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).
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.