Chilli cover 5The Chilli Pepper Sex Club

From burning pain and sexual dysfunction to red-hot recovery

by Sally Turner

In a world buzzing with Rampant Rabbits, sex blogs and YouPorn, where mind-blowing sex is a ‘mandatory’ aspiration, how do you cope if you can’t join the party? When your mind says ‘yes, yes YES!’ but your body screams an excruciatingly painful “NO”?

The Chilli Pepper Sex Club is a memoir of Sally’s journey through the burning pain of vulvodynia – a condition that is often misdiagnosed and under-reported, yet affects up to 3.2 million women in the UK. The condition meant that penetrative sex was painful from her teens until the age of 36, when at she accessed successful treatment and began to make up for all that she had missed.

“The book’s title is courtesy of a former boyfriend who used to refer to the vulval pain support group I attended as The Chilli Pepper Sex Club. His droll reference to the burning pain of vulvodynia made me smile and has stayed with me as an apt descriptor for a life lived ‘on fire’.”

In the wake of the best-selling Fifty Shades trilogy (which centres on consensual erotic pain) Sally offers a engaging, taboo-busting take on sexual pain from a different, but no less powerful perspective. Often moving and provocative, at times funny and incisive, The Chilli Pepper Sex Club asks pertinent questions about the nature of intimacy, how we define ‘real’ sex and what it means to be a ‘real’ woman. In telling her story, Sally also discusses issues that are high on the cultural agenda including feminism, porn and erotica, culture and language, and body image.


‘Turner has written a remarkable book – engaging from the get go, funny in places, sad in many more, and brutally honest.’  – Samantha Evans, Managing Director and Founder, JoDivine

‘Every woman needs to delve into this eminently readable and witty account of a devastating and frustrating dichotomy – feeling powerful desire at the same time as complete agony. It’s an inspiring tale of finally achieving pleasure after years of pain.’  – Natalie Healey, former editor, NetDoctor

‘This is an important book covering a condition that devastates millions of women and provides a unique insight into the impact of vulvodynia that has not been covered before.’  – Dr David Nunns, Consultant Gynaecologist and Founder of The Vulval Pain Society

Published: 2023 tbc