Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group's updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

Quiver: Erotic Inspirations

In this new 3-part series, brand new Entice author Tobsha Learner explains the inspirations behind her erotic short story collections. Today, Quiver is in the spotlight:

The Woman Who Was Tied Up and Forgotten
SUBTITLE: Dentists, whips and voyeurism

Sandra, a successful architect, regularly submits to bondage sessions in the dentist’s chair of her husband’s practice – until one day the power swings and she discovers a whole new erotic rough play.

I was interested in notion of how a lot of people in power, like top business men are attracted to S and M. Such obsession is also associated with high stress and the desire to be disempowered  – relieved of ‘responsibility’. I was also drawn to the idea of an alpha female – an architect married to a ‘Beta’ man – a dentist, and how this shift in their relationship – when Sandra gets a very high profiled commission affects both their sex life and their marriage. Plus the challenge of making denstristy erotic was irresistable!

Man of Sighs
SUBTITLE: Steamy Wet Canvas Sex

A womanising artist is set-up by a jilted lover who sets out to frustrate and undermine him through an orgy of girl on girl, only to find herself swept up in the explicit fantasy.

Humphrey is actually based on an infamous womaniser I did once know – very exaggerated obviously, but I loved the idea of a thwarted lover planning revenge. But also the idea that all the orgasms Humphrey (a consummate lover) has given to women should follow him around like a faint echo – or that sighing you get when you put your ear up to a seashell.

The Man Who Loved Sound
SUBTITLE: I can make you scream with lust

Quin, an obsessive sound recordist and sensualist, falls in lust with an older woman’s voice when she accidentally calls his recording studio. For her it is the sexual experience of a lifetime as he ultimately rides her into a spectacularly loud orgasm that almost blows his speakers.

Sexual obsession can bring the strangest people together, Quin was also based on a sound recordist I knew who had the most extraordinary hearing and was a real purist when it came to sound recording equipment. I loved the idea of a younger man being swept away by the rich alto voice of an older woman – also exploring voice as a sexual tool to attract. But also it is an examination of the insecurities of an older woman engaged in a love affair with a younger man – the fear that she will be usurped by a younger woman constantly. Then there was the twist at the end – the fact that Felicity doesn’t recognise the sound of her own recorded orgasm  – a failing that has tragic consequences.

Pomegranate
SUBTITLE:  Sexual Possession

A young wife moves into a haunted house then experiences a sexual awakening through the body of her husband of a most supernatural and erotic kind.

Ghost stories are one of my favourite plotlines – I was searching for a way a ghost could manifest in the most visceral way possible, and using a husband as a sexual conduit seemed the perfect channel. I have always being interested in the way houses absorb the history of the previous occupants into their walls – and how the ‘memory’ of the house affects both the atmosphere and the experiences of the next occupants. 
The house actually exists in the inner west of Sydney – along with the pomegranate tree in the front garden – the ghost, however, was my invention!

Ice Cream
SUBTITLE:  Yummy mummies and Mr Whip-it blow hot and cold

Jerome is a gorgeous hunk who likes to entertain the young mothers in his ice-cream van after school. An explicit adventure into the oral pleasures of ice cream and other illicit temptations.

With this story I tried to imagine I was the moving camera of an orgy that was being filmed. It is determined about the sheer physical beauty and sensuality of the characters involved – but also a very naughty twist on the ever-present Ice cream van at the end of a school driveway on a long summer’s day….

Tulips
SUBTITLE: The passionate temptations of the banker and the flower-seller

Deidre, a middle-aged banker has given up on love, lust and sex until she meets a sexy Russian flower-seller and shocks everyone by succumbing to temptation.

Often when we have given up on love altogether it hits in the most unexpected places. Really this is a morality tale about the importance of staying open minded about the suitors one might contemplate. Deidre finds, love, lust and sex at a time when everyone else (including her mother!) had despaired of her ever finding a lover. But it is the fact that she is open-minded about the nationality and status of her suitor that is liberating – both for her and Mischa.

The Listening Room
SUBTITLE: The Orchestrated Orgasm

A frustrated young wife of a conductor shocks her husband and titillates a whole orchestra through public rough sex with a stranger.

A conductor once pointed out a small room built into one side of the stage (balcony height) specially for people like the BBC or ABC to do their recordings from) this set my imagination going. I also loved the idea that the orchestra (and not the paying public) could see into this ‘listening’ room and what could happen if what they were witnessing was thoroughly distracting! Again this story has a revenge theme – but it is also exploring both exhibitionism and the allures of sex with a complete but very beautiful stranger.

Looking for Strange
SUBTITLE: ‘Bi-sexual gardener seeks dogging partner’

Simon, a muscular landscape gardener likes both men and women, he also likes breaking into strange houses and making love. His uninhibited lifestyle is working nicely until he and his boyfriend break into the wrong house and find themselves in a confronting orgy.

Many people lead duplicate lives – the life they share with their girlfriends, wives and the secret lives they share with their illicit lovers. This story is really about that – and how people get their kicks. It started with the idea of people breaking into houses to make love – (an concept I had developed in one of my plays) the idea that risk heightens the sexual experience. Simon plays with double risk – as this activity is solely with his male lover whereas with his female lover he plays straight. But it is also about how the subconscious often drives our behaviour more than we realise. Simon sets himself up for discovery unconsciously, the question is this an unconscious desire to unify his two compartmentalised lives.

The Short Man In Crime
SUBTITLE: Scaling erotic heights.

At six foot five Stacey always considered herself a freak until she met five foot one Jock, an entrepreneur in the meat industry, who is totally turned on by her size. A man super-confident in his sexual prowess, his explicit imagination leads to her sexual liberation.

Some of the most notorious womanisers I have know have been under five foot five. I guess that was my first inspiration, but also I began to think about very tall girls and how often they are very shy about their height. Both Stacey and Jock find their own sexual confidence through each other’s physicality. But I also took the opportunity to look at other extremes – ie Jock seducing her in the meat-freezer – very cold on very hot. It is also a comment on how very rich very short men tend to marry very tall women – an unconscious desire to bred up! –

Doubt
SUBTITLE:  Submitting to the cane

A famous cuckolded conductor on tour sweats out his self-doubt in a sexual fantasy of submission and naughty schoolgirls, until he is awoken by strange sounds in next hotel room next door.

Mortification leads to all kinds of fantasy. My conductor deeply humiliated, takes to sexual fantasy as he flees the media frenzy his unfaithful wife has unleased. The location of the hotel room was actually based on a story a famous pianist told me about having checked into a hotel (at night) on tour to be disturbed by what he thought were the most incredible sounds of violent love-making from the room next room. It turned out the noise were from a pair of growling pet lions that were keep in n adjoining enclosure by the very wealthy owner of the hotel complex!

Peel
SUBTITLE: Porn star seeks satisfaction by the book

Candy, an Australian porn star who’s made it in LA discovers the explicit delights of reading on set to the frustration of her producer husband.

Standing around onset is very boring for normal actors so what must it be like for a porn star? I wanted to break the normal stereotyping of pron stars not being intellectual, and Cindy seeking to educate herself through a love of words seemed the perfect illustration. I was also fascinated by how many manager/star marriages there are, and how viewing your wife through the screen mythologised her to the point where the real woman might disappoint.

The Promiscuity of Bats
SUBTITLE: Going down? Swingers stuck in a lift.

It’s Christmas eve and when a group of last minute shoppers get stuck in a lift, champagne is handed around. Unknown to them it is spiked with ecstasy and a merry time is had by all as celebrations transform into steamy fantasies.

There’s often an atmosphere when two attractive strangers step into a lift and there’s that awkward erotic space between them for the three minutes it takes to get to ground floor. Now multiply that by three and have the lift break down for a couple of steamy hours…you get the picture!
But the idea of this story was also inspired by the behaviour of some bat species – which involves the males swooping in on mass into the nesting caves of the females (some species have male and females roosting separately) and basically ‘raping’ (or at least fornicating wildly) with the unsuspecting females. It’s a kind of mass pheromone trigger for the males.