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Training my lover

Sam didn’t used to be a great lover, but, OMG, does he know how to touch me now. It didn’t take long, either.

The other night we were talking in bed with him propped up on his elbows, when he scootched toward me and kissed me slowly on the lips. Just a soft, dry, lip-to-lip kiss, firm enough that I knew he was serious but still gentle and calm. He waited for my tongue to start to explore the contours of his lips. At some point, his hand found the small of my back but but that arm was also locked between my legs, so that when he pulled me close I could press against that muscle in just the way I wanted.

When we first met, he was tentative and I was in some kinda need (it had been a while). He could kiss me once, I would discover how aroused he was and that aroused me, and soon hands were all over everywhere with clothes flying, and it was good. But as time went by, what I wanted was a little different.

At first, Sam was confused, and a little hurt that I “didn’t seem to want him” like I used to.

Too many of us Romantics (capital “R”) want sex to be perfect all the time, and it’s not going to be. Most of us do not want a man to grope our groin 90 seconds after we sit next to them on the couch, or crawl into bed. We do not want a wet sloppy tongue in our mouth at the grocery store, or ten minutes after dinner. But that’s not to say we don’t ever want a probing tongue, right?

We own some of the problem if we fail to communicate with our lovers about what we are feeling and what we want. If it’s not “just right” and we pull back without communicating, or just go through the motions, or let them have their way while subtly communicating that they failed us, we leave them confused and hurt. That builds up baggage, and fast.

Most men want to please (and we shouldn’t be with those who don’t). But men don’t get much training in the arts, and the all-pervasive porn industry rarely gets it right. And, what we want varies from person to person, and often from day to day.

The language of sex is complicated, and talking about how to please each other may seem like it ruins the spontaneity. Or we may suffer from the belief that our perfect lover will come equipped with all the right moves and the capacity to know, immediately and instinctively and without words, exactly what we want.

Maybe. But do we want to waste years waiting for someone who might not arrive when we may be able to create perfectly good love-making with someone we love, and are willing to talk with about what we like, what we want, and how we want it?

Sam sometimes can kiss my belly for what seems like forever, making me ache with not knowing if the deliciousness of those lips will move up to my breasts or down to an anticipation starting to glow between my legs. He moves slowly, and let’s me tell him with soft murmurs what I want next. I like that.

But it took a while to get him to take a while.

Emotional infidelity

Jackie is vivacious, with sparkling eyes and a melody of laugh that grabs attention from across the room. She has had many lovers, some of whom she stays in close touch with, sharing their lives in ways deep and profound. When her boyfriend Mike asked who she was always on the computer with, she bristled, and defended hours spent emailing Dave, a former lover.

“Mike has no right to tell me who I should talk to, and what I talk about. I’m not having sex with Dave. He was an important part of my life long before I met Mike. That’s just how it is.”

When Genevieve smiles, a corner of the world lights up as if by magic. She loves deeply, and she even loves men she had been “in love” with years ago. Some of them still want to bask in her glow: Men from her past sometimes seek to be in her present, unable to let go.

But Genevieve doesn’t go too deeply into conversations with former lovers, because she knows there’s a hook in there, a door trying to open, but more importantly, she knows her fiancé Don would not like that, any more than she would, and thinks of that as emotional infidelity.

It’s so tempting to take sides, but I don’t think there is an absolute right or wrong, here. But I do know absolutely there are consequences to the choices made.

Genevieve has chosen to make Don the focus of her emotional universe, and he knows that, and responds in kind. That “exclusive emotional intimacy” is valuable to each of them, and each knows the other is the one rock available to which they can return in a world of too little stability.

Mike may have no ability or desire to communicate on the level Jackie needs to feel complete. It’s easy to think of a situation where Mike could be perfectly good with Jackie sharing her soul, or partaking of Dave’s, but in this case, the sharing is causing friction. Dave has access to Jackie that Mike finds hard to accept.

Jackie wants it that way. She hasn’t done anything “wrong,” that’s just how she is.

The parallels to sexual behavior are valid. Readers here know I don’t think there’s an absolute right or wrong with polyamory, or casual sex with multiple partners, sequentially or simultaneously. But I know absolutely there are consequences to the choices made. If both partners are on the same page, sharing may enhance a relationship. If one wants exclusivity and the other does not, there are going to be problems.

I agree that Jackie gets to make the call about continuing her relationship with Dave. Mike has to accept that as part of Jackie. But Mike doesn’t have to accept that as part of his life. Mike does get to decide that he wants someone who does not share herself in that way with anyone but him.

If he heads for the door, Mike hasn’t done anything “wrong,” that’s just how he is.



The advantage of promiscuity

Nikki looked at me across the table. “I told him I wanted an open relationship. It wasn’t that I didn’t love him, or wanted someone in particular. I just wanted more.”

Twice this week I’ve had similar conversations with really smart women. A lawyer. A business owner. Self-directed, centered, strong women.

“We were going through the motions,” said Nikki. “We’d become stale.”

“The routine wasn’t bringing what I needed,” said Ali.

We can all relate.

Selfishness? Sense of entitlement? Some of my friends would say so. I tend to think it’s Biology. A psychologist friend said once that the “in love” feeling lasts about 18 months max, then needs to become something deeper, or the relationship will fail.

Women are designed to put our heads up once in a while, and look around. There was an article in the Feb 7, 2015 issue of The Economist, pg 75 (yeah, yeah, I know. I have lots of odd habits) that referred to research indicating that about half of the female population (in the U.S.)  belonged to a more promiscuous phenotype, or had a genetic predisposition to… let’s just say it: fuck around.

We are designed to want that tall, dark and handsome bad boy (substitute your own fantasy) in the corner of the coffee shop, and we want him more at certain times of the month when we are fertile. Biology wants to maximize the possible combinations of our DNA. Diversity offers protection against disease wiping out our bloodline.

Biology doesn’t care who survives, by the way. She’ll leave that to the changing conditions of natural selection. She just wants to maximize the chances.

There are competing forces, of course. Personal and social stability, for example, represented by laws, and the church using my personal favorite, guilt. To protect my brood from my sister, who’s always wanted what I have, there’s jealousy.

So what’s a girl to do? There isn’t one solution, and it’s never an easy decision. We are not all alike. Nikki and Ali chose very different paths. Nikki went to divorce, multiple partners and a busy, though seemingly happy life. Ali chose monogamy, parenthood, diapers and a bigger home, and a seemingly happy life.

The key, I think, is honesty. First and foremost with oneself, within one’s values. And with our partner(s), as early and as often as possible. It’s also necessary, according to my grandmother, to accept that we can’t have our gateau and eat it, too. Only the immature believe that’s possible, or the pathologically selfish.

An honest appreciation of who we are, what we want and what we are willing to sacrifice can lead to fulfillment. But don’t pretend a decision doesn’t have to be made, because the journey is short, and momentum can take us to dreadful destinations.

Life Imitates Art

Yesterday I wrote what I expect will be the last sentence of the book Crosscurrents. No, it’s not finished. There is much left to do.

But it’s very strange that this book evolved from an erotic novel into a thriller, or a mystery, and a love story. That was not what I intended at all!

At the end of Exposed, I felt so self-contained. Doing what I wanted, going where I wanted, having my adventures when I wanted. I like sex and occasionally in an erotic setting with multiple partners. I didn’t need to justify myself, nor compromise, and certainly not apologize.

In the writing of Crosscurrents, I discovered someone. I’m not going to tell you who or how, but I can say that as a result, some things have… changed. How they’ve changed, or if the changes are temporary or permanent, remains to be seen.

I think sex in many of its expressions is wonderful, if the expectations are shared. Sex doesn’t need to be about love, nor commitment, nor creation of children. I accept the gifts Biology has given us, and appreciate them to their fullest.

But still… biology is not well-contained. The mind, or heart if you will, can become deeply impacted by the biology of sex, by someone whose skin we crave to touch, whose mouth we want to merge with our own, whose fingertips cause us to ache, and oddly enough, whom we want to wake next to in the morning after a night of feeling their body next to ours.

Making love with someone who tells us to “open your eyes” as we or they are about to orgasm, and have that moment shared through the windows of the soul with a connection that goes far beyond words, is as erotic and even more fulfilling than all the random touching there is in the world. We are touched more deeply, and in places even more secret.

Crosscurrents has become a different book than I expected it to be. And I may have changed in the process of writing it.

~ Jessica

How much is too much?

There’s an erotic scene in the new book set in a new club in Seattle.

It’s not something you would see every day, even in those clubs where erotic play is common. It’s not violent, It’s not filthy. But it’s graphic, and the vulnerability is intense.

I’ve been thinking about whether it’s too intense.

Frankly, in this world, I’m rather conservative. Not a prude, certainly, but I am a long, long ways from the extreme edge of play. But when my publisher reads this scene, I’m afraid she is going to gasp, if not recoil. I worry about some of my readers, too. I want them to be engaged, not run from the page.

Vulnerability is an element of the erotic. Yes, yes, we all know “50 Shades.” But it’s more universal than that. Submitting to pleasure, or being with someone who has submitted, is a lot of what arouses us. The success of “50 Shades” shocked a lot of people I think who had not realized how many of us respond to vulnerability.

Of course, there are different levels of comfort with different levels of vulnerability. Some don’t think it should be shared in public, but others feel that makes one more vulnerable, and the experience even more erotic, whether that be in cars, elevators, restaurants or nightclubs.

I’ve shared some of that in “Exposed” and there is more of it in the new book, “Crosscurrents.” But where’s the line? I don’t really know, but a part of my writing is an attempt to find out. I guess we all have our own lines. Mine might be past those of my publisher, but yours might be so far out there, I can’t see them over the horizon.

How much is too much? I guess that’s for each of us to decide. But it’s a personal decision, and in my opinion, no cause for judgment.

Baggage in the bedroom (or car, club, limo, elevator, etc.)

We all have sexual history. If not, you are reading the wrong writer.

I don’t talk about past lovers with current lovers. It never turns out well. The insecure don’t believe they can ever compete, and those who want to compete with my past are completely absent from the present, which is where I need them to be.

Billy is a cool guy; sweet, tall, blond and a great body. I would sleep with him, too, if I didn’t worry about screwing (!) up our friendship. Okay, yes, we have but we don’t now and we’re both good with that for all the right reasons.

He’s one of the few male friends I have who can talk easily about sex. We had lunch yesterday.

“Karen and I were just rolling along, having a good time. She was on top of me, holding my arms down, kind of a dominance thing, I guess. Then I took her face in my hands to kiss her as gently as could be, and all of a sudden, she threw the “off” switch,” he said.

“She didn’t jump out of bed or anything, but she stopped participating. It was like she was willing to let me finish up, but her passion had left the room. You know how I am, Jessica (I do). If my partner isn’t having fun, neither am I. So I stopped, and asked her what was wrong.

“At first she said nothing was wrong, then said she just got uncomfortable. Eventually she said that one of her previous lovers used to hold her face like that.

“I told her that wasn’t me. She said, ‘I know.’ I said I just wanted to show her I was there, it was intimacy. She said ‘I know.’ I asked if there was anything I could do, and she said, ‘I don’t know.’ And then she got up, got dressed and left.

“I really don’t want it to end like that,” he said, “but she won’t answer her phone.”

Whew. Billy. He’s such a sweet guy, and Karen is going to miss a lot of good times with him, maybe more. I told him to move on.

Trauma in the bedroom can cause so many different kinds of hurt, and if there is physical hurt along with emotional hurt, there can be all sorts of issues to resolve that, unresolved, can last a long, long time. Because of the way we are wired at birth, and all of the socialization we’ve acquired since, the melody of sexuality has many overtones. When two people are out of tune, it can be really tough to find harmony.

Why did I tell Billy to move on instead of work it out? Because Karen wasn’t ready. She didn’t stick around to talk it through. She bailed out, which I know may have been her only option in that moment. But she’s carrying something from her past that it bled all over her thing with Billy.

That may not be her fault, but it’s certainly not his, nor is it his responsibility. Billy will be there for her if she returns. Billy is like that, and that’s just one of the things I really love about the man. But he can’t chase away her demons if she doesn’t stick around, and damage like that is potentially contagious.

Blog Tour!

The publisher has set up a blog tour for “Exposed” this coming week. In addition, an ad will be appearing in Seattle’s “The Stranger,” an alternative newspaper (and model for similar publication in the book.) Here are dates of the tour. Stop by these sites and help us get some momentum!


Clair Reads: ;
Reading Keeps Me Sane:

Feminist Reflections:
Lady A, Literature Junkie Extraordinaire:

Country Gals Sexy Reads:

Chapter 5 Books Blog:

Tragically Dull Adventures of an Almost Librarian:

Up All Night Book Blog:
Hannah’s Beautiful Fantasy:

A Taste of “Exposed”

Here is a a scene from “Exposed by Jessica Love.” It is on Amazon here, and available through your local bookseller. Enjoy. ~ Jessica

When I turned my head sideways, Rick’s face was about six inches from mine.

“May I kiss you?” he asked, his voice husky with lust. “Please?” I asked back. So very gently, he brushed his lips against mine, held them there. I could smell the gin and tonic he’d been drinking, clean and fresh. I reached over and put my right hand on the back of his head so he wouldn’t pull away. I put my left hand on the side of his face.

The kiss lingered.

It was so strange. I’d been with a number of men since the implosion of my marriage. Not once had I kissed or been kissed as tenderly as I was at that moment, nearly naked on top of a bar in a room full of men and women, mostly men.

“Oh my,” he said when we broke to look at each other. “Oh my,” I agreed. “William?” I asked, I didn’t need to elaborate and when I lifted my hips, William slid his hands under my butt to take the top of my thong down, smoothly over my knees. I straightened my legs so the wisp of fabric could be pulled over my shoes.

 I kept my thighs together, but extended my left foot so my body was completely visible to the room, which had become quite silent except for the last notes of another song spun by the DJ who was catering to the dancers on the floor below.

Paul put his lips on my hip bone, then closer to the V between my legs.

“Paul.” I said it gently, but with a hint of command. He stopped instantly and looked at me. “I’d like your fingertips from here,” I pointed at my left breast, “to here,” and pointed at my pelvis. He smiled into my eyes and nodded.

“William, I’d like you to work up from the other direction. As gently as you can.”

The two of them touched me like they were enjoying the touch of velvet, back and forth, up and down. I kept my thighs together and neither tried to enter me. Paul stroked the outside of my breasts, the under curve, my nipples ached when he brushed them and then down to my belly.

I reached over to Rick and said, “I need you right here,” and drew his mouth to mine. Once again the gentleness of his lips astounded me. But now I wanted something a little more. I opened my mouth, which caused him to open his. I timed my exhale to his inhale, and he knew exactly what I wanted and pulled my breath into his mouth.

When I was empty, his/my warm breath returned to me and filled my lungs. We were able to keep that rhythm for five full breaths before what we were sharing was depleted of oxygen.

“Oh my,” I said with my first full breath of fresh air. “Oh my,” he exhaled. “Touch me,” I said with something between a request and command. His fingertip went to my right breast and he circled my nipple. William’s hand was at my hips.

I couldn’t stop the moan from my throat or my hips from rising from the bar. But my thighs stayed together. Ricks fingertip went from my breast to my collarbone, then my neck, my throat. When it came to my cheek I turned my head and took it into my mouth with more hunger than I had felt in years.

Eventually, Rick’s fingers found more of me welcoming him. Paul and William changed chairs a couple of times. The experience lasted for a long, long while; the DJ spun many songs; many people came close to watch, left, were replaced by others. I gave as good as I got, and what I got was very, very good.