I’d been hearing quite a few good things about Scarlet Ladies, a group for sex-positive women based in London, so I was thoroughly excited when I got asked to go along and join them for an evening dedicated to erotic fiction. Though I’ve put on plenty of slams (and yes, it’s about time I sorted out another one) and have started attending author signings, this was a different gig and a most excellent one.
For a start, the venue was all of the awesome. 23 Paul St bills itself as ‘for the discerning rascal’ and it’s the sort of place I would not, previously, quite have believed in. A strip club with ethics and an empowering ethos, it’s also lavish in its decor, like a film set of a vintage burlesque zone.
In the company of assorted lovely people, and sharing the bill with The Other Livvy, Amy Coffee&Kink and the amazing Shakira Scott, fuelled by prosecco, I was more than ready to air a couple of story extracts. All four of us took turns to read out a short piece of work and then discuss it with the other attendees, who turned out to be the sort of audience an
author dreams of: engaged, interested, asking cool questions and really appreciative. I have to say it would be almost impossible to pick a favourite reading from what I heard – everyone’s stuff was fascinating, or beautiful, or thought-provoking, original or straight-up hot. Or all of the above. I chose an extract from Silver Desire and one from Dirty Flash Fiction, the latter of which erm, went down better than the first one (it’s a bukkake story.) Livvy read a piece about bubblegum, which I remember hearing at Eroticon this year; Amy had a story about rope (I’m always happy to hear stuff about rope) and Shakira has some brilliant turns of phrase.
There was plenty of applause, plenty of laughter and a sense of amazing camaraderie and shared experience. If you are female and interested in sex and sexuality, you really should check Scarlet Ladies out in more detail: their mission statement is:
Through our founding values of Freedom, Inspiration, Esteem, Respect, Courage and Enjoyment, we connect and empower women all over the world. Live FIERCE.