Jordan LaRousse and Samantha Sade talk about all things Oysters and Chocolate
I’m very excited to have two of my idols from the world of erotica on my blog today. Welcome, Jordan LaRousse and Samantha Sade of Oysters and Chocolate fame! As a Colorado girl myself – I grew up in North Park — I feel a real sense of camaraderie with the two of you. I adore the Oysters and Chocolate website, and I’m very excited to have you both on my blog.
KD: The list of writer’s in the Nice Girls Naughty Sex anthology reads like a who’s who in the erotica author’s hall of fame. What inspired the two of you to put together this yummy anthology, other than just having so many fab contributors to O&C, which says a great deal about the website, and the quality of fiction published there?
Jordan & Samantha: Ever since we began the Oysters & Chocolate website in 2005 it was a dream of ours to compile an erotic anthology. We actually envisioned a set of four anthologies, each corresponding to the four flavors on our site (Vanilla, Licorice Whips, Oysters, and Dirty Martini). It turns out publishers were more interested in all four flavors put together into one anthology. After compiling our first anthology in 2009 (Oysters & Chocolate: Erotic Stories of Every Flavor, Penguin Group), we were eager to do another one. They are just so much fun! When we got the opportunity to work with Seal Press, we jumped on it. Seal Press is a smaller publisher (smaller than Penguin, anyway) that is women-oriented – which is very cool.
We are super pleased to have well established writers like Donna George Storey and Rachel Kramer Bussel in the anthology mixed in with some new voices like Venerato Petronius and Julian Augustus Finisterre. We selected each of the 20 stories (out of hundreds of submissions) based on their “turn-on factor” and literary merit, as well as how well they flowed with the compilation as a whole. It’s not surprising that a lot of these stories come from talented and well-liked writers. Those writers are the best at what they do!
KD: O&C is a site designed for women, and as the market for women’s erotica grows, I wonder, what are the differences that you find most striking between what turns women on and what turns men on – based on your experiences at O&C.
Jordan & Samantha: Our original vision was to design a site that was “for women, by women,” because when we got into the industry in 2005 there was a serious lack of erotic/pornographic material geared towards the ladies out there. However, the industry has changed and a lot of people are entering the market with the same idea. At the same time, we noticed that we have a huge number of men who visit our site regularly, and we get some really good work from male writers. So our vision evolved from being exclusively women-centric to providing the best literary erotica we can get our dirty little paws on. Good sex is good sex and readers love to read. It turns out men and women are more similar than we think.
KD: What has been your most exciting moment in the history of O&C, if you had to choose just one? Okay, you can choose two if it’s a tough decision.J
Jordan & Samantha: It was definitely the day that we signed on with our amazing literary agent Emmanuelle Morgen. When we realized that she was really interested in helping us make our dreams of editing, writing, and publishing books come true. We were on a phone conference with her, and while our voices were playing it calm, cool and collected, we were both beaming ear to ear and giving quiet high fives to each other. When we hung up the phone we both fell to the floor screaming and laughing. Then we hurried to the bar and got drunk on cava.
KD: Having edited several books for O&C and published countless tantalizing works of erotic fiction and poetry on O&C, are there any trends you see developing in women’s erotica since the founding of O&C? Any major changes?
Jordan & Samantha: There is a lot more erotica out there now than there was ever before. We’ve seen the industry grow from a closeted, secret society to a more mainstream business. It’s exciting to watch it grow like this, and it’s thrilling to know that we are some of the pioneers that are working hard to give erotica the respect it deserves. There’s still a stigma that erotica is just “sex stories” and not literary, but we feel that is one of the things that is slowly changing. After all, good erotica should be given the same esteem that any other form of genre fiction receives, whether that’s mystery or sci-fi. We’re working our little butts off to bring sexy, literary masterpieces to the light of day. We’d like all erotica writers to be able to talk about their work at any old dinner party with pride and without blushing.
Along the same lines, we’ve watched the quality of erotica improve. When we began, we saw a lot more submissions with cliché situations and plots – similar to what one might read in the Penthouse Forum (not that the Forum doesn’t serve it’s own titillating purpose, but we were looking for well developed, incredibly sexy short stories, not confessional, scripted letters that start out, “I never thought this would ever happen to me, but…”). Now we see work that has such unique voice, great characterization, real creativity – and of course, amazingly hot sex.
KD: With so much quality erotica now available on the internet, and with more women writing and reading erotica of every flavor, do you think that it has narrowed the gap between what women find arousing and what men find arousing? Do you think the time will come when our gender will have nothing to do with what turns us on?
Jordan & Samantha: We’ve been delighted to discover that anyone who loves to read and loves to have sex is into the smart smut, whatever his or her gender. But yes, we’ve noticed that as both men and women read and write more, they give themselves permission to have more varied fantasies. It’s a natural progression that as they imagine different scenarios and experiences, their imaginations take them to more common sexual ground. For example, a woman may grow up thinking she should only be turned on by vanilla, straight sex – like what she might expect to experience in her marital bed. But when she starts reading a variety of erotica, she may realize that (gasp!) she is authentically aroused by the thought of penetrating a man with a strap-on (a traditionally male sexual act). Would she have ever known this had she not read erotica? She would probably have had an inkling of her true inner desires, but erotica is a safe and creative way to explore new sexual ideas and territories. It’s a way that both men and women can discover and enjoy their real sexual interests with no gender-identities attached. And yes, hopefully the time will come when we are no longer taught that what is sexy is linked to our gender, so that we can authentically just experience what turn us on.
KD: Plans in the works for another anthology?
Jordan and Samantha: Heck ya! We have several ideas percolating for our next anthologies. We hope that this is just the beginning. Putting together anthologies is an addictive and rewarding experience.
KD: What do the two of you do for fun when you’re not O&C-ing?
Jordan – as you well know Colorado is rich with the beauty of nature. I love to get out hiking in the summer and snowboarding in the winter. I grew up running barefoot in the woods with my red hair atangle, so being in the forest as an adult is still the place where I find my happiness. I also love eating at fancy restaurants with my two bestest friends, going on hot and sexy dates, or just chillin’, with my amazing boyfriend, snuggling and running with my two big dogs, and traveling the world with my awesome daughter. She and I just returned from a two week adventure in Israel. Holy moly!
Samantha – life is a crazy mess right now, so I’m finding fun in new places. I’m trying to learn how to cook, whether I’m successful or not is another question, but I’m loving making a mess of the kitchen, chopping away at vegetables with my new chef’s knife while pots overflow and things burn in the oven. I used to be in bed by 9, but now I’m enjoying spending time outside at night, gazing at the stars. And of course, there’s my favorite stand-by, cuddling up with a good book and a bottle of red wine (the good book is sometimes replaced with watching a whole slew of United States of Tara or Big Love episodes right in a row).
KD: How do you see O&C evolving in the future?
Jordan & Samantha: O&C constantly delights and surprises us with how she grows and stretches beyond our wildest dreams. We have ideas for a complete website redesign in the nearish future, which will reflect our new vision of literary erotica (vs. female-centric erotica). We also intend to put out a lot more books. Jordan is interested in getting back into the writing side of things and is working on an erotic novel as well as submitting several erotic short stories for publication. Samantha is thinking it might be time to begin an “In the Flesh” series (started by Rachel Kramer Bussel in NYC) right here in Denver. There’s always a new adventure waiting for us at O&C and we’re excited to see where it takes us next.
Thank YOU, Jordan and Samantha! It’s been a real treat for me to get to know both of you a little better! Best of luck with all the fab O/C-ness yet to come!
You can buy your copy of Nice Girls Naughty Sex here: http://www.amazon.com/Nice-Girls-Naughty-Sex-Erotic/dp/1580053432/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1300836324&sr=8-1