Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Non-Sex Guilty Pleasure

Given that this blog is written by erotica authors, and this fortnight’s topic is “guilty pleasures,” I’m probably the only one that’s not going to talk about sex.  Personally, I feel that sex is something to be celebrated, expressed, and enjoyed — 100% free of guilt.  (Which I know all my co-bloggers agree with.)  So, how can you have a guilty pleasure if there’s nothing to be guilty about?

No, my guilty pleasure isn’t sex.  My guilty pleasure is independent coffeeshops.

Yup, you heard me.

It’s not so much the coffeeshop that’s the guilty pleasure, it’s what I eat when I’m there.  Sugar.  Also, the prices at indie coffeeshops are a little steep for my wallet (since they can’t access bulk discounts that large chains like Starbucks and Tim Horton’s can).

Most weekday mornings, I hike on over to Cafe D’Amour, a little coffeeshop run by two young women.  It’s a quiet place in the mornings, the perfect place to do some smutty writing or perhaps a blog post or two.  (I’m here right now, working on this post — with a 12 oz Americano and a rocky road square.)

On weekends, I usually head over to Travel Mug, which is, believe it or not, half coffeeshop, half travel agency.  Yup.  They have a great tea selection and their jumbo cinnamon scones are to die for.

If I go out on a weekday evening, it’s usually to Joe Black Coffee Bar, a medium-sized restaurant/coffeeshop with lots of tables and comfy couches.  This place is danger zone for desserts because they have the sweetest and largest desserts, which are brought in by a local chocolate store.  I personally like the peanut butter cup — it’s the size of a small pie.

When I take a vacation from my day job, I always make sure I go to Cafe Postal at least once during my holidays.  It’s a minuscule hole in the wall that offers great coffee and scrumptious chocolate croissants.  All it has for seating is a bar by the window and three stools — so it’s definitely a place meant more for reading than for sitting with a laptop and hammering out smut.

And if I'm feeling adventurous, I'm lucky to be in a city with a thriving independent coffee scene.  There are another four on my semi-regular rotation and another four, at least, that I could add to the list if I get bored with my regulars.

At the first three places here — Cafe D’Amour, Travel Mug, and Joe Black — I go so often that I’m either known by name or known by order.  When I walk into Cafe D'Amour every morning, they start making me a 12 oz Americano without even asking if that’s what I want.  And at Travel Mug, when they were training new staff a while back, I was mentioned, by name, as part of the training on customer relations.

Going out to coffeeshops to work shouldn’t be a guilty pleasure — but on a tight budget like I’m on, and a compulsion to have far too many sugary goods, these coffeeshops are a problem for me.  However, I’m not giving them up.  I do like the fact that I’m supporting local independent businesses, but going out to work also tends to increase my productivity versus staying at home — there, that's my justification!  (The cats like to lay on my keyboard as I type, after all.)  For a while, I had gotten off sugary treats and only purchased coffee while at these places — heck, I lost seven pounds just by cutting that out of my daily habit — but I’m back on the sugar train and have put a few pounds back on.  So, I know beyond a doubt, I’d save money and pounds by staying home and working from my office, but the sugar and the coffee and the outing are all calling me...

The desserts are just too good to ignore.  And, yes, if you’re wondering, I had that rocky road bar, filled with chocolate, marshmallows, sugar, sugar, and more sugar, before 9 in the morning.



Cameron D. James is a writer of gay erotica and M/M erotic romance; his latest release is Seduced by My Best Friend’s Dad (co-written with Sandra Claire). He lives in Canada, is always crushing on Starbucks baristas, and has two rescue cats. To learn more about Cameron, visit http://www.camerondjames.com.

12 comments:

  1. Hey, Cameron!

    I'll bet lots of folks won't talk about sex.

    Anyway, I think you deserve your little indulgence, given all the benefits for both you and the local economy. Not to mention the problem of keyboard-tropic felines, which I also experience!

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    1. My cats are the worst! (But in a cute way.) They just want to cuddle and if I push them away they look at me with sorrowful eyes... argh!

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  2. *jealous*

    I've started frequenting a local eatery. The girl who works there is so nurturing I want her to feed me every meal. But like... yeah, I can't afford to keep going. Just can't resist.

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    1. I've had to stop going to Starbucks -- that's where all the cute guys are and it's so hard to focus on writing! Thankfully most of the indie coffeeshops are owned and staffed by women -- allowing a gay boy like me to focus on other matters. ;)

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  3. I do most of my writing at coffee shops too. Home is too distracting and I love the energy I feel in the air at independent coffee shops. They're expensive but they have soul. Lots of sugar too.

    Garce

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    1. Too much sugar, sometimes! My regular haunts are so chill, though, exactly what I need. (Starbucks, though they have the cutest baristas, is too noisy and busy.)

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  4. I admit that I feel guiltier about food than about sex. Admittedly I have many more occasions for overindulgence in food than in sex, but the food thing is more complex, what with considerations of health versus pleasure--and the way food consumption can stare you in the face when you step on the bathroom scale.

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    1. The solution is to throw out the bathroom scale. ;)

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  5. Heh. Food/drink can definitely "stare you in the face" in various ways, though I try to avoid stepping on the bathroom scale. :) Cameron, I share your interest in independent coffee shops (I just discovered one yesterday, in fact, when I went there to buy tix for an amateur musical.) The right coffee shop can provide the right combination of privacy, good snacks, and unobtrusive human company.

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    1. I also enjoy that with indie coffeeshops (though with some degree at a larger place like Starbucks, too), the staff get to know you a little bit over time. For us writers, deep in a very lonely and isolating profession, that little bit of human interaction with the barista we see on a weekly or daily basis can give us just that little bit of a boost in energy and enthusiasm, keeping us going as we race through the word count.

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  6. "So, how can you have a guilty pleasure if there’s nothing to be guilty about?"

    This is a thing I've been thinking about a lot over the past couple weeks, and puzzling over. I extend that nothing-to-be-guilty about idea beyond sex to many other places. I don't think there's anything wrong with eating, despite the many messages otherwise around us at all times.

    I'm amazed so many people can concentrate in coffee shops, though. I always wind up eavesdropping!

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    1. Hehe -- I've eavesdropped on a few things over the years -- including some very awkward first dates!

      And I like the idea of a lack of guilt around eating!

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