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Dr. Susana Mayer Talks about SenSexual: A Unique Anthology

Susana Mayer anthology pictureIt’s my pleasure to have Dr. Susana Mayer as my guest today. Susana Mayer, Ph.D is a sexuality consultant/educator, creator/host of the Erotic Literary Salon, and founder of the SenSexual Press. In addition to editing “SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013” she is presently working on her series, “The Ageless Sex Life™.” Dr. Mayer has a MPH and Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, is a board certified sexologist, a member of the American Academy of SexologistsAmerican Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS).

KD:  Welcome back to A Hopeful Romantic, Dr. Mayer. It’s a pleasure to have you here and with such exciting news. Could you tell my readers a little about SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013. What makes it so special.

SM: The anthology follows the blueprint of the Salon, all writings are of a sensual or sexual nature, and both fiction and non-fiction are represented. There is a treasury of short stories, anecdotes, essays, poems, diaries, memoirs, letters, emails and sextings, along with a generous selection of styles, settings, characters and intensity, plus backstories to accompany each piece.

KD: I understand that the anthologies – there are two volumes, am I correct– are dedicated to Dr. Frances Seidman, who is a psychologist and was the head of a distinguished family and marriage clinic for over 30 years. Dr. Seidman first started writing erotica at 91, specifically for the Erotic Literary Salon founded in 2008, which is totally astounding! How did you come to know Dr. Seidman?

SM: The story is long, probably another books worth. The short story – my mother introduced us in the late 1990’s and soon after my mom died unexpectedly and Frances’ husband, of 64 years, died after suffering with cancer for several years. We connected via email when she missed my mother during their winter months together, snowbirding in Florida. We have been together for the past 10 years, except in the winter, when she continues to travel south for warmth.

KD: Could you tell us a little bit about Dr. Seidman’s wonderful reading of Go the Fok to Sleep (Here is the Youtube link) It must have been amazing to have seen her read it live at the Erotic Literary Salon.

SM: In the summer of 2011 I had shared Adam Mansbach’s book with her. She immediately said she wanted to read it at the Salon. The audience loved her reading and I contacted the author for permission to tape. He gave it most gladly and apologized for not attending, since he had since moved from Philadelphia to California. When she return in 2012, we taped the reading and once again the attendees responded with great laughter.

KD: Dare I ask, what’s your favourite part of the anthology?

SM: No favorite part, just the fact that my dream of creating one when I first started the Salon actually came to fruition. It is such an unusual anthology so I wasn’t certain how people would respond. So far all the reviews have been stellar.

KD: I’m once again seeing this wonderfully delicious term, which you coined, SenSexual – such a celebratory term for embracing of our sexuality. Could you explain the term to our readers and tell us how it came about.

SM: I was tired of the pornography/erotica debate. As I stated in the book, “Why “sensexual”? It’s a sensual, sexy new term that bypasses all the old judgments around divisive labels like “erotica” and “pornography.” Pornography usually conjures up negative judgments, while erotica, a more toned-down term, is most often equated with sexual material for women. The subjective line between erotica and pornography is personal, temporal and culturally prescribed, and “sensexual” breaks down this boundary.”

KD: The lovely press release you sent me about the SenSensual anthologies had this to say about Dr. Seidman’s association with The Erotic Literary Salon. Individuals attending the Salon have said her mere presence gave them permission to feel comfortable with erotica. Her writings will most likely do the same for people who have shame or guilt regarding verbal turn-ons. That’s a major part of The Erotic Literary Salon, and clearly Dr. Seidman’s and your mission, isn’t it? Could you talk a little bit about how that’s being achieved at ELS, and with the anthologies.

SM: The Salon means so many things to so many people. The writers/readers that present at the Salon often share their most intimate journals and sex memoirs. A few work out their traumatic sexual experiences, others share their glowing memories. Then there are the fiction writers who are honing their skills and hoping for publication. The attendees who come to enjoy and applaud play a huge role in supporting the readers. We even have a ritual where all ‘virgin’ readers get a round of applause even before they speak, just to lesson their nerves a bit.

The mere presence of the Salon gives people the opportunity to share and I often have people tell me how grateful they are for this comfortable, safe space. One many even called me “courageous.” Until the original cover of my book was recently blocked by Amazon and prweb I foolishly didn’t realize censorship still exists.

Dr. Seidman’s reason for reading is more of a personal challenge. Initially she just wanted to share one story to say that she did it, could do it, and to support me. Now she challenges herself to write, since she never considered herself a writer and certainly not of erotica. At 96 she is still working on the next story, a recent date with a man in his mid-60’s. She wants to have something to read when she returns in May, and the attendees are already asking when she will be back up north. They love her honesty and hope she represents, hope of possibility, that 96 might be chronologically old but does not have to be spiritually old. The anthology ends with her words regarding the question often asked of her, ” What is My (her) Secret.?”

KD: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, Dr. Mayer, and how the Erotic Literary Salon came to be. Those of us outside Philadelphia are very jealous.

SM: I came to my title late in life. In 2009 I received my Ph.D., reinventing myself as a sexologist; retirement is just not a part of my vocabulary. The Salon was an outgrowth of my studies, looking for various catalysts that women could use to spark their libidos.

KD: The Erotic Literary Salon has recently established the SenSexual Press. Could you tell us a little bit about it and about its plans and goals?

SM: The Sensexual Press was founded specifically to publish the anthology. But then I realized there are a lot of gifted writers that don’t fall Susana Mayer image psyche eroshighres_6293902into the typical erotica categories and they also need a vehicle for their voice. Hopefully within the next few years you will be able to read some of the words of these atypical writers.

KD: As I looked down through the list of contributors and excerpts from the SenSexual Anthology, I couldn’t help noticing how diverse the list is and that there are works by writers from all over. Is there any way writers who don’t live in Philadelphia participate in the Erotic Literary Salon?

SM: Philadelphia is a gem of a city and the Salon is a wonderful excuse to visit. But if that is not a possibility, at this time I’m working on ways to share the Salon internationally. Keep reading my (almost) daily blog or subscribe to my bi-monthly newsletter for up to date information on my progress. If this copy of “SenSexual” sells well I will put out another call for submissions, which will also be mentioned in blog and newsletter. You can also send me your piece to have read at the Salon. Must be less than 5 minutes in length. What is unique about the Salon – I censor nothing.

KD: Thank you, Dr. Mayer, for stopping by. It’s good to have you back.

*****

SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013 is a treasury of steamy, provocative, authentic works, bound to challenge stereotypes and expand the readers’ literary and erotic horizons. Susana Mayer, Ph.D., delivers for the first time in print, the same mix of soul-stirring, edgy, brazen writings, along with the authors’ illuminating backstories and her occasional revealing commentaries that have lead to raucous laughter, unabashed tears and occasional squirming at her long running Erotic Literary Salon in Philadelphia. http://www.theEroticliterarysalon.com

Fifty authors have contributed tender memories of love, spirited sex and spicy communications to this exceptional two-volume anthology, transporting the reader through heart-pounding, seductive, occasionally kinky works to celebrate the diversity of sexual fascinations and desires. The generous selection of styles, settings, characters and intensity can act as a catalyst for couples to share their erotic fantasies and explore their sexual expressions. Individuals will also have the opportunity to discover what turns them on verbally.

SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013 takes people beyond Fifty Shades of Grey. Dr. Susana Mayer, sexologist (The Ageless Sex Life™), founder and host of the Erotic Literary Salon, and editor of this text, recommends both men and women share this book with their intimate partner, friends and book club members. It will spark a conversation or discussion that will range from entertaining to life-changing.

SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013 Kindle ebook available now on Amazon.com

 SenSexual: A Unique Anthology 2013 Kindle ebook available now on  Amazon.co.uk

Free Kindle app for all electronic devices, available on Amazon

You can follow more of Dr, Mayer’s work and passions on Facebook, Twitter, and on her websites:

www.theEroticliterarysalon.com

www.SusanaMayer.com 

www.SenSexualPress.com

*****

Excerpts:

 Gwen Masters: White

… the rush matched the way he made her feel when he did that one little thing he liked to do between her legs, that one sweet motion that sent her to the moon and back….

 

Rachel Fogletto: Distracted

You are inappropriate

I’m at my job and I’m trying to focus on completing paperwork

And the thought of fucking you is more distracting than my hangover, my…

 

Sharazade: Next

…He smiled at her, and she smiled back weakly. “I’m sorry,” she apologized. “I think I’m finished.”

His smile took on a wicked edge. “Finished? Oh, hardly….”

 

I.G. Frederick: Leather Love

The sound of leather slapping against

flesh is an aphrodisiac that

makes me wet in anticipation…

 

Riccardo Berra: It’s So Much Easier When You’re Away

…She pushes me down and straddles me. Her hand flutters between my legs. Touching me everywhere. Like a solitary traveler asleep on a long journey, I awaken to discover that I’ve reached my destination with no memory that time has passed….

 

M/ Lilii – Black Dahlia Creative: (267) XXX-XXXX- mobile

She: How are you today? 2:58 PM

He: Only laying around thinking of ways to make u moan the loudest 3:02 PM

 

Liz Adams: The Artist

She pinched her nipples and bolts of electricity shot straight between her thighs. She placed a hand there and felt herself dripping, eager to be filled….

 

 

 

 

 

Someone Once Told Me: Mario Cacciottolo Wants to Know

One of the highlights of Eroticon 2013 was meeting Mario Cacciottolo and learning all about his amazing Someone Once Told Me project. Within minutes of meeting him, I was completely intrigued. Mario’s work is fun, quirky, moving, sometimes chilling, and I’m very excited that he consented to be interviewed for a Hopeful Romantic. Welcome Mario!

KD: First of all, welcome to a Hopeful Romantic, Mario! It’s a pleasure to have you here. Could you start off by telling my readers a little about the Someone Once Told Me project and what inspired it?

MC: I’m very interested in storytelling – always have been. About six years ago I picked up a camera and decided I wanted to get into portrait MarioTaofeeq Adeyemi This Onephotography in particular. Then, one day, I had a thought – how about I use one to do the other? As in, use my camera as a way of getting people’s story out of them, in a very specific way?

Someone Once Told Me (SOTM) sees me ask people to hold up a sketchbook on which they’ve written something memorable that someone once told them. It can be anything, so long as it came from someone else.

I take a picture of them doing so and there’s a new image that goes up on my website every day, with all the previous ones available in a gallery. The subject also explains the story behind why that phrase was said, who said it to them and what their reaction was to hearing those words. The story is written alongside their image – I often use audio to capture people’s stories also.

I’ve had a new image up every day since 8 Sept 2007 and from early June will be travelling for a year around the world, taking many such images, using social media to help me drum up new subjects.

I’m looking for all sorts of people to photograph, all around the world, from different backgrounds and nationalities. The one thing I’ll be asking them is – what’s the most memorable thing you’ve ever been told?

KD: As a writer, I’m always trying to convey an image with my words so that people ‘get the picture.’ Do you find that as a photographer who works with images, is the opposite true? Are you always trying to convey a story?

MC: It’s best if you can do that, for sure. I believe that the most powerful form of photography is one that has a narrative attached, even one that’s implied – if you see an image and your brain starts fizzing, wondering what’s going on with those you can see frozen in time, then that is the best use of photography. I am being quite blunt in getting people to write down a phrase in my photos, leaving only a certain amount to the imagination, but there is room for the viewer to wonder just what it’s all about, before they can read the blurb beneath and find out the story around that person’s choice of quote.

SOTM is quite simple, but it’s powerful and interesting, and the best ideas are the simple ones.

KD: Mario, you do a new picture and a new story every day for your website. How hard is it to keep that up? What do you find the most MarioRachel Wood This Onechallenging?

MC: Well, I’ve had to be quite obsessive about it. I’ve never missed having a new photo up every day for what will be six years in September – so that’s more than 2,000 consecutive days now.

I upload seven images every Friday, and they go live automatically each morning in the UK. I just ask, ask, ask people to pose, all the time. I’ve had a few hundred SOTMs sent in to me, which can be done through the site, and I am just always on the lookout. I went to a party the other day, and while everyone else was enjoying a drink and some banter, I never stopped the whole time – asking people, taking photos, looking for new locations in a small flat, recording their stories, talking to the subjects afterwards. By the time I finished, it was time to go home. I’ve done that on more occasions than I can remember.

I’ve taken 5 hour train journeys to visit students on freezing piers, travelled to businesses and charities to photograph their staff on my days off, hung around in the rain at tube stations to get individual shots, and asked all my friends and their friends to take part. I’ve just never stopped asking. When I split with one of my ex-girlfriends, saying I didn’t have much spare time, she said: “It’s nice to know I’m not as important as a website.”

KD: What do you find most rewarding about the Someone Once Told Me project?

MC: Getting personal stories from people when I don’t know them at all. Sometimes I get them very quickly, too. That’s a huge compliment to SOTM and I’m so thrilled that many people like my little idea so much that that they reveal something personal, sometimes painful, about themselves – to someone they don’t know at all.

I’ve had sons tell me what their father said upon their deathbed, and what ex-husbands have told their (tearful) wives. I’ve had a young woman say how much it hurts when their sister calls them fat, and a man from Tasmania talk about what happened during a threesome he was having once.

I also had a student reveal that he was once beaten up by a group of men who then told him: “Oh my God, we got the wrong guy” before giving him a lift home as an apology. He told me that story within 30 seconds of us meeting for the first time – his astonished friends had no idea this had ever happened.

KD: I’m dying to hear all about your upcoming world tour! 23 countries and 1,000 people! And I hear that people everywhere can get involved. Tell us all about it!

MC: I’ve always wanted to travel the world. Even as a boy, growing up on the tiny island of Malta, I used to spread maps on the wall and look at them, wondering what they were like in real life. Years later, when I was fully into the SOTM idea, I knew I couldn’t just end it one day, quietly. While lots of people have submitted photographs to me, I wanted to reach out to them by visiting as many countries as I could, approaching all sorts of people, getting them to tell a story from their lives. So now that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

MarioNick Astaire This OneI’m travelling through Europe, over to Cairo, then South Africa, Dubai, Japan, China and will spend a few months in South Asia, hitting countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and Bangladesh. Then I’ll go to the Philippines and Australia, before flying up to the US and doing a tour there for a couple of months. I’ll return to the UK in May 2014.

I’m looking for as many people as possible to take part in the SOTM world tour. I need people to meet and photograph, places to stay for a few days, people with media connections so I can drum up publicity, volunteers to help translate a sheet of paper that I’ll carry around, explaining just what it is I’m doing.

The initial announcement can be found here SOTM Tour I’ve since tweaked the itinerary, so the more recent updates on my blog, which runs alongside SOTM, will have the latest destinations.

And of course, if you’re not going to be near my travels but want to take part in SOTM, either as a subject or a photographer, you can easily submit a photo through the Your SOTM page on the site. It always buzzes me out for the day whenever someone sends a photo in to me, and shares a story of theirs.

KD: Can you tell us about the Sketchpad sponsorships?

MC: I have used many sketchbooks since SOTM began, turning more than 1,500 pages myself as I’ve taken photographs for the site. I’m now aiming to take 1,000 people’s images, which will mean at least that same number of sketchbook pages will feature on the site in future.

I’m offering people the opportunity to sponsor the sketchbooks that I’ll use. People can do individual months, or blocks of months. I’ve never put my sketchbooks up for sponsorship before, so it’s an exciting opportunity for all concerned.

KD: Can you tell us about the SOTM app from which, I believe all profits from the downloads go to the Operation Smile charity.

MC: I paid for the app myself and decided to give all the profits from it to Operation Smile, which operates on children with cleft palates. I think they do great work and if you point a camera at someone, you often tell them to smile. It must be terrible not to be able to smile properly.

The app, which is for the iPhone, allows the user to take a photo and place a digital scrap of paper over that image. You can then type out the subject’s SOTM message and story then email the whole thing to me, all from your phone. And you’ll do your bit for charity by downloading the app, too.

KD: What was the most shocking thing anyone ever wrote on your sketchpad?

MC: I’ve had one girl admit she was subject to an attempted rape by someone in charge of her school overseas trip, whom she then had to sit next to on the flight home.

I checked that she was ok for me to use the story and image – neither of which identify her – and the image went up.

Another, very powerful shot, tells the story of how a man broke up with a young woman, using words I’ve heard myself, as a lot of people have, I think. It’s quite a raw, emotive image and I can’t look at it for too long.

The saddest story is from a young woman who I met through Twitter and had a coffee with in Camden, London one day. We took her photo MarioEmilie Stammers This Onenext to the freezing lock and I thought nothing more of it. A few weeks later her friend emailed me to say she’d killed herself. I checked with her father about using her image, and it went up on the site, as did his email reply to me. Very, very tragic.

KD: Mario, you have a way of setting people at ease and making them feel like they’ve always known you. Have any of your impromptu conversations and photo sessions led to lasting friendships?

MC: That’s very kind of you! I was lucky enough to be raised in Malta, which is a very warm, friendly place and that’s never left me. Also, I love what I do and I love getting stories from people – that, above all, drives SOTM for me. So when I get to talk to people I want to – have to – win them over so that they will feel comfortable sharing something personal with me. I want them to feel like they can trust me with their story, and that I’ll take good care of it. People often say “oh, my story isn’t very good” but quite often it is really interesting. People just worry about coming up with something seriously profound, or hysterically funny, but so long as they’re honest, that’s what’s most important.

I have made friends, good friends and even got lucky once or twice over the years that I’ve done SOTM, so it’s been a wonderful, life-enriching experience for me. And now I’m going to take it around the world.

KD: We are all shaped by the things that someone once told us. The words we hear impact on us, whether we want them to or not, and it’s undeniable that they have a power.

Mario, this is from your website, and as a lover of words, I was very much struck by it. Words do definitely have power, so I have to ask you, what did someone once tell you that you would write on your sketch pad if I were taking a photo, and what’s the story behind it?

MC: I don’t know when SOTM will end, but if/when it does, the last ever image will be mine.

Until that time, I’m compiling a shortlist – I do have a current number one quote, but I’m keeping that a secret. Whatever I finally choose as my own SOTM, I’ll have it tattooed on me.

I can tell you that a Lebanese man I once interviewed for work – I’m a journalist – told me: “I used to sniff cocaine with Osama bin Laden in a nightclub toilet in London.”

Also, I once asked a female colleague how she was, and she replied: “I’ve left my husband and I’ve got a stalker.”

And a woman I spoke to said she once had a job cold-calling people. She asked if she could speak to a particular woman but her husband replied: “No you bloody well can’t. She’s run off with a black man.”

KD: Thanks so much for stopping by, Mario! It’s been a real pleasure chatting with you. Best of luck on your world tour! I can’t wait to see the piccies!

 

Lexie Bay and Doug, Passionate Partners on the Wild Side

passionatepartners

What better time for a Passionate Partners interview than on Valentine’s Day? The first time I heard the very talented Lexie Bay read at Sh!, the whole audience was enthralled. But there was one man sitting in the crowd who looked like his smile was about to burst his face. He had proud partner written all over him. That was Lexie’s lovely Other Half, Doug. Since then I’ve had many opportunities to enjoy the company of these Passionate Partners and the love and adoration between the two is vibrant. It was a no-brainer asking them to be my guests on Passionate Partners, so happy Valentine’s Day, and welcome, Lexie Bay and Doug, Sparky Cab, Bay!

LExie and Doug PPand LexieLexie’s Bio: Lexie started writing to immerse herself in a fantasy world where women are adored and men fall at their feet.  Then she realised that sometimes men do that so you can stomp all over them in your sexy stiletto boots and since then she’s been creating stories that stay true to her original romantic dream while exploring the erotic, the kinky and the downright filthy.  She finally found the courage to unleash them onto the world and now writes about anything that emerges from the murky depths of her imagination, anytime she can.

In typical romantic author style she lives with her husband and two daughters in a house by the sea on the south coast of England, but then spoils the image by working in the accounts office of an insurance company by day.  She loves chocolate, theme parks, cosy winter Sundays and the smell of fresh sweat on a hot guy. Her dream is to write full time and she could die happy if people fell in love with her work as much as she falls in love with her characters.

Doug’s Bio: Doug has spent a lot of time getting tattoos, riding bikes – including a gorgeous Harley Davidson Road King – driving too fast and generally being a bit of a wild child in his younger days. Then he met Lexie and nothing changed! Nowadays he works as a cab driver and helps look after their two girls. He can cook, clean, fix stuff and is a genius painter and decorator with a hint of Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen when it comes to interior design. But he still collects tattoos and loves the naughty side of life that comes with being married to an erotica writer. He also likes to take the stress out of his life on his balls; golf balls that is!

LExie and doug PPme and doug elfKD:  Lexie and Doug, one of the things that struck me about the two of you when I first met you was how proud Doug was of your writing, Lexie, and how he always seemed to be promoting you. That convinced me right on the spot that I was witnessing another one of those passionate partnerships in the promoting and celebration of sexuality through erotica. How did that journey begin, and has it always been a team effort?

Lexie: Funnily enough it was Doug that first persuaded me to send in one of my stories. I’ve been writing for years to entertain myself and as a way to indulge my creative side in amongst the sensible side of my life. We’ve always been interested in experimenting, reading and watching erotic things together and he asked why I didn’t write some stories myself. Doug has always been my biggest fan and supporter and he gives me the confidence to keep going even when I think I’ll never get any further with it!

Doug: I had never read any of Lexie’s stories until we discussed sending them off to be published but I knew that she enjoyed writing and I knew that she had a very filthy imagination! I always knew that she would be successful, and I do anything I can to help her fulfil her dream.

KD: Lexie, what does Doug do to help your writing career that you appreciate more than anything else?

Lexie: Doug’s biggest contribution is the fact that he works nights a lot which gives me the space and peace to write. I work all day and then I don’t get into trouble for working all night as he is out in the taxi. Doug is also amazing at doing things around the house, like cooking, tidying, hoovering and sorting out the kids, which leaves me more time to think about story lines and write. He also tells me all the time to quit my job and write full time but so far I think I would feel too guilty to actually do it and let him do all the hard work while I indulge myself in my writing.

KD: Doug, what, so far (knowing that there are lots more such moments ahead) has been the moment in Lexie’s writing career when you’ve been the most proud of her?

Doug: I get the biggest rush when I see her stories in paperback. I remember when the author copies of Immoral Views were delivered and how excited she was to see her story in an actual book for the first time. Another big moment was when she got short listed for the Black Lace/You Magazine competition. She was so excited and I was so proud of her. It’s always fun when people ask her to sign copies of her books too, and I love watching her read when we go to Sh!

KD: What has been the craziest experience you’ve shared in your mutual journey through erotica?

Lexie and Doug PPgaga and slashLexie: We’ve had some amazing experiences since I started writing erotica. We’ve met some incredible people, been to some fantastic places and that doesn’t show any sign of letting up. One of my favourite nights was the Sh! party at the Café de Paris, and we both love going to the party nights at the Sh! shop. Not much can top watching Renee giving a demonstration of how to spank/whip correctly while drinking pink fizz and eating cupcakes. I love the things my writing allows us to do.

Doug: One of my favourite moments was chatting to Tempest Rose and the other girls from the House of Burlesque at the theatre in Eastbourne after their show. There were queues of guys waiting to speak to them and Tempest recognised us and came over to chat. How jealous was everyone?!

KD: Doug, once Lexie begins a new story, how involved are you in the process? What do you consider your most important role when she’s with the Muse?

Doug: I don’t really get involved, but I guess my role when she’s creating is to keep out of the way! Sometimes she will ask me if I think a scene will work and we do talk about how the characters might react to different things, but my role is to keep things going behind the scenes, especially if she has a deadline looming.

KD: What’s the hardest part of the Lexie/Doug working partnership?

Lexie: I think the hardest part is that when I’m immersed in a story I can be a bit single minded and when I don’t get time to write I can be really grumpy. I get so involved in my characters that they become my life and if Doug isn’t as romantic as my leading man he can find himself in the dog house without knowing why!

Doug: I find it hard when Lexie is immersed in a story because she ignores me. It’s almost like being married to two women.

KD: What’s the best part?

Lexie and doug PPWedding 3Lexie: The best part is that when I’m thinking about sex all the time, it does wonders for our sex life. I wouldn’t say that I try out scenes on him but it does often give me ideas for things we could get up to! Also, when I write I’m happy and when I’m happy (like Bagpuss) everyone else is happy. There is nothing like the rush of having a story accepted and Doug is always there to celebrate with me.

Doug: The best part is seeing how happy Lexie is when she gets a story accepted, as well as getting to meet all the other people involved in the industry and going to all the amazing parties.

KD: What’s the best advice the two of you can offer to make that strange and wonderful relationship between erotica writers and their partners run smoother?

L&D: Make sure you support each other and remember that the stories aren’t real but the fantasies can be!

KD: That’s fabulous advice! Tell us something about the Lexie and Doug Team that might really surprise us.

Lexie: We’re really very normal and to look at us you wouldn’t dream of what we get up to some weekends when we hotfoot it up to London to play “erotica writer” with our naughty friends. We work hard, we’re raising two young girls with all the dramas that that brings and we spend a lot of time making each other laugh. I suppose one of the big things in our relationship is the ability to laugh at all the crap life throws at you. We’ve been through some major dramas in the ten years we’ve been together but we’ve managed to get through it all with a lot of love and a lot of laughs.

KD: Lexie, what’s the Muse had you up to lately, and what yumminess should we be keeping an eye out for from Lexie Bay?

Lexie: I’ve got a story coming out that I’m really proud of. I feel as though this year my writing is starting to really gel and I’m starting to find my writing style. I love this one so much. It’s called “Decadent Velvet” and I wrote it for the “Smut for Chocoholics” anthology that Sexy Reads has got coming soon.

LExie and Doug PP7DS_LexieBay(1)As well as that I’ve got three novellas that I am trying to finish and hopefully submit somewhere. The first is the back story to the short that got me shortlisted for the Black Lace competition at the start of the year. I enjoyed writing that one so much that I just had to put all the background into it. It’s about an ambitious young woman who falls for a guy who turns out not only to be her new boss but who also has a lot more issues than she bargained for and a much more exciting side than she could ever have imagined. This is my first attempt at a bit of BDSM so I’m a bit nervous about doing it justice.

The second is about two brothers and the girl that they both love. It’s a bit darker than I would normally write and it’s a very intense story. I’ve been batting ideas around for this one since I started writing erotica and I’ve decided that this year I’m actually going to finish it and hopefully get it out for people to read.

The last one is a supernatural story about a Succubus and her messed up family. It’s also a bit dark but it’s full of lighter moments and it was inspired by a really funny guy I was friends with a year or so ago. His take on life made me giggle and I wanted to write something that would capture his humour.

On top of all of that I’m busy promoting my latest story “An Indolent Seduction” which is the story of Sloth from “Seven Deadly Sins” published by Sweetmeats Press. It’s out in e-book and paperback and you can get it from:

Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Seven-Deadly-Sins-K-Grace/dp/1909181080/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1360538323&sr=8-3

WH Smiths http://www.whsmith.co.uk/EProducts/Seven-Deadly-Sins+eBook+KB00106214637

Waterstones http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/lexie+bay/k-+d-+grace/rebecca+bond/kojo+black/john+lachatte/seven+deadly+sins/9514507/

LExie and Doug PPSeven Deadly Sins LargeBlurb: When the demon of Sloth sets his sights on the angel Industria, apathy becomes dangerously alluring.

Excerpt from An Indolent Seduction by Lexie Bay:

Cordy’s mobile rang and he picked it up frowning. What the hell did Hugo want? He put his hand on the girl in his lap’s head, halting her vigorous blow job for a moment as he answered the phone.

“What is it Hugo, I’m taking some time out of my busy schedule?” Cordy snapped

“Right, yah, sorry boss, still learning the ropes. I think this is pretty important though.”

Cordy tapped the girl on the head, indicating that she should carry on her task. She smiled up at him, languidly running her tongue over her lips before she slid his cock back into her mouth. He stifled a groan as Hugo carried on.

“They did fucking what?!”

He pushed the blonde out of his lap and jumped up, tucking himself back into his trousers. Storming over to his laptop he clicked onto his website. Hugo wasn’t lying; there it was in black and white. “Website removed”

Cordy knew exactly who was behind this. He’d put up with a lot from her but this was the final straw. He ran his fingers through his hair, pacing the floor of his office as his mind worked overtime. Then a slow smile spread across his face and heaven felt a cold wind, spreading a chill across all the virtues.

“Get it up and running again, I don’t care who you need to involve. I want it accessible again by the end of the day if not sooner,” he barked into his phone, not even listening to Hugo as he answered him. He snapped his phone shut and turned to the pretty blonde, wondering how quickly he could get rid of her. He needed to plan his revenge and she was a distraction he didn’t need. Unfortunately she looked like she’d had way too much of whatever it was she’d brought with her, mixed with too many glasses of champagne. She was smiling at him and he was fairly certain he wasn’t going to get away with telling her to go.

*****

Lexie is published by House of Erotica and Sweetmeats Press and you can find out more about her at:

http://www.lexiebay.co.uk

http://www.twitter.com/Lexie_Bay

http://www.facebook.com/LexieBayAuthor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eroticon 2013 Double the Fun, Double the Experience

Eroticon 2013 image320924_325293390909026_2122801621_nKD: I’m so excited! The second annual Eroticon is coming up soon! This year it’ll be in London, and this year it’ll be twice the fun because it’s two days instead of one – March 2-3. Make sure you have those dates down. I elbowed my way right in to make sure I had the chance to interview the founder, and the heart and soul of Eroticon, the astounding Ruby Kiddell! Welcome, Ruby! It’s lovely to have you here again.

Other than the double the fun, can you tell us what major differences people can expect at this year’s Eroticon?

RK: Hi KD, thank you for having me here again to talk about Eroticon, two days, I must be mad, but you all wanted more so you’re getting more!

The main difference this year is a greater breadth of content to include sex education, sex work, pornography and to hear voices from different communities.

I also wanted to have a very strong creative core for the conference, so this year there are five creative writing sessions and two photography sessions.

KD: Is there anything about this year’s Eroticon that you’re particularly excited about?

RK: I am very proud to have extended our relationship with the sexual health charity Brook to have them as our charity of the year.  They will be presenting the opening plenary and will have staff on hand to talk with delegates about their work and how people can support it via their blogs and in their communities and a donation of £2 from every ticket sale will be going to the charity.

KD: Ruby, I asked this question last year, but I know my readers will want to know, what exactly inspired Eroticon? And could you give us a brief history of that spark of inspiration until now, especially after last year’s phenomenal success.

RK: Eroticon was originally inspired by Cybermummy, a conference for parent bloggers founded by Sian To (@geekisnewchic) I knew that Molly (@mollysdailykiss) was going along with a few other bloggers who wrote erotica or had adult orientated blogs as well as family blogs. I just put those two ideas together and felt that there needed to be an event where people could come and discuss the craft of writing and blogging without fearing judgment of their content.

KD: With one Eroticon under your belt and the second one promising to be even more fabulous, what lessons have you learned? What will you NOT do again, and what is a definite MORE, PLEASE?

RK: The main thing I try to focus on is delivery great content.  It is nice to have a fantastic venue and interesting sponsors, but to create an event that people want to come back to year after year requires delivering outstanding content from inspirational speakers.

Future plans include Eroticon USA as well as looking at doing shorter regional workshop days and perhaps some retreats.

KD: Ruby, I know you keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the blogging world as well as the sex writing world, fictional and otherwise, what major changes have you noticed, if any, since last year?

RK: Ah you flatter me, I like it! There has been a massive surge of interest in erotica and sex toys over the last year due to the success of Fifty Shades of Grey and a lot of products lines and imprints have been launched to ride that wave and to reach out to the “new” mainstream audience.

Companies have reached out to bloggers in other communities to review sex toys and books which has been great for people feeling more comfortable about writing and talking about sex.

The avant guarde have also responded with new independent presses being launched with a focus on literary fiction.

In the next year or so I think we’re going to see more adult companies investing in blogger outreach which means sex bloggers are going to have to become more aware of legal issues around advertising and promotions.

I think we’re going to see G+ become increasingly important as a social network and marketing tool.  I’m already looking at how we can integrate G+ into the delivery of conference content.  If you’re on G+ you can find the Eroticon page here > https://plus.google.com/b/114786608373042130890/114786608373042130890/posts

KD: I hate to ask, but I feel like I have to under the circumstances, what effect, if any, has the meteoric success of Fifty Shades of Grey had on the planning and scheming of Eroticon 2013?

RK: In some ways Eroticon is immune to it, last year Eroticon 2012 happened just before Fifty Shades really impacted in the UK and by this March the fuss will have mostly passed.  It has made it easier to talk to mainstream publishers about the conference however their eye is on the mainstream audience of readers rather on those of us that already know how brilliant and fun erotica is.

KD: What surprised you most about the response to Eroticon 2012?

RK: That people felt such a powerful sense of belonging and ownership of the conference. I had worried I’d invented the need for it and no-one would turn up or that people would come and not enjoy it.  Fortunately the response was overwhelming and that proved that there is a need for this event, which was very humbling.

KD: What do people who are interested in participating in Eroticon 2013 need to do, and what can they expect?

RK: If people want to come, they need to buy a ticket.  Day tickets are £90 and weekend tickets are £150, this includes all refreshments and lunch.

The venue is a closed venue which we have to ourselves for the full weekend, this is to protect those that wish to attend anonymously and it means we can relax and be ourselves.

They can expect an amazing weekend of inspiration and fun.  It will be hectic, challenging and exhausting. There will also be sex toys!

Head over here to register > http://writesexright.com/eroticon-2013/registration/

The schedule is here > http://writesexright.com/eroticon-2013/eroticon-schedule/

If anyone has any questions about tickets or the conference they can email me at info@writesexright.com

KD: Anything else you’d like to add.

RK: Only my thanks for having me to visit again and that I’m looking forward to seeing you and all the other Eroticon-ers in March!

KD: Thanks so much for stopping by, Ruby. Always a pleasure to have you. I’m very much looking forward to Eroticon 2013, and for anyone who doesn’t yet have tickets, you know what to do. See you there!

 

An Interview with Chris Unity Bowness Part 2

Welcome back for the second half of my interview with the amazing Chris Unity Bowness. I had the pleasure of meeting Chris on FaceBook about six months ago, I think it was, and almost immediately I began to scheme getting him onto my site as a guest. After some long conversations and some planning and and talking about how we wanted to approach the interview, I’m very glad to welcome Chris to my site for the second part of our interview celebrating sexuality in relationship. Welcome back, Chris, and thanks for joining me!

KD: Recently I’ve begun a series on my blog called Passionate Partners, discussing how partners not only cope, but play a vital role in the careers of erotic writers, and I know from some of our discussions that your wife plays a very vital role in your work. Could you share just a little bit about that relationship?

Chris: From the very outset of our relationship Caroline was sex positive viewing sex, nudity and exploration as a natural ingrained part of life. Rather than it having to be scheduled, discussed and tiptoed around, the usual awkwardness was taken away with the warm, open and comfortable way our relationship and sex could be discussed.

Chris Bowness UnityThat laid down a very good foundation for our future to be built upon and has created an environment where no sexual debate is out of bounds, whether that be personally in our own relationship or being able to discuss the latest news stories, research or historical aspects of sex.

The way we like to put it is that many relationships have things in common whether it’s the arts, current affairs, religion, politics, celebrities, food. They find common interest and things to debate. Ours just happens to be sex. We are quite happy to start discussions with others too and accept that it might leave some uncomfortable. Having said that, there are a couple of subjects in that previous list that leave me squirming. We’re quite used to the dreaded silence but have learnt that more often than not somebody will be left feeling positive and it’s not uncommon to have them find us later to continue the discussion.

As a mentor I have someone with whom I am able to discuss openly all the subjects surrounding sex. I have someone with whom I can discuss, debate and test out theories. Sometimes those discussions are general, sometimes they may be a specific case. Of course it’s always done with confidentiality. We discuss ideas about what’s going on and ideas to help and support others. This gives me a fantastic environment not only to live in but work in.

Because we promote open two-way communication in relationships people know that Caroline can be just as informative and supportive as I am, so they often ask for her view or tell me to make sure I ask her for her view on the situation so they can get a male and female view of things. Our relationship is very much full-on. Not only do we play together but we also work hard together. We’ve always run our own businesses and been involved with each others. We play to our strengths and weaknesses. That means we have many years of experience dealing with every up and down that could positively and negatively affect relationships.

Finally, what our relationship does is to allow us to explore and experiment with our relationship and sexual pleasures. It allows us to have clear and open discussions about what works and what doesn’t work, or what was enjoyable about it. We are able to step out and look at things in view of what kind of people may enjoy it and why….even if we didn’t. All this hands-on experience puts me in the unique position of being able to pass on our experiences and research to help people not only get the best of their relationships but help them explore their pleasures.

“Nothing risqué, nothing gained.”

Alexander Woollcott

KD: If you could give only one piece of advice, something that you think would benefit everyone in their sexual journey, what would it be?

Chris Bowness Newsletter logoUnity.1

Chris: Communication…Communication…Communication

I know this may sound simple but I really believe a great part of what I want to do includes reminding people of the simple things, getting back to basics, because somehow with the modern busy complicated lives we lead it’s been forgotten.

There are many pieces of advice I could give for individual situations but, bottom line, good and bad they all come down to constant open communication. Whether you’re on day one of your relationship or ten years down the line, my advice is to keep talking and conversing openly and honestly not just about the good experiences, like experimenting and exploring, but also when problems do arise, rather than avoiding issues. People avoid discussing problems and issues that arise because they’re afraid it might break them up, when in reality it’s the anxiety and stress that avoiding the situation puts on a relationship that ultimately breaks a relationship down

It’s been my experience with the people I’ve helped that when you stop communicating with your partner your relationship goes into sort of suspended animation. All your views, ideas and thoughts about your partner or your relationship are based on old experiences. Many people I’ve worked with have ideas or make assumptions on conversations or mind sets formed before they stopped talking.

How often do you talk to your partner? And I mean really talk? …Beyond the bog standard good morning? How many times a day do you actively engage in conversation and really connect with each other?

Furthermore, mobiles and social networking gets a bad rep for breaking relationships up but they can be used for good. Even if you both have busy lives a short even slow lingering conversation and keeping in touch throughout the day can do wonders for your relationship. Taking time out of a lunch break to text or message a partner lets them know you’re thinking of them, and taking time to reply even if it’s later in the day can just help reaffirm that connection between you.

Keeping or rebuilding an open honest line of communication today can do wonders for your relationship. My advice…instead of that lunch time game of angry birds…text your fellow love bird instead.  You may just be surprised how that one message can be a step towards a happier relationship.

“We are all born sexual creatures, thank God, but it’s a pity so many people despise and crush this natural gift.” ― Marilyn Monroe

KD: Is any one thing you think could happen that would change, for the better, the landscape of how modern culture views sex?

Chris: Without a doubt better education and research.  What has shocked me throughout the years is the lack of options and courses available to people who want to study sex and relationships. It seems there are so many courses out there that pander to our basic needs such as art, food, religion, science, music. I mean you can even get a degree in The Beatles. However, there are no courses that cater purely to sex and relationships. Yes there are courses in which sex or an area of sex is a branch or element of core subject but not the main subject and considering what a massive part sex plays in all our lives it’s a shame.

Not only that, but I truly believe that in order to fully enjoy sex and be able to whole heartedly embrace relationships we must learn to appreciate our pasts. By that I don’t just mean our personal history but I mean an understanding of the evolution of relationships and sex over the ages. This can not only help us understand how we got here but also fully appreciate our futures.

KD: What do you think is the biggest detriment to healthy sexuality Westerners face?

Chris: There are two things that go hand in hand, I feel. They are fear and definition.

I believe fear of discussion, debate and communicating positively about sex comes from how Western society defines people by how, where, who and how many people they enjoy sex with.

I feel the media plays a big part in defining norms and classifying those outside the norms as deviants. This drives society’s idea of what is considered normal. Nobody’s relationship falls into the media’s idea of what’s normal and that only serves to stop people from enjoying sex and openly discussing it.

KD: What do you see as the most hopeful thing about sex in the age of internet and social media?

Chris: The internet and social media can be a force for good when it comes to sex positivity by offering more access to a whole range of people who live and work in sex related industries. Being able to have more connection to the people in those areas whether it be educators, therapists, bloggers, makers of sex toys or writers of erotica – like yourself makes sex and the discussions around it so much more approachable. Furthermore, it gives those with positive views and mindsets about sex the chance to meet other likeminded folk and a chance to talk and to realise that our views and consensual expressions of love and sex are natural; that there are others out there who feel and love the same. The internet and social media enable us not only to share these views openly but exchange ideas on how to improve or experiment with those activities to help improve pleasure.

bit.ly/BeUnity

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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