Monday, February 23, 2015

From Religious Cult to Erotic Writer -- #BOAW2015 #GirlBoner

This post is part of the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest, run by the wondrous August McLaughlin. Drop by the fest page and enjoy!

Did you know that sexual pleasure can make you 80% more generous? In this research study, the participants who had been given an injection of oxytocin (the chemical released during pleasurable sex and climax) gave away 80% more money than those who did not receive the shot.

Beautiful, yes?

Bearing this in mind, here's how I recovered from a childhood of sexual shame in a religious cult.

Between the ages of 9 and 11, I was bullied every day for being ugly. I felt ugly, was told I was ugly, and believed absolutely that the bullies were right. After all, here I was in a body that I was certain was bad. It was a body that longed for pleasure, a body that felt real pain, and seeing as I'd been raised in the Christian Science religion, I knew my feelings of pain and longings for pleasure made me sinful and grotesque--because a moral person should deny everything material. Why? Because the material world did not exist.

The material world, especially the body, was to be denied if we were to escape sin. To quote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science holy book:
"Divine Mind [God] can and does destroy the false beliefs of pleasure, pain, or fear and all the sinful appetites of the human mind."
"Chastity is the cement of civilization and progress. Without it there is no stability in society, and without it one cannot attain the Science of Life."  
"It is easier for Christianity to cast out sickness than sin, for the sick are more willing to part with pain than are sinners to give up the sinful, so-called pleasure of the senses." 
"The sensual cannot be made the mouthpiece of the spiritual, nor can the finite become the channel of the infinite."
As you'll guess, I see no truth in these quotes any more.

So there I was, "ugly" and bullied, and being advised by adults to deal with this by truly knowing that I wasn't bullied in spiritual reality, and by turning the other cheek, rather than standing up for myself. And you know what? Things got really tough. I did not believe my body was beautiful--I was covered in acne, had oily hair, and my classmates reminded me I was "disgusting" every moment they could. So why couldn't I leave my feelings of pain and longings for pleasure behind?

Now, bear with me as I take a moment to say that if you think you are disgusting, take it from me, you're not. You are beautiful. Just the way you are.

But I digress.

As for sex, like so many of us, I was taught I was evil to even think of it. So I masturbated in secret, ashamed of this activity I didn't understand, but knew must be beyond sinful. I even feared that God would punish me by making me miraculously pregnant--after all, if he could bless the Virgin Mary with a child, why would he not curse me with one? That would certainly be a fitting punishment, I assumed at the time. See, I'd been told there was nothing more shaming than being a single unmarried mother.

When my hand looked strange and plastic, as if it wasn't mine, I thought this was because the material world wasn't real. Actually, I now know I was experiencing a severe form of dissociation.

When I was sent to Christian Science Boarding School, I discovered that there were other kids who, like me, didn't want to believe in a religion that damned pleasure and said the body was shameful and taught that suffering was an illusion that should be denied. Interestingly, none of these other kids had fallen mysteriously pregnant. Also, while some of them tried to bully me, I didn't turn the other cheek this time. And you know what? My acne began to clear up.

Sure, it took me until I was in my thirties until I could look into the mirror and see beauty there. But once I saw it, I had to learn to trust it.

Trust yourself, dear reader. You're beautiful, no matter what you've been told or how you've been shamed.

Now? At the age of forty-one, I am an erotic writer who is married to the woman of my dreams. A sex activist, I co-run an indie erotic publishing house called Go Deeper Press, where we spread the word that erotic enjoyment is deep, not shallow. I believe in a Universe that is all-loving. I believe that causing pain causes pain, and causing pleasure causes pleasure. I believe that love and compassion are the root of all beauty.

In my view, what Christian Science lacked was true compassion. And yet loving sexuality is all about compassion.  Did I mention that sexual pleasure can make us 80% more generous?

What isn't beautiful or compassionate about that?

Love on, my friends.
-- A book trailer for my latest novel, Cream: An Erotic Romance

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Erotic Video Reading from Cream (Explicit)

This is a reading I recorded for Sticky Stories -- a regular celebration of sex writing run by the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health. I hope you enjoy!

You can buy Cream here, in both e-book and print.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Women Who Speak Out About Harassment (And Those of Us Who Dream of Sex and Dairy Products)

Violet Blue: Pic, courtesy of @violetblue
Hello, everyone! Firstly, I'm over at Kay Jaybee's awesome erotica blog today talking about cream and music in Cream: An Erotic Romance. Yup, it's me garbling about sex, dairy products, and jazz. Take a look!

Secondly, Ella Dawson has written an excellent piece over at Thought Catalog. Entitled That One Time I Verbally Assaulted a Group of Teenage Boys at McDonalds, it's very good, very courageous. Go and take a look. A glimpse at the comments shows what a difficult topic this is, which is all the more reason why we should praise those who speak out about sly harassment and how it can affect us all. While I'm at it, Annabeth Leong has also written powerfully and insightfully about this topic. Many thanks to you both, Ella and Annabeth!

Take a look at Violet Blue and Alison Tyler on the state of erotic publishing today--specifically the way they were treated by Cleis. In this case, the publisher has been beloved for its activism over the years, which makes this all the more crushing. Case in point: I bought my first contemporary erotic story collection from Cleis. So anyway, check out Best Women's Erotica 2015 ed. Violet Blue and Alison's latest releases. (I'm fortunate enough to be in BWE 2015 along with Alison and J.T. Louder,  Tamsin Flowers, Malin James, and loads of talented others, and was one of the recipients of the powerful, honest, and humbling email Violet has posted.)

Also, over at Go Deeper, we get all hot and bothered over sizzling moments from erotic books. Take a peep when you're not being watched by bosses who are, you know, wielding the less pleasurable kind of paddles.

Oh, and you know what really pisses Tamsin Flowers off? Men who harass women outside of abortion clinics. Amen, sister. Oh, and you know what else is worthy of a mention? The Fifty Shades of Grey movie, which pissed us off royally too.

Okay. That's all from me for today! Peace, dear peeps.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Readers Will Want to Let the Story Spill Over Them

At the Go Deeper Press blog, we check out some steamy moments from books by Kristina Lloyd, Justine Elyot, Jody Gehrman, Alison Tyler, Annabeth Leong, Jacob Louder, and yours truly. Enjoy!

"The cream had trickled down my belly, so it was easy to arch my spine a little and rub the silken fluids into myself." Lana Fox in Cream

Also, I'm thrilled that Cream received such a stunning five star review from Axie Barclay. "Readers will want to let the story spill over them, savoring the richness of the experience," she so kindly writes at Amazon, in a review entitled "Thoughtful, Provocative, and So Hot the Kindle Should Smoke!" Thank you, Axie. I'm honored and moved.

Friday, February 13, 2015

In Fifty Shades, It's Red. In Cream, It's White.

In this excerpt from Cream: An Erotic Romance, the dominant Marcus, who has just spent the evening having kinky sex with Caroline, has poured her a bath. He has also brought up a glass of white wine for her, along with a terra-cotta jug of cold double cream.
“Now,” he said. “Are you ready for cream?”
Cream, Sir?”
“Double cream,” he said. “Get ready for some coolness on your back.”
Then he held the jug over me and poured. It was the most incredible sensation. Thick cream—the kind you whip into clouds—fell down my back, unctuous and cool. I moaned just to feel it, and I heard him moan, too. Then I felt his hands on my back, rubbing the cream into me, massaging my skin. I relaxed into it, aroused by the sensations, and asked, “What are you doing?” before quickly adding, “Sir?”
“Cream is a perfect reward,” he said, “and you’ve earned it, Miss Spence.” There was a heaviness in his voice—a lustful appreciation—as the cream swirled through the water and against my thighs. Then he rose to his feet and made me fall back into the bath before slowly pouring more of the cream over my chest. It splashed onto me and ran over my breasts in rivulets.

A Jug of Double Cream: Erotica and an Interview

"Her books were written, most romantically and poetically, about the very sexual fantasies I'd locked away inside myself, lest anyone see the truth about me." 

I so enjoyed chatting about Anais Nin, my sexual blossoming, and more, with the lovely F. Leonora Solomon! On the same page, F. Leonora also kindly shared a steamy piece of erotica (excerpted from Cream: An Erotic Romance) in which a delectable bath becomes far creamier thanks to hot sex, cold double cream, and, well, some humming.

Thank you so much, F. Leonora! You shine like pure gold.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Redeeming Cupid for Valentine's Day

Be worried. Seriously. Because Eros is done with love. Sure, he's got a quiver full of arrows, but what good is that when you're as jaded as he is?

But there is hope for snarky ol' Eros in its sexiest form. Find out why, how, and all the other juicy stuff in Oleander Plume's free Valentine's e-book, Redeeming Cupid. But beware, this sizzling story is only free until March 1st, so if steamy Cupid is your style -- and how could it not be? -- get a wiggle on, my friend.

While we're at it, Oleander is also running a Valentine's blog hop where you can win all sorts of sexy goodies, including a copy of her delectable anthology Chemical [se]X and a couple of Go Deeper e-books as well. What's more, check out the Chemical [se]X authors themselves, who are blog hopping away at the moment. Today? The super-talented Tamsin Flowers gets down-and-dirty in the woodshed, no less. 

A cream-themed erotic novel that's totally NSFW: