Friday, November 16, 2018

F*cking New York: A New Book That Fucks NYC

New York City is one of the most intense, throbbing cities in the world, and a new book ponders what it would be like fucking it. Or fucking with it.

Fucking New York is a collection of bad ass, “fuck you I don’t care what you think” photos of women humping hoods of police cars, rubbing themselves against fire hydrants, stripping off their clothes in the middle of the street, and smashing their boobs up against glass windows. Fuck yeah.

“The book brought together New Yorkers of all ages, shapes, sizes, social, and ethnic backgrounds” says Nikola Tamindzic, a Serbian-American photographer who chronicled the wild nightlife of the city in Gawker for ten years. “New York is like that bad boy or a girl you always wanted to make your own, and never quite could, but man, the sex was always amazing,” he says.

Models in the coffee table art book include writers, artists, fashion models, activists, and porn star Stoya. “Those people brought the mix of intense carnality and playful humor I was looking for” says Mr. Tamindzic.

Like New York City itself, the subversively playful book is a contradictive combination of glamorous, gritty, exciting, rebellious, confident, strange, sophisticated, edgy, wild, sexy, creative, and fun.

In addition to the photographs themselves, the book will also feature conversations about the book and the issues it raises, including “the male gaze”, nudity, and sexual politics.

It’s wildly sexy and fun. We fucking love it.

You can order it here.

e8345fff642142874ad3bd6e8f1cd2f7_originalJust another steamy night in Manhattan.

nikola38ff42e1ff1f3fa3f0fb903374ca9431f_originalFucking with the NYPD.

trump3d23e5b854160930bffd0023da866aed_original Oh, and fuck New Yorker Donald Trump too, says activist Candice Fortin. “Donald Trump can kiss my ass.”

From Squeezing To Pleasing: Your Love Muscles & Our June Contest

As we come to the end of Masturbation Month, we’re ready to launch June’s giveaway, with the perfect combination to get you into a juicy frame of mind and body. The Kegel Fix by renowned urologist Dr. Andrew Siegel along with a set of luxurious silicone Adam & Eve’s Scarlet Glass Duo Balls (ben wa balls) will give you the hands-on tools you need to sexercise your way to more sexual satisfaction. Enter to win now!

After reading this book on sexual health and pleasure, I reached out to interview the author and sexpert on all things related to kegels and PC muscles. It’s my delight to share it with Sexpert readers.

THE KEGEL FIXScarlet duo balls

INTERVIEW WITH DR. ANDREW SIEGEL:

Dr. Ava Cadell: What inspired you to write this book?

Dr. Andrew Siegel: I wrote The Kegel Fix because of discontent with the existing means of educating women with respect to pelvic floor exercises. Often unable to identify their pelvic muscles or properly perform the exercises, outcomes are less than favorable and the frustration level and high abandonment rate is hardly surprising.  Because pelvic exercises remain an under-exploited resource that can be of great benefit to many women, I was inspired to write an easy-to-read, yet comprehensive book on the topic.

My goal is to educate women about the consequences of weakened pelvic muscles– urinary and bowel control problems, dropped pelvic organs and sexual dysfunction–taboo issues that many women are not typically knowledgeable about and are often reluctant to bring up to their doctors. I aim to demystify the pelvic muscles—out of sight, out of mind, and often misunderstood—and make pelvic floor muscle exercises less intimidating and more accessible.

Why is it important for women and men to exercise their pelvic muscles?

These muscles provide support for the pelvic organs, contribute to the control mechanism of the urinary and intestinal systems and play a vital role in sexual function. Pelvic exercises can be effective in stabilizing, relieving, improving and even preventing issues with pelvic support, sexual function, and urinary and bowel control.

Pelvic training can benefit females with weakened pelvic support (descent and sagging of the pelvic organs including the bladder, urethra, uterus, rectum and vagina itself); vaginal laxity (looseness); altered sexual and orgasmic function; stress urinary incontinence (urinary leakage with coughing and exertion); overactive bladder (the sudden urge to urinate with leakage often occurring before being able to get to the bathroom); pelvic pain due to pelvic muscle spasm; and bowel urgency and incontinence. Additionally, pelvic training improves core strength, lumbar stability and spinal alignment, aids in preventing back pain and helps prepare one for pregnancy, labor and delivery.                                    

Pelvic muscle training in males is no less important than in females, beneficial for urinary incontinence following prostate surgery, overactive bladder, post-void dribbling, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and pelvic pain due to pelvic muscle spasm. For more information on this topic, refer to Male Pelvic Fitness: Optimizing Sexual and Urinary Health (www.MalePelvicFitness.com).

The bottom line is that achieving a fit pelvic floor by strengthening and toning the pelvic muscles is a first-line approach that can improve a variety of pelvic maladies in a way that is natural, accessible and free from harmful side effects.

How can we incorporate some beginner exercises into our daily routines?

Beginner exercises involve pelvic floor contractions without using resistance.. Initially, it is important to isolate the pelvic muscles and exercise them while not actively contracting any other muscle groups. Once pelvic proficiency is achieved, pelvic exercises can then be integrated into other exercise routines, workouts and daily activities. In real life, muscles do not work in isolation, but rather as part of a team and the pelvic muscles are no exception, often contracting in conjunction with the other core muscles in a mutually supportive way. Many Pilates and yoga exercises involve consciously contracting the pelvic muscles together with other core muscles during exercise routines. When walking, standing up, climbing steps, doing squats and lunges, jumping, jogging, dancing and cycling, the pelvic muscles can be gently contracted to engage them in the supportive role for which they were designed.

At what age should men and women start exercising their pelvic floor muscles?

As in any exercise regimen, the best option is to be proactive and not reactive. It is sensible to optimize muscle mass, strength and endurance to prevent problems from surfacing before they have an opportunity to do so. Pelvic muscle training undertaken before getting pregnant will aid in preventing pelvic issues that may arise as a consequence of pregnancy, labor and delivery. Strengthening one’s pelvic muscles at a young age can help avoid pelvic, urinary and bowel conditions that may arise with time. Strengthen and tone now and your body will thank you later, so my recommendation for both women and men is to start early, before issues have a chance to develop.

Can you explain the difference between conscious relaxation exercises versus strengthening exercises?

A full range of motion pelvic contraction takes the pelvic muscles from maximal relaxation to maximal contraction. The relaxation element is as critical as the contraction element. As vital as “tone and tighten” are, “stretch and lengthen” are of equal importance. The goal is for pelvic muscles that are strong, toned, supple and flexible. Conscious relaxation is a vital part of the management of pelvic floor tension myalgia, a condition in which the pelvic muscles exist in a state of excessive contraction that causes pelvic pain and other urinary, bowel and sexual issues. So, conscious relaxation—a.k.a. reverse Kegels—aims to relax and lengthen the pelvic muscles as opposed to strengthening exercises, done in an effort to increase the strength, power and endurance of the pelvic muscles.

What are some of the health issues that result from weak pelvic floor muscles?

In females: pelvic relaxation (dropped bladder, uterus, rectum, etc.) and vaginal laxity (looseness); sexual and orgasmic issues; stress urinary incontinence (leakage with coughing, sneezing, exercise, etc.); overactive bladder and bowel; poor core strength, posture, lumbar stability and alignment.

In males: urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, post-void dribbling, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and other forms of ejaculatory dysfunction.

How would you recommend women incorporate ben wa balls into their pelvic floor exercise routine?

There are numerous variations of vaginal weighted balls, available in a myriad of different sizes and weights. They are placed in the vagina and require pelvic engagement in order that they remain in position. They also provide resistance to contract down upon, very different than contracting the pelvic muscles against air. Some are attached to a string, allowing one to tug on the balls to add even more resistance. Another variety has an elastic covering that can be squeezed down upon and compressed with pelvic muscle contractions, a form of resistance workout that accelerates pelvic conditioning.

My recommendation is to pursue the specific pelvic training program that is designed and tailored to the specific pelvic dysfunction (e.g., for sexual issues, stress incontinence, prolapse, etc.) as detailed in my book while using ben wa balls or alternative vaginal devices to add resistance to the workouts.

How can couples exercise their pelvic muscles together to enhance sexual satisfaction?

One option is for couples to do the exercises individually but together, like people in a fitness class at the gym. Alternatively, pelvic exercises can be integrated into the act of sexual intercourse. When the female actively contracts her pelvic muscles, the vaginal grip around the penis will tighten, in addition to more blood being forced into the clitoris, increasing clitoral engorgement and erection. When the male actively contracts his pelvic muscles, penile blood flow will be augmented, increasing penile length, girth and rigidity.  At the time of sexual climax, both male and female can focus on the involuntary rhythmic contractions of their pelvic muscles and try to heighten the experience by explosively voluntarily contracting them in synchrony with the involuntary contractions.

Is there anything else that people can learn from your book that is life and health changing?

Because many of those who are taught pelvic exercises do not really understand how to put their pelvic knowhow and conditioning to real life use, my ultimate goal is to teach functional pelvic fitness—practical and actionable means of applying pelvic exercise proficiency to daily tasks and common everyday activities to improve quality of life.  I call this “Kegels-on-demand.”

Can you incorporate pelvic floor exercises with masturbation?

During masturbation, with every stroke applied to the penis or clitoris, there is a reflex contraction of the pelvic muscles (a.k.a. bulbocavernosus reflex).  With each contraction of the pelvic muscles, the internal parts of the penis and clitoris (roots) are compressed, pushing blood back into the external parts, increasing penile and clitoral blood pressure, engorgement and rigidity. This happens reflexively and without effort. It can be enhanced by consciously contracting the pelvic floor muscles, not only during the act of masturbation, but also at the time of climax, when the pelvic muscles contract involuntarily in a rhythmic fashion and provide the muscle power behind the physical aspect of an orgasm.

Best Lesbian Erotica Anthology Celebrates 20th Edition! Interview With Editor Sacchi Green

Writer and editor Sacchi Green has paved one very sexy road for herself in the world of lesbian erotica, and she’s now celebrating the release of the much-anticipated volume of stories, Best Lesbian Erotica, 20th Anniversary Edition.

As the editor of Girl Crazy and co-editor of anthologies like Lesbian Cowboys, Rode Hard, Put Away Wet and many more, Green has honed her taste and skill to deliver a collection of stories that range from lust-at-first-sight quickies to coming out stories, and secret desires to deeper explorations. It’s packed with women’s fantasies that truly satisfy.

We were excited to interview Sacchi Green about her new book, the nuanced world of lesbian erotica, and what readers look for when it comes to the delicate balance of creative story and getting turned on.

INTERVIEW WITH SACCHI GREEN, EDITOR OF BEST LESBIAN EROTICA, 20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Best Lesbian EroticaHow did you get started writing lesbian erotica, how has the genre developed over the years, and what brought you to start the anthology?

My first published stories were in the science fiction and fantasy genre, usually with lesbian subtexts, but when I came across a call for submissions for the Best Lesbian Erotica series in 1999, I thought, “Hey, I bet I can do that!” and found myself seduced by the erotic side of the force.

The genre was expanding then, and becoming more diverse, so that you could find erotica with a romantic slant, or an edgy street-smart bite, short and uncomplicated or so expertly constructed that the sex and characterization and story arc fit together seamlessly. I wouldn’t say that the writing got more explicit—there were always some authors taking sex to the edge and over—but there was more and more of it available.

Tristan Taormino’s Best Lesbian Erotica series from Cleis Press, beginning in 1996, brought together the best work in this expanding genre (with “best” of course being subjective when it comes to writing) and seemed to me to validate the genre as a whole, as Susie Bright’s Best American Erotica did beginning in 1993 for the wider field of erotica. For a while erotica anthologies proliferated, and then over several years many of them fell by the wayside as the publishing world changed, but now there are new presses adjusting to the new ways, and erotica is stronger than ever in both short fiction and novels. All this time Cleis Press has been, for most writers of my very extensive acquaintance, the gold standard to aim for when it comes to erotica anthologies.

After five years in a row of having my stories published in Best Lesbian Erotica as well as many other anthologies, and getting to know a wide range of excellent writers, I decided to try my hand at editing in 2005. I started with three small presses, none of whom exist today. Eventually Cleis Press decided to publish more lesbian erotica anthologies, and called on me after people I’d worked with recommended me as someone who could handle the administrative as well as editorial functions. Now I’ve edited seven anthologies for Cleis, with two more coming up. Being asked to edit this year’s Best Lesbian Erotica, the 20th Anniversary Edition, has been the highlight of my career so far, with the possible exception of the Lambda Literary Awards won by two of my Cleis anthologies.

What types of storylines and characters do lesbian erotica fans look for in your experience?

The best thing about lesbian erotica fans is that they get beyond the all-too-prevalent view of erotica as “plot-what-plot?” trash not worth bothering with. They do want storylines, and complex characters, and intriguing settings, and can find them in erotica. Lesbian erotica fans are as diverse in their tastes as any other group of readers, so in anthologies, even themed ones, I try to have enough variety to appeal to many different readers, and skillful enough writing to appeal to most of them even when the particular slant isn’t to their usual taste. The readers need to be able to connect with the characters, to feel what they’re feeling, whether the sex is traditional, kinky, one-shot or committed, but sometimes they want characters who can fulfill their wildest fantasies rather than mirror their own identities. Role-playing has its place, too, consensual scenarios of transgression, bondage, power play. Above all, whatever the tone and theme of a story, they want intensity, both sexual and emotional. They want detailed, explicit descriptions, but they don’t want glaring clichés or strained metaphors. If a writer can turn them on well enough using creative terms, though, all the better.

What I look for as a reader and an editor are stories that are about more than sex, with sex still being at their core. I think most readers want that, as well, but some would rather not pay attention to anything beyond the sensory stimulation, and that’s fine too. As I said, erotic tastes are diverse, for lesbians as well as any other group. For those who want only BDSM, or butch/femme couplings (or butch/butch or femme/femme, etc.,) or paranormal/fantasy settings, or any other niche theme, there are anthologies out there that cater to their tastes, some of my books included, like Me and My Boi, coming out this June, and The Princess’s Bride: Lesbian Fairy Tale Erotica, coming out next year. Or my two Lambda Award winners, Lesbian Cowboys and Wild Girls, Wild Nights: True Lesbian Sex Stories. Did I mention that I like variety? It goes without saying that I’m that kind of lesbian erotica fan.

Who are your role models in lesbian erotica?

I’m not sure that I have any role models in terms of writers I want to emulate; in fact I’m a proponent of finding your own voice (or even voices) rather than trying to be like someone else, and originality is high on the list of things I look for as an editor. One downside of the proliferation of erotica that I see as an editor is the tendency of some new writers to try to sound like others they’ve read, and all too often they choose the wrong role models.  But there are certainly writers I’ve admired and respected ever since I discovered them, even though some of them no longer write erotica. Some, “literary” writers like Sarah Waters and Jeanette Winterson, don’t officially write erotica at all, even though parts of their work are certainly erotic enough. Among those who have written unabashedly for the erotica genre in the past, Joan Nestle comes first to mind, for both her pioneering fiction and nonfiction, and for her activism. Leslea Newman falls into this category, too. Pat Califia (now Patrick Califia) is another major figure, legendary for pioneering BDSM+ themes. Among contemporary writers of lesbian erotica, so many of my favorites have written for my anthologies that I don’t dare single out a few any more than parents can rank their children.

Besides your fabulous anthology, what other lesbian erotica would you recommend?

First of all, I recommend all of the other books in the Best Lesbian Erotica series. Tristan Taormino, the creator of the series, was editor from 1996 to 2009, and Kathleen Warnock took over through 2014. Laura Antoniou edited the 2015 volume, I’ve just done the 2016 edition, and the 2017 volume is being compiled by one of my favorite writers and editors, D.L. King.  As far as other anthologies go, I have to admit that I haven’t kept up with many beyond those I’ve edited myself or those that include stories of my own, so the best I can say is that Cleis Press anthologies are always worth reading, and some of the older works from the now-defunct Alyson Books certainly had their moments. For BDSM/Kink fans Pat Califia’s Macho Sluts is a classic, and Sinclair Sexsmith’s contemporary writings continue in that tradition with a distinctive voice of their own. Cheyenne Blue, one of my favorite writers, has edited a couple of excellent lesbian erotica anthologies lately that would recommend even if I didn’t have stories in them. Ylva Publishing and Ladylit Publishing are two of the newer presses that are producing lesbian erotica anthologies well worth reading, as well as novels .

How can couples use your book to teach each other to talk erotically or turn each other on?

There’s no denying that lesbian erotica readers sometimes turn to fiction for how-to information, for lack of other resources. There are, in fact, non-fiction resources, chief among them Felice Newman’s The Whole Lesbian Sex Book, but stories have their own power to inform and inspire. When it comes to readers of my previous books, some lesbians have told me, when we meet at readings, that they read these stories to each other at bedtime. Erotica as foreplay is probably as old as language itself. Erotica also plays a role in widening the readers’ recognition of possibilities, sexual activities, and seductive language, and sharing these stories is a way to pass along and discuss that knowledge. The emotional impact of erotic fiction can be as powerful as the sensual parts, too, and create an atmosphere where couples feel free to communicate their desires and act on them. But all this explanation sounds on the dry side; the stories need to speak for themselves, wielding their own lubricious magic. Lesbian erotica fans find their own personal ways of connecting with their desires and those of possible partners through these stories, and exactly how they do it is, as with so much of life, complicated.

Best Lesbian Erotica, 20th Anniversary Edition is now available from Cleis Press.

ABOUT SACCHI GREEN: Sacchi Green is the editor of Girl Crazy and has coedited the anthologies Lesbian Cowboys, Rode Hard, Put Away Wet, Hard Road, Easy Riding, and Lipstick on Her Collar. Her stories have appeared in an array of erotica publications, including the Best Lesbian Erotica series, the Best Women’s Erotica series, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, and Best Lesbian Romance 2010. She lives in Pioneer Valley, MA.

What’s Your Shakespearean Kink Style? Quiz From “Sex With Shakespeare” Author Jillian Keenan

William Shakespeare is celebrating his 400th birthday, and Sexpert.com asked, “What does that have to do with sex?” Enter Jillian Keenan with her brilliant new book Sex With Shakespeare, out tomorrow from William Morrow. The journalist, who raised a lot of eyebrows with her New York Times “Modern Love” piece Finding The Courage To Reveal A Fetish (spoiler alert: she’s into spanking) is also a former dramaturg, and has now written a memoir that uses Shakespeare’s famous plays to draw out her own personal stories while delivering shrewd commentary on love, romance and sexuality.

And as if Keenan weren’t clever enough, she created this hilarious, sexy Shakespeare quiz for us! Take the quiz to find out which Shakespeare play best suits YOUR sexual personality, and the sexual activities to go along with it. Enjoy!

TAKE THE QUIZ!

What’s Your Shakespearean Kink Syle?

Question 1: You deserve to be punished. How?

  1. You’ll go to bed without dinner . . . but only if your spouse comes, too.
  2. What?! Heck no! The only person who tops you is YOU.
  3. You’ll be monogamous for <long, heavy sigh> a week. Maybe.
  4. You should be mocked, humiliated, and locked in a dungeon. A dark dungeon.
  5. A spanking. Obviously.

Question 2: Your crush is . . . a bit different. Why?

  1. S/he’s your boss.
  2. S/he’s your family’s mortal enemy.
  3. S/he is a different person every week!
  4. S/he’s your prisoner of war.
  5. S/he’s a talking donkey.

Question 3: How’s your sex life?

  1. Not great. Whether it’s war in Cyprus or the fact that you’re in disguise, something keeps getting in the way.
  2. The sin of self-love possesseth all thine eye. In other words, you do you.
  3. Good wine is a good familiar creature . . . if it be well used.
  4. Bloody. Very bloody.
  5. Almost as good as the meat pie you ate on your last trip to Rome.

Question 4: Who is your Romeo and Juliet spirit animal?

  1. The Nurse: She’s nurturing, loyal, and hilarious.
  2. Tybalt: He’s tough and determined.
  3. Romeo: He’s passionate and goes with his gut.
  4. The Prince: He’s in charge!
  5. Mercutio: Why wouldn’t it be Mercutio?

Question 5: What’s your ideal date?

  1. The activity doesn’t matter—it only matters that you’re with the one you love.
  2. Dinner at your favorite restaurant, followed by a nightcap at your apartment.
  3. It varies! There are so many factors: the day, the company, your mood . . .
  4. A cage fight. In an abandoned subway tunnel.
  5. Always the same thing. The same . . . very specific thing.

Question 6: Which Shakespeare character turns you off the most. 

  1. Hamlet: He’s way too indecisive.
  2. Ophelia: She’s such a victim.
  3. Helena: She’s way too clingy.
  4. King Duncan: Learn to fight back, man.
  5. Hero: Perfection is boring.

Question 7: Which Shakespeare character turns you on the most?

  1. Imogen! Despite everything, she stands by her love.
  2. Benedick! He knows what he wants, and has the brain to get it.
  3. Puck! Who doesn’t want a shrewd and knavish sprite?
  4. Tamora! Goth girls got it going on.
  5. Caliban! The less said about why, the better.

Question 8: Which line from the Sonnets sets your mad blood stirring?

  1. “If the dull substance of my flesh were thought, / Injurious distance should not stop the way.”
  2. “’Tis better to be vile than vile esteemed / When not to be receives reproach of being.”
  3. “When I consider everything that grows / Holds in perfection but a little moment.”
  4. “For I have sworn thee fair and thought thee bright, / Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.”
  5. “Such is my love, to thee I so belong, / That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.”

Question 9: It’s Shakespeare movie night! What do you watch?

  1. Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.
  2. Gil Junger’s Ten Things I Hate About You.
  3. Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet.
  4. Julie Taymor’s Titus Andronicus.
  5. Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool.

Question 10: What’s in your toy box?

  1. Rope, handcuffs, and bondage tape.
  2. Phthalate-free toys from your favorite body-safe, sex-positive vendor.
  3. A mask, four different vibrators, and a flask. Oh, and a banjo.
  4. Knives.
  5. Two hairbrushes and an old report card.

Results:

Which number corresponds with most of your answers? Tally your results, and then read on to learn how you get down and kinky with Shakespeare! 

  1. You are . . . patience on a monument You want real love, and you’re willing to wait for it. You’ll enjoy: Twelfth Night, paired with a healthy sprinkle of bondage and sensory deprivation.
  2. You are . . . a hard-hearted adamant  You know what you want, you know what you like, and you’re not going to let anyone change your mind. You’ll enjoy: Much Ado About Nothing—almost as much as you’ll enjoy arguing about it later with a partner who is as strong-minded as you are! 
  3. You are . . . falser than vows made in wine Variety is the spice of life! You change your mind fast, and your partners even faster. You’ll enjoy: the Sonnets and role play, both of which will feed your insatiable appetite for variety.
  4. You are . . . savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust You don’t do anything gently, especially sex. You’ll enjoy: Titus Andronicus and any kind of safe, sane, consensual play that is (almost) as brutal.
  5. You are . . . a devil, a born devil, on whose nature nurture can never stick You’re a total freak–and perfect just the way you are. You’ll enjoy: The Taming of the Shrew and some consensual TPE (total power exchange).

More About “Sex With Shakespeare” – Synopsis

Sex With Shakespeare coverHaving been raised in a household where familial estrangement was the norm, Jillian turned to Shakespeare for explanations of love, human connection, and ultimately, her own sexuality. At an early age Jillian recognized that she was obsessed with spanking, that it was a pivotal part of her identity. Since she wrote about the shocking topic in her New York Times “Modern Love” essay “Finding the Courage to Reveal a Fetish,” Jillian has received thousands of powerful, heartbreaking emails from people around the world who say they finally feel understood. In Sex With Shakespeare, Jillian enmeshes her narrative of a growing self-awareness with the characters and plotlines from plays such as “Macbeth,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” and “Othello.” In doing so, not only does Jillian chart her own interactions, but she also provides a new and nuanced interpretation of these cultural icons we’ve all come know.

With heart, humor, and unwavering knowledge of the Bard himself, Jillian Keenan keenly utilizes these plays to discuss fraught topics such as love, romance, sexuality, and above all, the differences between our most private and public selves.

About the Author

Jillian Keenan picAs a literary nerd, a pop culture enthusiast, and former dramaturg (in Singapore and London), Jillian lives and breathes Shakespeare. She received her BA and MA from Stanford and has written on topics from human rights to sexuality for numerous publications such as the New York TimesThe New YorkerWashington PostSlateForeign PolicyMarie Claire, and The Atlantic. Jillian lives with her husband and cat in New York City.

Top 3 Things Couples Fight About; And How to Kiss & Make Up!

What are the top 3 things couples fight about? Judith Wright and Bob Wright, couple’s counselors and authors of the new book The Heart Of The Fight, A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer, have it figured out. The top three issues are 1.) “blaming each other” for stuff going wrong,” 2.) “domestic disputes” over the other person’ annoying habits around the house, (making them seem like an a-hole roommate rather than your spouse,) and 3.) fighting over money.

  1. Who is to Blame: The Blame Game 

Here the fight is over who is at fault “for a lousy vacation, a crummy restaurant choice, an obnoxious visitor overstaying their welcome, or the argument itself,” they say. “Getting caught in the Blame Game often results in endless loops of dissatisfaction with no real change,” as couples end up resenting and staying mad at each other over something that is kind of stupid.

  1. Domestic Disputes: Up and Down Toilet Seats, Household Chores…

Another common fight is “Petty squabbles such as disagreements about chores, toilet seats, and a range of domestic disputes from who’s washing the dishes, picking up the kids, making dinner, and doing the laundry to arguing over how chores should be done. These are often fights over the distribution of duties or demeaning each other’s domestic contributions.” In other words, whoever is the bigger slob or lazy ass has no idea that the other person is sort of low-grade mad at them — for fairly petty things that are negotiable and solvable.

  1. Dueling Over Dollars 

This is super common, they say. “Financial feuds—about making money, spending it, using it the way you want, and managing it are volatile topics for many couples. These fights range from “We can’t afford that.” to “You’re such a cheapskate.” Or, it may begin innocently enough, with one person saying “Why don’t you ask for a raise?” But concern can easily turn into anger when one person says to the other something like “You’re just not motivated to get ahead and make something of yourself.” Or even worse, “When are you going to a get a real job?” Ouch. A penis shrinker.

But the good news is that there are ways–or things to tell each other, they say, they that will help you make up. 

“Acknowledge the truth:” “Whatever the argument, acknowledge the truth in what the other person is saying. In the middle of a fight,  saying something like, “Yeah, but..” does not work, they say. “Try being quiet after you acknowledge what is true,” they advise and say something like “Yes, I agree that I didn’t do what you asked me to.” This one is hard for people to admit, and most people don’t want to submit and admit. Just acknowledging the truth of the situation could help solve the issue and help to do change it.

“Take 100% Responsibility for your own satisfaction:” “Too often, we are expecting the other person to read our mind or know what we need or really want,” they say. Instead, tell them directly what you want and need, not in a blaming kind of way. Identify what you want and say it straight rather than punishing them for not satisfying you.” Men especially don’t take hints well or read women’s minds. Tell your love what you want instead of just getting mad because you’re not getting what you want! Otherwise, he/she may never know!

“Fight for, not against: “Too often we keep arguing just to win the fight, not because we are going for anything,” they note. “Instead, stop and ask yourself what you are fighting for (rather than just resisting their point of view). Complaining is fighting against something, but when you can find and express what you really yearn and hope for, that will help take you where you want to go,” say the couple, who have been counseling couples for 30 years. Stop fighting, start kissing, and go make up.

The couple’s new book is now available on Amazon.

 

“Tempt The Ocean” by Agnès de Savigny – FREE Book Excerpt

This spicy page-turner from new author Angnès de Savigny has it all. Spine-tingling adventure, fun to follow characters, heart-racing romantic suspense – and let’s not beat around the bush here – incredibly hot sex.

Books usually sit on my nightstand for weeks on end, but I finished this juicy romp in just a few sittings because I had to know whether this rogue French sailor was a good guy or a bad guy and whether my heroine was going to make it out alive! And okay, the steamy scenes in between the political intrigue are also truly irresistible.

Imagine my delight when Ms. de Savigny said yes to posting an excerpt! Sneak this onto your lover’s kindle for Christmas and let the fireworks begin.

Synopsis

Tempt the Ocean‘s reluctant heroine is plucked from the self-isolation of her apartment and thrown into a harrowing sailing adventure down the west coast of Africa. She puts her life in the hands of Xavier, a handsome sailor with a mysterious past who battles his own demons. The heroine begins to question her trust of Xavier and the wisdom of her decision in the face of high seas pirates, slave traders, corrupt island magnates, jealous lovers, Canadian bureaucracy, and an evil nemesis with a hideous scar. Ultimately she must learn to trust her own wits and will to survive.

Excerpt from “Tempt The Ocean,” Courtesy of the Author

Tempt the OceanI could hear Xavier’s muffled voice coming from the cockpit above me. He was speaking rapid French. He was much more animated when speaking his native language than when he spoke English to me. I assumed he was talking on his mobile—he spoke on his phone whenever he had the time. I was surprised he could still get a signal even though we were only a hundred or so miles off the coast of Africa. But maybe it wasn’t a great signal, given that he was shouting, and saying ‘pardon?’ a lot. I heard him swear in exasperation and slam the phone down. Then it was quiet.

I never did get to sleep, and when Xavier came to get me for my watch I was already dressed in the rain gear. He had made the offer to sit with me in the cockpit for a bit at the start of all my shifts, since the night the radio traffic had spooked me. I looked forward to those moments when our duties overlapped, and we could let our minds wander in lackadaisical conversation. Xavier had other ideas this time. He was more tired than I was, and kept the talk sweet but brisk. I invited him into some easy exchange but he was more interested in finding a pillow. I let it go.

There were no mysterious voices during either of my watches that night. The excitement emerged instead as a drop-dead gorgeous sunrise at the end. The sky lightened and glowed pink as the stars faded. The early morning hue covered the distant clouds with a candy coating. As the sun itself began to poke up on the horizon, Xavier appeared at the doorway, hair disheveled like it was when I first met him. He rubbed his eyes and stubbly cheeks with his slender fingers. He was no longer wearing his rain gear—he stood completely nude. He leaned against the doorframe with his arms crossed, skeptical about the sight of me curled up on my side along the ivory bench seat, half asleep.

Through semi-closed eyes I watched his effortless steps cross the cockpit lounge, where he tucked himself into the space at the crook of my waist.

“You’re naked,” I mumbled, stating the obvious.

“And you are not,” he replied, playing with the voluminous fabric of my borrowed rain pants. “How’s the sailing?”

I could tell he was goading me. I twisted my shoulders flat to get a better look at him.

“Everything’s fine,” I promised, reaching to touch his naked leg in a gesture of assurance. I knew there were no boats anywhere around us—I’d just looked.

He sat back against me, surveying the horizon. He stretched one arm out across my legs as if they were the back of the bench seat. Without looking he picked up my assuring hand with his other one and kissed it warmly.

“Aren’t you hot in all this rain gear?” he challenged, his attention now on the heavy sleeve of my jacket.

“No,” I said, tightening the jacket around me. It was still early and the light morning wind had a chill to it. Never mind I was too sleepy to move much. I was also self-conscious about having nothing on underneath, despite the events of the previous afternoon.

Our eyes locked in an unspoken stand-off. He still had my hand in his and, as if not to startle me with any unexpected moves, lowered it slowly to the seat. He shifted his leg to pin my hand underneath his thigh. He took advantage of my dismay as a distraction and caught me completely off guard for his follow-up move. He grabbed my free hand, which had been casually resting across my waist, and held it against the back of the seat with a firm grip while his resting arm appeared from nowhere to pull down the zipper of my rain gear.

“No!” I shouted in surprise, although I was laughing. I easily slipped my pinned hand out from under his bare leg and grabbed at his wrist to stop him from completely unzipping me. He was already half way down by the time I got a good hold and though I made the unzipping more difficult for him, his strength made my effort virtually futile. By the time he had reached the buckle near the bottom of the inflatable life-jacket, I was merely holding on to enjoy the sensation of his muscles flexing under my fingers. I didn’t even notice him let go of my other hand when he needed both of his to undo the harness.

“Success!” he giggled at me, pushing back the lifejacket to get through the last of the jacket’s zipper. He folded back the front of the rain gear, peeling me like the soft ripening fruit I was.

“You are naked!” He imitated me. His hand generously caressed my freshly exposed belly. He grinned at me as his hand moved to warm each breast with a gentle knead. I returned his smile, allowing him his small victory.

He relaxed against my middle, stretching his arm back out across my hips. I rested my hand back on his bare leg, enjoying the sensation of his muscles working to counterbalance the boat’s constant motion.

“I must get to the business of sailing my boat,” he teased with a shrug, abandoning his initiation of my arousal. I could see when he stood up that he was abandoning his own as well. He indicated the console at the end of the cockpit. “I will be over there, if you care to get up and join me.”

I cursed his tight ass as he moved away from me.

I struggled upright with great difficulty, letting the jacket and harness slip off behind me. Goose bumps rose from my naked skin at the cool ocean breeze, pinching my bare nipples into upright perkiness. I knew, even though I did not look to confirm it, that he was watching my every move.

I attempted a graceful stagger to the console, bracing myself along the bench seat for balance. Xavier reached out to me with one hand when I came close enough, and pulled me into a tight embrace. The cold console wheel grazed the skin of my back, sending light shivers up my spine. I snuggled closer to Xav.

I wrapped myself around him, drawing heat against the morning breezes that caressed us from the sea. I tilted my head up and met his lips—warm, wet, and salty. We let our tongues play together in a pretense of devouring each other. I slid my hands down the hard lines of his back to the muscles of his ass and squeezed. His own hand caressed the small of my back before continuing across the dimple at the base of my spine. He paused a moment to snap the elastic waistband of the rain pants with a chuckle before sliding his hand under to curve over the arc of my bare ass beneath.

“What about those pants?” he taunted. He slipped his fingers between my legs and slid them up the middle as far as they would go.

“Stop it!” I squealed with a grin. My fingers dug into his taut butt cheeks. He eased his teasing and slid his hand out. I relaxed in the lull, fully aware of the wet heat that was left between my legs where his hand had been.

He pulled back, gazing at me with those ocean-deep eyes. He had a hard time breaking away to scan the horizon.

About The Author

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Agnès de Savigny has lived and worked in England, Canada, France, and Mexico.

She has travelled to every continent except Antarctica, and dipped her toes in every ocean except the Arctic.

Her casual adventures have taken her sailing across both the Atlantic and Indian oceans, horseback riding on the beach in New Zealand with a hot cowboy, salsa dancing in Granada with a hot Venezuelan instructor, and playing drums in Zanzibar with a group of hot musicians.

She has flirted around the globe.

When not gallivanting around the world or making up stories about tortured romantic souls, she can be found at home cuddling with kittens and/or her sweetheart.

Buy her book Tempt The Ocean on Amazon here.

Excerpt: Erotica for the Slightly Adventurous Man by Mandi James

Excerpt: Erotica for the Slightly Adventurous Man by Mandi James

Roger suffers from Everyman’s problem: how do I come across as a good guy just wanting some female companionship, and not a creep?

Enter Mandi, the answer to that centuries’ old question: good-looking, experimental, non-judgmental. A woman who knows what she wants—but what she doesn’t want right now is a relationship.

Just some quality time with the right man.

This six short-story collection introduces Mandi and Roger, a not-friends-with-benefits couple who see each other on a needs-only basis.


 

Excerpt (from the short story THE MEETING)

“My name is Mandi and I am addicted to public sex,” I say quietly, brushing my red-blonde hair from my eyes. I’m looking down, trying to appear demure, but already I’m beginning to feel the urge.

grab-cover“Hello Mandi,” the group replies. They look uncomfortable sitting on those dreadful 70s collapsible folding chairs. Weighty grey things scraping the floor as people straggle in with their coffee and tea. Quiet choruses of “excuse me” and “not a problem” intersperse with the din of shifting chairs and padded thunks of bottoms on seats, bags on floor. I’m so bored. I just want to fuck. Is that so much to ask?

I am at a Nympho Anonymous meeting. I am kidding, of course. There’s a more genteel moniker. But here is where I am this evening, looking for you. I don’t know who you are yet, but I will know you when I see you. I confess I’m not quite ready to reach sexual sobriety and am counting on you to be right there with me.

“I’m not exactly an exhibitionist,” I continue having paused while the shuffling died down. The room is now mine.

“I don’t need to be seen. In fact, I prefer not to be seen. I guess that’s the allure for me.” A few heads nod. People stir their coffee. We’re all nymphos here so nothing under the sun is new. I know it’s all in the telling. Presentation is where I shine. My looks don’t hurt either: tall, naturally strawberry blonde, dark green eyes. I am purposely dressed modestly: ankle-length skirt and long-sleeved blouse hide the lack of panties and the peek-a-boo bra. I call it my missionary costume.

At this point, you enter the room; I can see in a moment I am just the person you’re seeking. We don’t need to speak to communicate. We lock eyes but a nanosecond and the sizzle tells me we both feel it. I see a flash of lightning. It’s going to be a good meeting.

About the Author: Mandi James

I write erotica and romance, including: light BDSM, spankings, public sex, and casual encounters.

In my spare time I suffer greatly as an actuary, but manage to find time to take long hot bubble baths with my sexy, nubile girlfriends. We giggle, kiss, paddle each other’s bums and then I write about it.

Alright, I made that part up.

Social Media Links

Twitter | Website

Where to buy this short story collection:

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK

“Orgasm” Authors Ask Women 9 Questions To Find Their Best Orgasm

When it comes to the female orgasm, there’s a lot of mystery, negativity, and wrong information surrounding it. You might have heard that they take a long time and are really hard to have. You also might have heard that they have to be mind-blowingly amazing and happen at the same time as your partner. Sure – all of these can be true and you might have experienced some. But it’s only part of the story.

Female orgasms comes in all different shapes, sizes, and strength.

There’s no one right way to orgasm. And what’s the best orgasm ever to one person might be the norm to someone else. As I wrote in a past post:

Not all orgasms are created equal. In fact they come in all different intensities, ranging from a quiet whisper to a full body, roll-over-and-pass-out-immediately, earth shattering release. Click here to read more.

The problem is as women we don’t really talk about our orgasms with other women. It’s so easy to assume that what gets you off also works for everyone. There definitely are some things that work for most (vibrators and oral sex I’m talking to you!). But no one thing works for everyone, every time. This also means that what you like, and what qualifies as the best orgasm to you, can change over time.

Part of what makes orgasms so fun is how much variety there is.

When you talk about your experiences and hear about others’ you realize there are so many different and awesome things that get people off. There are so many new things you can play with and explore. But you have to learn about them first!

This need to talk about the Big O more is exactly what inspired Linda Troeller and Marion Schneider to create Orgasm: Photographs and Interviews. In it, they interviewed 25 women of all different ages, nationalities, and social backgrounds about what turns them on and what gets them off. Here are a few of the things the women used to come:

  • Fingers
  • Fantasies
  • A vibrator
  • A shower head
  • Paint brushes
  • A hair brush handle

The women also talked about some things they needed in order to have their orgasm. These included:

  • A deep connection with their partner
  • Love
  • Sunshine
  • Water
  • Safety
  • Feeling relaxed
  • Feeling free

With both of these lists, you probably see some things that surprise you and others that are super familiar. Hopefully some of the surprising ones inspire new fantasies and sexy ideas! The bigger message, and the best thing about sex generally, is that there’s something for everyone.

The other thing they shared is which parts of their bodies were key to their orgasm. For some it was their clitoris or g-spot. Others, their breasts or booty.

Self-pleasure is important for orgasm.

The women knew all this because they spent their time exploring and playing with their pleasure. In fact, many had their first and/or strongest orgasm on their own. For some it was intentional: they decided to explore what felt good. For others, it was an oopsie – something felt good and they kept doing and then they came. Some of the women didn’t even recognize their first orgasm for what it was. Believe it or not, this is way more common than you’d think.

The common theme is that you have the power to create your orgasm. It’s something that comes from your body (and brain), not that someone or something else gives you. You create that pleasure. Pretty amazing huh?! To do this though, you need to know what you like and what you don’t. Self-pleasure is one part of that, especially if you already do it regularly. You might also feel more comfortable exploring with your partner. Or doing both.

What ultimately matters for creating a more intimate, adventurous, and satisfying sex life is that you know what brings you to orgasm, you play with and explore new things, and you practice what works, however many times each week is right for you.

9 Questions to Ask Yourself for the Best Orgasm

To learn about the woman’s orgasms, the book’s creators asked them a series of five questions. Writing down your answers to these is a fun way to figure out what you need to have your best orgasm.

1) What does the word orgasm mean to you?
2) Can you remember your first orgasm?
3) Can you remember your strongest orgasm?
4) Do you have fantasies when you create or experience an orgasm?
5) What is the future of orgasm in society/in the world?

Answering these is super helpful if you struggle to orgasm or want stronger, more regular climaxes. Questions 2-3 are extra important because they help you figure out what was happening when you came the first time and the best time. Here are some four more questions to answer as you describe your first and strongest orgasm.

Visit Kait for the last 4 questions!

“Woman On Fire” By Amy Jo Goddard – Book Review & Giveaway!

We are giving away this fabulous new book by Amy Jo Goddard – ENTERTOWIN this October!

Woman on Fire: 9 Elements to Wake Up Your Erotic Energy, Personal Power, and Sexual Intelligence

woman-on-fire-book-cover-Amy-Jo Goddard

by Amy Jo Goddard

Print Length: 317 pages

Amy Jo Goddard’s new book “Woman on Fire” is a Phoenix of sexual empowerment rising from the cultural ashes of sexual shame to allow women to claim their power and erotic energy so they can emerge as whole beings who are “not broken”.

Throughout Amy Jo Goddard’s career as a sex educator and sexual empowerment coach, she has met countless women who thought they were sexually “broken”. Her message to them is that they are “NOT broken” and this book offers them the resources, sex education, and skills they need to release shame and become empowered.

This is not just a book of sex tips. It is an entire philosophy intended to weave the tattered threads of our individual (and cultural) sexuality into a complete and beautiful tapestry of self-actualization and wholeness.

Goddard teaches a holistic approach to sexuality that encompasses all aspects of our erotic evolution from physical and emotional, to psychological and spiritual. She shows us how to release past guilt and shame, nurture self-love and body acceptance, find our sexual voice and authenticity, allow ourselves permission to enjoy pleasure and desire, as well as claiming our personal power and sexual confidence, so we can become more fulfilled as human beings and learn how to thrive, not only sexually, but in all ways.

Based on twenty years experience as a sex educator, Goddard has created 9 elements of sexual empowerment that people should master so they can “live vibrantly” and enjoy a sexually gratifying life. These make up the individual chapters in her book:

  1. Voice: Excavate and Rewrite Your Sexual Story
  2. Release: Make Space for the Sexual Self You’ve Been Waiting For
  3. Emotion: Show Up as Emotionally Powerful
  4. Body: Know and Radically Accept Your Body
  5. Desire: Activate Desire and Create a Sexual Practice
  6. Permission: Give Yourself Permission to Be Erotically Authentic
  7. Play: Develop Sexual Skills and Remember How to Play
  8. Home: Build Sexual Confidence and Come Home to You
  9. Fire: Use your Dynamic Sexual Energy to Live Vibrantly

Each chapter is like a key, unlocking the secret doors into sexual awakening, that before now have been hidden in silence, shadows, ignorance and shame. Throughout the book, Goddard guides us through these elements using personal stories from women and her years of experience and wisdom. She teaches us that sexual energy is the core power of our creativity that when properly harnessed can lead to awesome transformation, empowerment and the realization of our desires.

This book is like a flame in the darkness leading us to the light so we can all experience the joy of sexual enlightenment, become empowered, experience more pleasure, and have more fulfillment in our sexual relationships.

If you feel you are sexually “broken”, then this is the book for you. It will help you find the tools and resources you need to cultivate your sexual brilliance and learn to burn brightly like a “Woman on Fire”.

Woman on Fire: 9 Elements to Wake Up Your Erotic Energy, Personal Power, and Sexual Intelligence

AmyJoGoddard*Sharie Cohen Photography

Amy Jo Goddard on Ted Talks: “Owning Your Sexual Power”

High Holiday Porn – FREE Excerpt From Eytan Bayme’s Memoir

We all have embarrassing stories from our youth, awkward moments when we were painfully figuring out who we were and who we were attracted to. With High Holiday Porn, Eytan Bayme’s hilarious new memoir, these moments never stop. It’s out of the frying pan into the fire for this young Orthodox Jewish kid from the Bronx struggling to fit in and get a girlfriend amidst the onslaught of male adolescence. He’s a good boy with his heart in the right place, but other parts of his anatomy have different ideas – and this central conflict creates plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.

Guaranteed to make you cringe while remembering your own self-discovery, you’ll be cheering for Eytan as he navigates the world from age six through his gut-wrenching teens. 

We’re thrilled to offer you a free excerpt below, to whet your appetite for the full monty. Enjoy!

High Holiday Porn Synopsis

High Holiday Porn is the story of an Orthodox boy in the Bronx who discovers masturbation during Passover dinner as a child, gets caught with porn on Yom Kippur, fantasizes about marrying his grade school classmate (if only he could get up the nerve to speak to her), and finally figures out that the way into a girl’s pants is through her heart. But maybe the heart is all that ever mattered anyway.

high holiday porn

Excerpt from High Holiday Porn – Chapter 16

HIGH HOLIDAY PORN Copyright © 2015 by Eytan Bayme & reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC.

A few months later, during morning prayers, Jack told me something strange.

“Hannah told me that Tamar told her that she likes you,” “What the shit?” I said.

“I’m just repeating what I heard.”

Jack was in the academically rigorous classes, so I didn’t see him much during the day, but we sat next to each other at prayers and killed time by quoting lines from The Simpsons.

“That’s so stupid,” I said, feigning disgust. “You’re blushing.”

“No, I’m not.”

Aside from TV, telling jokes, and perhaps the effects of microwaving household objects, I didn’t want my male friends to think I cared about anything, especially not girls. My intense longing for physical contact, which had led me to hoard the lingerie pages from Caldor catalogs, were known only by me. Even the simple act of liking a girl didn’t fit into the cool persona I was trying to cultivate. I was a loner with a quick wit and a street sensibility, who tucked only the front of my oxford shirts into my pleated pants and slicked back my hair Pat Riley–style before covering it with a yarmulke. Needy women only held me back in my pursuit of being the coolest yeshiva high school student. So I let the subject of Tamar drop and moved onto Homer’s more memorable lines from the previous night’s Simpsons.

Secretly, though, I felt like there was magic in the air. An actual, physical girl was interested in me, a creepy public nose-picker, the former “rocker.” In my head I saw Julie Andrews spinning on the side of a lush green mountain in the Alps. “Wonder of Wonders,” the song that the lowly tailor in Fiddler on the Roof sings when Tevye grants him permission to marry his daughter, played on a loop in my mind.

Was Tamar desirable? Yes, of course. She was a cute girl with longish red hair who wore the same ankle-length black skirts that all the other girls in our grade wore. She was very pretty, but the point was that she liked me.

“What should I do?” I finally asked Jack after I felt as though enough time had passed to bring the matter up again.

“About what?”

“You know,” I said evasively, “that chick. Whatsherface.” “I don’t know? Talk to her, I guess.”

Easier said than done. Tamar belonged to a pool of girls in my class who I thought about often and in compromising situations. I had imagined us as a jungle-dwelling couple swinging together from trees wearing only loincloths, and I had wondered what it would feel like to be an old king suffer- ing from pneumonia with Tamar as a young maidservant warming me with her body heat. So vivid were these fantasies that I felt they might somehow leak out of my mind and into any conversation I attempted to have with her.

We should walk deep into a forest together, I might randomly blurt,

or, I want to die at the same exact moment that you die, could come out of my mouth and Tamar would swiftly erase any interest she originally entertained. Instead, I took a deep breath and tried to talk to her about less-graphic and more administrative, easier-to-navigate topics.

“Can I borrow a pen?” I asked her one afternoon after taking a seat next to her in English class.

“Yes,” she said and handed me an expensive-looking, fine- tipped implement with a window along the shaft displaying the ink inside. “Don’t steal it,” she added with a smile.

“I promise I’ll give it back,” I said soberly. “Thank you.”

I pulled off the cap and marveled at the continuous black lines that the pen left on a piece of loose-leaf paper I had picked up off the floor. I felt honored that Tamar trusted me with such a fine writing utensil and doubted that she would lend it to just any schmo classmate who asked her for one.

As we sat next to each other in silence, I thought about keeping her pen safe. I would give it back to her right after class, maybe even before it ended so she wouldn’t have to feel awkward asking for it. I wanted to make the transaction as easy as possible for her. In fact, since I barely ever took notes in class and spent my time sketching Smurf-like dwarves in- stead, I decided that I would save her ink and not draw any- thing. For the next forty-five minutes I would anticipate giving Tamar her pen back.

As I stared at it laying on my desk, Hannah, Tamar’s friend, turned around from her seat in front of me.

“You guys are so cute!” she whisper-squealed at the two of us.

Immediately, I froze up.

Why would she say that? What is cute about us? What is

“us”? I had barely ever spoken a word to Hannah, but now I wanted to scream at her. What are you trying to do! I’m just here borrowing a pen. I’m not some psycho who sits next to girls to look cute beside them!

“Shut up, Hannah,” Tamar said through her perfectly spaced teeth and plump red lips. She was upset, too, and I wondered why. Does she not think we are cute? Does she not want to be associated with me? Oh God, I thought, that would be even worse than being called cute. Perhaps Jack’s info was all wrong and Tamar didn’t like me at all and was disgusted by being referred to as “guys” with me.

Hannah made her mouth crooked in a look that said, Jesus, relax, before turning back around to face the teacher.

For the rest of the class, I sat silently staring ahead at the back of Hannah’s skinny neck, wondering if by sitting next to Tamar, I had made it too obvious that I was interested in her. Perhaps she had wanted to begin a secret love affair, and by sitting too close, I had come on stronger than she preferred and spoiled the mood.

Tamar and I had reached our end too soon. I imagined myself layered in the latest J. Crew designs near a New En- gland pond on a blustery gray day. I knelt down and touched the damp earth as I thought about the love that could have been. A crow with no capacity to show emotion landed next to me and flitted his wings, and I heaved my breath and com- mitted to attempting to go on with my solitary life.

I took the pen in my hand and held it as though I was going to take notes. If this was the end of Tamar liking me, I wanted to relish in the warmth of what her property meant in my possession. The pen had represented the closest attachment I had formed with a girl and it was a moment that I needed to remember vividly.

When the bell rang, Tamar turned to me. “Eytan?” she said.

“Yes?” I responded, feeling like a dog at an adoption center. Would she forgive the mess I had made, take me home, and make me hers? Or would she leave me here to get euthanized if nobody came around in the next week?

“Do you want to call me?” she asked.

It was like being asked if I wanted a winning lottery ticket. Yes, goddamnit. I do want to call you. Just tell me when. I could leave school early so the phone rings the moment you step inside your house. For fifteen years, girls had been interested in me only in my imagination. Over the years, I had married scores of classmates in my mind. I had fathered countless children with them, charmed each and every one of their parents, and weathered multiple complicated divorces. Sometimes, in bed with the lights out, I would live out two or three love affairs a night. It was a tumultuous and heart-wrenching era for me, and now I would finally be given a chance to live out a real, live relationship. I could barely speak.

“Okay,” I whispered almost inaudibly.

“You don’t have to,” she said, sounding hurt.

“No, no, I do!” I cried. “I just don’t have your phone number.”

Tamar put her hand out toward me and I hesitated a moment before slapping her five.

“The pen,” she said.

“Oh, sorry.” I had been clutching it so hard that it was slimy from my sweat, so I put it under my armpit and wiped it off on my shirt before presenting it to her in an open palm, like a ring on a pillow.

“Ew,” she said softly while clawing it between her thumb and forefinger and dropping it into her open knapsack.

“My bad,” I said.

Tamar took a second pen from her bag and scribbled her

phone number down on a scrap of paper. As I glanced over the magical ten digits, the first phone number a girl had ever given me, I imagined they were a secret pass code to a treasure chest of riches. All I had to do was type them into a phone and I had direct access to a chick who wanted to hear from me.

“I should call you tonight?”

“Whenever,” she said, before exiting the classroom.

High Holiday Porn is available now on Amazon.

Eytan Bayme Biography

Eytan Bayme’s hilariously honest memoir is the true story of how an anxious boy finally stops masturbating in public, gets the girl, grows up, and begrudgingly makes peace with the unfairness of life and love. It’s a heartwarming, fantasy-laden, usually embarrassing, sometimes raunchy and always outrageous look at coming of age. Bayme’s stories of young love, fitting in, and social pressure will resonate with anyone who ever felt awkward growing up.

Born in 1980 in New York City, EYTAN BAYME studied at yeshivas in New York and New Jersey until age eighteen. He spent a year in the West Bank before earning a bachelor’s degree in English from McGill University. His writing has been featured by College Humor, the Wassaic Art Project, and New York University. He currently lives in London. This is his first book.