Two Stories by Lacey Cross
What did you do during the pandemic?
This question has become something of a parlor-game, asked with more frequency in recent months as Americans begin to re-emerge from one phase of living with coronavirus and back to some semblance of a "new normal". Answers to this complicated query tend to run the gamut, and collectively they map in microcosm the diversity of our experiences over the past two years. Some answer that they took care of family members, sick with covid-19, while others retreated to a second home in the country, hoping to lessen the likelihood of contracting the virus; many reply that they lost their jobs, while others admit that they became even more productive, welcoming a seamless shift into a remote-work lifestyle which provided more time to see their families; some excitedly changed careers, while others binge-watched everything they could from The Tiger King to Schitt´s Creek.
If you were to ask this question to writer Lacey Cross, she´d state matter-of-factly that she launched a successful career self-publishing erotica.
In less than two years, Cross has published over twenty five short erotic pieces online and built a substantial following. Her smut has already earned her a 2021 Golden Pigtails award. Her stories often feature recurring characters, and her stories frequently explore the BDSM, cuckold, and hotwife genres. Below are reviews of a couple of her stories, providing a glimpse into some of the scope of her erotic imagination, as well as to uncover some of her fiction´s recurring themes.
Used for the Night
It´s an age-old question, but it bears repeating: how do couples keep their sex life fresh?Lacey Cross has some concrete suggestions to consider in her five-part series When Couples Play, stories which emphasize fantasy, role-play, and Dominance/submission as spicy remedies for preventing the bedroom from growing stale. Her short story Used for the Night is not only part of this series, but its central couple reappear in her collection Four Lawyers and a Hotwife.
It´s the holiday season, and their Christmas decorations include putting 50 condoms wrapped in green and red into a bowl. For the past couple of years, Miranda and Jon have opened up their marriage, and discovering how much they enjoy exploring some of their filthiest fantasies. Jon is getting deeper into the BDSM scene, exploring his Dominant side; while his wife Miranda gets off being a hotwife to her boss, as well as being presented as a present to various other men. Telling her husband about it afterwards only increases their sexual intimacy, their emotional bond.
But now, this Christmas, Jon is giving his wife a present she has been fantasizing about for months: to be blindfolded, and used sexually, by twenty men who are coming over for the night, while her husband watches.
Taking place primarily within the span of a couple of days, Cross masterfully builds up the tension in Used for the Night. The morning of, Jon instructs Miranda not to masturbate or orgasm at all during the day, knowing that this tiny frustration will make the group sex play that night even more hot. Within their role-play, it is evident that the two lovingly relish their parts, with Miranda turned on by the deep level of trust she has for her husband Jon, who tenderly ties her by the hands and knees to a table in the living room, before the men arrive.
There´s a surprise twist at the end of this story, one which I won´t reveal. Depending on one´s expectations from erotica, some may find it disappointing, while others will find it a welcome reveal, and one staying consistent with the kinds of themes permeating Cross´ writing.
Emily´s Secret Dom
The first entry in the five-part BDSM dark romance series Illicit Desires, Emily´s Secret Dom contains a number of overlapping themes with Used for the Night. Emily and Nate are a couple who feel like they are drifting apart, and that their sex life has become routine, practically scheduled into the weekly calendar like a chore or an obligation. They are at an earlier stage of their journey, and unlike Miranda and Jon, haven´t yet the solution that will rekindle that fire between them.
Emily´s Secret Dom opens with the couple having the story opens, Emily and Nate are having what the reader initially thinks is hot, steamy sex. But as Cross guides us into the interior of each of their minds, we discover that neither one is really there, their minds on other things and their bodies dissatisfied. Neither is communicating their frustrations with one another, and the two stop before either of them has a genuine orgasm. Emily leaves the bedroom, says she needs to use the bathroom.
We soon discover that Emily has a secret: through an online role-playing game she plays while Nate is at work, she has connected with this older man named Aiden. In the virtual world of the game, they have enacted various sexual fantasies, flirted in the chat-box, and have moved on to reveal their names and contact information "in the real world." Aiden has made her an offer: to let him dominate her, and teach her how to be sexually and emotionally submissive to him. At the beginning of Emily´s Secret Dom, it is the eve of when she has to let Aiden know of her decision. Repeatedly listening to his voicemail while in the bathroom turns her own, causing her to masturbate--her moans loud enough to get the attention of Nate, who begins to investigate Emily´s devices for clues.
It´s a fascinating premise, and one which Cross successfully teases out over the subsequent chapters, each one alternating between each of their perspectives. Emily and Nate clearly care for one another, but both are locked into their own minds, unwilling to share directly with one another what they want. Emily is restless within their relationship, finding the gentle affection of Nate no longer appealing; she is drawn more to the complete control of Aiden, who gives her commands through the medium of the laptop or her phone, such as telling her to masturbate for only a specific duration of time, or to resist allowing herself an orgasm.
Nate discovers Emily´s online correspondence with this mysterious third person; while not physically in their home (yet?), Aiden´s presence has definitively shifted the dynamics of their relationship. Nate´s hurt, anger, and betrayal inspires him to seek get closer to Emily, to forge a new connection with her. But in the middle of their sex, she calls out Aiden´s name--an act which transforms Nate´s gentle love-making into something much more aggressive. The two are closer now, in a strange way, but it is partly due to the influence of Aiden. Where will their relationship go from here?
Lacey Cross mines the vital role of sexual fantasy within long-term relationships, and how important and healthy it is to share these with one´s partner(s). Whether one acts upon these fantasies is one thing, but being able to communicate what they are with one´s lover is key to having the sex remain spicy. Of the two stories, Emily´s Secret Dom is more complex and engaging than Used for the Night, yet both contain episodes that are sure to excite and arouse. Cross writes with confidence, her characters are believable and the descriptions of sex are hot. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.