Blog Dedication for @gazzaeuro: Naturism

This is a blog dedication to Gary Spence (@gazzaeuro) who became by 300th follower last month. 

Gary has requested a piece about naturism and naturists, a subject I know very little about. So like any good citizen of the internet I went googling. 

I found the British Naturism website through Gary’s Twitter bio, which was a helpful starting point. I considered writing about essential things to bring when going on a naturist event; suncream, insect repellent, clothes (incase a police officer asks you to dress), a copy of the Legal Guidance (downloadable from the BN website). I spent a while in the legal advice pages included in the website and enjoyed digging a little deeper about what the law says – a hobby of mine. I wondered if I could discuss this in my blog dedication. 

In the end I decided I wouldn’t offer any advice, this world is unknown to me, but I wanted to discuss how accessible and welcoming the British Naturism site felt to an outsider doing a bit of research.                                  

The British Naturism website gives a helpful guide to where you can go if you would like to explore naturism, and offers gentle encouragement about the benefits of going without clothes. There are event listings which range from exercise such as swimming and yoga to a silent disco. You can search by region to find something near you. There’s a surprising number of events all over the country. 

The sense of community and inclusion is palpable from the website. If I ever decided to become part of this scene I imagine I would be welcome. Feeling welcome in a community can determine your first experiences and perhaps how you continue to identify or find your people. 

I enjoyed my brief sojourn into naturism and if this is something you’re considering I would check out the British Naturism website for further guidance. 

Thank you for the inspiration Gary!

Twenty-Ninth Post: Smutathon Begins

It is just after twelve. I am sat on a sofa in a flat in London. Notebook, computer, post its and green tea. The very first Smutathon has begun. 

Smutathon, founded by Coffee and Kink, is an 12-hour intensive sex writing challenge. Each of the writers – and we have writers in Australia, America and the UK – are dedicating twelve hours to writing about sex. Some of us are setting specific targets, others are embarking on new project or bringing together ideas that have been forming for some time. 

We are receiving donations through Just Giving until Monday. Half the total will go to Rape Crisis England and Wales, a feminist organisation that exists to promote the needs and rights of those who have experienced sexual violence. The other half is going to Backlash, an organisation dedicated to campaigning for sexual freedom for consenting adults, as well as providing legal support for sexual minorities. 

I am so happy to be involved in this first writing event. We’ve been going for about an hour now. I’m feeling incredibly fortunate to be sat amongst sex writers collaborating for such worthy causes. I get to write about a subject I love, for causes I am passionate about. Pretty good Saturday so far. 

Please follow our progress on Twitter #Smutathon2017 and donate through Just Giving. Your support means everything to us. 

#sexysummerbookclub – June – You’re The Worst

This summer Coffee and Kink and I are running a Sexy Summer Book Club – a celebration of sex positive writing and a method of prompting pieces for our own work. The club is open to all writers who love a bit of smut – find out more here. 

Happy June everybody! 

This is my first short blog in response to Girl on the Net’s How A Bad Girl Fell in Love. I loved Girl on the Net’s second book (loved the first one too) and I’m spoiled for choice on what themes to write on. This came to me one evening before bed when it was too hot to do anything (or anyone). I tapped some barely passable sentences into my phone before I fell asleep. 

*

CK gave the prompt: How do you feel about “insults as affection?”

Its something in the book that occurs between Sarah and Mark; they tell each other to “fuck off” or call each other “dickhead”. I can relate to this. Its not something I do as often with partners, I prefer to be as straightforward with my affections as possible, but I can understand the impulse. 

Sometimes it feels good to pretend to keep someone at arms’ length and gently mock them rather than completely let your guard down and be sincere. It makes those sincere moments even more significant. 

However when I got the prompt from CK, I didn’t think of any of my romantic relationships, but rather the time I was submissive to a friend. 

sir and I would play with insults during scenes. He would use awful words and I would get such a kick out of the names he called me. The sentences he strung together to make me feel ashamed felt hot and it was a big part of our play together. We both enjoyed words. 

We were friends, rather than a couple, so we never made our affections public. We kept our arrangement a secret for over a year. When we would be at the pub with a group, we would pretend as if there was nothing beyond friendship between us. 

But he would slip into conversation a small insult; nothing as vile as our private phrases but a tiny nod to the moments we spent alone. Something innocuous – “you’re the worst”. 

He would look at me, and I would know by the way his eyes met mine that he was remembering our scenes. It made me feel hot and desired and guilty and furtive all at once. He was very good with his words. 

Twenty-Eighth Post: Sexy Summer Book Club

Coffee and Kink and I met at Eroticon this year. We decided to create a book club for this summer and we’re so excited to launch the website today!

The Sexy Summer Book Club is a celebration of new erotic writing. Each month of summer we’ll be discussing, and writing about, a recent publication from memoir, self help and erotica. 

You can get involved by emailing sexysummerbookclub@gmail.com to be added to our mailing list. 

We’re also announcing the book for June; Girl on the Net’s How a Bad Girl Fell in Love. Our website offers prompt questions and suggestions for response pieces. Send us your responses and we’ll publish them online in June. More books will be announced over the summer. 

The Amorist Magazine

This is a blog dedication to @amorist_the, who became my 250th Twitter follower earlier this month. They asked for a blog to celebrate the release of their new magazine, The Amorist, so I was more than happy to download the free sample and offer a mini review in anticipation of the first issue hitting the shelves. 

The Amorist is a collection of erotic literature, art and articles. It is edited by Rowan Pelling, who I met briefly at Eroticon this year. Rowan sat on the Pitching Panel and offered some great advice on how to approach editors. 

The sample of The Amorist, available here, is gorgeous. A mix of illustrations and photographs adorn the pages, the overall feeling is of elegance. There are articles about iconic works of erotic literature such as a piece on Lady Chatterly’s Lover, features on the femmes fatales of the Special Operations Executives of WW2 and a column from a sexy writing favourite of mine, Girl on the Net, greeted me from the pages of this publication. 

My favourite article was by Isobel Williams on the subject of Japanese rope bondage. The piece describes an evening spent at a pub in London, in the presences of riggers and bunnies – or tops and bottoms – all is explained deftly in Williams’ article. I found my absolute favourite quote halfway through: “The fetish community as a whole may be regarded as the nerds of the sexual universe but they themselves dismiss Japanese rope bondage fans as the ultimate trainspotters.”

The Amorist is offering six issues for a mere £6, that’s £1 for a magazine filled with beautiful artwork and provocative reading. You can take advantage of this offer here, or pop down to your local WH Smith’s for a copy from today. 

Just imagine picking up a copy of this along with your Guardian…

Twenty-Seventh Post: Written for Girl on the Net

The fabulous Girl on the Net published my fourth guest blog yesterday – Giving Up Mainstream Porn For Lent

I’ve always wanted to try this challenge and so I finally committed to cutting out mainstream porn for personal use this spring. 

I knew this would be a challenge – and that this would make a cool blog. I emailed GotN early on in and said I’m thinking of writing this, would she like to publish it for Easter weekend? She said yes; it is always a goddamn pleasure to write a piece for her. 

To find out how it went check out my post on Girl on the Net’s site. 

Twenty-Sixth Post: Getting Past Sexual Assault When You Write About Sex

Today is a good day. It’s a strong day for writing. For being comfortable in my own body. For feeling like I can get back to who I was, or evolve into something different. Stronger. 

I wrote a piece for inews.co.uk entitled: I’m A Sex Writer Who Was Sexually Assaulted. I was going to publish anonymously but after a conversation with my editor, who gave me the option to be anonymous or publish under my name, I decided to give my name to it. 

Writing that piece was tough, but ultimately important for me to come to terms with not just what happened, but how it affected my identity as a writer. 

I’m a sex writer. I love it. I love the community of it, the voice I’ve found from it. My unique perspective and the fact that others want to read my words. For months I felt like a fraud because after the assault I completely went off having sex, dating, all of it. I would struggle to pitch articles because my sense of self worth was so low. How could I convince an editor that I was a sex-positive voice and that I deserved to be paid for my opinions? I barely had any left.

I started writing in earnest again after Eroticon. If I was serious about being a sex writer, about getting published I had to keep going – or accept that outlet wasn’t available to me anymore. I made myself do it and things started to feel better. I started to feel better. 

When I told friends I was writing this article they looked at me like I’d lost my mind. But I’ve often been advised that I should write a letter to my attacker telling him how I feel – even if its to burn afterwards, just to get the feelings out. 

I’ve never wanted to do that, address him, give him any of my words. I appreciate that might be a tried and tested method but why would I spend any time doing something I love for someone I feel nothing for anymore? Writing is my strength. My choice.

Writing this article may have been the catharsis I needed. Not that it has definitively helped me to close that chapter of my life, but that it has punctuated the narrative. Writing is my display of strength; my ability to describe and analyse the things I’ve done and the world around me. I am at my strongest, my most eloquent when I’m writing about sex. That moment threatened my ability to write about sex and when I realised that was slipping away from me I felt more vulnerable than the moments I couldn’t re-engage with my sexuality. 

I hope that you read my article and see not a survivor of sexual assault, but a writer who is choosing to describe and analyse her world again, because it is the best decision I have made this year. 
Jenny x