Those Naughty Reads – Wetlands by Charlotte Roche

I’ve decided to kick off my first ever erotic reads book review here on The Secret World of Cydney, with a taboo-busting work that heavily divided readers and critics when it was released in 2009.

Wetlands by Charlotte Roche

Wetlands by Charlotte Roche (image is my own)

Wetlands by Charlotte Roach opens with a discussion of haemorrhoids and lets face it, who doesn’t love a good chat about haemorrhoids and the perils of attempting anal sex with them? With such a provocative opening, it’s fair to say that the book continues in the vain. There’s very little the narrator, Helen Memel, won’t talk about. After all, you’ve got to give brownie points to a woman who, “can come with just a cock up my ass, not being touched anywhere else.” If sex chat and body fluid talk makes you squeamish then this certainly isn’t the book for you.

What it is, is a novel that sets about exposing the intimacies of the human body and all its bodily functions. It’s about a woman exploring sex and what it means to her all from a hospital bed, whilst simultaneously trying to reunite her divorced parents.

We quickly discover the reason for her stint in hospital, an anal lesion caused by her ‘modern shaving regime’. She jokes that as a result of her legion, she’ll ‘never be an ass model,’ and wonders what she has to eat ‘to help the skin of your ass grow? Mackerel?’ Roche is incredibly witty and there were so many lines throughout the novel that I couldn’t help laughing out loud at.

At times the witty and playful gives way to the slightly bizarre, the case in point being the significance of the avocado on the front cover of the book. Rest assured these aren’t the kinds of avocados you’ll want to eat. We learn that besides sex, growing avocados is one of the narrator’s hobbies. Why avocado growing? Well to use them as organic dildos of course! That’s right, she uses the avocado seed as a dildo.

In fact the novel is littered with references to fruit and veg, from the cauliflower like haemorrhoids, the avocado dildo to the fruit and veg seller she meets who requests to shave her. It’s here that she makes one of the more serious points in the novel, our ‘modern shaving regime’ and the obsession we have with a hairless, childlike bodies. The narrator isn’t exempt from this either. What she does say is that,

“I think that, if men want shaved women, they should take over the shaving. Don’t saddle the women with all the work. In the absence of men, women wouldn’t care about how hairy they were/. The best arrangement I can imagine would be for men and women to shave each other in whatever way they find most pleasing.”

The narrator sets about revealing how we’ve become trained to fear and loathe our bodies and their natural smells and functions. So much so that,

“Most people have just been alienated from their bodies and trained to think that anything natural stinks and anything artificial smells nice.”

Wetlands makes full use of the senses to bring us back in touch with our bodies.  Language is used in the novel in a raw, unfiltered way to describe everything from her having sex and cunnilingus on her period, to her homemade tampons, visiting brothels, shitting and tasting and smelling her own vagina. The later she justifies by saying,

“There’s no way I can spread my legs for some guy – to get thoroughly eaten out, for instance – without knowing myself how everything looks, tastes and smells down there. “

She makes the interesting observation that by and large, men see more of a woman than a woman does because the vagina especially is hidden out of view.

Roche is right about the distaste and revulsion women feel towards their own bodies and it’s bodily fluids. Nor can I think of any work of fiction that deals with this kind of subject matter in the way she does.

The negative reaction to the novel proves Roche’s point about how uncomfortable we feel as a society discussing the most intimate workings of our bodies, especially women’s bodies. I feel as if we’re only really now starting to talk about periods, for example.

If you’re looking for a novel with complex plotting and an intricately woven storyline. Wetlands isn’t for you. What it is, is a character study of one woman, Helen and her obsessions. It’s refreshing to read a novel that’s so uninhibited. It really is unlike anything else I’ve ever read.

I can see why it was labelled as ‘controversial’ and that concerns me. That a novel should be labelled as such because it seeks to explore the female body and female sexuality in all it’s explicit intimacy shows have far we still need to go when discussing such topics. After all, men have been writing about their body and bodily functions since the dawn of time.

It is daring and at times you do want to look at anything but the words on the page and for that reason, this is a book well worth reading.

Wetlands by Charlotte Roche. Translated by Tim Mohr. Published by Fourth Estate. 2009.

A link to the publisher can be found here: Wetlands by Charlotte Roche – publisher

When his mum rings during oral

I don’t seem to be having a great deal of luck on the sex front lately. I don’t mean that I’m not getting any, far from it. My mid-30’s have been my most sexually active and experimental years. Rather, I seem to be having one sex disaster after another. The week before last I accidentally ripped a man’s dick during reverse cowgirl and this week, disaster struck mid-way through oral.



I’ll set the scene. I’d been speaking to a rather delicious looking Spanish pilot for about a week when he said that he was going to be in my city on Friday, that he was breaking up a long journey down south, had booked a hotel and wanted me to spend the night with him.

Our conversations had been sizzling. He was passionate and eager and I was so excited to see him and act out all the things we’d talked about in the bedroom.

We started off having a few drinks in the hotel bar before it became clear that we both had the same thing in mind and we headed straight to him hotel room.

Whilst I know many women love a man who is hairless, I prefer men with hair. It shows me that he’s comfortable with his own body and doesn’t feel the need to wax every inch of it. My Spanish pilot certainly had plenty of that and enjoyed running my hands all over him, stroking and touching the hair on his body.

I worked my way down his tanned body and started teasing his cock with my tongue. He started making a sexy grunting noise. Nothing turns me on more than hearing a man enjoying the pleasure I’m giving him. I edge him closer and closer until he can’t stand it anymore and pushes me back onto the bed, pulls my legs in the air and starts licking my clit. I can hear how much he’s enjoying tasting me and I can feel myself getting wetter and wetter….

Then his phone starts vibrating. He ignores it and resumes oral. The vibrating stops and then seconds later starts again. He leans over to see who it is and it’s his mum calling. “That’s strange,” he says, “it’s late in Spain and my mum never calls me at this time. Something must be wrong.” I tell him to take it thinking it’ll be nothing and we can resume oral.

He goes to the bathroom and takes the call and is in there quite some time. When he comes out he starts packing. His pregnant sister in Spain had been rushed into hospital and had had a miscarriage. This was the second time. I lay there shocked and struggling to find the right words to comfort him. Nothing seemed like the right thing to say.

He said he needs to travel back home, leave his car there and catch the first flight out to Spain. It’s 10pm and if he leaves now he might make it back to Scotland and on a flight. Then I was slightly taken aback when he told me that I needed to leave too so he could check-out. I’d been planning on staying the night with him in his hotel. I told him I was happy to stay in the room and hand the key card back into reception in the morning but he says he’d rather I left.

I was lost for words but I started getting dressed and packing my things. This was not how I’d envisaged the night going. Whilst I completely understood his desire to want to travel home immediately and be with his sister, I felt a little annoyed at being asked to leave as well, especially since I’d made a massive effort to see him. I felt selfish for thinking of my own pleasure but the way he handled it left me speechless, like a discarded piece of rubbish.

Whilst he did apologise profusely, I’d already made up my mind once he dropped me home that I wasn’t keen on ever picking up where we’d left off.

Thankfully, the Saturday and Sunday that followed proved far more fruitful on the sex-front. More of that in my next post…


Those Naughty Reads – International Women’s Day

Since today is International Women’s Day, I thought I’d share with you one of my goals for 2019, aside from starting this sex blog. I started off the year with a real desire to track down and read more works of literature about sex and sexuality, as well as erotica . I started making a list of works I was interested in reading, reviewing and discussing here on The Secret World of Cydney. Below I’ve compiled a list of both fiction and non-fiction works that I’d like to feature.

If there are any other works you would like to recommend then please feel free to do so in the comments box. It may be that they’re works I’ve already read and therefore and decided not to include on this list. I’m particularly interested in finding more works of non-fiction.

I am currently in the middle of the first book I intend to review on here, Wetlands by Charlotte Roche.

A Spy In The House of Love an Delta of Venus

Two of the works of fiction I’m hoping to read – A Spy in the House of Love and Delta of Venus, both by Anais Nin. (images are my own)


  1. Wetlands by Charlotte Roche
  2. Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
  3. Spy in the House of Love by Anais Nin
  4. Lust by Susan Minot
  5. Bad Behaviour by Mary Gaitskill
  6. The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
  7. What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
  8. A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter
  9. Cool for You by Eileen Miles
  10. G by John Berger
  11. Endless Love by Scott Spencer
  12. The Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille
  13. The Story of O by Pauline Reague
  14. Heptameron by Marguerite de Navaure
  15. Belle de Jour by Joseph Kessel
  16. Venus in Furs by Leopold van Sacher-Masch
  17. The Fermata by Nicholson Baker
  18. The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
  19. The Lover by Marguerite Duras
  20. Nine and a Half Weeks by Ingeborg Day
  21. The Black Book by Lawrence Durrell
  22. Justine by Marquis de Sade
  23. The American Purgatorio by John Haskell
  24. The Wellspring by Sharon Olds
  25. The Poetry of Sex by Sophie Hannah



  1. The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault (I’ve read this already but instead to re-read)
  2. Vagina: A Re-Education by Lynn Enright
  3. Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We\ Believe about Women, Lust and Infidelity is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free by Wednesday Martin
  4. Is Monogamy Dead? by Rosie Wilby
  5. The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy
  6. Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse Bering
  7. Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski
  8. Bonk by Mary Roach
  9. Don’t Hold My Head Down by Lucy-Anne Holmes
  10. Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha
  11. The Story of Sex: From Apes to Robots by Philippe Brenot, Laetitia Coryn and Will McMorran (translator)
  12. The Sexual Spectrum: Why We’re all different by Olive Skene Johnson
  13. Why Women Have Sex by Cindy M. Meston and David M Buss
  14. The Sex Lives of English Women by Wendy Jones
  15. Sensation by Isabel Losada
  16. Sex Drive: On the Road to a Pleasure Revolution by Stephanie Theobald
  17. F*cked: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That’s Screwed by Corinne Fisher and Krystyna Hutchinson
  18. Doing It!: Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton
  19. The Cunnilinguist: How To Give and Receive Great Oral Sex: Top tips from both ends of the tongue by Alex B Porter and Susan Harper (editor)
  20. Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire by Merri Lisa Johnson (editor)

My first time wearing a collar

Last weekend I had the pleasure of wearing a collar for the first time. It’s something I’ve been keen to try for a while, but with the right person. The opportunity presented itself with a partner I felt I trusted enough to hand the lead over to.

The collar I chose was from Ann Summers and cost £15.00. The collar and handle are black velvet although you can get them in Burgundy. Unfortunately, they were out of stock in my local Ann Summers but I have posted a link below if you want to buy one online.  There’s an adjustable clasp in rose gold and a twisted rope lead.  

Ann Summers collar and lead with box

Ann Summers Velvet Collar and Lead

The collar felt comfortable around my neck; not too thick or itchy and it didn’t leave any marks behind. Nor did my partner have any trouble doing up the clasp.

The lead seemed strong (though we didn’t do any hard tugging) and was just the right length for our needs.

I love how sophisticated and classy it looks compared to some of the more harsher looking collars and leads. For someone who has never used one before, I found this far less intimidating. It perhaps won’t be as strong or as sturdy I’m guessing as some of those for the more advanced bondage lover, but for a beginner, this one was perfect.

We started off using it s a means of him pulling me closer for brief kisses. By giving him the lead, I was showing how much I trusted him and that made the experience far more intimate.

Physically and sexually it brought us closer together. There I was showing him my most vulnerable self and it made me feel powerful. He was guiding me rather than yanking or pulling and I was directed by his desires which inflamed my own.

The collar and lead lent itself well to doggy style and oral for him was also incredibly enjoyable for us both using it.

We discussed it in detail afterwards and the only concern my partner had was about the collar not going all the way around the neck. He was worried that the clasp would put undue pressure on the back of my neck, although this wasn’t something I found to be a problem but certainly something we’re going to monitor in the future.

After my first time using a collar and lead I can safely say that it’s is something I’m going to be incorporating more into the bed in the future.

Ann Summers Lead and Collar

A velvet collar and lead that’s perfect for beginners

I’ve added a link if you’re interested in checking it out for yourself: Ann Summers Burgundy Velvet Collar and Lead

FYI: This is not a sponsored post. The collar and lead I bought myself and I was not asked by Ann Summers to review it. I will always state if a post is sponsored or any item is gifted.