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My New Old Desk

 

Some things just make us feel really good about ourselves. Few things make us feel better than finding a bargain we love. I love to shop at charity shops simply because one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure – right? I LOVE a good browse about, and never more than when I’m doing some redecorating. That’s how I found my new old desk.

 

I’m very intimidated by redecorating because I live in my head so much and seldom pay attention to my immediate environment, but this time, my redecorating is all about claiming a space for myself. I’m sure every writer – every person — for that matter, understands how essential claiming our own space is. Many of you know that I’m quite tunnel-visioned when it comes to my craft. I’ve kept my head down writing hard for such a long time that I haven’t bothered to claim any space except for my end of the dining table. While tunnel vision can be a good thing for a writer in the throes of a story, it can also keep us from seeing the obvious. Neck and shoulder problems and a wonderful trainer who suggested that part of the solution would be to have a space that was dedicated especially to my work have made me realize, I need to claim a proper space. It’s not that there hasn’t been the opportunity all along, but the room that was earmarked to be my study devolved into a junk room when I had to have surgery not long after we moved into our house. The longer I put off the claiming of space, the more stuff we accumulated. Now it’s cluttered with the detritus of too many moves and the serious accumulations and hoardings of two pack rats.

 

 

God! I’m a psychology lesson happening to myself, aren’t I? As my mind clears from the mad rush to write more and more and the wild fantasies all writers have when the task is new, and the excitement comes from just having someone actually reading our books, from seeing our books in public places, I find myself seeking space. I find myself longing to hone my craft in new and different ways – paths on which my heart leads me. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that those desires coincides with the purchase of a new ‘old’ desk.

 

The desk is like my mind, a bit on the used side, but ultimately, a hidey-hole for my craft, for my imagination, a place to shut it all away for just me. When it’s closed, no one even knows that it’s there. Ooh, I love secret places, don’t you? But when I open those doors, I’m gone – to another place, to another time, to another planet. I’m someone else, I’m multiple someone elses all with a story to be told. Opening those doors is another reminder that, to paraphrase Joseph Campbell, I get to follow my bliss! I get to pursue your deepest passion every day. How lucky am I? The desk is a symbol of where it is I go when I write. It’s a bit battered. It’s used. It has secrets, secrets I’ll never know. But now it’s mine. Now it opens to me. Now my stories and my secrets will fill it every day.

 

I’ve dusted and cleaned and tried out each little compartment and cubby hole inside, filling it with my treasured tools of the trade. At the moment, the room that’ll be my study isn’t ready, but my desk is ready. It’s temporarily making itself at home in my living room right next to the jumble of workout equipment, and I’m making myself at home with it. I can’t keep from wondering what stories I’ll write in this space of my own, and what adventures will result from the simple act of laying claim to space.

 

When Mourning Becomes Joy

Happy Blissemas, everyone!

For those of you who don’t know about Blissemas, a quick refresher. The season of Blissemas starts on the 1st December and will finish on the 24th December. Every day of Blissemas a different author will post up gems of delight in the guise of festive stories, excerpts, recipes, hints and tips and this year one lucky winner will receive a Kindle Voyage! Click here to find out how you can join in the Blissemas celebration and increase your chance of winning.

 

 

I love Blissemas! I always find it a time to be thankful for all of the blessings of the year and a chance to look forward with hope to all that will be in the New Year. But sometimes things don’t go as planned, and sometimes the joy of the season is mixed with tears and sadness, mourning and loss. I lost my brother to cancer on December 21st. It’s been fifteen years ago now, and I still remember the Christmas that followed as one of the richest, deepest Christmases, one of the ones in which I had the most to be thankful for of any I’ve ever had.

 

My husband and I were living abroad at the time. We’d gotten used to spending our holidays away from family, as so many people have, and while it was always a good experience for us, it had become very insular. At the news of my brother’s death – not unexpected, we were on the next plane to Colorado, and what could have easily become one of the worst Christmases of my life became a Christmas filled with wonder and love and appreciation for all that’s good in my life.

 

It was bitterly cold and snowing when we landed at Stapleton International Airport outside Denver after flying forever. We were met by old friends I’d not seen in years, who had heard the news of my brother’s death and insisted we spend the night with them before we headed over the treacherous mountain pass. They took us to their home, fed us, gave us a warm place to stay for the night along with a much-needed dose of laughter and good conversation. In the morning after a good breakfast, they insisted that for the trip over the mountains to my brother’s house in Wyoming, and for the duration of our stay in the Rockies, we take their four-wheel drive SUV instead of trusting to a rental. They drove the mountain roads in winter, and they were always prepared.

 

We arrived safely at my brother’s house in very rural Wyoming to find the whole family already gathered and the house full of food brought in by neighbors and friends. That night before the funeral, we put up the tree, something my husband and I hadn’t done in a long time, but something we all did together for my brother’s first grandchild, who was four at the time and just old enough to miss his papa and to delight in the magic of Christmas. It had been a long time since I’d seen the wonder of Christmas through a child’s eyes, and I found myself delighting in Timothy’s delight and remembering how it had been when I was a kid.

 

At the funeral, there were old friends, friends I hadn’t seen since childhood, all with memories to share of times they had spent with my brother and with all of our family. Some of them came back to my brother’s house afterwards and we all laughed and reminisced and remembered not only the best of my brother’s life – but how far we had all come in our own journeys and just how much we all had to be thankful for.

 

Christmas morning dawned just as bitterly cold as the rest of our time there had been, but with a dusting of new snow – the dry kind with more sparkle than substance, shining like diamonds in the cold winter sun. We all shared in Timothy’s excitement as he opened his gifts, as he laughed and squealed. One particular gift, I recall was a bowling ball – possibly a bit much for a four year old, but not for a four year old from a family who had a passion for bowling. “This is from Papa,” my sister-in-law told him.

 

“I miss Papa,” he said, looking down at the ball he held in his lap.

 

In a strange way, I think I felt my brother’s presence more that Christmas than I ever did when I was a child. We were not close then, and we understood little about each other. Before my brother became bedridden, he had successfully hunted elk that year with his friends, which meant he’d left the freezer well stocked for his family. He had also had time to make sure there was plenty of wood laid in for the winter. The house had a fireplace and a wood-burning stove. My brother was old school – fourteen years my senior, and caring for his family meant keeping them warm and well-fed. I know, that’s what every parent sees as their responsibility to their family, but in the open spaces of rural Wyoming, in the dead of winter, those basics were taken much more literally than they are for those of us living in a more urban setting.

 

Two days after Christmas, we set off back over the pass to catch our flight back to England. As we watched the smoke from the chimney and loaded our borrowed SUV, we walked past the woodpile. Probably every house in a community that was no more than a dozen homes spread over probably twice that many miles had a woodpile, but for me, it symbolized my brother’s last act of caring for his family.

 

That Christmas will always be a reminder for me that sometimes the very best of gifts come from the most painful places. Within the mourning, there was celebration, within the sadness there was joy, and surrounding the whole experience, there was love. That, I remember most of all.

 

Wishing you all celebration, joy and love this holiday season.

 *****

 

Here’s an outdoorsy wild wintery excerpt from the third of the Executive Decisions novel, The Exhibition. Enjoy!

 

The Exhibition: Book Three of the Executive Decision Series

Blurb:

Successful NYC gallery owner, Stacie Emerson, is ex-fiancée to one Thorne brother and ex-wife to the other. Though
the three have made peace, Ellison Thorne’s friend, wildlife photographer, Harris Walker, still doesn’t like her. When Stacie convinces Harris to exhibit his work for the opening of her new gallery she never intended to include him in her other more hazardous plans. But when those plans draw the attention of dangerous business tycoon, Terrance Jamison, Harris comes to her aid. In the shadow of a threat only Stacie understands, can she dare let Harris into her life and make room for love?

 

 The Exhibition Excerpt — Call of the Wild:

The sun was just staining the sky pink when they topped the rise that overlooked an outcropping of rocks opposite them on the other side of a narrow canyon. And there on a ledge were the two mountain lions. Harris could feel the tensing of Stacie’s body in the excitement he knew she felt because he felt it too. From the looks of the situation the female had been calling for a mate, and the male, who crouched on the outcropping just above her, had just arrived. Harris breathed deeply and slowly to steady his hands as he aimed the camera. He was so engrossed in the cats that it took him a second to realize Stacie had her own camera, and he couldn’t help feeling a swell of pride at just how calm she was, already shooting next to him. But then he reminded himself she’d grown up in the Russian wilderness. Beneath the big city venire, she was made of stern stuff. He leaned close to her. ‘This is my cat all right. See the little notch in her left ear, some old injury.’ His voice was less than a whisper, but she nodded that she understood.

 

And then the action began as the two cats went about the business of getting acquainted, the female stretched long and lean across the rock before the male, not unlike Harris had seen Dee’s two tabbies do when they found a particularly nice place to sunbathe. In the crisp quiet of the morning, they could hear the rumble of the purr emanating from the female’s throat. It was a feline act through and through as the two made little grunts and growls at each other and the male sniffed the female’s readiness. It didn’t take long until the female rolled back onto her belly and positioned herself, flicking her tail to one side and lifting her bottom.

 

Being privy to such an intimate act of nature, such an intensely wild and primordial act made Harris’s pulse thunder against his throat. Simply seeing the two cats together like this was an unparalleled privilege, but to share it with Stacie made him feel as though he had somehow offered it to up her, as though he’d had something to do with the cats’ presence here. It felt right on a level that he had no words for. If he were ever to share such an experience, it should be with her. It couldn’t be with anyone else.

 

At some point he realized Stacie was taking pictures of him as well as the cats. He could see the rapid rise and fall of her chest through the dark green fleece she wore. He could almost feel her intense concentration and her delight at sharing the experience, at watching the cats as they got on with creating the next generation. He loved that she’d made no nervous twitters, no off-handed remarks about the cats’ mating. Most people would have. Most people would have been uncomfortable with seeing something so raw, so blatantly and unashamedly sexual.

 

The sky had gone from pink to blue and the monochromatic world had brightened to subtle desert shades of tan and mauve and kaki bathing the cats in golden light as they stretched and preened. Then Stacie and Harris watched as they moved on silent feet single file off the ledge and disappeared into the canyon. They stood and watched long after the cats were gone, as though to move, or to speak would somehow destroy the moment. Harris understood. He sat for nearly an hour after photographing the female with her kittens, unable to move, unable to do anything but try to take in what he’d just witnessed.

 

It was Stacie sniffling that brought him back to reality. He turned to find tear streaming unabated down her cheeks. She offered an embarrassed smile and wiped at her eyes with the backs of her hands. ‘Amazing,’ she managed. ‘They were amazing, so beautiful and powerful and …’ She looked up into his eyes. ‘Thank you for bringing me here.’

 

‘It was a pleasure,’ Harris managed, resisting the urge to take her into his arms. What she was feeling had nothing to do with him, and he didn’t want to take away from it.

 

‘I’d love to come back and try to find her after the kittens are born,’ she said.

 

It encouraged him that she was thinking in terms of the future, a future without Terrance Jamison. ‘I’m sure Doug’ll let us know when that happens. It’ll be three months, maybe a little more, before they’ll be born.’

 

‘In the dead of winter? That’s a harsh time to bring kittens into the world.’

 

‘Don’t worry. She’s up for it. Doug says she’s successfully raised at least two litters before the one I saw. She knows what she’s doing.’

 

Stacie looked after the cats again, and Harris couldn’t resist. He lifted his camera and took a couple of shots of her. When she flipped him off and then offered her usual teasing smile, he only shrugged and continued. ‘Just returning the favour.’

 

The blush that crawled up her throat made her look even more beautiful if that were possible. ‘Yes but you look outdoorsy and ruggedly handsome. I look all swollen-eyed and under-slept.’

 

He kept shooting. ‘To me you look beautiful. You belong here almost as much as those cats do.’

 

*****

 

Instead of shoving at him as he’d expected her to do, she curled a hard fist in his hair and ravaged his mouth with every bit as much ferocity as he had given her, pulling him still closer, rubbing her body against his, making him instantly and startlingly erect.

 

She snaked a hand down between them and savaged his fly until he feared for what lay beneath, until her fingers wriggled and dug their way into his walking trousers to possess his cock with a tight grip as though it were a weapon, one she were about to use to do serious damage.

 

He fumbled to return the favor, with her ripping at her own fly to make room for him, to guide his fingers down over her mons. Her eyes locked his in a devastating gaze that felt as though she could see right through him. ‘I need you to touch me there.’ Her voice was a breathless whisper. ‘Where I’m wet, where I’m open, where I’m always, always hungry for you.’ Her breath caught; her eyelids fluttered and she sucked her bottom lip as he found her cleft, wet and open as she’d promised. ‘You can’t tell me you don’t want to be like those cats.’ She guided his hand still further and manipulated it until first two, then three fingers pressed up into her. ‘You can’t tell me that when I present myself to you all hot and ready and begging for it, you don’t want to service my need. You can’t tell me you don’t want to get a little primal with that cock of yours.’ She gave him a hard squeeze and drove her hand up and down his length, thumbing the already abundant pre-cum over and around the tip until he gritted his teeth and held his breath while his hips bucked hard against her efforts.

He scissored her deep with three fingers and raked the silky slickness of her up and over her clitoris, and the sounds from the back of her throat easily resembled the sounds the female cougar made when the male mounted her. They wildly, madly fucked each other’s hands. The wind had risen and even on the clear morning, the chill left no doubt about lingering for more than the quickest of releases. Then she shifted, pressed her back hard against the stone and rested both of her hands on his shoulders. Before he could protest the removal of her fingers from his cock, she wrapped her legs around his waist, her still clothed crotch rubbing tight and insanely hot against his exposed cock as she began to rock and gyrate, and it was all happening way too fast.

 

‘Stacie I –’

 

‘Shut up, Harris,’ she spoke between chattering teeth. ‘I need to come, and so do you. You can fuck me properly when we get back to the SUV. It’s too damn cold to linger.’ With each sentence she ground against him, baring down with the extra leverage the cliff at her back afforded and, almost before the words were out of her mouth, she convulsed. Her spine stiffened and her shivers had nothing to do with the cold. Harris could stand no more. He felt the eruption deep in his groin. It might have been embarrassing had the circumstances been different, but as he tried to cover himself, tried to hide the results of Stacie’s hard ride, she shoved his hand away, pushed him back and practically fell into the space between them positioning herself so that she caught his release, all of it in her mouth. What could he say to that? What could he do but hold her there, helplessly grunting the weight of his need into the back of her throat. It was an act as intimate and as primal as the cougars mating on the rocks minutes ago. And sex, any kind of sex, with Stacie Emerson was worlds apart from any other sexual experiences he’d ever had. As she stood and wiped her mouth on the back of her hand, the look of hunger in her eyes, the promise of more sex to come in the SUV before the trip home couldn’t help but lighten the mood. As they straightened and tucked and donned their packs, he wondered if that was maybe why she did it. Whatever her reason, it definitely worked for him in ways he was still trying to get his head around.

 

 

Available from:

eBook:

 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon CA

iBooks UK

iBooks US

Kobobooks.com

Xcite Books

 

Print:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Powell’s

The Book Depository

Waterstones

Xcite Books

 

 

Writing Badly? Permission Granted!

img_0082Being deep in the throes of NaNoWriMo right now, it’s not unusual that I’ve been thinking a lot about the process of writing and what makes it work. Why is it that sometimes the words flow and other times they just don’t? The first time I realised I might be able to exert some control over that flow, that I might be able to do more than sit in front of a keyboard and hope the Muse would take pity on me, was when I read Natalie Goldberg’s classic book, Writing Down the Bones. There I discovered the timed writing. It’s simple really. You write non-stop for a given amount of time. You write against the clock, and you don’t stop writing until time runs out. No matter what! You write whatever comes without fretting over whether it’ll be good. And when you’re done, some of the end result – even a good bit of the end result – might be crap. But mixed in with that crap might just be the seeds of something wonderful.

writing-down-the-bones-images

At the time I felt like I’d been asked to write with my left hand. Even writing for five minutes seemed like a daunting
task when I made my first attempts. But Natalie Goldberg knew what she was talking about. I was amazed at what came out of the abyss between my ears! It was only after I read Writing Down the Bones that I began to write real stories, and I think about that process of writing, just writing, no matter what comes out so often when I do NaNoWriMo because writing a novel in a month is never going to be pretty. But out of it, something truly wonderful can come. I know this because I’ve had two published novels from NaNoWriMo, and I’ve tackled both of those month-long races to the end as though they were a series of thirty gigantic, drawn out, timed writings.

 

So why did one book make such a difference? I finally had something I lacked in the past, something very important. I had permission to write badly. Every writer needs permission to write badly. Later Julia Cameron, in her book, The Artist Way, called those off-the-cuff, devil-may-care writings morning pages, and she prescribed three morning pages every day – written without forethought, written in haste. From a fiction writer’s perspective, she didn’t give them the weight that Natalie Goldberg did. They were only a part of a plan to open the reader to the artist within. To her, they were more about venting, sort of a daily house-cleaning for the brain. In addition to morning pages, Cameron insisted that every creative person should give themselves what she called an artist date once a week. An artist date was a date with oneself away from writing.

 

the-artist-wayI can’t count the number of times I stood myself up for my artist dates. I would have broken up with me long ago if I were actually dating me. But then I realised that an artist date didn’t have to be dinner and dancing or shopping or even visiting a museum. An artist date was a change of pace. It could even be ironing or weeding the garden. In fact the whole point of the artist date was to create space in which I could disengage the internal editor, engage the wild, creative part of my brain, the part full of ‘what ifs,’ and then, to give myself permission to write badly.

 

So many of us are under the impression that every word we write must be precious and worth its weight in gold. What I’ve learned since I discovered the pleasure of writing badly is that on the first draft, every word is most definitely not precious. On the first draft, every word is a crazy frivolous experiment. Every word is a chance to test the waters, to play in the mud, to let my hair loose and run dancing and screaming through the literary streets. Every word is a game and an adventure. Every word is eating ice cream with sprinkles for the main course. By the same token, every word is shit, every word is compost, and every word is the ground out of which the next draft will grow. I never know what’ll work crest-05e1a637392425b4d5225780797e5a76until I try it. I never know what my unconscious will come up with while I’m writing like a wild crazy person, grabbing words and cramming them in and rushing on to the next ones – just after I’ve done a basket full of ironing. Without that bold and daring first draft, without opening the floodgates and letting the words spill onto the page, there’s nothing to work with when the next draft comes. And when the next draft comes, the words do get precious. Every single one becomes weighty and irritable and reluctant to fit anywhere but the place it belongs, the place where I feel it just below my sternum like the point of an accusing finger.

 

But by the time I get to the second draft, by the time I get to that place where every word has to be perfect, I’m up for it. I’m ready to slow down and feel what every word means. I’m ready to find all the nuance and all the cracks and crevices of meaning in between the words. I’m ready for it because I’ve only just been playing up until now, and I’ve been allowing the words to play. And now … recess is over.

 

The longer I write, the more I realise what else, besides Natalie Goldberg’s timed writings and Julia Cameron’s reluctant artist dates, gets me there. And what gets me there is often totally being somewhere else, somewhere other than writing. Sometimes it’s playing the piano badly, or sweating at the gym, or weeding the veg patch. Sometimes it’s walking through the woodland not thinking about anything. Sometimes it’s reading something frivolous. Sometimes it’s writing-pen-and-birds-1_xl_20156020reading something profound. All the space that taking time not to write opens up inside me makes room for that wild
ride of the first draft. And when that first draft is finished, I have what I need to pick and choose, to sort through and sift, to change and rearrange until I find the best way to tell my tale. But up until then, it’s child’s play. It’s dancing naked. It’s shameless abandon and multiple verbal orgasms.

 

To all my lovely writing friends valiantly struggling through NaNoWriMo this year – in fact to anyone who has a story to write, let me just say this.

 

Writing badly? Permission most definitely granted!

 

Sh!’s Fabulous Renee Denyer Talks Spicing up Self Love

I’m very excited to have the fantastic Renee Denyer, Sh!’s totally awesome, award-winning manager, back for the 2nd week in a row! I know, I know! How lucky am I? How lucky are you lot? And if you’ve never been to Sh!, I highly recommend you pop in for a visit. You’ll be SO glad you did!

Today Renee is talking about something near and dear to my heart … and other bits … spicing up your self-love life. It’s ME TIME! Take it away, Renee! 

 

visit-us

 

So today we’re going to delve deeper into our moist grottos: we’re going to talk about self-love. Shebopping, twiddling the skittle – whatever you want to call it, masturbation should be high up on your to-do list. It should be right up there with, say, brushing teeth or spending time with great mates.

Not being in a couple doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fluff the muff regularly. It’s been scientifically proven that orgasms aren’t only fun, but also healthy. It sets you up for the day (and sends you into a lovely, deep sleep at night), puts colour on your cheeks and a twinkle in your eye. A bit like taking multivitamins – only more fun!

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut once you find something that works. We all do it, all the time. The same breakfast cereal, the same washing powder, some people even go to the same holiday destination year after year – why fix something if it ain’t broke? The same goes for sex, I find, especially masturbation. How often do you take the time to really enjoy your body and what it has to offer? If anything, it might be a quick shuffle before sleep and that’s it.

I was so excited when K D asked for my best tips on how to spice things up when playing solo, and I’ve had so much fun writing this piece. These are the sort of things I talk about at work every day, plus I like to practice what I preach…

Enjoy!

 

Top Tips for Spicing Up Muff-Shuffles

Hair Care – Coz You’re Worth It

Trying out different hair styles is an easy way to try something new. It doesn’t require too much effort and you might find it changes how you feel about your body in general and your snootch in particular.

If you usually prefer the au naturel look, defuzzing can be a lot of fun. Many women – myself included – say they feel more when the pussy is bare. It offers easy access, feels incredibly smooth and gives a good view if you fancy having a look in the mirror (we’ll come back to that).

There are several ways of creating a new look: shaving, creaming or waxing. A razor or some cream is easy to DIY, but waxing is best left to the professionals. Bear in mind, though, that asking for a “Hollywood” in a waxing salon will often mean you on all fours with your ass in the air and a stranger applying wax to very personal body parts. (Be generous when tipping!)

On the other hand, if you usually sport the balder look, try leaving the hair to grow for a few weeks and see what happens. Stroking and twiddling soft pubic hair can be both comforting and sexy, and you might find that the soft fur traps your natural scent better.

 

Love Your Labia

I meet so many women who have either no idea what their labia lips look like, or they feel their lovely lady lips are somehow “gross” and “ugly”.

We need to change that.

Slip off your knickers, grab a mirror and take a good look.  I promise your lips are beautiful. An unaroused vulva looks different from an aroused one. Colour and shape changes, this is perfectly normal. Pet your pussy and see what happens!

Hop on over to The Great Wall of Vagina – once you’ve finished reading this piece, obv. Artist Jamie McCartney plaster-casted a whopping 400 women’s vulvae and turned them into sculptures. His work gives you a great opportunity to study other women’s bits – and realize that yours are, in fact, magnificent!

A friend of mine likes to look at her honey pot as it orgasms; she says she enjoys watching it clench and twitch. Try it!

 

Clock face

 

Happy Hour

Imagine that your clitoris is a clock face (the clit-face), with 12 at the top and 6 at the bottom. Spending time working out which ‘time’ is most sensitive is a huge step towards banging orgasms. Personally I’m a 5 o’clock kinda girl (cocktail hour!), although many women report 10-11 or 1-2 as their Happy Hours.

Time spent tending to your ladygarden is time very well spent – you’ll find that a certain time on the clit face that brings on happy hour much easier.

 

 

The Wetter, The Better

Let’s get one thing straight: there can never be too much lube. The wetter, the better! Still, many people think women should produce enough natural juices to supply a small nation, and if she doesn’t, there must be something wrong with her plumbing… Not true. Several factors impacts on a woman’s ability to get wet: dehydration, tiredness, medication, hormones… I could go on.

Do your vagina the biggest favour and buy a sample kit of lubes, and work your way through each sachet until you find one you really like. And then buy the biggest bottle of that particular lube that you can find.

 

Pussitioning

The pussy is all about location, location, location.

Do you always masturbate whilst laying on your back, fantasizing about Tom Hardy? Try sitting up! Give Idris Elba a go!  

Do you do it on all fours? Try standing up!

In the bedroom? Break out; try the bathroom, the kitchen and maybe the landing too!

Shifting positions gives you a different perspective and you may find hot spots you didn’t know where there. It means you need to use different muscles, bend in different ways and learn new ways of getting off. Over time, this trick means you’ll be able to get off pretty much anywhere, anyhow – bonus!

 

Sex Toys, Vibrators & Other Fun Stuff

Working in a sex shop, I hear many different reason for why someone should/shouldn’t use sex toys. Some people think vibrators are for single people only (so not for couples), and others think that toys are for couples as singles “don’t have sex”. (Well, anyone who thinks that is way off the mark!)

Here’s what I think: everyone who wants a sex toy should have one. It really is that simple.

 

Solo sex is a great opportunity to work out likes and dislikes, getting to know your body and its desires. Explore, experiment and most of all, enjoy.

Wondering what s small vibe could do for your clit? Want to explore the juicy G-spot? Maybe you want to try a dual-style vibe like the rabbit? Or an anal toy! You can have all of those if you want – it’s your choice. Go outside your comfort zone, try something different. It might just blow your mind… *wink*

 

GOAL – Time for Vajubilation!

Actually no.

Let’s not be so goal oriented.

Great sex can be fast and furious, but it can also mean dribbling that ball a little, pass over to the other hand so it can show off its mad skillz… Work on your ‘edging’.

Edging is when you go as close to orgasm as you can – and then back off. Don’t tip yourself over that edge, however tempting. Building up and slowing down has benefits – when you eventually have let go, it’ll be a sweet, sweet release. The longer you build up – the stronger that orgasm will be.

And whilst we’re on the subject of “goals” – not having an orgasm is common for millions of women, and maybe you are one of them. Don’t bash yourself for it. Having an orgasm is a learned thing, and it takes time.

I once worked with a young woman who had never had an orgasm, and she asked me if that was “bad”. I answered that it wasn’t – but that maybe she should practice more. I suggested getting some lube and a rabbit vibrator, as they are the go-to vibe for women over the world. A few days later she arrived at with a huge smile on her face. She’d had her very first orgasm. 

 

About Renee:

Renée is the award-winning Senior Store Manager (ETO Awards 2014 & 2015) and sex educator at female-focused erotic boutique Sh!, where she also teaches educational classes for women & couples. She focuses on female sexuality and regularly presents at Café V, the support group for female survivors of sexual violence. Renée writes a regular column for Erotic Trade Only magazine and dreams of penning a bestselling sex guide one day.

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Spicing Things Up with Sh!’s Fabulous Renee Denyer

I’m so excited to have one of my favourite people on the planet back on A Hopeful Romantic not only today, but again next week. I love having Sh!’s fabulous manager, and my very good friend, Renee Denyer over because even if we’re not having an August heat wave, Renee always heats the place up with practical, and sizzling advice for any love life. Today, Renee will be talking about spicing things up with your partner. She’ll be back next week talking about ways to spice up your self-love-life! Make sure you pop in for both. Welcome Renee! Take it away.

 

 

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Hello Everyone,

I’m rather excited to be back on K D’s blog – it’s been a while! I hope you’ve had a great summer. It’s been a bit too hot for my liking, so I’m looking forward to cooler days. Plus, the best part of long, cold nights is snuggling up close to someone you really fancy… Am I right or am I right?

Today we’re going to talk about how to spice things up a little bit. Actually, we’re going to spice it up a lot. Being in a long-term relationship often means that sex takes a backseat once the initial hot flush of new relationship energy has burned itself out. It can be incredibly hard to keep things sizzling when the kids are demanding all your attention, the laundry basket is overflowing and the dishwasher has died an untimely death…

It’s perfectly normal for the libido to take a dive every once in a while. Life takes over; other things are prioritized. That’s just how it is. But – what if you find it difficult to get your mojo back? What if it’s been so long you’re not sure if you even have a mojo? (You do – and I’ll help you find it).

“Spicing things up” mean different things to different people. For some, it may mean adding a vibrating cock ring to his man-sausage before hopping onboard; for others it may involve a leather blindfold, a can of whipped cream and an off-duty fireman. Whatever rings your bell, people!

First Things First

Rule number one: make time for each other. Book a babysitter, get dressed up and turn your mobile phones off for the evening. Scheduling in a date night might sound unsexy – but if you don’t, you won’t bother. So do it. Book a night out for the two of you: a meal at a favourite restaurant, for example.

 

Invest in Stockings & Suspenders

Old-fashioned and cliché, I hear you say?

Oh, hell no.

Stockings and suspenders adds a touch of retro glamour, makes the wearer feel fabulous and the partner itching to run their fingers over the soft skin just above the stocking tops. Offer a glimpse of your sexy lingerie before going out. The evening will be one long build-up to ripping off clothes and feasting on the deliciousness beneath.

 

Minimum Input, Maximum Output

Teasing is a wonderful way of spicing things up. Coy eye contact, a slow lick of the dessert spoon, an extra swing of the hips as you walk away… Very little effort involved, but all of those actions have great potential for keeping your partner wide awake and interested in what’s to come.

 

Wiggle, Wiggle

The plan is to arrive back home relaxed and in a good mood. Send the sitter home, turn on some music, and ask your partner to take a seat. It’s time to shake what ya mama gave you! No pre-rehearsed moves are required for this: move in time to the music; a saucy wiggle of the hips here, a shimmy of the shoulders there… Make eye contact and be bold with it. The pupils naturally dilate when we look at someone we’re attracted to, so make the most of this sensual trick.

 

No Peeking!

I swear by blindfolds, for all sorts of reasons. A blindfold restricts visual references, which in turn heightens all other senses. Every kiss, lick and bite will be felt more intensely.

 

Having a lover wear a blindfold allows you to be wilder and more daring. There is no need to worry about how you look, for example – you can concentrate on enjoying the hot goings-on.

 

If you want to go the extra mile, use a silk scarf that you have previously worn. It’ll carry your scent, enveloping your lover in darkness and the sexy scent of you.

 

Be Playful

Small vibrators and cock rings are excellent additions to sexy time. Slip the cock ring over his semi-hard shaft before going down on him. The ring will trap the blood in the shaft, making him harder and more receptive to slippery tongue moves.

 

If your partner is female, try using a small, lubed-up finger-vibe to slip-slide over her soft areas. Trace over nipples, stomach and down to labia lips, keeping an eye on her reactions to find out where all her hotspots are housed.

 

Enthusiasm!

Enthusiasm is key for any sexual encounter. Let your lover know how much you’re enjoying being with them, how good they taste and how their moans are driving you mad with lust! Knowing that you are focused on the matters in hand is incredibly sexy: make noise, move about, talk dirty – get your good selves into the action!

 

Nice for Nipples

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  • Nipple clamps are great for hands-free fun, and come in a variety of pressure and pain-thresholds. Slide-to-fitnipple clamps are perfect for newbies and are very easy to use. They offer vibration and gentle pressure for your twin peaks – all pleasure, no pain!

 

 

Fun for Fannies

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  • Enhancing oils offer extra sensations and this blend of essential oils is my personal favourite. Add a drop of ON Arousal Oil to the clitoris and massage it in. The clit will soon start whizzing and buzzing, leaving you no option but tending to it…

 

  • Remote controlled vibrating eggsare hugely popular with couples. Larger eggs are mainly used for external pleasure (clitoris), but smaller versions can be used internally, making an outing to the local pub a thrilling trip. Hand over the remote control to your partner and wait for the first buzz…

 

Tips for Todgers

  • Wrap your silky knickers around his man-meat and slide up and down for extra sensations. Make it extra kinky by slipping off the knickers you arewearing

 

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  • Tenga Eggsare simply the best toys for guys. Each of these cute eggs hides a textured top for stimulating the 4000 nerv-endings sitting atop the glans of the penis. Blindfold him, and then slip a lubed-up egg over his wang for an easy-beat hand job.

 

Appy Days!

These days, you needn’t even be in the same room to have great sex – in fact, you needn’t even be on the same continent! The new generation of app-ready toys mean you can play even whilst apart. If you and your lover are tech-lovers, it’s well worth investing in a We Vibe or one of the Picobong Remoji toys. These couples’ vibrators can be controlled, from any distance, by an app on your phone. (H)appy days, indeed!

 

Thanks for having me, K D – as per usual I have had great fun! I’m really looking forward to your Writing Erotica Master Class at Sh! on 23rd September; it’ll be a fantastically smutty evening, for sure!

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go fetch that blindfold… *wink*

 

About Renee Denyer:

Renée is the award-winning Senior Store Manager (ETO Awards 2014 & 2015) and sex educator at female-focused erotic boutique Sh!. She has her fingers in many pies and spends her days talking about G-spots, P-spots and any other spots you may have found in your nether regions. When she is not selling sex toys to the women & couples of London, she can be found at home with a thrilling book and a glass of pink wine, surrounded by her beloved bunnies (of the furry variety). She writes a regular column for Erotic Trade Only magazine and dreams of penning a bestselling sex guide one day.

 

Find and Follow Sh! Women’s Store Here:

Twitter:@Shwomenstore

Website:  www.sh-womenstore.com

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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