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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices

by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing

Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun

Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead

Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over

The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry

2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister

Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence

Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell

Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions

Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?

Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights

Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido

Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

Sex Is All Metaphors

by Jean Roberta

The Distracting Smirk


Back in the day when women in public office were still considered a novelty, a local woman lawyer was appointed judge of the newly-formed family court in the Canadian prairie province where I live. This news seemed hip and progressive in several ways. The family court was intended to streamline the processing of divorce, child custody and child maintenance cases, and the woman judge was expected to be sensitive to the nuances of family relationships and the laws that applied to them.

As the cherry on top, the judge’s Ukrainian name marked her as a member of an ethnic community that had faced poverty and prejudice on the Canadian prairies (after suffering those things on their ancestral turf in the Soviet Union while it existed). Any parallel with the recently-appointed Judge Sotomayor of the United States Supreme Court is too obvious to mention.

The following year, the judge of family court was appointed a chancellor at the university I attended, and therefore I got to shake hands with her at my graduation, a few years after she presided over my divorce. When I mentioned her impressive track-record to a male friend over drinks, however, he grinned and told me what he thought I should know about Judge Woodchuk (not her real name).

According to my friend’s very reliable source of information, Judge Woodchuk liked to troll the bars for younger men. Her pattern of trail-blazing activities apparently included being a cougar on the prowl before this became popular.

My friend looked smug. I felt confused. Whether or not the juicy rumor had any basis in reality, I wondered what reaction he expected from me. Was I supposed to regard Judge Woodchuk’s various official roles as fronts for her real identity as a middle-aged bitch in heat? Were her approaches to family law and to higher education simply irrelevant to her real mission in life, to get laid by a lot of hot young men?

When I asked my friend why he told me about Judge Woodchuk’s sex life, he said he thought I would want to know. Who wouldn’t?

I asked him whether he believed Judge Woodchuk to be a fraud who got herself appointed to several prestigious positions by dishonest means. My friend insisted he wasn’t suggesting any such thing. He just thought her “private life” was more worthy of discussion than her public one.

Since then, I have had similar conversations with numerous people I had formerly mistaken for intelligent adults. I sometimes wonder whether the general zeitgeist is dominated by teenagers who have just discovered that their parents actually have sex, despite appearances to the contrary.

Has some brilliant writer just won the Nobel Prize for Literature? Let’s not talk about his/her prize-winning book. Let’s speculate on whether she really had an affair with another famous person, or whether she is a lesbian, or why he is rumored to have a collection of women’s lingerie or why he was seen entering a fetish club in some worldly European city.

The tabloid press gets a lot of blame for a supposedly unhealthy general preoccupation with the sex lives of the rich and famous. Those who avidly read gossip-rags on their daily commute to and from work or while waiting for appointments complain that too much of the media is preoccupied with “dirt” and “filth,” and that a “crackdown” on this style of journalism is overdue.

Aside from the hypocrisy of complaining about subject-matter that attracts hordes of readers and viewers (and which no one is forced to read or watch), I don’t regard sexual feelings or behavior as “filth.” I don’t necessarily think that everyone’s sex life should be kept secret, and I don’t believe that anyone’s sexuality is completely unrelated to their other interests. As a case in point, many erotic writers also write in other genres, usually under other pen names so as not to confuse separate groups of fans. It shouldn’t confuse anyone over the age of sixteen that writers write, period.

The problem with smirking comments about the sexual behavior of people in the news is that the gossip is usually a means of undermining prestige and distracting attention away from the newsmaker’s accomplishments. Sexual behavior could be read as a clue to a person’s value system or philosophy of life, but it is rarely read that way outside of scholarly literature. In too many cases, public revelations about the sex life of a public figure are intended to get that person ridiculed, boycotted, fired, impeached, or voted out of office.

Regarding Judge Sotomayor’s controversial statement that her life-experience as a Latina woman will influence her decisions as a Supreme Court judge, I trust and hope that it will. Her experience is no more subjective than anyone else’s experience. Members of various judicial bodies have been interpreting the law according to their own views of the world for many years now. And except for those who choose celibacy for specific reasons, most adults experience sex in some form at some time.

It stuns me that references to sex are not only used to damage the credibility of individual people and the dignity of whole demographics, but the worthiness of causes and organizations. When Elizabeth Taylor appeared in the media to educate the public and raise funds for AIDS research, a Canadian journalist, Alan Fotheringham (“Dr. Foth”) responded by writing an unfunny piece for his regular column in Maclean’s, a widely-read Canadian general-interest newsmagazine. “Dr. Foth” revealed the “fact” (which presumably came from a reputable medical source) that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is usually spread through anal sex. Ha! The glamorous Liz Taylor was defending ass-fuckers! (And their fuckees.)

“Dr. Foth” wasn’t honest enough to say openly that he thought everyone who had ever engaged in that practice deserved to die a slow, painful death, but the implication was clear. His chortling in print over the spectacle of black-tie events to raise sympathy and cash for the treatment and eventual cure of AIDS patients seemed juvenile, to say the least.

My first response was:  I do not give a shit.

It seemed self-evident to me that sexually-transmitted diseases are diseases, not punishments. And on that subject, the kind of legal penalties which used to cause physical pain and disfigurement are no longer legally inflicted on anyone in Western nations, including convicted serial child-killers. Health-care systems in every country (and I might add, especially in Canada) have an official mandate to promote health and minimize disease in the population at large, case closed.

The next time someone responds to a person or an issue in the news with a smirking reference to something sexual, consider asking the smirker these questions:

  1. Is this factual?
  2. Where did you get the information?
  3. Is this relevant to the topic of discussion? If so, how?
  4. What is your point? (Are you more interested in helping to prevent the spread of disease or in spreading poo on an icon of feminine glamor? Are you interested in promoting justice or in discrediting a person whose ass would not have been promoted to the bench two generations ago?)

I’m in favor of public discussions about sex. Bring it on, I say. But bring it on honestly and compassionately, never forgetting that s/he who smirks about someone else’s sex life might well be the object of sneering guffaws if and when s/he becomes newsworthy enough to tempt interested bystanders to watch the bedroom window with binoculars.

Jean Roberta
September 2009

If you have comments or questions about this column, please send them to Jean Roberta

Follow Jean Roberta's trail to Sex Is All Metaphors in 2009 ERWA Archive.

"Sex Is All Metaphors" © 2009 Jean Roberta. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written

About the Author: Jean Roberta is the thin-disguise pen name of a writer who teaches mandatory first-year English classes in a Canadian prairie university and who writes fiction (erotic and otherwise), research-based articles, opinion pieces and reviews. She joined ERWA in December 1998, and has never looked back. Several of her stories can be found in the "Treasure Chest" gallery. Over sixty of her erotic stories have been published in print anthologies, and Eternal Press has released her single-author e-collection of erotic stories in various genres and flavors, Obsession (2008).
Jean is a staff reviewer for the monthly reviews site, Erotica Revealed (edited by D.L. King). She blogs on Livejournal as "Lizardlez" and at Her website ( is a work in progress.
Read Jean's full bio at Erotica Readers & Writers Association.

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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky

'09 Book Reviews


A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai


A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Review by Vincent Diamond


Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister