Been. Gone.

Sad woman


Longing. Gnawing at me like a rat.

My need for you hurts like a papercut. A bitch pain that never lets up. Never lets go.

A wound in my sternum.

Anxiety’s blade twisting in my gut. It burns me. It’s teeth are sunk deep into my flesh.

I can’t breath for the need of you.

I hate you for making me feel this way.



You’ve been. Now you’re gone.

Sated, I lie absolutely still.

My pillow, a clouded orgasm. A drift of fulfillment and promise.

A balm on my anxiety.

Content, I can breath again.

But only for as long as your breath is in my lungs. While your heat still lingers on my skin. Until the yearning starts its relentless drumbeat once more.

Fear crawls up from my fingertips. Seeps in at the boundaries of my mind.

Why do I think that, one day, you’ll never return?

Because one day you won’t.

And that’ll be a better day for me.

Wicked Wednesday logo

This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt was ‘morning’.

The food slut and the semifreddo…

Last Friday, the ever-indulgent Mr F drove me all the way across to East London to go to the International Tattoo Convention at Tobacco Dock. I wanted to go shopping for a tattooist…but more about that in another post, sometime soon. What I’m going to write about today—the food slut and the semifreddo—was inspired by the unbelievably delicious dinner we enjoyed totally by chance afterwards.

When we’d (for that, read ‘I’d’) had our/my fill of watching brawny male chests and pert female bottoms being indelibly etched upon, Mr F asked me where I wanted to eat.

I shrugged. “Not my manor.” (For American readers, that’s very London. It means, this isn’t my part of town—I wouldn’t have a clue.)

It isn’t Mr F’s manor either. But given that Mr F could swap his job for the life of a London cabby at the drop of hat, he naturally had the glimmer of a plan. Ten minutes in the car and we parked up in front of a non-descript office building, just off Brick Lane.

“Here we are,” he said. “Let’s try this.”

Where were we? At a tiny, trendy restaurant masquerading as the works canteen of an uber-cool 70s-styled serviced office. I’m always game for Mr F’s discoveries and within minutes the towheaded maitre d was giving me an impromptu wine tasting of his recommendations from the list.

Quite unexpectedly, this was one of those meals that lodge themselves, like pearls in an oyster shell, deep within the chambers of my memory. There are only a handful, meals so special that though they’re often revisited in my mind, they could never be recreated. Meals, or more specifically, dishes that have resulted in the elusive food-gasm! A few mouthfuls so sublime that you *practically* come.

figsFood is always, for me, at least a sensual, and often something of a sexual experience. And meals that aren’t in any way satisfying leave me in a fury for the rest of the day. But very occasionally, I’ll come across something that will make me feel, for real, the way Meg Ryan acts in that famous scene in When Harry Met Sally. When one of my early boyfriends offered me the soubriquet ‘food slut’, I thought it was the finest compliment ever. Certainly a part of the glue that binds Mr F and I together is our mutual gluttony. I would love to say gourmandism, but who would I be fooling?

So what was the dish that afforded such unexpected pleasure on Friday night?

We started promisingly with a locally cured fennel salami with tiny, saltily-intense cornichons. Fennel salami is a particular favourite of mine, and this one didn’t disappoint. And, yes, it really was local – cured at Angel, just a few miles from where we were at Brick Lane. Main course: sardines, grey mullet and a heritage tomato salad—totally fresh and utterly morish. Then, finally, the plat de resistance that sparked the food-gasm.

Caramel semifreddo, crumble, black current.

I know. It doesn’t actually sound right on paper does it? I only chose it as I didn’t want the other more cakey offerings. But OH. MY. GOD.

First, the sweet, milky, toffee-flavoured semifreddo, melting unctuously on my tongue. With no expectation, I was shocked at how good it tasted.

“Try this, try this.” I waved an urgent spoon at Mr F.

“Oh, my god!”

Then the semifreddo with some of the deep, dark black current coulis. SWEET JESUS. So sharp and intense against the creamy caramel. Oh, oh, oh!

“No, this.” Another spoonful to Mr F.

(Expletive deleted.)

And the little pile of crumble on the side? What could it possibly add? Everything, as it happened. It was crunchy and it was salty. It was fucking salty! Full food-gasm alert. I feel short of breath just writing about it.

A few small mouthfuls of pure heaven that I know I’ll never forget.

Creamy. Crunchy. Sharp. Salty. Combining to form culinary perfection.

When I’d finished, the maitre d stopped by the table and asked how I’d found it.

“It was amazing!”

He smiled, said nothing, and gave me a knowing look. He knew how good it was.

Here are some other food-gasms that have never left me—or more accurately, have left me gasping:

  • A sublimely slimy bowl of porcini tagliatelle in an unassuming restaurant in Orvieto.
  • A smoked haddock chowder in which a poached egg lay submerged like buried treasure, courtesy of the Pollen Street Social.
  • An eight-course tasting menu in a Paris destination restaurant that ended with the world’s best (and I don’t say that lightly) rum baba.
  • Dreamy iles flottantes in a bistro in a small town in rural France.
  • And, for the love of God, I’ve had two food-gasm experiences in the same restaurant on different occasions—which makes it something epic. An authentic ma-and-pa Italian in Twickenham, where I’ve been served a whole grilled squid with garlic and chilli that was to die for, and a bowl of truffle pasta after which I could have quite happily expired with no regrets. The maitre was extraordinarily generous with the truffle, grating it at the table as we watched it rain down like confetti onto the steaming fettucine. Sigh…

But these gastronomic quakes are few and far between. Not many dishes lodge permanently in your memory and make your mouth water and you stomach flip just at the thought of them. The list above was gathered over the course of decades rather than years.

And then there are other meals that I remember for the company or the location, or for some other reason. A birthday dinner eaten with gold chopsticks overlooking Hong Kong Harbour. Lunch up the Eiffel Tower. The dinner in Innsbruck at which Mr F planned to propose but failed because of the proximity (measured in inches rather than feet) of an enthusiastic zither player who seemed only to know “The Harry Lime Theme” from The Third Man. (The proposal was postponed for 24 hours and I was none the wiser!) Supper on a rooftop in Marrakesh, under a velvety black African sky in which stars were scattered diamonds. I remember the details of these occasions vividly but the food not at all. And then the lunch at which a married lover told me his wife had found out. The only meal ever ordered but the food left completely untouched.

45463934_sAs I said earlier, food has always had a sexual component for me—from the orgasmic thrill of eating chocolate Angel Delight before I even knew what an orgasm was—to these, thankfully, more fulfilling and sophisticated experiences. But funnily enough, I’ve never been tempted to bring food into a lover’s bed. Licking chocolate-flavoured body paint or whipped cream off a partner’s genitals holds absolutely no appeal. However, there are some foods that are guaranteed to make me feel horny, which will certainly speed my passage to the bedroom, whenever I eat them. Figs, with their fetid, fusty pheromone flavour, sweet juices running down my chin. And truffles. Why do I love them? Because they taste of nothing more perfect than the way fresh sweat smells. A decent bowl of truffle pasta is akin to burying your face in a lover’s armpit. Oysters, a cliché with their delicious salty, cuntyness. And the fleshy, juice-soaked bread, preferably brioche, that gives structure to a summer pudding, so soft and velvety on the tongue, so sharp and sugary on the taste buds—the subject of a recent post.

Chocolate, on the other hand, does nothing for me. I know it does something for a lot of people—and there’s actually science behind this. The melting point of chocolate is precisely body temperature, so it does, quite literally, melt in the mouth. Mr F craves it, but left to my own devices, I wouldn’t bother with it. No umami in chocolate.

Beyond chocolate, I’ve always assumed that lots people found other foods erotic too. I feel certain they do. (I know I can never get on with the sort of person who proudly declares themselves to be utterly uninterested in what they put into their mouth.) But this then begs the question, why is there so little food-based erotica? Sure, you see it occasionally, but the explosive combination of two of our most basic physical needs is certainly fodder for the most sensual writing. Describing the pleasures of eating and the pleasures of sex presents the same challenges of bringing intense physical sensations to life on the page, without resorting to clichés, in a way in which allows your reader to enjoy a full vicarious experience. Neither is easy, but bringing them together can be rewarding and satisfying for the writer, and a mouth-watering treat for the reader.

If you know of some super-hot food-porn, please tell me about it in the comments—and if you’ve written some, do you ever feel inspired to write more?

Wicked Wednesday

This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt includes ‘revisit’, which works well as I have indeed revisited last week’s post.




Forbidden Fruits…

Let me tell you about Forbidden Fruits. I’ve been itching to write this post for some time but I had to wait until all the ‘t’s were crossed and the ‘i’s dotted. Now they have been, so I’m excited to announce my first title for Sweetmeats Press (and never a more aptly name publisher for the story!), “Summer Pudding”. It’s going to be released on January 1st but it’s already available for pre-order on Amazon, either as a standalone story, or as part of Sweetmeats latest anthology, Forbidden Fruit. It also includes stories by Zak Jane Keir, Elizabeth Black and Vanessa de Sade.

Just take a look at the mouth-watering cover, read a sneaky preview excerpt and, if you like what you see, why not hit me for a review copy of either my story or the entire antho?

Summer pudding cover


Sparks fly when nutrition expert Lisa Summer and revered celebrity chef Laurent Gillou meet on a TV debate show. Live on air, Laurent throws down the challenge for Lisa to resist one of his decadent dishes. If she accepts, will she be able to maintain her sensible and stoic approach to food, or will the passion of Laurent’s cooking crack her unshakeable resolve?


“Will it be a blind tasting?” she asked.

Laurent burst out laughing. “Certainly not,” he said. “Before you even taste it, I want you to devour it with your eyes. How food looks is as important as how it tastes.” He caught hold of the looped handle of the dome. “When you take a lover, Lisa, you appreciate him as much with your eyes as with your sense of smell, taste and touch, don’t you?”

“Of course.” A blush rose to her cheeks.

He lifted the dome and Lisa gasped. The pudding had been turned out of its bowl and sat, glistening like a giant cabochon ruby in centre of a silver platter. The intensity of red, the sumptuous surface of the juice-soaked brioche, the tart smell of the fruit that she could taste at the back of her mouth… When her hands gripped the edge of the table, the pudding quivered as if it were alive. Bright juices bled from it onto the silver like blood from a beating heart.

“It’s beautiful,” she said, barely a whisper.

“Ah, but wait until you see the inside,” said Laurent softly.

He picked up a silver cake slice and plunged it into the centre of the pudding. He breached the outer layer of brioche, then Lisa heard the serrated blade rasp as it ploughed through the berries within. A quiet click as the tip of the slice touched the plate beneath. Laurent extracted the cake slice and made another cut, separating a wedge from the whole. Deep dark red, ruby, scarlet, crimson, black, white and purple, the berries tumbled out in a wash of magenta juice. Lisa’s mouth flooded with saliva. She heard Laurent’s sharp intake breath.

Seizing a deep-bowled serving spoon, Laurent lifted the slice of pudding onto one of the plain white dessert plates, piling it high with excess berries and drizzling it with a flood of juice. He reached for the crystal jug and, with a flick of his wrist, a dollop of thick white cream ran in an avalanche down the outer slope of brioche.

He put the plate down in front of Lisa.

Voila! Il est magnifique, n’est-ce pa?”    Amazon UK



Fruit was at the heart of the first sin. So let the ripe cherries, juicy plums, and full melons of nature’s bounty give you erotic inspiration. Indulge in Forbidden Fruit and let the juices run down your chin!

Elust #74 – Best Sex on the Net

Ginger nic1
Photo courtesy of Switch Studies

Welcome to Elust #74

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #75? Start with the rules, come back October 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!


~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

She wanted to let the light in…
Reflections on the Male Nude


~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Is it play acting?

~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*

Can a Woman be a Good Mother and Write a Sex Blog

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7

days.Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!


Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Leaden Heart
Summer awakening
Our Kind Of Monogamy
If You’re Gonna Be A Thot Do It With Grace
Playing at Poly
I’m a-Lousy-Monogamist
Sharing the bed
The Couple and the Coquette
Four Love

Erotic Fiction

All Girls Night
Unresponsive Satisfaction
i don’t want realism, i want magic
A Stranger’s Tale
Motion Capture
Checking Southward
His Slave Heart.

Erotic Non-Fiction

Sexy Riding
I noticed without paying attention
Humiliating an ex-Nazi submissive: sex slave
The End of a Rut
Rayne is a Fucktoy Cunt
Mindful Orgasm


5 Reasons Woodhull Was an Amazing Experience

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Sex: Vegans, Carnivores, and Apex Predators

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

Location, Location, Location
Seven Dimensions of Dominance
Light That Fire: Motivational Tools

When A BDSM Scene Ends Abruptly

Writing About Writing

You Down With OPT?
Cover Me
ELust Site Badge

New edition of Pillow Talk

Jade, Malin and I have been talking again – actually, we never stop – but this one’s up on the Pillow Talk  blog. Here’s how we get going…

Pillow Talk Secrets

Jade: Hello ladies! So nice to be back again. How are you both doing today?

Malin: Doing well! How about you, Jade? Tamsin?

Tamsin: Very well, thanks—and better for being here with you two! :)

J: Aw! I agree. And I’m well too, thank you. So…today we have a very interesting topic on hand—erotica crossovers and genre blending. Shall we get right to it?

T: Absolutely!

M: Sounds great. I suspect we’ll have a lot to say.

J: I agree. Initially, I’d thrown this topic out as an option during our first year recap. Then, by random happenstance, we all ended up getting asked to join in on a special anthology that I know we’re all excited about! We’ll get to that in a bit, but for now—let’s start with the idea of erotica crossovers. What styles have you both blended so far? And how did you find it went for you?

T: I think by now, nearly everyone knows that I’ve written zombie erotica—and it’s probably one the most fun projects I’ve worked on. The obvious challenge being how to make something so totally squicky even remotely sexy!

M: The fact that you did make a zombie apocalypse a believably sexy scenario is a testament to your talent. It’s a high bar and you hit it!

Space boy
J: I agree—and I think what was most interesting is that you really humanized a really inhuman being. Even though we wanted to squirm over the grotesqueness of the zombies, we ended up rooting for them in a few of those stories.

T: Wow! Thank you both. I think the challenge with any crossover is staying faithful to the essence of the two original genres but somehow making the sum even more than the two parts.

M: I agree. Most genres have a set of recognizable conventions. They’re sort of like markers for the reader. When you blend genres or write crossovers, you almost have to choose which conventions from each best serve the story you want to tell.

Read the rest at Pillow Talk

Her Epiphany

This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt is Epiphany.

naked woman

Her Epiphany

Epiphany struck her less than three minutes after the teenaged mugger struck her. As she hurriedly slipped off her rings, bracelet and her grandmother’s necklace to press into his grimy palm, she looked her husband squarely in the eye with the expectation of a response.

But Derek did nothing.

Or to be more accurate, he gave a half shrug and a soft whimper.

The kid ran off into the shadows and they hurried on through the dark city toward their hotel.

“Great shortcut,” she said in a voice dripping with bitter anger.

“You even handed over your wedding ring.” It sounded like an accusation.

“And what did you do?”

He was silent.

“It was insured. It can be replaced,” she said.

She angled her shoulders away from him as they walked, and glanced down at her bare left hand.

That was the moment of the epiphany. Bare was a good look. A look she might care to explore.

Back at the hotel, while Derek cast himself as the hero to a sharp-faced blond Carabiniera, she looked at her hand again. She wondered how long it would take for the white band on her ring finger to become as tanned as the rest of her hand.

When they were back home, Derek haggled the details of the claim with the insurance broker. She zoned out, lost in thoughts of the bulge in the broker’s trousers. She slowly crossed and uncrossed her legs, watching with satisfaction as he surrpetitiously rearranged himself.

It took a couple of weeks for the money to come through, but her hand felt lighter and so did her mood. She placed her ring-free fingers around a number of cocks that weren’t Derek’s. Her trainer at the gym – physically impressive but too focused on performance stats. Derek’s best friend from school. She’d often wondered what might have happened if she’d met Marty first. Now she had her answer – nothing. Her sister’s male nanny, boxfresh from Austria. Jesus, she’d forgotten how it felt to giggle in bed.

She tried them out for size and she drew the same conclusion each time.

No ring was going back on that finger any time soon.

Life had changed in a heartbeat down a dark alley on a velvet Mediterranean night.

Now all she had to do was tell Derek.


More Wicked Wednesday posts here.

Before the bus comes…

If you were to die unexpectedly, tomorrow say, under the wheels of a bus, what would be your biggest regret?  The one thing you did that you wish you hadn’t?  Or perhaps the bucket list fantasy you never got around to doing?  Think about it.  And then go and deal with it.  Because you never what’s coming, just around the corner.

Those are the opening lines of my story, “Before the Bus Comes…”, in Cheyenne Blue’s latest anthology First: Sensual Lesbian Stories of New Beginnings. It’s the story of Red – fresh out of a bad relationship and ready to explore another side of her sexuality. As a writer, there are some stories you just write and send off, happy to move on to the next project, and there are stories that, for some reason or other, you become very fond of. This is one of those stories, so I was really thrilled when Cheyenne gave it a home in her anthology. It’s out today and I’m proud to be sharing pages with Annabeth Leong, Harper Bliss, Sacchi Green, Vanessa de Sade, Jillian Boyd and many more.

First coverBlurb

Dive into these fifteen sizzling tales of lesbian love and romance and experience the wonder, the joy, and the magic of new beginnings.

A woman sees her lover for the first time after years of blindness. For the first time in her life, a top trusts her girlfriend enough to let her take control.  A connection forged in a bar in New Mexico encourages a breast cancer survivor to take a lover.  Stories of new love and first lesbian encounters intermingle with other emotional and physical firsts, and the excitement of new experiences: an around the world flight, the thrill of a carnival, and even the first time to see the sea.

With fantastic stories by favorite writers such as Sacchi Green, Harper Bliss, Annabeth Leong, Allison Wonderland, and Jeremy Edwards, the variety in this anthology means there is something for everyone.

And here’s an excerpt from “Before the bus comes…”

So I took a deep breath, and as a crowded bus sped past blaring its horn at a jaywalker, I pushed open the door of the bar and stepped inside.

At this point you want me to say I stepped into another world and my life changed for good.  But, no, it really looked just like any other bar and the clientele, apart from the fact there were virtually no guys, looked the same as in any other bar.  Rock music blasted out and on a tiny dance floor sweaty bodies heaved to the beat.  I had to elbow my way to the bar and I couldn’t call it whether I trod on more toes than trod on mine.  But I liked it—the air smelled sexy with the collective fug of hot girls having fun.

I ordered a beer, feeling pleased with myself.  Such bravery!  And for once I had dressed right – skinny jeans, band t-shirt and badass boots.  I was rocking it and ready to rock it with someone else.  Or I would be after I’d downed a couple of beers to blow away my inhibitions.  But I was in no hurry.  I wanted to slip into this easily, slowly…

I saw her almost straight away, of course.  After the second sip of beer my attention was snagged by a petite girl at the other end of the bar.  Not a ravishing beauty but she had the sort of retroussé nose I’d obsessed about through high school and her dirty blond hair was pulled up into a scruffy pony tail from which plenty had escaped.  Her wide-set dark eyes were fixed on the girl behind the bar and I instantly wished they were looking at me.

I watched her order with a small, round mouth and then she fidgeted while she waited for two beers to be drawn.  Damn!  She was with someone.  And I was starting to feel distinctly masculine in my behavior—check out the hot girl, assess your chances…  Something about her got to me and I was horny as hell.

Now, shit, what was the etiquette for chatting up a girl who might be here with her girlfriend or who might just be here with a friend?  I drank my beer and watched her making slow progress through the crush around the bar.  Her skimpy tank showed off well-muscled arms and shoulders and, when I caught a glimpse of how tight her jeans were, I wanted to see more.  I came here to enjoy myself but I wondered if I’d leave feeling tortured instead.  Maybe I should just go home and play with the rabbit.

No.  I’d come here with a purpose and the rabbit could fuck itself.  I finished my drink and settled on the time-tested classic approach—bump into the girl and spill her beer.  Offer to replace spilt drink.  Hang around chatting until she blows me off, one way or another.

In my imagination, she’d bought the other beer for me, would emerge from the crowd and hand it to me with a smile and a knowing wink.  But in actual fact, I’d lost her in the throng and she wouldn’t have even noticed me anyway.  I needed to cruise the room for her under the pretence of heading back to the bar.  And that was no hardship, pushing my way through a hundred girls who smelled enticingly of scent, sweat and sex, and favored tight, tight clothing.


The fact that I did actually accidently bump into my girl and spill her beer, rather than pretending to, I took to be a good sign.  But she evidently didn’t as she looked down at her beer-spattered leg.


Up close she was even prettier and my heart started flailing in my chest.  An anxiety attack. Great!

She stared at me with her dark eyes and, instead of saying sorry, I remained mute.  The-cat-got-my-tongue big time.  Her eyes narrowed.

“You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” she said.

I shook my head frantically.

“Yes, you did,” she said, nodding slowly.  “I saw you checking me out earlier.  Fuck you!”

“Let me get you another beer,” I said.

“Forget it.  Hardly any spilt.”

She stared at me.  I looked down at the beers in her hands. She was right.  One glass had an inch less beer than the other but that was all.

And then she smiled and it really did things to me.  Deep down inside things.

“Here,” she said, and held out the beer I’d jogged.

“What about…?  Didn’t you buy this for someone?”

“Just a girl,” she said with a shrug of one shoulder.  “She wasn’t as cute as you.”

You know.  That moment when your heart does a flick-flack.  But it felt weird to be called cute by a girl six inches shorter and, I’d guess, five years younger.  Was it somehow obvious I was a newbie to the scene?  I didn’t know how to respond to this so I drank beer, quite a bit too fast.

She watched me over the rim of her glass and downed her beer in one.

Girls dancing“Dance?”

I finished off my beer.


She grabbed my empty glass and dumped it on a nearby table.  Then she pulled me through the bodies towards the dance floor.  It was the size of a postage stamp and the grinding, writhing mass of dancers spilled over on all sides, practically indistinguishable from the non-dancers and drinkers surrounding it, rolling their hips in time to the thumping base line.  We made our way right to the center of the floor, where there was only enough space to dance real close to your partner and everyone else besides.

It was hot and she was hot.  I was hot.  Okay, it sounds like the chorus of a bad pop song but if nothing else had happened that evening, I would have gone home happy.  I love dancing but I couldn’t remember the last time I did—and, well, this time I was dancing with a girl I wanted to fuck.  She brushed against me and I brushed right back and each time it sent a little shiver of current up my spine and down to my belly.  I knew it had the same effect on her when I saw a rash of goose bumps puckering the skin on her arms.  There was no way she felt cold and my forearm had just nudged the side of her breast.

She smiled at me and I let my gaze drop down.  Her nipples were hard and clearly visible through the fabric of her top.  I wanted to touch them and my mouth went dry.  Inside my chest, my heart was competing with the thud-thud-thud of the drum track.  I hooked the back of her neck with my arm to draw her closer.

“Can we get outa here?” I said, ramping my volume so she could hear me over the music.

Available from:

Amazon UK


Call for Submissions – Superotica Advent Calendar

Sexy angel

Oh please, please don’t mention Christmas already! But, yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Specifically, I’m going to talk about this year’s Superotica Advent Calendar. This year it will be the third year – I can hardly believe it!

The first year, I had the idea to do an advent calendar to promote my own work. I provided most of the posts, using excerpts from books and stories, and I invited a few writers I knew to contribute simply because I would have run out of material. Last year, inspired by Alison Tyler’s Power On post, I decided to feature a different writer every day – so I sent out an email to a whole bunch of writers I knew or admired and invited them to send me something. And I was really thrilled, because every single writer I approached gave me something. And once it was up and running, it really took off – every day was different, exciting and hot.

And now here we are, at the third edition of the Superotica Advent Calendar. Or not quite. Obviously, we won’t actually be there until December 1. But I’ve been thinking about it. Both years, during and after the run of the Calendar, other writers have got in touch with me and asked me how they could get involved. So this year, I’m going to be doing a mix. I’ve asked a few of my favourite writers to contribute stories – about half the posts – but for the rest, I’m putting out an open call for submissions.

Would you like to have a spot on the Superotica Advent Calendar?

Send me a super-hot story to: at

That’s all you’ve got to do.

It can be any length, from 500 words up, but this year I want whole stories rather than excerpts from longer works. They can be already published, though of course I’ll prefer something new. And I really want actual stories. Please just don’t describe two (or more) people just having a sexual encounter. I want characters and plot, something exciting or different or surprising or sad… It’s up to you but ideally I’m looking for writing that provokes a reaction.

Make me gasp!

There’s no theme – you can write about anything you want. However, if you need a prompt, take the theme of homelessness. I’m going to ask readers to show their appreciation for the writers involved by making a small donation to Crisis, a UK charity supporting single homeless people, or Coalition for the Homeless, a US charity for homeless men, women and children, and there’ll be a link to the two charities on every page.

Deadline: 1st November.

I want to make this year better than ever.


There’s no payment, there are no prizes, but it’s a thing. And I’d love you to get involved.

She wanted to let the light in…

This week’s Wicked Wednesday prompt is an Ernest Hemingway quote, “We are all broken, that’s how the light gets in.” As my thoughts are now turning to what I’ll write after the Alchemy xii series is finished, I’ve found myself being drawn to explore something altogether darker. The Hemingway quote made the perfect prompt to take a little spin in that direction. 

The piece of flash fiction that follows contains an element of non-consensual sexual activity.

Woman in red cloak

She wanted to let the light in…

She wanted to let the light in, but she didn’t know how.

“I’ll help you,” said the priest.

She noticed a stain on his cassock, a trace of a meagre meal eaten too fast. Or semen, maybe, unconsciously wiped off his finger. But, no, this was Father Ulrich… She turned her attention back to what he was saying.

“You have ungodly thoughts, don’t you?”


“I understand. Women are weak.”

She had ungodly thoughts, but not of the type he was referring to.

“I’ll help you banish them. We’ll let the precious light of God wash through you.”

“Thank you, father.”

“Kneel here.”

She dropped to her knees on the hardwood floor in front of him. The small parlour of the priest’s house was dark and airless, reminding her of closets in which she’d hidden as a child. It was hard to breath and the air she drew down into her lungs carried the stench of a man who lived on his own. She should have found a reason not to come here. At least, not on her own.

The priest laid a benedictory hand on her head. As he mumbled Latin words that made no sense to her, his hand weighed more heavily. She could feel the chill of his dry touch through her fine hair. She’d always found his hands ugly—the skin that stretched over his knuckles was white and papery, peppered with liver spots and bright, scaly patches where bone reared close the surface. Of course they would be cold to the touch.

He removed his hand and she waited. The timbre of his breathing changed and in the silence, the room became more oppressive. She swayed slightly on her knees, feeling the seam between two floor planks cutting across her kneecap.

The priest moved on silent feet. She’d noticed that before, during services. He walked without making a sound. No footfall. No click of hard leather on wood. She’d looked at his feet when she knelt in front of him to take the sacrament. He wore the same rough-hewn boots as the other men in the village. But they clumped noisily in theirs, while he trod with soft stealth.

He was behind her.

“This will be an act of cleansing. Contrition.”

His joints creaked as he bent, then his cold fingers brushed the flesh of her leg. He raised the back of her skirt and underskirt, bunching them at her waist. She took a sharp breath. What he did wasn’t unexpected, but there was still a ripple of shock as expectation became reality. She’d heard whispers of his cleansing rituals, even though Father Ulrich commanded the women never to speak of them.

“Hold this up,” he said, pushing the crumpled fabric harder against her.

She moved her arms back so she could grab hold of her skirts.

“Yes, Father.” It was hardly more than a whisper.

“My child.”

He hooked his fingers into the top of her underclothes and drew them down slowly. His nails scraped the curve of her buttocks. Her gut roiled and her hands, hidden in the folds of grey wool, clenched into fists. The garment held tight between her legs and he had to tug to free it, exposing her folds to him. A small sound escaped her mouth, and his. He let her drawers pool on the floor around her knees, the white cotton protecting the modesty of her calves.

His first blow came without warning and knocked her forward. She let go of her skirts and put out her hands to save herself, letting out a sharp cry as surprise was overtaken by pain. The heel of her hand skidded on the floor, picking up a splinter. Pain countermanded pain. Her head dropped forward and she sobbed.

The priest cleared his throat impatiently.

She resumed her position, this time with her knees further apart for better balance. She furled her skirts back up to her waist, exposing herself for him once more. He resumed the beating. She didn’t fall forward again, but she cried out each time he hit her. He murmured in Latin—cleansing prayers, no doubt, chosen to scour the inside of her mind.

When he finished, he touched her with his long, cold fingers, making a noise in the back of his throat like a rutting dog.

A few days later, as the bruises on her buttocks faded, the site of the splinter became infected. It swelled and reddened, pushing out globules of yellow-green pus until finally the tiny foreign body was ejected. The wound left a scar, a minute red triangle, which served to remind her, daily, of the first time Father Ulrich beat her. Of all the other times that came later, too many to count, none stood out in the same way, none left any permanent mark on her body.

But each time, her thoughts grew darker, the ungodly taking up a greater portion her mind. This was no way to let in the light.

Wicked Wednesday

The constant companion…

CowgirlThis week has been a bitch of a week. Last week was a pig of a week. And next week will be a bastard too. All courtesy to an explosion of demands from the day job. There’s no time for blogging, no time to write a piece for Wicked Wednesday, no time for stories. I’ve carved out a few short hours for Alchemy because I must – it’s another hungry treadmill I put myself on, which I won’t be able to get off until the end of the year. But other writing projects? Cast by the wayside. Promotion and marketing. Nada. Taking the time to read other people’s posts and support them as I’d like to? Not a chance. I don’t feel like I’m treading water – I feel like I’m swimming backwards. And it pains me.

Because everyone else, as usual, seems to be surging forwards. So here we have it. My old friend self-doubt rears its ugly head and waves cheerily. Then it does more than wave – it embraces me, because it’s so very fond of me. We are, after all, old friends.

That’s why today, given that I have no chance of writing something new, I’m revisiting an old post: On Writing and Self Doubt, which I first published back in the days when I wrote for One Handed Writers. If you’ve read it already, my apologies, but for me, the issue continues and I believe it probably does for most other writers too.

NB The successes of my Pillowtalk colleagues I refer to in the piece obviously happened some time ago. But the sentiment endures – there’s always someone, somewhere celebrating a success that makes you wish it were your own.


On Writing & Self Doubt

Do you ever suffer self-doubt as a writer? I do. I have a feeling that this is going to be a difficult post to write, not least because a little way in I’m going to be completely honest about a not particularly attractive facet of my character. As the title makes clear, I’m going to be tackling the subject of writing and self-doubt—and yes, self-doubt is already creeping in as I type this first paragraph.

I believe that every writer on the planet is plagued with self-doubt about their writing. Or maybe there’s a tiny fraction of a percent that have no self-doubt whatsoever, but I would question whether anyone that is at all times supremely confident of the worth of their words is actually a genuine writer at all. So, yes, we all suffer self-doubt and some of us are quite open about it, possibly more so than necessary, while others hide it behind a façade of confidence and bluster.

Self-doubt and writing have always gone hand-in-hand. Sylvia Plath said, “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” (I’ll explain why I don’t necessarily agree with her in this later.) This is what William Goldman had to say about it in Adventures in the Screen Trade: “Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound.”

However, prior to the internet, perhaps writers were a little easier on themselves. Yes, they would write in solitude, doubting every word, but when they submitted their manuscript and it was accepted for publication, self-doubt could conveniently evaporate. They had proved themselves.

Now things are different. Most writers have to do their own marketing, out on the Internet, across the social platforms, day after day. And why this feeds writerly self-doubt is perfectly obvious. Comparison. As I go about my daily business of posting and tweeting, sharing things on Facebook, adding images to Pinterest and Tumblr, I can hardly help but compare myself on an ongoing basis to other writers. There are thousands of them, all working away to achieve the same goals as I am—connecting with our readers and selling books.

Naturally, there’s always someone—in fact, a lot of someones—doing it better than me and achieving more. Making it onto the bestsellers list. Being nominated for and winning awards. Signing a new multi-book contract. Winning numerous plaudits and legions of fans. While I sit and wait to hear from the next publisher on my list and count my retweets on the fingers of one hand.

And now we come to the bit I alluded to at the beginning of this post. Thing is, it’s even worse, the closer you are to a writer who’s winning the game. Gore Vidal famously said, “Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.” I can admit to feeling that. And I really hate myself for it—but it’s entirely true.

Last week was a superb week for my two Pillow Talk colleagues, Malin James and Jade A Waters. Malin wrote a searing and brilliant post about women, sexuality and feminine relations on her blog, Erotica, Sex, Culture. If you haven’t read it yet, I would urge you to go and read it. It was widely disseminated and commented on, and I was thrilled for her because I absolutely believe she’s one of the best writers, anywhere, in this field today. But deep inside, a tiny voice whispered to me, “Why don’t I ever get a reaction like that to anything I write?” My own post that week, on the problems of repeatedly writing descriptions of orgasm, barely raised a comment, apart from one reader who complemented the legs on my avi and asked me to wrap them around his head. A couple of days later, Jade announced on her blog that she’s been signed by an agent. I couldn’t be more excited for her and I’ve read the manuscript that got signed—it’s superb and when it comes out, because it will be snapped up superfast by a big publisher, I’ll be first in line urging you all to buy it and read it. So why was that little voice inside me saying, “Why don’t you have an agent?” Logically, because I haven’t submitted anything to an agent—but when you’re racked with self-doubt, where does logic come into it?

Please don’t get me wrong—I really love these two girls and they know it. And they know that I want nothing but stratospheric success for both of them. And I know they’ll understand that little voice because, I’m sure, they both have similar voices of their own. But it made me feel bad. I felt bad about my own work and (my perceived) lack of success. And it also made me feel bad, because there was something disloyal about harboring such feelings even for a moment.

Self-doubt brought about by professional envy. Not pretty is it? Why not throw in some self-loathing for good measure?

What can I do about it? In the past, I have found one way of easing self-doubt and making myself feel better about my writing. For a while I kept a little notebook and jotted down, each day, my own small successes. For example, when a short story was accepted for an anthology, when I got a good review, when someone tweeted something complementary about me or when I posted a contract back to a publisher. They’re not big things—but they do add up to the story of my success, step by step. However, they’re things so easily forgotten in the onslaught of self-doubt and the tidal wave of other people’s successes being broadcast across the net. So I need to start that little notebook again and remember that, actually, I’m doing okay.

And the other point I want to make, in direct contradiction to the Sylvia Plath quote at the beginning of this article, is that self-doubt is one of the things that spurs me on. I want to succeed. I want to become a better writer. I want to snatch as many of those joyful moments of success as I can. It’s up to me to harness the doubt that threatens to pull me down and actually use it to power my way forward.

It’ll always be there but I need to remember, I can rise above it if I set my mind to it. And, actually, so can you.