A Cup of Tea and A Slice of Cake

by | May 6, 2022 | General | 3 comments

by Ashley Lister

“I’d rather have a cup of tea and a slice of cake than do all of that sweaty stuff.”

It was a comment that really pissed me off. And you can tell that I’m really pissed off because I don’t usually end sentences with prepositions.

I don’t mind constructive criticism. For example, being told that characters in a novel I’ve created are unlikeable is often justified: sometimes I write about people who are unlikeable. When someone told me they didn’t like an abrupt ending to one of my stories, I fully agreed. A longer ending would have been more satisfying. Admittedly, it would have involved padding and made the pacing drag, but it would have kept the characters alive for a little longer and that would have been a good thing.

But this comment, the comment about someone preferring a cup of tea and a slice of cake to ‘all of that sweaty stuff’ was fired at me as a direct challenge.
It happened because a colleague had been looking at Amazon and they’d seen my back catalogue (that’s not a euphemism). The colleague had mentioned it to someone else who cast a disdainful eye over the titles and then fixed me with their comment: “I’d rather have a cup of tea and a slice of cake than do all of that sweaty stuff.”

Fine. If you prefer anodyne beverages and pastries to physical intimacy, then you’re perfectly free to make those choices. This is what free will means. Also, if you’re psyche is so severely fucking damaged that you refer to physical intimacy as ‘all of that sweaty stuff’ then, may I suggest, you have that slice of cake and cup of tea at a psychiatrist’s office whilst he discusses your innumerable problems and (hopefully) prescribes euthanasia?

The reason why it annoyed me was because there was so much unnecessary judgement in the comment. It was almost as though, because I’d written extensively on the subject, this person thought I was challenging their opinion on sex and sexuality.

The truth is, I’m a relatively private person. I’ve written several erotic titles and, if you enjoy reading erotica, I think you’ll like my work. However, for those who don’t enjoy erotica, I’m fairly sure they won’t enjoy my back catalogue and I won’t try to force my work on those individuals.

But, whilst I’m not going to push my work on people who don’t want to read it, I don’t have to listen to asinine quips from people who describe sex as ‘all of that sweaty stuff’. And, if someone genuinely prefers tea and cake to physical intimacy, I don’t think their opinion on erotica is worthy of note.

Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his second title published under his own name: Swingers: Female Confidential by Ashley Lister (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753513439) Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.


  1. Roy

    I have no choice, it’s a cup of tea and a slice of cake or nothing……..

  2. Lisabet sarai

    Hello, Ash,

    I’d react exactly the same way. I’m just so tired of people judging me because I like to write about sex.

    Anyway… it’s their loss.

  3. Chaz

    I sort of like all that sweaty stuff. Even enjoy it by myself. 🙂

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