erotica and arousal

Halloween – Scares and Lust Go Together

Elizabeth Black
writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror,
and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son,
and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook
page, and her Amazon Author Page.

Her new m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing
It is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files, The Andromeda
Strain, and Outbreak. Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by
Cleis Press. You will also find her new novel No
Restraint at Amazon. Enjoy a good, sexy read today.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. Even more so than
Christmas. I love the decorations, the candy, the parties, and the movies
playing endlessly on TV all month long. I have recorded scads of Hammer Films
and even a few Universal Pictures.  Today
I’m going to watch “Horror of Dracula” and “Frankenstein Must Be

Here’s what I do for Halloween – I bake. I make gingersnaps,
pumpkin bread, maple candy, shortbread cookies, sugar cookies with sprinkles,
pizzelles and more. I buy mead. I make hot buttered rum and hot cocoa,
sometimes with a dash of cayenne. In honor of the Day Of The Dead (Mexico), I
sometimes make candy sugar skulls. Fall is soup time so I make turkey noodle,
chicken noodle, leek and potato, and oyster stew.

Here’s what else I do for Halloween – I decorate. I have a
“Biohazard Research Facility” plaque hanging on the front door. Skull
and ghost candles are scattered about the house. I don’t burn them. I keep them
as is and use them as decorations. My Yankee Candle votive holder depicting
ravens at the entrance to a cemetery looks very classy. I use festive dish
towels and oven mitts. I even have a black cat on a pumpkin magnet on the
fridge. My large terra cotta carved Jack-O-Lantern sits outside my bedroom
window. I use an electric light that flashes so that it looks like candle flame
inside the Jack-O-Lantern. You can see it front the street. I should buy mums
to place around it to give it that extra special fall look but I haven’t bought
any yet. I get out my snow globes. I have snow globes depicting scenes from the
movies “Halloween” and “Fargo”. I’m especially proud of the
“Fargo” snow globes. One depicts the car crash scene and the other
depicts the wood chipper scene. The “Halloween” snow globe depicts
heroine Laurie Straud sitting on the floor in front of  a couch reacting in terror to seeing Michael
Myers standing over her behind the couch brandishing a butcher knife.

You may think horror movies have nothing to do with romance
and sex, but oh boy do they ever! There was nothing more exciting than curling
up on my boyfriend’s arms in the movie theater when Christopher Lee homed in on
a nubile victim. It was more fun to be scared with someone to be scared with. I
later attended a horror film convention every year in my hometown of Baltimore.
I flirted amid discussions of dismemberments and decapitations in the
Australian zombie horror comedy “Dead/Alive” and debates over which
Italian director was scarier, Dario Argento or Lucio Fulci. I voted for

I met my husband thanks in part to horror movies. I met him
at a science fiction convention that included panels on horror. When we started
dating, I made him watch “Dead/Alive”. I told him if he couldn’t get
through this movie in one piece we weren’t meant to be together. He loved it!
Every year on our anniversary we watch it. He teases me about my love for
horror movies, but he often occasionally relents and watches one with me. Then
we cuddle and I pretend to be scared. Just like when I was in college.

Horror movies and books 
have their place in romance. Sex, too. Science
proves it
. Dopamine levels rise when we’re scared, even in an artificial
setting like a horror movie. Dopamine’s nickname is the “cuddle
hormone”. So the next time you want a romantic evening, ditch “When
Harry Met Sally”. Choose Hitchcock’s “Psycho” instead. And enjoy
the cuddling – and more!

UPDATE: This is a Halloween display I made about 10 years ago in front of the 200 year old house we were renting. I was into Asian horror movies, and I made a life-sized display of Sadako coming out of the well from the movie “The Ring”. I stuffed an old white gown with newspapers and plastic grocery bags and made a head out of plastic bags and duct tape. I put a long wig on her head. She wears my white leather gloves. The well was made out of boxes spray painted to look like granite. I scared the little kids silly with that display. One little girl asked me, “Will that lady eat me?” I almost said, “No. She’ll come out of your TV and chase you around your living room until she catches you and kills you,” but I’m too nice to do such a horrible thing. LOL

Sex Post-Menopause

Elizabeth Black writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and her three cats. Visit her web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page.

Her new m/m erotic medical thriller Roughing It is out! This book is a sexy cross between The X Files and The Andromeda Strain. Read her short erotic story Babes in Begging For It, published by
Cleis Press. Her novel No Restraint will be released by Xcite Books at summer’s end. Pre-order it today. Find these books at Amazon.

I took special interest in Lisabet Sarai’s essay from last month, entitled Life
Without Sex?,
since I’m in the same boat. Sex is pretty much a part of my past, but eroticism isn’t.

I won’t say how long it’s been since I last had sex, but it’s longer than Lisabet’s experience.  I, like Lisabet, used to be a sex goddess, especially when I was in my 20s and 30s. I was a walking bundle of quaking hormones that needed constant release, and I enjoyed myself. It wasn’t always a pleasant experience. My choice in lovers sometimes left quite a bit to be desired, but for the most part I did have fun. I based my New Adult erotic romance novel Don’t Call Me Baby on those years in college. I had been loved and I had been used. I met men who satisfied me (and I satisfied them) as well as men who used me for sex without caring about me or my needs. I felt a strong attraction towards women but I didn’t understand that I was bi until years later.

The emotional pain was part of the picture as much as the soaring ecstasy. Some of the pain has lasted to this day. I recently discovered a memoir written by one of the men I based a character on in Don’t Call Me Baby. I had an affair with him for two years and he did not mention me once in his book, although everything else in the chapter where I should have been discussed was very familiar – and he embellished and lied about quite a bit of it. I was furious. He erased from his life what was very important to mine. I now know he used me and didn’t care as about me as much as I cared for him (he didn’t care at all – I was a cum receptacle to him), and it hurt. Despite that sad era in my life, I met men who taught me how to pleasure myself and how to give pleasure. The person who taught me how to masturbate was my female college roommate. She gave brief verbal instruction. When I asked, “How will I know I’ve had an orgasm?” She only said, “You’ll know.” She was right! LOL I read articles and books that aroused as well as taught. I met people I never would have met if it weren’t for some of these men. I reveled in my sexuality and enjoyed the exploration. If you want to know more about what I was like at this time, read Don’t Call Me Baby.

Now it’s my turn to confess. I’m in my mid-late 50s. Ever since menopause, I’ve lost a great deal of interest in sex. It isn’t an itch
that is in dire need to be scratched anymore. I know that part of the waning interest is biological, but I also understand that it needn’t be that way. Some of it is psychological. I am under the impression (wrong one, apparently) that women are supposed to lose interest in sex once their periods stop for good. While my libido has waned dramatically, it isn’t gone. I’m finding I, like Lisabet, am neither totally miserable nor crazy with unsatisfied lust. I feel as if I’ve mellowed.

Part of the problem is that my husband who is eight years older than me is impotent. It makes him (both of us) unhappy, but it doesn’t stop him from expressing affection or love. We just don’t have sex anymore. I used to miss it a great deal pre-menopause. Now, not so much. I still review sex toys and I love doing it. I use my JimmyJane Form 2 several times per week so I’m definitely not a monk. We talk about the problem on occasion but it isn’t a defining part of our relationship. We express our love for each other in many ways. Sex simply isn’t one of them.

With the urgent need for sex on the back burner, I’ve found I spend more time striving for other goals that are important to me. My writing, for instance, it now front and center. It always has been, but with age and maturity come discipline. I live my sexual fantasies through my writing. I rely on my past, my imagination, and my present when creating my characters and the situations they find themselves in whether the story is erotic, dark, humorous or horrific. Like Lisabet, the sex happens in my mind and is experienced through my imagination.

My body reacts to the sexy antics of my characters. What would I like to have done to me? I put it in my stories. What turns me on that I’ve never tried before? I put it in my stories. How would I have preferred a particular situation in my past have turned out? I put it in my stories. My body reacts to my own writing, which is what erotic writing is all about anyway. While I’m not having sex, I’m still a sexual being. No wonder I still review sex toys. I love using them. While I’m not a raging she devil in the sack anymore, I enjoy a mellow bout now and then, and my fiction drives me in that direction.

I look forward to my old age. I shall wear purple, like the woman in the poem. And I will continue to use my sex toys and write erotic fiction into my twilight years. I’m still a sexual being albeit in a different way than 50 years ago. And I’m enjoying every moment of it.

Could it be Magic?

By K D Grace

For those of you
who don’t know, I’ve been writing a new paranormal erotic series on my blog
called Demon
. It’s one of the many stories I wanted to explore when I
finished writing the Lakeland Heatwave
. I decided to try my hand with a serial and put the story out as a
freebie serial coming out every three weeks. Of course being back in the
magical Lake District, back with the Elemental Coven, got me thinking about sex
magic. Again. Still!

I’m always
struggling to get my head around why sex is magic, why human sexuality defies
the nature programme /Animal Planet biological tagging that seems to work for
other species that populate the planet. I don’t think I could write sex without
magic, and even if I could I wouldn’t want to. I’m not talking about airy-fairy
or woo-woo so much as the mystery that is sex. On a biological level we get it.
We’ve gotten it for a long time. We know all about baby-making and the sharing
of the genes and the next generation. It’s text book.

But it’s the ravenousness of the human animal
that shocks us, surprises us, turns us on in ways that we didn’t see coming.
It’s the nearly out of body experience we have when we are the deepest into our
body we can possibly be. It’s the skin on skin intimacy with another human
being in a world where more personal space is always in demand.

When we come together with another human
being, for a brief moment, our worlds entwine in ways that defy description. We
do it for the intimacy of it, the pleasure of it, the naughtiness of it, the
dark animal possessiveness of it. Sex is the barely acceptable disturbance in
the regimented scrubbed-up proper world of a species that has evolved to have
sex for reasons other than procreation. Is that magical? It certainly seems
impractical. And yet we can’t get enough.

We touch each other because it feels good.
We slip inside each other because it’s an intimate act that scratches an itch
nothing else in the whole universe can scratch. During sex, we are ensconced in
the mindless present, by the driving force of our individual needs, needs that
we could easily satisfy alone, but it wouldn’t be the same. Add love to the
mix, add a little bit of romance, add a little bit of chemistry and the magic
soup thickens and heats up and gets complicated. I don’t think it’s any
surprise at all that sex is a prime ingredient in story. But at the same time,
I don’t think it’s any surprise that it is also an ingredient much avoided in
some story.

Sex is a power centre of the human
experience. It’s not stable. It’s not safe. It’s volatile. It exposes people,
makes them vulnerable, reduces them to their lowest common denominator even as
it raises them to the level of the divine. Is it any wonder the gods covet
flesh? The powerful fragility of human flesh is the ability to interact with
the world around us, the ability to interact with each other, the ability to
penetrate and be penetrated.

So as I mull through it, trying for the
zillionth time to get my head around it, I conclude – at least for the moment –
that the true magic of sex is that it takes place in the flesh, and it elevates
the flesh to something even the gods lust after. It’s a total in-the-body,
in-the-moment experience, a celebration of the carnal, the ultimate penetrative
act of intimacy of the human animal. I don’t know if that gives you goose bumps,
but it certainly does me.

All About Pleasure: The Politics of Arousal

By Donna George Storey

I thought I’d have to write a really depressing post this month. In recent weeks, the election-year War on Sex has escalated, and things were looking bleak for erotica writers, supporters of women’s autonomy, and anyone who thinks sex outside of a heterosexual union blessed by an established religion, preferably Christianity, can be something other than evil.

Fortunately, the past few weeks have brought some victories for sex-positive forces. Rush Limbaugh is hemorrhaging sponsors after his slut-shaming of Sandra Fluke for speaking out about the medical uses of the birth control pill. Female legislators, such as Ohio state senator Nina Turner, are sponsoring bills to regulate Viagra, declare sperm cells persons, and require unnecessary, government-mandated rectal exams for men. I find this both a witty and brilliant way of bringing the point home to men, many of whom seem to be unaware that restricting women’s sexuality and access to contraception will impact their intimate lives in any way.

The sweetest news of all is that Paypal’s campaign to censor books on topics they found distasteful, by forcing publishers and authors to silence themselves, was successfully overturned by the admirable efforts of authors, readers and progressive activists, ERWA’s own Remittance Girl being a notable figure in the fight. Of course, the cynical part of me suspects the back-down was due less to a new understanding of the importance of free speech than to the huge profits Paypal and the credit card companies would lose, especially given the recent media attention to the BDSM novel Fifty Shades of Grey.  But I’ll accept the HFN ending anyway.

Even if the immediate danger has passed for the moment, the Paypal edict raised an issue in in my mind that is still worth examining for erotica writers. As I understand it, portrayals of rape, incest, and underage sex were not allowed if the work was classified as erotica and thus was assumed to be written with an intent to arouse sexual feelings. However, “pure literature” with those themes were fine—A Thousand Acres and Bastard Out of Carolina (underage incest), The Kite Runner (the anal rape of an 11-year-old boy), or fiction in other genres such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (rape and child abuse) being just a few famous examples.

The distinction between sex scenes meant solely to stir your loins and those that have a higher redeeming purpose is assumed to be clear to all readers of sound moral character. Yet many of us, myself included, found ourselves questioning the criteria used to determine the two categories. It certainly couldn’t have to do with the quality of the prose, because frankly, I find that the work of many erotica writers is more thoughtful, sophisticated and redemptive than much of what passes for literary fiction.

Here’s my theory as to how the distinction is generally made. In “literary” or mainstream fiction, sexual themes, while sometimes written with the same language used in erotica and possibly the fodder for secret sexual fantasy for many readers, are kept safely circumscribed by making sure whoever has sex, whether victim, aggressor or willing participant, is somehow punished. Death, insanity, lifelong sexual dysfunction, social ostracism, divorce, any of these horrible consequences will do, as long as the emotional message is not so different from what it was in the nineteenth century, “Have sex outside of heterosexual marriage and you will die!” As long as the “pure” writer is on message, he is free to cook up all kinds of plot twists that feed on forbidden desires and acts, and in fact might arouse the reader as much as any officially designated erotica. Then he will redeem himself by showing how sex is harmful. It’s a brilliant move by those who want to capitalize on sexual repression. Use our natural human curiosity for the forbidden and our natural sexual impulses to draw us in, but impose highly conservative justice on the characters, so we’re left feeling that sex is dangerous and damaging to our bodies, souls and reputations.

Erotica, on the other, often, although not always, portrays sexuality as enjoyable. Sometimes it eroticizes the power relationships inherent in our society, and thereby transforms and complicates these relationships.  This is clearly a very scary idea to the guardians of social order.

The truth is people read all fiction to be aroused. Erotica is assumed to focus only on sexual arousal. Literary and mainstream fiction are supposed to stay above the waist to arouse love and hate, our sense of justice and morality, and an identification with the fate of the characters. I can’t count how many times I’ve read advice for literary writers to give your poor protagonist as many trials and conflicts as possible, the better to create a sense of pleasurable release when she prevails. Eroticists are accused of manipulating their readers for a low purpose in that perhaps—or even hopefully [gasp]—the story will lead to what has traditionally been referred to as “self-abuse.” However, I personally have felt emotionally abused by some of our most celebrated and/or bestselling authors.

As a mother, I am horrified at how many times child abuse or a child’s death is brought into the plot for emotional impact. It certainly brings tears to my eyes and sick knot to my stomach. And of course, these terrible things do happen in real life. However, when I started looking at this phenomenon as a writer, I began to get suspicious. If you read literary fiction, you might begin to think toddlers drown in pools as often as smokers die of the complications of their addiction in our country. There’s no doubt the victimization of the innocent provides an instant punch to the reader’s gut. Some authors handle it well and explore the consequences with sensitivity. But too many, in my opinion, go straight for our vulnerabilities and fears in a cheap way. And, for the record, I admire works of fiction and nonfiction that deal with these issues responsibly. The brilliant and moving The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by journalist Rebecca Skloot involves horrifying child abuse in private and institutional settings, but within a context that exposes the costs of poverty, racism and a misguided trust in the medical establishment. Henrietta Lacks was harrowing, but one of the most memorable and important books I’ve ever read.

Sure, it might be easier for me to choose reading material if Paypal established a panel of “experts” to review all literary fiction to determine if the trials of its protagonists were edifying to the reader or merely created a sense of fear and danger more in character with the horror and action-adventure genres. But even at the risk of my sensitive soul, I must continue to support free speech no matter what my personal tastes. Some authors may betray our trust, but we can always stop reading or go write a scathing review on our blog!

So, fellow erotica writers, the next time someone tries to shame you for aiming to incite lustful feelings your reader, remember that all good writers try to arouse their readers’ emotions. Some of us are just more honest about what we do.

Donna George Storey is the author of the erotic novel, Amorous Woman.  Her short stories have recently appeared in Best Women’s Erotica 2012, Best Erotic Romance, and The Best of Best Mammoth Erotica.  Learn more  at

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Hot Chilli Erotica


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