Everyday Objects in Erotica
14th Feb 2014
Erotica can be all about whips and restraints and dildos, but the sign of a good erotic writer is when they can capture the passion of a spontaneous moment, when more traditional sex toys are nowhere to be seen.
Cecilia Tan puts it well when she points out that “what couple in the midst of erotic exploration wouldn’t use whatever was handy?”
Therefore, it is perhaps unsurprising that this features heavily in erotica – particularly in scenes where characters are on their own or are getting to know each other – and especially in erotica written by women.
In some ways this could be seen as reclaiming back insertion porn (a trend where the woman being filmed has whatever’s available inserted into her), as it has a focus on mutual pleasure and removes the objectification.
So here’s our beginner’s guide to everyday objects in erotica…
Food and Drink
“And then he tipped the bottle and a few drops of the wine flowed over her breasts. She moaned, almost wanting to cry. He bent over her, and she let her head fall back as he began to lick the wine from her skin. His tongue was so hot and smooth. The scent of the wine was dizzying. The combination was devastating.”
Bradley doesn’t shy away from the fact that some people get turned on by objects in a way that others can’t fathom and it makes for great kink-positive reading.
Detachable Shower Heads
“She pulled the detachable shower head from its hook and turned the massage setting from spray to jet. Immediately the water pulsed from the shower head in short hard bursts… she centred the pulsing jet of water directly on her clit. She cried out at once, the pressure almost too much. Too strong. Her hips bucked forwards and she reached for the handrail.”
The make-do vibrator is fairly popular in erotica; it makes perfect sense for a woman, horny as hell and desperate for release, to turn to whatever’s around her. In Megan Hart and Lauren Dane’s Taking Care of Business, this scene highlights Leah’s determination to rediscover and define her sexual preferences, and is more about reclaiming her orgasms for herself than just getting off.
Or if you’re looking to go really dark, check out Wetlands by Charlotte Roche; at one point the heroine puts the entire showerhead inside herself and while she may have been gasping with pleasure the rest of us were wincing “each to their own”.
A Musical Interlude
“The music settled between her legs and trembled there. Sharon’s fingers sped over the instrument’s thick strings, plucking them to keep the sensation going. She tilted her hips and squirmed, trying to guide the amp’s stimulation more directly to her sex. She slipped, the corner of the amp pressing through her panties, rubbing the opening of her cunt.”
Annabeth Leong’s short story ‘All You Do Is Play’ (from the Big Book of Orgasms: 69 Sexy Stories collection) also explores the concept of DIY vibrators as part of something that a couple can do together. Sharon uses her bass guitar’s amp firstly alone, and then with Kristie as the two women begin to explore their feelings for each other.
"When I’m done with you there won’t be a phallic object left in your apartment that doesn’t smell like your desire."The Belt
“But then his knuckles bumped against the bedpost as she circled his wrist with the belt, and a thin trickle of sweat slid down his temple.”
Some objects are more versatile; Sabrina uses a belt to restrain Connor in Heidi Rice’s 10 Ways to Handle the Best Man, and Tiffany Reisz demonstrates how it can be used to “beat…[or] perhaps even choke” in The Prince.
Or Pretty Much Anything…
“The potato slips out on to the floor and your head jerks up, your vagina gasping like a fish, so empty. A bottle of shampoo. The handle of a hairbrush. Pinking shears. Yours is the cunt that ate Tokyo. When I’m done with you there won’t be a phallic object left in your apartment that doesn’t smell like your desire.”
Cecilia Tan’s fairly renowned for her kink-positive writing, and particularly for exploring the boundaries of BDSM. In her short story ‘Penetration’ (from the Black Feathers: Erotic Dreams collection), it’s all about items being used on someone, and the use of the second person makes this very very personal.
Her assertion that “the second person is pure fantasy…one person’s vision of another entirely dreamed up” becomes apparent when we realise that the speaker is penetrating her lover with anything she can, in the absence of phallus of her own.
How do you feel about the use of everyday objects in this way – particularly within explicit writing? And do you feel that the focus on the everyday makes these scenes seem more spontaneous and realistic?