relationship – or even be truly into BDSM – to try out a flogger, as they can also be used for creating surface sensations ranging from tickling and teasing to light slapping. Depending on the type of flogger you choose, you can elicit a stinging sensation or a “thud.” DeTails Toys, a flogger specialist, notes that the more “tails” you have on your flogger (the strands that are being whipped about), the bigger the “thud,” whereas the “sting” comes from the type of material from which your flogger is made. Low-intensity floggers can use suede, rabbit fur or deer skin, whereas high-intensity floggers are made of bull or buffalo hide, rubber, leather bootlaces, chains or even braided materials.

Although you need not be an expert to play with floggers, these are certainly sex toys that require a decent level of trust and intimacy with your partner before introducing them into the bedroom. As with all BDSM toys, an agreed-upon safe word should be decided before any action takes place, for the safety of both participants, and you should always set some ground rules about your expectations when using toys that can be physically hurtful to your partner. Assuming you haven’t already discussed them, any existing medical conditions or physical issues should also be addressed in order to avoid further injury.

Sexperts Em and Lo, authors of 150 Shades of Play, recommend practicing your flogging skills on inanimate objects first (pillows and such) in order to hone your aim. Similar to using a whip, floggers should hit a specific target, and this requires a bit of skill. Practice makes perfect. When playing with real live people, Em and Lo advise floggers to aim for the body’s “safe zones” of the lower buttocks, thighs and upper back. Never EVER go for the spine, neck or head as these can cause serious injury.

For more information on flogger safety and best practices, I highly recommend Keith L. Kendrick’s post, “The Basics of Flogging.”

Finally, if you’re interested in DIY projects, I also found this video by Mistress Katherine from Bondage on a Buck that will teach you how to make your own leather flogger. What a great idea for a naughty arts and crafts project! Have your lady friends over for wine-and-flogger night.

And now for a little flogger flash fiction. This one will even fit into a tweet:

Filly finds flogger. Flabbergasted, funnels funds frenetically for financial freedom. Flounders fishily, fires Fünke, fucks Flanders. Fin.

A to Z time-out for erotica blog hopping

Palm-Springs-HeatThanks to Dave Thome at Man Writing a Romance for inviting me to this blog hop. He’s perhaps best known as The Guy Who Writes Romance Novels, and so far he’s written two: Palm Springs Heat and Malibu Bride, both of which are available at Amazon.

So what’s the dealio, Amelio? I’ve been told I must answer four questions before I may pass go to collect my $200… wait a second, there’s no $200? Ah, nuts. Well, at least I’ve still got a Get Out of Jail Free card.

Question the First: What are you working on?

PlayWithMeI am one of those crazy writers who always has a million projects happening at once. Since it’s April, I’m busy working on the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge (including a blog due for today on the letter F, which I shall post this afternoon), using the theme of Sex Toys from A to Z. I’m including educational info about sex toys, as well as flash fiction that employs the toys in question, and I plan to release that as an ebook called Play With Me in June. (You can preorder it now using the link if you can’t wait.)

Secondly, I’ve also been chipping away at a nonfiction book called Hack Your Love Life, a collection of 69 of the best sex apps currently available for iPad/iPhone and Android devices. Sure, you can waste your own time and money hunting down apps, but why bother when you can let someone else do your dirty work for you? That person would be me. You’re welcome.

Thirdly, I’m also using April to do Camp Nanowrimo and finish up a collection of zodiac-themed erotica. I’ve already written four of the 12 signs of the zodiac (Aries, Taurus, Virgo and Gemini), some of which have been featured on Oysters & Chocolate and The Erotic Woman, so I figured I might as well finish the project and write a story for each astrological sign. Depending on the length of the finished stories, I may also add in stories for the Chinese zodiac, or I may write those later on as a separate book.

Never a dull moment!

Question the Second: How does your work differ from others of its genre?

A good question, indeed. I typically refer to my work as “humorous erotica,” as I tend to prefer humorous writing in general, with some very graphic sex scenes tossed into the mix. I feel like a lot of erotica and romance suffers from the misguided need to be taken seriously, contemplating the value of the relationships between the main characters and examining issues like whether or not these two people truly deserve each other or belong together for the long term. For me, sex scenes aren’t meant to represent an entire relationship, nor express any particular desire for the main character to settle down with one guy or gal for the rest of their life. It’s just a bit of fun with a partner one is deeply attracted to. And isn’t that sometimes all a woman — or man — really wants? After all, it’s FICTION, not a documentary on the tribal culture of Women of North America. Fantasies should be fun, and sometimes funny. Therefore, my books are both.

Question the Third: Why do you write what you write?

Naked Montreal Part 1Truly, why does anyone write what they write? I’d say it’s always a combination of imagination and experience. I like writing about sex, and I wrote a sex column for two years, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I got to meet lots of amazing people in and around the sex industry, and I heard plenty of salacious stories. Some of my stories, particularly in my serial novel Naked Montreal, are based on those experiences, and others are completely made up. Interestingly enough, a lot of my totally made up stories convince people I have done things I would never dream of doing in real life. So therein lies the mystery: how much is real and how much is fiction?

That’s for me to know, and you to enjoy guessing at!

Question the Fourth: How does your writing process work?

I am actually a reformed “pantser,” and wrote up a whole post about my take on outlining without destroying your creative flow here, if you’re curious. In short: I’ve found that I must outline, or at least brainstorm, and whenever I get off track, I’ll have another brainstorming session until I work my way out of the mess.

Let’s Hop!

Next up? Some more awesome authors who will be blogging their answers to these questions!

I’m tagging two of my fellow erotica authors, in the hopes that they will take some of their precious free time to play along:

Pavarti K. Tyler is the author of the Sugar House erotic novella series, the first of which is Sugar & Salt, which I named one of my favorite erotic titles of 2013. You can find her blog at PavartiKTyler.com and buy her books at Amazon.

Equally talented is D.C. McMillen, a Canadian author of erotica whose novella The Wedding also made my list of top erotic titles of 2013. You can find her blog at DCMcMillen.com and buy her books at Amazon.

Hump Day Reviews: B is for Bonk

Lest you jump to the erroneous conclusion that I’m all about ass, I am eschewing the obvious “B is for Buttplug” entry today in order to post a B book for my Hump Day Review.

BonkToday’s sex toy is Mary Roach’s 2008 book, Bonk. Though it’s not a sex toy that can be inserted into any orifice (or, anyway, one I would not recommend inserting into any orifice), this book will certain stimulate your largest erogenous zone: your mind.

With the provocative subtitle The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, Mary Roach explores the scientific study of all things sexual. This may, at first, sound like a researcher’s wet dream come true, but in the end Roach often finds that sexual research is an underfunded area of scientific inquiry – not to mention the fact that sex researchers often have a difficult time gaining the respect of their scientific peers.

In her previous books, Roach has tackled the subjects of cadavers (Stiff) and the possibility of an afterlife (Spook), thus making this her first book about living subjects. And, indeed, considering the fact that most living people do have sex, it’s quite a wonder that the kind of research being done in this field isn’t considered more mainstream or important.

The most well known sexual researchers are, undoubtedly, Alfred Kinsey, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, though Roach was unable to interview any of them for her book (Kinsey and Masters are, alas, deceased; Johnson declined Roach’s interview requests). Instead, she relies on discussions with more marginal researchers, like Ahmed Shafik, who has mainly studied various bodily reflexes, and Geng-Long Hsu, a Chinese doctor who performs urological surgery on men in order to cure impotence. These researchers and their subjects of study are certainly by turns amusing and grotesque, though they appear to have little practical value for the average man or woman wishing to improve their sex life.

Roach notes that the most popular research into sex and its accompanying problems currently surrounds erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra, which are almost entirely useless to women. In an effort to dig deeper into the subject of female sexual dysfunctions, Roach mentions an unusual variety of tests and research studies, including one that ultimately finds that the smells of cucumber and Good ‘n’ Plenty candy increase blood flow to the vagina and therefore turn women on. What smells turn women off? Everything from the scent of cologne to cherries to “charcoal barbeque meat.”

Curious indeed!

If you’re interested in sexual research, scientific inquiry on unusual subjects, or just want to read a book that will fulfil a desire to load up your brain with useless facts about sex, this book is a terrific choice. Roach is at times truly hilarious, and her footnotes at the bottom of most pages are always worth reading. Nothing is beyond the scope of her research, and while some might figure a book about sex research could be as dry as the original Masters and Johnson reports, Roach proves this is not at all the case. Bonk is definitely worth picking up, especially for the odd looks you’ll garner when reading it on public transportation.

(Originally reviewed at Black Heart Magazine)

Fiction Friday: Weekend Quickie #28

Every Saturday The Iron Writer posts a “Weekend Quickie” challenge. You get one image, one prompt and one emotion — and 200 words in which to write a little something-something. It’s a good way to practice your flash fiction, and if you’re interested in taking one of the official challenges, it’s also a great way to get your feet wet with some friendly competition.

Last weekend’s quickie #28 involved an arrowhead, serendipity, and an image of the El Rancho Motel and Restaurant. Here’s what I came up with:

On the Road Again

How is a Native American arrowhead like a cheap motel room?” Sal asked me.

Dunno, boss. How?”

Both can really piss a white man off.” He scowled at the El Rancho Motel and Restaurant’s neon sign as we pulled into the lot.

We’d been on the road too long. Sal usually got grouchy about halfway through our tours, talking smack about the natives, the lack of proper nutrition at rest areas, and getting increasingly irritated by the no-star hotels we crashed in every night.

Let me take care of this one,” I said. “You grab some grub.”

He harrumphed into his mustache and headed for the diner.

I hit up the front desk, armed with my Platinum AmEx.

Sorry, we’re all full up,” the guy behind the counter greeted me.

Name’s Johnny Whitefeather. I’ve got a reservation,” I said.

I bet you do. Guess it’s your lucky day. Sheraton’s just up the road a piece.”

I raised an eyebrow. Sal and I never stayed in fancy joints like that. At least I had the AmEx.

Serendipity,” I told Sal, back in the car, which smelled of burritos.

He just grunted and put it in gear.

Want to play along? Just hit up The Iron Writer this Satuday to get the elements, then post yours in the comments!

Hump Day Reviews: Men Are Like Wine

Welcome once again to Hump Day Reviews! This week I’ve reviewed a humorous wine/erotica book that takes literally the idea that “men are like wine.” Grab a glass of your favorite adult beverage, and let’s get right to the tasting, shall we?

men-are-like-wineA clever concept, Anne Violette’s Men Are Like Wine appeals to both wine connoisseurs and women in search of Mr. Right. Pairing descriptions of different wine varietals with their male character equivalents, Violette displays both her sense of humor and her wine knowledge, without falling back on the sort of stuffy comparisons favored by wine snobs, nor the weird “flavors” you’ve certainly never tasted. (Who wants to drink something that tastes like peat or dirt, after all?)

In addition to her down-to-earth wine descriptions, the book also includes a string of erotic stories about the type of men depicted in Violette’s descriptions, showing wine-loving ladies experiencing love affairs with guys named Pinot Noir (“the bad boy”), Chianti (“the player”), Chardonnay (“friends with benefits”) and more.

Interestingly, most of the preferred relationship wines seem to be red, while those considered mere flings are typically white. Is this a commentary on settling down with a grown-up red, rather than a flighty white? Is it perhaps due to red wine’s health benefits, which may compare favorably to those of a strong marriage? Whatever the case, ladies who love wine will enjoy finding out just what Violette thinks of their favorite guys – and beverages. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find yourself making a switch in the bedroom as well as the wine cellar!

(Originally reviewed at Amazon)

NEXT WEEK: HOUSE OF PLEASURES!

69 Sexy Haiku: Sweaty, oiled hunk

Our latest haiku collection, 69 Sexy Haiku, releases on February 14 — Valentine’s Day. To put you in the mood for love, lust and haiku, we’ve decided to share one poem from the book each day.

Here’s today’s installment in our 69 Sexy Haiku Countdown:

Image by Flickr user RuffianFavoriter

Image by Flickr user RuffianFavoriter

69 Sexy Haiku, coming February 14 to a Bookseller near you

69sexyhaikuIn the mood for love? Looking to add some spice to your bedroom? Kick your love life up a notch with 69 Sexy Haiku, written to entice, seduce and delight lovers in the boudoir. From sensual poetry that will massage your senses to truly explicit fantasies, these 69 poems explore love, lust and intimate relationships with a personal twist. Inspire your lover with a private reading tonight!

Pre-order your copy only at Smashwords, or buy directly from us for just 99¢ through Valentine’s Day.