An exclusive interview with erotic author Yolanda Celbridge
Taking the tawse at a finishing school? Jolly hockey sticks japes that end up with reddened rears upended in the shrubbery? You must be reading a Yolanda Celbridge book. Yolanda's one of the most prolific erotic authors on the scene, with Punished in Pink, Slave of the Spartans and The Smarting of Selina just a tiny selection from her vast back catalogue. And yes, before you ask they do often have alliterative titles! If Penny Birch writes a kind of pimped-up, anarchic Just William, Yolanda's speciality is more Enid Blyton with canes, all polite girls vying with each other to see who can take twenty on the bare without crying. We've heard a rumour that Yolanda may have hung up her pen for good (gasp!) but before she vanishes into the ether (or wherever erotic authors go when their creative juices have run dry), we asked her to share some of her thoughts on writing, reading and the judicious use of the
Tantus FeelDoe Vibrating Silicone Double Dildo. To find out more, read on…
How did you first come to start writing erotic fiction?
When I was at my posh, ghastly boarding school, for fun. I used to read Barbara Cartland, and there is a lot of thrashing and bondage, but it's all imagined by some kidnapped virgin, who is rescued before it actually happens. That excited me. I liked old-fashioned boys' school stories, with caning, and reading about real school beatings, especially at Eton, where boys were birched on the bare buttocks. Yum, yum!
I've always loved bottoms - so sensuous - and been fascinated by spanking and whipping. Films like 'Mutiny on the Bounty' with muscular men getting whipped made me shiver. Sometimes, I persuaded other girls to play rather soppy spanking games, on the panties, with lots of mock suffering, and once I was caught, and genuinely spanked for it by a bitch of a prefect – panties down and all. To my surprise, I got wet! That's where I got a taste for being spanked on the bare. Life has its amusing absurdities.
In my teens, I began to write stories where the prissy heroine gets a good bare-bum thrashing, to stop her being silly. Sometimes, writing stories made me aroused, as it still does. I usually write in the nude, and often pause to play with myself…honestly.
Who or what are your influences?
The Divine Marquis de Sade? Though he's more a philosopher than a eroticist. Anais Nin is good, and I like bondage comic strips. I recommend Sacher-Masoch's fine novel 'Venus in Furs', more a cautionary tale than erotica. The poor sub narrator wants his countess to whip him all day long - he doesn't twig that a real slave has to do the mucky chores. The moral is that fantasy is best enjoyed as a fantasy game, not as real life. Slaves can be awfully demanding.
Do you practise what you preach, or do you prefer to work purely from the imagination?
I like to practise what I preach. It isn't that difficult. The fetish scene is a broad church, everyone has their own enthusiasms, and I try to feature as many as possible. For example, live nude burial, in earth, is a minority fetish practice, yet an incredible thrill, especially with thrashing both before and after inhumation. A total sub experience - everyone else has to do the work! Needless to say, you must be very, very careful, with danger signals and so on, and it's certainly not for everyone.
But people like to read about the ultra-bizarre, even if they'll never go quite that far themselves. I explore the thin dividing line between pleasure and pain, comparing a taste for the rod with a taste for chilli peppers. I like beating and being beaten, and I like anal sex, both taking – so lovely and degrading! - and sometimes giving, with a strap-on. It's surprising how many men crave that, and it's fun to be the aggressor.
Beating is a delicious symbolic drama, with the super tease of a clenched bottom - a caning is a wonderful excuse for showing off, with lots of dramatic 'oohs' and 'ouches', or else stiff upper lip. I keep riding crops, for use on various compliant bottoms, including my own, if I feel impish. I do believe whopping is therapeutic, in a relationship - whoever does the baring up. It's fun, and cleansing.
It is nice to cane a chum of either gender as a friendly favour, without being a clanking dominatrix - a brisk whopping is invigorating, like an ice-cold plunge. A real bottom-lover shouldn't mind whose bottom goes pink. Fun works both ways, and as long as somebody's bottom is squirming, it could as well be your own. I think flagellants should be discreet, but not secretive. Spanking is just what we do.
Why should people read erotica?
Nobody is obliged to read anything, of course, but… for amusement and instruction. Erotic novels are rather like cookery books with mouth-watering illustrations. You may not get round to the more exotic recipes, but might be enthused to try out a new spice or two.
Can you make a living from writing erotica?
Not really. The money's not bad, but it's fun money. How many authors make a full-time living from writing?
Is there any other contemporary erotica you rate highly?
Penny Birch is awfully good. Anything a bit literary, with a sense of humour…tongue in cheek works for me.
Do you have any tips for aspiring authors on how to write erotic fiction?
Erotic fiction is like any other fiction, it must have a plot, identifiable characters, who go through ups and down until they get what they want, and, preferably, a beginning, middle and end. Be careful not to repeat yourself overmuch, when doing one sex scene after another. Basically, an erotic novel should still be a good read, even if you omitted the steamy bits. I suppose one theme in my books is a girl who discovers her true nature, usually submissive, and achieves contentment by baring up…so many men and women just long to have their bottoms spanked, and it's unhealthy to suppress our true desires.
I am all for extreme naughtiness, but, you know, sometimes BDSM is just healthy milkmaid-spanking fun, although that might not chime with dungeon-lovers. People in the scene are generally affable, because they have 'come out', as it were, and are not secretive. It's about exploring and knowing yourself.
Have you used sex toys in your stories, and if so which ones?
Yes, just about the whole gamut, ticklers, vibrators, whipping frames, stocks, branks, the works. I like vaginal feasts, guys eating oysters and stuff from a filled pussy. Lots of pepper sauce, if I want to be cruel.
Are there any sex toys you've enjoyed using in real life?
Apart from riding crops and the like, vibrators, mostly. I'm particularly fond of butt plugs, because I like anal sex. Coming when your butt is plugged, preferably vibrating, is just divine, especially when you're taking a vigorous bare-bottom punishment! For more relaxed sex, body oils are a plus. And I have got a Tantus FeelDoe Vibrating Silicone Double Dildo, which I never stray too far from! Lovehoney sell some gorgeous stuff. I want to try it all!
Finally, do you have any message for Lovehoney customers?
I particularly recommend the Good Vibrations range of products, and am a fan of silicone toys in general. Don't be shy of spending money on quality accessories. There's no time so good that a few props can't make it better.
Thank you Yolanda!