Christmas Gift Guide (of Sorts) 2017

This year I’m not making any promises about returning to the blog, or to Twitter, in 2018, although both of these things could happen (in the meantime, come find me on Instagram – @sexblogofsorts!). The idea that the gift guide might not happen this year was out of the question though – I start making a list of ideas for it in January and it’s one of the highlights of my festive season.

As with last year, if you have other great suggestions for gifts, especially from independent sellers, please leave them in the comments or hit me up on social media – I *love* discovering new stuff! Let me know too which items on here you particularly like – it helps me to plan next year’s!

  1. Little Winter Robin, £7
    Because really – how can you resist those eyes?

robin

2. Kamasutra Pins Set, 20€
Because cute. And sexy. And cute. Plus, racial and sexual diversity. Available as socks, if you’re not a pin person.

mixed-kamasutra-pins-set-3-pins

3. REN Atlantic Kelp And Microalgae Anti-Fatigue Bath Oil
Of course there was going to be a bath oil. REN stuff is beautifully packaged, non-greasy, but the rose one has always been a tiny bit too floral for me. This is much less divisive, and good for both girls and boys with fancy tastes.

renseaweed

4. Laser Cut Anatomical Heart, $49 CAD
There’s something fascinating, beautiful and also somehow repulsive about anatomy. Whatever it is though, I find it hard to look away from these beautiful paper cuts…

Anatomic_Heart_727372d3-113f-4134-9b6f-f8ce6fb58d69_compact

5. Yes Queen Stationery, $32
Strong women and luxury stationery is a fab combination, and these notecards, featuring images of Marie Antoinette, Queen Elizabeth, Cleopatra and Beyoncé would make a great gift for a friend.

Queen+Women

6. Concrete Planter Making Kit, £15
Kit gifts can be a total, end-up-in-the-back-of-the-cupboard fail, but concrete? Concrete is *sexy*. This is one I’m really hoping someone buys for me.

normal_concrete-planter-making-kit
7. Good vibes only embroidery, £17.24
Embroidery art always feels really good value to me, because I can’t sew at all, so I’m in awe of the work that goes into it. And there’s so much good stuff in the YesStitchYes shop…

GOODVIBESONLY

8. Monkey Pants, £40
Is underwear and/or socks a bad gift? I say no. Along with nice hair products, I love getting stuff I’ll actually use. And I love the subtle, but unusual and fun, print on these pants.

monkeypants

9. ‘I Am Bat’, £8.36
Bat falls, without a doubt, into the category of #fictionalcreaturesthatgivemefeelings. I’ll be buying this for every toddler I know this Christmas.

iambat

10. Gusbourne Pinot Noir ’15, £25
There’s always wine on the gift guide, but, as a rule, I usually pick something with a fun label. This one lacks that, but it has the novelty value of being an English *red* and it tastes damn good also.

GUSBOURNE

11. Caramelised Pretzels, £3.95
Chin Chin Labs ice cream creations are epic, and while you can’t get the ice-cream delivered to your home, I love the idea of pairing a load of their toppings, including these pretzels but also grilled white chocolate and marmite toast, with a DVD or two, to make an excellent ‘night in’ kit.

PRETZELS.jpg

12. Another Night In Loose Tee, £28.94
I have this image framed on my wall, but, if I was a loungewear person, I would sure as hell wear it, too.

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13. MAC Snow Ball Mini Lipstick Kit, £85
Because who *doesn’t* love mini versions of things *and lipstick?

 

macsnowball

14. Chicchi di Caffe Tin, £15.95
For your coffee and chocolate loving friend. As a baker, I’d intend these to be used for decorating coffee cake, but would no doubt eat the whole tin long before getting round to that.

chicchi.jpg

15. Nine and a half weeks book, £8.59
I suspect this is out of print, given that it only really seems to be available on eBay or on secondhand book sites, but I swear it’s one of the most erotic things I’ve ever read, and so much hotter than the film. Give it to someone special on Christmas Eve and have an early night…

ninehalf

16. Map print, $22
Archie’s Press make beautifully minimalist map prints and best of all, they have loads and loads of different cities available. Good for friends, lovers, or anyone who’s tricky to buy for…

SFO_Redux.png

17. The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, Stories & 100 Essential Recipes for Midwinter, £16.61
‘We all know winter. The mysterious whiff of jasmine or narcissus caught in the cold air, the sadness of spent and blackened fireworks the morning after Bonfire Night, a row of pumpkins on a frosted allotment spied from a train window, the magical alchemy of frost and smoke. Winter is the smell of freshly cut ivy or yew and the childish excitement of finding that first, crisp layer of fine ice on a puddle. It is a freckling of snow on cobbled pavements and the golden light from a window on a dark evening that glows like a Russian icon on a museum wall.’
Oh, Nigel.
Buy this for the prose, as much as for the recipes – it’s a masterclass in good writing.

nigel

18. Sex & Jasmine Eau de Parfum, $75 CAD
‘Sex & Jasmine…..unfff. The intoxicating aroma of swollen jasmine blooms linger over silken vanilla sheets. The midnight sweat has half erased our floral masks and we collapse, panting triumphant into our animal selves.’
I accept this company could write better, subtler copy. I accept that jasmine isn’t for everyone. But I bought this perfume, which also has notes of vanilla and ambergris, from a craft fair in Brooklyn earlier this year and I promise it really does smell super sexy.

SexJasmine15mlFlatlay-Grande_copy_1024x1024


Stand with Planned Parenthood tote bag, $15
25% of the proceeds from these goes straight to Planned Parenthood and I’ve never had so many women say ‘Oh, I love that!’ about any other bag I’ve owned.

bag.jpg

20. Essie Nail Polish Advent Calendar, £50
The purpose of advent calendars is not to give them *on Christmas Day*, I get that. I’ll make an exception for this one, though, because Essie polish is high quality, has a fabulous colour range and superb names. Plus, you could open all the windows at once and challenge your family to a festive #Polished competition.

Essie-Nail-Polish-Advent-Calendar-24-Day-Christmas-Countdown-738888

21. Net of satsumas, £3.95
Because what kind of spoilsport would put actual fruit in a stocking?

satsumas

22. For Men Who Moisturise Christmas Wash Bag 2017, £50
One of the things I love about Liberty is the way they combine classic/traditional design with cutting edge products, especially when it comes to beauty. I’d gladly buy any of these kits, but try this one if you’re buying for a woman.

libertymen

23. Pull along lobster wooden toy, £14.99
Is it legit to have a baby just so you can buy them a wooden lobster on wheels?

goki-pull-along-lobster-goki

24. Aubade Extrait De Flirt Half Cup Bra, £71
I’m a big fan of the sexiness of sheer underwear, but as sod’s law would have it, all the good stuff doesn’t come in my size. Please buy this for someone and let me live through them vicariously.

BRA.jpg

25. City Walks Deck: London, £9.95
Great for someone who loves a project, working your way though these over a year of Sundays and following up with a pub roast seems to me like an ideal way to spend time.

londononfoot

26. Budding monogram ornament, £10
Anthropologie has great tree decorations this year. If floral isn’t your (or their) thing, why not get them this super-festive prawn kebab.

anthro

27. 3 metre charging cable with weighted knot, £36.99
Know someone who’s sick of constantly having to pick the end of their iphone cable up off the floor? They need this.

iphone.jpg

28. Lehmann Oblique 40 wine glasses (Set of six), £86.50
Okay, nobody *needs* mouth-blown wineglasses. But lovely glassware is a properly grown-up gift, and although I’d never be able to justify buying these either for me or for anyone else, it doesn’t take away their lustworthiness.

Oblique_40

29. Set of Two Conversation Travel Bags, £19.50
Because somewhere to put your dirty knickers when you’re travelling so they don’t get mixed up with the clean ones is the gift you never knew you wanted. Trust me.

1140989_oliver-bonas_gift_set-of-two-conversation-travel-bags.jpg

30. Small fox cushion, £49.95
No, it’s *not* a stuffed toy, it’s a cushion. And that makes it totally okay to a) buy it for an adult and b) spend almost fifty quid on it, even though it’s just a ‘small’ cushion.

small_fox

31. Write books not blogs notebook, £15.30
The SBOS gift guide is *always* thirty suggestions, but it also *always* contains a bath oIl and a notebook. When I’d done the full list this year, I realised I’d missed the notebook out, so here it is, as a bonus suggestion no. 31. Buy it for the person who you think blogs in order to put off doing the thing that really scares them.

writebooksnotblogs.jpg

 

***There’s also usually a charitable cause suggestion as part of the guide. This year, you can send toiletries and make up, even if lightly used, to Caroline Hirons’ excellent Give and Make Up.***

All pictures are taken from sellers’ websites. No copyright infringement is intended. If you’d like a picture removing or crediting, please do get in touch.

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Eroticon live 2016: Come push my buttons

NAME (and Twitter name if you have one)
Charlie Powell. I think I’ve got to the point now where Charlie feels enough like my other name that there’s a good chance I’ll respond if you shout it at me across a crowded room.

If you had the opportunity to rename yourself (or your blog) what would you pick?

Yeah, this is never going to happen because of how heartbroken I was when I found out a week or so ago that Twitter had permanently deleted my account and taken all my followers with it. I have no intention of returning actively to Twitter any time soon, but I’d had some good times building up that many followers and now they’re all gone *sigh*

Anyway, long story short, I have reclaimed @sexblogofsorts, so you’ll notice the account is active again – it’s just that now there are no tweets or followers! 

What are you most looking forward to at Eroticon Live and/or is there anything you are nervous about?

I’m super excited to finally meet Hy and Tabitha, and to catch up with lots of good friends, especially those who live overseas, like this lovely lady, and this one, too. 

Have you planned which sessions you will be attending or are you more of a spur of the moment kind of person?

You can probably safely assume I’ll be at most of the sessions relating to either blogging or writing fiction.

What essential items to your life will be bringing with you to Eroticon Live? (you can have a maximum of 5)

Bath oil, so I can chill out after my session, a notebook (because I forgot last year and had to buy a new one (shame!)), my novel-in-progress, in case I’m inspired to write, and my slides. Please god don’t let me forget my slides!

The fifth item is obviously copious amounts of white wine, though I’m hoping Bristol can provide that!

A new cocktail has been made on your honour, what would be the key ingredient and what would it be called?

I’m a bit hung up on one with lychee juice and rose syrup at the moment, so maybe ‘Every rose has its thorn?!’ Maybe I’d open a cocktail bar for other grouchy pessimists like me, too!

And finally… Complete the sentence; I have yet to…..

… ever actually use PowerPoint! So please do come along to my session, not only because it’s going to be really fun, with lots of chances to be creative (and probably prizes), but because I might need someone to help me push the right buttons!

Charlie’s Challenge #1

For Marie Rebelle’s wonderful #WickedWednesday meme last week, I wrote about how I was keen to set up a monthly prompt for all bloggers, no matter what category or genre they write in. And now I’ve actually done it!

Monthly prompt #1 is: Grand National 2015

Over on my Pinterest, you’ll find the names of all the horses running. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write something – fiction or non fiction, sex, beauty, fashion, lifestyle, opinion etc. etc. – using one of the runners’ names as your prompt.

As I said, there won’t be prizes for this usually, because it’s a meme, not a competition, but because this is the first month, I’ll pick my favourite of the posts that are submitted prior to Grand National day (April 11th) and that person will get a £5 bet on the horse of their choice (and the winnings if it comes in, obviously). If you’re just writing for fun, you have until the end of April.

All entries will be linked to here, provided you either link to them in the comments, email me a link or tweet @sexblogofsorts with the hashtag #CharliesChallenge. Just to be clear, your post doesn’t have to be about racing. You just have to be inspired by the names!

I hope you’ll give it a go!

Charlie xx

Oh god, what have I done…

I can’t post this until the clock turns 00:00, which is a bugger in itself, because I was counting on having an early night tonight.

Usually, in the autumn, I commit, foolishly, on about October 30th, to NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month – where you challenge yourself to write a 50k word novel in November. As you can probably imagine, it doesn’t tend to end that well: I think I’ve done it six times now, and I usually average between about 1800 and 8000 words over the course of the month.

Except in 2008, and, er, last year. In 2008 and 2013, I hit 50,000 words. Last year, I even managed to reach the ending by 50k, although flicking through it now, having not picked it up since last Winter, it, like me, needs some serious work on its flabby middle.

For once, I think it would be nice to sit down and do the editorial hard graft on that ‘novel.’ It’s the first full length work of erotica I’ve ever written and although it’s highly flawed and distressingly autobiographical in places, I think it deserves to live. Which means that this year, I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo.

i need a writing challenge though, because I can only edit for so many hours a day, and writing makes me happy. And today on Twitter, I came across NaBloPoMo, which i mostly like the sound of because the acronym sounds a bit filthy. NaBloPoMo is an October challenge, where you aim to write a blog post a day.

This is my first, which, yes, ok, is kind of cheating, but let’s gloss over that. I’ve toyed with the idea of having a strategy or plan, dividing the month up into say, 6 different categories and writing five posts on each (before anyone questions my maths skills, this is post one, which leaves 30 posts to be written.) If I do follow my plan, it’ll look roughly like this:

5 x typical Charlie style, ‘whatever I feel like writing about’ posts
4 x Wicked Wednesday
4 x Sinful Sunday
5 x posts about women/sex in the press
2 x pieces of erotica/fiction

Umm… that leaves ten more…

I’d love to write about stuff *you’d* like me to write about, and even more than that, I’d love to end the month with a Q & A post not dissimilar to this one. So, if you have ideas for posts, or you have a Q&A question (and please do send these as the post won’t work without them!), please feel free to DM me on Twitter (@sexblogofsorts), leave a comment here, or drop me an email at sexblogofsorts@gmail.com.

Apologies in advance if I bore the pants off you this October…

Writing Process Blog Hop Tour

Kristina Lloyd asked if I’d like to join in with a literary blog hop, and because I found her answers really interesting, and because ostensibly this blog was always supposed to be a home for my fiction writing, I said yes. Plus, I’m always keen to join in with anything which serves as a reminder that erotica isn’t just a synonym for erotic romance, so here goes:

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