2015: What I Read

First, a disclaimer. I read a lot this year. I read a lot most years, but the combination of several months of (f)unemployment and an ever-widening pool of blogger/writer contacts will mean that any list of what – or who – I enjoyed cannot be anything close to exhaustive.

As a result, there’s a ton of great people I won’t manage to mention here. People who work hard to put together the blogging memes I love so much. People who are just really, really good, but who, for whatever reason, I haven’t read enough this year. People who don’t (yet) have blogs – or have only recently started them.

All of those writers are well worth checking out, and I urge you to do so. However, in this post I want to focus on the people whose stuff I always read – and which I very, very rarely fail to enjoy. Appropriately enough, this year that list is 15 strong, and begins with a (particularly) fab four…

THE FAB FOUR

Ella Dawson

Singling out one blogger as my absolute favourite is an almost impossible task, but if you really twisted my arm I suspect Ella’s might be the first name to jump out of my mouth. 2015 was the year she became a sex-writing superstar, but the most telling thing about her success from my POV was that it didn’t surprise me in any way. She has the writing chops to back up her unapologetic self-confidence, and she’s brave enough to speak her mind and stick up for what she believes to be right, even when it involves huge – and draining – personal cost.

Ella’s already posted her own review of 2015 (written by editor, bae-in-chief, and all-round mensch Gabe Rosenberg), but the pieces that really jump out at me when I look back at her work this year are the ones that showcase her chin-out refusal to let other people tell her what to think or do, and which made me think differently (or just better) about something that matters. Pieces like these three:

Girl on the Net

I’m going to keep this one short, because GOTN really needs no introduction to anyone who loves sex writing. It’s easy to take her work for granted – she’s just that damn good – but 2015 has been another spectacular year, and it doesn’t exactly hurt that she’s a bloody lovely person to boot. She also took me to see the FSOG movie in February for this Debrief article, an evening so entertaining overall that even the film itself couldn’t spoil it.

Anyway, I’ve picked three GOTN posts which I think really capture why so many people love her blog. There’s such a simple, decent, almost painful honesty to the way she talks about herself, and that gives her sex writing a heart and soul that few others manage to find so consistently and effectively. It’s also just blindingly hot and really sweary…

The Other Livvy

I make no apology for including these next two writers on this list – not least because I wouldn’t have them in my life in such a happy, brilliant way if I hadn’t started reading their blogs. Livvy’s Sinful Sunday photos are nothing short of spectacular, but what I’ve really loved is seeing her writing develop over the course of the year; or rather, the way she writes about (and maybe understands) herself – as much as anything, it’s what helps me understand her too.

The three posts below include what I think is my favourite piece of fiction she’s written this year, though that’s a really tough call. The other two are must-read essays for anyone with an interest in love, happiness, relationships, or just the endless quest to find out more about who we are. They say so many good things about her that I smile whenever I read them.

Malin James

Alongside everything else she means to me, Malin is probably the closest thing I have to a creative muse – even if I can never shake a nagging sense of inadequacy whenever I try to compare my work directly to hers. ‘A writer’s writer’, I think you’d call her – an author whose fiction is instantly appreciated by anyone who’s ever struggled to piece something together themselves, for its technical skill, linguistic nuance, and sharp, gut-wrenching beauty.

I’ve enjoyed (or at the very least appreciated) literally everything Malin has written in 2015, so picking out three posts was not a task I approached with relish. It actually turned out to be the hardest thing about this whole round-up, to the point where I almost cheated and included, like, seven. My final choices feel like they would all be completely different if I was doing this tomorrow, or Saturday, or…but yes, for now they constitute my favourites – for reasons that are as much personal as they are critical.

BEST OF THE (BEST OF THE) REST

Abbi Rode

She may or may not be the ‘only Irish sex blogger’, but either way her site is full of the hottest, funniest, and downright most enjoyable filth I’ve had the pleasure to read this year. Whisper it quietly, but she’s also far nicer and kinder a person than she’d want you to know.

A Dissolute Life Means…

Hy’s writing is so good – so heartfelt – that sometimes I have to stop and take a deep breath before I can finish it. Her passion and honesty is something to which every sexblogger should aspire, and her photos rarely fail to have me reaching desperately for my…mouse…obviously…

Behind the Chintz Curtain

I had the chance to meet Jane at Eroticon in August, where she gave a presentation as accomplished, cheery and helpful as she herself turned out to be. Since then, Jane’s been responsible for two of my absolute favourite pieces this year, both of which you’ll find below. Bursting with creativity and fearless in her writing, she’s a blogger I admire and respect in equal measure.

Exposing 40

This lady is just the best! Two parts balls-to-the-wall generosity, energy and confidence, to one-part adorably emotional vulnerability, her photography project has shone a light on a whole bunch of really important issues around body confidence and sexuality. I can’t wait to see what she does with it in 2016.

Happy Come Lucky

Honey’s writing is far better than I suspect she herself realises, and ought to serve as inspiration for anyone going through their own journey of sexual discovery and liberation. When I read her blog, I feel like I’m getting a direct line to the caring, passionate, downright horny woman behind the screen, and spending time with her in real life only serves to confirm that view.

Jade A. Waters

If I was picking a blog post of the year, I suspect the first link below would be in my top three. Jade is brimming with talent – her recent book deal is perhaps one of 2015’s least surprising news stories – and I love the way she consistently blends sex, love and romance into something almost effortlessly erotic.

Maria Opens Up

The only thing I find frustrating about Maria’s writing is that there isn’t more of it! Consider this an official request… Her photos are consistently great, and I love the way she’s embraced a side of herself that had clearly always been there, just waiting to come out and play. One of my favourite people, for sure, and always worth seeking out for advice and feedback.

Oleander Plume

I’m not sure there’s anyone out there who writes gleefully kinky gay erotica better than Oleander Plume. Her upcoming novel is one I fully anticipate needing a whole box of tissues to complete, and anyone who enjoys well-hung aliens/time-travellers fucking their way through the universe (I mean, that’s all of us, right?) should be sure to check it out too.

Beyond that though, Oleander writes with care and nuance about a range of issues that many bloggers shy away from tackling. She’s a wonderful mother to two very impressive daughters (as one of the selections below demonstrates) and someone whose opinion and perspective always demands respect.

Rebecca Black

Rebecca is the only writer on this list who I read for the first time in 2015, but her hot, kinky Masturbation Monday stories quickly became essential additions to my weekly smut pile. She specialises in kinky femdom and hot M/M(/F) sex scenes, which may explain why I find her work so appealing, but she also has just an instinctive awareness of how to squeeze something erotic out of her characters.

Tabitha Rayne

Of all the bloggers on this list, Tabitha is probably the one with whom I’d most want to spend an afternoon getting pissed – and not (just) because she’s Scottish. Missed greatly at Eroticon, she seems to have spent her year revolutionising the sex toy market, writing super-hot smut, and generally putting her many artistic and creative talents to predictably superb use.

Tamsin Flowers

Tamsin’s Alchemy project ought to be the new gold standard for any erotica writer, in terms of scope and ambition, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing it unfold over the course of the year. More generally she’s just a really polished and professional writer, with more talent in her little finger than most of us can dredge up from deep inside our bodies; it was a privilege to be part of her Supererotica Advent Calendar again this year, and if she can forgive my chronic lateness I hope to work with her again in 2016!

So there you go, that was 2015 – for me, at least! Hope it was just as sexy for you…

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5 Responses to 2015: What I Read

  1. Pingback: 2015: What I Wrote | Exhibit A

  2. Thanks for including me, Brit, it means a lot. Happy New Year and all the best for 2016!

  3. Pingback: 2016 Not-Resolutions - Maria Opens Up

  4. Tabitha R says:

    How amazing do I feel for being included here! Among all these awesome blogs, 2016 is already fab – thanks Mister A – and I’m certainly holding you to getting pissed in the afternoon 💋❤
    Happy New Year gorgeous man x x x

  5. Cheryl says:

    Wow! I have a lot of reading to do and to think I thought there were not that many sex bloggers out there. I love it when I am wrong.

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