Friday, December 21, 2012

A Lesson In Thud and Sting

I've been absent for a very long time...sorry about that, I've been dealing with some writing issues...more along the lines of writer's block, so I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things.

Ironic that my return post should land on the date of the Mayan Apocalypse, 12/21/2012. LOL. Maybe something is trying to give me a hint. I figure I'll get my feet wet with a cute little story, then eventually move into heavier subjects next year. What I have to share is a short anecdote of an event when I attended a writer's conference in Atlanta, Georgia in October.

I've been to this specific conference twice before, but this was the first time I learned that there was a sex furniture warehouse just ten minutes from the hotel where I was staying. This prompted a field trip of course, and oh the toys I found!

The funny thing was, one of the ladies I knew at the conference, who told me about the shop, gave me a strange look when I told her I preferred sting over thud.

"Sting over thud?" Her expression was definitely confused.

As a teacher, I took this as a teaching opportunity, so I picked up a few of the toys in the store. One was a riding crop, the second was a whip tipped crop, and the third was a short flogger. I used the whip tipped crop first, just a light strike on my friend's forearm.

"Ow!" That was her response, but she laughed as well.

Then I used the riding crop and she got a pensive look. "Hmm, I could handle that," she told me.

Then I used the flogger. Lightly the first time which received the same response as the riding crop, then a heavier strike that got the same reaction as the whip tip. "Ow."

It was so interesting to see the different reactions then measure them against what I know about myself. Apparently, thud is more appealing to my friend, while I much prefer sting.

Now, with the new time beginning today, I have to say, one of the first things I'm putting on my mission list: Find someone who knows how to provide some wonderful sting sensations.

Here's hoping the world keeps going on after tomorrow/today 12/21/2012. Let me know what you think or which you prefer--sting or thud.

Have a great holiday season!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kink Monday -- Objectification

I’ve been immersed in the objectification experience for months as I’ve worked on my latest, Safeword: Quinacridone.

Several of my beta readers warned me ahead of time they weren’t into objectification, but I was fine with this because my intention had been  to write so even those without an objectification fetish would enjoy the experiences, and I looked forward to seeing how they reacted to the various scenes and to the story as a whole. 

Imagine my surprise when these women changed their minds partway through the book. It isn’t a matter of them taking on a new kink, but of understanding part of what motivates them to submit.

When you mention the subject, most seem to think of someone on hands and knees while being used as a footstool; but there are so many other ways to turn someone into an object. Imaging lying on your back with your hands and feet bound together and restrained to the headboard, and a curtain draping from a canopy above so it puddles on the backs of your thighs. You can’t see the person using you, and all they see is your genitals.

Masks and hoods can also take away a person’s identity, as can a bald cap and dramatic makeup. Or how about skipping the bald cap and having one’s head shaved? This isn’t about humiliation, so wigs would be allowed when in public, but in private... How much of our individuality is tied up in our hair?

Because objectification can take some extreme turns, I have my couple explore how far others have traveled through the rabbit hole as they decide how deep they wish to dive. This allowed me to show the scariest extremes and fully explore the subject beyond what I've personally experienced, or would ever want to personally experience.

However, you don’t have to be so extreme — taking one’s ability to speak, forbidding eye contact, allowing one to only kneel and crawl, forbidding clothes — these all serve to objectify and are seen in many BDSM scenarios. Pony, puppy, and kitten play also serve a similar purpose; while they don't so much objectify, they do take away one’s humanity.

Do you believe part of your kink involves objectification?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

She comes in words

I’ve been asked to write an introduction to a new edition of Safe Word, by Molly Weatherfield. Asked by Pam (aka Molly) Rosenthal herself, no less, which is quite amazing in my little world. After all, I think the Carrie books are about the best in the genre. I turned to them to try to get some idea of how to write bdsm fiction. Not that I can write the same sort of book as Pam Rosenthal, of course. She so clearly majored in English literature, which I did not, and she has a way with words, narrative and dialogue that I will never match. But I learned a great deal from those books, and without them my own would have been much less readable than they are.

I contacted Pam and tried to convince her to read the manuscript of As She’s Told way back when, but she turned me down, saying she hadn’t the time, and who can blame her? But when I agreed to do the introduction for Safe Word, I suggested that she return the favour by reading AST and giving me feedback, and she agreed. Woo hoo! This is something I’ve fantasized about for years! I might not be an English major, but I do have Pretentions of Literature, and damn, after all the work I put in I want some actual literary criticism by someone who specializes in the field! (All right, I’m a total geek.)

Anyway, I get her take on AST after I send in my intro. After four years of waiting for it, I’m more or less on the edge of my seat.

Writing the intro is my little bit of literary criticism. It’s easy in some ways, because the book lays out its themes, plot and literary devices so openly, almost self-consciously. Carrie, the heroine, is herself an English major, who loves narrative and gets off on words. She comments wryly to herself that life is only real when she’s made it into a story. And sex, for her, is like a story. In this book there are stories within stories. Carrie and Jonathan tell each other stories about their sexual exploits in the year they’ve been apart, like a kind of two-person Canterbury Tales. The stories relate so closely to their own relationship, make them so hot and tip them into sex so quickly, that the action, past and present, is deeply intertwined.

The link between language and sex is made in all sorts of ways. Not only does language become sex but sex becomes language. “Those slaps – they’re not punishment, after all. They’re communication – simple syntax in the pidgin of dominance and submission.” Wow, is this ever bdsm for smart girls!

We’re all story-lovers here. Carrie says she “comes in words.” Can anyone else relate?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Sexually Voracious Heroine

I can tell already this is going to be icky. Sorry for any gender-inappropriate offense.

I started writing a new book. It's a BDSM erotic romance like most of my books, and one of the cardinal rules for romance, I suppose, is that the heroine should be someone that the (overwhelmingly female) reading audience can identify with. Small problem new heroine is sexually voracious. She wants it all the time, she loves c*ck, can't get enough of it. She loves f*cking and pursues the hero as boldly as he pursues her. She's not indiscriminate about it (at least once she hooks up with the hero) but hmm...this gal likes her c*ck.

One side of me says, "Don't worry. The romance reader of today is sexually liberated. They won't judge a character for liking a lot of sex. As long as the heroine's sexual appetite is fixed on the hero, it will be okay."

But another side of me is already dreading the bad reviews.

Sometimes I think we haven't evolved as much as a gender as we pretend we have. If we did, I wouldn't be thinking of this character as unusually sexually voracious in the first place, and worrying what the reading public will make of her. I'd just be thinking of her as a normal woman. After all, her drives, desires, and sex-positivity would be normal in a man.

But see what I did there? Instead of letting her sexuality be normal, I had to liken her to a man, because of course, they're the real sex maniacs, right? Gah.

Biologically, I suppose, there is some imperative in women being the more thoughtful and controlled of the two sexes. After all, if a man enjoys fucking 24/7, nothing really happens. If a woman does the same, she'll end up pregnant. Even with birth control, the chance is always there, whereas it is never there for a man. For a male there are no personal biological consequences for sex. For a woman, there's always that chance, unless she's had a hysterectomy.

Perhaps that's why there will always be some part of us that quakes at the sexually voracious female, be she the heroine of a romance novel, or our best friend, or ourselves. As much as we evolve mentally, as much as we embrace kink, sex-positivity, and pushing our sexual boundaries, for women there is always that burden of responsibility...the thing that could happen that men don't have to worry about.

What are your thoughts on the sexually voracious heroine? A fresh type of character? A turn off? A nightmare? Perhaps it's old news and you've read many books with sex-crazy heroines. Can you personally identify with a sexually voracious heroine and become invested in her happiness over the course of a novel? Or do you think a heroine needs to have more disciplined sexual appetites to earn the respect of today's romance reader?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Book club gig

I was a guest at the Arizona book club that I mentioned (via Skype) the other day. Interesting experience. It was rather late for me because of the time zones, and I’m not sure I was entirely coherent, but it was amazing having all this attention focused on me. I could only see three or four of the (approximately) ten participants, and those only just barely well enough to read expressions and reactions. I think they were all doms, the ones who got the prime seats (of course), and those expressions tended toward the sternly impassive. All in all, hard to know how I did, although the feedback was great.

I got to read a couple of bits from AST, which was fun. And then I had to respond to a lot of questions they’d thought up, many of which were about how viable such an extreme scenario would be in real life. My answer being, not very! I didn't write AST as a blueprint on how to do bdsm or m/s, after all. It’s pure fantasy.

Here’s a sample question: This story is an exploration of deep enslavement – there are many methods for achieving this, such as service, obedience, direction and structure – why did you choose objectification and severe, unapologetic punishments, instead of service & obedience?

Let me try to remember what I said. And perhaps organize it a little more coherently.

First, I get off on objectification and severe, unapologetic punishments, far more than I do on service or obedience. And let’s face it, the book is about what makes me hot. As I’ve mentioned before, Laura Antoniou said that service makes her hot, which is why there is such an emphasis on service in the Marketplace books. Other people find loving bdsm play makes them hot, so they read books full of that. When it comes to fiction, it’s all a matter of taste. When it’s about actual relationships, I can easily see that structure, direction and service would be a lot less strenuous and stressful for all concerned.

Second, there’s a lot of punishment in AST, because when I did some hard introspection about what would make me obey, what came up was consequences. Genuine consequences that I couldn’t avoid. Perhaps I underestimate the impact of disapproval or disappointment coming from a dom. But somehow, for me, if there’s nothing to back it up, then I can still choose to be an equal partner – to say, “To hell with it. I’m autonomous; I’ll do what I want.” It’s possible that I am way more stubborn than the average sub. (Well, more than possible.) But it takes some fairly serious domming to make me feel like I’m not in control.

Third, there is actually quite a lot of service, obedience, direction and structure in AST. It’s just overshadowed by all the kinky sadism. I think these things are very important to an m/s relationship, and in the long run they are probably what makes it work. But they may not make the easiest novel material.

They also asked me what scene I found the hottest. Three guesses? First to jump to mind was the gearshift scene. But perv that I am, the pony and cage parts resonated even more.

If I had the book to do over again (another question), I’d make Maia’s enjoyment of her situation more evident. And I’d reveal more irony and less guilt in her mental musings. But that’s hindsight.

Any more bookclubs want me to Skype in? I’m all geared to go now.

Thursday, November 1, 2012's release week...

Hi All!

Sorry I don't have some great words of wisdom to share with the kinky universe today. My newest book came out yesterday and I'm frazzled to pieces!

But I wanted to post a link and a blurb for those of you who have read the first three books in my Comfort series. Here's the fourth one, Command Performance!

Mason Cooke has it all: fame, wealth, and a wildly successful film career–until tales of his kinky exploits break wide. An anonymous source describes swinging parties, a secret BDSM club, and lurid kink activities, outing his friends and naming Mason as the ringleader of the raunchy cabal. Overnight, he’s embroiled in a public relations nightmare, his ex-wife Jessamine’s silence feeding the flames. To save his stock as a top Hollywood actor, he needs emergency image repair.
Enter Miri Durand, a former child actress once known for her shiny blonde curls and sitcom antics. She’s all grown up now, acting a small but edgy role in his latest film. Mason squires her around town in an attempt to sanitize his image, only to discover there’s more to Miri than her girl-next-door smile. Their relationship of convenience soon transforms into something deeper and more authentic. They hide away in his Malibu mansion, burning up the sheets and acting out their deepest fantasies. It’s no longer about the PR–Mason and Miri realize they’re falling in love.
But the Hollywood odds are stacked against them. Between career conflicts, family problems, a meddling ex-wife, and a media onslaught that just won’t quit, the couple become confused about what’s true in their fledgling relationship and what’s just for show. For Mason and Miri, what began as a command performance becomes a poignant struggle to understand the real-life complexity of their love.
I hope you'll put it on your reading list. You can learn more about my other Comfort series books (Comfort Object, Caressa's Knees, and Odalisque) at my blog. Just click the Books tab! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kindness and contempt

The whole issue of bullying has been in the news and on my mind a lot lately. It’s a social phenomenon that I have tried to understand for many years. My interest in social psychology probably originated with the experience of being bullied for a few years, and of trying to understand the phenomenon so I could get myself out of the victim role.

Bullying ties in with many other curious human behaviours, like misogyny, discrimination, war and other forms of oppression. I've struggled over all of these, trying to understand the mental processes that go into deliberate hurt inflicted by one person on another. Power has a great deal to do with it, of course. The acquisition and exercise of power has many rewards.

And who knows that better than us? One of the reasons this issue is central for me is that the dynamics of power and control of one person over another has always been a preoccupation. I spent years trying to differentiate actual oppression from the fantasies that aroused me. My excruciating empathy for genuine victims could be a stumbling block when it came to the sexuality that ruled me. The two are different – consent and arousal, if nothing else – but there are so many elements in common that the line sometimes blurs. And it’s good to know which side of the line one is on.

Power inequities, objectification, humiliation, loss of choice and freedom, sexual slavery – do these trigger arousal? Or dismay and disgust? Or both? Or does it depend on the context? Probably the latter, most of all. Still, when we cringe at some d/s scene that goes “too far,” is it that line that feels like it’s being crossed?

For me, one of the dividing lines is contempt. Do the oppressors really use their victims as objects without regard for their needs? Or is there genuine caring and respect in the relationship, beneath the trappings of inequality? There are any number of d/s books that I simply won’t touch, not just because they are non-consensual, but because of the contempt the powerful have for their victims. The few scenes I’ve stumbled over haunt me. Contempt is a terribly corrosive and toxic element in almost every context. I don’t say that no one deserves it – I can think of a few right now – but I save my contempt for people who act contemptuously toward those weaker than themselves.

Contempt is not a dividing line for everyone. There are people in the bdsm pantheon that get off on contempt, either inflicted or received. My guess is, however, that however powerful the fantasy may be, most of them want that underlay of caring as well, however subtly it’s expressed.

Kindness, on the other hand, is incredibly powerful emotionally, particularly coming from someone with the full ability to be cruel. (That good old “good cop – bad cop” routine.) How many gut-wrenching scenes can you think of, when some powerful dom allows a glimpse of the humanity and love beneath their hard exterior? How many books do you truly enjoy that don’t include an element of kindness and caring?

Is it the contrast that thrills us? Or perhaps the balance of d/s fantasies and the rational need for connection? What do you think?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Keeping it Vague

Today's topic isn't that sexy or kinky (forewarned!) but it's something that has a lot to do with romance and especially erotic romance. I'd like to talk about character and setting description, and really, description in general.

I've taken a lot of writing classes and learned a lot of general things about description from reading, but one thing I've come to realize is that authors use description in wildly varying amounts. I've also come to realize that for me, personally, there is a threshold after which it becomes TOO MUCH.

Nothing makes me start skimming faster than paragraph after paragraph of vivid description. It's kind of sad, because I know that the author probably spent many hours researching and crafting those descriptive passages. I also know there are readers who appreciate that level of detail. But for me personally, I feel more engaged if I can fill in some of the blanks myself.

For instance, if you tell me a couple is meeting in a cabin, that's not enough information. If you tell me they're meeting in rustic cabin in the woods by moonlight, that's just right for me. I can make the "rustic" look like my own romanticized idea of rustic in my head. I can see the woods and moonlight. It evokes mood.

But if you tell me the couple is meeting at a rustic, ivy-covered cabin in the woods with three rooms and a half-bath, with a tangle of weeds choking the front door and moonlight coming in the floral-becurtained windows and falling across the hand-hewn pine floors, then the eye-rolling will commence. Maybe the author researched carefully to picture this exact setting in her mind, but in describing it in such detail, she takes away my ability to visualize as I'd like to see it. Plus, I start skimming because I'm much more interested in what happens next, not the subtleties of hand-hewn pine.

The same goes for the hero and heroine. My personal preference is for them to be described in specific--but not minute--detail. I don't mind knowing hair and eye color, height and build and even the general character of someone's face, but I don't want to know about every feature and freckle, because I like to fill some of that in myself.

That's not to say there aren't readers out there who are hungry for character and setting detail...who really bask in it. There's a woman in my writer's group who's always nagging at me to add more detail about my hero and heroine's looks. She prefers to have a complete picture painted for her, which is a legitimate reader style.

I guess as an author it's safest to aim somewhere in the middle--providing enough detail that readers can see things in their mind, but not so much detail that it derails the flow of the story.

How do you feel about descriptive details? Are you the type of reader who wants everything painted like a picture, or the type of reader who likes to paint their own picture as you read?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Reading aloud

I met a terrific woman at the MsC conference who asked me to Skype into her kinky book group in November. Which of course I am pleased to do. I asked if she wanted me to read an excerpt, and apparently this hasn’t come up before, but she said yes. And this is something I’m really looking forward to.

For a while there, Pink Flamingo was working to arrange for their novels to be made into audiobooks. This was an exciting idea, and not just for the few bucks in additional royalties. I’m rather fond of audiobooks myself; I’ve listened to a great many, and the thought of one of my own books being in that format was almost as thrilling as seeing my first book in print for the first time.

But after the initial thrill came the doubts. After all, I hear my own words as I write them, and the way I know when a sentence works is when it “sounds” right. Balanced, with the right rhythm, even with a bit of alliteration thrown in…. Could some stranger possibly say it the way it was meant to be said? Could they convey my meaning the way I wrote it? Or would the thing be agony to listen to?

My only experience in this regard is one Nobilis Erotica podcast of an excerpt from As She’s Told. The reader sounded young, nasal and as if she hadn’t read the excerpt ahead of time. She had clearly never heard the word “chattel” in her life and didn’t know how to pronounce it. Wince! Cringe! (All right, I’m a prima donna when it comes to my own words; I totally admit that. Sue me.)

Even a reader with a well-modulated voice can mess up when they lend their voice to the characters. I hate it when female readers drop to the bottom of their range for the men’s voices, and then have nowhere to go to vary the tone. The men come out speaking in gruff monotones. A whole book of that can pall, believe me. Imagine Anders unable to make light, outrageous, offhand demands as well as menacing growls!

And what about accents? Someone from Ohio doesn’t think they have an accent, but wow, do they ever! None of my characters sound like that. The wrong accent would grate abominably.

Really, I would so much rather do my own reading. I actually think I’d be rather good at it. My publisher dismissed this suggestion out of hand, however, and who can blame her? All things considered, it was something of a relief as well as a disappointment when the whole thing fell through.

But here I am, about to read a piece of As She’s Told out loud. I haven’t picked an excerpt yet. I must admit to feeling shy about reading a really raunchy bit (good thing it’s Skype and not in person!). Any suggestions?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Battle of the Kink Levels...or Finding a Book that Hits Your Sweet Spot

BDSM erotic and romance authors have always struggled with a problem. How hard, or soft, should I go?

When you join your local BDSM scene, there's a process to figuring out who plays the way you play, who plays hardcore, who plays softcore, and who's just there to watch. I think it's not that different in the community of BDSM readers. As new readers flock to BDSM fiction due to "gateway" books like Fifty Shades of Grey, even more confusion is added to the mix. All doms aren't like Christian Grey; all subs aren't like Anastasia Steele. What constitutes hot BDSM play is different for everyone.

How are readers to find the BDSM books that hit their sweet spot, especially when it comes to things like level of pain, degree of consensuality, and the balance of romance versus down 'n' dirty power exchange?

WELL! Lucky for you I have developed a simple classification system called the Mild-to-WTF BDSM Romance Rubric. I can't seem to make it post any bigger in Blogger...if it's hard to read you might download it and blow it up in your picture viewer. (Edited...someone told me that doesn't work either. Sorry, I tried...)

See, it's not that complicated. I hope this will make it easier for you to find the books that hit your "sweet spot." :-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Flavors of BDSM -- Fiction vs Real Life

There are thousands of ways a BDSM relationship can manifest between two (or more) people. It can be mostly D/s with no S&M, it can be all S&M with no power exchange, it can be a combination of D/s and S&M. For those who flavor things with D/s, the submissive can be submissive only during scenes, or only submissive sexually, or submissive for everything. The levels of power exchange can extend from being mostly hands off with only a few rules, all the way to a TPE relationship where practically every minute of the day is micromanaged.

Various fetishes can also come into play -- objectification, medical play, puppy play, age play. These things can also make the relationship look completely different.

As long as there is consent, none of these things are right or wrong.

When we start talking fiction, multiply the possibilities at least ten-fold. Suddenly you can have a situation where money is no object and the slave doesn't need to work, can be isolated and trained, and taken to depths an actual human likely shouldn't be taken. Or you can have an almost all-powerful vampire who can bring the submissive to the point of death and revive them with blood. You also don't have to worry about those real life annoyances like your arms falling asleep when bound to the cross too long, or your knee caps not working if you kneel on a hard floor any time you aren't being used.

Authors can also play around with dubious-consent or even non-consensual fantasies. After all, it's just words on a page, no one is actually being hurt. It's a safe way to explore dark fantasies.

I enjoy reading books where things are taken farther than I can go in real life. I love books that push the envelope, the ones that challenge the boundaries I've erected in my mind. I don't mind the vampire stuff going way out of bounds, but I usually prefer the non-paranormal to stay at least semi-realistic. 

My Safeword series is all consensual, responsible, BDSM. I still head off into adventurous territory, but I want to show it's possible to handle edge play and serious power exchange relationships responsibly. I don't take things farther on the page than can be done in real life, though -- most of my submissives kneel on a soft surface, for instance.

There are some who disagree with me, who say that, as I delve into consensual-non-consent, I've gone beyond the boundaries of responsible. For a couple who doesn't know each other well, I kind of agree with them. However, for a long term relationship with lots of trust and communication? I know it can be done responsibly, because I've lived it. In some ways the reality sucks in comparison to the fantasy, but in other ways it far surpasses the fantasy. I hope to eventually show that dichotomy in a book -- likely the follow-up to Safeword: Matte, if I can ever finish my current WIP.

Eventually, I'll be exploring even darker subjects. Eventually, I'll take better advantage of the whole "fiction" thing, and delve into fantasy even more. For now, I've lots of ideas for stories that will keep everything realistic as I explore edge play.

Do you enjoy reading books that mirror your own preferences? Or you do enjoy reading books that take you farther?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The subtle signs of power differential

My last blog was about the M/s conference, and Basia Rose asked to hear more about the subtle signs of power differential that I saw there. I agree; the small things get me, too!

The doms moved more freely, it seems to me. Not surprisingly, the subs – or slaves – were just that much more circumspect. (Of course, tight corsets and posture collars will do that to you.) They moved with reference to the person next to them; a little behind, perhaps.

Sitting in workshops, I’d watch a quiet arm move around a companion’s shoulders and take hold of a ponytail. In the bar there were slaves sitting on the floor next to chairs; just once I think I saw the motion of an eye that put one there.

Raven Kaldera and Slave Joshua were the most out in the open. The hand I mentioned last time, catching his slave hard by the wrist when he was about to raise his hand, was Raven’s. During one of their presentations they talked about their experiments with internal enslavement, and Raven mentioned that he did things to enhance his slave’s sense that he was helpless to disobey, one of them being grabbing Joshua’s face by the jaw. He casually demonstrated as he said this, and I swear Joshua went into subspace in the blink of an eye. You know that look? In one instant he had it. They were both companionable, mutually respectful and highly articulate. But one of them was absolutely in charge.

That’s all for today, folks – sorry, got to run. Let me know if you’ve seen some of your own subtle signs – or would like to.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Pleasures of Dubious Consent

You know, in real life I hate to be forced to do anything. Hate, hate, HATE it. I can't stand to be pressured against my will or manipulated into doing something. But when it comes to sex and bedroom matters--oh my god. FORCE ME. Make me be bad. Tear me down and make me do things I don't want to do.

Ah, the pleasures of dubious consent.

I started writing this book lately. I haven't even publicized the title on my blog yet, because I wasn't sure it was going to work out, but the last few days something clicked and the story has taken off. To be more specific it's taken off in a direction I hadn't originally planned--it's become a storyline based on dubious consent. Before, it wasn't working, but now, with the dubious consent, it's caught fire.

The truth is, I love dubious consent, both in my bedroom and in my erotic fiction. It has the force-and-peril factor of nonconsent, without as much of the ickiness. With dubious consent, you can always read and say, well, she kind of wants it...while squirming at the same time. For me, the idea of a male forcing his attentions on me,bending me to his will even though I resist, is a powerful fantasy. How sexy, for a man to want you so much that he traps or seduces you into doing things you had no intention of doing. It's even better if he taunts you afterward and makes you admit you wanted it all along. The power play aspect of it thrills me, and so does the domination factor, if it's written right.

The reason I originally started writing my own BDSM stories was because I couldn't find erotic fiction that hit that dubcon sweet spot for me. I didn't like the roughness and depressing violence of true nonconsent erotica, but the romantic BDSM stuff felt too soft and saccharine for me. I wanted something in the with an edge of danger. I wrote Mercy and Comfort Object, two books with a good helping of antagonistic love and dubious consent. After that, I backed off the dubcon until Cirque du Minuit, because I learned through feedback and reviews that...well...dubious consent makes some readers hopping mad.

I think I struggled so hard with this current work in progress because part of me dreads that reader outcry. As many of you know, I'm a very mild and self-conscious person. I don't want to piss people off or be controversial. Scathing reviews slaughter me. At the same time, I know I have readers who are very much like me. They want romance, but that harder edge too. They want to be made uncomfortable by a little too much force, a little too much boundary-bulldozing on the dominant's part, on the page anyway.

One of the really great things about erotica is that we can explore those fantasies and impulses that turn us on but that we don't necessarily want to experience in reality. It's the ultimate safe sex. So where do you stand on dubious consent? Love it? Hate it? Do you find it hot or disturbing in the context of erotic romance?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Excerpt -- Rough Surrender by Cari Silverwood

"At a time when airplanes are as new-fangled and sensational as the telephone, Faith dares to fly. The one territory she has not explored is her own sexuality. In Leonhardt she discovers the man who can teach her how a woman surrenders her body and her mind. However, Leonhardt has a shadowed past and his own learning to do. He doesn't have the right to keep Faith from flying, even if he thinks airplanes are flimsy death-traps made of canvas, timber and their inventor's prayers. 

Faith has her limits, Leonhardt has his flaws, and sometimes the nicest people get murdered by unscrupulous bastards. Even if Leonhardt can save the woman he loves, the battle for Faith’s heart will be the hardest one of all.

WARNING: BDSM, anal sex, orgasms galore, and a Dom who likes to claim his property with pen, ink and bondage."


“You can’t just announce that sort of thing, sir!” This time the sir was an acerbic one and not all respectful. “We barely know anything about each other. Well. Um.” A blush swept hotly across her face. How silly. Faith huffed. “This time I do want to be untied.”
Leonhardt cocked his head and the mischievous malevolence on his face turned purposeful.
“Oh. You say this, do you, Miss Faith Evard? And I say I’m not done with you yet.”
“What?” she squeaked. “You’re to stop. Right now, sir. Or--”
“Or what? You’ll scream? That could be embarrassing for you.” He slipped his hand back and dipped his finger between her legs, slicking the cream of her juices forward and swirling around and around her clitoris, as if his fingertip were a pen doodling circles on paper. Each feathery touch that glanced off the nub sent out tiny shocks.
“I... I-- Stop that, please. You said you’d stop, if I...uh...asked you to.” She squirmed, unsure if she wanted to somehow make that light touch go closer, or to wriggle away.
“I’m not done with you. One minute of your time,” he said calmly, doodling around and now, at times, steering across her clit. “If you still say no, I’ll honor it.”
Feeling a step removed from reality, as if he were gradually drawing a veil over her world, Faith watched him sit up, fish around in the pile of his clothes while still touching her, and emerge with a pocket watch. She licked her lower lip. Already her clitoris swelled, throbbed, maybe in time with his blasted clock. If she didn’t stop him, it wouldn’t mean she had to marry him, would it? No.
“Mr. Meisner. Please stop.” She gave a stifled groan.
“Here. One minute.” Without stopping his circling, he placed the watch on her belly button, nestling it there and then draping the cold watch chain over her skin until the clasp at the end dangled from his hand, swaying, on her nipple. The metal tap, tap, tapped and her nipple peaked hard.
She bit her lip and sucked in air, watching the chain in his fingers tap upon her. Past that, up the slope of her stomach, his other hand played among her pubic hair. Heat rose, sifting, curling. She clamped her lips together but the little sounds came out and she strained against the cords. Her hands were twisting under the pillows and, damn him, he knew it.
“Starting, now.” Leaving the watch chain laid in a line across her belly, he shifted and knelt between her legs. Mr. Meisner put his hand under her bottom, with the little finger atop her nether hole--somewhere it surely shouldn’t be?
Oh. What was that? Yet another new and entirely queer sensation. Did that little finger press in a fraction? Some muscle down there, tensed, relaxed.
No. He mustn’t.
Frowning, she stared incredulously at the man. Mr. Meisner met her gaze then settled his other hand with the V of two fingers framing her clitoris, and popped his thumb into her vagina. She jumped, clamping her jaw on the gasp that almost escaped.
“Twenty seconds, my dear. Do speak up.” With his eyes focused on hers, he leisurely lowered his mouth and put his lips over the top of her oversensitized nub.
Mmm. She tensed, her thighs quivering in, tight on his shoulders.
His tongue swirled.
As one, her eyes snapped shut, her neck arched and her head flopped back onto the mattress. She groaned. His mouth was on her, in her most intimate place. Unimaginable, glorious and so naughty, all at once. She hadn’t known what a clitoris was until this day, and now she wondered if the poor thing could ever expire from overuse.
The tendrils of arousal were seeking out her sexual parts and filling them tight, pumping into her, expanding. She was breathing like an over-stoked steam engine, like a dog in the hot sun, like a woman who needed, oh so badly, to orgasm.
He lifted his mouth off her. “I’ll take that as a, yes, I want you to keep doing that.”
She peeked through eyelashes, seeing her breasts heave up and down and the watch chain slither off to the side.
He angled up an eyebrow. “Well?”
“Yes, damn you! Sir.” Heat rippled deep into her stomach, making everywhere ache and her nipples poke up like little turrets. Put your mouth back. God!
“Then we shall see each other for the next ten days? And you won’t reject the idea of discussing marriage, out of hand?”
He put his head down and sucked the burgeoning nub up against his tongue. Wet heat. Soft, lazy strokes. Heaven. She groaned, muscles tightening like a sprinter about to bolt. She wanted to claw at his hair, at his shoulders but her hands were roped to her ankles, her body angled like a launching ramp straight to his glorious, licking mouth. One more lick. One more. Impossible, but she tensed even tighter, harder. Her thighs had found his body where he knelt between her legs, crushing him so much he’d likely have marks.
Another moist lick sent her hurtling into an orgasm. “Umnhh!” She rode out the crashing shudders and jerks with her neck and body arching into the bonds, her nails digging into the flesh of ankles. The cries seemed to come from the throat of another, distant woman. More spasms wracked her, before the ceiling rematerialized in her dazed sight.
Maybe she wouldn’t be able to ever move again. Ecstasy had found her, left an indelible mark on her soul and had liquefied her very bones. Leonhardt could have poured her into a jar and bottled her if he’d been so inclined.
When he pulled away the pillows and rolled her over so she was on her front, with her bottom now upward, she only bothered to turn her head to one side to breathe. A languor possessed her whole body. Maybe she had gone to heaven?
Title: Rough Surrender
Author: Cari Silverwood
Genre: BDSM, Historical Romance/Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Suspense,
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Words: 78,000

ARe | Amazon | B&N |

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Master / slave Conference

I took myself off to the Master/slave Conference near Washington DC over the Labour Day weekend. Me, the one who’s never been anywhere, not even to a munch. Jumping in at the deep end? Indeed. It was quite a trip.

I was invited to speak at a panel about M/s fiction, along with authors David Stein, Laura Antoniou and Reid Spencer. And I simply couldn’t pass up the chance to be on the same platform as Laura Antoniou. She was very pleasant, very busy, and extremely funny when she spoke. Later in the conference she read from a couple of her forthcoming novels. I’m glad to say that her humour is finally getting a chance to shine in her first detective novel, The Killer Wore Leather, which is coming out next year. It’s going to be a spoof on more or less the whole scene. I can’t wait, even though I’ll probably only get a quarter of the jokes.

One of the strangest things about the conference for me was the bizarre juxtaposition of kink and conference setting. I’ve been to many work-related conferences in many cities over the years, and the hotels and meeting rooms all tend to look the same after a while. I found myself in the midst of all the usual conference trappings: glossy schedules, name tags with presenter ribbons attached, banquet tickets, award ceremonies, literature tables, friendly elevator greetings, bland meeting rooms with iced water jugs on tables at the back; the whole nine yards. But in this case many of the attendees were wearing locking collars, corsets and leather vests. And the workshops were straight out of a Fetlife thread. There was a lot about M/s households and relationships. A big focus on self-knowledge, responsibilities, consent, trust, power exchange. Very introspective, and often very serious. And exceedingly strange to me: the normalization of kink in that utterly normal setting.

It was rather freeing, being in a place where what we are is out in the open, taken for granted. I liked it. Mind you, I continued to be an outlier – a stranger, not a MAsT member, knowing almost nothing about the community. Certainly on the fringes of the territory. But enjoying being on the map, even from the fringes.

How did the panel go, you ask? It went fine. Laura got most of the attention, of course, but I did well enough. And I had a couple of fans in the crowd, and got to talk to them later, which was really fun.

No, if there were play parties I didn’t see them. (Whew!) There were occasional, subtle signs of power differentials: moments when someone’s hand took hold of someone else’s hair at the nape of the neck, or grabbed the wrist of a hand about to be raised. The whole thing was – I freely confess it – hot. And I did pick up a thought or two that might be useful in a book.

I will probably mine this experience for further blog posts. What would you like to hear more about, if anything?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

To cry or not to cry...

I decided to write on this topic last week while going over my latest manuscript. Once again, I had to take out about half the instances of my heroine crying. She was bursting into tears right and left.

I don't know why my heroines cry so much, except that I myself cry so much. When there's some emotional reaction or strong feeling, my personal instinct 99% of the time is to start bawling. Believe me, it's awkward. Yes, I'm the mom who stands in the pediatrician's office crying because my kids had to get a shot, I'm the wife who starts crying during every argument large and small my husband and I have ever had. I cry at concerts, ballets, movies, or anything I find beautiful. I cry when I find something too funny. It's really embarrassing.

Ironically, I never cry during D/s scenes. I'm not sure what's going on with that. I've always wanted to cry and often feel the impulse to cry, but I don't. To me, tears would indicate complete surrender and I suppose I never want to be at that point. I know for a lot of people, that's the whole purpose of D/s, to cede control and feel the adrenaline of completely risking themselves, but I think for others it's more the push and shove they enjoy. Once I surrender, the fun's over in a way.

But I'm the first to admit that D/s and tears go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Dacryphilia aside, tears are a great way to signal to your partner where you are on the pain continuum, for instance, and also a beautiful expression of human emotion. It's a way of signalling your vulnurability to another person.

What's your stance on tears? Are you a crier, or one of those who tends to buck up and remain dry-eyed? Do you get annoyed when fictional characters cry too much, or do you find it moving?

Friday, August 31, 2012

Exhibitionism Isn't New

Recently, I've been working on a story with a dominant who is very much into exhibitionism. His soon-to-be-submissive is completely new to not only the kink lifestyle, but sex as well. Because of this and the heroine's body image issues, I was drawn to the idea of a bedding ceremony for their first time together.

I know, a bit extreme especially for a virgin, but I kept getting flashes of scenes from old historical romances I had read. Which got me thinking and researching. Not always a good thing, but in this case, pretty helpful for the project I'm working on. Then it hit me that I could use a bit of the information I'd gleaned to write up a quick blog for Kinky Ever After.

I love how publishers and some readers are surprised by the BDSM and kink lifestyle. As if it suddenly dropped onto the planet yesterday...or whenever they picked up their first book that had the kink element in it. Dominant/submissive relationships have existed for millennia in one form or another. Even the use of sex toys has been dated as far back as the Bronze Age, I believe. So, exhibitionism is nothing new and it was, in fact, part of the wedding ceremonies of higher ranking members of society during the Medieval period. It was called the 'bedding' ceremony.

A bedding ceremony ended the festivities (the wedding feasts) of the nobles and wealthier classes. Depending on the country and the customs, the event included the female guests stripping the bride, the male guests stripping the groom, both groups tucking the pair into bed together and lots of ribald jokes and suggestions. Now, in some cases, the groom would be brought to the bride in a robe and the bride would already be tucked into bed. Other situations have the guests in the room watching the couple consummate their marriage. (Talk about performance anxiety!) Still other scenarios have the guests in the room but with the bed curtains closed, or the guests just outside the door.

No matter which way you look at it, it's exhibitionism -- public display. Somebody is watching. Seeing every touch and caress; every kiss and embrace. And the perfect beginning to the relationship between my characters.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Writing to extremes

Is there a tendency for d/s fantasies, and the fiction based on them, to go to extremes? Not a universal trend, obviously. Certainly not the mainstream of bdsm fiction, whatever that might be. I’d guess that it happens more in porn than erotica, more in fiction meant for men than in that meant for women. Which makes me an outlier. Because when it comes to extremes, my books sure go the distance.

Fiction is a bit like dreams, in that real world boundaries are missing. You know those dreams where some small element goes out of control, becoming more and more outlandish? I think that’s just because there’s nothing to stop it – like being on a trampoline without benefit of gravity (come to think of it, I’ve dreamt that, too).

There are more constraints in fiction than in dreams (assuming you want anyone to read what you’ve written). But it’s so easy to take the next step, and the step after that, and arrange for reality to adjust to your latest extravagance. If a sub can be spanked for five minutes, why not ten? If a week of orgasm denial is hot, then a month is even hotter, and six months is incendiary. For the writer / owner of the fantasy, of course; not necessarily for the reader.

Because of course these powerful extremes are the wilder fantasies, the visions so linked to arousal that they lose their tether to anything resembling Planet Earth, and take off like achingly over-pumped helium balloons. These are the kinds of thing you might imagine when you’re this close to orgasm. In other words, fap fodder.

Does this perhaps explain why the extremes are more common in d/s fiction meant for men, and why my male readers seem to object so rarely to the lengths (or depths) to which my fictional doms will go? Or maybe it has something to do with the way men are better at compartmentalizing. Jerkoff material is for jerking off; when you’re done it goes in that box over there, with the dirty socks. It doesn’t engender worry and empathy, pervade the consciousness or turn up on the grocery list, the way it might do for women.

Women are in fact better at multitasking than men; research proves it. Our corpus callosum – the connection between our right and left brain hemispheres – is on average thicker than men’s. We’re good at making connections, emotional and otherwise. What we’re not so good at is tucking something away and forgetting about it; our brains don’t tend to work that way. So maybe when it comes to kink fantasy, women aren’t so likely to just enjoy the ride without worrying about the fictional slaves pulling the carriage.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kinky Haiku--Denial edition

Leather holds me fast.
He whispers against my neck.
I shudder and sob.

Can't see, only feel.
Fingertips trace and tease like
a soft fall of rain.

"Please, may I come, Sir?"
A chuckle. A slap and pinch.
"No, good girl. Not yet."

Friday, August 17, 2012

No Nookie Without Motivation

I can't write sex.

I mean really, seriously, I just finished writing the first book in a short series and the only scene I couldn't write was the sex scene. Worse yet, I couldn't write the kink either. Of course I tried and tried to write both, but it was like attempting to eat soup with a fork--and almost as ridiculous looking.

Then my friend (I hate you by the way--but not in a bad way) Elijana Kindel pointed out something that I should have known or noticed long before. "There's no reason Rose needs to have sex with Ibraham." No reason? It's a romance novel, an erotic romance novel. There's every reason why they need to have sex by this scene in the book. Nookie is necessary to drive the plot forward....

That's when she pelted me in the face with logic and reality -- "You're not a plot driven writer." And I'm not, but apparently I've been trying to be plot-driven for a while now, and it's messed with my writing mojo jojo.

For me, as Elijana so graciously pointed out, the sex between my characters is driven by their growth. Which in turn, is impelled forward by the establishment and increased trust developing between them. This is an important factor for me -- trust. Important because it's the varying levels of trust that allow my subs to enter freely into relationships with their Doms.

I'm all about trust. Because what's more important to a person's decision to hand over their body and heart to someone than trust? If they feel, even the slightest bit hesitant that their gift will be respected and treated appropriately by their lover, then it will show in their responses. The pleasure won't be there, or not as much as it could be.

So, in my world trust is key. There isn't any sex without affection. There isn't any affection without trust. Most importantly for me and my characters, there's no kink if there is no trust. Many times my characters instinctively trust their partners, but the head tends to override the gut until it gets on board and can see the fun that can be had.

So, while I have walked my way around my temp job for the last three days, I have slowly and methodically begun to draw the picture of just how the motivation of my characters and their growth as individuals is bound to their developing Dom/sub relationships. With luck readers will like my Poker Posse series.

Must run now...temp job awaits! Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Other worlds

There’s something about the idea of publicly acknowledged power exchange. Kinky relationships in private are all very well, but for some, the more people who know, the hotter it gets. That may have something to do with the humiliation factor. I’ve noticed that readers who hate humiliation seem to prefer their fictional characters to keep their kinky behaviour to themselves. A preference for out-of-the-closet m/s may also have to do with the intensity of the power exchange. Fictional slavery that’s gone public is slavery with law and custom behind it. That means the owner has Power with a capital P. If that gave you a yummy little shiver, put up your hand.

When the story is about masters and slaves, owners and property, authors cook up all sorts of creative ways to make the bondage stick. Mysterious islands, pirates, slave planets, aliens with a fetish for human chattel. Secret societies, thugs with warehouses full of caged beauties, oriental flesh markets. Or historical fiction set in a time when people could be property. Whatever will make the slavery “real.”

Consent is, of course, a tricky issue in stories like these. I had to maneuver the plot of Owned and Owner through some narrow windows so that my s-type could be utterly helpless and yet totally consenting. Many authors go with the I-hate-it-I-love-it approach, as their outraged heroine succumbs to her inner submissive. And if the heroine isn’t kidnapped into slavery, it’s astonishing how often she’s kidnapped by bad guys and has to be rescued by her true dom (with a nod to Annabel’s rescue theme). It’s as if the kidnapping has to get in there one way or another.

Anyway, my main point was about the elaborate worlds we concoct for our naughty purposes. What imaginations we have! How many ways we contrive to render our characters helpless! I don’t know about you, but from a very early age I spent every minute of my time between lights-out and sleep, creating worlds like this. Sometimes I’d spend more time working out the society’s custom’s and belief systems than visualizing the payoff: naked slaves in bondage. Speculative kinky sociology; now there’s a specialty!

The book I’m working on currently has a string of fantasy worlds, so this sort of thing is on my mind a lot. What about you; Is there a secret slave society living in your head?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Safety and being saved

A couple weeks ago on Twitter, Serenity of At a Kinky House posted about my novel Cait and the Devil. She said it affected her because her own relationship was built so much on safety, just as Duncan is charged with looking after Cait. That got me thinking about the connection between submission and feelings of safety.

In a way, it makes perfect sense. It's really difficult to submit to someone who makes you feel endangered. Edge players do it, of course, but most of us prefer to know no harm will come to us, that our dominant will not ask us to do anything that will injure or maim us. With domination comes an unspoken responsibility, an ethical mandate to take care. There's something very safe in that kind of set up.

There is also safety to be found in obedience. Obedience is so simple. You can't do the wrong thing, or the inappropriate thing, as long as you do as you are instructed. There's no apologizing later or feeling like you screwed up. As long as you obey, you're a "good girl" or a "good boy" and to a submissive, that's a very heady feeling. It certainly feels safe.

For me, it goes a step further, not just being safe, but being saved. I've always fetishized peril and rescue. My favorite romance novels were the ones where the hero saved the damsel in distress. I was so confused when I learned that some romance readers are turned off by this trope, that it speaks of female weakness and helplessness to them. I guess I never saw it that way--I saw it more as male strength than female weakness. In most cases the damsels in distress were otherwise strong women who couldn't catch a break.

I've felt like that at times in my life. Haven't you? And I dreamed of someone saving me, and many times, someone did. It's a huge fantasy for me and so I find it popping up in my books a lot, these dramatic rescues. In Cait and the Devil, Duncan rescues and avenges her, with the help of Cait's priestess mother.  In Cirque du Minuit, Theo rescues Kelsey at the same time he puts her in danger. In Deep in the Woods, Sophie's rescue comes via Cerberus, the dog, although our hero Dave is an integral part of it too. And of course, Kyle rescues Nell in Comfort Object at a very high personal price.

I think feelings of safety will always go hand in hand with submission for me. I'm sure people submit for a plethora of reasons, but at the core of my submission is appreciation for a caring and protective dominant. If he didn't make me feel so safe, I wouldn't feel comfortable giving him so much.

It's power exchange, totally. Submission in exchange for safety. To me, it's a great trade.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Release Day!!!! Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon

Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon by Candace Blevins

The second half of Dana and Zach's story is available!

Some of you will remember this post about emotional books I made back in February. The story I was writing turned into two books: Safeword: Davenport, and Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon.

You have a chance to win a copy of either Safeword: Matte, Safeword: Davenport, or Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at the Scorching Book Reviews BDSM Blog Hop.

Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon is for sale everywhere this morning except Barnes and Noble and Fictionwise. It should be up at Barnes and Noble before much longer, but Fictionwise sometimes takes weeks to put books into their catalog.


Buy it at:
Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Amazon Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Excessica Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Barnes and Noble Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Bookstrand Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Fictionwise
Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Smashwords Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at ARE Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at Books on Board Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon at 1 Place for Romance

Safewords Davenport and Chiffon

Safeword: Davenport by Candace Blevins  Safewords: Davenport and Chiffon by Candace Blevins

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


I’ve started to think about the panel I’m going to be on at the end of August, One of the themes is likely to be the question of truth in M/s literature. David Stein, who organized the panel and will be on it himself, asserts that M/s fiction is more authoritative if it is firmly rooted in experience with actual master-slave relationships. Without that experience, he believes the novels will tend to exaggerate, mislead and misrepresent the M/s lifestyle, possibly to readers’ detriment.

I’ve mentioned that he first invited me to join the panel and then found out I’d made it all up. However, he liked AST enough to keep the invitation open.

We’ve touched on the “reality vs. fantasy” topic more than once, so I’ll try not to go over old ground. What I’m searching for in this blog (while simultaneously getting a head start on my conference remarks) is an idea of what does constitute “truth” in our kind of fiction. Is its foundation lived experience, as David Stein suggests? And if so, does there need to be an actual collar around your neck for you to know what a collar feels like?

As we’ve said before, fiction is – well -- fiction. An invention. The challenge is to write it powerfully enough that it conveys some form of truth to the reader. How do we do this? Is it contemporary settings and believable plots? Realistic, layered characters? Natural-sounding dialogue? What about a finely-drawn texture of detail to ground the tale? Detail that never distracts with inconsistencies or absurdities? What about language that says what it means, conveying images or sensations that burst in your brain?

Or is it emotional truth we’re seeking? Perhaps a character’s feelings that chime with your own, or a sense that the author has dug deep and brought something to the surface, articulated something meaningful and rare?

All of these suggestions would apply to any genre of literature, of course. But how do they apply to M/s? Well, accuracy when it comes to the bondage details, that’s for sure. No suspension from handcuffs. Layered characters whose responses and relationships rise above the usual bdsm clich├ęs, and who can talk about what they do with some intelligence and wit.

I’ve never been inclined toward philosophical abstractions; I’m more likely to discover meaning after the fact than to search for it beforehand. Whatever truth there may be in my own writing is likely based on a deep sifting of my own emotions, as well as empathy and extrapolation when it comes to the emotions of others. I don’t discount the rest of the writer’s reality toolkit; it’s all important. But emotional truth is, for me, the core of truth in fiction. As long as I can dredge that up, someone is going to read what I write and say “yes.”

What about you? Tell us about a moment of d/s literary truth, and how you knew when it hit you.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The allure of being shared

I have a long standing fantasy, one I've experienced a few times in my sexual journeys. It's the fantasy of being loaned out to another person temporarily as an object for sex.

I often wonder about the source of this desire. It doesn't seem "normal" to want to go off with what might be an unappealing or unattractive stranger at the behest of your partner. Aren't we supposed to be possessive of our partners? If you're shared by your partner, doesn't that mean they must not love you very much?

In the kink world, no. I've been shared exactly three times. Each time it was with a friend of my partner at the time. In one case, I knew the friend well. In the next case, I knew him only vaguely, and in the last case, it was someone I'd never clapped eyes on before, and somehow that was the sexiest encounter of all.

I suppose it's the fact that, in being shared with someone you don't even know, you truly become a sexual commodity, a gift to be given by your "owner" "master" "whatever", at will. As such, you perceive yourself to have a certain value. After all, your top wouldn't give you to someone else to enjoy if he didn't think they would enjoy you. My partners stayed to watch me in all three cases, and that's hot too, because in a way I wasn't just serving the third party, but my partner's pleasure too. It would have been just as hot to be sent off without my partner. Well, probably hotter, but I can see why they would want to stay, if only for the visual candy.

Another really nice aspect of being shared is when you return to your own partner. Best case scenario, there is a lot of "good girl" and "I'm proud of you" and a reward if you pleased the other party. What could be hotter than pleasing your top and being rewarded for it? Need I explain the type of "rewards" I'm talking about?

There's a lot of sharing in my books. It's never as punishment or for humiliation, but more of a pride thing. Isn't my submissive/slave wonderful? Would you like to have a go? But I'll want her back of course, so take care. In Mercy, Deep in the Woods, Fortune, Cirque du Minuit, Comfort Object, and Odalisque, the sharing is just a short term thing. In Club Mephisto and Molly's Lips, it's a whole week away. In Burn for You and Owning Wednesday, the bottoms aren't just shared...they're passed on to another--in a loving way of course.

I know it's not for everyone, but there's something about acting as "sexual currency" that is hot and kinky, and yet very safe and affectionate if you're in the right hands. It's an edgy type of play but if you are with trusted partners, it can be very fulfilling too.

Friday, July 20, 2012

On Vacation

I have temporarily stepped out to enjoy some time away, which is interesting because it's not like I don't take my work with me. As a writer I always have the ideas buzzing in my head so a vacation doesn't necessarily equate a rest from my day job.
But at least on this vacation, because I actually planned it, I can just chill. Relax. Kick back. I can hit a movie with my friends. Go to the mall. Surf the Web for research. No need to be anywhere at any specific time.
Which got me to thinking...and that can be a very bad thing...what kind of things would an individual or a couple in the lifestyle take into consideration when going on vacation? Would they select their destination based on the clubs available in the area? Or maybe they'd choose a location for more voyeuristic reasons -- you know, a place to watch and be watched. Perhaps, an event is the draw, like the World Series, Super Bowl, or LeatherFet.
I have to admit, I still kick myself for not taking the time while I was in New Orleans to visit a club I'd heard about there, but that particular trip was for business not fun.
I'd love to know how others plan their vacations, maybe it'll help me be a bit more organized for my next one.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Characters you've known and loved

I’m reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon at the moment. Opinions on these books are bound to vary, but I imagine that most people – most women, anyway – love Jamie Fraser. And I’m no exception. There’s something about the combination of strength and vulnerability that gets me. A tragic, honourable figure who would do anything for those he loves, including teaching his small nephew the fine art of not peeing on his own feet. Cracking wit, smart as hell, always knows what to do…wow. And it doesn’t hurt that he adores the heroine unconditionally. All this, and of course he’s gorgeous, too. What’s not to love?

What makes a hero irresistible? Which characters have touched you and continue to live in your mind after you close the book? What is it about them that gets you?

I ask because I’m developing my next hero, and I’m thinking about what will convey the essence of the man. I’m also about to go on vacation and so this is going to be brief. If you have time, share your thoughts.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Kinky celebrity crushes--do you have any?

With all the celebrity hubbub going on this week--Tom and Katie divorcing!--and all the rumors flying about certain movie stars and their sexuality, I thought it would be fun to visit our kinky celebrity crushes.

Of course, we don't really know if any given celebrity is kinky, unless they come right out and talk about it, and I can't think of any off the top of my head who have done much more than hint and wink in pop songs. At the same time, I'm sure there are at least as many kinky celebrities as there are kinky normal people, and I've heard that number hovers around ten percent. Actually, the celebrity kink percentage is probably a bit higher.

I would rather not speculate on who is and who isn't...because it would just be gossipy, and this is a post about fantasy rather than reality. In your personal fantasies, who's domming you? Who are you topping? Who would you like to spend a whole night with switching D/s roles, if, say, the celebrity just happened to be kinky?

It doesn't have to be limited to real life celebrities. What about characters in your favorite books? I always tell people that Leo Kovalensky of Ayn Rand's We the Living was my first dom, and this at a regrettably young age. Rhett Butler too... I've always had a thing for the commanding bad boys.

As for movie stars, for me it's Daniel Craig all the way, at least the James Bond/Daniel Craig characters.Whew nelly. Just tell me what to do, Daniel. Whatever you want. In my writer's group, the ladies swoon over Gerard Butler, Clive Owen, Michael Fassbender, and Robert Downey, Jr. On the female side, it's Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba.

And oh, I had a really kinky fantasy thing going on with Jason Momoa's Khal Drogo character in HBO's Game of Thrones. *blush*

So who do you fantasize about in a kink way? Does it affect your fantasy if you think they're kinky in real life? For better or for worse?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pleasure and Plain – different sides of the same coin

For me, most pleasure and pain are merely sensations – neither good or bad, just different kinds of input. I’ve tried to explain this numerous times, but one of my characters managed to explain it better than I’ve been able to, which is bizarre, since I wrote what my character said... but I guess that’s the way it works out sometimes. Here’s a short excerpt from Safeword: Davenport.

When her arousal level was manageable again, she looked at Zach and said, “The line between pleasure and pain is so narrow, sometimes you can’t tell them apart.”
He shook his head, smiling. “I’ll have to take your word for it; I’ve never had that particular problem.”
“Maybe you haven’t taken either to extreme? Think of it as the face of a clock. Imagine the six, pointing down, is no feeling at all. A three is what most people consider intensely pleasurable, and a nine is what the majority would deem exceptionally painful.”
She paused, letting it sink in, and he said, “So what’s twelve?”
Smiling, pleased he saw where she was heading, she said. “Let’s go back to three and nine – if you can power past either of them, the closer you get to twelve the more bleed-over there is from the other side. So when you’re at five minutes after the top of the hour, which is way beyond normal pleasure, there’s a touch of pain involved. When you’re at five minutes till, it’s agony beyond comprehension, with a little bliss mixed in. If you can power past pleasure you get to pain, and if you can endeavor beyond pain you eventually get to nirvana. At twelve exactly, it’s merely sensation, you can’t tell which you’re feeling. It’s both, but neither. If you’re played just right you can hover between pleasure and pain… No, on top of them, or maybe swimming in both. Yeah, awash in them – feeling every extreme of bliss and agony at the same time.”
Jacob looked up. “That’s perfect. I’d never thought of it that way, but you’re right.” He looked over at Zach. “Just after you come, when your dick is super-sensitive and it hurts to touch? That’s sort of what she’s talking about, when it feels so good it’s a little painful.”

Do the lines of pain and pleasure merge for you?

If you want a more titillating excerpt, you can go here, where I give a more carnal example of the fuzzy line between pain and bliss.