Giving It Up Competition: The Results

I’m late with these – I’d have extended the deadline for another week or so, but I figured that after the whole of Lent, it was time for you to stop writing and get back to morel important things like chocolate, booze and wanking (oh, wait, that’s just me…)

Anyway, as ever when I run competitions, the calibre of the entries was pretty damn high, which makes making a decision about the winner difficult, to say the least.

Let’s start with Innocent Loverboy’s entry, seeing as he was quick off the mark to send it in. I really like the way he’s added extra elements of challenge to the prompt, and that he’s been inspired by music (he wrote it in 05.42 minutes, which is the length of the James track that inspired him. I love the short sentences at the start as well, which do indeed give a real sense of build up.

Jane at Jane’s Little Secrets is also a recent discovery, and one who shares the same problem as me: struggling to give up control. It’s totally worth it in this case, though, because the description of being fingered by someone who’s driving feels risky in more ways than one. And who isn’t turned on by an element of risk?

Absolutely Ruby’s gorgeous post imagines the day that she’ll have to give up a lover who’s both bad and good for her all at the same time. The remembered details in this – her first champagne cocktail, a much needed hug – enrich the piece and create a situation we’re almost all certain to relate to. My heart aches for her reading this, but at the same time, when she says ‘I will look back on our time and boy will I smile because it really has been fantastic’ it makes me smile too. A proper emotional rollercoaster of an entry, this one.

Lent by Strained Voices is a piece where the characters end up breaking the rules of Lent, and isn’t that always the most fun? It was the line ‘I can do whatever the fuck I want,” he said, holding her hips and plunging himself inside her,’ that really got me. Hot stuff.

TheShingleBeach is the third entrant to include a song lyric – it’s as if when we’re forced to give up the good stuff in life we turn to music to see us through. Loss appears as a theme here too, and heartbreakingly sadly, once again, especially because, fuck me, this couple have chemistry. We know they’ve been intimate for a while, because of the way she is pulled into the bedroom in ‘a practised tango,’ and it makes the end, with its lonely walk home and suitcase to be packed, even more poignant than it might otherwise be.

Collared Mom’s Lent is Rough was definitely the piece that made me smile the most – i could totally see myself wondering if tiramisu was fair game if I’d given up coffee – and here the main character still can’t stop her mind wandering to tiramisu even once she has a hot man on the scene! The descriptions, such as ‘I was grinning like a school girl that had just been given a pony for her birthday.’ are great too.

@Mandapen‘s Take It All is sadly not available for reading online, as she emailed it to me. It’s a great tale of a woman domming her partner for the first time. There’s no fear here of painting flawed characters – we learn that he is ‘an unreliable servant’ who often goes AWOL for ‘weeks, sometimes months’ or of viscerality: ‘great salty mouthfuls of her juice,’ both of which are things that i massively appreciate in fiction.

In the end though, I was torn between two pieces: An Older Man’s Breaking Conditioning and Euclidean Point‘s Giving Up Kink (which again, was sent to me via email.) The draw of the former is how fearlessly it eroticises something that I still think of as a relatively niche kink – water sports. Innate shame duels with the desire to please, and I love the way that the subtle tension of the piece dwindles to deep affection as it draws to a close.

Maybe Euclidean Point’s entry taps strongly into my kinks (and by ‘maybe’ I mean ‘definitely), but it also covers such ground so concisely. For example, ‘On our first date he opened doors for me and I lowered my eyes for him. The first time we were alone, in a hotel room, he spanked me and I sucked his cock while he pulled my hair,’ tells us everything we need to know about the characters in two perfectly composed sentences. And then, the final paragraph which captures both the strength and peacefulness in submission, and well as the sense it can give you of coming home. All these things combined to leave me with little choice but to declare this piece the winner, which means you can read it in full below. Congratulations, Euclidean Point – I’ll be in touch about your prize.

Charlie xx

Here is what happens when you give up your kink. 

It was his idea, to live as a vanilla couple for a month. Since meeting online we had each been entrenched in our defined roles – he was a dominant and I was a submissive. On our first date he opened doors for me and I lowered my eyes for him. The first time we were alone, in a hotel room, he spanked me and I sucked his cock while he pulled my hair.

We’ve been living together for two years now, and I want to be with him forever. His issue with this is my experience. I’ve had flings and half-hearted love affairs, but never a relationship like this. How can I know that it’s the submission I love, not just the fact that I can cuddle up to someone after a hard day at work?

He removed my collar on a Sunday morning. The sun was shining into our bedroom as I knelt at his feet. He carefully laid the collar in his bedside drawer, and then returned to me and helped me to stand up. The rest of the day was mine.

We cooked breakfast together, as we had done a hundred times before. I decided I wanted to go shopping, and I remembered to inform rather than ask him before I left the house. I managed a few hours of pleasant but directionless wandering before returning home. He’d brought me flowers. That night he gently took me into his arms and caressed my body. We fucked slowly and kissed passionately. I moaned in all the right places, and smiled at him afterwards. It felt empty and soulless, but perhaps it was just unfamiliar.

For the next few weeks he hugged me, kissed me, and asked about my day. Gone were the affectionate slaps on my arse. For the first time in years my pale skin was entirely without a mark or a bruise. All of our toys were sealed in a box in the corner of our bedroom, a box that I couldn’t stop glancing at out of the corner of my eye.

One day when he was out, I opened the box. Three weeks after sealing it all away, it was strange to see the neatly packed rope, a selection of clamps, canes, floggers and my favourite riding crop. I took out two lengths of rope and re-sealed the box. When he came home, I led him to the bed and almost had one of his wrists tied to the headboard before he even realised what I was doing.

He allowed himself to be tied, for his nipples to be pinched. I brought him to the brink of orgasm with my mouth and then stopped. He laughed when I asked him to beg. I teased him some more. He pulled experimentally on his bonds but having been tied to that headboard so much myself I knew exactly how to ensure there would be no escape. Eventually he persuaded me to give him his release. He never told me that I was in trouble, or that I would pay for this once the month came to an end. The next morning I packed the rope back into the box and it has been there ever since.

The last week of the month was difficult. I was really busy at work, and came home stressed and tense every evening. He cooked dinner, and rubbed my shoulders. Some nights he massaged my feet as I sat drinking wine in front of the TV.

Today is the last day of my freedom from submission. As I enter the bedroom he’s standing waiting for me.

‘You’re happy.’ He sounds resigned.

‘I am.’ I respond, smiling at him.

He steels himself before responding. ’You know I can’t give up for good, don’t you? But maybe we could just do it on weekends or…’

My grin stops him in his tracks and he searches my face for meaning. ‘I’m happy because the month is over.’

It’s only when the tension visibly leaves his body that I can see how much he has suffered. How careful he has been, how studiously he has denied himself to give me this choice. That he loves me so much he would be prepared to let me go rather than risk pressuring me into a submissive lifestyle that I didn’t want.

But I need it as much as he does. As I lean in to kiss him, he takes my wrists and pushes them behind my back. Then using one hand to keep my wrists pinned, his free hand roughly grabs my breast and pinches my nipple hard. We’re both smiling as we press our foreheads together in a moment of shared relief.

Tonight we will open the box in the corner of our bedroom and resume our familiar roles. The blank canvas of my flesh will once again carry the evidence of our shared passion, the lines and bruises that mark me as his. This is my freedom. This is my home. And I will never give it up again.

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‘Don’t read clickbait, read this instead’ – COMPETITION RESULTS!

As ever, when I put out a call for excellent writing you didn’t let me down. There were twelve posts from eleven entrants on topics ranging from Guy Fawkes to knicker-sniffing. Which was exactly what I wanted: I love sex blogging, but I read much more widely than that and I wanted to acknowledge just how much fantastic blogging goes on, not for financial gain, or for followers, but just for the sheer love of writing.

So let’s start in reverse order by date/time of submission. @brosandprose is a relatively new discovery of mine, but as ever she wrote elegantly and insightfully about the crossover between sex writing and pop culture. My knowledge of Taylor Swift extends only as far as the lyrics to Love Story and something to do with Harry Styles, but I loved this piece.

Then @Juniper3Glasgow, who won my last competition with this amazing storyFireworks is an equally powerful post, and I love that Juniper has a way of writing about real events that have shaped her in a way that’s neither sentimental or indulgent. Nobody could deny that the girl has a way with words.

@codexonline wrote on heartbreak. I’m a sucker for a sad posts, and this struck a few chords with me – lines like ‘I’m going to be quick because I have to start thinking about her again at some point,’ and his inclusion of the eternally painful quote ‘never allow someone be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” I know just what he’s getting at. I’ve been there. Sharing that pain never stops being being brave, though.

@bangsnwhimpers submitted two great entries. The first, on kissing with confidence has lots of great moments but I particularly like the vignetted moments of actual kissing ‘ The clearing of the throat, the disposing of gum. The butterflies in the stomach. The shifting in your seat, the stirring in your pants. The hands, the hands reaching around your waist, sliding over your behind, touching your arm’ and ‘The trophy of a kissing session, the dry lips. Kissing a smoker, that ashy taste, that tinge of smoke. A lipstick smudge on his lips. Your fingers wiping it off. And then more kisses.’

The second is on music, and I wholeheartedly agree with every word. It made me laugh, too, with its quips about trumpet players being able to breathe through their ears and the drummer who liked girls to shit on his chest (you’ll need to read it for context).

Massive kudos to @Hornygeekgirl who completely took me at my word when I said people could write about anything they wanted, and wrote about Guy Fawkes and freedom fighters. What I love about this is not only the unapologetic  break with her usual subject matter but also that it showcases how positive and thoughtful she always, always is.

@JillyBoyd wrote on a subject close to all our hearts: how to capture the runaway idea when you’re a writer. I’m still on a relatively sharp learning curve where this is concerned but I think her keyword suggestion is fucking genius. Thanks Jilly!

@Innocentlb wrote with great poignancy about an early relationship and the difficulty of balancing friendship and love. I’ve been there, too and I know how hard it is when your friends don’t seem to want the best for you (and in fact, sometimes I’m the bitch who doesn’t want the best for her friends.) There’s lots good about this post, but I like the underlying sense of unease that carries through the whole piece.

First time stories are always a favourite of mine, and @girlseule didn’t disappoint. Evie blends story and musing about what virginity really means masterfully. She’s also completely unabashed about the fact that in some ways she’s still the same girl she was back then: ‘I think I was looking for affection and someone to just like me a lot more than I was looking for sex. I think I still am,’ and I’m a huge, huge fan of her writing.

@FSolomonRR rose to the non-fiction challenge with characteristic enthusiasm, which in itself is enough to make me adore her. Like Jilly she wrote on writing, and the candid honest with which she describes what she’s learnt is an inspiration. I really hope she keeps up the nonfiction writing as well as the fiction though, because she’s damn good at it.

And Molly. Lovely @mollysdailykiss. I think the only fair description of this post is ‘you don’t get much braver than this.’ I’ve learnt so much from Molly’s writing, not least that if you’re candid and true to yourself, even if what you’re describing isn’t everybody’s kink – she wrote about enjoying the smell of her own underwear – people will respect you for the honesty that shines through in your writing. I certainly respect her for that.

We’re getting close to the result now, but first let me start with my runner up. @Fantasticalview usually writes poetry, but you’d never guess that he’s new to prose from his piece. At first, it made me a little uncomfortable – while words like ‘Bitch’ and ‘Slut’ are fine if they’re used in my bedroom or if I apply them to myself, there has to be a damn good reason for them to be used to describe anyone else. But there is a damn good reason here, and also: the best writing often does make you uncomfortable – it should force you to ask uncomfortable questions at least – and this is a wonderful blend of love and grief and writing that does just that. I fucked up the prizes a little on this perhaps – it would have been good to have a second and third prize – but this is definitely a worthy runner up.

What I really didn’t anticipate was that the Readers’ Choice and my own prize might both end up going to the same person. I thought that the winning piece, while it is a stunningly thoughtful and clever essay – might resonate with me more than other people because it’s about the learning curve associated with sex writing. I was wrong – it not only gets my vote, it also took 46% of *your* votes. It’s honest to a fault (‘I didn’t consider my own complicity in getting hurt, that I had become attached to someone who was honest about only wanting something physical. I thought he was pure asshole, and I wrote it all down in a malicious tirade’) but it does it without self-recrimation or regret – it’s an ‘onwards and upwards’ type of post, and I *fucking* love that. So yes, @brosandprose, both Charlie’s Choice and the Reader’s Choice prizes are yours for the fabulous ‘Everything I know about sex writing I learned from Taylor Swift‘ – drop me a line (sexblogofsorts@gmail.com) with your preferred email address and I’ll make sure your prizes wing their way to you ASAP.

Thanks again so much to everyone who entered – expect the ‘Don’t Read Clickbait, Read This Instead’ award to become an annual thing.

Charlie xx