Ashley Lister talks to Alison Tyler


Alison TylerAlison Tyler is an accomplished author and editor. She has written more than twenty explicit novels, countless short stories and edited a wealth of erotic anthologies. Her work has been translated into Japanese, German, Norwegian, Dutch, Italian and Spanish. Her reputation as an author of intelligent erotica is one of the most highly regarded in the industry.

Alison’s most recent anthology, Open for Business, takes on all the thrills and excitement of office sex. The anthology includes work from a host of celebrated authors (including Donna George Storey, Saskia Walker and Nikki Magennis) and deals with every pleasurable aspect of the nine-to-five grind. The anthology also includes Alison’s own story: “Page 10 of the Employee Handbook.” Talking to Alison, I wanted to know a little more about this book and the story she’d written.

Ashley Lister: For those who haven’t yet rushed out to buy Open for Business, I need to explain that “Page 10 of the Employee Handbook” is written with a first person protagonist and a second person antagonist. Was this choice made deliberately to ensure the narrative was a more intimate experience for the reader?

Alison Tyler: Oh, you know me, always wanting to “tu” everyone when I really ought to “vous.” (link:

Ashley Lister: The story is completed without you naming either of the characters. Again, was this a deliberate attempt to make the story more intimate for each reader?

Alison Tyler: Ashley, I’m flattered you think I’m that clever! Generally speaking, I tend to fall backwards into my stories. In this one, I could hear the characters talking. So basically, I just wrote down what they said:

“It’s against the rules,” you add, gazing down at the floor as if shocked by your own naughty behavior.
“What is?” I ask, softly. “This?”
“Oh, yes,” you tell me, playing coy now. “That’s just wrong, wrong, wrong.”

Ashley Lister: For most people office work is dull and tedious and far removed from the excitement of sexual arousal. Dull and tedious are not words that can be applied to this anthology, so I have to ask: what gave you the idea for a collection of stories that combined sex and office work?

Alison Tyler: I combine sex with everything. Sex with pasta sauce (like in my story “Prego” in Tasting Him edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel). Sex with rubber bands (like in “Rubber Necking” from Rubber Sex), sex with cold-calling for a political purpose (like in “Measure A, B, or Me?” in Sex for America)…. I can’t help it. I wear my sex-colored glasses wherever I go. Of course, the fact that I have had sex in just about every office (or place of business) I’ve worked in didn’t hurt.

Ashley Lister: Open for Business is a fun anthology with a wealth of exceptional stories. I’ve got my own personal favourites in there, but were there any that struck you as being particularly powerful? And were there any that you thought tackled the overriding theme of the anthology in a distinctive way?

Alison Tyler: My goal was to try to recreate the feeling of a work week. Your fabulous story starts us off with the Monday Morning commute. OFB ends with Nikki Magennis’ fabulous rush hour Rat Race. Throughout the week, I mean book, there are memos on deportment, after-hours parties, and mental musings about fellow co-workers. I couldn’t rank one over any other, though. Human Resources would call me on the carpet.

Ashley Lister: One of the recurrent themes in Open for Business seems to be spanking. I noticed that spanking occurs as either a main sexual focus, or a peripheral device in several of the stories. Do you think this reflects the power struggle of office politics (dominants versus subordinates) or do you think it’s just that there’s an unwritten relationship between spanking and office work?

Alison Tyler: You mean like Sommer Marsden’s sizzling “Taking Care of Business”? And Xavier Acton’s hysterical yet erotic “This Call May Be Monitored for Quality Assurance”? Do I think this reflects the power struggle? No, I think it reflects the fact that I don’t seem to get far in life without the desire for a good, hard spanking! Because I think the same “recurrent theme” comment could be said about most of my novels, anthologies, and Friday nights.

Ashley Lister: Do you think the content of Open for Business reflects what really goes on throughout offices in the US and the UK?

Alison Tyler: Oh, man, I hope so.

Ashley Lister: Aside from the fantastic Erotic Alphabet series of anthologies you’re working on, do you have any other projects currently in the pipeline?

Alison Tyler: Hmmm. Let me take a peek at my date book. Oh, yes. I’ve got an early morning appointment with a collection on jealousy and boundary pushing (Playing With Fire), and then a lunch date with a sequel to my anal-sex antho, Luscious, called Forbidden. The afternoon seems to be taken up with a Power Point display by a true life bondage collection. And you’ll find my working late into the night on the third in my naughty Christmas series.

Thanks so much for pencilling me into your appointment book, Ashley! Want to meet me for a three-martini lunch?

Meet Alison Tyler at Trollop with a Laptop

Ashley Lister
October 2008

“Between the Lines” © 2008 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

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