I have just finished reading a brilliant and insightful book called Forbidden Flowers, by an exceptionally clever writer called Nancy Friday.
Author of the international best-seller My Secret Garden, Nancy Friday excels in celebrating the freedom of female choice when it comes to sex and gives women a platform from which to talk about their sex lives, question their sexuality and to inspire other women to increase their own individual sexual awareness.
In Forbidden Flowers, women speak openly about their individual erotic experiences, about their fantasies, relationships, sexual guilt and frustrations; about masturbation, S&M tendencies and sexual awakenings.
Being completely honest with you, I would be hard-pushed to pick just one excerpt from this book to tell you about, because the entire book is a masterpiece and far more accessible than most I have read. You need to read this book for yourself. It will change the way you think about your sexual relationships. It has certainly made me look at my sexual life and sexual being in an entirely different way.
I love music festivals. The mental, head-banging, devil horn bearing metal fests are sometimes a little too much to handle, but it's all good fun. Despite there being tons of sexy rockers at music festivals, I have always followed my personal rule of abstaining from sex when at a festival.
Exchanging phone numbers, saliva and sexy chat is fine in my book, but I won't go any further than that when spending three days on a muddy campsite. Well, I might make an exception for Slash...
The reason why I become a bit of a prude at festivals is down to one thing: personal hygiene. I mean, would you go down on someone after they'd been camping for two-days straight with only piss-strewn portaloos and grimy showers (if they're lucky) to hand? Not only do you run the risk of getting your hands, or tongue, around something stomach churning when getting in on with a random festival fuck buddy, but you also let your sex health guard drop a lot more easily.
Dental dams and condoms seem like the last items on the camping checklist for many people (including many of my friends), even though they should be one of the first if you're sexually active and single. Especially after I tell you about my mate's rather unsavoury experience at last year's V Festival...
Oh, dear. I have been a very Bad Kitty! I'm sitting here in my night robe, completely hungover and feeling desperately sorry for myself. I have taken two headache numbing pills and can't keep much else down. To say I'm recovering from a night of debauchery would be a massive understatement. It's all I can do to sit here, very near to the bathroom in the advent of anymore projectile vomit, typing the words to tell you about last night.
It was my friend Beth's fault. She dragged me to a gig in London to watch this band she's been following for ages. She has a thing for the bass player, a hoary old rock throwback who had been wooing her with tales of touring in the 80s with tons of other bands I've never heard of. Anyway, Beth's been shagging him for a few weeks now, so I thought it was time I gave in to her persistent nagging to meet him.
The club was rank. It smelt of feet and stale beer, and was rammed with metalheads and rockers. I have to admit, some of those guys were pretty damn sexy, in a disheveled kind of way, and they were more than friendly than I expected. After a few beers and two shots of Jagermeister, Beth's bass playing beau came over with his lead singer/guitarist and drummer. Holy shit! The lead singer was a bit rough around the edges but he had a magnetic sex appeal that I was instantly drawn to. And the drummer, wow! Humungous arms with bulging muscles, covered in black tattoos and with long dark hair hanging over one side of his face. I could feel myself getting excited.
The only time I ever had a proper relationship was when I had just turned 18. It's not as though I was one of those girls who longed to be glued to the side of some inane, penniless prat just to have a boyfriend. It was more out of shame and fear that the previous two years had been consumed by a whirlwind of bar-hopping, bed-hopping, one-night stands, three-date screw-ups and more than my fair share of lesbian and threesome action. So I decided to take a step back and view life from the other side of the fence: as one half of a smug, happy, cuddly couple.
Ollie was the other half. Four years older than me and fresh out of university, Ollie taught me things in bed that I felt sure I was going to burn in hell for. Anal sex while you piss in your boyfriend's best mate's mouth, anyone?
But it didn't last long. After eight months of depraved sex and ferocious orgasms I became increasingly bored. You know the saying about too much of a good thing makes you sick, and the thought of quaffing down on Ollie's love juice made me feel more than a little queasy. Suffice to say, our relationship ended abruptly after he caught me using my electric toothbrush to work my clit and stimulate the outer rim of my ass. Fair enough, considering how I'd passed on sex for three weeks running due to a nasty 'thrush infection.'
Being so young, I wasn't interested in working toward our relationship and turning it around. But I reasoned that after only eight months we shouldn't have been in that position in the first place. If I had read Searching For Sex by Emma Allen when I was still with Ollie, I'm sure her naughty words and explicit encounters would have inspired us and re-invigorated my lust for sex with Ollie.
So if you're married, in a relationship and feeling a little bored with your lover – or even if you're a sexy new couple looking for some inspiration – take a tip from Emma Allen's characters Marianne, Kate and Peter, and get a hot playmate to eat you out on your dining table or kitchen work top while you partner watches, then let him fuck the both of you into oblivion!
When I was 16 I had a major crush on a guy called Price. Looking back now, I can't understand why I went through many sleepless nights, reduced myself to fits of crying, starvation and general abuse of my parents credit cards to buy outfits that would hopefully make him notice me among the throng of other girls who fancied him. I just had this overwhelming need to be with him. You know what it's like when you're a teenager in lust.
Every Friday night my friends and I would go drinking underneath this old iron bridge in our hometown, away from parents, police and general busy bodies who would gladly grass on us for underage drinking. Clubbing our minute amount of cash together for a flagon of the vilest and most potent cider we could get our hands on, we proceeded to get wasted on just a few swigs of White Lightning.
Price was always hanging around with his group of mates. Generally known as the bad boys in town, every one of them had a reputation for fast living; even at such a young age. I don't know whether it was the fact that I was so hammered I was an easy target for him, or maybe he had x-ray vision and could see through my jeans and vest to the matching black lace underwear I had on underneath, but he actually came over and started talking to me.
It's been fifteen years since the publication of the first Black Lace Book of Women's Sexual Fantasies - to date the bestselling book on Lovehoney. A lot's changed in fifteen years - think the internet, think dogging, think easily available silicone sex toys - but have women's fantasies changed as well?
To find out you'll need to read The New Black Lace Book of Women's Sexual Fantasies, the Lovehoney Erotic Book Club Book of the Month for May.
Author and anthologist Mitzi Szereto has spent one year collecting and reading thousands of questionnaires posted to Black Lace by women between the ages of 17 and 85, from a diversity of backgrounds all over the world.
The result is an upbeat and explicit expose of contemporary female sexuality in Britain and beyond. This new no-holds-barred collection of authentic erotic confessions gives a fascinating insight into the richness of the female imagination and is guaranteed to be an education as well as a turn-on. From the sweetly vanilla to the wildly and wickedly rough, this collection will dispel any notions that women's sexual fantasies are in any way typical.
And as if learning about what women really fantasise about wasn't enough, we're also giving away an On the Go Sex Toy Gift Set - discreet massager and lube on a keychain - for fun on the run for free when you buy the book during May.
Share your thoughts on the fantasies book in the Erotic Book Club Discussion Forum - there'll be lots of lively debate.
Here are some questions to think about while you're reading the book...