Tag Archives: sex

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Dukes…


Jennifer Weiner has an interesting op-ed in the NYT celebrating sex ed via the romance novel. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never read any of Ms. Weiner’s novels and I want to change that soon. I’ve put her memoir Hungry Heart on my wish list and will be grabbing some of her older novels as well. But in the meantime I enjoyed her article in the NYT, even though I didn’t agree with all of it.

We’re on the same page with the idea that “what goes where” sex ed is necessary but not sufficient for young peeps and of course they will be curious for more information. They will search for it relentlessly. I definitely agree with Ms. Weiner that romance novels give a woman’s sexual satisfaction equal priority to a man’s. No fantasy duke or pirate or spy or CEO ever forgets to please his heroine in the bedroom (or wherever), multiple times. Ms. Weiner makes a good point that, unlike pr0n, romance novels describe complete scenes, including birth control (in contemporaries), various other awkward moments, and follow-up conversations.

Talking is important!

But romance novels, like so many forms of entertainment, focus mostly on fabulous looking characters with beautiful faces and perfect bodies. These are the kinds of people deserving of soul mates, true love, fantastic sex, and happily ever afters… this is the message insidiously drilled into our minds as soon as we’re able to read a book or watch a movie. Ms. Weiner quotes Jennifer Crusie in her article, and Ms. Crusie has given us plus-size heroines in several of her novels, but still they are gorgeous overweight women with great legs, lips, and hair, not the ordinary fat chicks you find shlumping around the supermarket. This is not to criticize ~ I lurve Ms. Crusie’s novels and they’re among my favorite romances. I am… JUST SAYING.

[I know some of you go into a peevey fit when peeps just say. Sorry about that.]

Point is, there’s a downside to young people (aka women let’s be honest cuz young men aren’t going to be reading Crusie et al) consuming the emotional content of their sex ed via romance novels. I should know. I was one.

On the bright side, people are still reading books.


More Than This

The first time I heard Roxy Music was at Stacey’s apartment in downtown Chicago, in the spring of 1983. I was a classic rock girl and Bryan Ferry was club music. I didn’t go to clubs; I listened to the Beatles and Stones alone at home. Actually, nothing has changed… but that’s beside the point. I don’t remember why we went to Stacey’s either. We were both taking a computer class and broke for lunch or something. She lived nearby. What I do remember is that she turned on the stereo and fired up her bong. It was the first time I’d seen a bong too. I lived a very sheltered life, in the middle of Chicago. I declined her offer of smoke, but I did get intoxicated with Roxy Music and bought an album soon after.

The only reason I’m even bringing this up is because I was listening to RM’s greatest hits the otter day in my car and I thought, holy shit, I’ve been telling peeps the wrong thing all these years. I always say I moved to California because my parents said they’d buy me a car, which they did say, but that’s not why I left ~ I left because my heart was broken.

Stacey and I were talking about men that day, of course, and I confessed I had a crush on Mark, who was also in our class. Mark and I regularly created outrageous fictions about adventures we had together and no one really knew what was going on between us (nothing), and the rest of the class thought we were very entertaining. Sometimes I would create my own individual stories for Mark, so he wouldn’t think I was such a boring boring. He had his own individual stories for me as well that I didn’t know what to make of ~ they were wild and crazy, occasionally verging on the sad.

Eventually we became lovers, in the summer, though I knew it wouldn’t last. My heart broke the first time we were together, as it always does when I know something will fail, and I floated off into that strange limbo of soaring dreams mixed with crushing despair. It’s a potent drug. I never turn something like that down; I simply wait for it to disappear because I know it will. Each time might be the last, so each time is incredibly wonderful, like I imagine it might feel to be on X, though I never have been. What writer would turn this down? How many chances do you have to experience this in your life? You wouldn’t be able to describe it otherwise. I might have only had the once… but as luck would have it, it’s happened a few more times.

Our relationship ended mundanely ~ I had to work, and Mark wanted to go camping. He asked me to go with him, and I couldn’t, so he took another girl. That was in August and I kept working as my parents planned their move out West. I vaguely said I might stay and find a place with a friend, but I made no plans. My job consisted of formatting disks, all day long. I sat at a reception desk and did that, crying silently.

In September, my mother said, you’re not really staying in Chicago, are you? My father said he’d buy me a car if I moved with them. It sounds amusing to say I left for a car, but I would have left in any case. Chicago is nothing but a big frozen heartbreak; that’s why I’ve never gone back, not once. I like to leave places that remind me of bad times; I like to throw everything away. If I can’t, I gather it all together for an emotional bonfire and a story is born. Sometimes the story lies dormant for several decades, apparently.


The Daily Prompt: Dormant

Click Me

It’s been so long
Since I
Felt that click
Of desire,
That quick flush
Of blood, the rush
Of fire, the thrum
Of need, the craving
To feed
On lust and love
In an ouroboros spiral—
Sating only creating
More of the same
Hunger in me and
You in me over again
Never to end, only sleep
And feed and touch
And breathe deep—
Desire rush and
Flush and thrum
With need so strong
It’s been
Too long.


This was written for another prompt long ago and is included in my poetry collection Depth Perception.


The Daily Prompt: Craving

Say Yes to the Marquess

This romance novel’s title is likely a play on the TV show “Say Yes to the Dress,” and it makes sense because Tessa Dare’s book is all about convincing the reluctant Clio she should still wed whazzface even though he ran off to do mysterious work for the Crown and she’s been all abandoned and gossiped about for 8 years. Rafe, whazzface’s hunky prizefighter brother, is trying to do the convincing. I don’t think I need to say any more about that, do I?

I really enjoyed this book, except for when Rafe breaks character to give Clio a totally ridic flowery speech about her looks. Otherwise, the writing is top-notch. The characters are super-interesting and complex ~ not just the protags, but also her sisters, his trainer, etc. The twists and turns kept me guessing exactly how the story would get to the HEA, and I totes appreciate that. The one thing about the resolution I didn’t like so much was a “telling not showing” of Clio’s discussion with whazzface, said convo important to her character development.

There is cake in this book. A LOT OF CAKE. Wedding cake after wedding cake. There is a completely awesome cake scene that you need to read if you love cake and sex (who doesn’t love cake?). The leitmotif (!!!) continues throughout the story. I am particularly drawn to the cake in Say Yes because I never had a proper wedding cake, the lack of which I am convinced doomed my marriages.

Cake: it’s what’s for breakfast.


Going Dark

Hai everyone! I just self-published another book on Amazon KDP. Going Dark is a second collection of short fiction and poetry, with my favorite themes of sex and depression. Somehow they just work well together for me, in the literary sense, like cake and frosting. It’s already received a great review, eeeeeeeeeeee!

Going Dark is available in the Kindle Unlimited program, which means it’s free if you’re a member. If you read a lot, like I do, I highly recommend joining. For ten bucks per month you can read as many books as you want. This has encouraged me to break out of my same-old mode and try new authors and genres.

I hope you enjoy my book. Thank you. 🙂


Sugar Kisses

Sweet Addiction by J. Daniels

OK, I admit it: I bought this book for its title and cover (pic of sugared lips).

Also, it had a lot of baking/bakery/cake/frosting stuff going on.

So, I began reading and was immediately disappointed because the narrative was first person, which I hate for a romance, unless it’s going to be a dark, crazy, deep romance, which this was not. It was typical fluff. Hot fluff, but fluff nonetheless.

How can I explain? If a story is meaningless fluff, then I want more than one POV. I want to know what the idiot hero is thinking along with the vapid heroine. I want to jump into the mind of the evil villain/ness who schemes to destroy the relationship. That’s the best I can do here.

And not only was it first person, but it was unbelievably stupid. I mean, stupider than the typical chick lit whining about moms and cramps stupid. How can that be? Well, it was. Trust me.

First, not only were the two protags the most absolutely physically stunning people you could possibly imagine, but all their friends were, too! What a coinkydink, and in Chicago of all places (meow). We had the heroine, a 26 year old bakery owner (no mention of where she got the capital), with a fabulous body even though she sampled bakery stuffs all day. This is because she went on a run every morning, and as any ful kno, that half hour of exercise will burn up thousands of pastry calories. And we had the hero, a 32 year old CPA, with the body of Adonis. In fact, the whole CPA firm was stuffed with Greek gods like a freaking studded gyro. [See wut I did there?]

Second, there was the gay best friend. My god, that’s soooo original. Who would think of putting a gay best friend in a romance novel?! He was unbearably handsome, natch, and happily hooking up with every other hot gay guy in the city, as you do, until he falls in lurve. Because like the gun on the table, once you introduce a horribly tired cliché, you must use it to its foregone conclusion.

Third, Daniels had the “plot” turn on a misconstrued half-overheard comment, which we haven’t seen since the last 87 thousand romance novels.

Why did I read it to the very end, you ask? Good question!

It was for the sex. The sex scenes were so incredibly hot, I skimmed through for the next one… and the next one… etc.

Yes, I’m ashamed of myself. I will have to atone somehow. I know! I’ll read another romance novel.

Sizzle Fizzle

I did something very unusual last night, and naturally I want to share the sordid details with my loyal readers.

I abandoned a book. YES. I hated it more and more and finally gave up around the halfpoint at chapter 11. (I went up to 11.) This book, Sizzling, is by Susan Mallery, and I just reviewed another book in the series, Irresistible, which I loved. I called that one “a perfect romance novel.” How could I have enjoyed one book so much and despised the other? I don’t know!


Remember when I said that the grandmother’s nastiness in Irresistible was near the edge of believability? Well, Mallery took that nastiness and blew it out to infinity for Sizzling. It was completely ridiculous… but even worse was when Grandma gave it up. Yep, one day she broke down in tears, our heroine Lori the nurse told her to quit being such a bitch, and she did. Just like that. Poof!

I absolutely could not stand the hero, Reid. God, what a jerk. And I’m supposed to wait for his redeeming qualities to emerge and shine because he’s just so darned handsome? Um no. I just can’t get interested, literarily or otherwise, in a man who’s slept with thousands of women. That’s just gross. And wah wah he only acted like a pig because all these women offered since he was this hotshot baseball player. Not only that, but his first love broke his heart, so it was only logical he felt like a useless stud. Um what? Blargh.

Even worse was Lori’s inexplicable attraction to Reid. I realize that’s the whole point of the story, but it made no sense. And Mallery kept repeating how it made no sense, but nevertheless Lori just flipped out at the sight of him every time, even though she thought he was stupid, lazy, ungrateful, etc. And suddenly Reid is no longer attracted to gorgeous women, but wants Lori, the ordinary nurse. Just, bam, like that.

Why does anything need a reason, hey? Just fling it all on the page and be done.

I stopped reading when Lori went to his room (for no reason) and let him take her to bed. “Oh, God. They were going to have sex.” Lori thinks she needs more foreplay and intimacy (and so do I, as the reader), but eh the heck with it. After all, he is soooo good-looking. How is the reader supposed to sympathize with her at this point? I was basically embarrassed for her. That was my feeling when I threw the book down in disgust. Embarrassment. It seemed as if he was doing her a favor and she knew it. Yuck!

I’m totes done with Mallery books. This was one of the worst romances I’ve ever read. I can’t remember the last time I hated a book too much to finish.

The Moon of Saturn

The Moon of Saturn

[newspome for April 3]

The moon of Saturn has a sea
Bill Clinton believes in aliens
Speaking of sex
A new calculator detects
Our calorie deficit
As we burn up the sheets
Monster erotica is selling hard
Again this week
New York has cupcake ATMs
Vending all-night treats
In the city that never sleeps
(Sometimes you need frosting
After getting plowed)
Speaking of cute
You can play with otter pups
For five hundred bucks
At a Colorado zoo
Jay McInerney writes on wine now too
Remember him?
He gave us Alison the party Poole girl
Who turned out to be real
Like the Velveteen Bunny
And had John Edwards’ baby
Bill Clinton believes in aliens
There’s a blood moon eclipse soon
And the moon of Saturn has a sea.

Erotica Review

I read Susie Bright’s Three The Hard Way (Susie presented the three novellas, which were written by different people)… and I was a little surprised that this is considered “erotica.”

I mean, yes, there was sex and a lot of it, but the stories didn’t seem designed to titillate the reader. In fact, the first novella, “The Motion of the Ocean,” was rather gross. None of the sex scenes were arousing; they were scary and sad and desperate and disgusting. But the novella itself was superbly well written and I felt bad when Collette’s story came to an end. I enjoyed it so much I’m going to check out more writing from Tsaurah Litzky.

The next two novellas were written by men… and I didn’t enjoy them as much as Litzky’s. “The Widow” by Greg Boyd had an interesting device ~ sort of a story within a story ~ that was kind of interesting, but the entire thing was a set-up to a predictable ending. Not that this is so terrible (it’s what I expected from erotica), but since I read Litzky’s first, I was hoping for more.

The last story, “Shadow of A Man” by William Harrison, was too political and erratic for me. I wanted to read about love and sex and I got apartheid and death. Wha? OK, there was plenty of sex in there, too, but eh. I couldn’t really care about the main character enough to fully appreciate the story.

The takeaway though is this ~ erotica isn’t necessarily a bunch of mindless sex, as I had thought. There can be plenty of solid, meaty (sorry!) good storytelling along with the more salacious sections.

I’m glad I expanded my horizons here. 🙂

Lost Earrings [updated]

I rejoined my gym and lost one of my amethyst earrings. What happens is I semi-change in the car and take off all my jewelry before working out. I put my jewelry in my purse or in my gym bag or in one of my non-sneaker shoes, depending on my whim. Poor purple earring, lost and alone. It was inevitable though… and perhaps it will turn up.

A few weeks ago I noticed a pair of silver earrings were missing. I have a vague memory of putting them somewhere odd, such as a pocket or my wallet. Why? I don’t know. Sadness.

Thirty-plus years ago in Chicago I lost a pair of shamrock earrings when I had a “romantic encounter” with a guy in my office on St. Patrick’s Eve. I went back the next morning (a Saturday) when I realized this, because I didn’t want one of my coworkers to find the earrings on Monday, but alas… gone forever. Turned out that guy was engaged and cheating on his fiancée. And this was before the Internet.

People have different views of the honesty concept. I never thought it was that complicated: tell all the truth and don’t omit anything. (I’m not saying I always do this; I’m saying that’s what I believe honesty is.) But many have the view that it’s OK to lie to strangers, and if one of these peeps becomes a friend or romantic partner, then you are honest if at a certain point you reveal the truth. That may be a lot of things ~ prudent, practical, paranoid ~ but honest? No.

Sometimes I want to be honest in the archival sense, in that I strive to remember something totally clearly and accurately, but that gets harder as I age. Part of this could be due to all my writing and daydreaming. I’ve ripped apart events in my mind and glued them together in new ways to make them more interesting for a story… and then reality shifts and slips away.

I have some jewelry from my mother that I gave to her, which is weird. I don’t know whether I should feel sentimental about these pieces. She gave me gold earrings (XOX) that I’ve been wearing more often ~ I don’t want to lose them. And I have a watch with initials of people I don’t think I know… it’s dated 12/25/47. I wear it all the time lately.

I’m planning to make up a story about it…


UPDATE: I found my amethyst earring in my car tonight (Feb 20th)! 🙂