Saturday, August 16, 2014

Feather beds

I just saw this on a groupon offer, and I have to confess, it gave me a twinge of arousal.

Lookit. It's a goosefeather and down mattress topper. That would be so fucking comfortable. Like the shed full of feathers in Jemima Puddleduck. Comfort!

Warmth! Cuddliness! The sleepy bliss of snuggling into that... my daughter keeps telling me of the women she's read about who've fallen in love with (and married) edifices - the Berlin Wall, the Eiffel Tower (thrusting, eh?). I can imagine myself developing quite the relationship with my bed. It may be happening already, especially since I got a body pillow. Mmmm, boyfriend pillow. An ecstacy of comfiness.

Unfortunately, I've come to realise that my lifelong love affair with feather duvets and pillows isn't an acceptable one. I'm a vegetarian, I don't like the idea of animals suffering torture for my comfort, and the reality of the first picture is a bloody one.

Live plucking is fucking disgusting. They do it to Angora rabbits too :(  At least the fox killed the birds before he plucked them, presumably. But as a vegetarian, even that doesn't sit too well with me. Battery farming... hmm. 

I've harshed my own buzz here. I do love sleeping in feathers. That bed turns me on. The words 'feather bed' fill me with bliss. You would think in our modern world we could invent a synthetic feather substitute that isn't petrochemical or otherwise nasty, that felt the same without ripping something bloody and tipping it back out into a barn, possibly to die of shock before the next time... c'mon! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I don't really know what to do with the stuff any more

I read this post on 'to pube or not to pube' by Cara Sutra, and started writing this in the comments, 'til I realised it was one of those comments-that-are-blog-posts.

 I agree that it's very hard to say what our 'natural' preference would be, away from the pressures of fashion.

I remember being horrified by my first few pubic hairs, and cutting them off, in a sort of, oh god, what the hell are these, they're not meant to be here! sort of way. Maybe if I'd seen my mother naked more I wouldn't have felt like that? They would have just felt like ... mine?

As a teenager in Ireland in the early 90s, I just 'had' pubic hair. It wasn't the kind you couldn't hid under a swim suit or knickers, so that made it easier to accept. The boyfriend I had from 17 and who I married also had pubes, it was just what people had. I'd never come across anyone who shaved or waxed. He liked it. He didn't really like the idea of bareness (which I'm a bit sorry about now, as I think that might have been fun, here and there...). We just got on with it, it was what people had.

It's only more recently in my 30s I've been more aware that people do stuff about it now as a routine thing. Can I be arsed, as someone who's single and not dating? Well, speaking of arses, it WAS easier to ignore before my 30s. Why must we grow crack-hair, why, why? Funny, I remember being 17 and getting a ticket signed by Gail from Belly who wrote 'Always keep your butt-crack shaved!' And I remember thinking, 'what does that mean?' Now I know... sigh.

The expense... the pain... the ingrown hairs and razor burn. I dunno. They need to design something better, preferably a device that allows me to tell my body exactly what to do, including my puffy thick angles, broken veins, fat distribution, boob direction, etc. etc. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Master of the House

Stories of gentry and kinky sex - who better to write them that Justine Elyot?

I started reading this under the slightly confused impression that it was another in the His House of Submission series. It isn't! So, don't look for Jasper, as instead we have Joss, her old flame, who's introduced to us through a series of flashbacks. There's a masterful sense of the sinister around Lucy's memories of their childhood and teenage relationships - it's hard to tell what happened, and the suspense is  very effective.

Lucy is a strong and sympathetic character and the details of her life and reactions are quite real. She's not perfect and has plenty of concerns and insecurities.

The story ends with a slightly fantastical twist, that is actually just fun, if a little unbelievable. The choices the characters end up making are conversely far more rooted in everyday reality. Again, there's a bit of a Jilly Cooper roundup in the ultimate chapter, but after a story of summer byways and Lords and their country piles and pints in the pub by the river, it fits remarkably well, and ends with a laugh. There's everything to enjoy in this story. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cupcakes, Armour, Ink, Wings: Helena Hunting

Some years ago, in a daze of Twilight fanfiction, I read a story by a Canadian writer that captivated me completely. I've waited a long time for it to get published, and it's now out in a series of beautifullly illustrated books.

Here they are

Cupcakes and Ink

Clipped Wings

Inked Armour

Cracks in the Armour

Between the Cracks - free right now!

I had a little trouble because the original epic tale has been edited into something manageable, and there's bits I missed as I was reading, little scenes that were my favourite. And some of the characters subtly changed. Helena's answers to my probing questions explain why that is - ultimately it's a great edit, and a brave one more realistic, much tighter.

I can't separate the stories into individual books, really, as for me they're all one. They're full of utterly winsome characters, and the tension comes from grief, friendship, trauma and romance mixed together. The inclusion of the world of body modification makes an interesting and appealing back drop.

I just love these books, they'll always be a favourite of mine.

Here's Helena, with some answers to my questions!

1. So this story is the end result of a MONSTER edit! How was that process for you, I can't imagine how you managed it all. How did you decide what major changes to make? I do think the story is far more credible with the new antagonists.

I macheted about half the original manuscript, which was something that definitely needed to happen. Some of the process was challenging and there were scenes that were difficult to cut, but necessary in the end. Initially, I started going through the manuscript one chapter at a time and editing from within. By the time I got to chapter nine it became glaringly obvious that my writing style had changed over time and the approach I was taking wouldn’t be effective.

My very good friend Alex worked through the outline with me for both books. It took about a month, but the outlines made it so much easier to weed out the scenes that were no longer essential to the story. After that, I stopped referring to the original draft for the most part and I just started writing from scratch. It was quite an intense process, but definitely one I’m glad I went through. 

2. I love that you're still writing more Chris and Sarah - will you ever be able to let these characters go?

Eventually, yes. As the first full length novel I’ve ever written, I think these characters are close to my heart. All of the characters, whether primary or secondary have a story to be told, Chris and Sarah included.

3. Did you intentionally make a plea for acceptance for the tattooed and pierced people of the world? Is that something that bothers you, or was it just part of the characters' natural struggle?

Social constructs, while often required, are also constraining. I feel like body modification is highly misunderstood form of art. I wanted people to view it through a different lens. In many cultures the art of body modification is a norm, not a deviation from it. If we can look at it as a vehicle for artistic expression rather than something “other”, I think it’s easier to understand what motivates people to commemorate their life milestones in the form of ink.

4. I'm assuming you've left fanfiction behind now, but tell us a little bit about how you see it being valuable. I see so many writers sneering at it - but I think it's an incredibly positive thing. 

Without it I never would have found an audience, or the motivation to move forward with my writing. I’ve met some very incredible women through fanfiction, and they’ve been supportive through this process. Fanfiction gave many indie authors the opportunity to share their words in a safe, accepting forum, and to develop and hone their writing skills. So much of the fandom are embracing, encouraging and positive. I’ve been very fortunate to have been a part of that.

5. So - what's next for Helena Hunting?

I’m still writing and I’m hoping to share more soon!

Monday, June 2, 2014

a kiss

Waking, and sifting through the long, slightly exhausting tumble of my bank holiday morning dreams, I unearth... a kiss. I was looking at your photos, a bent head, a bicep, all bathed in soft light, and then magically there was kissing instead, a memory, a dream-shift, I don't know, but I remembered the soft, slow touching of warm, wet tongues and  your fine blond hair grown long enough to whisper over my forehead as we kissed. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tabitha Rayne Taking Flight

I wondered if Tabitha meant Shooting the Shit with Vida Bailey, or if she thinks I'm less waffly than I really am - but I do really agree about the ability of eroticists and sex writers to connect honestly, and of internet people to connect instantly - but anyway, I love her title, and I'm delighted to welcome her to Suffused with Heat to hear about her new novel, installment two of her futuristic apocalyptic trilogy. 

Cutting the Crap with Vida Bailey!

Or getting down to the nitty gritty – still sounding a bit harsh? I don't meant to :D
Vida has kindly let me come over to shout about my new book – but before I do, I wanted to have a chat about how we communicate with each other.

I was lucky enough to attend Eroticon this year and met up with some of the fabulous people I chat to all year online. It is a completely unique event in my life as it is where I meet other erotic writers and find myself free to talk uncensored about my writing. It is a liberating experience as the erotic, spiritual erotic and artistic erotic are things that occupy my mind let's say 75% of the time (probably more, I edited it down a little). To find all these beautiful eloquent normal people at ease with their expressive side is just amazing. I'm not saying I don't have this in my 'real' world, but just on a different plane.

So, one of these people I happened to meet, is my delightful host, Ms Vida Bailey. We ducked out of one of the sessions to go and grab some sun and buy souvenirs (we both don't get to England much...). As we sat in the sun drinking our coffee, we fell into easy deep conversation about life, spirituality, the erotic, death, apocalypse – all the good stuff. We even connected over a scene in True Detective  – which sounds trivial but it blew my mind.

It's an awesome piece of acting. “I can smell the psychosphere...”

So how, I hear you ask, does this fit in with my new book? (Come on, you knew this was coming!)

Well, in one of the scenes in Taking Flight where the leading couple have had to go into hiding, they meet another couple who take them under their wing and teach them how to survive in the wilderness – some sexy shenanigans ensue of course, it is an erotic novel after all, but they have agreed do never share their true identity. To do so may risk their safety.

The good thing that this brings up is that they have no baggage, no explanation for their existence is required. They are all in the same situation, with limited knowledge of each others 'real' life so they are very much experiencing the here and now. It means during conversation, they can explore any topic unhindered by expectation. They can talk philosophy, spirituality, love, death, transcendence. In other words they can get straight to the point.

I found it fascinating that I had the same feeling in Eroticon. We were all there – unhindered by our daily life. So the most  outrageous, creative and erotic discussions were had.

Here's a little excerpt where Deborah ponders this very thought.

Deborah brought the past few days—could it be weeks?—to mind. The discussions the four of them had around the fire each night were philosophical, theological, sexual, scientific—never personal. Neither couple had inquired about the other’s situation or reasons for being there, exiled in the wood, or ventured their own story. It was like the code of the forest. It actually freed up a lot of space for getting right into the debates on life, existence, and all the good stuff. Deborah had found it scintillating and refreshing and had relished the talks. Marcus, though, seemed to have gleaned a lot more about the sexual spiritual side than she had. While she’d been thinking about the existence of God, he’d been wondering about fucking. She smiled to herself; she could only think after the best, most intense orgasm of her life that one of them had been the fool all this time, and it wasn’t him.
“So how do we do it?” She racked her brains and could only conclude that he must have been having private talks with Birch while they’d been out together hunting. She had to ask him. “Are you and Birch fucking?”
“Are you and Hazel?” His response was lightning fast, and she had not been expecting a counter-attack.
She blushed to the very roots of her hair.
“But you want to, right?” he asked, boring into her with his stare.
“No!” She was shocked. They’d never had an exchange like this before. It felt like it was rocking their foundations. “Well, yes— God, I don’t know. Maybe?” She dropped her head into her armpit in horror at her admission.
He lifted her face so gently it made her weep. “Me too. I wanted Birch.” He paused to correct himself. “I want Birch.”
She sobbed.
“But only with my body. I’ve never felt like this. It feels like a freedom.” As he spoke his eyes lit up and she could feel his heart quicken beneath his shirt. “This is what our society is, a polyamorous one. I’ve never thought it made sense before until I met these two. Birch has taught me the beauty of it. It doesn’t diminish our love, it makes it stronger.”
“I still don’t understand.” She was sobbing, but their fingers were laced through each other’s as they spoke.
“Well, here’s the theory...” He sat up cross-legged and Deborah did the same. “If we manage to make the unity bond—that is, come together so hard our spirits could slip past physicality and into each other’s, even just for a second—it means that it will happen again with every orgasm we have. Even by ourselves, or with different people, a part of our spirit will always meet at that point. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Deborah did her very best to suspend her disbelief long enough to agree that, in theory, it actually was a beautiful thing.

Tiny snippet
“If we part ways,” he started but Deborah pressed a finger to his lips, she didn’t want to hear it, speaking it might make it true. He pushed her hand from his face and held it at his chest, his woozy gaze fixed on hers. “Deborah, if we part ways, I’ll find you. I’ll find you at the meeting point. Do everything you can to come. We are more than the physical.

If that has whetted you appetite for some more sexy dystopian shenanigans – here's the blurb and all important buy links:

Taking Flight by Tabitha Rayne
The prequel to
A Clockwork Butterfly
Genre(s): Futuristic Erotic Romance
Price: $4.99
Lovers on the run in search of a bond that transcends all else.
Dr. Deborah Regan is a scientist working on a cure to the poison that's killing the male population and destroying the natural world. But when she makes a breakthrough in her research, it becomes clear that the authorities have no intention of finding a cure, and now that she's getting closer to an answer, she's a threat to them—a threat they need to deal with quickly.
Deborah and her partner, Marcus, flee to the forest where they meet another couple on the run. Birch and Hazel show them how to survive in the wild and teach them the theory of ultimate unity. They believe that by finding sexual nirvana at the point of intense orgasm, they will break through the barriers of physicality and become one.
It soon becomes apparent that Deborah has an aptitude for falling into this trance-like state, and she manages to bring Marcus on her journey. Their spirits can indeed join together at the meeting point, suspended in time and space while they climax.
When Birch and Hazel become jealous of the young couple's ease at reaching ultimate unity—something they've unsuccessfully tried to do for years—they betray Deborah and Marcus to the authorities. As they are separated, Marcus begs Deborah to continue to search for the ultimate sexual unity, because he's convinced that no matter where they are, this connection will allow them to meet again on a spiritual plane.
Will this metaphysical union be enough for a couple so deeply in love?
Content Warning: This book contains apocalyptic peril and graphic sexual content, including m/f and f/f sexual interaction, along with BSDM
Note: This book has been previously published.


Tabitha Rayne has been told she is quirky, lovely and kinky – not necessarily in that order or by the same person. She writes erotic romance and as long as there’s a love scene – she’ll explore any genre.
Her short stories are included in anthologies from Cleis Press, Ravenous Romance, HarperCollins Mischief, Xcite, Oysters & Chocolate, Burning Books Press and House of Erotica. Her novella, Mia's Books won a Reader's Choice Award with TwoLips reviews. Taking Flight is the second book in The Clockwork Butterfly trilogy from Beachwalk Press.
Tabitha also has a passion for art and takes great pleasure in painting nude ladies.

Youtube Book trailer embed link:

Thank you for hosting my bletherin' today Ms Bailey x x

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Apparently we're in the midst of a 'Pandemic of Porn!' Where? Where is it all? OH. It's on the internet. And everyone is on the internet. Your four year old's watching porn right now. 


I dunno, I guess this is true. Teenage boys don't know women grow pubic hair and find the idea disgusting when they're told about it. Everyone thinks boobs are eternally round and huge and bouncy. 

It's funny... for all this porn watching, no one seems to be watching the good porn, do they? Crash Pad series, anyone? Nah, clearly not. No one's reading Susie Bright, either, are they, despite all this internet access. 

I dunno. My kids know women have pubes because they've grown up seeing mine and their dad's every so often. The body image you communicate to your kids about will have a far greater effect on them than porn will... if you teach them stuff. If you talk to them. If you guide them to positive sources of sex education and self-image construction. 

Or you could say nothing, let them loose on the internet and bitch about their fucked up view of the world. 

Ach, it annoys me. I saw some porn as a teen, and I know for a fact it didn't bother me in any way. Now I only saw quite classic porn, discovered in my parents' (remarkably unstashed) stash - it was sort of... innocent, in a way? I think erotica shaped my desires an awful lot more than porn did, if truth be told, and left me a bit unsatisfied with the vanilla fumblings I encountered. I don't know, perhaps porn gave me an unrealistic view of how easy anal is - but that was before the internet and the thing is, it's as easy to find a 'Beginner's Guide to Great Anal' as it is to find Unrealistic Anal Gangbangs, so meh to that. If your kids are old enough to search for porn, they're old enough to research and read around a little. How will they know to? Because you help them. 

I know there's shitty porn out there, I know there's a lot wrong - but the more popular and recognised porn becomes, the more pressure on porn makers to be ethical there will be, the more money will be available for better quality set ups. Consent is becoming a by-word, etc. Though, from what the performers are saying, the internet is killing porn as it was - it's getting harder and harder to make money now - the tube sites are scooping up all the punters for free. And if this is the case, doesn't it suggest that the pandemic of porn is hurting porn performers and producers most of all?