In my head, there are a handful of ideas for anthologies I’d like to edit one day. Most of them are far simpler than the premise behind Corrupted.
Erotica is already good at being a feminist genre, in my experience, so putting a call out for feminist stories didn’t feel different enough. I wanted to do something that celebrated how far women have come – how much we’ve overcome – to get where we are today.
And that’s what Corrupted is all about. It’s a super contemporary celebration of women’s liberation – of same sex and non-binary relationships, of disability, of technology, of women’s suffrage, of women breaking the same rules that men have broken for so long now – sometimes getting away with it, and sometimes not.
When the call went out, I had an idea of how the finished collection of stories would look. In reality, it’s a very different anthology, but in a great way. In choosing the final line up, I’ve tried as far as possible to make sure it’s truly representative of womanhood and not just a white, straight, middle class, cis representation of being a woman.
There’s an extract from my story in the anthology below (which I’ll admit is cis, white and middle class, but hopefully in a tongue in cheek way). All that remains is for me to say two things
1) Thanks so much to all the authors and to Anna Sky at Sexy Little Pages for all their hard work – it wouldn’t be what it is without you.
2) I really hope you like it (please review it if you do!).
Your Vote Matters – Charlie Powell
“Susie?” he asks, thrusting the hand that’s not clutching a sheaf of leaflets in my direction. “May I call you Susie?”
Risky strategy, I think. The Labour representative who canvassed me two days earlier called me “Ms Smith” and didn’t try to be all chummy. This guy though, the Tory candidate himself, has clearly decided that keeping it casual is the way forward. Charm is oozing from him like butter from hot toast.
I like charming men. I even like charming men who happen to be Tories. No, wait, I especially like charming men who happen to be Tories. I know, I know. I hate myself sometimes, too.
“I guess,” I say, my gaze dropping from the blue rosette pinned to his jacket to the white shirt and red chinos he’s wearing underneath.
“Good, good,” he says. His voice is pure Oxbridge. “Oliver Tamworth, Conservative candidate for Green Park North.”
“I gathered,” I say, gesturing at the rosette.
“May I ask who you’re planning on voting for?” he continues, flashing me what I imagine is his most ingratiating smile. “Can we count on your support?”
I smile back. “Of course.”
I’m a really good liar.
He beams. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he hadn’t had much luck so far tonight, but this cannot possibly be the case. After all, Mr Green at number ten is convinced single mothers “take far too much from the system and don’t pay a penny back in”—even though I know for a fact that the three mums on this street raising kids on their own work every hour god sends. I once overheard Mr Johnson at number fifteen telling someone he’d voted for UKIP, only to follow that up with “Oh no, sorry, I meant the BNP”—it’s been five years since that election and I still scowl at him every day on the bus—and Mrs King who lives on the corner “thinks people have too many human rights.” I don’t even know where to start with that one.
“Great!” Oliver says, seemingly staring straight at my tits. I should slam the door in his face. “Let me give you a leaflet anyway. It’s got my email address at the bottom and the number for my team, so if there is anything you’d like to discuss before election day, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Your vote matters to us, Susie!”