‘How a bad girl fell in love’ competition (of sorts): winner

Slightly (very) guttingly, in the end there was only one entry for this competition. In the hope that that says more about my current absence from Twitter, and therefore a lack of competition promotion on my part, rather than a lack of interest in the competition in general, I decided not to extend the deadline, and instead to award the prize to Jo at Teachers Have Sex, since her entry was outstanding and would no doubt have been a strong contender for the winning place even if there had been more entries. You can read her (superbly titled) story below…

Underground Eruptions Could Cause Quakes Months Later

Sitting on a KTX train bound for Daegu, I see my own reflection absentmindedly staring out the window at the mountains passing by.  As so often happens when I’m not thinking of anything in particular, my thoughts drift to you.  To your strong fingers, your expressive brown eyes, your dirty words whispered lovingly into my ears.  Your mouth on my nipple, seen from above as I’m straddling you.  Your sex and heat and body odor-mingled scent in the late morning after an all-night fuck marathon.

You often joked with me how you’d want to see me right off the train or bus because long-distance transit makes me insatiably horny.  I don’t know why; the rumblings of the engine or the bumps in the road, the freedom of my mind to wander now that I’m far from home, the shadows crossing my face as we enter and exit tunnels.

I’m thinking of you and I remember (or did I dream it?) coming home one night after a weekend away to find you lounging on my couch, reading a book.  Waiting for me.  I didn’t expect to see you.  Didn’t expect for you to stride over to me without saying anything, kiss me full on the lips (god your lips), and then ask if my bus ride was good.  I couldn’t muster an answer as I was too busy dropping my bag, fumbling with the buttons on your shirt, and barely getting my own pants down a bit before you picked me up and put me on my kitchen counter, pushed my pants off with your foot, and grabbed the back of my hips to pull me forward enough for you to slide into me.  I came hard that night with my head banging against my cupboard, clutching your back as though I hadn’t seen you in years, feeling a hunger in my cunt for more and more of you.

Now, sitting on the train and thinking of your body pressed against me, I feel my lips swell, blood pulsing deep inside me.  Sometimes I think that if I fantasize hard enough I can make myself come – but not having accomplished that yet, I stand up suddenly, push by the passenger next to me, and enclose myself in the train bathroom.  Still standing, I move my hand into my panties and dip my fingers inside, drawing up my own lube, and rub two fingers in circles around my clit, breath coming hard, biting my own lip.  It doesn’t take long.  My whole body shakes soundlessly, vibrating against the bathroom wall.  A series of powerful contractions takes my breath away, and my body relaxes.  I see myself tremble in the bathroom mirror and I think, sorrowful for just a moment, about how much I’d like to come home to you.  You’re 7,000 miles away now, but you still erupt inside of me now and then, spilling out of me, aftershocks stretching out into the night.

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Six men in the kitchen (The Lady, October 2015) & competition reminder

Someone once told her that she only needed six things in her kitchen: a food processor, a microplane grater, a good set of knives, digital scales, a stand mixer and a vegetable peeler.

It’s not true, she realises now. Sometimes you need other things. Sometimes you need six men, all of whom you’ve bedded, leaning against your worktop – not because you have doubts, but because you want a reminder of how you got here.

Her hen do was supposed to be mixed, but it has separated out, somehow – the girls and the plastic, novelty cocks in the living room, the boys – and their real flesh and blood ones – in the kitchen. She intends to flit between the two groups, but there’s an easiness to hanging out with the men. She’s never been one for slick, organised parties; she’s certainly never been one for pin-the-dick-on-the-fireman.

Instead, she plays her own game. She weaves between the guys, topping up their champagne, and for each one, she challenges herself to remember a specific moment or detail about the way they fucked.

Jamie’s fingers, and the way they curved against her G-spot until she drenched his sheets.

Max, who taught her to love face slapping, though she can’t for the life of her remember what made them try it in the first place.

Edward, bestower of tiny yellow thumbprint bruises all over her tits, and bigger, purple ones on her arse.

Stephen, the biggest of the six, who liked to slide into her before she was quite wet enough, stretching her wide around his cock.

Zac, who she only fucked once, at uni, when she was so drunk she can barely remember it, but whose pale arse, disappearing out of her bedroom door the following morning, will stay with her forever.

Fraser, who made so much noise when he came, the neighbours complained. More than once.

She’s found a man who is all these things for her now, but she would’t have got there, without these men. She wouldn’t have known that these things mattered to her.

*

The day itself doubles the contents of her kitchen cabinets. There are vegetable steamers, beautiful stoneware casserole dishes, cheese knives, and, from her grandma, cutlery for best, a concept that is still beyond her.

The boys don’t bring gifts – it’s not their style. Besides, they don’t need to – over the past ten years they’ve given her more than she could ever have hoped for.

For obvious reasons, this isn’t an entry for my competition to win a signed copy of Girl on the Net’s new book, but it is a reminder that you only have four and a bit days left to enter.

I’ll put up a separate post linking to the entries as soon as I have a few more, but for now, check out this epically-titled entry by Jo at Teachers have Sex.

Competition (of sorts): Win ‘How a bad girl fell in love’

Seeing as I love a writing competition, I thought the launch of Girl on the Net’s new book was a great excuse to run one, and the publisher have kindly promised me a signed copy of the book as a prize.

As I said in my review, Girl on the Net uses real magazine article titles for each of the chapters in her book – ’13 Scientifically Proven Signs You’re in Love,’ ‘So You’ve Decided to Watch Porn Together,’ ‘How to Seduce Each Zodiac Sign’ – and it’s one of the things I love about it.

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to do the same – write a post, fiction or non-fiction, of up to 500 words, using a magazine article title as your title. It’s up to you whether you want to use an online or offline magazine, Cosmo, Caravan Monthly or Homes & Antiques. It just must be a real article title.

If you’re tempted, here are …

… the Rules…

(1) Your post can be fiction or non-fiction.
(2) Your post must use a magazine article title as its title.
(3) The post must (obviously) be your own work.
(4) There is no minimum length for posts, but they must be no longer than 500 words.
(5) You can enter as many times as you want.
(6) You must post the piece on your own blog and post a link to it in the comments section below in order for your entry to be considered.
(7) The competition closes at 23.59 GMT on Thursday, March 24th. Any entries submitted after this point will not be considered.
(8) You consent to me reproducing your post in full if you win.
(9) Should you win, you are happy to share your mailing address with me and Blink Publishing for the purpose of sending your prize.
(10) The competition is open internationally.

If I’ve missed anything, or you have questions, please let me know. Also, I’m taking a Twitter break at the moment, so please share this if you can. It would be good to get as many entries as possible!

Review (of sorts): How a bad girl fell in love

For the sex blogging community, and especially, I imagine, the British sex blogging community, Girl on the Net is the thing we have in common: the blog we all read, the blogger many of us aspire to write like. It’s weird to me that the world beyond blogging is less familiar with her – when my RL friends claim not to have heard of her, I’m surprised, disappointed even – because her blog is a way in to conversations about sex, albeit a seriously filthy one.

How a bad girl fell in love is her second book, but the first in paperback, which delights the print-geek in me. My favourite sex blogger just became giftable! And that’s important, because, all the good stuff I have to say about this book aside, what I think will be really interesting is how it’s received in the market more widely.

The Amazon blurb reads as follows:

From the UK’s smartest and most controversial sex blogger comes a unique story of ordinary love and incredible sex – and what happened when they came together. This is Girl on the Net’s true story – of falling in love and falling apart. From the honeymoon days of sex whenever and wherever, to the everyday issues that come with a solid relationship. This is more than a memoir, this is a must-read for all of us who have ever wondered…can great sex and real love ever go hand in hand?

I liked it a lot, but I wasn’t sure, when I started it, what made it different from the blog. One of the things I loved about Girl on the Net’s earlier blog posts was that they were all titled ‘On X…,’ a trope that many of us have since borrowed, because it works, and the equivalent trick in How a bad girl fell in love is to name the chapters with genuine magazine article titles and to introduce them with a snippet of conversation between Sarah, the narrator, and the lovely Mark, who I fell a bit in love with pretty damn quick. For example, Chapter 8 is called ‘Work-Love Balance: 8 Tips on Juggling a Career & Couplehood,’ and it starts:

Me: Thing is, it’s easier to ask for a fuck than to tell someone great that you love them. 

Him: For you. Easier for YOU.

It’s clever, and the intro snippets are all funny and cute, to the extent that I kept sticking the book under friends’ noses and going ‘Ohh, this one’s *lovely*’ but I did worry for a while that it read more like a series of articles or blog posts compiled than a novel with a distinct plot arc. For some people, of course, that would be perfect, because they like to dip in and out of stuff, and it certainly makes it easier to do that, but me? I want arc.

On Wednesday evening though, with 75 pages to go, I meant to go home and eat before heading out again later. I was pushed for time and the book was burning a hole in my handbag. In the end, I snuck off to Carluccio’s and over sausage pasta, wine and tiramisu, I devoured what was left of it. It pulled me in so deftly, I didn’t even realise it was happening.

This is a book that’s strong on hot sex …

When Mark pushed his cock inside me I let out what felt like a sigh of relief. All the times I’d said no, and all moments when I’d sobbed myself to sleep feeling dry and useless and pathetic: they all came out in that breath.

Then he smacked me.

… on mental health …

I’m not weak. I’m fighty. I’ll shout and get angry about things all the time … Buggered if I’m going to cry just because my boyfriend is trying to push me to explain why I cried in a restaurant, and why all my friends have started tiptoeing around me, as if just one wrong word will turn me to dust.

… and on love and affection …

The miracle came the next day, when his key clicked in the lock and he came running through the hallway shouting my name.

‘Ugh,’ he grunted, as he pulled me into a hug. ‘It’s been a long day. I fucking missed you.’

The Evening Standard reviewed it a while back, and I think they missed the point. Is it clickbait in print form? Maybe. The title suggests so, at least, and perhaps the cover, too. But this…?

So what do women want? To fuck “for a variety of reasons: true love, sheer curiosity, politeness, money, boredom” or “because we’re horny and we just quite feel like it”? Or to find Mr Right? To be honest, I’m not sure GOTN knows. She swings erratically in her search for that special experience, from pub toilet cubicles to down the aisle.

The point, for me, is that Girl on the Net *doesn’t* know, and that’s the joy of this book. Personally, I’m sick of heroines who are nice, and uncomplicated – scatty, but essentially good – who know what they want, and always get it in the end. Real women *do* ‘swing erratically,’ though there’s not currently much on the shelves that acknowledges that.

Girl on the Net does. It’s what makes this really worth reading. I think the blogging community will love it. I hope the rest of the world will too. And in six months, I’ll be checkIng the Amazon reviews to see if they did, because the verdict will tell us a lot – about where we are with regard to talking about sex, feminism, MH issues and our bodies – and how far we still have to go.

***

I received an advance copy of How a bad girl fell in love in exchange for a fair review. I also have a competition, where you can win a signed copy.