Category Archives: Jewish erotica

Marriage, sex and death

Or should it be sex, death, and marriage? Hello from the depth of my creative cave.

I’ve been offline for a long time (sorry) trying to dig my way through this novel about Abigail, her husband, Ben, and his brother, Daniel, all of whom are caught in the love triangle that is a Levirate marriage (or yibbum as it is known in Hebrew).

It’s been slow going – unfortunately, I’ve thrown out somewhere in the region of 50,000 words – but I am now beginning to believe again that this novel will come to an end and will be published sometime this year.

In terms of actual progress, I’ve written around 60,000 keep-able words of the draft; I’ve killed the husband, Ben; and I am creating a tension between Abigail and Daniel that is starting to get momentum.

Image by Christiana Rivers https://www.zengardenproductions.com/christiana
Image by Christiana Rivers https://www.zengardenproductions.com/christiana

There is sex, but this is more than a novel about sex – it is about people and their decisions, their lives, their relationship with Judaism and community and family. Who am I kidding? It is also about sex and how it can drive us, blind us and generally muddy the water when it comes to life.

One of other big challenges is working out just how Levirate marriage laws apply in contemporary Orthodox Judaism – and what that means for the plot. It has not been as simple as I had initially imagined it would be and I am going to have to seek halachic guidance from a rabbi. But more on that later…

If you would like to hear about the book’s release (and any associated deals I might run), please join my mailing list. I promise you won’t be spammed, in fact, I am naughty for not having sent out an email in …forever!

Stay well, Shosha xx

 

Top image from www.StillsByHernan.com

Her Neighbor’s Pleasure is now available!

Hello!

I know, you thought this day might never come – but it has! I’m thrilled to announce that Her Neighbor’s Pleasure is now live and available for FREE download on a number of online retail platforms. Here are some of the places you can find it:

AmazonHNP cover image 3.12.15
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

iTunes

Amazon.com (the US site) is offering the book for free but annoyingly, Amazon stores in other countries are still selling the story at a price (it’s not much, but it’s not FREE!). For anyone outside of the US who wants a Kindle version of the file just log in to the members’ section of this site and you will find the files ready for download. For anyone else, please, please go to the retail sites I have listed above to get your copy – and tell all your friends!! The more downloads the book gets the more visible it becomes to new readers.

Anyway, it’s all very exciting and as always please consider leaving a review if you can – each one makes a difference.

Happy reading – I really hope you enjoy the story of Esther and Sholem. I know I did – but then, they’re like my new best friends now :)

Regards,

Shosha x

Hold on to your panties: Adam Arotti has arrived

Orthodox erotica is only getting better. You’ve met Jayde Blumenthal and now it’s time to meet Adam Arotti – author of forbidden Orthodox and biblical erotica.

Adam’s soon to publish and I’ve been fortunate enough to have a sneak preview of some of his stuff – it’s hot.

We’re all looking forward to him unveiling his stories, but in the meantime take a look at the opening salvo on his new website

Hey :)

This is nude for me, so please bare with me as I figure everything out.  No, those weren’t typos; they were just my fairly lame attempt at introductory humor with a bit of the flavor that you can expect from my website.

For generations, society has seen sexuality as a force that needs to be suppressed, or even better – repressed, before it even blossoms.  And there are legitimate and fair reasons for that.  Sexuality has unbelievable power; as an orgasm grips our entire body, so does sexuality permeate – and sometimes control – almost every area of our existence.

Tragically, however, we often tend to try to contain forces that we view as too powerful to control, rather than finding a way to harness or guide the power.  If sexuality was a horse, the Christians would try to shoot the horse; and the Jews would lock it up in a beautiful palace, exclaiming how beautiful the horse is, but never letting it out for a wild run.

As a Jew, my approach to sexuality begins with the Torah.  Yet, I have found that, when it comes to sexuality, the Torah-mores of today are not necessarily reflective of the Torah-mores of yore.  Today, we try to present versions of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs that are decidedly asexual; as though those legendary lions could not possibly have squandered their divine energy on something so base as sexuality – and it would behoove us to follow in their too-lofty-to-be-sexy footsteps.  Those few unavoidably sexual episodes in the Torah are either skipped entirely, or quickly glossed over as if they were the introduction to a boring blog.

To me, however, a close examination of our biblical forebears (with the help of a bit of creative license) reveals a different picture; one in which the lives of our models and Jewish archetypes were robustly erotic and sensual, and far more accessible to us than many would have us believe.  In the coming weeks and months, I hope to share with you some of my erotic writing, in which I will endeavor to bring to hot and erotic life some of Torah’s more spicy stories.

However, some of my pieces decidedly take advantage of the sexual taboo created by our sexually-repressed environment.  Everything sexual is even hotter when it is forbidden, when it goes counter to the prevailing culture, and Jewish Orthodoxy accommodates this dynamic by providing many forbidden areas.  And so I will also be publishing some forbidden Jewish erotica, set within the very stern Orthodox sub-culture, which is populated by devout – yet nonetheless extremely erotic and sexy – rule-breakers.

To be candid, I am a bit more hesitant when it comes to these, as I am sensitive to the Jewish people’s role as a light unto the nations, and have no desire to make a Chillul Hashem by suggesting that the Jewish people are anything less than holy.  At the same time, Jewish people have fantasies too; and, well, I’ve written some of them down, and I’m wondering if it would be selfish to keep them to myself!

So please stay tuned!

You definitely need to watch out for Adam. In the meantime, keep up with him at www.adamarotti.wordpress.com/

Help me choose my cover design (please)!

I’m back at my writing desk in the mornings before work (not easy for a non-morning person!) slowly making my way through the first edit of ‘Her Neighbor’s Pleasure’. I’m excited to say that progress is being made and I am even thinking about giving myself a publication deadline.

To make things a little fun and to keep a momentum around the project, I thought I’d conduct a small poll on some of the cover art I created a while ago. If you have a minute to spare, I would love if you could help me choose the best cover design.

Here is a selection of covers based around two different Shutterstock images I have chosen. You will see the watermarks are still on the images because I’m only using the sample (watermarked) pictures until the final version is selected. Naturally, the end product will be watermark free!

If there is one you like best I’d be thrilled if you let me know  via a comment below, Facebook, Twitter or even an email. Tell me which option rings your bell but if none of them works for you, please choose ‘Option 6’ 😉

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Can’t wait to see what you think :)

Thanks so much!

Shosha

 

 

 

 

Other frum erotica you can read while waiting for the next Shosha Pearl story (!)

I finally finished the first draft of my latest story (yay!), which is currently called ‘Her Neighbor’s Pleasure’. The title’s a bit of a give-away, but for those who haven’t worked it out, it’s about a woman who witnesses her neighbors having sex …and, as a result, her world is turned upside down.

I’m really quite excited about the story, but it needs a redraft and edit, so it might be a little while until it is released.  But my aim is to make this happen as soon as possible.

In the meantime, however, if you are looking for something to read in the area of frum erotica, have you taken a look at Jayde Blumenthal?

Hot little denimThis week I finally managed to read some of her work. I read Dirty Denim Girl: A grownup Jewish bedtime story (which was a quick, spicy read) and I’ve also bought her Hassidic Passion trilogy, which I’m only a little way into, but I’m already  looking forward to  finding out what happens between Raizy and Beryl! Her writing is good, the plots are interesting and her characters resonate.

Jayde Blumenthal has an impressive  catalogue of stories to choose from and I would love to know what you think of her stories (as I am sure she would!). From what I can see, they are all set in a frum context, but I’m not sure just how  taboo her subject matter gets (I haven’t come across anything assur to this point). If you’re willing to do some exploring, I think you’ll be rewarded.

Please  stay tuned for the release of ‘Her Neighbor’s Pleasure’ and in the meantime, take a look at Jayde Blumenthal’s books. You can also visit her website and join her mailing list.

 

 

Why some people think frum sex is not sexy

This month I was reminded that for many people the sex lives of religious Jews are completely unsexy…or worse, even a bit grotesque. It seems, for these people, the idea of an Orthodox Jewish couple having sex has the same  the ‘ewww’ factor as thoughts about their parents getting it on.

You may not be aware that earlier this month my stories (and me, to an extent) were the subject of an article on the online magazine, Jewniverse . Zachary Solomon, one of my recent Twitter connections, wrote a short piece about me and my stories which was great, and I was thrilled. However, my delight was a little tempered by the title: ‘Erotica that only a Jewish mother can love’. Ouch!

It got worse when My Jewish Learning (a great resource, by the way) tweeted the article as: ‘Erotica that only your rabbi would love’. I made a somewhat veiled plea on Twitter for both publications to consider other ways of promoting this story and eventually Jewniverse changed the article’s title to ‘Erotica for the kosher set’. Baruch Hashem!

I’ve had discussions with various people of late about what lies at the root of the perception that sex involving religious Jews is just not sexy. And I’ve come up with a few observations:

1. All religious people, regardless of ethnicity or spiritual system, seem to be painted with the same brush: if G-d or an observance to the laws of G-d plays some sort of reasonable place in your life, then there seems to be a perception that sex, sensuality or any form of erotic pleasure should not. In fact, I have known secular Jews to make comments suggesting that observant Jews who get into exploring their sexuality – or even frum people who make risque jokes about sex – are somehow hypocritical. This is not a Jewish idea. There is nothing inside Judaism that says you can’t love G-d or be an observant Jew and not be into – or comfortable talking about – sex.

2. The laws of family purity (taharat hamishpachah) might put limitations on the things that Jews can do sexually, but many would argue that over time these can add to a sexual dynamic (I accept this is arguable). As for all the chumras and minhagim that can be imposed on intimate relationships between couples, they are not halacha – they are not Jewish law. If people choose to take on more, it is their choice.

3. Surely the children are the proof that religious Jews are doing it a lot. My husband and I have been known to joke about certain frum couples who, from the way they look at each other, the way they talk about each other, are clearly at it like rabbits. These are couples who have been married for years, who have numerous children, but whose sexual dynamic is alive and vibrant. It is a joy to see .

One of the lessons I have learnt in the short time I have been Shosha Pearl is that when it comes to basic human drives and emotions people are pretty much the same. I have had strangers write to me from the frumest environments who have told me how my stories have resonated them (which is wonderful to hear).

But at the core of the Shosha Pearl project is an acknowledgement that we are a tribal species. Shosha Pearl writes erotic stories about frum people for frum people (although others are very welcome to read them if they are interested) because readers often feel more able to connect with stories – especially intimate life stories – which contain people like them. Hence, we are seeing a rise of erotic fiction that is ethnically or religiously based. By extension, therefore, this principle may  also explain why people who are not observant Jews don’t like to think about the idea of frum Jews in a sexual context.

Friday night dinner: what happens when the guests go home?

‘Let’s Bench’, my most recent short fiction piece, was published by Jewrotica last month.

If you haven’t yet read any of my other stories, or if the only ones you have read are the original two on this site – ‘Fringes of Memory‘ and ‘Before the Canopy‘ – then you will see that my latest tale turns up the heat (although for those of you who have read ‘I Will Watch You‘, you will know this is not the only example I have of explicitly detailed sexual encounters).

The story looks at what can happen when a guest is inappropriately flirtatious with his hostess and how that affects the sexual dynamic between a husband and wife. In this case, it leads to what has been elegantly termed: “jealous arousal”.

If you would like to read some more about the story’s evolution, then take a look at my latest email to my mailing list (where you can also read my ponderings on erotic fiction).

But better yet, why not read the story?

Screen shot 2015-03-03 at 7.23.13 AM

 

What’s all this nonsense about halachic erotica?

I like to make a bit of a deal about how I created my own literary sub-genre: ‘halachic erotica’ (halacha is the Hebrew term for Jewish law). It sounds indulgent – and perhaps it is – but I allow myself to dwell on it for a number of reasons:

1. It’s true. I really did make it up and I am proud of my creation – in a nachas rather than ga’avah kind of way. (In other words, I am proud in a parental pride kind of way rather than the ‘I’m so great, look at me’ way.)

2. Talking about the stories in literary terms works to distract the minds of people whose stunned expressions betray their confusion/horror at hearing what I write about. These expressions articulate the shock people feel when they learn that these sorts of stories exist – and then five seconds later, the sense of bemusement that they had never before heard of their existence (mention Jewrotica and you get much the same response). Often, it’s as if they are offended at the possibility that they’ve been left out of a communal circle of confidence. Explaining that I made up this outrageous form of Jewish fiction seems, somehow, to make everyone feel more comfortable about a world in which halachic erotica exists – and their place in this newly reconfigured reality.

3. It’s like putting a ribbon around a gift. Giving these stories, which I try to make beautiful, their own special genus seems appropriate. Just as I try to create something that is a pleasure to read, so too do I want to honour them -and the characters that emerge from them – by giving them a formal place in the world. This might seem trite, but it’s how I feel.

With few exceptions, the stories that I write are about the intimacy that exists between a Jewish woman and her husband. They are about the sacred sexual power that desire and love can have for couples. They are about longing, tenderness, passion and obsession – states of being that are common to couples of all creeds and colours, including religiously observant Jews.

When I started on this creative path the lighting was dim. I knew I wasn’t going to write about anything that conflicted with mainstream halacha and I guessed that a lot of the stories would involve frum types, but I didn’t know much more. It’s been a surprise that the stories that have come to life from my keyboard so far have focused exclusively on religiously observant Jews – although from a distance this seems an obvious outcome. I am curious to know how things will develop over time.

In the meantime, it is exciting to watch these little tales of lust unfold before me. They contain elements of the unexpected that surprise and delight me as their creator – and I hope there will be readers who share my pleasure in glimpsing briefly into the lives of these characters.

Rich, poor, Jewish or not; we all share common human drives and desires. I enjoy showing that religious Jews, like the rest of the world, enjoy sex, share desire and dream of sexual reward. The only differences are the cultural and religious frameworks that govern how much of the broader sexual landscape they are exposed to (eg porn, popular discourse) and, to an extent, how far halacha will let them go.