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Talking Shit (& Other Kinky Stuff) with Sex Educator Jamye Waxman

February 12, 2013


We and Jamye Waxman go way back. We all got into the sex writing biz long before every college paper had its own sex column. Which is ancient in Internet years. And yet we’re all still so fresh-faced! Jamye is our kind of colleague: frank, feminist, and funny. So we were thrilled when she wanted to talk to us about kink and our new book 150 Shades of Play for her podcast, Hot Sox. We discuss our thoughts on human furniture (kinda fucked up), the perils of writing about sex while parenting (don’t leave your new illustrated kink book lying around for your 5 year old to pick up), the power of Fifty Shades (winning a flogger, some vaginal beads and a vibrator at a book party held in a small town library is now just good, clean fun), and lots, lots more! Download the podcast for free on iTunes and listen to it the next time you’re at the gym, grocery shopping, or polishing your secret butt plug collection!


LAST CHANCE to Win a Valentine’s Day Dinner & a Movie from Fandango!

February 1, 2013



Our friends over at FANDANGO want to make your Valentine’s Movie Date Night a hit! And we want you to help us get the word out about our new book, 150 Shades of Play. Fandango wins, we win, and hopefully YOU win too! Here’s how to play:

Between now and Sunday February 10th, include the title 150 Shades of Play along with this link — http://say.ly/pEj4J7E –  in a Tweet or a Facebook Post, let us know you’ve done so, and you’ll be automatically entered to win Fandango’s awesome Date-Night prize:

  • a $100 Visa Gift Card
  • a $30 Fandango Gift Card

Post that link as many times as you like, because the more you post, the more chances you’ll have to win! (Mentioning the book as an excellent Valentine’s Day gift may not help you win the contest, but it will endear you to us for always and ever!) Let us know whenever you Tweet or FB post by immediately emailing a screenshot of the post to us here, including your name and US mailing address (no PO Boxes), which we promise to keep private;  on a Mac, Command+Shiftshift+4 lets you drag and capture an area of the screen; click here for instructions on taking screenshots on either a PC or a Mac. <Don’t skip this part or your post won’t count! The deadline for entry is EOD EST on Sunday, February 10th, 2013. One lucky winner will be drawn at random and announced on our site the next day, with the prize arriving before Valentine’s Day.

While you’re waiting to win the Fandango Movie Date Night prize, check out their VALENTINE’S DAY MOVIE GUIDE for tips on the perfect movie to see together. Supplement your prize (or have a backup if you don’t win) with a cute VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT CARD FROM FANDANGO for your sweetie (see below). And don’t forget to order a copy of 150 SHADES OF PLAY for after the movie!

Erotic Deathmatch: Fifty Shades of Grey vs. 150 Shades of Play

January 31, 2013


Jamie Maclean is the founder and editor of the Erotic Review Magazine, an intelligent and artsy London-based website dedicated to sex (and NOT the US-based Yelp for escorts of a similar name). So how could we all not get on?! And then he called us “New York’s coolest sex therapists” and said that our new book, 150 Shades of Play, “makes Christian Grey’s Red Room of Pain look like a stationery cupboard, and Ana’s Inner Goddess like a virginal mouse.” Our inner goddesses are doing cartwheels!

We recently chatted with Jamie for an Erotic Review podcast, which you can listen to here – we talk about, amongst other things, why Fifty Shades is so successful, and whether or not we feel guilty for jumping on E.L. James’ bandwagon while simultaneously poking fun at her writing (plot spoiler: we don’t!). Here are two brief excerpts:

Jamie Maclean: Fifty Shades of Grey has had such an unprecedented sales record that it’s hard to believe that its success stems merely from an introduction to (and a subsequent fascination with) BDSM. But if this wasn’t the only reason for its triumph, what other — or others — do you attribute it to? 

Em: Well, for starters there’s the fact that Fifty Shades begin its life as Twilight fan-fiction — and if there was ever a story that was beginning for raunchy fan fiction, it was Twilight! So E.L. James didn’t exactly come out of nowhere — she had a pretty big fanbase in that world.

We also think that all the money-related escapism in Fifty Shades helps readers feel more comfortable with BDSM in particular and sex and raunch in general. You see the same thing in the world of sex toys — buying a five-pound dildo in a sleazy sex shop frequented by men in raincoats feels dirty, but paying 400 pounds for a platinum-plated one in a fancy boutiue is just being naughty.

Lo: This also explains why BDSM is increasingly mainstream — it’s increasingly expensive, well-designed, and nicely packaged! (Judith Krantz and Danielle Steele figured this out a long time ago, by the way, as did many many romance novelists).

The Shades of Grey heroine, Ana, is more than a little seduced by Christian’s obscene wealth – a while ago she might have been the heroine of what was then called a ‘shopping  & fucking’ novel. And perhaps part of that book’s appeal hard-worked housewives is the altogether delightful fantasy of a young woman’s untrammelled consumerism. And now there’s a scramble to accessorise Shades of Grey sex. Is your book just another part of the – unofficial – Shades of Grey franchise? 

Em: Ha ha we hope so! We’d love to get stinking rich off this.

Seriously, though, we take a sunnier view of all this consumerism: If it’s making women more comfortable and open about reading erotica, buying sex toys, and getting kinky in the bedroom, can it be such a bad thing?

Lo: Personally, we love the idea that so-called porn for moms has taking the publishing industry by storm. Bring it on!

You can listen to the entire podcast here at the Erotic Review website. And you can get your own copy of our book, 150 Shades of Play, here.


What’s Your Favorite Incest Plot-Line?

January 17, 2013


Flowers in the Attic

Our Bodies, Ourselves. Judy Blume. Flowers in the Attic. If you grew up in the ’80s, chances are these books had a pretty big impact on your sexual development. In other words, as far as V.C. Andrews’ book goes, you probably have a bit of a thing for incest plot-lines. Forbidden love, up in the attic, with your hot sibling! Swoon. But it’s not the only story to explore the erotic potential of fictional incest. Think Angels and Insects, for example, or all those daytime soaps where two lovers find out they’re actually siblings separated at birth. Bummer for them! Hot for the rest of us!

So, tell us… what other titles belong in this incest genre? It could be a book, movie, TV show, highbrow, lowbrow, whatever. We’ll compile a list and publish it on our site soon. You’re welcome.


Excerpts from “Queerskins,” a New Multimedia Novel

January 10, 2013



Our friend Illya Szilak is a full-time physician specializing in HIV treatment, a mother of two, a world traveller, and, oh yeah, in her spare-time she writes groundbreaking novels. (We both managed to shower today and consider that a huge accomplishment.) Her latest project, QUEERSKINS, is an online multimedia novel that tells the story of Sebastian Adler, a young gay physician from a Catholic family who dies of AIDS at the beginning of the epidemic. The text is presented as experts from Sebastian’s diary, which are full of intimate details, like his “first time” at a truck stop outside of St. Cloud. But in addition to the text, readers also accesses layers of sound and imagery, experiencing the work as a series of multimedia collages. Some of the images of everyday life were culled from the Creative Commons section of Flickr, giving it a feel of authenticity while simultaneously blurring the lines between truth and fiction.

Szilak and her collaborators have put this novel up online free of charge, since they would prefer that people donate to an AIDS organizations (such as AMFAR or Keep a Child Alive). She explains:

During the last election, AIDS and HIV wasn’t even part of the conversation. Even though, in 2011, 2.5 million people became newly infected, it’s totally off the radar for most people. We are hoping that with Queerskins, and with the networked, collaborative version of the novel that will be launched in 2013, we’ll raise awareness of this global tragedy, and give people with a wide range of viewpoints the opportunity to participate in a creative dialogue about love, sex, gender, faith and mortality.

The novel starts when Sebastian’s mother, still living in the rural Missouri home that he grew up in, sorts through a box of her estranged son’s belongings which had been with his body in Africa, where he died. Perusing her son’s (occasionally explicit) journal, she, like the reader, gradually pieces together the life of this man — by reading handwritten letters, looking at photographs, listening to imagined monologues and music. The below is an excerpt from a “page” of the novel, followed by an audio sample and a video clip (but to experience the novel fully, you’ve got to take a spin around the QUEERSKINS site yourself):

Sometimes, when I had to get away, I would drive out to our (James and my) truck stop, and sit at a booth in the diner and drink cup after cup of cheap coffee. I’d watch the truckers, potbellied men in plaid shirts, jeans and gimme caps. They took up space as if they owned the place. I almost felt sorry for them. They were like the indentured servants of a tyrannical prince who did not even know they were enslaved since none of them had ever tried to escape. They would never be courageous enough to relinquish that illusion of potency. If by some chance, they found themselves face down in the back seat, pants around their ankles, they could not experience it as anything but rape. The irony, of course, was that their wives, androgynously obese, were not epitomes of femininity. They hid their desires and their failures behind the banner of that fabled manse: the nuclear family. I hated them. I hated them all. I imagined slick-skinned warriors in pink tutus bashing their heads into the Formica countertop.

The following audio clip is of Alex, Sebastian’s lover in L.A., talking about the stories he used to write for Sebastian.

The following video clip from Queerskins is actually the activist group ACT UP in action:

The complete project is available for free at Queerskins.com, viewable in Google Chrome and Safari, not yet available for mobile platforms.

For updates on the networked version and to add your voice to the mix, follow Illya @queerskins on Twitter or “like” Queerskins on Facebook .

And please consider donating to AIDS research.

H Is for Hardware Store… For All Your Kinky Shopping Needs

December 19, 2012


The following is an excerpt from the “H” section of our new A-Z book, 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink. Every bolded word below indicates an entry in our encyclopedia of sorts. The book is on sale now!

A hardware store is a one-stop shopping center for all your BDSM needs. Who needs specialty sex shops when you can find everything at your friendly neighborhood True Value at half the cost? Even Christian I-Fly-My-Own-Helicopter Grey does it, and he could afford freakin’ diamond-encrusted BDSM gear if he wanted. (And how convenient if your potential sub just happens to work at the hardware store — oh, the foreplay possibilities!)

Of course, you’ve got to have a bit of a D.I.Y.-streak, but if you’re willing to put in the extra elbow grease (or should we say Crisco?), you can completely decorate your dungeon or playroom with the following: welded-link chains with “quick links” to aid in adjusting chain lengths; two-by-fours, tubing, and rods of wood, metal, or plastic to create spreader bars; duct tape for bondage (over material only please, to avoid pulling off hair and skin); keyed locks (safer than combo locks which may take too long to undo in an emergency sitch); single- or double-ended snap hooks, snap shackles (or “panic snaps”), and carabiners for securing D-rings to other things; eyebolts (not flimsy screw eyes) to anchor chain ends; block and tackle devices for suspension; and miles of natural filament rope for bondage masterpieces.

But please, whatever you do, don’t buy cable ties as wrist and ankle restraints like kink “expert” Christian Grey does in the first book of Fifty Shades – not only is that bush league, it’s dangerous. If your hardware store doesn’t have the high quality and durable materials you’re looking for, try boating or outdoor adventure stores instead.

150 Shades of Grey: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink is on sale now! It contains more information on all the bolded terms above (plus so much more!).


How Headphones Can Kink Up Your Sex Life

December 18, 2012


photo via flickr

The following is an excerpt from the “H” section of our new A-Z book, 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink. Every bolded word below indicates an entry in our encyclopedia of sorts. The book is on sale now!

Ear plugs aren’t just for construction workers and insomniacs, and noise-canceling headphones aren’t just for prissy cubicle workers. Controlling your partner’s soundtrack (or lack of one) takes sensory deprivation to a whole new level, especially when combined with a blindfold. If white noise is too nerdy for you, make a booty mix on your MP3 player and have your partner listen to it through headphones — Christian Grey was fond of the kind of classical music serial killers like to do their scalping to (all of which is available on “Fifty Shades of Grey: The Classical Album”).

Headphones and earplugs deprive your partner of aural clues and distractions, insulating them from sounds like your breathing, the smack of a paddle hitting their skin, the dog barking, etc. They can only speak when spoken to, and they can only be spoken to when you choose to lean in real close and lift their headphones. This all helps your partner focus — exactly what that prissy cubicle worker is going for, too, except the object of focus in this case is not what’s happening on a spreadsheet but, rather, what’s happening on a bed sheet.

150 Shades of Grey: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink is on sale now!


Joel Stein Likes Us, He Really Likes Us!

December 14, 2012


Well, the humor columnist for TIME magazine likes our new book 150 Shades of Play. As do a lot of other very cool, smart, good-looking people. You should listen to them and do as they say:

“Unlike Fifty Shades of Grey, this was fun to read, informative, and didn’t take eight chapters to get to the sex part. Em & Lo have yet again taught me more about sex than all the extensive research I’ve done by watching porn.”

— Joel Stein, TIME magazine columnist & author of Man Made

“I consider Em & Lo my adopted sex daughters, and they have made me proud once again with 150 Shades of Play. Their sound advice, smart writing, and sense of humor empower women to give kink a try, safely and realistically—in ways that awful book Fifty Shades of Grey never could.”

— Betty Dodson, sex educator icon & author of Sex for One

“For readers looking to tap their erotic potential, Fifty Shades of Grey is only the tip of the sexual iceberg. With their signature sense of humor and commitment to educate, Em & Lo take readers on a guided journey into titillating, and often taboo, territories and expertly navigate a diverse landscape of thrilling possibility.”

— Ian Kerner, PhD, GoodInBed.com founder & CNN columnist

“Em & Lo mix the perfect quantities of smart and saucy; 150 Shades of Play is a spirited, comprehensive guide to the kaleidoscopic possibilities of sex and sensuality. You won’t find hipper, savvier, or more fun sexperts anywhere.”

Jack Murnighan, PhD, author of Much Ado About Loving & The Naughty Bits

For over a decade, Em & Lo have helped millions navigate new sexual frontiers. And now, with kink on everyone’s mind thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s simply no one better to help us learn and laugh about what a sexually fascinating species of ape we are. 150 Shades of Play is both humanizing and hilarious!”

— Grant Stoddard, author of Great in Bed and Working Stiff

Em & Lo have distilled kink into its finest, funniest, smartest, and sauciest points. This is a delightful dictionary of debauchery for all persuasions. Throw out Fifty Shades and replace it with this, Em & Lo’s encyclopedia that doubles as a kinky lightning rod for your sex life.”

— Violet Blue, author of Lust and Total Flirt

Check Out Our New Site: 150ShadesOfPlay.com

December 7, 2012


Our brand new book 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink just hit the streets! And it’s got a beautiful  new website to go with it! 150ShadesOfPlay.com has some excerpts (including the book’s full introduction), lots of very flattering praise (from the likes of TIME’s Joel Stein and sex educator icon Betty Dodson!), and a bunch of super cool, moody shots thanks to our friends at LELO. The site’s got everything you need to be convinced to buy a holiday copy for yourself, your friends, and your luvva(s) right now!


“150 SHADES OF PLAY” Is Here!!!

December 6, 2012


LELO’s Sutra Chainlink Cuffs and Sussurra Tap Shorts

We just had a baby! Our 7th actually. 150 Shades of Play: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink hit the shelves today, just in time for the holidays (barely)! So if you or someone you know loved the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James but wished there been a little more guidance and information, then 150 Shades is for you! This helpful (and hilarious, if we do say so ourselves) illustrated A-to-Z guide to kink for beginners includes:

  • How to’s on role play, dirty talk, spanking, bondage & more
  • Important safety info missing from the Fifty Shadestrilogy
  • A voyeuristic peek at all of Christian Grey’s “hard limits”
  • Tips on shopping for top-of-the-line kinky accoutrements
  • Notes on what the Fifty series got wrong about BDSM
  • Everything beginners need to know to get their kink on!

So don’t hesitate! There are only a few days left for you to order with standard shipping and get it in time for Xmas (or should we say XXXmas?). Use our safe and secure Amazon-based eStore to get your copies. Not only will you be giving yourself, your partner or your friends a great [pick one: sexy / kinky / funny / outrageous / romantic / informative / entertaining / gag ] gift, you’ll be giving your two favorite friendly neighborhood sex writers a gift, too.

But don’t just take our word for what a great read it is; check out some of the praise we’ve already received:

“I consider Em & Lo my adopted sex daughters, and they have made me proud once again with ’150 Shades of Play.’ Their sound advice, smart writing, and sense of humor empower women to give kink a try, safely and realistically.”
Betty Dodson, sex educator icon & author of “Sex for One”

“For readers looking to tap their erotic potential, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is only the tip of the sexual iceberg. With their signature sense of humor and commitment to educate, Em & Lo take readers on a guided journey into titillating, and often taboo, territories and expertly navigate a diverse landscape of thrilling possibility.”
Ian Kerner, PhD, GoodInBed.com founder & CNN columnist

“Unlike ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ this was fun to read, informative and didn’t take eight chapters to get to the sex part. Em & Lo have yet again taught me more about sex than all the extensive research I’ve done by watching porn.”
Joel Stein, TIME magazine columnist & author of “Man Made”

So what are you waiting for? Have yourself a Merry Little Kinkmas!