Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Dabbling with Erotica...

There's something about  honey; sweet and sticky and altogether too cloying for anything but sex.  Nothing will do but long lazy hours of love-making - no frantic fucking that dissipates as soon as it begins - but arching bodies that melt into each other as ice cream in the sun.  It's the deliberate drizzling of nectar across one breast, the taut moment as it's licked off - tongue darting out in tiny butterfly-like caresses - and the puckering of the nipple as it's released from the warm mouth.  There's nothing deliberating about fucking, but the very compound nature of love-making implies dedication, craftsmanship and the creation of an end product to be marvelled at.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Food and Sensuality Take Two...

So back when I first started this blog I wrote a blog on Food and Sensuality that I feel I need to revisit.  At the time, it focused on the use of food to heighten tension and sensuality in a scene, but now I want to highlight something a bit different.  Food and sex.

There are two writers I've been reading recently, side by side almost, who have used food - in one way or another - in a book of theirs.  Eden Bradley's Forbidden Fruit and Jenny Colgan's Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe.

Bradley specialises in erotica.  We're talking explicit sex scenes and Forbidden Fruit looks at the use of food within sex and the idea of a food fetish.  It's wonderfully drawn, with 3D characters and is essentially such fun that I've persuaded my book club to take it as our next novel.  Interestingly though, despite the cherries on the front cover, nothing gave away the book's exploration of this fetish in the blurb.  (Apologies if I've spoiled the surprise, but you pick up on it fairly quickly).  Plus, such inventive uses or wine and syrup...  NB.  Be careful, it turns out that syrup is just as sticky as you thought it - and is a complete bugger to clean up after.

But just as sex sells, so does food.  Jenny Colgan, recent winner of the RNA's Romantic Novel of the Year award, seems to have tapped into this.  I literally fell over myself to buy more of her books after devouring the Romantic Novel of the Year in question (Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams) on Sunday.  Since then, I've also read Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe and just downloaded The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris.  Again, though more romanticised than sexualised, food ends up playing a central role in characters' relationships.  In MMatCC, chapters open with a recipe, linked pertinently to the narrative, and though not sexually explicit, they provide an enchanting escapist fantasy of their own.

I am not, however, trying to pit one style against the other.  It's more that I think I was a little reductive when first writing on this topic and kind of wanted to put that to rights.  I'm half-Italian; I'm born to love food.  I'm just lucky that there are some damn good writers who explore its many different facets in their writing.

Dreaming of Domesticity...

I am not an overly sentimental person, though all my friends would claim the contrary.  Yes, I have a love of romance novels and chicklit, and yes, I do believe in love, but I don’t think that that’s abnormal.  Au contraire, we see it around us every day: in the couple walking along hand in hand on the street; in the partnerships of our grandparents, loyal and true; and even in our own parents.  So I think that believing in true love is merely logical, given all the evidence.

But I’ve never been particularly domesticated.  Despite an adoration for cooking, kitchens and all things culinary, I’ve never particularly enjoyed housework.  So why have I been dreaming in technicoloured 1950s glory?

Partly, I blame the novels I’ve been reading lately.  The entire Little Women series and the What Katy Did series as well...  There’s something quite enchanting to be found in turn of the century American women novelists’ work.  I find myself considering what colour bed linen I want in my own place, and how I’d decorate this room or that.  I dream of having a kitchen as loud and bustling and as Italian as my grandmother’s, with simmering pots of sugo, and handmade gnocchi on the side.

And when I say I dream of this, I mean literally dream.  When my head fits the pillow I seem to envision myself as the housewife I’ve always dreaded becoming.  And yet there’s something very comforting in that picture.  In the picture where our second bedroom’s been transformed into a study and has walls lined with books, where I write as much as I cook, and where I never have to do the ironing, for even in my dreams I can’t abide the thought of that.

So yes, apparently I’m dreaming of domesticity.  And I seem to quite like it.