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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 my 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 and around 14 million in the U.S. The condition meant that penetrative sex was painful for me – from my teens until the age of 36 – when at last I accessed successful treatment and began to make up for all that I’d missed. (The book’s title is a reference to the burning of vulvodynia and to the London Vulval Pain Support Group, which I co-founded).

In the wake of the best-selling Fifty Shades trilogy (which centres on consensual erotic pain) I offer a engaging, taboo-busting take on sexual pain from a different, but no less powerful perspective. 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 my story, I also discuss key issues that are high on the cultural agenda, including feminism, porn, body image, the etymology of sex and the frisson between sexuality and religion.

‘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: 2022 tbc

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