Dirty words: Smutty Book Club talks erotic fiction

Drink ’n’ discuss: Dawn Schmidt is one of the organizers of the Brooklyn Smutty Book Club, a monthly meet-up of erotic fiction fans at Paddy’s of Park Slope.
Brooklyn Paper
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Smut the front door!

An X-rated book club has started steaming up a Park Slope bar with its monthly discussion of racy reads. The Brooklyn Smutty Book Club, which meets on the third Wednesday of each month at Paddy’s of Park Slope, gives lovers of the steamy sub-genre of romance novels a rare opportunity to dissect naughty books with like-minded fans, said one of the organizers.

“Where else can you talk about these books? Because there’s certainly not another smut book club around. And if people are reading it — they’re usually reading it themselves,” said Dawn Schmidt.

The group started meeting in the distant island of Manhattan about four years ago, when the craze over the kinky novel “50 Shades of Grey” removed some of the taboo over discussing sexually charged literature, said Schmidt. But increasing demands from Brooklyn fans caused Schmidt and her friends to create a spin-off club for the borough of Kings. The new group held its first meeting in July to discuss “Dark Challenge,” a book about sexy shape shifters.

At each meeting, members discuss a smutty tome chosen at the previous gathering, and the talk often segues into related topics, including sex and relationships, said Schmidt.

“We talk about the book for an hour, and one way or another a tangent leads in one direction, or something related to it on television or in our personal lives and pretty much talking about everything we read — sometimes we definitely stay past 10 pm,” she said.

Most of the book club members are women, but it includes a wide variety of ethnic and professional backgrounds, said Schmidt.

“The club attracts all ages, all races, all jobs. There is a mixture of women in this club because if there’s one thing that is universal, it’s sex,” she said.

The title for next month’s meeting is “The Average American Male,” by Chad Kultgen. The group tries to balance writing by male and female authors, and also makes sure each book is available in electronic form, since the ability to read erotic books without bodice-ripping covers has contributed to their popularity, said Schmidt.

“One reason why it’s grown so popular compared to 10 years ago is because of e-books,” she said. “No-one can see what you’re reading — they don’t know if you’re reading smut or Shakespeare.”

Brooklyn Smutty Book Club at Paddy’s of Park Slope [273 13th St. between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 369–0831,]. Aug. 16 at 7 pm. Free.

Updated 5:56 pm, July 9, 2018
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