Writing Update #1

One thing I don’t often do, and which I am very, very remiss in, is promote my other writing. The stuff I do away from this blog, be it the anthologies I’m in or the writing I do for other websites.

So, I’m changing that. I’m aiming to do a regular writing update post, telling you where else I’ve been popping up. Which, in itself, was something I’d originally planned to start doing at the start of the year. That was when I had a Twitter conversation about self-promotion with the amazing Dr. Emma Southon (seriously, keep an eye out for her book on Agrippina). But then, depression decided to say hello and stay over for a few months.

Ah well. Better start late than start never, I guess.

So, here’s what I’ve been up to!


YNOT CAM

This month (thanks to Girl on the Net, who passed me a writing request), I started writing for YNOT CAM. This is a website aimed at webcam models, with articles on topics ranging from tech to health and beauty, to internet law. My first article was a lot of fun to dig into – it concerned the recent development of a one-of-a-kind 3D printer by a team at the University of Minnesota, and how it could, in the future, influence sex tech and its uses in the camming world.

Kink Craft

I’ve been writing for Pixie and Andrew on a regular basis for a while now, and they are just the loveliest humans to work with. This article I wrote, on sex and depression and the power of knowing you’re not alone, is from a while back, but I’m putting it in here anyway because I can.

Fuck.com

I do so love writing for the good folks at Fuck.comhere I am, chatting about erotica and my top recommendations.

 

Speaking of erotica, SACRED AND PROFANE, edited by Torrance Sené and featuring my story Down On My Knees, is still out and still kicking ass. It was even made into a Top Pick on The Romance Reviews! If you haven’t yet bought your copy, DO EET.

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Cool Me Down

Post title inspired by Margaret’s Cool Me Down, which is a Lady Laid Bare approved ABSOLUTE BANGER.

There is a grim physicality about summer weather. At least with autumnal cold, we know where we stand. We stock up on knitwear, layer ourselves, strap our boots on for winter walks. We know how to warm up.

After the scorching hot weather we’ve had in the last week, I’m not entirely convinced we remember how to cool the fuck down.

When I talk about grim physicality, what I mean is that summer has a knack for making you hyper-aware of bodies. Not just your own (this will not be a post about body confidence though – bear with me) but pretty much of everyone around you. Your day becomes its own version of the video for Bitter Sweet Symphony – except it does so for everyone else too, so in a way we are all Richard Ashcroft.

Commutes are a sweaty, toasted nightmare. Tubes are sardine cans. Walking through Central London is a never-ending, perspiration-doused game of live action Frogger, even on the sidewalks. Everyone is angry at everyone else for no particular reason. Temperature differences between inside and outside are, to put it mildly, shocking in some places. Sex? Surely, that’s not something you think about in this weather (at least, not in the conventional sense, anyway). You’re already sticky and panting. You’re already extremely aware of every inch of your body, because every inch of your body is aching and glossy with the sheen of perspiration.

Sex? Fucking hell, even walking to the supermarket’s a bit much. Or to the Tube.

The latter of which was what I was doing earlier in the week. I was on my way to work. It was, to put it mildly, a balmy afternoon. The kind where no-one would particularly frown on you cracking the window open to get air into your bedroom.

My street is on a bit of a hill, so when the weather goes bat-arse bananas hot like this, I occasionally stop to readjust myself. I was doing exactly that, near the top of the hill, when I heard a noise from one of the houses.

A deep, lustful, resonating moan.

Followed by more moans, the telltale moans of a woman in the throes of some very sexy time indeed. The house’s window – what I assume was the bedroom one – was open, but the curtains were drawn. I was, briefly, glued to the spot. Was it someone watching porn? Was it someone using the quiet hours of the afternoon to have a wank? Or was it two people, having summertime sex with scant disregard for the fact that one of them was moaning so loud most of that part of the street could hear it?

Not a clue.

Not that I was meant to have a clue – I was just meant to walk by, on my way to the Sardine Tin Express, my body a vessel for hot, hot heat and elbow jabs of strangers.

Still, regardless of all that, it was sort of nice to be hyper-aware of bodies in a different way for just a few moments. A reminder that sex doesn’t stop existing, and doesn’t stop being fun, even in the hot weather. If not for yourself, then for others.

Who knows, maybe sex is a viable way of cooling down. If not physically…


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Cables

so i google “can you feel your depression in your head”

because there’s no other way I can express that sense of my brain

being much like a tangle of cables.

but apparently some people report feeling a something

like a pressure or a fullness there

it’s odd, really.

but it makes sense considering how

at certain times

that tangled cables feeling consumes most of the rest of my body.

a horrid kind of bondage

with rope made of brain chemistry and a yapping little voice

repeating the same damn things over and over

until you’re almost breathless with the knowledge

of how badly your mind can turn on you.

 

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Songs Again

I took a minute till the penny dropped, you know
My tears don’t fall too often
But your knife is cuttin’ me deep

I hear her sing it on the BRIT Awards. It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m off from work, and I’m tentatively playing around with words for a submission.

There’s a sentence in my head that somehow, with a little help from her voice, flows into a paragraph onto the page. Her lyrics and the words in my head don’t match in theme but fuck it, she’s helping and I’m writing and the prose feels sensual and raw and still like me.

Later on I’ll think of what she’s actually singing. And I’ll be reminded of moments I didn’t want to be reminded of. Moments where I’d been made to feel like a dirty little secret. Moments where who I used to be was turned against me and I let it happen because I didn’t know.

And I’ll be glad because she’s fucking done it, hasn’t she? By chance, this random repeat of Emeli Sandé’s performing Hurts at the BRITS a few days ago gives me, better late than never, the right words to express to myself what I felt back then.

Sometimes life happens out of sequence. It’s less than 24 hours earlier that I come to the realization that I am done with letting that kind of pain have such a power over me.

Her voice gives me a wave to write on. Her lyrics give me the right words to express old wounds.

When all that’s left to do is watch it burn
Oh baby, I’m not made of stone, it hurts

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Blithe and becoming and frequently humming

When I started out blogging, it was partly due to a bit of an obsession with Beautiful Agony. You probably know the site. A multimedia experiment, testing a hypothesis that eroticism in human imagery rests not in naked flesh and sexual illustration, but engagement with the face.

It was, and remains (and will probably always be) a spellbinding erotic website. It was one of the pieces in the puzzle of me, the puzzle I laid out when this blog started, six years ago this week.

I wasn’t celebrating that anniversary though. I’m not sure I like doing that anymore. It pokes open old wounds (and reminds me of lingering ones). Besides, I rather like the idea of just carrying on like always. Re-puzzling that puzzle.

My libido’s still low. But I’ve kind of learned to sit with it. Ask myself questions, give myself room to breathe and rest as a lot of this is tiredness and depression. Room to breathe is what I seem to keep forgetting.

And giving myself room to breathe was how I got to watching some videos Dr. Lindsay Doe’s Sexplanations channel on YouTube the other night. Indulging my never-tiring curiosity is one of the ways I’ve been sitting with myself. Learning. I subscribe to Dr. Doe’s channel but haven’t really taken the time to delve into her videos.  So, when one popped up on my “What To Watch Next [hint: maybe lay off binge-watching The Nekci Menij Show for an hour or so, maybe, possibly]” list, I watched.

It was a video of masturbation tips. And up came the subject of Beautiful Agony.

I’d already kind of been futzing around with bits of porn, willing something to materialize that would help take the stress off from the past week. Hoo, fuckety-boy, it has been a stressful week. But the internet was not being a wonderful thing for porn, alas. Which made Lindsay’s mention of Beautiful Agony all the more timely – sat on the bed, wearing his shirt and nothing else, I clicked the thumbnail for one of the free sample videos.

A woman, on the floor of her flat. Lying back on cushions and a throw, lazily surrendering to pleasure. Outside, you can hear the traffic, the general hubbub of the world continuing. And inside her own four walls, she makes the world pause with her fingers and her pleasure.

And I went right there with her. The first orgasm came quicker than I hoped it would – probably a sign that my body needed that, a lot. But it was good. It was good and it was satisfying and the warmth of my netbook was pleasing on my naked thighs as I watched the woman on my screen come.

The way she bathed in her afterglow, silent and still… it was spellbinding. Ecstasy in the agony, as is BA’s remit.

It was a good orgasm, that first one.

The second one, I had to work for. It was a couple of minutes later, and I was back on Twitter but still needing something. Another climax, another release. So, I took what I needed. Worked for it, felt it building and building in intensity until finally, FINALLY, it blew me the fuck away.

It was that kind of orgasm. The kind that leaves you fuzzy and head-spinny and unable to remember things like words and how pants work. My own beautiful agony. I settled into bed feeling like a toasty, comfortable little cinnamon bun, content because once again I had managed to sit with myself and ask myself questions and give myself room to breathe.

 

[ PS – in regards to my six year blogiversary. Although I’m not really celebrating in any way, I do want to thank you for reading. Whether from the early days or more recently, thank you, thank you, thank you. Here’s to whatever comes next. Hope you’re there with me.]

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The Burnt

I’m burnt out.

Simple as that. There’s no point in me weighing my words or giving this post a funny little introduction. Because there ain’t nothing funny about this. Those three words can’t, to me, be spun into something they’re not.

It’s important for me to write it down as plainly as this. It’s important in times like this, when health both mental and physical are collaborating to create a giant and painful fog around me, that I write it down like this. It’s like sending myself a semaphore message though the fog – a Norman-from-Bake-Off-esque missive in written form, which I can come back to and read so I can remind myself that this is what’s going on.

It helps. Just like I use Spoon Theory to express how this feels to others, this is how I express myself to… well, ehm… myself. I am burnt out. And it’s okay to sit down and re-evaluate for a second. Take breaths. Relax shoulders. Rest and sit with self in some weird form of peace.

I’m writing this down now because in the last few days especially, I have been angry with myself for not “being more productive”. Full on, red-hot, how-dare-you-you-silly-shit rage. Which in itself is completely anti-productive as it sends you into this weird cycle of apologising to yourself for no reason as you go into overdrive trying to keep up with doing everything this anger is telling you you’re “meant” to be doing but aren’t doing. “Meant” to be doing is the key here – because your brain will start making shit up that really isn’t essential or time sensitive or something and then it’ll start shouting at you because this thing that isn’t of the essence/deadline-sensitive is something you should have already done. Twice.

I’m burnt out. Day job, tiring brain, tiring body, Weird Cycle of Shit I’m Supposedly Meant To Be Doing.

So, yeah.

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Anew

Due to the line of work I’m in, I didn’t really stop working during the holiday season. It felt strange to see all the days blur into one. To temporarily forego the actual names of the days in favour of Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, and so on. Even stranger still to jump back to plain old Tuesday.

Strange, but kind of nice. As the clock ticked over to twelve on New Years Eve, it felt nice to just breathe for a second. Celebrate that this lovely, but stressful period was drawing to a close. And reflect on what lay ahead.

One step at a time, one day at a time is my motto for this year. It has to be, considering my previous motto (DO ALL THE THINGS DO THEM NOW OH MY GOD wHy AM I sO TIreD) wasn’t exactly doing wonders for my mental health. Nor was it doing wonders for my libido. The mind is insidious like that. It’s like my depression had been talking at me about my sex life for so long that I eventually had to go “sure, why not”. The same old drone became so fucking boring that in the end my mind just flicked a switch turning off my sexual needs and wants.

And then got that switch jammed for A Very Long Time Indeed.

So, in life as in my sex, that’s going to be how I’ll try to roll from now on. And already it’s kind of working. Taking baby steps has already made me feel a bit better, a bit more relaxed about my body and about being touched. I’m wanting to work on getting back to masturbation first – that’s a jolly one that I maybe didn’t actually talk about last year come to think of it.

I think that one’s actually borne more out of being too tired to even take my shoes off at the end of the day, let alone go to town on myself with fingers and vibrator. Maybe it’s a mix. Part mental health, part tiredness, with a glazed cherry of are you fucking kidding me though on top.

One step at a time, one day at a time. That’ll do for a resolution.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

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The Couple in the Car

Moments don’t have to take long to imprint themselves on us. Even the smallest flash has the power to stick in your mind for ages. It was like that with the couple in the car. This happened a few weeks ago, but somehow I keep thinking back to it. Maybe it’s because it happened so quickly. Maybe it was one of those moments where my mind filled in the blanks.

Because my mind does like to fill in the blanks. Writer’s thing. It could have been nothing at all. It could have been exactly what I thought it was.

It was early evening. Dark already, the kind of foggy cold dark you get in early autumn. We were walking back from something unspecified and family-related. Birthday thing,  possibly. Doesn’t matter. All that matters is that standing at the top of the road was a car. Which isn’t that remarkable considering it’s a suburban road and there’s cars all around. But there’s a car.

And the window’s foggy.

And for some reason, I spot the foggy window in the corner of my eye. Along with the woman. And the man on her lap. I think they’re kissing before we pass by. Or it might be the mind filling in the blanks. They might be fucking, but it might be the mind filling in the blanks. She may catch my eye and we may exchange a glance.

But it might be… well, you know.

It’s just a tiny moment, which might not have even happened. I may have seen nothing at all. I may have seen everything. It’s been stuck in my head for a few weeks now though. The kind of moment where I keep pondering whether or not I can turn it into something more on the page. The kind of moment when that sort of pondering makes me want to smack myself on the hand because sometimes I need to switch the writer brain off.

Whatever it was, it was a moment.

Or was it?

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Doxytus Interuptus

I think about wanking a lot. Hell, I dream about wanking pretty constantly, when I’m not either having vivid sex dreams or utterly terrifying nightmares. Funnily enough though, I never quite get around to actually doing it.

The inner monologue goes verily thus –

Libido Brain : You should totally have a wank.

Me: But nah though. 

LB: That’s not an argument, mate. Come on. Indulge yourself. It’ll relax you. It’ll make you feel good. 

Me: So will a nap. 

LB: Naps do not lead to orgasms. Wanks do. Go on! No-one around, you can be as loud as you want. You can even get the Doxy out. 

Me: BUT. NAH. THOUGH. 

LB: OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE. 

It’s a very, very tiring interior monologue. It happens pretty much every time I have a day off, in that blissfully quiet time where the house is (almost) empty and the morning is full of unknown wonder/a to do list the length of my arm. Unlike my boyfriend, I have a pretty fluctuating schedule. So at least once a week I find myself alone in the mornings, and in a prime position for a long, indulgent wank.

And the other day, miraculously, that interior monologue vanished in thin air. I wasn’t just thinking about wanking, I was actively getting the Doxy out (because a lot of my filthiest wank fantasies – by which I mean fantasies in which I am actually wanking, not ones I have during a wank –  the Doxy features quite prominently), fluffing cushions and settling in a prime frig position.

It’s the position he likes me in when he’s going down on me. He kneels at the side of the bed, I lie in front of him with my legs open and resting on his shoulders. It’s this image I hold onto in my head (the actual wank fantasy) as I crank up the power on the beastly toy. The freedom of doing a Spinal Tap and cranking to eleven, quite frankly, is intoxicating. The roar, the buzz, the mild freaking out when I remember that the Doxy can go really fucking hard and maybe I should turn it down a notch anyway lest I get a whole new type of wankers cramp.

But I manage to take it to a reasonable speed. And I try to ride the wave for as long as I can, riding the soft head of the toy and losing myself in the fantasy of his tongue working its magic.

The arousal builds at triple speed. I can’t ever last long with the Doxy. It is just not physically possible – it’s so maddeningly intense that I am grabbed by the collar and pulled towards my climax. It doesn’t take me that long to get to the very edge of pleasure, and I am prepared to fall hard.

But then I don’t. My orgasm fizzes out, like a firework that changes its mind as it’s going off. It takes me seconds too long to figure out why – as I snap out of the haze and back to reality, I have to keep myself from facepalming.

It’s me. I’m why. Because I have somehow managed to grab on to the Doxy so hard that my fingers slid straight onto the OFF button. I am my own coitus interuptus. Doxytus Interuptus, if you will.

Grumbling, I sit up, pull my trousers back up and go to unplug the toy. In the end, it does turn out to be a nap that makes me feel good.

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