In the mood for some frum BDSM?

download (1)The Orthodox erotica market just keeps getting bigger and better with the launch last month of a new frum BDSM novel, Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker.

I am about a quarter of the way through the book and it all seems great: good storyline and solid writing. Even better, the Jewish stuff feels authentic 🙂

Here’s what the book description says:

Tzipporah Berger is thirty-seven and single, which is practically unheard of in the Orthodox Jewish community she now calls home. Her increasing religiosity and need for kink may have broken up her first marriage, but she’s decided it’s time to try again. And the rabbi’s wife has just the man in mind.

Elan Klein is the neighborhood butcher whose intimidating size and gruff manner hint at a deliciously forceful personality. But BDSM isn’t exactly something you discuss during an Orthodox courtship. Will a marriage to Elan solidify her place in the community that she loves and provide the domination and pain Tzipporah craves or will she forever have to rely on flights of fancy to satisfy her needs?

downloadAccording to her website, Parker describes her books as ‘primarily emotionally intense BDSM erotic romance’ and from what I’ve read so far, that seems an accurate description.

It’s exciting to see another example of good Orthodox erotica, but also to see more sexy stories that involve husbands and wives. There’s still loads of unexplored erotic material in the private world of frum married life.

The book is currently FREE on Kindle and with a 4.5 star review average. I can’t see why you wouldn’t download it.

Happy reading and good Shabbos!

Shosha

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/

Yom Kippur is over: we can talk about sex again

Shana tova – I hope you all had a meaningful Yom Kippur and an easy fast. It feels great to be on the other side of YK and waiting for the excitement of Sukkot. I love Sukkot as I discussed in my piece for Jewrotica last year.

First of all, I apologize to any of you who I have offended – or to those of you who I have disappointed by keeping so quiet over the past few months. I have resumed my university studies; this combined with my job and my family means my time for Shosha stories (and anything else fun) has been severely limited. Plus, every time I thought of something to post on my website it was Elul or the Yamin Noraim and it seemed inappropriate to be talking about such frivolous things.

Her Neighbors pleasure coverBut YK is over and we can get back to talking dirty. I am finally making headway with my story, ‘Her Neighbor’s Pleasure’. It’s crazy that it has taken me so long to get to this point, but it’s not for want of trying or commitment. As you can see, I have settled on a cover for the book – and not one that I displayed in my earlier post. I just hope you all like the story now!

Wishing you all a shana tova u’metuka. Let’s make 5776 a year of wonder 🙂

Shosha

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

 

 

 

 

Miriam’s Well and the parsha: mikvehs are about sex too

I get annoyed when discussions around the mikveh are sanitized – when the sex is left out and it’s all about babies.

I’ll explain. Last Motsei Shabbat I was at a women’s fahbregen for a friend’s birthday. It was very pleasant and very chassidish. At some point in the evening, the rebbetzin gave a dvar Torah about this week’s parsha, Chukat. She talked about Miriam dying, about Moshe hitting the rock to get water which became known as Miriam’s Well.  She explained that the well was not just the source of drinking water and the place where things were washed – it was also the mikveh. Without Miriam’s Well, she explained, Bnei Yisrael would have had no mikveh, which meant they would not have been able to have children.

Of course, this is a totally reasonable reading of the parsha, but as soon as I heard it I wanted to call out: Well, actually, no, Miriam’s Well meant that Bnei Yisrael could have sex (and then maybe, as a result, have babies)! To represent the mikveh as purely being about reproduction and Jewish continuity (important though they are) seemed to me to be missing an essential element of social and marital stability: sex.

Not so long before, Bnei Yisrael had actively chosen to abstain from marital intimacy because of pharoah’s edict to kill any Jewish baby boys born. How much more, then, was the freedom from Egypt and the provision of a constant water source (and thus a mikveh) a reason to have sex!? Surely it is just as important to celebrate the liberty of the Jewish people which allowed for a normalization of familial existence – including having sex! To me, this seemed a pretty important detail to wash over (pun intended).

I get annoyed when people don’t acknowledge sex. We are Jewish and sex has been heralded by chazal and their spiritual and intellectual descendants as fundamental to a balanced existence. I’m all for being contextually appropriate, but what’s wrong with acknowledging the intimacy that can create new life? I see no reason to sanitize something so beautiful among a group of women: to acknowledge (even in passing) that Miriam’s Well was the channel through which Jewish husbands and wives could be together.

It’s a mitzvah after all.

I didn’t rant until I returned home and spoke to my husband. But the issue is still sitting with me – so I am sharing my grievance with you and ask that we don’t sanitize the sex!

#dontsanitizethesex

Rant over – thank you 😉

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Have you seen ‘Felix and Meira’?

Earlier this month, a new Canadian film dealing with sexual tension in an (ultra) Orthodox framework was released for general viewing in cinemas.

The film, ‘Felix and Meira’ (‘Felix et Meira’ in French, the language in which it is produced), explores the relationship that develops between a frum married woman, Meira, and a non-religious Jewish man, Felix. Their relationship as it develops from friendship to something more, results in Meira being exposed to a world outside of her chassidic community and causes her to question everything about her existence.

I love seeing how writers and filmmakers handle the tension that builds when people start to look at their life in a different way. From a storyteller’s perspective, Meira’s struggle intrigues me, as does the reaction of the people around her.

Because I haven’t yet seen it, I can’t be sure about details of the film, but it looks like it might push relationship and behavioural boundaries  further than than I do in my writing …but I can’t be sure!

Although reviews appear to be mixed, I am looking forward to seeing it. Let me know what you think if you already have.

Here’s the trailer in the meantime…

 

When Shosha Pearl met Craigslist

It seems not everyone is preoccupied with Passover right now. Last weekend I was informed of a posting on the New York Craigslist’s personals section in which a frum couple are seeking an 18 year old woman to join them in some form of erotic play.

This information would be interesting enough in itself – you may not be aware that there is a sub-culture of religious Jews who seek other religious Jews via Craigslist personals (and probably through other means) for different forms of casual sexual encounters who discreetly flag themselves to each other by using the term ‘frum’ in their listings – but this news was even more interesting because the
person who posted the ad had used my email banner graphic (the pink one above) as one of their images!

I still don’t quite know what to make of this development, but let’s be clear about this: SHOSHA PEARL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS POSTING!!!!

It is fascinating to think that this is real people doing something that Shosha may one day write about. And while posting on Craiglist for a menage a trois  may not be in line with what most of our rabbis would suggest for maintaining shalom bayit, there are no real halachic transgressions going on. I am sure there are many people who would believe that this is not appropriate behaviour for a ‘good Jew’, but if we are talking tachlis on an halachic level, there’s nothing technically wrong with it.

It’s up to you to decide whether you think such a thing is OK or whether it should stay with the confines of fantasy.

Either way, let me take this opportunity to wish you a chag kasher v’semeach.

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.