Monthly Archives: October 2012

By KD Grace

Today’s post is a hard one for me to settle into because it
could so easily devolve into navel gazing, and one of the promises I made to
myself and to my readers back when I wrote my very first ever blog post was
that I would keep the navel gazing to a minimum. There must be a gazillion
writer and write-hopefuls blogging, and each one is convinced that their
journey to writing success is totally unique and must be shared. Well maybe not
each one, maybe I’m only speaking for myself, in which case, I blush heartily
and apologise.

My point is that all of the energy, angst, fear, adrenaline,
exploration of dark places, exploration of forbidden places that used to go
into the pages and pages of that gargantuan navel-gaze that was my journal now
go through that strange internal filtering process that takes all my many
neuroses and insecurities, all my deep-seated fears, all my misplaced teenage
angst and magically transforms them into story.

That was sort of my little secret — that I alone, in all
the world, suffered uniquely and exquisitely for my art. I took all the flawed
and wounded parts of myself, parts I wasn’t comfortable facing, examined them
reflected through the medium of story and found a place where I could view them
and not run away screaming.

Where is all this borderline navel-gazing leading? There was
a BBC article about ten days ago asking the question, is creativity ‘closely
entwined with mental illness?’
I shared it on Facebook and Twitter to find
that lots of other writers had shared it as well and the general response was
simply that it sounded about right. There were some very moving conversations
that came out of those sharings of that article along with the realization — something
I’ve long suspected — that I am not all alone out there in my vibrant unique
neurotic bubble. And really, it comes as no surprise that one has to be at
least a little neurotic to be ballsy enough to try to bring, in one form or
another, what lives in our imagination into the real world and to attempt to put
it out there for everyone to see.

As the article was shared around and the responses mounted,
I found myself thinking of C.G. Jung’s archetype of the Wounded Healer. The
healer can only ever heal in others what she herself is suffering from. Empathy
goes much deeper than sympathy. The human capacity for story is as old as we
are. Before the written word, story was the community archive. It was our
memory of who we are, our history, our continuity, our triumphs, trials,
sufferings, joys, all memorised, filed away, and kept safely in the mind of the
story teller. That had to do something to your head, knowing that you were the
keeper of the story of your people! How could storytellers be anything other
than neurotic?

It’s a lot more personal now that we have the written word.
No one has to dedicate their lives to memorising the story of their people. Now
we tell our own story, the story of the internal battles that wound us, the
story of those wounds transformed. We all tell our stories in our own personal
code. What may well start out as a navel gaze into the deep dark wilderness of
Self can be transformed into powerful, vibrant story, and we’re healed! At
least temporarily, or at least we’re comforted. And hopefully so are those with
whom we share our stories. When I journalled my navel-gazes, I wasn’t
interested in anyone else seeing what was on those pages. It was a one-sided
attempt at a neurotic house-cleaning. Sharing the story is a part of the
healing; sharing the story is a part of the journey. The Storyteller had no
purpose if she didn’t share the story with her people.

As a neurotic living among other neurotics, I doubt that
there’s anything we’re more neurotic about as a people than sexuality. I don’t
think it’s any real surprise that there’s suddenly a huge market for erotica.
Last night I sat on a panel of erotica authors, editors and publishers at the
Guildford Book Fair – something that would have never happened before Fifty
Shades of Grey, and even at 9:00 in the evening, we played to a full house.
Each of us had a story of how we came to write erotica. We shared our stories
with a roomful of people, who then took those stories away with them to
possibly be shared with others. The archetype of the storyteller is alive and
well. And I believe writers live out the archetype of the wounded healer on a
daily basis.

Most of the time I write my stories because it’s just too
much fun not to. That’s the truth of it. I seldom consciously dig deep to find
those wounded, neurotic places. Really, who would want to do that deliberately?
But the wounded places find me, and they end up finding their way into the
story. And what surfaces is never quite what I expected, always more somehow,
even if started out to be nothing more than a little ménage in a veg patch.

By Lucy Felthouse

A while ago, I posted about breaking out of my comfort zone. What I meant was that I’ve been so used to writing short stories that penning anything longer scared me. I broke out of this by writing a novella, which was published earlier this year. I’ve now broken out of it again by starting to write a novel, something I’ve been talking about for a very long time, but hadn’t gotten around to.

Well now I have. I’m almost halfway through Stately Pleasures (working title) and so far I’m enjoying it very much. I have someone reading it chapter by chapter, and they’re enjoying it too – so hopefully I’m writing a good book! I keep taking breaks here and there to write short stories for calls for submissions, or for ones I’m contracted to do, but I’m still adding onto the word count whenever I can.

Before I started writing, I planned the book out, chapter by chapter, and wrote mini biographies for each of the main characters. The characters have stayed pretty much the same, but chapters have altered. I’m finding that I surprise myself as I write – something one of the characters says or does, or something that happens. But providing it fits in with the story and where it’s going, I just roll with it. I was worried about sticking to the plan, but novelists I’ve spoken to have said that they rarely stick to the plan, it’s just there to keep them on track. So I figure it’s not a problem.

So, I’m on my novel journey, finally! I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll finish it, I’m very stubborn and I like to finish things. But whether it’ll get published is another matter altogether. I’ll keep you posted…


Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story – so she did. It went down a storm and she’s never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, Decadent Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City. Find out more at Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at:

Her latest release is Raising the Bar, from Decadent Publishing.


by | Oct 21, 2012 | 7 comments

By Lisabet Sarai

Although I’m an American citizen, I
live in Southeast Asia. Approximately once a year, my husband and I
travel back to the United States on a trip that combines business and
pleasure. We just returned from one of these odysseys yesterday (as
my current state of grogginess attests).

Our itinerary varies somewhat from one
year to the next. In 2011 (as those of you who follow my blog might
recall) we journeyed
from Chicago to San Francisco on Amtrak’s California Zephyr
thus had the opportunity to visit friends and family on the west
coast, but usually our perambulations are restricted to the eastern
half of the U.S. We normally fly into New York City and branch out
from there – to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland,
South Carolina, or Florida. No matter where our travels take us,
however, we always spend at least twenty four hours in Manhattan, so
that we can visit what has become one of our personal shrines: the
Strand bookstore on 12th and Broadway.

The Strand is deservedly one of the
most famous bookstores in the world. Established in 1927 and still
owned by the family of the founders, it occupies a good chunk of a
city block – about 55,000 square feet – every inch crammed with
books. On our most recent pilgrimage, just a few days ago, I noticed
that they’d done away with the bag check desk that previously
occupied a spot near the front door. Clearly they’d needed that space
for more volumes.

Entering the store, I experience awe
and delight similar to what I feel in Europe’s magnificent
cathedrals. Tables crowd the front area, piled not just with the
trendiest new releases but also with themed collections: staff picks,
seasonal titles, books purporting to be the favorites of various
authors. Memoir and biography, history, religion, politics,
psychology, fantasy – the idiosyncratic groupings mix famous
authors with those who are unknown (at least to me), new books with
classics. Further back, the shelves begin, rank after rank, more than
twice as tall as I am. Barnes and Noble shelves all its books within
easy reach of the customer. At the Strand, ladders are essential.

You can wander for hours among those
shelves, revisiting old literary friends and discovering new
treasures. The discounted prices are merely icing on the cake. If you
have the energy, you can climb two flights to the second story, where
you’ll find additional shelves packed with art, photography,
architecture, children’s books, and much more. There may even be a
third floor. I’m always so overwhelmed by what’s immediately at hand
that I haven’t investigated.

My husband and I come both to browse
and to buy. We know that every purchase will increase the weight of
our luggage, but we can’t resist. This time around we picked up
(among other finds) Umberto Eco’s latest novel The Prague
, Haruki Murakami’s After Dark, Elizabeth
Kostova’s The Swan Thieves,
and a posthumous collection of Philip K. Dick. Although we bring our
latest to-read lists, encountering the unexpected is one of the
Strand’s joys. We keep at it as long as our aging joints allow, until
our backs and knees ache, the books are spilling from our arms, and
we wake up to the reality that we have to lug all our purchases back
to our hotel.

some reason, this year I particularly noticed the people working at
the Strand. Almost everyone I saw was young (but then, compared to
me, almost everyone is). Given the vertical orientation of the
environment, I suspect the job requires considerable stamina. Rarely
have I seen more distinctive and quirky individuals. I found myself
imagining their interactions, roughing out a story set among the
stacks or in the stockrooms. The towering shelves, separated by
narrow aisles, seemed a natural setting for clandestine passion.

realized something else on this particular visit, too. In the past,
the pleasure I took in the Strand was always tempered by a trace of
bitterness. Why weren’t my books among those displayed for customers
to explore? Why was the erotica section restricted to two brief
shelves, hidden away near the bottom of one of the tables? Envy and
frustration used to leave a sour taste in my mouth, even as I was
enjoying the fruits of my literary foraging.

time, those corrosive emotions were absent. I’m really not sure why.
Perhaps I’ve reached a point where I don’t need that kind of external
validation to be proud of my own writing. Perhaps I recognize that I
make as much money on my ebooks as many of the obscure print-pubbed
authors whose volumes I leaf through but then put down. Maybe I’ve
simply accepted the fact that I’m a literary outlaw, that not only is
my work not viewed as art, it’s condemned as immoral trash. I’ve
always had a fondness for outlaws.

In any
case, I found this year’s pilgrimage even more fulfilling than usual.
The Buddha taught that attachment causes suffering. Maybe by
releasing my frustrated desire for literary fame, I’ve moved closer
to enlightenment.

by Donna George Storey 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to write erotica? It’s a question I often get asked in interviews, and while my answers vary because I have so much to say on the topic, there is one suggestion that always tops my list: establish a safe space for your writing.

Of course, a writer of any genre requires quiet time alone at the keyboard to spin out those delicate stirrings of inspiration into juicy first drafts, but I believe erotica writers need an additional level of protection from the cultural messages that try to tell us how, when, why and with whom to be sexual. And good erotica, the kind that is satisfying to read and to write, always challenges the status quo—as Craig Sorensen’s post below, “Too Sexy or not to Sexy,” so eloquently illustrates.

Many assume that someone who is bold enough to write frankly about sexuality must be equally daring and outspoken in real life. Perhaps that is why when people learn that a mild-mannered mom like myself writes erotica, they invariably exclaim, “But you don’t look like an erotica writer!” Which again speaks to stereotypes about who gets to be sexual, but I only laugh. Because in my safe space–tucked away in my study, far away from any voices that tell me good girls who look like me never speak about what turns them on–I can do, say and imagine anything.

I still remember the first erotic story I wrote, called “Blinded.” I could hardly believe that I was typing out these sexually explicit words and scenes and images, and yet I’d never been more excited and transported by the act of writing. It wasn’t exactly a conscious decision to free myself from my image of the aspiring “literary” writer and simply follow the flow of my very sexy story, but I felt in my flesh that this was the right thing to do. I learned a lot about my own desires writing that story, and the result shocked and thrilled me. I’ve gotten a little more used to the process over the past decade or so, but even today I sometimes find myself blushing at something I’ve written—usually if I happen upon it when I’m not in my mental erotica-writing hideaway.

While the erotica safety zone frees a writer from the usual rules and taboos meant to keep us all behaving politely in public, I realized as I was writing this post that there’s a positive reason for it as well. For me, being in this special place enables me to feel an intimacy with my characters and my story. It’s very much like being in bed with a lover. And the closer you are to your characters, the more likely they are to spill their secrets, to surprise and seduce you and your reader.

So, to erotica writers new and veteran, go ahead and slip away to that place where no one is judging and no one watching (unless you’re into exhibitionism, and then you know the voyeurs are enjoying it).

Only pleasure awaits.

 Donna George Storey is the author
of Amorous Woman (recently released as an ebook) and a new collection of short
stories, Mammoth
Presents the Best of Donna George Storey
. Learn more about her
work at

By: Craig J. Sorensen

I got the edits for a story soon to be published from one of
my favorite editors.  As expected, her
tweaks and tunes made sense, and readied this story for prime time.  She made some warm comments about specific
things, which I always appreciate.  A
busy editor does not have lots of time on her hands, and when she takes time to
make such a comment, that is a great compliment indeed.

But down deeper in the story, one comment:  “Nooooo! Not sexy!”

The line in question? 
“… fingers scattered like deformed spiders.”

Which begs the question, is there an idealized role of
sexuality in an erotic story?  I know,
this is a slippery slope, and there are as many opinions as there are readers
and writers of erotica.

I often toy with strange images.  To some extent, I do this to create tension,
and to some extent, I do this to provide depth to the sexual imagery.  But, in doing this, I risk taking the reader
out of the erotic mindset that stories in the genre are usually expected to do.

Yes, some of the things I write come from strange places.  I’ve had a few similar edits at other times,
and I understand where the editors are coming from.  When a story goes into a collection, it needs
to fit the theme and the vision of the editor. 
 I’m not bothered by spiders, but
I do know that this is a serious squick for some.  With that in mind, I see her point.  The descriptive was not absolutely essential
to the story, but I liked it because it gave a sense of contrast, and
illustrated the protag’s perspective on the character he was thinking about.  In the end, I had no problem with the removal
of this “not sexy” descriptive.

I love writing erotica because it challenges social taboos,
just by being explicit, but within the genre, I like to challenge as well.  Taking chances is what I do.  Editors will probably continue to trap and
consume my odd images that go too far in their web.

I guess it’s all in the game.  Works for me.

As my novel sits with its publisher, being checked and line-edited, several interesting issues have come up, which have brought home exactly how badly fear of lawsuits have eroded our ability to place our fictions within realistic cultural landscapes.

My novel is called Beautiful Losers.  This is the title of a number of novels, including a famous one by Leonard Cohen and a documentary film directed by Aaron Rose and Joshua Leonard. But none of these are relevant. The title comes from a song by an obscure 80’s band called Clock DVA (you can listen to the song here.) Luckily, and strangely, titles are not covered by copyright.

But I wanted to pay homage to how much the song inspired me, in terms of atmosphere, so I opened the novel with a quote of the lyrics:

oh beautiful losers
you never seem to win
there’s something weird about your bitter erotic sin
you were so perfect
why did it end that way?
Beautiful Losers, Newton & Turner, 1982, from the album Advantage, Polydor Records)

The novel is set in the alternative scene in Vancouver in the 1980s. The inspiration for and the atmosphere of the story really centre around a club called ‘The Luv Affair’ and the music of the period.  The novel was peppered with snippets of lyrics that act as musical / literary mnemonics for the reader. At the beginning of one chapter, my characters are getting ready to go out for a night of clubbing.  I opened the chapter quoting from the old Iggy Pop track ‘Funtime’.

Baby, baby, we like your lips
Baby, baby, we like your pants
All aboard for funtime.
Funtime, Pop and Bowie, 1977, from the album The Idiot, RCA Records)

Finally, there were just some scattered cultural references. At one point, Sebastian, the delicious omnisexual member of the threesome is trying to persuade Shira, the narrator, to take the day off by telling her that her boss is a sweet guy and was, in his time, a notorious slut.  It’s rumoured, he says, that he fucked Mick Jagger.

Sebastian stopped singing down the line at the top of his lungs and said: ‘You have the world’s nicest boss, Shira. Don’t lie. I heard the whole thing. Come on. Everyone knows Michael Fredrickson is an old queen! He’s a sweetie. Rumour has it that he fucked Mick Jagger back in the day, you know.’

Wow. That was news to me. I thought my gaydar was pretty good, but obviously I was wrong. Then I stopped to think about it. ‘Bullshit, Sebastian. He lives with a woman who bakes granola cookies.’

There was an evil chuckle on the other end of the connection. ‘That doesn’t mean shit in my world, girl.’(from Beautiful Losers, by Remittance Girl)

So, imagine my surprise when the publisher comes back to me, telling me I need to take out all the lyrics and all the references to people in the real world.

It’s not that they believe the lyrics cause the songwriter any intellectual or commercial harm.  Nor do they really believe that Mick Jagger is going to be upset that a fictional character passes on a fictional rumour, that another fictional character may have slept with Mick Jagger. (And I do have to wonder whether, had the fictional character ‘rumoured’ to have slept with Mick Jagger had been a woman, would the threat of libel be as pressing?)

Everyone’s so damn scared of lawsuits, and so cognizant of just how long it might take to obtain permission to reproduce the lyrics, they’d rather not bother or take a chance. It’s easier to ask me to simply cleanse the fiction of any real cultural references – no matter how silly and clearly fictional.

So I did what they asked.

But it occurs to me that this paranoia of legal complications means that published works of fiction are going to be artificially stripped of any real cultural references.  Out of fear, writers are forced to culturally decontextualize their stories.

Celebrities and the media organizations that profit from their existence get to use their images and personas to populate our visual and auditory world on TV, Newspapers, Posters, the Net, when it suits them for their careers. Songwriters get to impose their work onto us without permission in elevators, department stores, in advertisements, etc., but we are not allowed to reflect back the cultural landscape that results from this in our fictions. We are drowned in a sea of promotional messages everyday so we might be parted with our cash. But we have to pretend that none of this enters into our psyches or forms part of our everyday reality.

On the other hand, it seems conveniently permissible to mention any number of branded consumer products in fiction. Novels like Fifty Shades of Grey, Bared to You, and American Psycho (just to name a few) are stuffed full of designer labels the heroes and heroines wear, drive and consume.

How convenient.

The laws regarding intellectual property are not there to protect *us* at all.

It’s a huge no-duh that we live in an Information Age: from
high speed Internet to 4G cell networks, we can get whatever we want wherever
we want it – data-wise – at practically at the speed of light.

But sometimes I miss the old days.  No, they weren’t – ever – the Good Old Days (I still
remember liquid paper, SASEs, and letter-sized manila envelopes … shudder), but back then a writer had a damned
long time to hear about anything to do with the biz

If you were lucky you got a monthly mimeographed newsletter but
otherwise you spent weeks, even months, before hearing about markets or trends
… and if you actually wanted contact with another writer you either had to
pick up the phone, sit down and have coffee, or (gasp) write a letter.

No, I’m far from being a Luddite.  To borrow a bit from the great (and late) George Carlin:
“I’ve been uplinked and downloaded. I’ve been inputted and outsourced. I
know the upside of downsizing; I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a
high-tech lowlife. A cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, bicoastal mutlitasker, and
I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.” 

I love living in The
World Of Tomorrow
.  Sure, we
may not have food pills or jetpacks but with the push of a … well, the click
of a mouse I can see just about every movie or show I want, read any book ever
written, play incredibly realistic games, or learn anything I want to know.

Here it comes, what you’ve been waiting for … but
… well, as I’ve said many times before, writing can be an emotionally
difficult, if not actually scarring endeavor.  We forget, far too often, to care for ourselves in the manic pursuit of our writing ‘careers.’  We hover over Facebook, Twitter and
blog-after-blog: our creative hopes of success – and fears of failure – rising
and falling with every teeny-tiny bit of information that comes our way.

I miss … time.  I miss weeks, months of not knowing
what the newest trend was, who won what award, who sold what story to what
magazine, who did or did not write their disciplined number of pages that
day.  Back then, I just sat down
and wrote my stories and, when they were done, I’d send them off – and
immediately begin another story so when the inevitable rejection letter came I
could, at least, look at what I’d sent and say to myself Feh, I’ve done better since.

I’m not the only one. 
Just this week I had to talk three friends off rooftops because they looked
at their sales figures, read that another writer had just sold a story when
they’d just been rejected, heard that the genre they love to work in is in a
downward spiral, that they’d been passed over (again) for an award, or that
someone else had written ten pages that day … and all they’d managed to do
was the laundry and maybe answer a few emails.

It took me quite a while but I’ve finally begun to find a
balance in my life: a way to still happily be – and now we’re bowing to the
really-dead Timothy Leary – turned on, tuned in … by dropping out. 

Far too many writers out there say that being plugged in
24/7 to immediately what other writers are doing and saying, what their sales
are like moment-by-moment, or the tiniest blips in genres, is the way to
go.   While I agree what we
all have to keep at least one eye on what’s happening in the world of writing
we also have to pay a lot more attention to how this flow of information is
making us feel – and, especially, how it affects our work.

By dropping out, I mean looking at what comes across our
desk and being open, honest, and – most of all – caring about how it makes us
feel.  You do not have to follow
every Tweet, Facebook update, blog post, or whatever to be able to write and
sell your work.  You do not have to
believe the lies writers love to tell about themselves.  You do not have to subscribe to every
group, forum, or site.  You do not
have to hover over your sales. 

I’ll tell you what I tell myself – as well as my friends who
are in the horrible mire of professional depression: drop out … turn it off.  If the daily updates you get from some writer’s forum make
you feel like crap then unsubscribe. 
If you don’t like the way another writer makes you feel about you and
your work then stop following them. 
If the self-aggrandizing or cliquish behavior of a writer
depresses you then stop reading their Tweets, blog posts or whatever. 

You do not have to
be a conduit for every hiccup and blip of information that comes your way.  You
Are A Writer
… and, just like with flesh-and-blood people, if something diminishes
you in any way, punches you in the emotional solar plexus, or keeps you from
actually writing, then Turn It Off.

This is me, not you, but I don’t follow very many writing
sites.  ERA, here, is wonderful, of
course … but beyond the true, real professional necessities, I only follow or
read things that are fun, educational, entertaining, uplifting, and – best of
all – make me feel not just good about myself and my writing, but want to make
me sit down at my state-of-the-art machine and write stories.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what it’s all about …
and everything else either comes a distant second or doesn’t matter at all.

By Ashley Lister

My friends call me Ash
I don’t have much cash
I write about writing
And about sex scenes that can prove positively exciting

As I may have mentioned before, I enjoy poetry exercises because I believe they help all of us with our writing:

  • Poetry is a wonderful way to warm up the writing muscles before starting any writing project.
  • Poetry gets the writer to focus on the strengths and merits of individual words in ways that aren’t usually considered with regular fiction writing.
  • Poetry can be a lot of fun.To that end, I thought we could look at one of my favourite pieces of fun poetry this month: the clerihew.

Edmund Clerihew Bentley
Say his name gently
He pioneered this verse form
Though critics say there could not be a worse form

The clerihew is a type of verse invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875-1956). Traditionally, the clerihew is a four-line poem made up of two rhyming couplets (aabb). The metre of the clerihew is intentionally, and often ridiculously, irregular. The purpose of the clerihew is to offer a satiric, absurd or whimsical biography of a character.

The Marquis de Sade
Liked his punishment hard
He was an aristocrat – first class
And he liked spanking servant girls on the ass

In the comments box below please feel free to write your own four-line clerihew introducing yourself or introducing one of the characters from your fiction.

From the Erotica Readers & Writers Association
By Lisabet Sarai

Dear Ghoulish Gangbangers,

A wisp of dank fog kisses your cheek. Chill fingers dance up your spine, while forbidden heat blooms in your shadowed places. Is that tingling weakness in your limbs terror or lust? Can you even tell the difference?

Welcome to the October edition of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association, dedicated, as is our hallowed tradition, to the mysterious and macabre – ghosts, bloodsuckers, demons and other vehicles of paranormal perversity. In conjunction with our October theme La Petite Mort, the Erotica Gallery this month is overflowing with amorous apparitions, salacious serpents and gore-guzzling gourmets. Our featured guest, award-winning author and editor D.L. King shares three of her intense tales (two with supernatural themes). M. Christian pops in with his sad, sweet and very sexy hippie ghost story. Meanwhile, our regular Storytime members have outdone themselves, offering an amazing full dozen tales plus six outrageous flashers. Frankenstein animates his corpse-bride with spring lightning. Virgin blood reclaims the horrors of history. The Vatican recruits werewolves to battle unspeakable evils. A serial killer imagines himself cured by love. You won’t forget this month’s forays into erotic darkness – and you’ll find a few laughs, too.

Wander the haunted halls of the ERWA gallery:

For a break from the creepy theme, step into our Books for Sensual Readers department. Rachel Kramer Bussel proves there’s no such thing as too much spanking with her newest anthology CHEEKY SPANKING STORIES. Violet Blue assembles the sweetest and most raunchy female fantasies in LIPS LIKE SUGAR. M. Christian’s new collection TECHNOROTICA offers transgressive tales at the interface between human and machine. Christopher Pierce serves up an opulent assortment of gay master/slave fantasies in WINNER TAKES ALL. And I’ve got to get a copy of the Circlet title ONE SAVED TO THE SEA. Catt Kingsgrave has penned a contemporary lesbian tale focused on the passion between a solitary village woman and a selkie, one of the legendary seal shifters legendary from the British Isles. (A selkie? Now there’s a creative idea for Halloween. On the other hand, I don’t want draw the ire of PETA…)

New Asian-focused imprint Iro Books has re-released AMOROUS WOMAN, Donna George Storey’s classic tale of a western woman’s sexual explorations in Japan, with a gorgeous new cover. The heroine of Tiffany Reisz’ novel THE SIREN is an author of erotica whose dominant publisher insists on total control over her work – and her body. In the sensual romance category, Colleen Hoover’s SLAMMED offers a fresh, affecting portrayal of first love, in all its glory and agony. Forbidden Erotic Classics has a new edition of Restif de la Bretonne’s 1798 pseudo-memoir THE ANTI-JUSTINE. Apparently, like Fifty Shades, de Sade’s books spawned a flood of imitations – though de la Bretonne claims to focus on the delights of sex rather than the degradations.

All these titles, and dozens more, are yours for the asking – well, for the clicking. Just follow our convenient links to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Every purchase you make from our affiliates helps support ERWA – the best free adult site on the web.

Reading is sexy:

My next stop is the Sex Toy Playground, a place so outrageous it’s almost frightening. Read Mr. and Mrs. Toy’s review of the Riley Vibrating Silicon Dildo – what a fun couple! – and check out the latest erotic innovations in the Sex Toy Scuttlebutt column. Highlights include “Sparkle Plugs”, elegant stainless steel anal invaders with genuine Swarovski crystals embedded in the base, and the Stallion Vibrating Thigh Harness, which honestly has to be seen to be believed. Of course we’ve got discounts for you from our favorite adult toy vendors. (Maybe I can work that crystal-studded plug into my costume, somehow…)

Get serious about pleasure:

As the nights grow crisp and frost licks at the pumpkins, why not cuddle up with your honey and enjoy one of our great Adult Movies recommendations? I really appreciate the current trend toward serious plots and decent acting in the world of sex films. “Countdown”, directed by Brad Armstrong, is a case in point. This apocalyptic tale of a runaway asteroid headed toward earth features strong performances and real conflicts, in addition (of course) to searing sex. Then there’s “Wasteland”, one night of passion and sexual adventure for two friends reunited after decades apart. On the other hand, if you really don’t care about character flaws and narrative arc, we’ve also got plenty of plain old-fashioned smut (but executed with the best modern technology). “Busty Construction Girls” offers a fine example of the genre, with horny ladies hanging around in their hard hats just waiting for somebody with the right equipment. (Another costume idea! I wouldn’t look too bad in helmet, work boots and a tool harness. I mean, only the boots and the harness…)

Live your fantasies on the silver screen:

The Authors Resources corner is a bit lonely this month. Guess everyone was busy writing sexy, scary stories. In my incarnation as the Erotogeek, I’m talking about cloud computing technology and author services. Haven’t got a clue about what that means? Drop by and read my column!

As usual, we’ve collected dozens of publishers guides and calls for submission to help you sell your work. This month’s offerings include an anthology about missed connections and second chances, edited by Stella Harris, and Loose Id’s “I Do Unless I Don’t”, erotic romance about wedding plans gone awry. Delilah Devlin has extended the deadline for her Sex Objects anthology, dealing with uber-alpha heroes, and Musa Publishing has updated its guidelines.

By the way, we’ve added a convenient link to the ERWA blog on the Authors Resources page. If you haven’t visited lately, you’re really missing out. Every month ERWA regulars share their thoughts about the writing craft, the erotica market, the state of the genre, and much more, sometimes offering original fiction or writing challenges. Ashley Lister, M. Christian, Remittance Girl, Craig Sorensen, Donna George Storey, Kathleen Bradean, Lucy Felthouse, Jean Roberta, Kristina Wright, and K.D. Grace… Are you excited yet? I’m there, too, on the 21st of every month, together with my whips and restraints.

Feed your Muse:

Inside the Erotic Mind this month, our members discuss whether an enduring ménage is really possible, or just a fantasy. Come share your thoughts about and experiences with polyamory. Just click on “Participate”. And if this month’s topic doesn’t spark your interest, you’ve got our huge archive conveniently available and indexed on the same page. Read frank, real world confessions about fisting, blasphemous fantasies, masturbation memories… Who needs Penthouse Letters?

Everything is permitted inside the erotic mind:

Our October Web Gem is Second Life, a virtual world with infinite possibilities. Live a life without boundaries, guided only by your imagination. Explore adult destinations from the luxurious Chateau La Rouge full of sexy surprises to a Gorean world of sexual master-slave relationships; from swinger clubs to nude beaches.  Live a Second Life where you can dress up (or down) and design a new 3D you.

Millions of people have already joined Second Life. Chat for free using voice or text with folks from around the world who share your passions and interests.

Well, that just about wraps it up for the October Lure. (Hmm. How about a mummy? Nah, not accessible enough!) I’ll be back in November with more erotic goodness and plenty of bad Pilgrim jokes. Meanwhile, I’ve only got thirty days to figure out what to wear on the sexiest day of the year. If you’ve got any brilliant ideas, I welcome your suggestions!

Ectoplasmically yours,

Why be satisfied with just one spanking?
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