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Let’s Not Wait Until We’re 70 to Talk About Sex Toys

7 Apr

by Thien-Kim Lam

Netflix's Grace and Frankie

I’m not a big fan of sitcoms, but Netflix’s Grace & Frankie has been lighting up my television. I’ve even been tempted to cheat on my husband and watch ahead. But I’m not. I promise.

The premise of the show sounds like romance tropes on crack. Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) learn that their husbands have been secret lovers for twenty years. You read that right. Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) have come out and want to get married. Grace and Frankie, who couldn’t be more more different, are thrown together with crisis as their common denominator. The fallout is both entertaining and awkward as the children try not to take sides between their mothers and their step dad-to-be.

 

via Giphy

What makes the show different from your typical romance is that our heroines are well into their 70s. There aren’t very many romance books that feature heroines over fifty. Even Hollywood isn’t kind to women actresses once they reach their forties. To see older women playing funny, ambitious, and even raunchy multi-dimensional characters? I love it.

While I’m not even close to their ages, I love seeing these two amazing women and the characters they embody every night on my tv.

I learned a something very important from Grace and Frankie: Don’t wait until you’re 70 to talk about sex toys with your friends.

via Giphy

In season two, the two women have many discussions about lube and vibrators. The discussions aren’t always easy or comfortable for either characters. Even though Grace ran a successful skincare business, she still has a hard time ask for what she needs during sex. I won’t spoil it for you but let’s just say that Frankie makes her own lube out of yams.

Netflix even made this fake commercial for her yam lube:

During the twelve years that I sold sex toys at home parties, the majority of my clients were embarrassed to discuss sex toys and speaking up in the bedroom. You might scoff and say it’s an older generation thing, but that wasn’t what I saw.

Women of all ages, social class, and ethnicity had a tough time talking about sex. They were comfortable discussing it with me, a person they’d only met. But their friends? It took a few glass of wine to reach that comfort level. Some didn’t even talk to their husband about their lack of orgasms during sex.

We’re excited to tell everyone about the most comfortable yet stylish shoes we’ve found,so why can’t we do that with sex toys? Talk to your girlfriends about sex, vibrators, lube, foreplay–anything sex and body related. Maybe a friend tried a new position that blows her mind. Or you found a vibrator that makes you sing–loud.

Not sure how to start the conversation? Here’s some ideas:

  • Watch Grace and Frankie together.
  • Visit boutique sex shops with your friends
  • Host a home sex toy party
  • Start an erotic romance book club

Sex is fun. The more you talk about it, the less taboo it feels.

Do you talk to your friends about sex toys?

Thien-Kim Lam is runs an erotic romance virtual book club and you’re invited! She is currently writing romances about Asian American women who have mega hot sex. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check her Pleasure Pairings guide with buzzy recommendations for the adventurous reader

Sexy Sunday Short: Phở for Two by Thien-Kim Lam

12 Mar Big bowl of pho. Photo by Thien-Kim Lam

by Thien-Kim Lam

As if food isn’t sensual enough, what happens when two Vietnamese lovers get busy in the kitchen?

Today’s Sexy Sunday Snippet is actually a short story. I’m obsessed with food: cooking it, eating it, and creating new recipes. I also love sex and sex toys. It’s no surprise that both subjects play heavily in my erotic and romance writing. I hope you enjoy my short story.

Phở for Two

The cold hard metal chair would not stay warm, no matter how often she wiggled her bare ass. Wiggling was all she could manage. Her hands were tied behind the back of her chair while red rope coils kept her legs parallel to the chair’s legs. The red anklets spread her knees wide while her thighs beckoned.

Her lover puttered in the kitchen behind her, out of sight but never out of mind. Scents of cinnamon, star anise, and clove from his cooking assaulted her nose but she barely noticed them, though her mouth watered in response. Her thoughts were focused lower. Much lower. A small vibrator was taped to her chair. Its pulsing tip focused right on her clit. All she could do was wiggle forward and backwards. Her hard nipples pointed upwards as her back arched against her restraints. Just a little bit more and she could feel the full force of the stupid thing. Unfortunately, her lover was skilled with knots.

“Are you hungry, babe?” Her lover set down a large bowl of noodles topped with rare, thinly sliced beef and scallions. Slowly, he poured the cinnamon and star anise infused broth over the noodles. The broth cooked the slices of beef until it was the same flushed pink as her wet pussy.

Big bowl of pho. Photo by Thien-Kim Lam

Photo credit: Thien-Kim Lam

“Looks about right, don’t you think?” as he peered between her thighs to compare. She was nowhere close to well-done.

“Mmmmfffppph,” she managed to respond behind the gag in her mouth. The bowl of pho sitting between them made her stomach growl. She was hungry. She wasn’t sure what she wanted more: hot noodles or that damned vibrator to move closer.

“No?” Her lover grinned. “More for me, I guess.” He moved his chair–his had a cushion– to sit beside her.

She sighed through her nose. She had brought this onto herself.

Two weeks ago, she’d made fun of his cooking. There was no way his phở would even compare to her mother’s recipe, which had been honed and perfected throughout her childhood. Every Sunday, after her family returned from their church’s service, they broke fast together with large, steaming bowls of phở. Sunday brunch was their weekly family reunion as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins slurped hot noodles and dipped their tender slices of medium-rare beef into small saucers of hoisin. Younger cousins chased each other around the tables while the adults caught up on gossip.

Now she realized that it was the memories of her weekly phở bowl that couldn’t compare to her lover’s noodles and broth. It was too late to take back her words, even if her mouth wasn’t filled with the red ball gag. She secretly ordered it from the internet late one night after an unsuccessful masturbatory attempt. She’d forgotten about it until a nondescript brown box arrived a few days later. Embarrassed that some random website knew her secret yearning, she hid it in the back of the closet unopened.

A loud squirt brought her back to her present predicament. Her breasts were covered with cold hoisin sauce.

“Oops! Sorry about the misfire. Here, let me clean you up.” Her lover deftly picked up a slippery white noodle with his chopsticks. With the deft moves of his chopsticks, he created a nest of noodles on her right nipple. The hot noodles shocked her cold skin, making her nipple grow even harder, making it ache from pleasure. Using just the two melamine chopsticks, he circle her nipples with the noodle until it was coated in hoisin sauce. Her eyes were glued to those thin sticks. This was new territory for her. She wasn’t brave enough to tell him her deepest desires, yet somehow he knew. The box in the back of her closet confirmed it for him.

Chopsticks and dried noodles. Photo by Thien-Kim Lam

Photo credit: Thien-Kim Lam

She wanted more than those noodles sliding on her breast. She wanted his mouth, his hands, his–she wanted him to devour her until she could only gasp for air. Between his noodle swirling and the pesky vibration between her thighs, she couldn’t complete any of her thoughts. Her growls of frustration made him smirk.

“Should I give you what you want? Even though you insulted my cooking?”

She nodded furiously. Languidly, his tongue reached out and slurped the warm noodle off her nipple. He sipped some of the sweet broth from his bowl and took her nipple into his now hot mouth. Even the gag couldn’t hold back her moans as her body betrayed her. Her back arched and her thighs shook. He took his time licking the sticky sweet sauce off her breasts, taking a break only to warm his mouth with more broth. Her moans grew as her wetness pooled on her chair.

She tried to lean forward and push her nipples deeper into his hot mouth but the ropes around her arms and body wouldn’t allow it. Her moans of pleasure turned to whimpers.. She was right on the edge and needed just push to reach her peak. Yet, she had no control over her orgasm; her lover would decide when she could reach her pinnacle. Her clit pulsed rapidly at this realization. This was what she had fantasized about but afraid to say out loud. He could withhold her release. No matter how her pussy ached to be filled, she was his. She moaned into her red gag as she grew wetter.

Pho noodles on chopsticks

Photo credit: Thien-Kim Lam

Suddenly, he pulled away.

” All this cleaning is making me hungry. We don’t want my phở to get cold, do we?”

He turned his attention to the still steaming bowl. She shook her head, her eyes pleading him to return to his prior activities. He reached between her glistening thighs. She nodded vigorously. Finally, he would give her release. Instead, he turned the vibrator up a little higher, but no closer to her swollen clit than it was before. She cried into her gag, but her body betrayed her. Her back arched as she desperately tried to press herself closer to the vibrator.

As she worked herself into a frenzy that offered no sweet release, she heard her lover slurping his noodles.

She would never see a bowl of phở in the same way again.

Craving phở ? Here’s my recipe for easy chicken phở.

Thien-Kim Lam is currently writing romances about Asian American women who have mega hot sex. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check her Pleasure Pairings guide with buzzy recommendations for the adventurous reader

It’s Time to Make a Sex Bucket List

3 Mar Making a sex bucket List

New Year’s Eve kisses are a distant memory. The Valentine’s Day afterglow has faded. Now that we’re in the lull of winter-spring, how do you keep the bedroom fires burning?

Might I suggest creating a sex bucket list?

The sex bucket list is exactly what it means. Make a list of naughty, sexy things you want to try (or do more of) this year. Imagine the smile on your face when you cross off “Have sex outdoors” or something equally adventurous.

Making a sex bucket List

Why you need a sex bucket list

When it comes to bedroom play, we often get stuck in a rut without realizing it. Sex and orgasms isn’t usually top of mind after a long day of work, kids, and household chores. A bucket list creates low-stress but mega-fun goals. Even if you don’t quite hit the goal, you’ll have fun trying.

Prioritizing fun in the bedroom means you’ll have something to look forward to that evening (day, night, whenever you decide). Did I mention it’s fun?

Tips on making your list

Making your list doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some things to keep in mind as you make your list:

  • Try new to you locations: take the sex out of the bedroom. How about a blow job in the shower, sex in the woods, or test out a remote control egg during an action movie?
  • Take it off: Include or remove clothing or toys. Go out to a fancy dinner with no underwear or wear some vibrating panties during a road trip.
  • Play with yourself: Include items that don’t need a play buddy, unless you count a rabbit vibe as your play buddy. You’re more likely to accomplish them if you’re not dependent on a partner and their mood.
  • Include your play buddy (if you have one) when you make your list. You’ll have fun making the list together and they might come with ideas you’ve never even considered. You can even include some sex toys for couples into the challenge.
  • Experiment with BDSM. After all, we’ve read all about it in our smut, why not give it a go? If you’re not sure how to bring up the topic of domination and submission, Domme Mona Darling offers some tips.

You’ve made your list, now what?

It’s time to get busy! Close the blinds (or not) and start crossing off the challenges you’ve chosen.

I figure, by the time I come up for air, spring will have finally have its foot in the door and we can take things outside. Live dangerously, right?

What would you put on your sex bucket list?

Thien-Kim Lam is currently writing romances about Asian American women who have mega hot sex. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check her Pleasure Pairings guide with buzzy recommendations for the adventurous reader

Why You Should Read More Romances Written by #OwnVoices

3 Feb Interracial couple holding hands

Interracial couple holding hands

by Thien-Kim Lam

Earlier this week, my fellow Lady Smutter Alexa Day challenged you to read more diverse books and spread the word about them.

I’m going to up the ante and challenge you to choose diverse romances written by #OwnVoices.

The basic own voices concept is to read and promote books with diverse main characters written by authors from that same diverse group. For me diversity means any community or group that is not the mainstream. It can mean race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and/or mental illness (and more). The #OwnVoices hashtag was originally coined to highlight diverse books in children’s publishing, but the philosophy is important for all genres, even romance and erotica.

In the last few years, diversity has been a buzzword in publishing. I hate that people talk about it like a trend. My experiences as a Vietnamese American is not a fad or a trend. Reading about an Asian American woman who falls in love and has mega hot sex shouldn’t be a trend. It should be just be something normal that happens–as in real life. (Now you know that I have mega hot sex.)

2 women in wedding gown

While the heroines and heroes in the romance industry catch up with real life, it’s also very important that we choose to read #ownvoices. (And spread the word about the ones we like.) When you read a love story about a Black, Asian, Latinx, or queer woman that is also written by someone from that culture, you’re getting an inside look from someone who has experienced the feelings, stereotypes, and family expectations from that culture or background. They’ve walked in those shoes and felt similar feelings as their characters. Someone who is not of that same diverse group can only give readers an outsider’s perspective of their character’s life.

When we only read diverse characters written by outside voices, we risk reading a singular story. Stereotypes are more common: Asian American men who are nerds or geeks; African American men who are sports jocks or preachers; and so on. While stereotypes and tropes are common in romances, why limit our alphahole billionaires to white guys?

South Asian couple in love

Romances that stick with me are ones that defy stereotypes or put a fun twist on a common tropes. Why not have a Black computer nerd who falls in love with a Latinx woman gamer? How about successful Latina woman realtor who secretly meets her bisexual landscaper for trysts? (If any of these exist, please leave the title in the comments so I can read them!)

If you’re not sure where to look for #OwnVoices romances, read Alexa Day’s books. Then check out these blogs and indie presses for more recommendations:

I’m not saying you should only read own voices books. There’s plenty of good romances out there that do not fit this category. I’m challenging you to seek out ones that are #ownvoices and read them.

Two men in love

After you read them, support the author. Leave reviews, tell your friends to buy the book,and spread the word. More importantly, call out the diversity and own voices in your reviews so that those of us who are searching for them can find them. Give the books good Google juice so when I type in “sexy romances with Hispanic SEALs,” they’ll show up on the first page of results.

Will you join me and take the pledge to read and review more #OwnVoices romances?

Thien-Kim Lam is currently writing romances about Asian American women who have mega hot sex. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check her Pleasure Pairings guide with buzzy recommendations for the adventurous reader

Why I Have a Soft Spot for Period Movies

6 Jan

by Thien-Kim Lam

Image via Warner Bros

Image via Warner Bros

I’m late to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them party, but I finally saw the movie this week. Even though I was a huge Harry Potter fan, I couldn’t muster enthusiasm for Newt Scamander and his magical creatures. I’d grown to love Harry, Ron, and the sassy, brilliant Hermione. Since our only other family friendly movie option was Sing, the adults voted for Fantastic Beasts instead.

The movie was fun and the perfect post New Year’s day escape. The story was cute. I loved all the main characters. But I can’t stop thinking about the 1920s costumes.

For me, Colleen Atwood’s costumes were also stars of the movie.

Long before I sat down to write romance books, I professionally designed and constructed costumes for theatre productions. After doing that for so many years, I can tell when a designer takes extra care with her costume choices. Let me show you what I mean.

The Goldstein Sisters

Let’s talk about the two main female characters from the film. They were inherently more interesting and complex than Newt.

Image via Warner Bros

Image via Warner Bros

Tina Goldstein (played by Katherine Waterston) was demoted from her Auror position after her unauthorized used of magic. She’s desperate to reclaim her status within the Magical Congress. Tina is strong, serious, and very responsible. She wants to do what’s right.

Image via Warner Bros

Image via Warner Bros

Except for one scene, Tina almost always wears pants and sensible shoes, which are perfect for chasing down the bad guys. Even her night clothes belay her practicality, an adorable but comfortable wide leg jumper. Just because she’s practical doesn’t mean that she can’t embrace her femininity with her v-neck blouses or don a flapper style dress for undercover work. No matter what she’s wearing, it’s usually black or blue with a hint of white or light blue (even in the night club). She’s serious but knows how to have fun.

Image via Warner Bros

Image via Warner Bros

Her younger sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) doesn’t have a physically demanding job like Tina. She prefers dresses that hug and accentuate her body. She knows that men are distracted by her beauty and uses that to her advantage when she needs to. Don’t let her fool you. She may have a big heart and look innocent, but she’s very smart and has the power to read your mind.

Image via Warner Bros

Image via Warner Bros

Queenie exudes femininity. She wears more “luxurious” fabrics: satin, silk, velvet, and lace. Textures that are soft and feel good against the skin. Soothing, like her voice and personality. To further contrast from her sister, Queenie wears pink in almost every scene. Also, I want that pink coat!

A good costume designer is able to make these choices and integrate them into the director’s vision, while creating a cohesive look among all the characters. Don’t forget that this is also a period piece, so there’s an expectation that the costumes look like they’re from 1926. It’s not an easy task, but when you’re a mega-award winning designer like Colleen Atwood, it probably comes naturally.

Costumes are one the reasons I love reading historical romances. The big ball gowns (or modest muslin ones) can tell the reader so many things about the characters’ personality and social class. Little details that add up to build one complex heroine.

I adored both Tina and Queenie. And I want all of their clothes. Of, maybe not Tina’s scuffed brown shoes.

What’s your favorite period costume film?

Thien-Kim Lam cut her teeth on historical romances and they will always have a special place in her heart. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check her Pleasure Pairings guide with buzzy recommendations for the adventurous reader

What I REALLY Want for Christmas

2 Dec

Hi! I’m Thien-Kim Lam, and I’m the new kid here at Lady Smut. Instead of being hazed by my fellow authors, I’ve been tasked to write about vibrators–one of my favorite topics. Enjoy!

I’ve been told that I’m hard to shop for.

It’s true.

My family members lament about this challenge every holiday. My mother sends me more coffee–which is never a bad thing. My sister demands a wish list from me. My husband doesn’t even ask what I want anymore. I don’t really need or want more stuff cluttering my apartment. I usually suggest we purchase something practical, like new tires for our old, but trusty car. Totally boring and domestic, but much needed.

Wish lists are supposed to things you really want but never give yourself permission to purchase. Extravagant. Decadent. Impractical. Not tires.

As I navigated my inbox during Thanksgiving weekend, I attempted to make a wish list to share with my friends and family. Turns out my neverending search for a smoking hot red dress is not wish list material. I didn’t need more books. (Blasphemous, but true.) I hoard most of my books on my e-reader anyway, which takes away from the Christmas day unwrapping tradition.

Then I hit the jackpot.

Sort of.

I figured out the one item that I really wanted but never made an effort to purchase. Make that multiple items: sex toys.

Confession: I don’t need any more vibrators. Or lube. Or clit cream.

As a former sex toy sales consultant and an owner of a romance book-sex toy pairing subscription box, I have a very healthy collection. As in so many, I have to purge our pleasure pantry every so often.

Sex toys are like books. I can never have enough. Each one has its specialities. Each one serves a very orgasmic purpose. They’re the gift that keeps on giving–as long as you don’t misplace the charger.

Obviously, this isn’t the type of wish list I could send to just anyone. Definitely not my parents.

Ryan Reynolds Shudder gifimage via giphy

This is your call to gift that sexy someone in your life with a sex toy. Don’t make them ask.

You’ll benefit too, even if they use it for solo play. Though I’m pretty sure if you’re close enough that you can gift them a silicone rabbit vibe or pair of wrist cuffs, they’ll want to use them with you.

No, not this kind of rabbit. Even if it is cute

No, not this kind of rabbit. Even if it is cute

Let’s pretend I have an unlimited budget and unlimited storage space. What bedroom accessory would I put on my wish list? If I hadn’t already purchased this sex toy advent calendar, it would be first on my list. I’d want a badass vibrating wand. Some high quality leather handcuffs. The kind of the leather that smells so good, you just beg to be bound in them. And a steel boned corset.

Make your list, check it twice, and hand it over to your love. Because all we really want for Christmas are orgasms. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve got some recommendations:

If you had to make a sex toy wish list, what items would you put on it?

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