The pleasure in pain

I’ve just been editing the short story that won the 2018 RWA Spicy Bites comp for erotic romance, Daisy, Chained about a girl who embraces her feminine nature after a chance encounter with a sexy martial arts instructor and his whip chain. It got me thinking about the relationship between pain and pleasure and why a taste of pain at just the right moment can increase or prolong sexual pleasure.

So, you guessed it, I did some digging…

Pain for pleasure has long been a sexual practice and, as well as dominance and submission, is an important element in BDSM. Like a drug, the pleasure experienced with pain can be addictive and lead to a choice of lifestyle that leaves ‘vanilla’ sex in the past.

“… love, sex, pain and violence all stimulate the release of similar chemicals and hormones in the human body. Endorphins that are released in painful experiences are often perceived as pleasurable. Stress and pain can also stimulate the serotonin and melatonin production in the brain, which transforms painful experiences into pleasure. The release of epinephrine and norepinephrine in pain can also cause a pleasurable ‘rush’. Normal human biological response actually supports the complex and mysterious link between pain and pleasure, which we see in the runner’s high and the facial expressions during orgasmic release.” Wendy Strgar

Possibly in Daisy’s case, she receives some psychological healing with the experience of ‘good pain’ as explained by Dr. Jess O’Reilly:
‘If you’ve experienced pain in your past, you likely consider it a bad form of pain; by using pain as a source of pleasure, you can create a new type of pain — good pain.’

Recently two studies found that ‘participants who engaged in consensual sadomasochistic acts as part of erotic play experienced a heightened sense of bonding with their partners and an increase in emotional trust.’

For the first time – the first of a series of free story giveaways I have planned – I’m sending Daisy out into the wide world. If you’d like to read the juicy details of Daisy’s discovery of the pleasure/pain relationship in sex, and be notified of other free stories when they’re available, sign up:

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and enjoy 😉

The Little Death

I have a confession to make: I adore drinking wine – white or red – and have been a fan of rosé, especially the dry varieties, for many years. As a lover of most things French and sensual, on a recent mini break to Queensland’s ‘granite belt’, I couldn’t resist ordering the La Petite Mort Rosé from a restaurant wine list.

The cool, high country and decomposed granite soils of the area make for unique and excellent wines – the label got my attention, andthe wine did not disappoint!


As I was drinking, my curiosity sparked and I did a little digging about the origins of the term ‘La Petite Mort’. The little death as a metaphor for orgasm is fairly mainstream, and has been used as a title for many things, including restaurants and a ballet, and is referenced widely in music lyrics.

The term was in use as early as the 16th century, originally referring to a fainting fit, later enlarged to include ‘nervous spasm’. More recently the term has been used to describe a sexual orgasm as a spiritual as well as physical release, an orgasm so intense it feels like an out of body experience; the feeling of having expended life force, of having died a little.

Surely, a little warm death is even better? (sung beautifully by Stringmansassy):

La petite mort is commonly used in literature, although not always in a sexual way (i.e. Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles) and literary critic Roland Barthes used the term to describe the experience of reading great literature.

I’m sure I’ll find a way to slip it into my writing…

I’ll leave you with a beautiful but sad song…

a tout a l’heure…

Jade egg as a writing aid?

It’s been a few months since my jade egg arrived, but I wanted to give my body some time to adjust before I wrote of my experiences.

I can’t be entirely sure of the physical changes since my egg and I first became acquainted, except that in the beginning, the muscles of my vaginal canal could only hold my egg for half an hour or so before my internal muscles tired. The time increased steadily and I quickly found I could go about my normal life with my egg inside. Now I can hold it indefinitely without trying, or being conscious of its presence. I assume from that change that my muscles have become stronger and more toned – and with very little effort.

The most noticeable difference though, is associated with creativity. If I am writing, by using my egg, I find the words flow easier and faster, and if I am having trouble connecting with my creativity (I wouldn’t call it writers block, more like constriction), with my egg as my companion, the connection opens immediately and ideas and words flow without hesitation.

Increased and better access to my creativity was not one of the benefits I expected, but it was an extremely welcome one. Now, after reading Naomi Wolf’s book “Vagina” and learning of the link between orgasm and creativity, I realise I should have expected any improved connection with my sexuality and increased sexual energy, could only benefit my creative process.

A direct line to my muse? I wouldn’t want to be presumptuous, but what a thought!

Embed from Getty Images Continue reading

Orgasms… the extremes some women will go to

There’s no denying orgasms are one of life’s more pleasurable – and for many of us, accessible – experiences. But if it wasn’t a simple pleasure? How far would you go to experience the sweet, if short, release of orgasm?

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These days genital plastic surgery is quite common, to make us look prettier ‘down there’ or in an attempt to make orgasm easier to achieve. The removal of the clitoral hood has been popular since the Victorians believed it to be superfluous and that exposing the glans clitoris would make women more responsive.

In fact, the hood is made up of erogenous tissue – it is a pleasure receptor in itself and protects the often too-sensitive clitoris (direct pressure can be painful), diffusing it’s sensitivity so sex can be a pleasurable, not an uncomfortable activity. And why would you willingly remove even a small piece of the organ packed with nerve endings, present in the body for the sole purpose of pleasure? Without it, wouldn’t we just be depriving ourselves of part of our erogenous anatomy? Continue reading

To come, or to cum…

While drafting a steamy short story today, I become strangely caught up and indecisive about whether I was using the slang term ‘cum’ correctly. Should I replace with ‘climax’ or ‘orgasm’ for the verb, ‘semen’ or ‘ejaculate’ for the noun?

In my search for answers, I came across this clever article, which made me smile and clarified the ‘proper’ use of ‘cum’ and ‘come’.

Come is excellent for use in ‘polite’ circumstances: journalism, novels, etc
‘For example, there you are, having sweet vanilla sex with your shy, classically handsome crush, listening to vintage Taylor Swift while the pie in the oven gets a little burnt, though it’s still definitely edible. He comes, there is come.’
and, or course, for all those delicious double entendres and sexual puns.

Cum is the more blunt, vulgar alternative (commonly used in men’s magazine articles, romance novels, etc)
‘The standoffish but mysteriously attractive guy from the party wants to have his way with you. His pillows are made of leather. Crazy. “I’m gonna cum,” he grunts.’

Quotes above by Katy Waldman

Verbally, misunderstandings can be unavoidable, but in writing the use of ‘cum’ is handy to make the sexual meaning clear if the sentence is ambiguous – and not intended to be. Continue reading

Are you a Sensualist?

I am eternally grateful to Anaïs Nin for immortalising the essence of sensualism in her writing. “…at certain moments I remember one of his words and I suddenly feel the sensual woman flaring up, as if violently caressed. I say the word to myself, with joy. It is such a moment that my true body lives.”

Our imagination can be the most powerful aphrodisiac at our disposal. We should allow it it’s full power and feed it whenever the opportunity presents itself. While searching for beauty on the internet recently, I found the perfect definition of the way in which some of us are separated from the rest of society by our appreciation of – and reliance on – the sensual. If you are reading this, you will probably recognise yourself in the (slightly edited) description below, courtesy of Annelies A.A. Vanbelle.

The Sensualist Manifesto

  1. For a true Sensualist the five senses are the highest gift. Experiencing sensual pleasure through savouring, sniffing, observing, listening and touching is their lifelong leitmotiv. Sensualists enjoy poking their noses in their lover’s armpits, revel in the soft slide of skin-against-skin. Sensualists never express the word ‘sex(uality)’. Sensuality however is their mantra, eroticism their adage, tickling their addiction.
  1. For a Sensualist lust equals zest for life. No libido means no energy, no creativity, no inventivity. Lust is the catalyst of their lives. They consider love-making as a language, just as fit as any other language to penetrate the darkest regions of somebody else’s mind and soul. Their heated view on things is not restricted to the bedroom. Their entire life is covered with a veil of sensual sensation. Sensualists immediately recognise each other through the poignant, passionate look in the eyes.
  1. Sensualists practise slow sex, analogous to slow food, which is also focused on reawakening the senses, slowly and devotedly, by serving quality and originality. Sensualists prefer desire above fulfilment, the endless scrutinizing of each others’ bodies above a quick and simple fuck. The Walhalla for a sensualist is reaching an orgasm without even touching the other. A penetrating look can do so much more than a real penetration. Sensualists invest an abundance of time in letting the longing grow fiercer and fiercer. They drift on the energy that derives from suggestion and abstention.
  1. Sensualists dote on slow sex but this doesn’t say anything about the pace of their lovemaking. They are fond of the contrast between fast and terribly slow, between ruthless and soothing, animal and cerebral, intense and superficial, distant and intolerably intimate, between being restrained and eager, biting and kissing, sizzling and freezing. It is this entire spectrum of feelings and sensations that oscillatory cranks up their lust.
  1. Language is the aphrodisiac par excellence for a Sensualist. Sensualists are word junkies that send each other elongated eropoetic writings. They read arousing literature to each other and poetry compilations are used to facilitate the traffic between the sheets instead of the habitual lubricant. Sensualists can be touched deeply by one well thought-out sentence and enjoy months of pleasurable old-fashioned correspondence. Tickle their brain (their most erogenous zone) and their bodies react instantly. Though sensualists are cerebral creatures, their sensual summit is situated in animal regions. The utter fulfilment lies in letting the beast go, letting it sweep away the monocracy of the mind. The ultimate objective of a Sensualist is to reach a complete symbiosis with a partner, becoming one body instead of two, no longer knowing where the self ends and the other begins.
  1. Sensualists view lovemaking as a form of art, a skill that can be learned and honed through practise, careful observation and discussion. Every new love is a new step in the continuous perfecting of a Sensualists bedroom arts and techniques. They travel around their lover’s body, map it meticulously, know every inch of it. Sensualists are light-fingered; excel in keeping tongue, timing and rhythm.
  1. Sensualists regard the body as one huge erogenous zone. Hands, feet, armpits and earlobes, glans penis and clitoris, nipples and breasts: they are all one and the same. Fingers intertwine and almost reach an orgasm, toes are licked as though life depends on it. A Sensualist uses the body as the primal instrument for sensual pleasure; accessories add a nice touch but are not necessary. Much more important than masks, rose petals, candles and electric devices is imagination. Sensualists prefer the suggestive power of fantasy above the brutal in-your-face of pornography.