Hi everyone! Hope your February is fabulous! I have some fun things to start off this month right. First of all, I’ve got a contest with Coffee Time Romance running through the month of February. If you can answer some questions about my book, Nancy’s Sweet Spelling Bee, you could win a signed copy of three Ellora’s Cave anthologies, including Glamorous Garnet, Provocative Pearl and Tempting Turquoise!

And then, February is the month of Valentine’s (which is very much a part of Nancy’s Sweet Spelling Bee), but it’s also the month of Lupercalia, that interesting Roman fertility holiday that involved getting whipped. So, it’s very appropriate that the Erotic Romance Reading Challenge let me write a blog essay about “Slap and Tickle”.

By Appointment – Slap and Tickle

In By Appointment, In Elaine Lowe

Monday, 1 February 2010

Ah, Brits and Americans, forever divided by a common language. I loved the idea of this topic, but then I soon realized  that my idea of “slap and tickle” might be rather different than what my audience thought was slap and tickle.

In England, I’m given to understand, a “slap and tickle” is a heavy session of making out. Truly tantalizing foreplay. Now, don’t get me wrong — I love the heavy breathing, the succulent tension, the kisses that last for hours until your lips are swollen and tingling and you know that your lover tastes better than chocolate. I remember the necessity of planning your wardrobe to be easy access for a large hand to caress a breast and tweak a nipple, or traverse its way up your thigh toward forbidden territory.

The tension is magnificent, and its ultimate resolution uttering delicious. I love writing scenes where the action can’t be brought to conclusion, and the partners are forced again and again to torture themselves with how much they want each other. In Enchant the Dawn, I had so much fun putting my gypsy hero and flapper heroine though their paces. They have some pretty fantastic make out sessions, including a harrowing trip thrust together in the rumble seat of an old jalopy, a truly hot session in a shower interrupted by treacherous pipes, and a steamy encounter in the back room of the hottest dance club in Harlem. By the time they actually get past “slap and tickle” to “hot and heavy”, the tension snaps with a bang!

But in the USA, “slap and tickle” has taken on a slightly different meaning, it’s more than just fooling around, necking, or making out on the couch, or even a quick hand job to stave off those cravings for more when you just can’t quite make the time. It’s more than a quickie between old, comfortable partners or teenagers trying not to get caught. No, “slap and tickle” really a slap and a tickle. It’s that slap to the ass that surprises a girl to fall over the edge into a truly epic orgasm.  The tickle of a feather over every inch of bared skin when a hard, hot man is stretched out on the bed, tied to the headboard, letting himself be tortured into a submission you both want.

It’s not heavy BDSM, with black latex and chains, it’s that little bit of pain to heighten the pleasure, that little bit of naughtiness that makes everything oh-so-good. Come on, admit it that when she drags her nails down his back almost hard enough to draw blood, that it’s too damn sexy! When he pinches and bites her nipples and makes her scream and throb, that drives you crazy. When he’s taking her from behind, so deep that she’s weeping with the wonder of it, and he pulls her hair daring her to deny that this is the best sex ever, that is what makes a scene so over the top you can’t get it out of your mind.

I like to put a little slap and tickle in all my books. Both the heavy petting kind and the luscious torture kind of slap and tickle. Too often, my heroines are too damn smart for their own good, and they need a bit of being out of control, either with some incredible foreplay or that surprise of a good teasing smack, in order to stop thinking for a moment and just start feeling.

In Command the Wind, it takes some loving slaps to her ass to get Cora Searle to stop worrying about disappointing on her wedding night and start really enjoying herself. And the Queen of Saal, Lady Six Sky, needs to be reminded to always think of politics and remember that she draws her strength from the love of her husband, Tiliw T’ul. And he seduces her in her throne room, plowing into her wet heat against a wall while she wears her full court regala,  pulling the feathered headdress from her hair and making her know that nothing, no treaty or political wrangling, is worth giving up this amazing man.

Masters and Johnson, those pioneers of sexual communication, introduced the term “sensate focus” to refer to being aware of only the moment during intimacy. Not to have a goal, or just to be consumed with orgasm. It’s incredible erotic to exist in the moment with your partner, whether that’s in the midst of long, slow, wet kisses that last for days, or being jolted by the delicious sting of teeth dragging along the column of your throat and leaving you marked for all to see.

Both kinds of “slap and tickle” are the best of being in the moment, utterly consumed by your partner and losing control of yourself in the very best way possible. So, go out and make out like teenagers on the couch ’til you just can’t stand it, then revel in the tantalizing torture of a tiny bit of pain in your pleasure. Come on, you know you’ll love it!