Tag Archives: Best Women’s Erotica

Sexy snippet: Oral sex and sex toys in “Body Shots” by Thien-Kim Lam

13 Dec

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 week continues here at Lady Smut! If you missed it, we ran a very sexy excerpt from strangers turned lovers story “The Skin of Someone Else” by Charlotte Stein yesterday. Today I have the honor of sharing an excerpt from a writer Lady Smutters are familiar with: Thien-Kim Lam, who’s making her erotica publishing debut with her sex toys and oral sex story “Body Shots.”

Not only that, but she’s reading along with me, Sommer Marsden and Lynn Townsend on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 7 p.m. at independent bookstore Politics and Prose at The Wharf in Washington, DC! If you’re in the area or know anyone who is who’d like some sexy Valentine’s Day stories read to them by the authors alone with the chance to ask us anything about erotica writing, please tell them to join us. (Side note: I rarely brave the cold in the winter but to hear and meet my amazing authors and share hot stories and at an amazing bookstore right on the water, I will!)

best women's erotica cover

Out now in ebook and print!

Without further ado, here’s a sexy Best Women’s Erotica snippet from “Body Shots” by Thien-Kim Lam, in which couple Kit and Tre are enjoying an intimate evening where she’s turned him into a “human bar” and is tasting her way along his delicious offerings:

The first item in that box is currently in his hand. A gentle push of its buttons gives her a roller coaster ride of pleasure mixed with frustration. Underneath that remote had lain the cuffs. Her orgasms are literally in his hands. All evening, he’s kept her right on the edge of climax. He refuses to give her the satisfaction she desperately craves.

She jumps to attention as the vibrator comes to life once more.

“The tequila is getting warm. I know how much you hate hot shots.” He chuckles at his own joke.

Ignoring his pun, she slowly shuffles her knees closer to him, his body radiating with the intoxicating musk of arousal. If she could, she’d rip off the cuffs so her tongue could lick wherever she pleased.

But she doesn’t want to rip them off. She dangles right on the edge of ultimate pleasure and desperate need. Chest heaving. Legs trembling with need. Thighs glistening with arousal. She is exactly where she wants to be.

Slowly, she drags her knees closer to his belly button. Each micromovement causes her nipples to rub against the textured leather. Her concentration fights against the unpredictable pulses between her thighs. Kit is too close to winning to give in now.

Her tongue brushes against her lips and catches a stray salt crystal. Its metallic tang reaffirms her purpose. Once again, her tongue darts out toward the trail.

Never before have little bits of salt provided so much motivation. Starting at his belly button, the salt follows down the line of curls inching past his waist. The grains float on top of his tight curls, not quite ready to surrender to his skin.

Her eyes travel where her tongue cannot.

oral sex erotica story

Can you say HOT?

Read all of “Body Shots” plus 20 other brand new super sexy stories in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3, available in ebook for Kindle (all countries), Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo, or the print edition from Amazon, Bn.com, independent bookstore Powell’s or your local independent bookstore via IndieBound. Please follow us at @BWEoftheyear on Twitter and on Facebook for news, giveaways, calls for submissions for future volumes and more. And if you read the book and would like to share a review, that’s very much appreciated and helps guide me in selecting stories for upcoming volumes in the series.

About Thien-Kim Lam: Thien-Kim Lam writes erotic multiracial romances exploding with delectable delights. When she needs a break from imagining new places for her heroine to hide her battery-operated toys, she guzzles Vietnamese iced coffee and bakes her feelings. Visit BawdyBookworms.com for reading recommendations and pleasure pairings while you wait for her debut novel.

About the book: Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 delivers the kind of sexy stories you want most: daring, bold, and surprising tales of women who pursue their boundless passions anywhere and everywhere. Edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, winner of multiple Independent Publishing Book Awards, these scintillating scenarios turn the tables on how women are “supposed” to behave. Instead, these uninhibited vixens indulge in their favorite fetishes, do deliciously intimate “Body Shots,” and get tied up with “Red Satin Ribbons.” They pose nude, dress up, and roleplay, always obeying their most exhilarating impulses. These lusty ladies take your most cherished, private fantasies—from making a sex tape, to taking part in a thrilling threesome, to having a stud delivered to your door hot and ready—and make them come alive. Written by beloved authors Abigail Barnette, Annabel Joseph, and Charlotte Stein along with several genre newcomers, these are erotic encounters you’ll want to savor again and again and again…

Five feminist moments from Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3

17 Nov

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Last night the most magical time in my life as an erotica editor happened: I received a box of my latest anthology, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3. The official print pub date isn’t until December 12, but I order my copies directly from the printer so I can get them as fast as possible. At a time when nearly every day we are hearing accusations of sexual misconduct, abuse or assault by predatory men misusing their power such as Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K., I’m extremely proud to have my name on a book of sexy, powerful, female-driven stories by 21 women authors from around the world.

best women's erotica

Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3

Though I don’t have a book fetish like the protagonist of “Bibliophile” by Dee Blake, one of those 21 tales, as I paged through one of these beautiful, sexy books, I was enamored and excited. [And by “sexy book,” I don’t just mean what’s inside; there’s something deeply sexy to me about touching a book’s glossy cover, about seeing pristine, hot-off-the-press pages, about admiring the design and care that went into it.] I was also thinking about feminism, and some of the standout feminist moments I’ve found between its pages. While this isn’t marketed as a book of “feminist erotica” and I can’t claim it is one because I don’t know if that’s how the authors would describe their stories, there are some timely and some timeless elements to these tales that I think will appeal to anyone looking for erotica that doesn’t speak down to women, but builds them up. Just as I believe sexual knowledge is power, I also believe that having women see their true desires reflected in erotica is also important. For me, this means that while characters can of course question themselves, their fantasies, and their bodies, they also talk back to a culture that does plenty of questioning, blaming and shaming.

In some cases, this means defying the need to categorize us as straight or gay; it could mean engaging in polyamory or other forms of non-monogamy; in others, it means defying the still-prevalent cultural taboo against mixing sex and money. While I intend my books to be erotic entertainment first and foremost, and selected the stories I think will make the hottest anthology possible, what I see when I read these tales are stories that respect women and our ability to make our own sexual choices. A year from now, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4, will have a theme of outsiders and risk, chosen directly because of the election of Donald Trump and my desire to capture diverse, multicultural erotica.

But right now, Volume 3 is here and while, as I said, I can’t speak for the authors as to whether they intended these tales to be “feminist erotica,” nor can I get in the minds of readers as to whether they’ll agree with my assessment, I read these as powerful feminist moments in a book already packed with bold, smart women who go after what they want regardless of what society tells them they “should” want.

1.The naked woman showing off for another woman in a Pussy Grabs Back t-shirt during a sexy photo shoot

In “Watch Me Come Undone,” August McLaughlin’s protagonist Belle recounts a life-changing photo shoot that gives her a lot more than she bargained for. One aspect I especially liked is that she weaved in the power of being an exhibitionist with Belle’s bisexual desires in a seamless way. Here she also gives a nod to the fact that while women don’t want our pussies grabbed without our consent, we are still deeply sexual beings. The key difference is that we get to decide. Here’s part of how that plays out (there’s much more after this initial encounter):

I placed my other hand in my pants, pressing a finger between my dripping, swollen lips. As I added my drenched digits to my mouth, tasting my wetness, I swore I heard Jayden stifle a moan. How hard he must be. How hungry.

Outside the window, I glimpsed a woman walking by. She was dressed casually, in jeans and a PUSSY GRABS BACK tee. The irony. She did a double take, then paused. I looked her in the eyes, encouraging her to keep watching, continuing to suck my fingers on one hand and moving the other to my protruding breasts.

sexy photo shoot erotica

From “Watching Me Come Undone” by August McLaughlin in BWE of the Year 3

2. Becoming a drag king

What drew me to “Romance and Drag” by Lyla Sage was how it utterly upends the concept of gender roles. Both main characters play with gender and, through that process, get to reclaim aspects of themselves that the culture around them had told them were incorrect or problematic. As Max Notorious, our narrator gets to live out a side of herself that fulfills here. Here’s a little more on her introduction to drag:

Ever since a former fling took me to a drag king show years ago, I’ve been mesmerized by male drag. I’d heard of drag queens before, and I’d seen some actresses and female models dress up as guys in magazine layouts, but this show was a different kind of animal altogether. These kinds served up the entire male illusion, down to the chest hairs and the bulges in their pants.

Coincidentally, when I started doing drag, I realized that I was attracted to women in addition to men. I hooked up with girls who swooned over my boy look. And I knew I was doing drag right when some men mistook me for one of their own. The bi guys in particular were intrigued by me, intrigued that I was the best of both worlds: I looked masculine enough to fulfill their male-loving side, but I also had a vagina for them to fulfill their love of women.

3. Roleplaying as a cheerleader

Kim and Jody, the lesbian couple in “After the Heist” by Aya de Leon (who can also be found in her Justice Hustlers #1 novel Uptown Thief), are thieves by profession. On their own time, they entertain each other and part of that involves roleplaying in a way that defies our cultural stereotypes of cheerleaders as straight girls. We learn later in the story that Jody’s family “had wanted her to be a cheerleader, but she wanted to date one.” Together, they queer this common image and turn it on its head.

In the center of the bed, Kim wore a yellow and green cheerleading uniform. She was posed in a half split, with pom-poms in the air.

“Go Jody! Go Jody!” she cheered.

Jody chuckled and blushed a little. “Oh goodie,” she said. “We’re playing the girl soccer star and the cheerleader.”

“You did great out there tonight,” Kim said. “I thought you deserved some appreciation on the home field.” Kim did a series of high kicks that revealed that she wasn’t wearing any underwear.

Jody grinned and walked slowly over to the bed, letting her towel drop. She lay down below Kim.

“Gimme a J!” Kim said.

J,” Jody said.

Kim planted her feet on either side of Jody’s head and spelled out her name, while shaking her hips from side to side.

Jody grinned from beneath her. “I’m loving this half-time show,” she said.

4. Hiring a male sex worker

In making it “Making It Feel Right” by Annabel Joseph, Myra hires a man to dominate her. This act alone is something we’re not used to hearing about from women. But where things get really interesting is that he doesn’t simply arrive and perform his job in a rote way. He listens to her, and in turn, gives her space to discover an aspect of her kinky impulses and desire to dominate (without necessarily being a Domme) that she hadn’t considered before. What I particularly loved about this story is that Myra gets to discover what she truly wants at this specific moment, without labels, without pressure. That her hired guy, Daniel, makes that happen for her in a delicious way is icing on the cake.

Personally, I sometimes think there’s pressure on women to always know exactly what we want in the bedroom and if we don’t, it can feel like we’ve somehow failed to live up to a different kind of cultural ideal: the strong woman. But questioning who we may have thought we were can lead us into sexual pleasures we could never have imagined. Here’s what happens when he asks her why she wants to dominate him:

“I don’t know. I think it’s because you’re so strong and beautiful, and I want to be in control of . . . of . . . ” She waved her arms, delineating all of him, broad shoulders to manly feet. “Of all this strength and beauty, just for a while. The thing is, I don’t know how to do it.”

He refuted that statement with a tilt of his head. “I think you know. You’ve already imagined what you want, so make it happen. You’re paying for me. Use me.”

Use me. Why did those words give her such a thrill? Because you’re not submissive, sweetie, and apparently never have been.

5. Claiming a fetish after childhood abuse

In “Infused Leather” by Dr. J., Angie and Hal bond over a mutual fetish for leather, but their interest goes much deeper than simply the feel of the sensual material. For Angie, as she explains to Hal, after surviving abuse at the hands of her uncle, “When I take control, I win.” Together, the pair use their fetish to transcend their painful past. Writing about a heavy topic like sexual abuse and still crafting an erotic, arousing story is no easy feat, but Dr. J. does it marvelously. Here’s how they decide to take their relationship to a new level after a shoe-shine event:

“Hmph, we’re a pair.”

“Yeah, confirmed little leather freaks.”

For a long moment, we held each other’s gaze, locked in our own space, transported away from everything around us.

“Angie?”

“Yeah, Hal?”

“You want to take it another step?”

“What do you have in mind?”

“Sex.”

“Sex?”

“Yeah, let’s put pleasure into something that hurt us in the past.”

“How?”

“In any way it feels right, like how we just marked our leather for each other when we shoe shined.”

“Do you think it will help us?”

“I can hope, Ang.”

And that’s how our leather sex began.

You may find other moments in the book that strike you as feminist, or you may find none. What I can promise  you is that all of these stories sizzle with sexual tension, heat and realistic desires, whether the women involved are fulfilling outrageous sexual fantasies or falling in love.

Order Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks or Kobo, or in print from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells or find it at your local independent bookstore via IndieBound. For international orders, click here.

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Rachel Kramer Bussel (rachelkramerbussel.com) has edited over 60 anthologies, including Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 and 2, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Begging for It, Fast Girls, The Big Book of Orgasms and more. She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture and teaches erotica writing classes around the country and online. Follow her @raquelita on Twitter and find out more about her classes and consulting at eroticawriting101.com. You can follow Rachel on BookBub to get notified about new releases and ebook sales.

How to talk about sex in public

20 Jan

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

I’m in the midst of getting ready for my upcoming Best Women’s Erotica of the Year book tour, which will take me to four cities: Los Angeles on January 31, Baltimore on February 9, New York on February 11 and Jersey City on February 13.

Join us on the Best Women's Erotica of the Year book tour!

Joining me will be contributors to Volumes 1 and 2 in the series. As these dates inch closer, the two words I’m hearing most often from seem of the authors reading are: “I’m nervous.”

My response, which sometimes feels like a dirty little secret, is always, “Me too.” Because despite the fact that I believe readings are a vital career tool for authors, and that I’ve been organizing and participating in them since 2000, I still dread having to read my dirty words out loud. It’s gotten a little easier over the years, but it still makes my heart pound wildly every time I look out over a crowd and realize I will have to navigate language like “cock” and “pussy” and “orgasm” and, the one that always causes me the most anxiety, “cunt.” I never know whether I should pronouncing with a loud, proud, hard “t” at the end, or let the four-letter word almost trail off with a soft “t,” as if that will lessen its impact.

So despite this post’s title, I don’t have the secret to getting over your fear of public speaking, especially when it comes to speaking about sex, but I do have a few tricks I’ve picked up along the way after seemingly countless readings in bars, bookstores, community centers and other locales. When I read my work, I often feel like I’m reading it to myself anew as well, because once I put the final edits on an erotica short story and it goes to print, my mind tends to move on to the next thing. I don’t always grasp how odd it might seem to read about, say, an oral sex restaurant, such as the one in my story “Secret Service,” until I’m actually doing it. Here’s a peek at me reading that one at my old reading series In The Flesh, nervous tics and all:

Here are some tools that have helped me get over that fear and nervousness, and push through it when it strikes during a reading. For one thing, I think you want to remember what compelled you to write the piece in the first place. On one of my favorite podcasts, Bad With Money, host Gaby Dunn discussed the topic of self-promotion with Real Artists Have Day Jobs author Sara Benincasa, and Sara said something I’ve always believed: that you have to believe in yourself 100% and not be shy about letting others know about your work (I’m paraphrasing, but I promise the episode is worth a listen). Tap in to your motivation for telling this particular story, and channel that as you give voice to that tale.

I believe readings are the epitome of that practice of putting your work out there, because even though you can, of course, do some last minute editing on the fly, you don’t have the time to agonize and overthink and cut and paste and edit and delete and hem and haw that you do with writing (yes, I do this with almost all my writing). You are there, live, raw, and showing that you are showing up for your words and ready to share them in this personal format. The words are already there, and your job is to do them justice and bring your own personal spin to them.

Most likely, you’ll find that as you read, even if you start out nervous, at some point, you will get lost in the story, and find that it becomes a separate entity to what’s on the page. It’s only when I read my work out loud that I often get its nuances. I don’t tend to think of myself as a funny writer, especially of erotica, but during readings is where I start to notice the humor in my pieces. Sometimes, I gravitate toward those aspects, selecting passages that play up the funnier angles. Since you’re usually only reading a small selection of your words out loud, you can shape and frame them, tantalizing the audience with a teaser of your work, and encouraging them to read the rest on their own.

I also think it’s important to remember that even if you’re nervous, audiences don’t mind. In fact, they appreciate you all the more when you reveal your humanity and let them know that you’re nervous. In all my years of doing erotica readings, I’ve never had anyone criticize me when I’ve faltered over a phrase, or skipped over a line, or couldn’t stop my voice or hands from shaking. We are all human, and we all know that talking about sex can be challenging, but I think that at a time when the arts are under attack, it’s vital that we meet that challenge and show that we don’t see anything wrong with writing explicitly erotic material.

It also helps me to think less about the individuals I’m reading to, who in the past have included friends, family members and current and former lovers, and instead focus on the story. I do try to look up and make eye contact, but at the same time, in my mind’s eye, I’m picturing the action of the story, and trying to do it justice.

Another way to lessen your nerves is to give audiences a little peek into your writing process. Whether you do this before you read, after you read, or with small asides as you go, this gives them additional insight they won’t find on the page. Bring a prop if it’s relevant to your story, as D.R. Slaten plans to do at our reading at Sugar in Baltimore. Tell us something personal about yourself; this doesn’t have to mean your sexual history (though it could), but something that makes readers appreciate having taken the time to leave their homes when they could be curled up under a blanket watching Netflix. Give them a juicy detail, tell them how you came up with your story idea, offer a tidbit of writing inspiration, or anything that will add to the words you’ve already crafted on the page.

Bring your personality with you when you read. Remember that you don’t have to be an A list quality actor in order to bring your words to life; you just have to be yourself. Here’s a wonderful example of a reading by a woman who inspired me to get into the genre, Susie Bright. Watch her reading from her story “The Best She Ever Had” in her gorgeously crafted anthology X: The Erotic Treasury, back in 2009 at In The Flesh, for an example of a master of how to talk about sex in public:

The awful/wonderful thing about readings is that anything can happen. I recognize that for women, especially, it can be unnerving to talk so frankly about sex in public, lest we be greeted by flirtatious, inappropriate or downright creepy comments in return (I’ve experienced all three), with the assumption being that because we aren’t ashamed about sex, we want to sleep with anyone who happens to be around. At the same time, I think staying silent about sex adds to our cultural confusion around it. Exploring it, whether in fiction or nonfiction, is a way to break some of the taboos, and in a culture when so many of us, myself included, live our lives behind a computer screen, saying those dirty words, giving them context and meaning and emotion and weight, is all the more valuable.

The awful/wonderful thing about readings is that you can’t predict how they will go. The audience may listen avidly, or twiddle with their phones. They may laugh or gasp where you don’t expect them to, and your favorite jokes may fall flat. Someone may catch something in your work you’ve never thought about before.

Lastly, remember that readings don’t last forever. They may loom large when they’re on the horizon, but the time really does fly by when you’re up there speaking into the microphone. I can’t tell you the number of times an author who’s seemed nervous beforehand has trouble sticking to their allotted time, because once they get started, they get swept away.

I hope you’ll join me on this book tour, and if you’re not in any of these cities, I would love it if you’d pass on the details to someone who is. I’ve organized it in part to promote my books, but also to stand up for erotica, to ensure that it’s not relegated to some bottom shelf or back corner of a bookstore, only ferreted out by the truly dedicated. Plus, on a personal level, it’s another way for me to help conquer that fear, to leap into the unknown and find out what happens. I want to see erotica front and center, next to the latest mystery and romance and fiction titles. Here’s where to find us – all our events are free and will be followed by Q&As and book signings.

January 31, 7:30 pm, Skylight Books, 1818 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles

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February 9, 6:30 pm, Sugar, 1001 W. 36th Street, Baltimore (Hamden)

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February 11, 7 pm, Bluestockings, 172 Allen Street, New York City

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February 13, 7:30 pm, WORD, 123 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey

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Rachel Kramer Bussel (rachelkramerbussel.com) has edited over 60 anthologies, including Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Begging for It, Fast Girls, The Big Book of Orgasms and more. She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture and teaches erotica writing classes around the country and online. Follow her @raquelita on Twitter and find out more about her classes and consulting at eroticawriting101.com.

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