I must admit, I’ve always greeted erotic fiction with an eye roll or two. That was, until I received a copy of BJ Bliss, the new novel by Brixton and Vera Atwood, a Chicago based writing team. BJ Bliss, their first novel actually, is a bombastic adventure about two women seeing just how far they’ll go to ensure the success of their blowjob teaching academy.
The story follows Katrin Olsson, an entrepreneur with dreams of teaching the world how to give the very best blowjobs possible, as she navigates the business side of blowjobs, and her own personal labyrinth of sexual discovery. Helping her through it is Malena, her saucy business partner who adds an explosiveness to the narrative whenever she graces the pages. Then there’s the massive supporting cast, an intriguing band of darkly comical caricatures, including villainous sisters Felicia and Claudia, both embodiments of sexual prowess and power.
Readers looking for daring erotic fare are in for a treat with BJ Bliss. It’s a madcap journey that balances the madness of entrepreneurial spirit vs. big business with unstoppable swathes of erotic content. Each new sensual scene is more intense than the last, and the writers take special care in crafting fantastical characters that are as enjoyably ridiculous as they are honestly relatable.
After reading the novel, I had a chance to speak with one of the Atwoods – Brixton is the principal author – about their inspirations and creative processes. According to the author, the novel grew from a propensity for writing erotic short stories. Brixton, who wrote the original piece for Vera, said, “we enjoy blowjob porn and clothed female nude male scenarios where the women take charge, so I came up with the ultimate story to encompass those tastes.”
“Vera gives all of our stories an extra touch,” declared Brixton. “She does her best to remove creepy erotica cliches like “her nectar,” and gives every sex scene her personal approval. If it doesn’t turn her on, I rewrite it. In that regard, despite the fact that BJ Bliss is clearly a male fantasy, it is especially female-friendly.” Although the novel is wild, it is most importantly a celebration of consenting adults exploring the far reaches of their desires.
In commenting on the depiction of consent in the book, Brixton stated, “consent in fiction is up to the author; we happen to prefer it. In the book, this is illustrated by the sadistic, over-the-top character, Claudia, who always prefaces her scenes of bondage and debauchery by letting the other characters know that they are free to leave at any time. Spoiler: they stay.” So if you’re worried about portrayals of sex, never fear, for as meticulously intense as they are, there’s care taken to illustrate intellectualized assent of the action.
As well, the novel takes on the challenge of depicting all manner of sexual interaction. It’s complex yet still very readable. When asked about forming the style, Brixton said writing group sex was difficult. “There is quite a lot of it in this book. It can either read like a confusing pile of bodies, positions, and thrusts or it can be a series of stylish, well-choreographed action sequences, complete with one-liners and face/body shots. We strive for the latter. We found that breaking up the action with dialogue was key.”
“If you like your porn extra messy, then you will probably enjoy BJ Bliss for the sexual content alone, even though we are poking fun at it along the way,” commented Brixton. “If you appreciate the comedic value in pornographic sex and enjoy the raunchy female-buddy comedies, then you will find there is much to like about this tale centered around a female odd couple that decides to make a business out of blowjobs.” There are many elements present in the book, including sex work, open relationships, and even, as Brixton reminds me while talking about Bliss, corruption. According to the author, it should leave readers “glazed and confused.”
What’s most impressive about the novel, beyond its ability to blend so many themes orbiting the central blowjob narrative, is that it’s really fun. As with a lot of erotic narrative, there are uncomfortable moments, but the writing propels the reader forward because it’s simply, hysterically, enjoyable. There’s even espionage intrigue, with lessons on safe sex, present in the book; Brixton was excited to note that the “characters carry around extra lube like James Bond carries a sidearm, because anal sex could break out at any moment.”
“We’ve always been disturbed by pornography and erotica glossing over the fact that you need to lube-up for anal sex. Unlubed anal sex is especially unsafe and condoms are ideal,” pronounced Brixton.
“In conclusion, get consent, lube up, wear a condom, fuck an ass, pull out, shoot your cum on a woundless face, and avoid the eyes,” Brixton declared emphatically, speaking about what delighted readers should come away with. Quite the mission statement for a first novel. Bravo, Atwoods, bravo.