RIP “Queen of Steam.” A Tribute to Bertrice Small

4 Mar

Bertrice SmallBy Elizabeth Shore

Last week Tuesday saw the passing of one of the pioneers in the romance industry, Bertrice Small. Before Fifty Shades of Gray and the explosion of electronic and indie publishig, Bertrice was one of the original “Avon Ladies” who helped shift the genre toward including sensual, detailed descriptions of love scenes between hero and heroine. Bertrice’s books were unapologetically full of graphic sex, eyebrow-raising at the time and earning her the moniker, “The Queen of Steam.” Her romance Skye O’Malley, published way back in 1981, is still in print, and I’d encourage anyone who’s never read it to do so. There are twists and turns in the plot that were groundbreaking at the time. The heroine takes multiple lovers! Some of them die! It’s a delicious, sensual, feast of a romance and represents much of what we write today: strong-willed heroines who take no shit. In many ways, Small’s heroine Skye O’Malley was a lot like the author herself: feisty and prickly and sometimes demanding. But Bertrice was also incredibly generous with her time and never failed to lend advice whenever asked. She was a mentor to me, as well as my friend.

Back in 2002 when I wrote under the name Liz Madison I got my first contract, a two-book deal from Kensington. I was, as only writers can understand, Skye O'Malley book coverabsolutely over-the-moon elated. After all the time I’d spent writing and submitting and getting rejected, this was Christmas and heaven rolled into one. But for me the news only got better: one of the books I’d get published was a stand-alone historical romance, but the other was a novella that Kensington editor Kate Duffy asked me to write for inclusion in an anthology entitled Delighted along with Bertrice Small. Whhhaaaat??!! Bertrice Small?? I’d been reading her stuff for years and gobbled it up with the gusto of a starving person eating pepperoni pizza with extra cheese. Now I was going to be included in an anthology with Bertrice being published by Kensington! It felt akin to a struggling actress finally getting her big break and being cast in a movie alongside Meryl Streep. Talk about euphoria. And pressure! I had to make sure my story was good enough to get the Queen of Steam’s nod of approval.

I decided to write her a letter. As in paper. Snail mail. Hey, I didn’t have her email address and wanted to reach out, so actual mail was the way to go. I recall being nervous – what if she didn’t respond? As it turned out, those nerves were for naught. I’d included my own email address and right away when Bertrice received my letter she contacted me. From that moment on until her death last week, she and I remained in touch.

After my first publishing deal, a series of unfortunate events led to a twelve-year drought before I’d get another contract. I almost quit but Bertrice urged me on, telling me I was a good writer and that publishing just took persistence. A f**k ton of it, yes, but persistence nonetheless. One of the single best things she ever did for me was recommend, more than once, that I join RWA. If she hadn’t done that, and if I hadn’t taken her advice, who knows where my career would have gone. But with her encouragement I found my local chapter, made amazing friends who are also now my critique partners, and finally got another book deal.

It feels now as if I’ve come full circle: just last week I received a contract for an erotic historical novella I’d written several years ago. I’d hoped, at the time I wrote it, that it would get published in another anthology along with Bertrice. That’s not going to happen, but it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that someone who didn’t need to spend time with a novice writer chose nevertheless to do so, and for that I’ll always be grateful.

RIP Bertrice.


Love in the Cards?

3 Mar File 02-03-2015 16 59 28

by C. Margery Kempe

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Okay, here’s a cool thing: I was showing my friend Mary my tarot app on the iP*d and she said, “Oh, I have to show you something.” She came back with this deck of cards and now I have to do some research! The box says ‘Fifth Avenue Playing Cards.’ They look maybe 1920s or 30s, I think. But that’s not all —
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Every card has a pair of fortunes on it. They look like stickers, once perforated, so I guess they came with the cards and you put them on yourself if you wanted to use them for telling fortunes as well as playing pinochle.

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Clearly they expected the audience to be mostly women. The Kings and Jacks represent men you might meet who might be good or bad for you, but the Queens represent rivals or friends.File 02-03-2015 17 00 43 File 02-03-2015 17 00 56

It’s fascinating, all the ways people hope to know the future and find whether love awaits them. I suppose sometimes we just want to have a little hope. This seems like a cool way to make something both useful and magical.

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Have you ever had your fortune told? Do you read tarot or scrye or anything? One of my first romance stories was about a tarot card reader, “Turning Cards” (it’s in Love on a Spoon). I’ve used tarot cards while writing novels to get past stuck places. I used to read cards for other people but I got a bit weirded out when I realized how many people were depending on me to provide answers. You have to be in charge of your own life.

Toronto or Bust

2 Mar

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

I’m in Toronto today, on the tail end of a long weekend mini-break to one of my favorite cities that isn’t New York, London, or Florence. Road trip! It’s deeply cold, as to be expected, but the city is still a jewel to visit. I needed to get out and get away, take a few days in a place where no one could make demands of any nature. No small bit of this need was a jones to break in my brand spanking, new car. I love to drive and dig me a road trip, so February or not, it’s Toronto or bust.

I unexpectedly (thanks Mapquest) took a different route than the last time I made this trip, which took me on some secondary roads for a few hours, weaving around and through sprawls of farmland in upstate New York that looked like a source file for Currier and Ives. It was dusk and the fields looked hushed and waiting and if it hadn’t been 15 degrees outside, I may have pulled over for some pictures. But I didn’t.

I feel a charged glee when I cross over into Canada, that thrill of something new and different, like when I get off a plane in a new city for the first time. It’s such a surreal thought, that I’m in a different country when I just drove to get there. New money. New roads. Words with an extra “u” like a verbal mic drop. The big things don’t change–a Starbucks on every block–but the more intimate differences still charm.

Driving has always represented freedom for me. The opportunity to control where and how you go somewhere; the chance to break out and go when you want to…or don’t. The endless options for new adventures.

Bring me that horizon.


Meet Moxie.


Do you like to road trip? If so, where would you/do you like to drive?

Follow Lady Smut. We’re quite the trip.


A Hellion Schools a Know-It-All: How Bertrice Small Broke the Mold

1 Mar
Mom's favorite Bertrice Small novel. What's yours?

Mom’s favorite Bertrice Small novel. What’s yours?

By Alexa Day

I was a very typical young person — the sort who already knows everything about everything in the most tiresome way imaginable — when my mother really got into reading Bertrice Small. Mom never made any secret of her reading habits. Her interest in the romance genre was open and notorious.

Of course, at the time, that embarrassed me. All those books were the same, I said. Those little blonde girls who didn’t know anything fell instantly in love with the first person who looked at them the right way, and then they got married at the end of the story. Whatever Mom was reading, it was basically the same old story, I said.

Mom is sharper than I am, and she’s very patient. She’d stopped wasting her time on arguments with me over her reading choices. Instead, she sent me a copy of Bertrice Small’s Hellion. It probably arrived in one of my law school care packages. By that time, I’d started reading romances because law school will have a woman desperate to read anything that isn’t about the law. But even as my own romance habit took hold, I was still pretty sure the books were all the same, and I was vocal and obnoxious about it.

Bertrice Small put a stop to that with Hellion.

Isabelle of Langston is no little blonde girl. She’s inherited her father’s land. She’s refused to swear fealty to the new king. She’s not going to marry some stranger at the king’s command.

Isabelle impressed me. It only took her about 20 pages. I forgave her for marrying Hugh because she did that a few pages later, at the beginning of the book. She was full of surprises.

My copy falls open to the threesome. Click for your own copy.

My copy falls open to the threesome. Click for your own copy.

Before the story is over, Isabelle sets off on a mission to rescue her husband. Her master plan exposes her to dark sexual magic, and she has to examine whether she enjoys the things she’ll have to do with one partner to regain her husband. She has to confront her attraction to these new sex acts and to the man who holds her captive. She isn’t mindlessly swept along by these depraved strangers. She isn’t begging or bargaining or pleading. She’s working the situation to achieve her goal. I loved it.

She also has a magically enhanced threesome with her husband and her captor. I loved that, too.

Definitely not the same old story. Multiple partners, strong-willed heroines, deep questions about sexual power and why we desire the things and people we think to be forbidden. I enjoy exploring these themes and characters and situations in my own work, and I absolutely love to read about them.

And I wouldn’t have known any of that without Bertrice Small.

Mom called after I texted her that Bertrice Small had died last week. “I really loved her books,” she said.

“I remember,” I said.

“Do you remember when you used to think all romances were the same?”

Mom has waited a pretty long time to mention this. I don’t want it to sound like she sticks me with this every day, but she was certainly entitled to.

“I was totally wrong about that,” I said.

“That you were,” she said, and then she started telling me about The Love Slave, which she preferred to the O’Malley series.

What was your favorite Bertrice Small book? Did you go for harems or highlanders? Hit me up in the comments.

And follow Lady Smut. Who knows where that will lead?

Sexy Saturday Round-Up

28 Feb

By Liz Everly and the Lady Smut Bloggers

Hello, Sexy! Are you snowbound? Soon to be? Curl-up with Lady Smut and check out some of these fascinating blog  posts from this week on the Internet.

From Liz:

The feared promiscuous woman.

Interesting graphs here about BDSM Internet searches since the release of you-know-what.

Cat Woman has come out as bisexual. In case you were wondering…

From Madeline:

Quiz: How good are you at reading someone’s eyes for emotion?

One more reason to dress down at the Oscars.

Really adorable couples who are really bad roll models for healthy relationships.

From C. Margery Kempe:

PornHub taps into a renewable energy source O.O

Read about the films that inspired the makers of the sexy new Duke of Burgundy

Bitch wonders if kinkophobia colors a lot of the criticism of Fifty Shades

Tie me up, I’ve been bad : Guest post by Isabelle Drake

27 Feb

By Isabelle Drake

No doubt about it, Fifty Shades has brought BDSM, at least an awareness of it, into mainstream culture. As an erotic romance author, I’ve been getting a lot of questions and been talking about all kinds of lifestyles and sexual practices with people who only a couple years ago had no these idea unusual practices aren’t so unusual after all. Bondage is one of those more-common-than-many-people-thought practices. What isn’t getting discussed, not all bondage is the same.

2015-02-15 17.50.24The bondage depicted most often in Western movies and books is different from another type, Kinbaku. Kinbaku is a distinct style from Japan. This type of bondage uses several pieces of thin rope to bind the bottom (submissive partner) into aesthetically pleasing positions. The binds are often simple to perform, even though they appear intricate.

Some of the patterns are intentionally uncomfortable, some of these uncomfortable patterns allow for movement between two uncomfortable positions. The discomfort is believed to increase tension and heighten the psychological impact. The sensual journey of the bottom, as the patterns are applied, is considered important. The final result, the beauty of the pattern, is also highly valued.

In recent years, the intricate beauty of Kinbaku has begun influencing Western BDSM culture, resulting in a fusion style. Fusion aims to weave some of the aesthetics of Japanese bondage while permitting more creativity, such as what can be accomplished with different rope lengths and colors. Also, there is less emphasis on the journey the bottom experiences while being bound.

If you’re curious, I suggest watching the Japanese film Passions of a Private Secretary (2008). The plot is pretty so-so, the production quality is a bit on the budget side, and some viewers will not want to watch due to forced sex. (Will it help if I let you know she eventually comes to enjoy it?) Anyway, the film will offer you the opportunity to see several Kinbaku patterns.

Another source is the site Kinbaku Luxuria. Gorgeous photography, lovely videos, and links to other resources. *Do not open this page at work.


My story Dare Me features a Kinbaku scene. Because I love to combine fetish themes, the story also includes light Western bondage and voyeurism.

dareme_800Here’s a bit about Dare Me:

A hotel bed, two pairs of handcuffs, coils of rope and a body builder with a naughty plan—can Kitty Maar handle it all?

Kitty Maar’s secret identity as Kelly M—the ultra-adventurous sexploitation blogger—is the result of Kitty’s overactive imagination.

Her outrageous tales of hooking up with the hottest guys in DC, attending parties at the most exclusive addresses, and joining in on spontaneous ménages at political fundraisers are the talk of Washington. So when she makes plans with Damian Markos, he’s expecting a true sexual wildcat.

Damian’s secret plan is to surprise Kitty with an evening so intense it will test even her sexual boundaries. It isn’t easy coming up with something the city’s most notorious man-hunter might not have already done, but he has connections that run deep in DC’s inner circles.

Damian is determined to show Kitty that he’s the only man she needs to satisfy her every need. Kitty is crazy about Damian, but will she be able to accept the sexual challenge he has planned for her?


Dare Me is the second story in my Invitation series, a collection of stories set in Washington, D.C.

Here’s a description of the Invitations series:

In Washington, D.C. USA, a city of glittering lights and all-night parties filled with beautiful socialites and powerful politicians, women can to go after what—and who—they want.

Waiting for invitations can get in the way, but smart, savvy women create their own opportunities for hot times and hook-ups.

Sometimes a woman who breaks the rules to go after what she wants can get in over her head, but if she’s with the right man, the more rules broken, the better it gets.


Links to buy Dare Me and the other Invitations stories:

Totally Bound:




10885100_1032974743383444_6273975166504090960_nSocial Media for Isabelle Drake:






Madeira Darling: Dominatrix Princess Turned Writing Bitch

26 Feb

by Madeline Iva

Hello fetish kittens! Today we have Madeira Darling with us, who is a professional dominatrix and fetish model. She did an amaze-balls expose for  XO, Jane about her life as a professional dominatrix.

Madeira Darling is a fetish model, a professional dominatrix and a would-be erotica author.

Madeira Darling is a fetish model, a professional dominatrix and a would-be erotica author.

In this article, Madeira alluded to some of her whack sexual interests–and an interest in writing erotica. When I heard that she was interested in our writing biz, my little moth feelers went up.  I was dying to know what a dominatrix fantasizes about when it comes to sex, and Madeira with her gender-fluid, cray-cray imagination does *not* disappoint.  The rewards of that chat are spilled out here for your enjoyment & edification.

Note:  Madeira is too cool for school, so for those of you who want to play along at home, I’ve added links to assist you with some of her cutting edge references.

Second note: Madeira sez: “Massive content warning: I discuss rape, domestic violence, other kinds of violence and also a lot of stuff I’m into strikes a lot of people as pretty gross.”

Brace yourselves, my darlings — here we go!

MADELINE IVA: In your XO, JANE article about what it’s like being a professional dominatrix, you mentioned how your younger self was drawn into this world via fantasies that fueled your interests.  How have your tastes in fantasies changed since then? Has your work experience shifted your tastes?

TAKE ME THERE-- Trans erotica. Click to buy.

TAKE ME THERE– Trans erotica. Click to buy.

MADEIRA DARLING: I mean honestly, fantasies of being enslaved, of being a dog, and acts like self bondage and gagging myself with packing tape were all common to me even as a small child.  It wasn’t sexual then, just an idea that had an appeal and resonance.  Men in women’s clothing have also always loomed large in my imagination.  When I was younger I definitely thought of myself as more switchable, though submissive to women generally.  Submissive men pretty much ruined any thought I had that I was a switch.

I’ve also gotten a lot pickier in terms of what I deem “attractive enough.” When I was younger I’d had a shitty adolescence and felt very isolated at school, so any attention felt like good attention.  After a few experiences that left me nauseated I figured that one out.

I think I also realized more of what I was into was about, and loosened up around some stuff that excited me secretly when I was younger that I felt kind of guilty about –which I’ll talk more about later.

MADELINE IVA: I noted in your interview how the professional world has rubbed some of the glitter away from these fantasies over time — but has writing erotica brought back that more pure-fantasy driven self?

MADEIRA DARLING: Well, for me by the time I started domming I’d realized I was a sub (OH THE IRONY!) and was with a gal who was dominant, so my work has always been pretty thoroughly disconnected from the realities of my sex life.  That said I’m currently working on an erotic horror story set in a gigantic mouldering Victorian estate (set dressing is very important to me for effective fantasy, I just cannot get into it if the decor is bad) and I love an elaborate storyline, and I really really love erotic horror, so I mean, my fantasy driven self has always been on the baroque side.

MADELINE IVA: Awesome! Do you ever get sexual pleasure out of dominating men — even though you’re very clear that you DON’T have sex with the clients (for legal reasons) and that you’re also a sub in your current relationship.

MADEIRA DARLING: Ew, no.  I find submissive men completely unsexy, the only sort of session that have ever excited me are findom cuckolding things which I do as a “you’ll never get to touch me, my man can bend me over and fuck me like a bitch in heat whenever he pleases, see how shitty you look in comparison to a real man” (hilarious given that my dude is a very pretty goth boy who wears dresses and makeup, though he is dominant, and can pretty much have me whenever he wants me, because he’s too damned pretty to say no to.

MADELINE IVA: Are submissive men EVER attractive to you? (like even once?)

MADEIRA DARLING: When I was younger, the idea that it was something that almost no men were into appealed to me… then I realized how skeevily much so many were into it… and so it became a huge turn off.  I had adult submissive men hitting on me when I was very young, 15 or 16 and so… yeah that kinda killed any possibility of that being a thing.

MADELINE IVA: When you were just getting into ‘the life’ what were your top forbidden fantasies? What are your top forbidden fantasies now? Have they changed? Do you only channel those fantasies into the erotica you write or do you explore them in your relationship?

MADEIRA DARLING: When I started working I was really into dollification (the porcelain doll side more than the barbie doll side), and I guess what you’d call mindfuck. I liked having my perceptions of reality messed with.  Also I’d fairly recently gotten out of a seriously abusive relationship with a dude who was somewhat sexually submissive (that may also have contributed to me finding submissive men sexually repulsive) who had raped me multiple times (man, that went somewhere dark fast) and so a lot of play rape helped me process it. I’m mostly done processing it now, and so play rape doesn’t have the appeal it once did.  In fact I fantasize about sex that’s sort of hyper consensual on my part now (so having my dom go “I don’t know if you want it bad enough unless you complete this list of degrading assignments”.

Valeria Lukyonova is the new face of the drastic plastic barbie doll look.

Valeria Lukyonova is the new face of the drastic plastic barbie doll look.

In terms of what I’m into now, a lot of it can be done as role play, but is impossible in a literal sense.  I’ve accepted I’m into bimbofication over the past few years (and indulged that kink hard, I’ve got the fake tits, collagened lips, and slutty outfits to prove that) which is a kink my spouse and I are really well matched on (he thinks drastic plastic barbie dolls are super sexy, I think being a drastic plastic barbie doll for a dude with pretty hair and great cheekbones is super sexy).

I’ve also realized I have a gigantic mommy kink, but only with dudes (and again the only dudes I like are glammy rock n’ roll types) … so in other words, I want David Bowie (70/71 Lauren Bacall look alike era preferably) to be my mommy and ideally be hyper-critical of my wardrobe and diet and basically be a terrible pageant mom (which isn’t what I had at all, my mom wanted Scout from To Kill A Mocking Bird.  She got me).  I do find Margaret White (Carrie’s mom) in the recent CARRIE remake super hot… have I mentioned that I’m fucked up?  I’m really fucked up.  This ties into the bimbofication general transformation thing for me, because the idea of becoming whatever a partner wants me to be is kind of like a symbolic rebirth.

Julianna Moore as Margaret White in the CARRIE reboot

Julianna Moore as Margaret White in the CARRIE reboot

I can also tie the idea of man as mother into Christian mythology and point out that the virgin Mary and Adam both (in a way) had virgin births (Eve is Adam’s rib, ergo, he on a symbolic level gave birth to her).  I don’t know what that means, but I do know that the idea of a pretty man dressed up as the virgin Mary turns me on in a way that it probably shouldn’t.

I’ve also gotten really into ero-guro guy on guy stuff (I write a lot of collaborative stuff with a friend mostly just for giggles/wank material, topics that come up frequently: Rib cages being cracked open, vampires with regenerative abilities, dicks that shoot acid and glasgow smiles).  So basically, I think working in the industry has really allowed me to truly embrace the really really gross parts of my own sexuality.

Darling being doll-like.

Darling being doll-like.

I mean when I was younger I felt bad for wanting dudes to come on my face and thought I was a bad feminist because the idea of getting breast implants turned me on, whereas at this point I’m pretty much “RELEASE THE ID” (as in the Freudian concept of id) and actually enjoy the fact that many people find my sexual interests… upsetting.

MADELINE IVA: What’s your latest work-in-progress about?

MADEIRA DARLING: An irresponsible rockstar, part Hunter S. Thompson, part David Bowie, part Paris Hilton is signed on by British Intelligence (MI-13.2 the bizarre tactics division) and given a license to kill (or well permission, they don’t have a little “license to kill” card for him).  Psychedelic adventures, group sex, and wacky hijinks involving illegal firearms and designer bags ensue.

MADELINE IVA: This is where I quiz you for some specific reading recs.  First of all, do you like erotic romance vs. erotica? What are you looking for in erotica?

MADEIRA DARLING: I’d like erotic romance if there were more erotic romance tailored to my specific (weird) needs, but I have too many weird kinks, and too many weird turnoffs (fun fact: I can’t masturbate to things involving men with short hair, it just absolutely ruins it for me.  I also can’t masturbate to anything excessively misogynistic… and it has to be fem sub, or lesbian but I’m really really picky about that, or guy on guy, but if it’s guy on guy there has to be switching or I find the entire thing meh) and so finding anything that suits me is nearly impossible so mostly at this point I write my own.

She's going to get the gay model she wants in bed, even if she has to use her hot japanese boyfriend to do it.  Click to buy.

She’s going to get the gay model she wants in bed, even if she has to use her hot japanese boyfriend to do it. Click to buy.

When I was younger, man did I love me some fanfiction (Harry/Draco was my jam) and I will say Dark Designs by Madelynne Ellis pushes a lot of my buttons.

Also while not technically erotica, Lost Souls and Drawing Blood by P.Z. Brite are definitely wank fodder for me.

I’ll admit to still reading fanfic for porn now and then (Metalocalypse, I like Skwisgaar, I like Skwisgaar a lot).  Honestly, I even have trouble finding erotica to suit my needs, though the Take Me There trans erotica collection had a few stories that pushed some buttons for me, and the writing is excellent, but yeah… mostly I write erotica because there’s very little erotica out there I like (which is not to say there isn’t good erotica, it’s just that it’s not erotica that scratches my itch).

In terms of what I want in an erotic romance novel I have a list of demands HERE, you can probably see why I have trouble finding what I want.

MADELINE IVA:  This is the best list ever!!!! Lately, having read a bit more about the BDSM world and I’ve wondered: do any men make money being a dom? If not, why not? Is this profession that’s like male modeling vs. female modeling?


Click to buy.

MADEIRA DARLING: Some men can make money domming gay men, but it’s a smaller market.  Trying to make a living domming women…well given the structure of society as it stands, that ain’t gonna work.  Society makes women feel like the point of sex is to validate their physical attractiveness, and so paying a sex worker would actually defeat the purpose of sex as it is laid out to most women.

MADELINE IVA: There’s that stereotype of the powerful/responsible men paying for a dominatrix in order to drop the weight of that responsibility for a bit.  Have you seen this played out in real life? Or are the men you see also rather submissive in their real life?

MADEIRA DARLING: I see both to be honest. A lot of them are real Mr. Bigwig business and political types, and then a fairly equal number are shy soft spoken dudes, and then a lot are somewhere in between.  I think in reality you can’t really tell what someone’s going to be into based on what they’re like outside of sex.

MADELINE IVA: I heard this joke:

A thief sneaks into a woman’s bedroom at night and goes over to the safe.  The woman wakes up, pulls the bedsheets up and asks: “OMG, are you going to rape me?” The thief says, “I don’t know, Lady, it’s your dream.”


Click to buy.

That said, it seems like some of your clients sound like they just don’t come prepared for a session with you with specific fantasies.  So do you ever use your own sexual fantasies?

MADEIRA DARLING: Well, that’s an interesting question, because in all of my fantasies I am submissive, and even swapping the roles around… it would feel too personal.  That said, I think because I am submissive, I understand submissive desires more.  I often adopt the kind of tone and posture I like having my dominant use on me.

MADELINE IVA: A friend asked this one — Is a fantasy sometimes better left unfulfilled?

MADEIRA DARLING: To that one dude who calls me to talk about cutting his dick off with scissors, yes, yes it is.

THANK YOU SO MUCH MADEIRA for coming onto our blog today and sharing so much with us!!! You are one brave creative genius, and I not only wish you fervent success with your writing, but I hope you think about coming back and maybe guest blogging with us at some point.

Readers, please leave us comments below.  Follow us here at Lady where the sexy & perverse is always close to our heart.

Yes, Guys, It’s True: We Talk About EVERYTHING

25 Feb
Fabulous brunette woman with curly hair

Listen up, girlfriend. I’ve got a story to tell you.

By Elizabeth Shore

Here’s a conversation I recently had with a male friend about a personal situation I’m dealing with.

Him: Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever said anything to Charlotte*
Me: Oh, I told her everything.
Him: (looking incredulous) Everything?!
Me: (incredulous that he’s so incredulous) Of course. I always tell her everything.

In the guy world, conversation between two men who’ve known one other their entire lives and consider each other best friends – not that they’d ever label it as such, but if pushed – may truly not go deeper than whether such and such coach should have his contract renewed. The idea of sharing anything even remotely resembling “feelings” is as scary to them as having to answer a spouse’s question about whether a skirt makes her look fat. Curiously enough, there could be physiological reasons behind why talking about feelings is so tough for guys. One of the best articles I’ve recently read on the topic points to the challenges men have in dealing physically with situations involving high emotion.

But feelings aside, men in general shy away from sharing information on their private lives, especially as it relates to their girlfriends/spouses. I’ve been told by men on more than one occasion that “wives are off topic” among guys. Oh sure, they can say stuff like, “My wife got a new job,” or “My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to the grand canyon.” But how about whether or not he thinks you’re good in bed? Or the part of your body he worships the most? Or a fight you two had? According to men I’ve asked, those topics among men are ABSOLUTELY VERBOTEN. But we women are the opposite. When we’ve got a good friend with whom we feel comfortable and know we can trust, there are few topics too private or too embarrassing or too dark that would compel us to intentionally keep them hidden from our bestie.

Unlike men, we women will talk with one another in detail about sexual encounters. Every move he made in the sack, how he looks naked, if he was able to bring about the big O – and if so, how he did it. Masturbation? Sure! How often you do it, when you do it, whether you use toys, which ones get you hot. Indeed sex is territory filled to the brim with delicious conversational opportunity. But one interesting/somewhat disturbing theory behind why we talk about sex with our female  friends chalks it up to women’s intense competitiveness with one another.

I have to say, I don’t buy it. Women giving one another details about their men in the sack is boiled down to little more than bragging rights? Oh, you think the way he sucked your nipples was good? How about my guy going down south for over an hour! Nah, I don’t think so. It’s said that men communicate for a clear purpose – to solve a problem. Women communicate to explore our feelings and organize thoughts. We’re not looking for a solution; talking in and of itself is often all we need. That all makes sense, and I can completely accept the “exploring our feelings” rationale about why we talk so much about sex to one another, but I’ve never felt the need to boast about intimate encounters as if I’m coming away victorious in a sporting event. I’ll willingly fess up, however, that I’m fascinated when any of my friends recounts her sexcapades. Hey, it’s a story. Perhaps it simply appeals to the writer in me. Then again, maybe I just think I can learn something.

So how about it, ladies? When it comes to sex, do you share and share alike with one another? And if so, is it because you feel the need to gloat? Share your thoughts below – we love comments! – and be sure to follow us at Lady Smut. You know there’s no sex topic we don’t share.

*Charlotte’s name changed to protect her identity so she can keep telling me stuff


Celebrating Sexy Short Women! You Don’t Like it? F–k you.

24 Feb

By Liz Everly

Seems that size has gotten to be a bit of an issue in the media again these days. For years, big women were shamed; now skinny women are shamed.   The media skews everything. I mean, we know that, right? Let’s resolve right here and now not to give a flying fig about what the media says we should look like. Tall, thin, short, or plump.

Real women come in all shapes and sizes and that’s all a part of our charm. Not to suggest there are not real issues out there surrounding the health of women who are obese or very thin, or women who are discriminated against for being on either end of the scale. I’d like to add a little to the mix by telling you that I’m a petite woman, standing at a very proud 4′ 11″, and when it comes to putting up with shit from people because of size, I’ve had my share of it.

Sometimes it’s very subtle. Often it’s from other women who try to mother me because I am small.  Or from those who make personal remarks about my size, sort of “good-natured” jabs. You know what? It’s not cool. I try to maintain a sense of humor about myself—it’s not that. Really. But what it is, is this: Nobody really has any right to remark about my size. Or your size. Or anybody’s size. It’s just plain rude, boring, and lazy. If you can’t say something interesting about me or yourself, then just be quiet.

Other times it’s not very subtle. I once had a boy in high school tell me I’d be hot if I was taller. Can you imagine? (As if high school wasn’t bad enough, right?) I once had a newspaper editor tell me he’d never hire me because I looked too young because of being short. Ah well. I’ve gotten over that years ago and now that I’m over 50 I know it was his loss—and stupidity to not have hired me. Really, I’ve let that all go years ago. But, knowing what an interesting bunch of readers we have on Lady Smut, I thought I’d add this size issue into the body-image mix to consider.

And I COULD go on a bit about this issue because it runs deep in me and I’ve had to work very hard at accepting and loving my body—adding to the body image problems were my years in competitive gymnastics and pre-professional ballet. (A whole other blog post, I assure you.) But I won’t go on too much more except to say that  both of my daughters are short—my oldest one in particular and at the age of 16, she has already endured some tasteless remarks and comments. One of them was at an audition. (Seriously.) Another person told her she’d be more “sexy” if she wasn’t short. (Okay–I don’t want to think of my daughter as sexy, at all, but the remark pissed me off.)  But our daughters are exactly why we need to keep the conversation going about body image and who gets to tell us how to feel about ourselves. Not the media. Not some small-town choreographer who has never even been out of the state of Virginia. Actually it’s NOBODY. Remember: It’s rude, boring, and lazy. Let’s start telling people that. (My daughter has my permission to say “f–k you” to the next person who tries to make her feel small about her size. You do, too, okay? )

I’ve decided to celebrate not just myself but the other short women out there that are already celebrated for their beauty, talent, and sexiness—some that you may not have known were small. Like my daughters. Like my mother. Like all of my grandmothers. Like me.



Shakira. 4′ 11″











janet jackson

Janet Jackson 5′ 4″




Salma Hayek 5′ 1″









Bernadette Peters 5′ 3″








Kristen Chenoworth 4′ 11″



Mindy Kaling 5' 3"

Mindy Kaling 5′ 3″

Bah Humbug Hollywood

23 Feb

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Hello, my name is Kiersten and I am an awards-show junkie. Specifically, TV and movie-related awards shows, which means the Emmys, the Golden Globes (my favorite because everyone’s drunk and anything can–and does–happen), and the mothership of awards shows: The Oscars. I’ve been know to scan the SAG awards, run the Tonys in the background while I work online, drop in on the BAFTAs, and record the American Country Music Awards, the CMAs, and the Grammys because I don’t get out to live concerts as much as I’d like to and day-am but there are some great music performances happening at those awards shows.

82nd Annual Academy Awards - "Meet The Oscars" New York

Years ago, I’d spend the first hour or so of the Monday morning after back-seat quarterbacking the Oscars with my boss–the fashions, the winners, the losers, the oh-my-giddy-aunt moments–before starting our work day. I’ve written detailed play by play, after-action blogs and, with the advent of social media, a moment-by-moment tweet stream of real-time reactions. As I write this on Sunday afternoon, I can’t guarantee I won’t do the same tonight for the Oscars telecast because the draw is still so strong even though lately, well, lately we’ve been taking a break.

I find myself less engaged in the flotsam and jetsam of awards seasons. I haven’t been able to figure out when and why my love has faltered. I mean, I’m the woman who’s had her Oscar acceptance speech written since she was 14. One year, back when the Oscars were still in March and pre-social media craze when the Internet was still mostly dial-up, I was in Italy during the Oscars and the first thing I did when I woke up the morning after was seek out a winners list.  So what the what now?

It’s stopped being fun.

Sunday night, ABC ran Oscar red-carpet coverage starting at 4 o’clock in the afternoon ET. Why?! That’s 1 PM on the West Coast. Nobody’s on the red carpet at 1 PM! Except possibly publicists. Or rather, the publicists’ assistants.

The insipid patter of pundits “covering” the red carpet gets more and more ludicrous each year. The “mani-cam” is quite possibly the awards show version of jumping the shark. For those of you wondering, the “mani-cam” is a small camera in a box into which celebrities put their hands to show off their manicures as though Ryan Seacrest is a Bene Gesserit and the “mani-cam” his pain box. And then there’s the cost, the sheer gluttony of “gifts” given to people who not only can afford it themselves but very much do not need more. The gift bags at the 2015 Oscars are reportedly worth $160,000. A country in recovery. An on-going healthcare crisis. A weather crisis that has Boston and surrounding areas facing disaster-like conditions in its economics and infrastructure. The rising cost of food. And the gift bags at the Academy Awards are worth $160,000. That’s downright obscene.

It’s like live-tweeting. I love live tweeting shows and movies. In fact, a good chunk of my first real flush of Twitter followers came about via live-tweeting. Then actors who were Twitter fiends started live-tweeting their shows. It was organic and special and helluva lot of fun, like a reward for those fans canny enough to be aware it was happening. It also started driving live-viewing numbers for those shows as fans had to be watching the show to get in on the live-tweet fun rather than wait to watch it on DVRs. Other shows took notice and now, it’s become an arranged marketing strategy where various show’s casts are wrangled together to live tweet. With the right group, it can still be fun. Nashville and Banshee, for example, are two shows whose casts consistently live tweet together and it still feels organic. Last season, the social media manager for Nashville would occasionally arrange a for the cast to ride together on a luxury bus through Nashville while live-tweeting the new Nashville episode. Then they’d drop in at bars and other locales sometimes featured in the show. Perfect meta is perfect. Other than the few exceptions, it’s somehow become less special as it’s become more…deliberate. More contrived.

Which brings me back to awards shows. Let’s be honest, it’s always been contrived, but it used to be fun too. Billy Crystal who never took himself too seriously and made sure no one else did either. Jack Palance doing push ups. Sean Penn’s boycotts. Cher’s whackadoo outfits. But now it’s lost its mystique. Everyone is so, well, corporate. The same names, the same faces. Even Meryl Streep is getting sick of Meryl Streep being nominated. When Hugh Jackman hosted (I’m a big, long-term fan of that man), I watched for his opening song and dance routine and boy howdy did he deliver. But his last time out, the mid-telecast big show number with Beyoncé was just more evidence of the problem (her husband was the executive producer of the telecast and it showed as she was everywhere all night.) (Not that Beyoncé needs her husband to get her a gig on the Oscars, which is kinda the rest of my point.) (But that’s another post.)

Overall, there’s less to believe in. Bon mots of the moment are often turned around to a gaffe by the end of the next news cycle. There’s more importance place on what trended than what was actually said.

I also don’t have a dog in this fight. I’m largely unmoved by many of the nominees this year, mostly because I hardly ever get out to the movies anymore where once I was hitting two or three a month. The high cost of tickets coupled with the aggravating crowds and other issues have made the movie-going experience much less entertaining overall. And with the quality of TV getting better and better every season so that many of the stars you once could only see in movies now do double-duty on television, there’s less need to (heh) buy in to the movie theater angst to see good performances.

I still love movies and TV. Still love live-tweeting, Still love visual storytelling. When it comes to awards shows, I remain awed by the jewels and the dresses and the precise wax jobs and the sheer nerve it takes to wear some of the more extreme ensembles. And yes, I’m still hooked, still watching to see what Neil Patrick Harris brings for his opening salvo, still wanting to know what happens, but I’m far less engaged with every passing year. Where once I watched with the inspired glee of the acolyte, now I view with the measured disappointment of the disillusioned. Bah Humbug Hollywood.

Do you jones on award show season every year? Or has the bloom long departed this waxed and buffed rose?

Follow Lady Smut. We’ve got your shiny gold statue right here.


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