FOR REAL is the Best M/M Erotic Romance EVAHHHHHHH!

8 Oct

f25e1e117066d96c879ca19e7f194aadby Madeline Iva

Short version: FOR REAL is a m/m BDSM erotic romance by Alexis Hall.  You have here a smaller, younger dom (think Ben Whishaw) and an older, taller hunkier sub. Go buy it.

Seriously –it’s a great romance, it’s got great sex, and great BDSM.  The writing is (I kiss my hands.) I mean, it’s superb. Click HERE to go to Amazon.

Long version: Raving here.

It’s so very romantic and sweet – and yes, filthy.  Like Charlotte Stein—if she wrote m/m.

I still consider myself a new reader of m/m. Read some Daisy Harris in the past and was like ‘aw, so sweet.’ At the same time, I’m eyeballing how much sticky fluid mop up is required at the end of every sex scene.  (Like: wow.) Yet this book was not just best m/m I’ve read, I think it has to be the best BDSM book I’ve ever read as well.

Why? Well, I really liked the characters – physically AND emotionally. Laurance is a 38 year old sub, suffering the slings and arrows of being dumped by his One True Love.  At this point he is so dead inside that every kind effort from others to engage with him is much more a torture than a kindness.

Toby is Ben Whishaw cute

Toby is Ben Whishaw cute

Toby, a puckish would-be dom who’s all of 19 on the other hand, brings an infectious energy and spirit into Laurance’s life.  They’re perfect for each other, but the age difference and Laurence’s eviscerated heart makes him put brakes the brakes on.  Hard.

Yet Toby climbs the barricades to Laurence’s heart.

We adore him for doing so, even though he’s got his own suitcase of insecurities to manage.  We also adore Laurence as he patiently guides Toby through various new levels of BDSM in a mature and calm way.

We watch Toby bring Laurence alive again, and find his way with his kink, learning the complicated wrinkles of BDSM.  There’s everything from the tricky stuff with rope tying to club politics.  Yet it wasn’t all wide-eyed newbie protagonist as a blank slate stuff.  Alexis Hall explores the contradictions of Toby’s life and paints a rich, interesting history that gives Toby his pliant strength and spritely energy.

I’ll admit I’m often a fence sitter about BDSM. Yes, when it’s good it’s yummy-yummy.  But. Sometimes the emotion drops out of BDSM-y parts.  Suddenly the BDSM seems clinical, or the romance aspect is lost entirely.  When these moments happen, I don’t know, I feel like I lose the humanity of the characters, and I even get creeped out a little.

Not so in this book! Not ever. There are excellent depictions of the core need for BDSM in the character’s lives, there are excellent presentation of the juicy power plays between the guys with just plain sex involving nothing fancy, no props.  Then there is a well done depiction of the lovers escalating their sex life together by trying out all the toys the big boys use.

tumblr_nakgsu7Lno1shx66no1_500So at a certain point, one is getting the full on BDSM experience – there’s snowballing, something called an anal hook, and even a glancing mention at sounding (which if I didn’t have Adriana Anders as a friend, I wouldn’t even know what that was.)

I don’t even wanna know, really—and you might not either. Yet Alexis hall has written these scenes so well that if you kinda don’t wanna know, you can read right past it or over it.

The most OMG moment comes when they’re in the kitchen and Toby is making a pie at the same time he’s using an implement on Laurence who’s tied up on a table.  You can read this scene on two levels – one level where you keep your readerly focus on Laurence sucking lemon curd from Toby’s from fingers, skating past the references to the anal hook, and then if you google anal hooks (okay, I finally just had ta) you can read the scene on another level where Laurence is preoccupied by the metal sexual implement Toby decides to use on him.

But what I loved best is the romance between the two.  I loved their sex in bed.

I loved it –(waving hands…without words to even express how much)– just loved it.

Buy it.

Meanwhile, follow us at Lady Smut where we lurv male male smut as much as the next gal.



Sure Size Matters, But Sometimes It’s Just Too Big

7 Oct

young couple in bedBy Elizabeth Shore

In today’s world of texting and sexting, the once eyebrow raising dick pic is now commonplace. It’s like a rite of dating passage. You meet on Tinder, start up some e-convo, and sooner or later photos are exchanged. And I’m not talking about snapshots from Disneyland. No, peeps. We’re talking about dick pics. But a recent exchange between a friend of mine and a potential Tinder date had us staring, wide-eyed and in slack-jawed wonder, at his most recent photo submission. Stuffed beneath his shorts was a tube-like object the length and width of a tennis ball can. Of course, we all know that’s not what it was. The mushroom-shaped head was a pretty good tip-off.

Aaaanyway, so there we were, staring at his giant shorts-covered salami and wondering if maybe, just maybe, it was, um, too big. Could it be? We all know the saying about what matters isn’t the size of the boat but the motion in the ocean. We also all know it isn’t entirely true. Size does matter. If your man’s, ahem, member is more like a thumb drive, there’s trouble around the bend. No matter how much effort he exerts it’s probably just not going to completely satisfy. On the flip side, what if he’s got a one-eyed anaconda sprouting between his legs? Is complaining about it akin to grousing about having too much money? Not necessarily …

You probably remember the Sex and the City episode in which Samantha finally meets her match. Mr. Cocky is “too big to handle.” Ouch!

What if, when you’re making love, he’s thrusting up against your cervix. Is this a good thing? There seems to be a lack of consensus. I read some posts in which women assert that the feeling is awesome, others who say it hurts like hell. And what about oral sex? Trying to pleasure a living utility pole seems like it would result in nothing less than a horrendous jaw cramp.

If you do happen to be on the receiving end of a very well-endowed man, sex experts give a few pointers on what to do to make sure it’s comfortable.

  1. Make sure you’re very aroused. A woman’s vagina lengthens when aroused, so the chances of him slamming up against your cervix decrease as long as your engine’s fully revved before he engages.
  2. Use plenty of lube! A no-brainer, but still. Worth mentioning.
  3. Change positions to accommodate his length. If you’re on top you can control the penetration. Lying side by side has been suggested as a potential option. Bad positions: doggy style, or anal sex.

So there you have it. Helpful suggestions from your friends at Lady Smut, who know that bigger isn’t always better.


What a Girl Wants: Sexual Fantasy, Made Fresh

6 Oct
Yeah, this is nice, I guess. But is it really what I want just now?

Yeah, this is nice, I guess. But is it really what I want just now?

By Alexa Day

A list of women’s ten favorite sexual fantasies? Elizabeth Shore pointed it out on Saturday with — I imagine — a raised eyebrow. But I figured I’d check it out. I’m a woman, after all. I have fantasies.

I figured I’d see some old chestnuts — the rape fantasy has been on that list for years with the same warnings about how it’s a fantasy and not the desire to be raped. But as I read along and then moved into the list of men’s fantasies and then the sort of kinky ways to bring kink into the bedroom if you’re not that kinky, I realized that I was really reading with a professional interest. I wondered if this was the sort of thing women wanted to read about and whether I could write about them.

I hadn’t really stopped to think about what *I* wanted.

So what do I want?

Tough to say.

Right now, reality is crowding fantasy into a very professional corner. I’m preparing for a move, so I’ve got my hands full packing up the essentials of my life as the seasons change. Last week, as the weather turned, I was disappointed to find that all my closed-toe shoes and the teapot are already boxed up. Who has time for a genuine sexual fantasy? Not me.

Does anybody have that kind of time? Is that why we have these lists? To give us a set of easy, fill in the blank suggestions to kickstart some sexy fun?

I hope not. I mean, I hate to think that my fantasy life is that out of balance, but things have been pretty crazy lately.

Still, I’m worried about falling into a fantasy rut. I don’t want my go-to fantasy (and no, I’m not sharing, he’s all mine) to become a reliable standby just because I don’t have time to do better.

So I tried something else.

I settled down on the corner of the couch and closed my eyes. I let my hands rest, palms up, on my knees, and I gave myself time to meditate. You know, concentrating without focusing. Just relaxing.
And I asked myself, what do I really want right now?

The easy answer — I want to be warm, dammit — gave way to any number of warm and pleasant thoughts, none of which was on that top ten list.

So before I go back to letting one fantasy (radiator heat) elide into another (still not telling), I challenge you: what has your fantasy life done for you lately? Is it time for something fresh?

And are you following Lady Smut? We won’t leave you cold.

Dirty Books & Bethany James

5 Oct

by Madeline Iva (Kiersten is away this week)

“I don’t know, I just really love dirty books” –Bethany James said to me on the phone. Bethany is a debut indie author here today with her own lady smut-worthy dirty book reveal. Ta-da!

Here’s a blurb from her book: “Do you like to watch?” He whispers this question into my ear as he tugs my thong to the side. I don’t answer him but stay there, in the shadows, and watch the couple in the VIP room. I can’t look away. Watching them is turning me on more than anything ever has before. Do I like to watch?

Looks good don't it?

Looks good don’t it? Bethany James was born and raised in Florida.  She currently lives in Tampa.

We’ve met once in person and I just loved Bethany’s sense of humor. She’s a great storyteller too. Of course, once she says this about dirty books, I’m all ears.

And I think dirty books are FUN. You may be saying ‘What qualifies, in your mind, as a dirty book? We’re not talking porn here are we?’ No, no, not at all. I don’t want to speak for Bethany and everyone at Lady Smut is different, but I’m picky.  For me this is what I look for in an excellent dirty book:

  • strong romantic elements that aren’t too clichéd in terms of romance or gender (rolling my eyes)
  • scorching hot really dirty sex–preferably with some mild kink on the side
  • don’t mind a heaping of something forbidden, either
  • But it’s gotta be the right kind of forbidden naughtiness. Nothing skeezy.*
  • Not just vanilla erom sex**

See? I’m picky.

Since I tend to go back to a circle of authors again and again because I like what they do SO WELL, I’m always eager to get out of my rut. That said, the circle can always grow larger, and thanks to Bethany, here are two dirty reads I wanted to share them all with you mah friends, even if they’ve been around a while and you’re like, “Omg, I read that years ago!”

Click to buy

Click to buy

REASONABLE DOUBT, Vol. 1 to my mind the dirtiest of the two.

Ooooh, this was a great dirty book. First of all, you have a really unlikeable ass-hat of a hero.   No apologies from this guy either.  Yet you get the feeling he wasn’t born a sexist pig or an asshole.  No, he’s making a point of actin like a selfish prick who knows he delivers in bed, and you’re waiting for him to suffer for it.  It was lovely.  Warning though – it’s a serial, and the ending is fabulous but you’re left with your mouth open and all strung out wanting more. (You can buy the complete volumes HERE.)

In fact, Bethany was so enthusiastic about Volume 1, she even told me the ending but I was so absorbed while reading it, I totally forgot that she told me. The ending was such a shock–even though I already knew what was going to happen.

Is it dirty, you’re asking? Yeah. Illicit is this anti-hero’s middle name. Yum. I’m reminded of BEAUTIFUL BASTARD, (which I loved) only I think it’s going to be meaner and even dirtier. At least I’m hoping.


Click to buy

Click to buy

This is a ménage story that turns from m/f/m into m/m/f. Which is great if you like both flavors of menage, which–hey–I do! It’s very, very emotional, with a hot bad boy who joins a squeaky clean couple, though he’s secretly carried the torch for his best friend since college.

Was this book dirty? Yeah. Menage is always great for double penetration sex, (!) and m/m reliable goes for the back door when it comes to penetration too***. That said, it’s the cleanest dirty book you’ll ever read. Aside from the secret torch carrying that involves some REAL soul searching at one point, it’s suffused with emotion all over the place and the characters are nice, nice, nice. Everyone’s trying to right by each other, and yet they’re just sex fiends when they’re all together. (!)

A rather unexpected discourse about Ayn Rand pops up in the middle of the novel. (Has anybody ever taken the philosophy of Ayn Rand seriously? Scratching my head over that.) Anyway — Kelly Jamieson has a series of these books, you might want to check them out as well HERE.

Best of luck with your new book, Bethany! Hey everyone, Bethany just put up a page on fb–please go like her page so she’s not all lonely out there. :)

Meanwhile, Cara McKenna is sending me a cuckholding erom CROSSTOWN CRUSH this week.  Squee! Can’t wait to roll around in it.

I’ll see you all on Thursday when I’ll talk more about an amazing m/m erotic romance by Alexis Hall recommended by blogger Elisabeth Lane.

Until then, my lady campers – have fun.  And don’t forget to follow us at Lady Smut.

*For instance, I’d qualify my novella ‘Sexsomnia’ as dirty and although there’s a threat of major skeez, it never goes there.  The heroine explores what those enviable ‘dirty girls’ do when they have a one night stand, there’s back door action, as well as sex with cuffs at one point, and naughty boinking in a tattoo parlor.  See? Dirty.

** what’s classic vanilla erotic romance?  i.e.  a romance where the plot relies upon the sexual growth of the relationship, but the sex sticks to your basic blow jobs, oral, and vaginal penetrative sex. That’s not to say that h/H can’t have a heart of gold in a dirty book — it’s just that they’re being very naughty or pretty darn uninhibited/creative in exploring what they like to do to each other.

*** Would I call all m/m romances dirty then? Because they usually involve anal penetration, right? No.  I mean, if both guys are out or mostly out, and doing the usual male sex stuff together, I wouldn’t call that a dirty book.  Add in some BDSM though, and have one guy still married to a woman–that’s a dirty book.  And I’m rubbing my hands with glee.


Sexy Saturday Round Up

3 Oct

SSRUHello ducklings!  Hang up that umbrella, take off those wet galoshes, grab a hot drink and cozy up on the couch for all kinds of science-y articles about our feminine innards. Enjoy!

From Madeline:

We’ve been batting the whole ‘sex bot’ debate back and forth at Lady Smut. The Altantic monthly however, argues that the sex robots aren’t coming for our relationships.

Like BDSM romances? Scientists seek to understand why pain feels good. 


Go away Aunt Flo!: 23 reasons why having your period is worse than the apocalypse.

10 Times Cheating Was a Very Bad Idea.

Why do we even have periods? Why Why? Scientists examine evolutionary reasons behind our complicated crimson tide. 

But at least we get to double down on the big O as science investigates the mystery of the female orgasm.

By Elizabeth Shore

You’re broken up, you’ve called it quits. Kaput. So how come you can’t stop Facebook stalking him?

Women’s top 10 sexual fantasies – if you believe this list, that is.

Sex furniture for plus-sized gals.

Men insecure about their armpit hair cause it’s not “manly” enough are getting pit hair transplants. Really? Yeah, really.

Lawyers & Doctors Oh My! Chatting ‘Bout Sexy Intelligent Men with Kate Allure

2 Oct
Lawyer UP

I lurv this cover.

by Madeline Iva

Who is at home today, buckled down for Hurricane/tropical storm Joaquin? I am, I am! While you do your best to stay warm and dry, we’re having a little ole chat with Kate Allure about hot lawyers, sexy doctors, and her two story collections published by Sourcebooks.

MADELINE IVA: I’m trying to think why — when there are so many sleazy lawyer jokes out there — that in general, I wanna say lawyers are hot.  I’m wondering, is it because of the suit?

KATE ALLURE: OMG yes! Men in suits are so sexy. But there’s something more about the profession that makes it sexier than say a businessman in a suit, and I think it’s two-fold. Yes there are lots of sleazy lawyers out there, but there are also ones who are good-hearted, who work tirelessly to help people in need. The trope of the lone lawyer against a big corporation, for instance. A businessman or financier helping a heroine get rich…well, that just doesn’t give you the same feeling.

The second reason I, personally, find the profession sexy is that intelligence is hot. I’m always drawn to heroes that have as much upstairs as they do on their biceps, and lawyers, both real and in fiction, can be very smart.

MADELINE IVA: Totally!  Smart men have it hands down over the smexy mimbo in my opinion.

SuitsKATE ALLURE: Lastly, I would add that the television show, Suits, has done a lot to make the profession sexy. My hero, Jon Bateman in “Attorney-Client Privileges” (one of three short romances in Lawyer Up) is a California surfer-dude version of Mike Ross from that show. Yum!

MADELINE IVA: Do you agree that a hot guy in a suit is even hotter?

KATE ALLURE: Even guys with less than stellar bodies look put together in a finely tailored suit, like they’re ready to take on the world. But if the guy’s already gorgeous, then putting a suit on him is like the icing on a cake—delicious, sweet, and mouth-watering. There are so many ways to go here, a veritable smorgasbord of masculine yum! There’s the Chris Hemsworth type—Nordic, barely tame, long blond hair. On him, a suit is like taming a wild thing or a god (sorry, couldn’t resist). Or how about the naughty boy Joe Manganiello—dark, thick black hair, dangerous glint in his eye. On him, suits turn an earthy werewolf into every girl’s fantasy of the urbane bad boy.

MADELINE IVA: I wonder if I was traumatized by the debate team in high school–if that’s where my drooling over a guy who’s fast on his feet and wearing a tie began. What about you? Any formative guy-in-a-suit moments growing up?

KATE ALLURE: As a young man, my DH worked in high-end consulting where business suits were de rigueur. We just about had to take out a second mortgage to buy him several designer suits. And he always looked amazing in them…still does, and that’s the magic of a nice suit. They make guys look confident.

Last week, both Hugh Jackman and another male guest on The Late Show wore gorgeous suits, white button-down shirts open at the collar, and no ties. I thought, “Ah ha. That’s how suits are worn these days.” In LAWYER UP, the playboy judge of Orleans, Emmit Stockard, in “Of Writs and Writhing” would look fabulous like this. Sexy casual elegance.

Hugh suits up.

Hugh suits up.

MADELINE IVA: Lawyers also kind of take care of people — when the chips are down.  I’ve got a WIP about a lawyer and he takes care of the people around him, almost reflexively.  A legal doctor, if you will.

KATE ALLURE: Sounds interesting and I look forward to reading it…but are there the sexy bits? I love the sexy bits.

MADELINE IVA: Yaz! There’s a drunken Xmas office party that gets out of control and a very naughty birthday present.

Meanwhile, I love the concept of three lawyer stories  — how’d you come up with that?

KATE ALLURE: For my MEETING MEN series, it’s always been my intention to write about a lot of different professions. So my first book, PLAYING DOCTOR, featured…doctors, of course, and later books will include professors and men who work with there hands (EXTRA CREDIT and HANDS ON), and later policemen and firemen. The idea is to use each of these professions to create chance encounters with the opposite sex and then use the varied physical settings for unique sizzling eroticism.

MADELINE IVA: Meanwhile, not to change subjects but….I’d have to say that a top rival for the hotness of lawyers is a doctor.  How do you like your doctors? In the white coat? In scrubs? Do you find stethoscopes sexy?

Playing DocKATE ALLURE: In PLAYING DOCTOR Doctor Hunter Sterling does something very naughty with a stethoscope when “examining” his girlfriend.

MADELINE IVA: And once again this is a profession all about competence and caring.  I mean, in the real profession, we don’t want these people groping at us, but in the fantasy…the doctor handles you — and this is hot, hot, hot, yes?

KATE ALLURE: Yes, these characteristics are hot, hot, hot, but also there’s that secret ingredient for me…intelligence. You don’t get to be a doctor without that too.

MADELINE IVA: You know, I had a very interesting experience with an anesthesiologist once.  I was going in for surgery, and they’d given me the shot that made me feel very heavy.  My friend had told me that they have you count backwards from ten.  So when the anesthesiologist came in and said count back from ten, I did it very quickly and made it to zero.  He said “Oh, so you’re a smarty-pants are you? Count back from 100,” and adjusted something. I was out before I could even say one-hundred.  All I’m saying is that when I woke up if in some fantasy version of reality that guy had asked me out, I would have said yes.

Then there was the time I crushed out on the doctor who took my wisdom teeth out.  Totally about the experience of someone caring for me, holding my head in his hands, and his gorgeous warm voice and good bedside manner.  Any doctor experiences that left you…inspired?

KATE ALLURE: Read, “My Doctor, My Husband, and Me.” Most of it’s fiction, but the real part was the surgeon’s incredible ability to focus on you like you’re the only person in the world and like he’ll always be there to take care of you.  It made for the best bedside manner ever!

The other part drawn from reality was the part in the story where the friend whispers in the heroine’s ear to roll the wheelchair backwards over her foot. This friend wants some of that hot intensity directed her way. LOL. It doesn’t hurt that the surgeon is tall, dark, swarthy, and handsome! A regular Dr. McDreamy. If only they could all be like that…sigh.

MADELINE IVA: Before you go, let’s check out this FUN book trailer you had made for PLAYING DOCTOR.  (FYI: Some book trailers make me cringe, but I thought this one was pretty cute.)

MADELINE IVA: Those quotes are, um.  Half of me is thinking of my friends in the medical profession who would be like “That is so inappropriate.”  Half of me is giggling.

MADELINE IVA: Kate, if your books are as interesting and smart as you are, I’m sure our readers will be highly interested in checking them out. Thanks so much for stopping by!

KATE ALLURE: Thanks again so much!

Hey readers–don’t forget to follow our blog if you haven’t already.  We’ll raise your skirts up like a hurricane wind.  Meanwhile, here are social media links for Kate —







1 Oct

If you’re reading this message, it’s because it’s October 1st which is my deadline for revisions on my latest WIP, and I am still frantically finishing them up to turn in to mah fabulous, adorable editor. See ya tomorrow when I’ll be chatting with Kate Allure about smexy lawyers and doctors. :)


Watching Gossip Girl is not procrastinating. It’s research. Seriously.

Trying To Decide How I Feel About Free Erotica

30 Sep

Studio shot of sexy brunette girl covering her breast.By Elizabeth Shore

A fellow writer friend has a new release out this week, a kinky Viking erotic romance called Norseman’s RevengeAs any good author does, she’s promoting the heck out of it with Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc. She monitors the times of day for when she gets the most bang for her promotional buck and plans accordingly. She tells absolutely everyone she knows about the books. She watches her sales like a hawk. All this in an effort to eek out some sort of living from writing and being able to continue doing what she loves.

I’d be ecstatic if I could ditch my day job and write full time. Turns out, I like writing a million times better than corporate drudgery. Who knew! But corporate drudgery is what pays my bills and writing is what feeds my soul. So when I came across a link recently for the “very best free online erotica” I was trounced with a bevy of mixed emotions. Of course I know there’s plenty of free stuff out there. The internet assures us of that, and on one hand I’m happy about it. Writers need places to get recognized. Case in point, Lady Smut! On the other, who wants to pay for something when they don’t have to? People flock to the free, and we writers trying to make a living get left behind in the dust. However, instead of merely grumbling about it, I decided to gamely check out some of these free story sites and see what they have to offer.

What I found most interesting as I embarked on my journey was how widely the quality varied. Some stories were pure dreck. Character development, motivation, conflict … nada. The writer wouldn’t know proper punctuation if he tripped over it and spell check seems to have been on vacation. Those stories definitely support the “you get what you pay for” adage. But others, damn. There were others out there that were actually pretty good. The prose held up. The stories were interesting. The sex was hot. Shoot, peeps. Why are you giving this away??

A lot of the stories on the free sites had no bylines attached. Writers out there are giving away their work and not even crediting themselves. Strange. Probably the best site (among my very unscientific and narrow exploration) was Stories have to be accepted on that site so there’s no self-uploading. Now, to be fair, I don’t know who’s on the editorial acceptance panel or what their backgrounds are. But at least there’s someone out there reviewing what they get and weeding out some of the really bad stuff. In addition, the site has volunteer editors to help out writers and a truckload of links ranging from help with plotlines to short story techniques to dialogue. Honestly, the writers’ resources links there are vast and helpful. I like that a lot. Lastly, does give authors their bylines and links to contact them. All good.

At the end of the day, I’m still not sure what I think. If there was nothing for free out there would it help us increase our sales since if readers wanted stories they’d have to pay at least something? Or does the opportunity for exposure and gaining recognition you get from the free sites outweigh the downside of giving it away?

What do you think? To be free or not to be free? That is the question. We’d love to hear your thoughts.



Is This Supposed to be Hard? That’s What She Said.

29 Sep
Writing about sex might not be easy, but can't it be pleasurable?

Writing about sex might not be easy, but can’t it be pleasurable?

By Alexa Day

An article from The Atlantic, way back in March 2014, asked: “Why Is It So Hard for Women to Write About Sex?”

I just saw it this past weekend; a learned friend passed along the link.

So my first question was, “Is it hard?”

And then I started giggling. You know, if you’re here for my maturity level, I was bound to disappoint you sooner or later.

Seriously, though, I wondered whether it was so difficult as writer Claire Dederer was letting on. I concede that writing sex-laden fiction isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. I am plagued by the fear that all my characters are doing the same three or four things in exactly the same order. I’ve shared with you my struggles over word choice.

But is this really so difficult that all women have trouble with it?

Yeah, no. I don’t think so.

Let’s say at the beginning that Dederer and I are working from two different genres. She’s focused on literary fiction, including literary erotica, and that’s not my chosen field. But her point seems to be that in order to be authentic, written sex must be, to some extent, unpleasant.

Dederer’s highest praise is for a hand-job scene in Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying; Dederer enjoys the multitude of thoughts that run through Isadora Wing’s head as she’s jerking a boyfriend off on her mom’s couch. The sensual pleasure isn’t really the point for Dederer. What makes the scene real for her is the wild rush of activity coursing through Wing’s mind. Dederer confesses that her own patterns of sexual desire are marked by extensive mental discourse. While she acknowledges that women are free to desire sex for its own sake — no holds barred — she suggests that all of us are gripped by self-doubt, confusion and no small measure of guilt.

Do we want to climb that guy like a tree? Are we sure? Should we be that sure? What’s making us feel like that?

When she arrives at Anais Nin and her descriptions of visceral, elemental pleasure with her Peruvian lover, Dederer is dismissive. Nin writes of “white heat … raging fire, heaven and hell”; Dederer deadpans, “If you say so, dear.”

I don’t know if Nin says so. But you know what?

I say so.

I’m sorry if Dederer can’t imagine something like this as a genuine sexual experience. But I can. I don’t even have to try that hard.

I’m also sorry if Dederer is bringing all that self-flagellation to her sexual experiences and by extension, to her writings about sex. I can imagine that, too. I know all too well that plenty of women in our sexually schizoid society cannot quite get comfortable with the idea that it’s okay for us to desire sex — but that it’s not totally okay and there’s no way to determine when it’s okay and when it isn’t. Dederer is writing, in all fairness, about sexual memoir, and the real world will bear down on that genre more than it will on fiction.

Having said that, I cannot and will not assign that experience to all women who are writing about sex.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to write about sex in any number of contexts. I’ve got characters having curious sex, angry sex, show-off sex, grateful sex, you name it. And like a lot of erotic romance writers, I often have to remind folks that none of this is autobiographical.

But my reality, thankfully, is based on the idea that sex is and ought to be pleasurable. I might have trouble writing the sex well, but every poorly chosen, repetitive, overused word of it is designed to make the act sound enjoyable. By the time my characters are undressed and getting down to the same three or four things my characters always do, in order, they are very clear about the fact that they want each other. There’s no confusion about that.

Now, I’m glad the world of sexual memoir is out there. I do enjoy the prospect of reading stories from women on their sexual journeys, even as they’re trying to find their way to whatever their sexual truths might be. I’m certainly not saying that all written sex has to share the same spicy delight of Nin’s account.

But let’s not leap to the conclusion that all women are having trouble writing about sex with both pleasure and honesty. Speaking for myself, I just don’t think it’s all that difficult to do. Maybe I’m just enjoying the effort.

I can’t be alone there, can I?

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Housekeeping and More Bikers With A Review of Shooting Dirty. Yes, MOAR

28 Sep

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

First a little housekeeping: starting Monday, October 5th, I’ll be taking a month’s hiatus from Lady Smut due to a personal situation that’s going to require significant focus and attention, which means I won’t have either to aim at writing reviews and posts for all you lovely bitches who hang with us here at Lady Smut. The loss is mine, but I’ll be back post spooks and ghouls of Halloween.

Shooting Dirty

Click image to buy!

Meanwhile, some stellar ladies will have my back and fill in my Monday slot with guest posts sure to entertain so much that you’ll hardly miss me. Like, not at all. (OK, please miss me, because like most writers, my ego is fragile and fleeting and thus requires the constant injection of pointless adulation. That’s normal, right?)

Before I go, one more biker erotic romance review. Yes, MOAR.

Last week, Jill Sorenson favored Lady Smut with a fantastic guest post about sex-worker heroines. A fascinating discussion followed in the comments (there’s something you don’t hear too often). Her MC series, Dirty Eleven MC, has a new release, Shooting Dirty, and lemme tell you, it does not shoot blanks.

Look! A blurb!

She’s his only salvation

Ace Clemmons has wanted Janelle from the moment he first saw her. Taking her captive while he carried out his last hit as a member of Dirty Eleven nearly broke him. Now that he’s gone straight, he’s back in her life, looking to stake his claim. He can’t erase the past but he’ll do anything to make it up to her.

Janelle Parker needs a new start, far away from the trailer park and the strip club. A down and dirty affair with a tattooed criminal is a step in the wrong direction, but she can’t resist Ace’s deliciously commanding touch, which has haunted her dreams for months. Soon they’re both in too deep, falling hard and fast—until an old feud with a rival motorcycle club explodes into an all-out war. Dirty Eleven’s enemies won’t hesitate to hurt Janelle to get to Ace. She has to fight to survive…and for the fiercest love she’s ever known.

As Dirty Eleven‘s lethal enforcer, Ace has been a major player in some bad shit. Now he’s gone straight and been exiled from the club, but the past has left deep scars on his soul, wounds that are marginally balanced by the pure love he has for his toddler daughter, Skye. All he wants now is to live a conflict-free life so he can regain custody of Skye from her maternal grandfather, Wild Bill Shepherd, the shifty leader of the Dirty Eleven Motorcycle Club.

Ace’s final assignment as a member of Dirty Eleven involved Janelle Parker and her scumbag ex-husband, a bad scene that lead to Ace taking Janelle captive, sparking a sizzling connection between them that hasn’t eased in the months since. His obsession with Janelle stems from a need to make amends for that bad scene coupled with a compulsion to protect her from men like him. Plus, he’s totally hot for her, not only because she’s beautiful, but because her survivor’s spirit calls to something deep within him. Ace is a man who lives without hope, but Janelle makes him want to believe there could be something more. But despite no longer being in the club, Ace is stuck in service to Wild Bill and his machinations, manipulations that expose Ace and anyone connected to him to a bullet in the back at any time either from an old enemy or men he used to call his brothers.

Janelle is trying to hold herself–and her teenage son–together after far too much trauma. She strips because she loves to dance–and she’s good at it. Despite a life of too many hard knocks, Janelle strives forward to create something new and better for her and her son. She has plans to take classes and someday get off the pole. While not ashamed of her stripper status, she’s not immune to how her son is beginning to suffer socially because of her job. And then there’s Ace, the scary, silent biker who lurks in the shadows of her life and symbolizes some of the worst and yet most electrifying moments of her life. Despite how they met, she can’t stop thinking about him in both bad and sexy ways.

As the weeks past, he encroaches more on her day-to-day, fixing her broken car window, lurking outside the club to make sure she gets home safe, leaving cash by her door. Janelle doesn’t want his help but she does want him. As he keeps coming back, as unable to stay away from her as she is to kick him to the curb for good, Janelle realizes Ace can give her something new. He’s a man like no other has been in her life, ready to please and protect her, eager to feed and fulfill her darkest desires even as he warns he has nothing more than that to give.

Both Janelle and Ace are wounded and damaged characters who, almost in spite of themselves, are still hanging on. Janelle is fixed and focused on creating a different life for her son than the one she had and that goal keeps her pushing no matter what life flings on her. But her demons need to be dealt with and she correctly figures Ace is the man to do some sexy exorcising. Ace has lived in filth and done terrible things, but at his core is a good man beaten down by too many bad things, a man who comes to light whenever he’s with his daughter and soon whenever he’s with Janelle. He’s sure that man is long gone, or at least is not long for this world, but from the moment he meets Janelle, her love for her son, innate resourcefulness, and indefatigable survivor’s spirit hooks him hard. He wants to cherish her at the same time as he wants to bend her to his mercy. She wants to stand strong at the same time as she needs to submit to him. But neither of them can get all they really want and need from each other so long as Dirty Eleven’s dirty business rules and risk both of their lives.

I like Shooting Dirty and the Dirty Eleven universe a lot because Ace and Janelle don’t live in a gentle world or even an MC bound by a brotherhood and devotion that’s remnant of a band of brothers or the fealty of knights as other MC books have created. There’s deep conflict in this MC between members. The “heroes” of these stories have served time and done criminal deeds worthy of those sentences and the king of the club is more about maintaining and expanding his power than he is about the club itself. Which means one wrong move could get a member killed and jeopardize the people he cares about. Characters in this series struggle moment by moment to find any kind of happiness and their day-to-day issues are not magically solved by a billionaire boyfriend or an MC making good money legally or otherwise. This makes the relationships and, in Shooting Dirty, the love story, more intense and sexy and emotional because the stakes are seriously high and at the same time seriously relatable (outside of the crime and killing, etc., natch). Ace and Janelle start out taking solace and sex from each other because it gives them slivers of comfort and happy in the darkness of their individual struggles, but they build to something more as they find that ultimate happy in each other and then have to fight internally and externally to keep it.

Shooting Dirty is available now. For more of the Dirty Eleven MC, check out the first book in the series, Riding Dirty.

Have a great October! See you in a month!

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