Tag Archives: fiction

Sexy snippet: New Charlotte Stein erotica story, “The Skin of Someone Else”

12 Dec

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

It’s Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3 week here at Lady Smut! This anthology of sexy short stories by women, which is full of major feminist hotness, is out now in ebook and print, with an audiobook narrated by Rose Caraway out later this month. You can find out more about the series at bweoftheyear.com and this volume specifically right here.

best women's erotica cover

Out now in ebook and print!

I’m thrilled to have a brand new Charlotte Stein short story, “The Skin of Someone Else,” in this anthology. If you read erotic romance, you probably are very familiar with Charlotte’s particular knack for writing sizzling hot characters in her many novels such as Addicted, Control, Beyond Repair and Never Better. I first fell for her mesmerizing writing with her short story collection Things That Make Me Give In and have been devouring her work ever since.

But whether or not you’ve read her before, you’ll want to check out this new first person erotic story, about a shy woman who works cleaning up in a bar and fantasizes about the man in the business suit who flirts with her coworker. She collects the notes he leaves Caitlin, studying them surreptitiously and letting them fuel her sexual fantasies. Though Caitlin doesn’t seem to notice this man, the narrator does, and when he nicks himself on a broken glass, she stumbles into inviting him to her apartment to get him cleaned up.

Here’s a sexy snippet of what happens once they’re alone:

I turn from the medicine cabinet, Band-Aids in hand, and his eyes are only on me. Steadily, like before, and even blacker in here than they were in the bar. Like the insides of a mineshaft, I think, though that doesn’t quite go. It sounds too scary, and cold, and his gaze is neither. There is a gentleness to it, like the hand he puts on my elbow when I stumble back.

And his voice, when he speaks.

“Easy,” he says, so soft and so weary that it just happens. My mouth is on his, too sudden to make sense and so clumsy it makes him sway. It makes him jolt. He pulls away, gaze rattling all over me. Assessing whether I’m a good enough substitute, I think, and when he turns me to face the wall I know the answer is yes.

From behind, I probably look a lot like her.

At the very least I feel like her, when he runs his hands up over my sides and around to my breasts, and then down to the hem of my skirt. A couple more moves and he’ll be inside me, working frantically for his release—or so I think. Or so I imagine, standing there with my face to the wall and his mouth on the nape of my neck. But then that mouth moves lower, and lower, and his hands are spreading my thighs, and I’m not sure what to think.

All I know is that it’s a shock when I feel him spreading me open. When I register that he’s on his knees, and the warm, slick thing I can feel is his tongue.

He does it slow and tentative at first, as if testing me out. Maybe waiting to see if I’ll protest, before going on any further. And then when I only stand there with my mouth pressed tight against my hand, he licks me more insistently. He presses his whole face into me, tongue lapping and lapping and his fingers digging in and oh god the sounds he makes.

He moans like a man devouring dessert.

And he talks like one, too.

“Tell me where. Here? Here? Ah, yes. Yes, here,” he says, and he isn’t wrong. When he rubs over that sweet spot my legs start to tremble. One of my hands reaches blindly for him—though I try to control it. I try to resist, until he tells me I don’t have to.

“Yes,” he says. “Hold my face against your cunt.”

But I swear, I don’t intend to obey. It just happens, the same way all of this has just happened.

You can get Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3, which has the entirety of Charlotte Stein’s “The Skin of Someone Else” plus 20 other sizzling stories 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 Charlotte Stein: Charlotte Stein (charlottestein.net) is the RT- and DABWAHA-nominated author of over fifty short stories, novellas, and novels. When not writing deeply emotional and intensely sexy books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms, and occasionally lusting after hunks.

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.

Sign up for a free copy of On Fire: Erotic Romance Stories

5 Jun

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Who’s excited for summer? Hopefully, all of us! I am looking forward to vacations by the beach, attending my first bachelorette party and, of course, beach reads, including my July Cleis Press anthology On Fire: Erotic Romance Stories.

If the title and/or steamy cover (isn’t it HOT?) sound intriguing, I’ve got a great deal for you: Through June 18, 2017, one month before the ebook release (the print version pubs on August 8), I’m offering a free e-copy to interested readers in exchange for an honest review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. To sign up, fill out this form with your name and email address by June 18th. Your contact information will only be seen by me, and only used to send you the review copy. I’ll send you a copy, then you can post your review any time on Goodreads, and starting July 18th on Amazon. I just ask that you include the phrase “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review” with your review when you post it. It’s that easy!

Here’s the book’s blurb:

In On Fire, today’s top erotic romance authors don’t skimp on love or lust—they are entwined in tales that will make pulses pound and hearts race. Bestselling editor Rachel Kramer Bussel takes us inside the passions of couples who go above and beyond in their pursuit of sexual and romantic satisfaction, exploring the racy to the outrageous during their many arousing adventures. You’ll treasure the sex toy exploration in “Every Second of It,” find paranormal pleasure in “Masquerade,” and be transported to “A Place As Beautiful As This.” You’ll go “Beyond the Blindfold,” find out what lurks in the “Art of Darkness,” and delight in discovering “The Sweetest Thing.” These steamy stories by Kristina Wright, Delilah Devlin, Giselle Renarde, Kay Jaybee, Victoria Blisse, Jade A. Waters and others are perfect intimate reads to enjoy with your lover or for your own pleasure.

Want to know more On Fire? Visit the official Tumblr to read my introduction and the table of contents. And if you want to get a free copy for review, use this form by June 18, 2017 and check your inbox!

And stay tuned for our Lady Smut week celebrating all things On Fire and Fiery starting July 17th!

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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 have an orgasm from being spanked

15 Jan

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Spanking is one of my favorite things to read about, both because I enjoy getting and giving spankings, but even more, because how a person reacts to a spanking can tell us so much about them. The eyes may be the window to the soul, but for spankophiles, a spanking can be a window into equally powerful revelations.

Erotica authors can make spankings playful, painful, punishment, reward, ritual, initiation; the possibilities are endless. They can be purely physical, or they can tap something deep inside, bringing out raw emotion, longing, desire, unlocking secrets that can’t be unearthed in any other way. But there’s no one-size-fits-all spanking. What’s sexy to one person may be abhorrent to another. Some have very precise and specific ingredients that go into the perfect spanking; for others, it’s on a case-by-case basis. You can’t simply magically intuit what type of spanker or spankee someone will be without some clues to guide you.

If you stumbled across a spanking taking place, even if you watched closely, you might not know exactly which category it fell into; is it being enjoyed or endured? Is the spankee getting turned on or simply waiting it out until they get to whatever happens next? Is the spanking a sexual act, or something else? Writers have the power to get inside the heads of those on the receiving or giving end of those firm, hard smacks and let us find out what exactly makes this something characters crave (or cringe over)? When I am right there with a character who’s having the time of his or her life because of a spanking, I’m in reading heaven.

Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 1

Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1

It’s no surprise, then, that in my new anthology, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, spanking makes a few appearances. One of the most intriguing to me is “Restitution” by Ria Restrepo, about a famous pop star, Ella Lopez, who’s caught shoplifting and is being interrogated by a police officer under the watchful eye of whoever’s observing and monitoring their every move through a two-way mirror, helping to negotiate what her punishment will be. She’s told that she’ll be let off the hook for the shoplifting if she takes 20 bare assed spankings from Officer Hernandez. Heart pounding, she agrees. Here’s part of what happens:

“I want you to sing for me, little diva. Call out the numbers.”

“Yes, sir,” I said, my voice raspy and unfamiliar.

He shifted away from me and I held my breath, awaiting the first blow. When it came, it was hard, punishing, brutal—everything I thought it would be. My body lurched forward, jostling the table enough to knock the water bottle onto the floor.

“One,” I cried out on a pent-up gust of air.

Then came the next smack on the opposite cheek, and I called that one out too. There was a mean sting on my skin when his large hand first made contact, followed by a deep ache in my flesh as it absorbed the full force of the strike. He spread the slaps around, alternating sides, occasionally landing near the juncture between my thighs—those were the best ones. 

Each time, pain roared through my body, making my nipples throb and my cunt clench in sympathy. But it was a delicious torture that built with the burn until I was on fire. I could feel my juices sliding past my cunt lips and onto my thighs. I couldn’t believe it; I was going to come, just from him spanking me.

I asked Ria Restrepo to share a little behind the scenes insights into just how this story plays out, including what factors went into Ella being able to orgasm from being spanked. While this may not work for everyone (nor is that everyone’s goal), knowing what it took for Ella might set the stage for it happening for you.

Here’s what she told me: “Ella ultimately gets off from the combination of physical, emotional, and mental stimuli she experiences. She finds pleasure in pain, so the sensation of a firm hand smacking her tender flesh is highly arousing. But being dominated by a man she’s attracted to, knowing her spanking is being watched, and the taboo nature of a police officer abusing his authority in such a way all heighten Ella’s arousal. It’s often said that the brain is the greatest sexual organ and that’s definitely true in ‘Restitution.’ Ella is very aroused before Officer Hernandez ever lays a hand on her.” This buildup was another thing that made me want to publish her story. Ella’s body is primed, and the reader’s mind is also primed to be fully appreciate every aspect of her spanking—and what comes after it.

Something I especially think Lady Smut readers will appreciate is that Restrepo’s tagline for her BDSM erotica is “strong women who desire stronger men.” In other words, kink for her isn’t about submissies being truly degraded or seen as somehow lesser, but about owning up to—and sometimes asking for—the kind of treatment they want from a dominant. Sometimes what seems like “suffering” is actually delight; in Ella’s case, she’s being punished, but it’s clear that she is getting off, literally, on the harsh blows being delivered straight to her bottom, from a man who’s strong in more ways than one.

I asked her how her tagline plays out in “Restitution” and she said: “The best dominants aren’t intimidated by strong, independent women. They value a woman’s willing submission and work hard to earn her respect, admiration, and trust. Having a strong woman, who can stand on her own two feet, kneel before them in supplication is a cherished gift.”

She went on: “In ‘Restitution,’ Officer Hernandez may have authority over Ella by virtue of his position as the police officer who arrested her, but his dominant nature goes deeper than that. There is an ineffable quality truly dominant men possess—it’s in their demeanor, the way they stand, the way the walk, the glint in their eye. They exude confidence in their ability to understand what a submissive needs and give her exactly what she desires. Therein lies Officer Hernandez’s true power over Ella and makes him ‘stronger.’”

I love Restrepo’s concept of submission and that she makes sure to link women who submit with women who are independent. In this conception, dominant and submissive are yin and yang, each valuing what the other brings to the dance of BDSM. Her story would have been something else entirely if I felt like Ella was truly being manipulated into doing something she didn’t want to do, if the “punishment” only worked one way—to get the spanker off. Because it’s so clear, as you read in the passage above, that her body is singing with each strike of his hand, the power play works perfectly.

I also appreciated the detail Restrepo used in the short but powerful spankings scene. She didn’t belabor the story, but gave the reader just enough to perfectly capture exactly how Ella was being spanked, and where, and to let us know that the man delivering those blows knows precisely what he’s doing. While of course her story is pure fiction and not an actual instruction manual, I do believe that readers interested in pursuing spankings of their own could glean a thing or two about the art and joy of taking a spanking from Ella.

Want to find out what happens after that spanking? Read “Restitution” in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, out now in print and ebook form. You can also hear me and other contributors read from the book this Tuesday, January 19 at 6:30 p.m., at Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk Street, San Francisco.

Have a sexy story you want to get published? I’m accepting short story submissions by women authors from around the world through April 1 for Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 2, and the guidelines can be found at bweoftheyear.com.

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