Book of the Month - Black Lace feature
Happy Birthday Black Lace, 15 years old this year! There's no better way to introduce yourself to erotic fiction's sensational success story than by picking up a copy of Black Lace Quickies 1, the Lovehoney Erotic Book Club Book of the Month for March.
If you've already read a Black Lace book, we know you'll want to come back for more … but how much do you really know about this bestselling brand of erotic fiction by women for women? We asked the Black Lace team to tell us a little about their history and where they see themselves going in the future - and this is what they said:
- 1993 When Black Lace books hit the streets in 1993 there was no Spice Girls, no Brit Pop, no Lad Mags or Sex and the City. You couldn't get a drink in London past 11 p.m. and the idea of a TV documentary where women road-tested vibrators was unthinkable. Before Black Lace, if women wanted to read explicitly sexual material written by women they had the choice of The Story of O, the same Anais Nin novels they'd read a hundred time before, or their sex came with shopping via the big, bad materialistic 80s women's 'bonkbuster'. It was time for something new and revolutionary.
- 1993 – 1996 Black Lace launched as an experiment to a blaze of media attention. While one Sunday tabloid branded them 'disgusting' and accused us of corrupting the morals of the nation's women, the shops were selling them by the crateload. The first four titles had to be reprinted 5 times in one month to keep pace with demand. It seemed we had tapped into not so much a gap but a Grand Canyon-sized crater in the market.
- 1993 – 2008 Black Lace books are unashamedly explicit and have explored areas of sexual fantasy where other women's erotica has feared to tread. With many of the books exploring the experimental side of sex, they've attracted considerable attention. We have now published over 400 titles and sold over four million books. They have been translated into languages as diverse as Japanese and Czech.
- 1993 – 2008 Female sexuality is always a hot media item and these days, more women than men are reading and writing erotica and feeling very comfortable with what has traditionally been seen as a male-only preserve.
- 1993 – 2008 We've always favoured writing that hits the ground running, takes no prisoners and entertains as well as arouses its audience. Some titles could easily be classified as literary, others are populist – we just publish the best erotica we see that is written by women.
- 2000 – 2006 And we've ensured that Black Lace books have changed and developed to keep pace with an increasingly sophisticated audience. In the nineties we published many stories with historical themes, but at the start of the new millennium our readership wanted upbeat contemporary stories with loads of outrageous sex – in line with cultural trends and lifestyle changes heralded by the Sex and the City phenomenon, and that's just what we gave them.
- 2006 – 2008 Since 2006 we've also developed a paranormal series within Black Lace. This cross-genre sub-genre combines horror and fantasy with erotica, so the main male protagonists are likely to be vampires, shapeshifters or time travelers. Following the impact of television series like Buffy, Angel and Charmed, some of our readers wanted escapist fantasy, other worlds and paranormal lovers to be a part of Black Lace.
- 2008 And to celebrate the 15th anniversary Virgin Books will bring back into print a range of the most popular and groundbreaking classic titles from our history alongside a revelatory new book of sexual fantasies. Since the publication of the first Black Lace Book of Sexual Fantasies ten years ago, the erotic landscape has changed massively. Sexual habits, lifestyles and opportunities for women have been affected by a whole range of new influences, technologies and media. Editor Mitzi Szereto collected and read thousands of questionnaires posted to Black Lace by women between the ages of 18 and 80 from a diversity of backgrounds, all over the world. Entertainment and enlightenment, surprise and titillation, and some shaking up of assumptions can be expected.
- Fifteen years on Black Lace still leads the way in erotic books for women. They're no-holds-barred stories for grown-up women who like reading about sex.