"Who would like to go first?”
I stare at the ceiling, look at the floor, sneak a sideways glance at the person next to me. I look anywhere except in the direction of Lana, tonight's hostess of Erotic Expression. Luckily, a woman from the back shoots up her hand and I am saved... for now.
As the brave woman makes her way to the front, eager as a beaver to read her fictionalised fantasy, I look back down at my page. It’s blank, except for a doodle of a doodle...on a cat.
I was completely unprepared for tonight's events. Described as a “workshop that explores the wonderfully wicked works of erotic fiction," I had envisioned a group of lovers of erotic prose, swapping passages from favorite books and discussing how the rich tapestry of naughty words made them feel.
But I was wrong.
Held in a primary school gymnasium (yes, really!) there wasn’t an Anais Nin book in sight. Instead I was staring at a plate of scones, and several badly done perms. I was also the youngest here by at least 33 years.
I wondered if by mistake I had somehow stumbled into the Country Woman’s Association monthly meeting - these woman just didn’t look like enthusiastic readers of erotica.
Before I could ask the lady next to me where exactly I had landed, Lana opened the workshop with a warm-up game called “Name Your Naughty Parts”.
Around the circle we went, calling out alternative nicknames for our genitalia (pause too long and you're out!). Words like “minky” “growler” “honey pot” “choo choo” “mouse” and “secret cave” flew around the room. I couldn’t believe it! One woman, a spitting image of my own grandmother, actually said the word “muff”! I lost it, laughing so hard, I wasn’t able to take my turn.
After the game and giggles subsided, Lana informed the class we now had 35 minutes to speed write a titillating tale based on the theme, "My deepest fantasy”. It could be as hard-core (small animals were off limits, however), risqué and sexually lewd as we liked, but we would be required to read it aloud to the class once the time was up.
I instantly froze. We had to read our own story?!
Click, goes the egg timer and I could hear 17pens begin scrawling naughty words on notepads. I looked down at my borrowed paper and willed my pen to start moving. Nothing. I looked around at the class, snuck a cheeky peek at my neighbor’s paper, the word eskimo caught my eye... ESKIMO!?! I spend the remaining 33 minutes wondering how any saucy story could possibly involve a man who lives in a house made of ice.
When Lana called for pens down I sank a little lower in my seat. And as each of my fellow frisky fiction writers read aloud their steamy stories I wondered why I hadn’t been able to write a single sentence.
Tales of hot encounters with tradesmen, condiments and step sisters filled the musky gym. Although there were some I wish I never heard, I was amazed at the bravery amongst the class. These woman had no problem standing up and speaking out about what turned them on, even if it was in fictionalised form. I finally got what it was all about. This club wasn’t about the finely tuned words of the literary masters. It was so much more personal than that. It was about owning yourowndesires and sexuality without shame and embarrassment. And I thought that was pretty great.
Maybe, next month that will be me.