Erotic Fiction: Bite Me

So, a few weeks ago, the lovely Jade A. Waters posted on Twitter a list of her favourite words that she’s been keeping for years and years. She’s clearly a woman after my own heart, only much better organised and with the ability to actually stick to a project. Anyway, Exhibit A turned her list into a challenge, and allocated me the word ‘Alligator.’ It’s taken me weeks, but finally…

Bite me

Opposite her, the wolf chuckles softly. The gazelle gives her a smile loaded with fake empathy, and, sensing perhaps that she’s about to lose her shit, the hostess (panther) slides the box of after dinner mints towards her.

‘Alligator, Sarah?’ she says. ‘Don’t be so silly. You’re so much prettier than that.’

‘I like alligators.’ She tries to hide the ‘This is a crap game’ undertone.

It’s not that dinner parties aren’t her thing. She’s a fan, really, in the ‘platters of food piled high in the middle of the table, Jamie Oliver fashion, washed down with bottle after bottle of wine, and proper, meaningful chat,’ way.

What she doesn’t like is all this small talk and organised fun. Plus, she suspects she’s being set up.

The guy sitting next to her is unassuming and cute. She can’t even remember what animal he is, only that he’s David, and he’s an engineer. He doesn’t make her feel stupid for being an alligator.

She was dumped a week ago, for being, apparently, scary. Weird that he’d never mentioned that before she met his mates. Perhaps some girls would respond to an accusation of being scary by reining it in, toning it down, but not Sarah. Sarah wants to be scarier. 

Here, she’s surrounded by a gazelle, a panther, a tigress and a unicorn. A unicorn, for fuck’s sake. Of all the things she’s ever fantasised about, being a unicorn is not one of them. She doesn’t have the sleekness, the elegance of any of these (fake) animals. She is independent, and fierce and suspicious, and an alligator strikes her as being all those things.

The other guests have lost interest in the stupid questions now, thankfully. In the light of low-burning candles, they turn to their partners and absorb themselves in chatter, leaving Sarah and David to rely on each other.

‘Interesting choice,’ he says, leaning over to top up her glass. ‘Why’d you pick it?’

Perhaps she’s had one glass too many. Perhaps she’s still hurting. Either way, she’s had it with the bastard alligator.

‘Because I fucking bite when people piss me off!’

Heads turn. Mouths drop open. David just laughs. She loves him a little bit for that.

‘Do you need to escape?’ he whispers, when the attention has shifted away from them. ‘Do you feel like an alligator *in captivity*?’

She nods, frantically. ‘Get me out of here. Please.’

He drops his napkin (Ironed linen. Seriously.) onto the table, and announces ‘Sorry, guys. I have to go. Early start tomorrow. Dinner was delightful.’

And then he turns to her. ‘I’ll walk you home if you want, Sarah.’

Nobody buys it. Everyone thinks they’re going home to fuck. Except Sarah. Sarah *hopes* they’re going home to fuck.

It’s a nice night, and so they do walk, falling into step beside one another, until eventually his hand brushes hers and their fingers interweave. On the way, he tells her about alligators.

‘I thought you were being serious,’ he says. ‘Because alligators are cool.’

‘Oh?’

‘They do that thing where they can walk on their hind legs. And they like to be alone.’

He’s teasing her now, she can tell from the way his finger is gently stroking her thumb.

‘There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be alone.’

‘I never said there was.’

They tumble through her front door and kiss against the bare wall. She’s taken down the print of Paris that Ben bought her at Christmas. David nips at her bottom lip, goading her, making her desperate.

Upstairs, she fumbles urgently with his belt. She needs the solidity, the realness of his cock, the reassurance that not all of life is as fake as dinner.

He places a hand on her shoulder, pushes her to her knees. Once she’s down, he takes a few paces back. He unbuckles; takes out his cock.

‘If you want it, crawl for it.’

‘You’re not serious.’

‘Totally serious.’

And she does crawl, floorboards stinging her knees, shame and lust duelling for dominance.

He stops her again, as she draws close, hand on her forehead this time.

‘Beg for it.’

‘No,’ she says, and tries to break away; to get to his dick. She wants to taste him so badly.

His hand flies from her forehead to her jaw so quickly, she doesn’t have time to react. He holds her mouth tightly shut, fingers biting into her tender flesh. It feels incredible.

‘Will you ask nicely?’

She’s impassive. She doesn’t give in that easily. But his grip is unrelenting.

‘You want my cock in your mouth?’

She nods.

‘Then say “Please.’’’

Christ, she can’t bear it. She wrests her head free. ‘Please. God, please.’

She lunges forward. He slides his length deep. Saliva spills freely to the floor and down the front of her dress, leaving dark stains on the silk. She gags, gets lightheaded. It’s bliss.

Relentlessly, he butts against the back of her throat. She swallows away her gag reflex the best she can. She wants him to flood her mouth.

Instead, he yanks his cock free, pulls her to her feet, shoves her towards the bed. He seems to know what she needs even better than she does.

He holds her down as he fucks her, pinning her forearms so tightly to the bed that she knows there’ll be bruises in the morning. It doesn’t tame her; it makes her wilder still. Her hips thrust violently back against his every downstroke, her cries are throaty and raw. And when he comes, with a sudden cry, she sinks her teeth into his bicep, remembering something he told her on the walk back. Alligators only attack humans if provoked. And he’s provoked her, without a doubt.

*

She wakes in the early hours, thirsty. It takes her a moment to orientate herself and once she has, she wishes she’d stayed asleep. David has vanished. Her heart is pounding. How could he slope off after something so perfect?

She pads downstairs, fills a glass and drains it. Fills it again. Her jaw aches. This can’t be a one off.  She couldn’t bear it.

Sipping her water, she turns. There’s a bill on the table, and on the back, a scribbled note: ‘I really do have an early start. Drinks tonight? See you later, Alligator! xxx’

Content, she crawls back to bed. And wonders: ‘Do alligators mate for life?’

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

Spreading the Love

I make no secret of the fact that I don’t really believe in the categories we divide blogs into, even if, for ease, my blog reader is set up that way. Fashion. Beauty. Food. Sex. Travel. Lifestyle. Don’t they all have stuff in common?

If I write about why I love matching underwear, is that sex blogging, or fashion?

Erotica inspired by nail polish. Beauty, or sex?

Sex I’ve had overseas. Isn’t that travel, too?

You get the idea.

I’ve wanted, for a while, to set up something regular to encourage people to write something based on a monthly prompt, a prompt that could be interpreted in ways that fit with all of the above.

And then the idea became fully-formed sort of accidentally. One day I clicked the ‘Log in with Facebook’ button on Pinterest, and because I was Facebooking as Charlie, Charlie’s Pinterest account was born. I had no idea how I might use it (much like the Tumblr I recently created), and then it occurred to me that every month I could have a board of pictures on a certain theme, and you guys can use it a springboard for a post, should you feel so inclined. I’ll post links to all the entries in a monthly round up post. There won’t be prizes, but I may send out the occasional Twix, as Girl on the net once used to do for posts I particularly love.

This is not restricted to the six blog categories I mentioned above, either. If you write a different kind of blog and you have an idea that fits with the prompt, join in! It can be fiction or non-fiction, image or words. The whole idea is to break down the artificial boundaries between blog types and get people reading great stuff they might not otherwise find.

I have a few ideas for monthly themes so far. Glitter (fuck, I love glitter at the moment), Texture, Inspirational Quotes. If you have suggestions and you’d like me to add them to the list, please let me know in the comments below. The first prompt will go up on April 1st.

And if you’re looking for a writing challenge in the meantime, why not try this? You’ve only got one week left! (Competition closes 23.59 GMT, April 2nd).

Giving It Up Competition: The Entries

To encourage you all to get your act together and write something for my Lent-themed Giving It Up competition, between now and the closing date (April 2nd), I’ll be adding links to the list below as and when they come in. I’d love to get a minimum of 10!

Charlie x

1. 05.42 by Innocent Loverboy

2. Giving It Up … Lent Style! by Jane’s Little Secrets

3. Giving You Up by Absolutely Ruby

4. Lent by Strained Voices

5. The Last Night by The Shingle Beach

6. Lent is Rough by Collared Mom

7. Breaking Conditioning by An Older Man

8. Giving up Kink by Euclidean Point

9. Take It All by @Mandapen

My Erotica Library Top Five: Bites, Bruises and BDSM

‘I still had a pair of tights in my hand, weightless, soft and black. I pulled them taut between my hands, lifted them so she could see what I was doing – winding them around my fists and stretching until I had a strong rope.
I brought it down. Lowered it gently, covered her breasts like a bandeau. I pressed down, my hands on either side of her, binding her tightly. Under the nylon her breasts spilled over, and I began squeezing those beautiful tits. Hard. Until she gasped. I bit the nipples and moved down, dragging at her skin, roughing it a little, pulling the nylon over her curves and hollows.’

Nikki Magennis, Bearers

‘Sol took the belt in both hands. I almost forgot to breathe as he hooked the leather length over my head and positioned the strap across my back. He threaded the end through the brass buckle and pulled the belt tight below my breasts, trapping my arms by my side. The tug of the restraint forced a low grunt of need from me. Jeez, it gets me every time that subtle impression of dominance. It might be the press of bondage, the hint of bossiness in bed, the fist gripping my hair as we kiss goodnight in the street.’

Kristina Lloyd, Undone

‘When he stood up to fit the wrist cuff his breathing was as loud and ragged as my own and I noticed that his hands were trembling. He bent down to pick up the rest of the knives then got up and walked away. He turned round to face me and I instantly saw that he had an erection. ‘Your cock’s hard,’ I said.’

Mae Nixon,  Under the Big Top

‘”Ow!” I’m not used to this, and I’m shocked. I feel completely helpless, and small. He smacks me again and the side of my face stings. Before I can even analyse my reaction, I start to cry. Wet, lonely tears run from my eyes and he wipes them away-and smacks my face again, lazily.
“What?”
I’m spread open, and within a few minutes, he’s put me in a place I could never access by myself.’

Vida Bailey, One A.M. Girl’s Night Out

‘He wrote the words across her chest in black ink: FREE WHORE. She held still, swaying only slightly.
“Arms folded behind your back,” he said. He pushed her bra straps down, lifted her breasts free and grabbed her by the hair. Holding her head firm, he drove into her mouth, increasing his reach until her throat was opening to clasp the last inch of him, so warm and tight. She gazed up obediently, her lips around his root, her eyes watering. Her makeup ran, making her tears as black as the words on her chest.’

Kristina Lloyd, No Sleep

My Erotica Library Top Five: Kisses

‘I rolled the condom down, my hands trembling just a bit. He wrapped a hand around my neck, kissing me roughly. I moaned into his mouth as he entered me, his thick cock spreading me open. He stayed still for a few moments, our eyes meeting,  before he started to pull back out.’

Heidi Champa, Chasing Jared

‘Danny leaned down and kissed me with a tenderness that lightened my heart and stoked my lust. All of that gentle sweetness was even more alluring because of the promise of a kink-filled finale.’

Sophia Valenti, From the Bottom of My Heart

‘His lips came down on mine very suddenly, as though he’d battled with himself and lost. It didn’t matter to me whether he had or not – all I wanted was a few dirty minutes of his time.’

Liza, London, Anonymous Sex

‘She yanked on his hand again, and this time, he let her lead him around the corner of the building to a narrow alleyway, which seemed uninhabited by either dossiers or rats. Julia stopped and he was on her, pressing her back against the unforgiving wall, his mouth ravaging hers, his body even through all the layers of clothing a hard, persistent presence she wanted to wrap her legs around and climb.’

Kate Pearce, Nine P.M. Victoria Coach Station

‘Perverse bastard that he is, he made me go back to the Three Kings with him for a drink. I had to sit on the steps in my rumpled, sweat-patched, dirty dress. There was a dead leaf in my hair, my make-up was melted to fuck and my legs bore definite tree-bark patterns. This time, though, I enjoyed the attention. I enjoyed the thought that anyone looking at me could see I’d just been firmly and thoroughly shagged by the ordinary-almost-even-ugly bloke sitting with his arm around me, fingers playing idly with the hem of my skirt. We kissed like swooning lovers until dark fell and we took the last train home together, parting at the station.’

Justine Elyot, Thames Link

My Erotica Library Top 5: An Introduction

IMG_4438I spent most of May 2007 hidden away in one of the reading rooms of the university library. It was the year of my finals, and the year I finally learnt how to revise. It turns out, if you’re reading literary criticism, revision doesn’t have to mean reading the same stuff you covered earlier in the year all over again. You can read new stuff, which is way more exciting, and copy out quote after quote onto A4 lined paper.

I’ve been a sucker for snippets of text ever since. Or maybe even prior to that, I’m not sure. When I read Kristina Lloyd’s Undone last summer, I wished I’d had a pencil to hand and that I’d underlined the bits that tapped straight into both kink and cunt. There were lots of them.

But I don’t read erotica that way. I don’t often read it two-handed at all, actually. But I do mentally file it that way: which is the story with the guy in the hoodie, the one where the description of the bar makes me weak at the knees, the one where the word snog seems perfect, not incongruous?

And I’ve been wanting to put something together on this for ages and ages, pretty much since I wrote this post and Kristina Lloyd said she enjoyed it and she’d like to see more like it. I’m not good at reviewing erotica, because it’s so rare for me to enjoy a story because character and plot and voice all come together. More often it’s because a single line connects with something fleeting and shadowy inside me, but you can’t guarantee that the same line will cater exactly to someone else’s kinks.

IMG_4436

In the end, I remembered something I did as a teen, and decided to try and kind of recreate it. At the time, I was reading a lot of Mills & Boon, and saving for a copy of Romance Writing for Dummies. In the meantime, I bought something great terrible great: The Romance Writers’ Phrase Book. And it truly is both great and terrible all at the same time. It’s basically a reference book of what it refers to as ‘tags’ or ‘short, one-line descriptions so skilfully tucked into dialogue and laced through the narrative that they usually escape notice.’ And given that the skill in writing category romance is being able to write to a tight brief and match reader expectations with very few surprises, it knows exactly what it’s doing. It contains such gems as ‘she tingled as he said her name’ and ‘her eyes held a gleam that no makeup could improve’ (always one of my favourites). My best friend and I used it to improve what could only really be described as fan fiction about our crushes at the time. Pity my GCSE French teacher, who was once described with the line ‘the smile in his eyes contained a sensuous flame.’

IMG_4437

Good erotica doesn’t work like category romance. There are no guidelines about the hero’s expected income, the heroine’s sexual inexperience or a requirement to have a slick, big city setting. You can have a list of requirements in your head (e.g. cunt = good, pussy = bad, fuck = good, shag = bad) and you’ll almost always find examples that force you to reconsider. There’s no room for a dictionary of accepted, surefire phrases here, right?

Hmm, kind of. There are three things that I often stall on when I’m writing: kissing and orgasms, both his and hers. If a description doesn’t sound like it’s been used a thousand times before, I might like it for a day or two only to reread the draft a few weeks later and think ‘Jesus, what *was* I thinking?’ So what I needed was a reference bank that I could go to when doubting my own voice – a reminder that different authors describe these things in all kinds of ways and that words can work in ways you would never have even dreamed of.

It seemed to make sense to tie this post in with Erotic World Book Day. Because I only remembered this fairly late on, I’ve had to sweep through my collection of erotica slightly more briskly than I originally hoped. What I’ve come up with is three separate posts, each containing my top five descriptions of the following: kisses, male orgasm, female orgasm. Eventually, I might add a BDSM one and potentially others in the future. The plan is to update them as I read new stuff; these are not fixed lists of favourites, and stuff will be removed and replaced as I encounter more great erotica in the months ahead.

Doing this has been an interesting activity: yes, I’m open to a variety of writing styles and situations, but my kinks shine through in my choices. Semen features heavily in the male orgasm list; women who aren’t ashamed of how they sound when they come or are changed by the sex they’re having appear several times in the female one. The kisses vary much more than the other two lists – there’s a bit of everything from soft and gentle to hard and bitey, with some beautiful juxtaposition of ‘kissing like swooning lovers’ and fucking a near stranger. It’s an eclectic mix, hopefully.

I want it to serve a number of purposes. Inspiration, when my words dry up. A thank you, to all the great authors who continue writing in what I see as increasingly challenging market conditions. And a forum for recommending excellent reads to one another – please do share your favourite lines from what you’re reading in the comments section, either here, or on the posts themselves. I can’t wait to see what you pick!

My Erotica Library Top 5: Male Orgasms

‘Her sex was soaked with their come and she felt it trickle down her legs. She slowly pulled up her trousers and retied the cord. Sofina did not want to wipe away the memory of their brief time together. It prolonged the pleasure to so intimately carry him about with her. She held on to anything of him that she could. These were stolen meetings.’

S.M. Taylor, Forbidden

‘There’s hair in my mouth and I try to spit it out, which seems to make my pussy clamp down on Clark’s dick. Who knew?

“Yeah, Becky.” He’s whining against my ear, so hot, wet. His words are everywhere. “Fuck yeah, Beck.”

Giselle Renarde, If You Know Where to Look

‘He hurt her some more, fucked her some more, sank into her throat, then came on her tits. He dragged her to the mirror so she could see what a whore she was.’

Kristina Lloyd,  No Sleep

‘He didn’t ask if I wanted to swallow. He just tightened his painful grip on my hair, shoved his cock deep and shot into my mouth. Come poured down my throat, overflowed past my lips and dribbled down my chin. I sucked and swallowed as fast as I could, drinking in his pungent, briny semen. Nothing existed for me but the sound of his coarse words and the feel of him as he jerked and came.’

Lydia Hill,  Tryst of Fate

‘He curses, groans and then pulls out. The splatter of his come lands on my ass and he whines like a wounded creature and collapses against my back. I shiver, find his hands and pull them more tightly around me.’

Laila Blake, More Light

My Erotica Library Top 5: Female Orgasms

‘My fingers rub his cock through the thin and magical membrane that separates my two holes, and he makes a dark and secret noise that sets me off. I can’t catch myself before I’m coming and chanting, “Oh, Jason. Oh, baby. Oh, God. I mi-”

– Sommer Marsden, Smokehouse

”I’m coming,’ I gasped, right on the edge.

‘Go on,’ he said. ‘Come on me. Come on my cock.’

I whimpered.

‘Little slut,’ he breathed. ‘Come on me.’

– Kristina Lloyd, Split

‘Head back, legs spread, I come hard, screaming like a talon-gutted rabbit, thighs quivering. My boy lifts his face from my wet crotch, his lips and the tip of his nose shiny with my juice.’

– Gina Marie, Seasonal Affected Disorder

‘I’m quickly overtaken by my own orgasm, pulsating and spreading out from my cunt all the way up my spine and into the base of my brain via delightful vibrations that echo out into my fingers and toes. I clumsily fall back onto the linoleum, staring at the tiled ceiling until I hear the creak of his desk chair.’

– Rachel Woe, The Art Teacher

‘She would come, violently, with more guttural sounds than she’d ever made before, the scream of an animal being torn from familiar territory and flung high and hard. Her body was loosening, unravelling, fucking itself into the strange cold night with a man she’d never met before. It was like discovering a whole new city, there under the bridge.’

– Nikki Magennis, A Whole New City

‘The Theory of Everything’ or ‘Writing Disability’

‘Yeah, she liked it. She thought maybe it glossed over his disease a bit, but yeah, good.’

So said a friend about a friend of hers who’d already seen The Theory of Everything, the film about Stephen Hawking and his first marriage, when I told her I was going to see it at the weekend.

And you know what? I thought it was bloody good.

I think you’d be hard pressed not to like it, if Rom Coms are your thing (although, admittedly, there’s not that much Com). Eddie Redmayne is amazing as Hawking, Felicity Jones is perhaps even better as his wife, and well, it’s set in Cambridge, and when is Cambridge not beautiful? Certainly not when a huge budget has clearly been spent on giving it extra soft lighting and sparkle.

But the motor neurone disease needs that soft lighting and sparkle, right? To make it watchable?

Well, no, I don’t think it does, actually. And that’s exactly where the film triumphs.

If it glosses over the grim reality of the disease, and certainly my friend’s friend was not the only one to think it does, it glosses only over the physical side, not the psychological. Personally, I’m ok with that. I don’t want this post to become a debate about whether the primary purpose of showing more disability in books, films and the media in general is to ensure people with disabilities are sufficiently represented in those areas or to educate the wider population (although I’m happy to discuss this in the comments), but I do know that I don’t think the representation of physical pain/distress tells us much. What it’s important to show is the psychological damage that disability causes – the shame, the frustration, the anger – and without a doubt, The Theory of Everything doesn’t hold back here. It’s in the inability to match finger to thumb (I’ve been there), the inability to eat unassisted, the gradual triumph of the flight of stairs over the able-bodied man.

I don’t have motor neurone disease, or anything remotely that severe. I’ve never been told that my disability will cut my life short. I’m not in permanent, irreversible decline. But I do know what it’s like to watch your body let you down – for years mine steadily overcame its own issues – I was told I might not walk, and then I did, my limp became less pronounced, my left hand ceased to want to ball into a fist at all times – and then all of a sudden, it didn’t. I had hip pain, knee pain – neither of which I’d had before – and I was back in the MRI scanner for the first time in eighteen years. A day at a craft fair bizarrely threw my hips so out of sync I could barely walk. I had frequent neck ache, back ache and indigestion – caused, the physio said, by the fact that my rib cage was likely twisted because my right side was pulling too hard when compensating for my left. But I care less that people understand the physical issues than that they understand how I feel – why I’m scared, why I’m angry, why I’m ashamed. If I’d started life able-bodied? Yeah, I can’t even imagine…

But this isn’t the first thing I’ve watched about Stephen Hawking, and I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s not that nice a guy. Sure, the film is based on his wife’s autobiography, and he left her for his nurse, so she was never going to paint him as a saint, but it’s such a relief to finally see something that shows you that someone can be hellish in spite of their disability, and that the physical difficulties just exacerbate the problems of excess pride, stubbornness and selfishness. I’m so, so tired of seeing disabled people described as role models, ‘inspirational,’ or worst of all ‘cute’ (yes, Channel 4, I’m looking at you) – they’re *people*, and as such they come with a full range of emotions, hopes, dreams, fears and faults.

It’s why, in a way, I think erotica is an interesting genre in which to write disability. i’ve touched briefly before on my belief that the best erotica delves into the psychology of its characters and I think the psychology of disability is fascinating – how do you develop sex positivity, body positivity, healthy relationships, when living in an ableist world that does its best to remind you, often, that you’re not *normal?* Too much focus, at the moment, is put on disability as difference, when really, it’s not – it’s often  just a magnifying glass on the physical insecurities that everyone suffers. As such, it deserves to be written not just for the sake of fair representation but because it highlights universal fears and concerns.

I have two concerns though, when it comes to writing disability, and the first is personal. I’m revising the first draft of my novel at the moment, and there’s no doubt the FMC is pretty much a carbon copy of me. I don’t regret that, because it’s important to me to see physical disability depicted in sex writing for all the reasons I’ve given above, and doubtless she’ll stay disabled right up the final draft, but ultimately I think as you mature as a writer you hope to move away from writing your own issues and insecurities, and I think this is an issue I’ll always be too close to to view it impartially. Nor do I think you have to have experienced disability to write it well. I have no issues with able-bodied people writing disability, provided they do their research properly, just as I hope that ‘cripping up’ (ugh) will never be widely seen as equivalent to ‘blacking up.’

My final concern, and my final point, for that matter, links back to disability as ‘cute.’ It’s not cute. It’s equally not sexy (which isn’t to say disabled people can’t be hot, just that that hotness is about the person, not their disability,) but judging by the way erotic romance is currently portraying mental health issues, you’d never know that. Take Sylvia Day’s Captivated by You as an example (and a longer post on this is coming soon.) The MMC (there’s no way I’m calling him the hero), Gideon Cross, has a history of being abused, and as such, some pretty severe MH problems. Can he be sexy nonetheless? Of course. Is he sexy because he’s ‘damaged?’ No, FFS.

Writing disability isn’t something that needs doing because it’s ‘cool.’ Physical disability and mental health issues aren’t having their fifteen minutes of fame, they’re the reality of the world we live in. We need to stop writing disability as a quirk that makes characters interesting and start writing interesting characters who also have a disability. And please, if you do, spare me the cute…