This month’s theme is favourite body parts and how they can inspire creativity. A phobia and love affair with hands since childhood inspired Jaye Peaches’ latest novel Touched, which explores an erotic affair between a city girl and a Tantric masseur who connect through touch. Massage can unlock creativity and enable a shift in perspective and we love the idea of massaging words on the page. We can celebrate our hands through gesture and articulation, Second Skin jewellery, a wrist tattoo or painted nails…
Many years ago, my mother rang me. She’d been to the movies and I waited on the end of the telephone for her to give me the customary personal appraisal of the film. I value her opinion and our tastes are similar. She uttered one word, ‘Hands.’
That was it. Regardless if the film went on to win a troop of Oscar statuettes, I would not be seeing that movie.
The code word given, I thanked her for the warning and crossed the cinema off my to-do list. What dreadful thing had we avoided discussing? Like many people, I have irrational thoughts about certain things and one in particular is a fear of something terrible happening to my hands. This mildly phobic attitude extends to my inability to watch anything happening to other people; even if it is all special effects or make-up. It is the concept of damaged hands that sets my stomach churning.
My love affair with hands began the moment I learnt to play a musical instrument. Aged six, I chose a wind instrument that required dexterity. The need for nimble fingers continued as I developed my early writing skills – clutching a leaky fountain pen, I tried to master italics. While other kids in my school wrote the shortest of stories, I filled exercise books, going beyond the original remit of the lesson. However, in my teens, my ideas of becoming an author faltered, driven out by the realisation I needed a career that paid. I studied science instead, taking my dexterity into the laboratory and substituting the pen with a pipette and test tube.
I never lost interest in writing, whether words or music, but my childhood fear of digital disaster continued. I wouldn’t go ice-skating, sharpen knives or hammer nails, just in case I lopped something off, however miniscule. Why risk injuring them? Accidents can happen, but not to me, oh no, I shunned the cheese grater and paper guillotine. Years later, necessity keeps my hands busy and the fears diminished, but not my awe.
Hands are the epitome of human perfection. The inbuilt tool we are born with and take for granted. Delicate in structure, strong and flexible with opposable thumbs, lightning reflexes and highly sensitive touch. They give us the edge, the ability to construct and design all that we see about us. Hands are works of art – enhanced by nail polish, rings, elaborate henna tattoos or their individual elegance and strength – they catch the eye.
Unsurprisingly, they are very good sex aids. Why buy an expensive sex toy when fingers are fashioned to caress, probe and tease. They deliver pleasure not just for the recipient, but the provider too. A customisable body part destined to tantalise the flesh by delving into intimate places.
Sex scenes might be seen as the bread and butter components of an erotic romance novel. Get them right and you’re ‘hot’, fail and you’ve written a laughable collection of pornographic adjectives. The challenge is always how to differentiate each story, be creative and capture the imagination of somebody’s secret fantasy.
I employ my hands to type and they in turn became the inspiration for a book – what if the first contact between man and woman is not the sparkle in the eyes or the sultry sexy tone of masculinity, what if all she feels is the touch of his hands, then those hands become her obsession and she ‘sees’ them everywhere, commanding her to give him her body.
I write explicit sex scenes, which requires a degree of resilience when massaging the words on the page. Quite often they are the parts of a book that take longest to write, require numerous drafts and mostly the right frame of mind. When callers come, or the phone rings, I groan, wondering if I will pick up the train of thoughts again or if my sex scene will be ruined by a loss of concentration. I hunt about in my head and mentally build images that I can turn into action. Body parts spring to mind, and not necessarily the obvious sexual ones, but the whole wealth of sensual organs. Hands gesture and articulate, adding clarity to our language – for those who cannot hear, they are words. They can also knead, pummel and shape what they touch. Such a variety of opportunities to bring to a story.
I am a hand observing kind of person. When I have connected with lovers, past and present, it is the appearance and touch of their hands that entices. Do they feel coarse, slender, bony or gentle? Do you notice the warmth as you hold hands for the first time, the pulse in the fingertips or the squeeze of reassurance when you doubt your actions?
Can hands hurt? Yes, and they do when used unwisely, but part of the attraction of masculine hands is their strength. Consensual use of rough hands in sex is shied away from or considered taboo. It is something I have written about in my other books, where BDSM is a theme, however, my creative pen wanted a sensual premise where the hands themselves become aesthetically pleasing and what they do to arouse another is key.
I captured these ideas and transported them into the parlour of a tantric masseur, where bonds form through touch and tactile sensations. Then, I took them one step further and made them intimate, erotic and intense. I let the recipient respond, as if she is having sex. That is how powerful hands can be when used with passion and skill.
Throughout Touched, hands become the focal point from time to time, but rest assured, nothing bad happens to anybody’s hands in my books.
Touched in ways she never thought possible, Tania meets a man who will take her completely.
Tania Havers has no time for sex, never mind romance or boyfriends. Life as an investment analyst in the City of London gives her plenty of stress and competition from equally ambitious work colleagues.
On the advice of a friend, Tania tries out something different—Tantric massages. Meeting Adam, an erotic masseur with hands that send her into sensual oblivion, she begins a covert affair, one that takes them out of the massage parlour, into a hotel room, then to her apartment and finally his basement, where Adam shows Tania his secret passion—one he wishes to explore with her.
While their erotic pastimes bring relief, Tania’s career intrudes on their relationship. Driven by ambition, she will deal with obstacles as she sees fit. Adam is about to find out whether Tania has room in her life—and in her heart—for him or whether she will sacrifice their love to save her career.
Touched by Jaye Peaches is out on 21st November. Pre-order your copy (print or ebook) here.
Inspired to write something? Email us if you’d like to contribute a guest article for our Nov/Dec theme: On the Body.