Belinda Blinked: 1
Here at Erotic Review we are nothing if not champions of good sex: the expression of it, the reading of it, the writing of it and indeed the having of it. So when an erotic novel takes the world by storm, well: we want a piece of the action. Hell, we’ve been wanting a piece of the action since 1995, and Belinda Blinked; 1 A modern story of sex, erotica and passion. How the sexiest sales girl in business earns her huge bonus by being the best at removing her high heels.does the job very nicely indeed. Welcome to the Steeles Pots and Pans industry, where women always come first, and where a humble charity tombola can end in a horsebox.
This is Rocky Flintstone’s first novel in a quartet; the elusive author has kept a low profile since the launch of the e-book on Amazon last year, declining book signings and press events in favour of honing his craft in private. The story begins as Belinda Blumenthal, a keen ingénue ready to enter the writhing pool of industry, blinks in surprise. Her job interview takes a somewhat unexpected turn as the managing director asks her to undress – she happily obliges, and is soon assured she’s got the job as Sales Director, a position worth £85,000 plus car and travel perks. Flintstone’s obvious background in the field is evident: Bill from HR is, quite appropriately, there to check that protocol being observed, and Belinda is asked to spread her legs, allowing “her vaginal lids” to “pop open”. This marrying of the business of pots and pans and anatomical “lids” is another masterstroke. In a deft, poetic flourish, Flintstone spares no detail as Belinda’s “labial pinkness is there for them to assess”. As she signs the contract, totally starkers, 26-year-old Giselle (who also appears as 24, depending on the chapter and writerly whim), a new colleague, arrives to “kiss her fully square on the lips,” and “both shared the touching of ecstasy”. Within a few scant pages, Flintstone has created an entirely credible world.
After three weeks getting to grips with a demanding client base – some of whom, as Belinda rightly observes, “might need fucking off” – her boss informs her of the weekend’s plans. They’ll be going to a “very senior company event” where tennis gear is a must, but underwear is strictly forbidden. As if this were not enough to contend with, Belinda must also prepare for the regional sales meeting that forms the entire (and educational) basis of Chapter Three. However, an introduction to the “fucking leather room”, disguised as a regular, run-of-the-mill cupboard at work leaves little time for swotting up, and provides Belinda with slide-shows of an entirely different nature with Giselle. Flintstone’s real skill in these early interactions is the subtlety of his description: “The girls started to excite each other,” he writes, “and soon their respective vaginas were wet and steaming. They took it in turns to lick each other’s clits.” As Bella, another charming colleague, helps Belinda to adjust her wayward thong following this encounter, the use of rhetorical question further highlights Flintstone’s consummate skill: “Belinda stroked Bella’s ass in appreciation and thought the obvious…not another one! What was this office running on, high powered sexual adrenaline?”
As we plough deeper into the furrows of the Steeles Pots and Pans industry, Flintstone is also adept at blending a pleasing mix of modernity and old-school lexicon: “Sunday morning was warm so Belinda put the soft top down and motored over to Windsor.” Moments after arriving at the chairman’s house for the senior event, Tony, her ever-curious boss, pulls up her tennis skirt and top to ensure she’s followed company procedure. Most refreshing is the frequent lack of punctuation and repetition of words – a wonderful “hint of a tease”, as Flintstone himself phrases it, of the maverick’s non-attendance to grammar and indeed meaning in the face of such startling eroticism: “Hi Belinda, good to see you’re good to go, lets quickly go through the guest list and discuss our targets with their potential. After we’ve done this we’ll get some lunch and take up our positions.”
Also noteworthy is the telescopic focus on size, and not just when it comes to the bedroom. We’re told of the “medium sized garden” and “tall undergrowth” where, to her intrigue, Belinda is fastened to a trellis “with a set of red plastic handcuffs attached to a length of parcel string.” Within moments, a purchasing director named Alfonse Stirbacker arrives on the scene. The sense of excitement here is twofold: not only does Stirbacker cut a dashing figure in his single black thong, he also represents 300 supermarket outlets throughout Belgium, Northern France and Southern Holland. Belinda may well make her big debut in the market, her first client breakthrough.
Interestingly, it is Jim Stirling, “a Yankee from the USA”, who proves the least promising of the buyers in the maze – despite holding some 1257 outlets, and considering expansion into Mexico and Brazil, Stirling’s “somewhat stained” black thong contains “a very small and in Belinda terms, somewhat pathetic penis”. Despite having to work jolly hard with Jim, squatting in the mud and fantasising about other sexual escapades in order to, as Flintstone rather clinically describes it “slowly contract her cervical muscles so Jim could get the friction he needed to complete his ejaculation”, it’s another sale for Belinda. Stirling, as it turns out, needs a “new cookery utensil supplier”, and Belinda’s secured the deal. Of course, it is worth noting the obvious political scepticism at play here: no doubt Flintstone intended for the American counterpart to appear near-impotent despite its apparent power.
Scientifically speaking, readers are privy to some astonishing insight. We are told of Belinda’s “flexing vaginal muscles”, her propensity to “sweat gently” and the manner in which “she needed more and more oxygen to feed the gigantic orgasm she was about to encounter”. Belinda experiences such physicality most upon meeting the Dutchman Peter Rouse, with whom she shares a deep and profound connection. She feels an “explosion of ecstasy”, and Flintstone takes care to differentiate this from other encounters: once coitus is complete, Rouse uses the mud to “mark Belinda’s tits, ass, mouth and ears with symbolic signs”. Indeed, as she kneels on the ground before him, he takes the opportunity to “write more symbols on her back which would bind him sexually to her for the next year.” Exhausted, muddy, and not entirely dissimilar to a modern-day Cathy on the moors, Belinda returns to the BBQ area to join the tombola and notices that Bella and Giselle, her co-workers, are similarly tousled, with clothes being held together by safety pins and, as Flintstone caustically notes, hair and lipstick done as though “by a maniac”.
It is pleasing to see that the novel commits to tackling social injustice – not only in the superior career positions of the central female characters, but in the funds being raised for local charities at the tombola: in this case, The Asses and Donkeys Trust. During a bidding war, the three women are put up for auction, to serve as the slave of whomever buys them for 12 hours. Belinda, in a moment of comic gold, feels a pang of pity as Bella is “bought” by Jim Stirling who, she thinks privately, “could do with a cock transplant”. Eventually, Belinda herself is purchased for £200 by the unnamed Duchess, dressed in a white linen trouser suit and panama hat. The sense of intrigue following the auction is strong – readers desperate to know more are held, gratifyingly, at arms’ length – the Duchess hoses Belinda down and escorts her into a horsebox filled with cans of pre-mixed gin and tonic.
Once alone, Flintstone fleshes out the character of the elusive Duchess as she insists Belinda call her “My Lady”, then shackles Belinda by her ankles to a bed. At this moment, Belinda makes a stunning discovery: the handcuffs used by the Duchess are similar to those used by Tony in the maze, and she wonders “idly, where they were purchasing them from… Toys Ur Us?” It’s the stuff of Conan Doyle, as technically accomplished as Christie, and the novel goes from strength to strength within these crop-heavy encounters. Later, the pair trade places and the Duchess becomes Belinda’s sexual servant, promising, romantically, to “drink your orgasms and eat your vagina all day long until you order me to stop.” It is indeed rare to see such conversational fireworks as foreplay to what is usually, for most writers, a hurried sexual narrative – we are told, for example, that the Duchess’ nipples “hardened with her feeling of freedom and they were now as large as the three inch rivets which had held the hull of the fateful Titanic together.” The next morning, however, Belinda – ever the professional – needs to be at work, and she and the Duchess formally swap email addresses, arranging a reunion in some weeks at “a hotel on the Isle of Whyte”.
Flintstone’s novel, and the story contained within it, is a tribute to modern womanhood, a hymn to hard-working professionals in a fast-paced and cutthroat industry. There are elements of interest for every reader, and gratifyingly open-minded sexual comments which are open to interpretation. Belinda Blinked; 1 is a must-read on the lists of book groups up and down the country, and a handy guide for students of human biology. At once universal and deeply personal, Flintstone’s voice is consistent, with dialogue a particular strength. The novel itself defies classification, though if pushed, this first foray into the world of Steeles Pots and Pans represents one of our finest living writers: the Le Creuset of erotica.
Belinda Blinked; 1 A modern story of sex, erotica and passion. How the sexiest sales girl in business earns her huge bonus by being the best at removing her high heels. is available from all good e-tailers. For more information visit www.belindablinked.com.