ELLE Book Club

Book of the week: Sweet Dreams by Sunny Leone

The actor makes her writing debut with a collection of erotic short fiction

Publishing house Juggernaut launched its smartphone app yesterday with 100+ titles, most interestingly a collection of erotic short fiction by Sunny Leone. The stories on Sweet Dreams will be published at 10pm every night, starting with ‘Seat 7E’, about a sexual encounter on an airplane.  

CliffsNotes: Leone uses to the familiar boy-meets-girl set-up in in this assorted mix of stories that explore heady desire, and occasionally, candy-floss romance. Illicit affairs and passionate one-night stands lean on a breezy narrative and monotone characters, and sadly shy away from a wholehearted embrace of sexuality. Don't go looking for creative fantasies or fetishes; as a writer, Leone is playing safe.   

From the author: Leone shares the blueprint for her stories:

Love and other emotions: “They’re about two people coming in contact, either by pheromones or just a feeling. I’m a hopeless romantic so some of the [latter] ones ended up being my favourites. Like the one in which a woman loses her husband and how she copes with it (there’s a twist in the end that I obviously can’t let out!).” 

Little beads of sweat: “I think erotica intrigues women because we love stories with details, especially when it comes to romance and sexuality. I hate to say this, but it doesn’t take much for guys – they need visuals – but we need to know those tiny, descriptive things, whether it's a man’s biceps or the little sweat beads on his body.”

No dirty talk: “One of the things I was really sure about was the choice of words... they shouldn’t make somebody cringe. I wouldn’t want anyone to think ‘Oh my god I can’t read this anymore’. So I made sure that the description of body parts or feelings wouldn’t be difficult to read.

Get a taste: In ‘Call Centre’, an employee finds favour with hits much-older boss :

Kalpana was at least fifteen years older than me, but it didn’t feel like that as we began to slowly tease each other and make wisecracks. As strange as it may sound, our training session started to feel like a date. And not just any date, a good one.

It was close to midnight when she asked if I needed to go home. I had had a long day at work but being with her had given me a burst of energy. Trying to play it cool, I casually told her I didn’t mind taking one for the team.

She laughed. Something about the way she laughed was so sexy. I found myself trying hard to say stupid little things just so I could hear her laugh. She said she’d never met someone like me and she wasn’t sure if that was a good thing, looking coyly at the floor as she said so.

She was flirting with me! I couldn’t believe it! She looked up at me and asked if I could keep a secret. I responded with a confident yes and asked her what it was.

Similar reads: A Handbook For My Lover by Rosalyn D'Mello; The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

Sweet Dreams is exclusively available on the Juggernaut app