When Sexual Fantasy Meets the Law: How a Lurid Lady Novelist Changed Sex in America (But Not Quite in the Way She Hoped)

Did you know that in 1885, the age of consent in the majority of the United States was 10 years old? This was news to me. Mind you, nine states–Arkansas, the District of Columbia (I’m from the D.C. area, and it’s a state, okay?), Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia–were more protective of their young. Their age of consent was a geriatric 12. In Delaware, a girl of 7 was old enough to “consent to her own ruin”—as the ladies fighting to raise the age of consent to 18 years of age liked to frame the issue. Popular mythology decreed that ladies in the Victorian Age ruled over the home and never sullied their pure spirits with public matters. Yet we know that determined women played an important role in the temperance movement, the “civilization” of the West, and the campaign for woman suffrage. By 1920, they also convinced legislators to raise the age of consent to 18 years old in twenty-one states and 16 years old in twenty-six states. Georgia took the prize from Delaware with the lowest age of consent of 14. The ladies did all this in spite of having no power of the vote in the East. (Another lesser know fact: in the West granted female suffrage years before the Nineteenth Amendment gave the vote to all U.S. women in 1920. For...

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Confessions Of A Literary Streetwalker By M.Christian: Self Or Not?

In case you might be wondering what I’ve been up to lately, check out this link to the articles I’ve been doing for the great Future Of Sex site. Other things brewing, but writing about the sexuality of tomorrow has been a blast! Self Or Not? Before I begin, a bit of disclosure: While the following has been written in an attempt to be professionally and personally non-biased I am an Associate Publisher for Renaissance E Books. Now, with that out of the way… So, should you stay with the traditional model of working with a publisher or go the self-publishing route? I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been thinking – a lot — about this. The arguments for stepping out on your own are certainly alluring, to put it mildly: being able to keep every dime you make – instead of being paid a royalty – and having total and complete control of your work being the big two. But after putting on my thinking cap – ponder, ponder, ponder — I’ve come to a few conclusions that are going to keep me and my work with publishers for quite some time. As always, take what I’m going to say there with a hefty dose of sodium chloride: what works for me … well, works for me and maybe not you. Being on both sides of the...

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Editing Corner: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A: To get a new Point of View You are in a dungeon. You look around. You see implements of torture on the walls, floggers, thumbscrews, other stuff you don’t even recognise. Except the stains; you have a good idea what those stains might me. You hear a noise behind you… Second person POV is definitely an acquired taste. Beloved by RPGers (that’s Role-Playing Gamers, not Rocket Propelled Grenadiers—what the fuck’s wrong with you?) but hated almost universally by everyone else, you probably won’t see any traditionally published Second Person fiction outside of a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Q: ‘Second Person’; that’s a fancy way of saying a story about ‘you’, isn’t it? A: Yep. First Person Point of View (POV) narrates from the point of view of “I”, “me”, and “we”. Second Person is “you”. Third person is “he”, “she”, and “they”. Q: Why do people like to hate on Second Person so much? Wouldn’t it be easier to pretend you’re the main character? A: A reasonable question coming from RPGers, who are used to it and don’t understand the fuss. Some people say they don’t like being told what they would do in a situation, but for most of us, it just feels weird because we’re not used to it. We focus our attention on the weirdness and can’t get into the story. Since genre fiction...

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Writing Exercise – The Fibonacci

By Ashley Lister Lucky Number One Two You count Each brisk slap Upon your bare ass Groaning when you get to seven The Fibonacci poem is an experimental Western poetry form, having similarities to haiku, but based on the Fibonacci sequence. 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21… A typical Fibonacci poem is six lines in length, although it can be longer. As I’ve said before, these short, simple forms are an excellent warm-up routine for writers because it works on so many levels. Not only is it a fun activity for the start of the writing day, it’s also a way to prompt different parts of our brains to consider the words we will use. Ordinarily, we don’t limit the lines of what we write to specific syllable counts. This approach can help us consider words in a way that differs from what we consider the norm. Your Smile Wrists: bound. Ankles: tied and spread. Ball-gag: secure. And yet I still see your broad smile. As always, I look forward to reading your poetry in the comments box...

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The Sex that Didn’t Happen

K D Grace Sometimes the sexiest part of a story is the sex that doesn’t happen. Let’s face it, half the fun in novels is imagining what would happen if the villain and the heroine got together … just once, or maybe the villain and the hero, or even all three. You get the picture. It’s very difficult to read a novel, watch a television series, see a film and not do a bit of shipping or fantasize about a little slash. I figure that’s why dream sequences of the sex that doesn’t happen are so commonly used. It’s a way of giving a nod to the fans’ fantasies. I think it’s also a way of letting fans know that the writer was thinking the exact same thing.   My novel, Blindsided was just released yesterday, and it’s very much the reason I am thinking about the sex that didn’t happen. Blindsided is a steaming cauldron of the sex that didn’t happen, but gets fantasized about by both my characters and me. Oh don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of sex that does happen too, but a great deal of the plot momentum comes from the sex that doesn’t happen. That’s a part of what made the writing, and I hope the reading of it, so damn much fun.   In my early days of writing erotica, when the...

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Five Realities Of Being A Writer

Let’s say you’ve been bitten by the Writing Bug and you want to be the next J. K. Rowling or Stephen King. You bought a writing program, took a couple of classes – or even majored in English or Creative Writing – and you’ve attended a writer’s conference or two. Or three. Those things can be addictive. You’ve joined a writers group. Your mom loves your stories although she wishes they were less violent or didn’t have so much smut in them. So now you are ready to take the literary world by storm. You are on a high like you’ve never experienced before. I’m about to burst your bubble. Are you ready for the facts about your chosen career? Rather than take the literary world by storm, you’re more likely to run into a very unpleasant drought. Here are five realities of being a writer. Book publishing is about sales, not about how great a writer you are. Getting a publisher or agent won’t guarantee you a best seller. I read a depressing article about actress Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on the hit HBO series Game Of Thrones. She was auditioning for a new role and it was between her and a woman she described as a much better actress. Turner got the part, not because she was a better fit for the role but because...

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Experimental

During my sex goddess years (somewhere between my introverted bookworm period and my semi-respectable married lady period), I delighted many lovers with my willingness to try new things. I’m not talking about dangerous stuff here, just sex in unusual circumstances. Whipped cream, for instance (the kind that comes in pressurized spray cans). A peep show booth in the seedy part of town. A blow job delivered on the ramparts of a historic Canadian castle. Another under a blanket on a Greyhound bus. Hot wax. Olives eaten out of my pussy. I was open to almost any sexual adventure, and indeed, I had many. Those days are long gone (though they live on, thinly disguised, in my books). I’m still experimental, however, when it comes to my erotic writing. Indeed, I am constantly tempted by new themes, new sub-genres, and new markets. For example, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing some futanari fiction (even though I’ve never read any), after enjoying Sally Bend’s fantastic reviews of the subgenre. I find the mixture of female and male sexuality to be intensely arousing, so I believe I could make it work. (If I really plan to do this, though, I should probably do at least a little research!) What else calls to me? Would you believe monster erotica? For some reason, I have this mad urge to write a BigFoot...

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When Ladies Wore Open-Crotch Drawers: Sexy Surprises from Grandmother’s Lingerie Drawer

One of the chief pleasures of writing a historical novel is discovering the details of daily life in the past so we can recreate the texture and flavor of the time. The clothing of the period is, of course, an essential focus of research to put our characters in proper attire. But because erotica writers carefully undress our characters as well, we must also learn exactly the sort of undergarments an impatient lover will encounter for full authenticity. Most of us know about corsets, petticoats and pantalettes from historical dramas. However, mainstream movies and TV leave out one important aspect of ladies’ drawers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—they had no crotch. Indeed they were almost completely split from end to end, two free-standing leg tubes held together by little more than a waistband as you see below. Frederick’s of Hollywood doesn’t even dare to go that far. I first found out about this unspoken feature of female undergarments of the last two centuries when I was assembling a corset-friendly costume for a boudoir photo session a few years ago. I went to a local lace and antique clothing store called Lacis in the hope of finding a pair of old fashioned bloomers. To my delight, I found a pair in exactly my size for a reasonable price pictured in both photographs here. The open crotch was a surprise,...

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The dissolute life that could have been …

Reggie Jackson was asked by a reporter of my acquaintance what would have happened if a particular game-winning hit had not gone his way. It was a stupid question, asked by someone who, while he was a very decent human being, just wasn’t too bright. Reggie’s forbearance was admirable. The hit did go his way; there was nothing else to be said. But the reporter persisted, “but, Reggie, what if …?” Reggie’s patience finally evaporated. “If? If don’t mean shit. If the Pilgrims had eaten a cat instead of a turkey, then we’d all have pussy for Thanksgiving!” Reggie’s point was succinct. What’s the point of pondering what never was? I generally adhere to Reggie’s point of view, but still, like the rest of us, I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if only history had meandered along a different course. I was brought up in a working-class home, but I should have been a rich kid. I don’t say that in the sense of, Well, gee, I shoulda been a rich kid. I mean, I really should have been a rich kid. My father was a rich kid. Unfortunately, he was also an orphan. His mother was carried off during the 1918 influenza pandemic. His father died just a couple of years later. His parents were wealthy. My dad’s sisters had ponies for pets. His...

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Inspiration?

Ian Smith ERWA Gallery Flasher Editor   I’m always intrigued by the wide variety of ideas people come up with for stories. How do they think of them? Yes, of course there are strong similarities in many genres. Where would a billionaire erotic romance be without (a) a kinky and implausibly young billionaire, and (b) an innocent young lady with an unsuspected taste for being spanked? And let’s face it, most romance stories are broadly similar. Boy meets girl and they overcome hassles before finding true love. Hassles might be a love rival, abduction, being involved in a war, family or cultural hostilities, misunderstandings, being separated by cruel fate, or simply not liking each other to start with. But if they met, fell in love and lived happily ever after, who’d want to read it? I’m sure you know how the modern detective is almost required to have some personal problems, like over-fondness for drink, sex or gambling, a missing limb or a personality fault.  The classic crime thrillers actually had rules to be followed. SS Van Dine listed twenty in 1928, and Ronald Knox published ten in 1929. These are still broadly followed, for instance in the popular British “Midsomer Murders” TV series. Even though these are contemporary, they seem to be set sometime in the past, and often revolve around a rich but dysfunctional and mad family,...

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