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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

 

A Picture Really IS Worth a Thousand Words

(From the Archives 1st written for ERWA a year ago)

 

2015-08-19 16.25.54A picture is worth a thousand words and, for a writer, sometimes a picture is worth a whole story – even a whole novel.

As internet connections, wifi and smart phones have gotten better, I’ve gone from totally forgetting to take photos – even on the most amazing holidays and events – to being a shutter-snapping fiend. I take hundreds and hundreds of photos when I go away on a holiday, and if there’s something that interests me, even at home, I take a gazillion shots of it. Of course the instant gratification of sharing a trip or an event with everyone one through Face Book or Twitter and enjoying their responses is added incentive. I admit having shamelessly sent piccies of everything from my fish and chips in Lyme Regis to the scars on my knees after surgery, from the courgettes I grew in my garden to the blisters on my hands from kettle bells. Dearie me! I have become the monster I most feared.

 

The thing about an image is that it evokes senses other than just sight. It also stimulates memory and emotion and, for a writer, it stimulates imagination. I think that, more than anything else, that fact is responsible for my increase in photo snapping. The image doesn’t have to be beautiful any longer as it did in my earlier shutter-snapping days. The 2015-08-19 16.32.42image needs to be evocative. That’s the key for me. I played around on Pinterest quite a bit at one point. Some of you
may recall I wrote a post about my Pinterest experience, but evocative images happen wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, and an iPhone guarantees that if I want to capture that image for later use, I can do it without a second thought.

 

Here are some examples of what I mean. These shots were taken in the men and women’s loos in a pub in Inverness Scotland. Hubby took the men’s room shots for me after I told him what I saw in the ladies. The hair straightener in the ladies room at a pound a pop got me thinking about Rapunzel sneaking out from her tower prison for a little fun with her girlfriends. After wild dancing at the ceilidh, she notices her do is gone all frizzy, but since she’s Rapunzel, she has so much hair that she runs out of pound coins and has to offer sexual favors to the woman who spends money on a variety of sex toys from the vending machine, which she uses on Rapulzel.2015-08-26 13.44.06

 

Meanwhile Prince Charming, who finds her missing from the tower pursues her to the pub. Feeling frustrated, he treats himself to a portable pussy and some whisky flavoured condoms just in case he finds her. Well you get where I’m going with this.

 

Here is a shot of a deserted phone booth on the Isle of Sky near our cottage. With no wifi and no phone signal it’s easy
to imagine a hiker getting lost and ending up on a small farmstead. In desperation, she tries the phone booth, but when the phone doesn’t work, she elicits the help of the farmer who lives there — a bit of a twist on the ole farmer’s daughter stories and jokes. Of course the farmer could be a woman…

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Or perhaps you’d like a biker story with a twist? I’ve got inspirational images for that too. How about instead of a biker bar, we set our little tale in a biker bakery. In our little bakery the chef makes the most delectable bake goods of all time. She is enticed into providing all the bread, biscuits and buns for the local biker
gang. What kind of deal would the head of the biker gang make with the curvy head baker/pastry chef to get a bargain on her delectable buns?

 

I love the great outdoors, so for me every great-outdoorsy shot is an inspiration for a little garden porn or fun Al fresco, I’ve written whole series inspired by outdoor images of mountains lost in the midst and caves visited by demons and witches. But the truth is that sometimes a beautiful image is just a beautiful image, and being just back from the Highlands, as I am, and being a captive audience, as you are, I’ll leave you with this lovely image from the Isle of Sky.

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Inspiration On the Hoof

The best walks, like the best writing, happen when I end up in places I never really expected to be places I didn’t even know were there. That’s exactly what happened this past Saturday. With plans to spend the afternoon in the British Museum, I tagged along with Raymond to Regent’s Park, where he does martial arts training every Saturday until early afternoon. We planned to grab a sandwich then catch the Sicily exhibit before it ended. I figured I might as well get some walking in, and Regent’s Park in July is a great place for a walk.

 

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I sometimes forget how amazing London parks can be for long walks, addicted to the countryside as I am, but that means that when I go back to London, when I just follow my nose and let my feet take me there, I find myself totally enthralled.

There were babies everywhere, and mums showing them off. I got some really up close and personal shots of a lovely mallard family:

 

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And a crèche of coots.

 

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I couldn’t really tell family groups, and coots and moorhens, like humans, have asynchronous hatchings, so the chicks vary in size.

 

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And of course there were plenty of human fledglings there as well. One delightful little girl, who looked to be maybe three or four, was prancing around the rose garden with her mum and dad sniffing roses as she went and actually commenting on the different scents or lack thereof. I didn’t take a piccie of her. Thought her parents might not appreciate that.

 

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Besides the fledglings, there were also some gorgeous grown-ups there as well. I only got shots of the feathered kind though. Didn’t want to be stalky. 🙂

 

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There were lovely little hide- holes and romantic waterfalls and lots of places to be inspired, as I let my feet take me deeper into the park

 

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As often is the case, I ended up thinking about nothing at all really, just inhabiting the space and moving through it at an observer’s pace. I’ve long believed that you never really get to know the soul of a place unless you explore it with your soles. For every little place I did explore, there were at least a dozen I had to pass up. Next time! … and the time after that …

 

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After awhile, I found that the hard exploring had left me in need of caffeine, so I got coffee with an extra shot (to keep me going) and thought I’d find a quiet place on the grass to sit and read. Didn’t happen. My coffee and I discovered the Regent’s Canal and the Jubilee Greenway! The canal is 13.8 kilometres long and is connected to the Grand Union Canal on one end and the River Thames on the other. I’m already envisioning more fabulous walks in my future.

 

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Apparently every summer when the weather heats up, there’s a bloom of green water plants. Couldn’t help but wonder if that’s why they called it the Greenway. But it did lend a very different ambience to the canal.

 

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BTW, that house there opposite the Tui, that’s my dream London writer’s retreat. Also I think it just might be the inspiration for a place Magda Gardener might have in London. The woman has cottages and flats everywhere, you know.

 

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I discovered the Regents Canal is an art gallery of sorts, with Dr. Manhattan looking rather thoughtful while enjoying a soft drink.

 

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I headed toward Camden Locks reminding myself that my time was limited. But promising myself I’d be back.

 

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Sadly I was a bit late for the market. Next time! The place was fascinating, but a bit to crowded for this introvert — especially when she’s trying to walk, so I turned back toward the park.

 

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Along the way I found this reminder that at one time the canal was for more than just fun, and it certainly was no fun for the horses!

 

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The best part of the canal on the Camden side of the park is there’s a wonderful mix of urban decay and pure romance. What more could a novelist ask of a good walk?

 

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I reached the point where the canal turns under a bridge and leads back past the zoo. The Chinese restaurant was tempting, if for nothing else its fabulous location!

 

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The canal meanders past the aviary of the zoo and while this isn’t my best photo, imagine my delight when I was greeted by a tree full of ibises … er ibi???

 

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Sadly I didn’t get as many photos on the zoo side of the canal because I was trying to cover as much distance as I could before it was time to meet Raymond. As much as I enjoyed the Sicily exhibit at the British Museum — and I do highly recommend it, from an inspirational point of view, at least for me, the walk was the best bit of my day. It was only a little niggle of a walk that demands more – lots more, but it left me feeling refreshed and open to the Muse and her big stick. Sometimes walking a story actually becomes just walking to open myself to what’s beyond the blinders I often wear as a writer focused on my work. Whether I’m walking the story or whether I’m walking to be renewed, from an author’s point of view, from a human point of view, a good walk never disappoints.

 

Writing Compost

 

7July growth
Spring is in the air at long last! The birds are getting amorous. It won’t be long till the bees will be out pollinating their little socks off. It’s that time of year. Yup, that very fecund, fertile time of year when a woman’s thoughts turn to … compost!

 

Yup! You heard me right. It’s time, once again, to give some serious thought to compost. Most of you know by now that I’m an avid veg gardener. I’ve flooded social media with images of ripe, succulent strawberries, flirtatiously phallic courgettes and full-bodied, mouthwatering sweet corn. I’ve told tales of the allotment – some of them dirtier than others, and I’ve even written a fair few sexy encounters that take
cucumber 17 aug 1mail.google.complace in veg gardens. Gardening is one of the topics I’m almost as enthusiastic about as I am writing. That’s not terribly surprising since the two are so philosophically compatible. So today, in honor of the beginning of Spring, I’m talking compost.

 

My husband and I inherited our first composter from the people who owned our house before us. We were suspicious of it at first and more than a little intimidated by it. It looked like a Rubbermaid Dalek casting a long menacing shadow across our back lawn. We’d heard that if we put egg shells and fruit and veg peels, cardboard and tea and coffee grounds in the top that in a few months, we could open the little door at the bottom and the myriad resident worms would have magically transformed all that garbage into rich luscious soil. Then all we’d have to do was
shovel all that organic loveliness out into our garden.

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I’ll admit, we were skeptical at first – I mean seriously – egg shells and veg peels in and rich, luscious compost out? I mean that’s just crazy talk, surely! Still, we did as instructed, every day adding coffee grounds and tea bags and other goodies worms and invertebrates love to chow down on. Then one day we took the plunge, slid open the door and there it was, all dark and rich and soft and warm, and smelling vaguely of citrus. We filled a couple of planters. We were planning to put in geraniums, but never got around to it. Several weeks later I noticed there were tomato plants coming up in the compost we had excavated. My mother used to call plants that came up where they weren’t planted volunteer and, sure enough, we had eight volunteer tomato plants, the result of seed not broken down in our strange compost-making Dalek.

 
We never did get our geraniums, but it didn’t really matter. Our eight tomato plants
yielded up their yummy fruit at the end of the summer, an unexpected, unintended First ripe toms 10 Aug 2013IMG00572-20130910-0951gift from our predecessors. The next year we actually dug a bed and planted corn and beans and squash. After that there was no looking back. Our one lone composter has been joined by three others, and twice a year we open the doors at the bottom and marvel at what an army of invertebrates can make from our kitchen waste.

 

The next year, as my sister and I shoveled bucket after bucketful of rich, loamy soil from our original battered, smudged composter and spread it in anticipation of the veg I’d be planting in May, I thought about how much writing is like composting. There are times when my efforts truly seem inspired. Those are the fabulously heady
times all writers live for and hope for, when every word shines the moment we write it down.

 

I would love it if everything I wrote would come forth fully formed and beautiful like Venus on the Half Shell, but more often than not my words are more like used teabags on an egg shell. More often than not, what I write is kitchen rubbish, the remnants of experiences already spent, the detritus of half-formed ideas that aren’t quite what I fantasized when they appeared so perfectly shaped in my imagination. Somehow they’ve turned to apple cores and coffee grounds by the time I manage to get them into words.

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My husband takes his lunch to the office, and he brings home his fruit peels and apple cores because he knows what they will become. He convinced the lady who
works at the office canteen to save the coffee grounds for him because he knows what the worms will magic them into in a few months’ time. It’s true, what we dig out of our composters is technically just worm poop. Oh, but it’s so rich, so fertile, so completely loaded with potential. My husband knows, as I know, what wonderfully succulent corn and tomatoes and green beans we’ll grow in that rich compost in a few months’ time.

 

Writing is no different. On the written page, the coffee grounds and apple cores of my everyday existence, the remnants of half formed thoughts, the grandiose ideas that didn’t quite have the magic on paper that they did in my minds’ eye will become compost, no matter how much they may seem like rubbish. Nothing can happen until I write those words down — no fermentation, no agitation, no digestion, no chemistry.

 

Writing imageBut once the ideas are words on the written page, the real process begins. I turn them and twist them and break them down and reform them until they become the rich luscious medium of story, until they are just the right consistency to grow organically
what my imagination couldn’t quite birth into the world in one shining Eureka
moment. It takes longer than Venus on the Half Shell, and it involves some hard work and some getting my hands dirty, and a whole lot of patience. But the end result is succulent and full bodied, organic and living. And my finger prints, my dirty mucky finger prints are all over it. It’s intimately and deeply my own, seeded in the compost of what I put down in a hurry, raised up in the richness of what I then cultivate with sustained, deliberate, sometimes desperate, effort. The result is achingly slow magic that lives and breathes in ways I could have never brought about, ways I could have never experienced in a less messy, less composty sort of way.

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 Happy Spring, everyone! May your compost be rich and your yields be fabulous.

 

Some Days I Just Need to Write Something

Dreams imageIMG_0347Some days I just need to write something, but I don’t know what. I want to write something, but everything in my brain is a jumble, a bit like picking raisins out of a scone. I’m looking for the tasty bits, the sweet bits, the bits that will take me by surprise and get my pulse thumping with thinking outside the box and letting the imagination run wild. Some days those things I want to write, those things I really need to write only show up in my mind when I’m walking or when I’m just going to sleep or when up to my elbows in dirty dishes, and I think I’ll write them right down in just a moment, just as soon as I can settle in front of the computer, and then they’re gone.

Those are the days I need to write something, but it’s not story, it’s not ideas for stories. Some days it’s just the detritus that builds up like a log jam in my head and needs to get out there on the page to release the pressure, to let the ideas flow again, move again, be at ease again, to just let me rest a bit. I used to keep a journal, but I seldom take time for a good long navel gaze anymore. I let my characters do the navel gazing for me. They can do it once removed and I can make them squirm instead of me. But some days they’re just not having it. Some days they’re taking time off and I have to sort it all myself. Rude of them! Inconsiderate of them, but there you go. It’s not in their job description, I guess.

The truth is that it is in my job description. It’s more than just in my job description. I think it might actually be in my DNA – in fact it quite possibly might be in most writers’ DNA – that desperate need to write something, to write anything to write EVERYTHING! We writers define our world and everything in it in words, sentences, paragraphs, collections of images that are only real to us, only live for us when
we’ve written them down, mulled over them, analyzed them, compared them with other written images and defined their meaning in our world of words and story. For us, it’s as though things only actually Writing pen and birds 1_xl_20156020become real once we’ve written them down. At least that’s how it is for me. The fact that I can write my
own reality into fiction makes it all even better, gives the life I live more dimension, more depth, more
color, with every character a facet of some experience, some connection, some thing that’s found its way into my psyche. In essence, I get to live over and over and over again, to experience my own life and those of everyone around me not only for real, but vicariously re-imagined, redefined and recreated multiple times in story as well.

I suppose that’s it in a nutshell, what I needed to write today — only that I needed to write something, only that I wanted the opportunity to share it with you, and now that I’ve written it, toyed with it, seen what it feels like, what it looks like on the page, I feel better.

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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