On the paralympics and inspiration porn

A month or so a go, I noticed that Sainsbury’s was stocking mini eggs again. ‘Oh good,’ I thought (even though I bloody love a mini egg), ‘We’ve finally lost it completely. Easter now starts in July.’

It doesn’t. Instead, Cadbury have launched the dubiously named Wini eggs in honour of the Paralympic Games, which, if it wasn’t for chocolate, might pretty much have passed me by.

Except they wouldn’t, obviously, because even though I have no interest in sport, I fully expect that in September, bullshit like this:

and this:

will be replaced by bullshit like this (also, why is the ‘F’ in ‘firmly’ and ‘B’ in ‘believe’ capitalised? You can’t emphasise something just by capitalising the first letter of random words!):

disability

Being part of a body- and sex-positive community is great. It means that most of the stuff above gets called out, retweeted, mocked, and generally shown to be not okay. I can’t help but feel that the same is not true when it comes ableism, which, believe me, you will see in spades once the paralympics start.

In May, after Eroticon, I promised that I would put my slides up here if people wanted to see them. Several people said they did, but I completely forgot, and so now I want to do a deal. I will put the slides up here, along with a brief summary of what I said, a video everybody should watch and a couple of great posts written by people who came to my session. In return, whether you’re able-bodied or not, please don’t mindlessly retweet inspiration porn during the games. It is perfectly okay to be inspired by disabled athletes, and it would be perfectly fine to tweet something like the below about an athlete whether they were disabled or not.

What’s not okay is the following:

a) Isn’t that person amazing for someone with a disability? (No, they’re amazing full stop)

b) Wow, if that person can do that even though they have a disability, I can definitely make a sandwich/go to the gym/ask that guy out/do couch to 5k (No, this is not about you and your life, it’s about them and their achievements)

In fact, go one better than not retweeting it. Flag it up. Make it known it’s ableist as fuck. The disabled community does this all the time. It’s exhausting and emotionally draining, and it takes a lot out of people. Like it or not, the able-bodied community is bigger and better able to make itself heard. So support us, and respond to this just as you would homophobia or sexism.

Please.

I’ll put the Eroticon stuff here.

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Temper temper

I am not a bratty sub, and he is not a chocolatier. I am bored and anxious, cooped up in those empty days between Christmas and New Year, and he is on a mission to learn something new. He is always on a mission to learn something new.

My anxiety looks like anger. It often does. I have not yet learnt to differentiate one from the other. Nor can I say why I am anxious. It could be the prospect of returning to work, to a job I am tired of; it could be that there has been too much socialising lately; it could be the prospect of New Year. I thought when I met him that my dislike of New Year might ease, that I might cease to fear the future. Now I understand that love cannot solve these problems, it can only distract from them.

He is good at distraction.

There is something about the chocolate that irritates me, though. It’s the contrast, I think, between the rich, glossy hedonism of it, thick and liquid, and the slow precision with which he has to work it – heat it to 46ºC, pour it on to the cool granite work top, spread it thin. Take its temperature again, in several places, make sure it’s at 27ºC all over. When it is, scrape it up, put it back in the bowl. Melt it again. Bring it up to 31ºC, keep it there. Use it as you wish.

I wouldn’t have the patience.

He needs 450g of chopped chocolate. I am eating it as fast as he can chop it. I am trying to rile him. I am turned on by the swift movements of the knife, by the sound of steel on granite.

The first temperature, he gets bang on, but when he pours the molten liquid and moves to spread it, I am fascinated by how fast the consistency of it changes, and I push at the edge of it with my fingernail, watching it flake away from the granite at my touch.

He grabs my wrist. ‘Stop it,’ he says. ‘Keep your fingers off, dirty bitch.’

‘No,’ I say, and push harder at the wrinkling chocolate. I am ruining his handiwork.

The knife he is using to scrape it up with clatters against the worktop as he drops it. He points at the opposite counter. ‘Take your clothes off.’

‘You’re not done.’

‘No, but you are. Done with pushing your fucking luck.’

We’ve been here before.

He will slide his fingers inside me and warm me until I’m halfway to boiling. He  will make me lie star-shaped on the cold stone floor and take my temperature, with his cock, in several places – my mouth, my cunt, my arse. And when all the heat has been drained out of me, he will warm me again until I am calm and, well, just that – warm. In every sense of the word.

At the end of the evening, there will be no perfectly dipped truffles, no glossy caramels. There will just be me, heated, cooled, and heated again – a sub with just the right amount of snap – ready to be used as he wishes.

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Burn

She has been coming here – quite literally: she’s been fucking the landlord for as many summers as she’s been renting the apartment – for thirteen years now. This summer, it’s changed – the kitchen is brand new and the old, unreliable TV has been replaced with a 40″ widescreen model.

He teases her, as usual, about the colour of her skin – her legs poke out like two milk bottles from the bottom of her dress and they’ll stay that way for the rest of August – she never tans, no matter how hard she tries. He always said that was what made him notice her, that first summer – the way she looked like a stick of chalk in the middle of all those tanned bodies.

She asks when he’s free, anticipating with every word the first thrust of his cock – could they go for dinner one night this week, perhaps? Or drinks? They never fuck on the day she arrives and it makes the anticipation ever sweeter.

Sure, he says – Thursday? – and she has to force a smile. The wait makes the anticipation sweeter, but it’s only Saturday and four days of waiting is, well, bittersweet, at best.

On Tuesday, passing one of the cafés on the seafront, she sees him with someone else. Someone who is, at a guess, five years younger than her. He’s nuzzling the girl’s neck, his hands grazing her tight, pert breasts and while she watches, trying to reconcile the sudden ache in her stomach with the fact that until now she hasn’t thought about this man from one summer to another, her pistachio ice-cream starts to melt, flowing stickily down the cone and landing in a messy pale green dollop at her feet.

She should cancel Thursday but she doesn’t, the pull of the anticipation too strong now to back out. But whereas once she would have basked in the promise of seeing him – repainting her toenails, curling her hair – today she couldn’t give a fuck about either of those things. What good will it do now if she looks hot? It’s not like it’ll make a difference. And so her body goes un-preened, hair unwashed, sunscreen shoddily applied, and by the end of the day  the skin on her shoulders and cleavage is pink and raw.

In the shower, after she’s recoiled at the sight of it, she allows herself to fantasise that he’ll be equally horrified – that when he sees the state of her he’ll kiss her hot flesh tenderly and ask what the hell she was thinking. That he’ll peel her bra straps carefully from her tight and glowing shoulders and fuck her slowly while heat radiates from her, as unwelcome and painful as her feelings.

But he is late and he is horny, and he doesn’t undress her at all. Instead, after they’ve shared a bottle of rosé he bends her over the arm of the sofa (also new), pulls her knickers to one side and shunts into her from behind, until she has come from the way her clit grinds against the furniture and he has pumped her full of semen. Then he folds her skirt back down, pats her arse affectionately, and says he has to go.

The burn goes unnoticed.

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2008-2016

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2008-2010: Snicket
It’s his idea, the first time. It’s a shortcut she takes every day on the way to and from the office, but usually she’s in low heels and a suit, always in a rush. It’s never occurred to her before what it might feel like to be made to kiss the bricks, to feel her bare knees graze against them. She’s never dreamt of stopping on a double yellow to fall to her knees and suck cock, never imagined what it might feel like to have water from the hanging baskets and semen mix on her upturned face. He – David – teaches her to want all those things.

2011-2015: Jitty
Adam. Adam is the only one who uses a word for it she’s never heard before. Adam is not sure he’s up for fucking in a backstreet at all. Adam is not an exhibitionist – he prefers the feathery softness of the duvet, the soft glow of a bedside lamp. She convinces him by waking him early one morning, when the sky is awash with purple, the milk still icy cold on the doorsteps. Adam makes her come so hard that morning, lifted against the wall, legs around his waist (he’s a big guy, in more ways than one), that she swings from the lampposts as they make their way home.

2015-2016: Ginnel
Paul calls it a ginnel, and fucks her in it in broad daylight, his thrusts as harsh as the word sounds in his flat, mancunian accent. They duck into the doorways, listening for the sound of footsteps or voices approaching. It’s different in the sunshine – dirtier, somehow – and they go back there day after day, until this road, this dank, unfrequented backstreet, feels more like home to her than her neat, clean little flat. When Paul calls time on their relationship, she doesn’t cut through to work that way for three whole months.

2016-: Alleyway
She’s single now, and the shortcut has regained the bland, regionless name she  gave it before them – alleyway. It’s always been part of the appeal of fucking men with regional accents, the fact she doesn’t have one. Three men have fucked her here, and each one had his own name for it. Those words – snicket, jittyginnel – they feel as intimate, as personal to her now as pussy or cunt, as unique to each man as the taste of his come, the shape of his cock. She’s single now, but from time to time, in the dead of night, she’s there, alone, kissing the brick. Remembering.

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Knees

Everybody blames their knees, says the physio, but the knees are rarely to blame. The hips and the ankle are to blame for everything that goes wrong at the knee, they rotate more, so what you’re feeling is referred pain.

I can’t blame my knees. Or my hips. Or my ankle. 

I can only blame myself.

Or, to be more specific: I could blame the flushed head of your cock as it butts against my lips. I could blame your hand on my jaw, or in my hair, or between my legs. I could blame the way you smell, the way your pubes tickle my nose as I suck you. 

Or, before that, even, I could blame myself for unseeing the ring on your left hand, for not minding when you pretended to your wife that I was a conference, not a woman. I could blame the fact you said my mouth was made for sucking cock.

I could blame you. 

But, of all the things, my knees are not to blame.

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Best thing since sliced bread

bread2

She’s grown tired of him, though the affair is only a few months old. Truth be told, she was never that fond of him in the first place. It was the little things that drew her to him – the red leather chairs in his office, the way his hair smelt of Brylcreem – the little luxuries that have disappeared, one after another, since the start of the war.

He pokes fun at her for her fury at the sliced bread ban. What will it cost her, he says: a minute here, a second there? He pushes his penis deep inside her and says, of course, he should have known, a glutton like her, hungry for cock, would also require an endless stream of bread and jam. He’s joking, perhaps, trying to recall the lightheartedness of their earliest trysts, but she can barely contain herself. What would he know, pen pusher that he is, about the life of a housewife, how long it takes to make sandwiches for four hungry mouths? The knives are blunt, too, of course – another luxury she’s had to give up.

Right now, she’d quite like to stab him with one of her blunt knives.

Two months later, the anger is replaced with delight. The ban is lifted, its savings apparently negligible.

In his office, the following day, his mood is black. The whole thing has made him look a fool. Even the headlines jest about all the housewives’ thumbs that will be saved as a result. It gives her an idea.

As she kneels on the plush carpet and takes him in her mouth, he groans. He’s needed this, she imagines. He closes his eyes, puts his hands on the back of her head, and, feigning the need to breathe, she pulls away for a moment and spits into her palm. She rubs the saliva between finger and thumb, and as his breathing grows faster, she slides her thumb inside him.

He gasps, surprised and overwhelmed. Before he can protest, he’s spurting into her mouth. His come trickles from her mouth as she looks up at him, grins, and spits what’s left into her handkerchief.

It’s the last time she sees him. Their affair has gone stale.

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Wierd

She finds it screwed up at the back of the wardrobe, twenty years later. Sugar paper. Christ, how long it seems since sugar paper and handwritten projects, photos printed out, guillotined neatly, and stuck down with Pritt Stick. It didn’t suit the perfectionist in her – too hard to make it look good.

Not that she expected to still be doing projects like that at seventeen.

It was meant to ease them in gradually, she supposes. Start of sixth form, something easy to make the classroom look pretty. A poster, for fuck’s sake. She wanted to get her teeth into the real work, to learn new stuff.

She’d learned new stuff with him.

With him, there’d been no easing in gradually. No steady working their way up through the bases. They covered them all in one night – first kiss mid-afternoon and her virginity gone by midnight. Though she liked him more than the hurry suggested. A lot more.

If he was nervous, he didn’t let on – she liked that – but he wasn’t cocky, either. He touched her the same way she imagined he’d handle a new phone – as if he still had a lot to learn but the basics weren’t beyond him – as if he trusted his ability to get to grips with her body.

School started again before she had the chance to find out, and the project, shitty though it was, gave them an excuse to pair up, a reason why he’d be in her bedroom of an evening, a reason for him to slide his hands up her top as she rendered the title in perfect bubble letters.

‘Stop,’ she laughed, batting his hands away, ‘we need to finish this first!’

He was rock hard in his jeans, distracted no doubt, as he captioned a photo of a ‘weird and wonderful museum’ in deepest Wales.

Her back was turned, and then, ‘Wierd?! You idiot! You’ve ruined it now!’

He stormed out, the front door slamming behind him. In class the next day, he’d moved seats, tippexed out their intertwined names from his pencil case. Her cunt couldn’t forget him so fast, and the B they got for their efforts was poor compensation for the empty ache inside her.

Eventually she thinks she’s forgotten him. She no longer wanks over his memory, his too-big boxer shorts, his thick cock. There are other men, of course.

But she’s kinder to the ones who can’t spell.

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Condoms: fictional contraceptive of choice

I’ve written several times (here, for example, and here), about why, in real life, I’d always rather be on the pill. I like semen. I like spontaneity. I like intimacy. To a certain extent, I think condoms interfere with the enjoyment of all those things. But in erotica? In erotica, I think they come in to their own.

There’s been a lot written by erotica writers about whether we have a responsibility to write condoms into our sex scenes, a responsibility to write safe sex. That is not the purpose of this post: this is less what about what we do through obligation to reflect best practice in real life, and more about how condoms can actually serve a fictional purpose.

In fiction, you can almost argue that the pill is the contraceptive of deceit and stability (almost, because right now, helpfully, I can’t think of any specific examples – I thought Gone Girl was one, only to be reminded that what Amy does is worse still.) It’s the form of contraception that women ‘accidentally’ forget to take, or the one they make an active decision to stop taking when they want a family. It feels, to me, more about conception than sex.

Condoms, and other barrier methods, on the other hand, are visceral – though condoms more than say, the diaphragm, since they’re on the outside of the body, not the inside. The pill, the coil, the implant – they’re intellectual decisions, made in a GP’s surgery, out of the heat of the moment, separate, really, from desire. The rip of that foil packet? It screams desire.

The sheer physical presence of the condom is a great device in fiction – I made my own attempt at writing that here, but it’s better shown, I think, in Kristina Lloyd’s Asking for Trouble, which is my go-to novel for demonstrating how to do stuff well – not least because unlike my fictional take on condoms, it has actual sex! Condoms recur throughout this novel – they’re symbolic…

‘Just a sec,’ I said, and scurried to get a condom from my desk drawer. That had been a real treat for me when I’d first moved in: hiding little condom stashes here and there, making every room in the flat a potential fuck zone. No more having to worry about other people. The whole place was mine.

… but that symbolism works on a very real level …

When he withdrew, I saw the rubber wrinkling on his prick, its teat drooping with liquid. I just hadn’t felt it. I guess my vagina wasn’t concentrating. Thank God one of us is in control, I thought.

There’s so much in those three sentences. The comedown from the out-of-control desire that fuels this sex scene is captured in ‘drooping’ alone, but the fact that Ilya, the hero, puts on a condom despite Beth not realising, and that she goes on to frame that as ‘Thank God one of us is in control’ foreshadows the way that she relinquishes control to him all the way through the novel, and it’s all captured in one perfectly written piece of latex.

Symbolic objects in fiction fascinate me. And condoms lend themselves perfectly to symbolism, whether your characters use them, or whether they don’t. It’s why a blanket insistence that we include them just to remind readers of the importance of safe sex denies the writer, and the reader, so much damn potential.

 

For more Wicked Wednesday, click on the badge …

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Free porn

  
 
‘It has a great bar, and -‘ Emma pauses for effect and she and Jason chime at the same time ‘Free porn!’

Bless them. They had their first baby three months ago, and this was the first time they’ve spent alone together since. We should be kind.

I picture the two of them in a hotel room, watching said porn. Emma drifting off and Jason …

Urgh.

‘Sounds great!’ you say. ‘We should book it; have a weekend away. What do you think, Soph?’

‘Fine by me!’ I say.

‘You must try the strawberry margarita,’ Emma says. ‘Best cocktail I’ve ever had.’

I knew she hadn’t watched the porn.



The hotel has everything they promised, though the gin fizz is better than the strawberry margarita. When we’ve put our bags down in the room, you flick the TV on, and sure enough – free porn!

But the carpet is covered with random words, and you make me pick one – I choose ‘sign’ – and then you scrawl ‘Free porn’ on the back of the room service menu, tell me to strip, and make me stand, naked, in the window, holding the sign you’ve made for thirty minutes, while you lie on the bed and drink a glass of red.

And then you fuck me against the glass, because you’re not a man to break your promises. 

Over the course of the weekend, the action in the window varies. You make me wank, you order me to suck your cock, you press my face to the cold pane while you stick your dick in my arse.

We take breaks to head down to the bar. I rank the cocktails. The gin fizz is better than the strawberry margarita, the strawberry margarita is better than the negroni.

It’s a good hotel. And there’s free porn.

But we’re making it; not watching it.

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We three kings …

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France is … well, France is fucking lonely, actually.

Coming back after Christmas is hard, even though she loves him, even though she wanted to live here. She just didn’t know it would be *so* damn hard. She makes plans with her friends for them to come and visit and she trawls the papers for a job.

Working will help.

Adam agrees – it will. He likes his colleagues, has even joined the five a side office football team – he plays on Thursday nights and then a few of them grab a beer in the cafe down the road.

‘Bring them here this week,’ she suggests. ‘We have beer. And pizza.’

‘Sure,’ he agrees. ‘But it’s the sixth on Thursday. I guess some of the guys will be heading home for la galette.’

Shit, I forgot! We could do that here though? With beer. It’ll be cool … right?’

‘It’ll be cool.’ He kisses her forehead. ‘Every party you’ve thrown has been damn cool. Right?’

He holds up a hand, and she high fives him, grinning. ‘Right.’

The three guys he ends up bringing back adore her. He’s not surprised. Everyone adores her when they get to know her – she thinks her snark is a barrier, but it just endears her to people even more.

Drinks poured, he pulls her aside. All of these men are single –  they’re the ones who don’t have girlfriends, wives or families to head home to – Epiphany is a big deal for the French. They’re hot, and charming and they have a plan.

‘You know your New Year’s Resolution?’ he asks. ‘Were you serious about it?’

‘Is this a dare?’ she asks. ‘Because I’m competitive, remember?’

‘Oh, I know,’ he says. ‘Which is why I’ve upped the stakes. You wanted to go down on a stranger. How does tonight sound?’

She’s learnt so much with him. He makes her want to try stuff she’s never tried before, makes her believe in herself. She clinks her beer glass against his. ’You’re on.’

She’s a stickler for tradition, and it works well with this plan. Tradition dictates that the youngest person gets under the table and decides who gets each slice of the cake. As luck would have it, she’s the baby of the room.

Beneath the tablecloth, she flirts. More than flirts, in fact. She takes her time calling out their names, stroking their stiffening cocks through the denim of their jeans, running her hands up their thighs, stoking the anticipation.

By the time she crawls out from under the table to claim her own dessert and see who the victor of the spoils is, every dick in the room is rock hard.

Nobody speaks, and when Xav digs his spoon into the cake, the clink of metal on porcelain is audible to them all.

She smiles; lets him finish his dessert. Then she fetches the paper crown, ceremoniously places it on his head, and tugs him in the direction of the sofa.

The other guys gather round – there’s no way they’re missing this. Xavier opens his fly and frees his cock, and she kneels, takes his hands and puts them on the back of her head. He gets the message.

‘You want it rough, huh?’ he says, and she nods, eagerly. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sure enough, she takes him deep and she’s vocal in her pleasure – she slurps and whimpers while Xavier pulls her hair and arcs upwards, forcing even more of himself into her mouth. When he comes she swallows, licks her lips and turns to face Adam and the other two guys, all of whom are wanking unabashedly.

She lifts her skirt, slides her knickers down. ‘As far as I remember,’ she says, grinning wickedly. ‘The three kings all brought different gifts. Fancy showing me the other two?’

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