Today I am so pleased to welcome Amy Jo Cousins to Joyfully Jay. Amy Jo has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Girl Next Door. I read this one and totally loved it! She has also brought along a copy to give away. Please join me in giving Amy Jo a big welcome!

Talk Dirty to Me

There are so many different ways to talk about sex and all of them are delicious. Almost every romance reader I know has a soft spot for a good dirty talker who does it during sex as a turn-on. Whether it’s the heat of an alpha doing exactly what you’d expect him to do, or the surprise of a quieter character who suddenly turns out to have a filthy mouth in bed, that kind of talking is very sexy.

But there’s another kind of dirty talk found in some books that starts long before anything happens in the bedroom. Conversation about what people desire but are afraid to admit to is a different, but incredibly appealing kind of dirty talking.

There’s something quietly and impossibly vulnerable about someone trying to articulate what they want, what they need, to a partner who wants to give it to them, whatever it is. No matter how well those two people know each other, it can feel like a risk to say out loud something that is desired but hasn’t yet been tried. Because what if the partner isn’t into it, or it changes how they see each other? That kind of bravery is irresistible to me as a reader.

In The Girl Next Door, Cash and Steph are often playful in bed, and part of that playfulness extends to talking about fantasies they have as if the fantasies are only meant to stay in their imaginations, while they ease their way toward making them happen in real life. The conversation alone is part of the fantasy for these two, the verbal experimentation a necessary and enjoyable step on the way to, perhaps, actualizing the acts they discuss.

I’m a big fan of those kinds of conversations. They show up in some of my favorite books and it’s incredibly sexy to read about them every time. Some of the books on my list are m/m, some are m/m/f, all of them involve people accessing intensely intimate moments with their partners via conversations that require much bravery. And it’s hella hot.

Consent by Helen Saito is a collection of BDSM stories about couples negotiating consent between them in advance of trying new and potentially risky things. The short stories do a terrific job of examining all the safety nets a couple can put in place to make sure that everyone, both the person in charge and the person giving up control, can feel safe while doing things that feel very risky to them both. It’s not always mentioned in BDSM books how much trust the dom has to have in their sub to be honest about their limits, and Saito is excellent at making that distinction clear.

The married couple at the center of Charlotte Stein’s All Other Things are terrible at talking to each other. Basically, they don’t. Their own personal hang ups have gotten in their way so much that until Bea’s co-worker Kieran starts emailing Tommy and telling Tommy what to do with his wife, the married couple is barely having sex at all. Kieran’s presence at first feels more superficial, as if he’s just there to facilitate, but because Charlotte is a brilliant writer, by the end of the story Kieran has been humanized into his own vulnerability and it’s clear that his presence is also emotionally driven. This is a book about how hot it can be to play with the things people are ashamed of, and a big part of that comes via talking about things they normally keep hidden. From not talking about anything real ever, Bea and Tommy become deeply honest with each other, and with Kieran. It’s delicious.

Kris Ripper’s Scientific Method series isn’t a romance in many different ways (the books do not necessarily have HEAs or even HFNs), but it’s intensely romantic. The many books of the series follow Will and Hugh through their relationship with each other, their relationships with other people, and the eventual creation of a sort of elaborate, “it takes a village” new family. In it, Hugh and Will’s “shrink kink”, requiring a lot deep and vulnerable conversation about what Will (usually, although not always) is feeling and why, is on heavy display. That Hugh and his future partner Truman are actual therapists in this series allows for a lot of consciously meta talk about everything they do, and it’s terrifically engaging.

Heidi Cullinan’s Special Delivery starts with Mitch and Sam fumbling their way through the conversations they need to have to allow them to connect with each other the way they want, but their relationship truly deepens when they bring Mitch’s ex Randy into the mix. Randy is better at articulating what Mitch wants than Mitch is. Mitch is better at saying what Sam wants than Sam is. And Sam is the one who sees Randy more clearly than anyone else. Part of the fun is watching the three of them test each other in conversation about their wants and needs, long before anything more physical happens.

Honesty and vulnerability are powerful kinks. And dirty talking at that level can drive sexual tension in a book incredibly high. But it may not be a turn-on for every reader, of course. For some people, I imagine all the talking feels more like, “What are we waiting for? Let’s get to it!” What do you think? Is this kind of conversational kink up your alley, or does it feel like an unnecessary slow-down on the way to Orgasm Town? I’ll give away an ebook of The Girl Next Door to one random commenter on this post. And thank you for having me here!


The Girl Next DoorWhen it comes to love, go big or go home.

Charles “Cash” Carmichael traded his high-rise condo and family-firm career for a job coaching soccer for Chicago’s inner-city kids. He’s adjusting to living on minimum wage when his young cousin, newly out and running away from home, shows up on his less-than-luxurious doorstep.

Angsty teens definitely aren’t Cash’s thing. He needs local backup, and there’s only one name he can think of: Stephany Tyler. Back in the day, the bisexual Steph was the perfect friend with benefits until she fell in love with a woman.

To his relief, his former friend steps up to the plate. Soon, though, Cash finds himself feeling the familiar need to keep her in his bed, and in his life. But Steph, burned by the ex-girlfriend and by the absentee dad she’s been trying to connect with, won’t risk her heart again.

Good thing Cash believes in leaving it all on the field. If he can just convince Steph to get in the game, there’s a chance they can both win.

Warning: This book contains ex-friends with benefits crossing boundaries a second time, several steamy encounters on staircases, copious discussions about gay sex from a “straight” guy, a shout-out to magic buttons, and an especially memorable going away threesome.


Amy Jo CousinsAmy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series.


Amy Jo has brought a copy of The Girl Next Door to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, June 26th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
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FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post