I’ve gone through long swaths of my life with men among my closest friends. And I’m a lucky woman in that my very best friend is my husband. But one of the fantastic fringe benefits that has come with writing erotica is the fabulous company of women. Whether online or up close and personal, time spent with Real Women, sexy, lusty, smart, empathetic, lovely women is NEVER time wasted.
I get lots of chances to think about my vibrant relationships with women these days. Saturday night’s fabulous smut fest at Sh! Portobello was a perfect example. I love reading my stories in front of an audience, but I love listening to other women read theirs just as much. And the warm fuzzy feeling is only enhanced by a little pink fizz in a place as sex positive and pro-chick as the Sh! Stores are.
Saturday night was a triple celebration of Women Together. The fabulous artist Mayo’s lovely work graced the walls of the Sh! Portobello gallery/event room. All of those lovely charcoals and pastels illustrated some of my dear friend and great erotica writer, Kay Jaybee’s stories. The art work most definitely set the mood. Kay Jaybee read from her hard-pounding, sexy novel, The Perfect Submissive, which I’d already read and loved. But I have to admit, hearing Kay read from it out loud, sat there on the posh pink throne all booted and swathed in black and red, was a much more visceral experience… in the hottest sort of way. Kay also gave us a teaser from her new e-anthology, Yes Ma’am, with hot and sweaty squaddies in the midst of delicious nastiness in ‘lying in Wait’. Kay and Mayo would have enough to send me back home on the train to Surrey totally blissed out. But too much of a good thing is even better!
To add to the lovely girlie naughtiness of the evening, the luscious Lucy Felthouse was there, reading about a steamy champagne-soaked encounter with a hot waiter in ‘Just Couldn’t Wait.’ The remarkable Rebecca Bond, in her lovely mauve heels, delved into crime and punishment in her gritty hot story, ‘Sin City.’ And the yummy Victoria Blisse cleaned up with her story of a very naughty, very hot cleaning lady caught in the act in ‘Dirty Deeds.’ These three lovelies were at Sh! for the aural debut of the critically acclaimed anthology, Uniform Behaviour, edited by Lucy. Uniform Behaviour is a great anthology by any standards, but even more remarkable as Lucy’s first effort, though most thankfully it won’t be her last.
If the setting provided by the lovely Sh! Ladiez wasn’t enough, with wonderful art work, colourful displays of tempting sex toys and hot readings, the audience itself was awash in a bevy of sultry writer chix. I had the pleasure of sitting next to the fabulous Lily Harlam, whose sizzling fairy tale novella, The Mother of All Hen Nights, still heats me up when I think about it. Lexie Bay was there. Lexie is another one of the fabulous Uniform Behaviour chix, who opted not to read…this time, though her fabulous story, ‘In Love and War,’ like all the other stories in the anthology, shines. Also there was the lovely Lavinia Lewis, whose novel, Luke’s Surprise, has things boiling over at Total-E Bound.
The evening was stirred to perfection by the Sh! Ladiez, Always on hand to make sure the pink fizz flowed and no one suffered from want of a cupcake. And even more important, they were always ready to tell everyone about all the great toys and books and corsets and other sexy items in the store. Ladiez, you’re the best!
I certainly wouldn’t want to short-change the men behind the pink throne. Where ever sex-positive, imaginative, steamy women go, the blokes won’t be far behind. And it’s no surprise at all to find the highest calibre of men in attendance – sometimes a little shell-shocked by the sea of pink and the tables of sex toys, but quietly, charmingly taking it all in, and often playing the very important role of photographer.
Yes, I’m often in the company of women these days, whether it’s just a quick text to one of my close erotica friends or whether it’s plotting and scheming as we mooch around the London Book Fair, as I was lucky enough to do yesterday with Lucy Felthouse and Rebecca Bond. I’ve always enjoyed my male friends, and still do very much. And I would be the first to admit there are some fabulous men writing erotica now, but I appreciate the company of women because we all know what the journey is like for a woman to embrace her wild side, embrace her vibrant, gritty, dangerous, tender sexy self and step forth with enough confidence to write it down as something to be valued and shared and celebrated… often with pink fizz and cupcakes.