“I’ve always felt comfortable with my eroticism, my sexuality and the skin that I’m in,” says Charlotte Langley of Toronto, a chef with 14 years of experience in the kitchen, and whose interest in food extends to the erotica she writes during her off hours. With titles like “Hollandaise” and “Salsa,” her stories are quite literally food porn, featuring plenty of sex with sides of chocolate cake, rhubarb crumble and lobster.
Her first experience with a threesome inspired her to take up the pen, and it also inspired her pen name, Sailor Cherry. “I wrote it down because I never want to forget any of these experiences that I’ve had,” Langley says. “And when I’m 90 years old, I want to read my erotica and be like, ‘Fuck, yeah!’”
On the night of her first ménage à trois, a regular customer came into her restaurant with a friend of his from Montreal. They ended up doing shots of rum together before heading to Langley’s house, where she dubbed one Sailor and the other Jerry, a nod to their liquor of choice for the evening.
“Within 20 minutes, I was bent over the couch and Sailor was spanking me. He was the worker bee—he was doing more of the fucking—and Jerry was doing the kissing and rubbing and massaging.”
Each fit a stereotype: Jerry was French, and thus a bit more romantic; Sailor was all muscle, a young guy who grew up on a farm, “The roles were natural to them and they fell into them. I didn’t have to direct them, ‘You stand here. You lick this. You do that.’ They just sort of did it.”
Struck by the experience, Langley called in sick to work the next day so she could lay in bed and reflect. “Maybe it’s not a big deal for other people, but it was at the time for me. It was amazing,” she recalls.
At the same time, it also got her thinking about consent and her career in the restaurant world, where sexism runs rampant. She wanted to claim her sexual agency in an industry where women are often objectified and denied any agency at all.
“I just feel that the more that I can write about sex and romance and portray it in a way that is real—not shameful or fucked-up or scary—it’s good for everybody.”
When it comes to food, Langley has a reputation in her adopted city of Toronto as the avant garde chef to call if you want to cater an event that in no way feels catered. Her style of cuisine is more field party than garden party. She comes by her informal, down-home vibe naturally. As a native of Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province, she grew up with the field parties and oyster feasts that are part of the culture.
Langley’s casual, give-no-fucks attitude colors her approach to everything, including sex. “It’s not like, ‘I’m a chef here, I’m going to be like this,’ and ‘I’m a writer only like this,’ and ‘I’m a fucker only like this.’ They’re all sort of tied together naturally.”
Since writing down that first story, she’s chronicled many more sexcapades and even has plans for a book. She remembers reading Anaïs Nin’s “Mathilde” in Delta of Venus at a young age. “I was deeply turned on and affected by that story—I wanted to emanate that sort of sexuality. I thought it was super hot.”
In one of Langley’s most memorable stories, a chocolate cake provokes women to frenzied masturbation:
Once upon a time there was a chocolate cake. Not just any other chocolate cake, this cake was unique. Anywhere he was placed, he would draw beautiful women to him. The chocolate cake knew this, and this is one of his stories.
C was baked for the first time 25 years ago, he smelled of roasted cacao, juicy vanilla and salted french butter. The smell he gave off drifted through the room and out the window, his bait was subtle, yet effective.
And as for the chef-erotica connection? Langley believes that the stress and long hours of the restaurant world makes for better sex.
“We work until two in the morning, we’re wired, we’re fucking stressed out. The sex is almost desperate—we need that release,” she says. “We’re more willing to do something to get out of our frantic brains for a bit. Like, ‘I’m going to fuck six people tonight’ or ‘I’m going to tie up this guy and leave him on the kitchen floor writhing away, waiting for me to come tickle him.’ Stuff like that, you know. Yeah, we’re more adventurous, for sure.”
That wild side comes with the possibility of things going too far, so Langley always negotiates a safeword. Hers, naturally, is food-related: “banana.”
Langley wants to eventually turn her stories into a cookbook with recipes to “cook with your lover, or lovers, and experience more sensuality in your life.” You know, Like Water for Chocolate but with way more fucking.
And that chocolate cake? It’s based on a true story.
“It’s based on a chef I know who has a bit of a cake fetish. It’s basically his coming-of-age story.”
Langley plans to turn it into an epic saga of sexual awakening, all from the perspective of an insanely seductive chocolate cake.
Fifty Shades of Grey aside, in a genre that hasn’t seen much innovation since the days of Anaïs Nin, Langley’s work is fresh, sensuously smutty and decadently delicious. If nothing else, she’s sure get people back in the kitchen, if only to fuck each other’s brains out.