An Incurable Case Of Hope Addiction

23 Apr

Woman in silouette jumping on beachBy Elizabeth Shore

After a brutal winter that sometimes felt as if hell really had frozen over and we’d all been flung into it head-first, we are finally finally getting a taste of spring. I was outside the other day and I heard the annual chirping of migratory birds, noticed that trees had buds and in some cases even tiny leaves, and saw the warm yellow of daffodils pushing up from the ground. It was one of those moments we dream about during the dark days of winter, when we long for the warmth of spring and the synonymous feeling of hope that accompanies it. We feel reborn, as if given yet another chance to go out and conquer the world. And we hope we can do it.

As writers we have a perpetual sense of hope. We hope we get published, we hope we get good reviews, we hope readers and editors and agents like our stories. We hope we won’t lack for inspiration in writing new material. Yet at one point in my career I was teetering on the verge of giving up. Of hopelessness. I had had relatively easy success – luck? – in initially getting published. The first book I wrote went nowhere, but the second one was picked up by a pretty major publisher and I was given a two-book deal. I even got an advance! I thought I was set and embarking upon a fabulous new writing career. Day job, schmay job. I wouldn’t need to worry about that for long, ’cause I was a published writer! But then reality hit. My agent informed me that she was retiring and wouldn’t be representing any more of my work. My editor rejected the follow-up novel I sent her. So did everyone else. A few years passed and I was finally able to get another agent, but he couldn’t sell any of my work and suddenly stopped taking my calls. I wrote and got rejected; wrote more and got rejected more. Every time I submitted something the response would be a swift kick in the shins. I should amend that. Almost every time I submitted something I got a kick, but sometimes, every so often, I also got something else. Something that kept me going for twelve more years until I finally got another book deal. That something was hope.

I’d get little glimmers of it, like bits of gold dust spotted in river mud. An agent who declined to represent me said the story I’d sent “wasn’t quite right” for them (the usual pat response), but then she added a personal note along the lines of how much she enjoyed my prose and the historical detail I’d included. She encouraged me to keep going and to submit to her when I had something else. In my mind her reject was a no – for now. That and others like it were enough to keep me going.

Despite those very occasional encouragements, there were many moments when I thought I’d throw in the towel. Pack it up. Move on. I was dying a slow death from a thousand tiny cuts and they were getting to be more than I could take. But yet, I had hope, and my hope even triumphed when the evilness of doubt crept in and I questioned the validity of my dreams.

The beauty of hope is that it’s unassailably tenacious, curiously akin to – of all things – a cockroach. You can smash it and crush it again and again, thinking at long last that it’s finally been killed off and yet, it hasn’t. When all else is gone, hope continues on. As Andy DuFresne said in Stephen King’s wonderful Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, “Remember that hope is a good thing, Red, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

We all need a boost of it now and again, so get outside, enjoy the spring, and get yourself addicted to hope. And while you’re at it, be sure to follow us at Lady Smut, where we hope to always boost your spirits.Hot Bayou Nights

 

 

 

Brenna Bang’s Immortal Longings

22 Apr

By Liz Everly

Ddracula-dracula-nbc-35379370-4800-2700If you’ve been following Lady Smut, you might remember my love-hate relationship with vampires. (You can read my past posts here and here.) In my heart, I adore them. But I think they’ve been overdone the past few years and so I’ve tried to stay away from writing a vampire story. But I gave in and wrote one for Lady Smut’s upcoming anthology: Lady Smut’s Book of Dark Desires, to be published by Harper Impulse.

It was a story that beckoned—you know the kind that gnaws at you until you let it come to life. It’s a slightly tongue and cheek take on the vampire-romance genre—the female lead is a famous author who has penned a highly success vampire series. In “Brenna Bang’s Immortal Longings” we get a glimpse into the writer’s life, as she types up her next erotic romance at the computer keyboard. I know the thoughts that may go through an ER romance writer’s head as she’s writing—this was not too far of a stretch.

As far as the vampire part of the story, well, I’ve given vampires a great deal of thought—maybe more than the average person. It’s hard to say. But I don’t think the vampire of today would have the luxury of being a recluse in a mansion somewhere. We live in a high-tech information culture. I think today’s vamps would be highly tech savvy and know how to use technology with their special powers. And so that is what my Xander does. Instead of shape shifting into a bat, for example, or disappearing into thin air, he uses cable modems and wireless technology to travel. Yes. Right through the computer screen—or the iPhone.

In fact he comes into Brenna’s hotel room through her phone. After a bit of trying to convince Brenna was he is, she still doesn’tbelieve it. But this is where the conversation leads:

 

His grin widened. “You have everything wrong about us vampires, Brenna.”

Suddenly, he was behind me on the bed, breathing on my neck. I twisted around to see his face.

“Everything but one thing,” he said and kissed my neck. The tingle traveled from my nape to the center of me. Suddenly I was wet and longing for him. I shivered. “The one thing you have right is that we know how to fuck.”

I almost laughed. “Everybody knows how to fuck…”

“Do they?” He said between nibbles and kisses at my collarbone. “But we vamps have a special skill…we are able to see into your deep dark lusty places and meet them, mold ourselves to meet your desires.”

His hands went around my waist and he pulled me underneath him. It happened so fast that I was undone. But I knew what I wanted. A surge of desire swelled in me.

“Give in to it, “ he whispered. “Your passion is a gift.”

 

Imagine a lover who could mold themselves to meet your darkest desires—maybe even ones that you hadn’t acknowledged to yourself. Xander is rally reaching out Brenna because he thinks she might be able to help a lost soul who thinks he’s a vampire—and this is bad for real vampires. He’s making them look bad and creating too much attention. In the mean time, of course, the sexual tension between Brenna and Xander sizzles. What happens? You’ll have to read the story to find out. The book, which is full of dark and sexy stories by other Lady Smut bloggers, is scheduled for release in August. We’ll definitely let you know more as the details unfold. So, if you’re not yet subscribed and don’t want to miss out on any of our news, please subscribe today.

 

The Privilege of a Woman’s Pleasure

21 Apr

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Our Sexy Saturday Round Up included a link to an article I’ve been retweeting the heck out of over the last few days: Dear Columnists: Romance Fiction Is Not Your Bitch. In it, Australian book professional Kat Mayo wonders why romantic fiction is the “laughing stock” of feminist commentators.

Why is romance fiction the punching bag of the literary world? Why are romance readers the laughing-stock of feminist commentators? Why can’t people just let women read sexy things without telling us we’re doing something wrong?

She goes on to highlight the general smarts and savvy of the average romance novel reader and the feminist-related conversations that spring up among and around the discussion of romance novels. “Feminist discussions not only occur within romance communities, but they thrive and spawn pages and pages of commentary as romance readers attempt to unpack a diverse range of ideas and problems, both within romance fiction and outside of it.”

One of the main reasons the romance genre is so often derided is due to its primary focus on women. Rather than being the girlfriend or the wife or the victim of the protagonist, it is the woman around whom the story is constructed. “Romance fiction puts the female experience at the center of the story,” Mayo writes. It can even be called an essential aspect of all genre fiction. Nearly all genres—fantasy, science-fiction, mystery, etc—include love stories between their pages. Even Peter Jackson recognized that his Tolkien opus had to include a romantic angle in order to appeal to more than just tried and true fans. This is why Aragon and Arwen’s love story was included in the original LOTR movie trilogy even though it exists only in Tolkien’s appendices, not the original text. Fan boys howled about the divergence from the sacred original, whinging that it was only to make girls buy tickets, but the fact of the matter is that love is the center of every story be it love for a country, a friend, an ideal, or a man or woman. LOTR includes each of these options and that’s before the overt romance is added in.

The problem isn’t just that women and love relationships are the center focus in romantic fiction. Mayo ascertains that when romantic fiction is constructed around the woman, it privileges female pleasure, sexual or otherwise.

Romance books privilege female pleasure, and they often do so in ways that are more nuanced and complex than flippant references to “mummy porn” would imply. No matter the kink, contract or calamity, romance heroes serve to make their heroines happy.

Yeah they do! This is where much of the disparagement is rooted. The woman’s happiness is not only as important as the hero’s to the story but often even more important. And not only that of the woman between the pages, but those women reading the pages too. Romance fiction guarantees a happy ending, be it HEA or HFN, which basically also guarantees the reader will feel warm fuzzies and find true pleasure in the ending. Mayo references a post written by romance scholar Jodi McAlister called Why The Romance Genre Is Interesting, Relevant, and Important—Even If You Think It’s Bad where McAlister expands on this idea of the privilege of pleasure. 

I’m not just talking about the sexual pleasure of the heroine here, though romance is exceptional for the way that it privileges female pleasure and that is something we should absolutely be talking about way more than we do. No, I’m talking about the pleasure of the reader here. I doubt that there is another genre so concerned with the emotional journey not just of the characters, but of the reader. Put simply, romance wants to be pleasurable—and the way it does this is incredibly intriguing and more complex than it might seem on the surface.

I love this idea of the privilege of a woman’s pleasure and it’s something romance fiction exclusively prioritizes and expresses be it sexual pleasure, the pleasure of emotional fulfillment, or a reader being satisfied by the emotional journey she’s taken while reading a well-written book with a happy ending. Indeed, such pleasure should not have to be anyone’s privilege but rather every woman’s de rigueur.

 

Follow Lady Smut. We’re privileged to always bring you pleasure.

In the Mirror or Behind the Curtain — Where’s Your Authentic Sexual Self?

20 Apr

By Alexa Day

When was the last time you changed your mind?

One of my law professors asked that question in class long ago, when the world was newish. None of us was able to answer him. In fairness, when you’re in law school, a question like that is likely to be a complex logic trap designed to make students look hopelessly stupid in front of their peers. But I think he could tell from our faces that we just didn’t have an answer for him.

That was kind of a problem, he said. If we weren’t open to changing our minds, our minds were stagnating. We weren’t really relating to the world around us. We weren’t adapting. We were like the dinosaurs, he said.

Not a good thing for lawyers, he said.

It’s not great for writers, either.

I was reminded of my professor’s insightful question this week at a seminar on women’s sexual lives and experiences. One of the speakers challenged us to think about our authentic sexual selves. Our various preferences were important in that regard, of course. But she charged us to think about what role sex — not our sex partners, sex itself — played in our lives. How did our own concepts of masculinity and femininity, in ourselves and in others, come together in our sex lives?

What role did our sexual selves play in our creative lives? How have those roles changed over time? How might they change in the future?

Have you ever looked at yourself? I mean, *really* looked at yourself?

Have you ever looked at yourself? I mean, *really* looked at yourself?

Deep, fascinating questions. I couldn’t answer any of them, but I look forward to trying. Not right here. I know I overshare, but I do occasionally keep stuff to myself, sometimes for hours at a time.

I have found at this early point in my writing career that the actual work — meeting deadlines and promoting my book and writing the next book and so on — is taking a lot of time away from my authentic sexual self. I imagine that’s true for a lot of people. God knows women have plenty of nonsexual things going on in their lives, as well as plenty of societal things preventing us from fully exploring our sexual selves. It worries me in particular because I think my writing would be better, that it would be fuller and richer, if I were more in touch with myself (ha ha, heyo!). I hope the process of self-discovery will also add depth to my work. I imagine that’s true for the non-writers among us, too — the merger of sexual energy with creative energy would lend depth to whatever we do in our daylight lives.

But now I’m really curious about how this will work out in my writing. What will happen when the Muse and my authentic sexual self start holding hands? (Yes, I’m in denial. They probably want to do more than hold hands, but that can wait until he puts a ring on her finger and I can take some time off.) Will my Muse need to drink less? Will I write faster?

And how are your authentic sexual selves moving through the everyday world? Nosy writers want to know.

Here’s what I already know. Your authentic sexual self is probably already following Lady Smut. You do want to be in sync with it, right?

Sexy Saturday Round-Up

19 Apr

Lady Smut Sexy Saturday blueHey Sex Bunny! We’ve got your hip-hop hippetty-hoppity weekend of fun links right here.  Check it out –

From C. Margery Kempe:

Dear columnists romance fiction is not your b*tch (or we have plenty of romance-writing feminists RIGHT HERE, you morons)

Party Monster Club Kid Paroled

National Library Week (US): 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Librarian

From Madeline Iva:

It’s news that a female celebrity doesn’t want to have children????

What’s so bad about looking fat?

Like your guy all warm and fuzzy? The beard trend is apparently guided by evolution.

Gross! Beauty queen has plastic sewn on her tongue to lose weight.

Here’s a great place to find new romance books & authors to check out: The 2014 Rita Finalists.

From Elizabeth Shore:

Weird things men do that women just don’t get.

The ultimate splurge: a $500, 24-karat gold manicure.

Who says Easter’s just for kids? Get in on the fun by giving your special someone an adults’ only naughty Easter basket.

All alone this weekend? Don’t worry, with this guide to female masturbation, you’ll be feeling just fine.

 

Happy Easter, everyone!

 

 

How To Guide: World Domination

18 Apr
Buy CMK's book!

Buy CMK’s book!

by C. Margery Kempe

Some people use the holiday to give gifts, bond with families and eat too much. These people will never control the globe.

Lots of people have a good string of days off this time of year when they are free of the mundane tasks required to make a living scraping by in a moderately successful job. Most will spend their time imbibing festive drinks and visiting other locales. The more ambitious, however, will put this freedom to better use by formulating a plan to dominate the world.

While reading Manisha Thakor’s piece on how women seldom ask for raises, instead hoping their hard work will be noticed and rewarded (it won’t), I was struck again by the failure of so many women to risk not being seen as nice. ‘Nice’ will not conquer worlds: look at Dick Cheney. I’m sure Alexander the Great did not remember his co-worker’s birthdays. And if Stalin ever brought cookies to the office, they were probably poisoned. If you want to rule the world, keep a few of these things in mind:

Have talent

It’s not essential, of course. Look at any number of talent-free celebrities. But it makes it a lot easier. For all the outrageous fashion choices and outlandish theatrics, the heart of the Lady Gaga empire is damn catchy music and a fabulous voice. Actual talent makes it easier to navigate through the inevitable bubbles of backlash that strike anyone who achieves an inordinate amount of success.

Have a brand

When you hear the words Stephen King or Oprah Winfrey you have a picture in your head, not to mention the sound of screaming, for somewhat different reasons (usually). Your mission must be clear: world domination on its own can be perceived as nakedly aggressive. Try to come up with some thing more friendly and beneficial. Ideally, your brand statement should fit within a tweet and look good in an appropriate font. Theme songs help, too. Defining your brand identity can help you clarify what your goals are and when you drift from them. Focus is key to success.

Have a plan

Most attempts at world domination fall down on the details. Conquerors tend to be people with vision rather than clerical skills. This can lead to problems if you try to expand your empire too quickly. Unless you’re the Russian mafia or Thomas Kinkade, you’ll probably benefit from staying on the right side of the law. Given that women and children make up the vast majority of those living in poverty, this cannot be emphasized enough. It’s no good dominating the world if you end up broke, jailed and despised (e.g. Thomas Kinkade).

Oh, sure—world domination may not be on your agenda, but a more focused and conscious approach to your career, whatever it may be, will give you benefits beyond the immediate future. Things are tough out there and we all need to be smarter about our paths and clear about our goals. The good news is romance writers tend to be better at this than other kinds of folk.

It’s better than stuffing your face with all those chocolate bunnies anyway. Happy Easter! And hop down the bunny trail with the Lady Smut crew if you want to keep up with what’s sexy.

 

 

[Original version of this diatribe appeared at Bitch Buzz; forthcoming in The Triumph of the Carpet Beetle]

A Lot of Sex Going on in the Regency: Q&A with Ella Quinn

17 Apr

by Madeline Iva

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Ella Quinn’s lates book in her series.

Kensington author Ella Quinn is a pistol.  I met her three or four years ago and was instantly impressed by her force of will. Where many only envision future success, Ella built a plan and then executed that plan with a swiftness that left me breathless.  I think she must have been a marine in another life.  ;>  

MADELINE IVA: I know we both share a big soft spot for Georgette Heyer. How does her work inspire you?

ELLA QUINN: We do! I love her wit and her strong characters. I will never be a witty as she is, but I knew I wanted to write humorous books, and have interesting characters. Not dark, but fun. I also wanted to add a more sensual aspect to traditional Regency. Which has thrown some people.

MADELINE IVA: Yes, let’s talk about sex. I noticed in one of your books that both hero and heroine are widows. Back in the day most historicals featured untouched virgins, etc. Do you see that trend shifting these days as regencies get a little hotter?

ELLA QUINN: I think you have a lot of hot Regencies, but most of them are not traditional Regencies. There seems to be a split, and a great deal of argument about how much historical accuracy one should have in the genre. I don’t buy into that argument at all. I fail to see why one can’t tell a good story and be accurate at the same time.

MADELINE IVA: Hear, hear! Good for you–I think a book like that sounds fantastic.

Unknown-2ELLA QUINN: Let’s face it, there was a lot of sex going on during the Regency. Well over 50% of births among the upper classes took place in less than nine months of marriage.

MADELINE IVA: I had heard that statistic for Victorian times–I didn’t know it also applied to the regency. Yowza.

ELLA QUINN: If the question is do I think you’ll see hotter traditional Regencies, I don’t know. Last summer at RWA Nationals, Grace Burrowes told me I was the only one writing hot traditional Regencies.

MADELINE IVA: Well then! Do you think it’s easier to write a love scene where the people are a little more experienced?

ELLA QUINN: After writing a few where I have an experienced couple, I’d have to say not easier, but more fun. There isn’t all the attendant drama of the “first time.” On the other hand, most it my virginal heroines are pretty take charge ladies, and because my heroes are well versed in bringing women pleasure, they are more than happy repeat the experience.

I had one young woman question whether a lady could go from virginal to wanton so quickly. All I can say to that is you need the right lover.

MADELINE IVA: (happily sniggering)Have any other historical authors out there inspired you to head in this direction? I’m thinking Deanna Raybourn, or Grace Burrowes?

ELLA QUINN: Before I joined RWA’s The Beau Monde chapter, I truly lived under a rock. Other than Georgette Heyer, the only Regency author I’d heard of before I started writing was Stephanie Laurens. She was the one who made me see there could be sex in Regencies.

Regency author Ella Quinn

Regency author Ella Quinn

MADELINE IVA: You live in a truly enviable place–a tropical paradise with iguana’s hanging about your back yard and with yachting regattas, and orchid shows.  You even mentioned that Oprah and Gail were out in a yacht in the harbor.  Do you end up waving at Oprah and Gail? I would probably end up wasting away in Margaritaville in such a location. How do you stay focused?

ELLA QUINN: I didn’t. Their boat was too far out. It’s interesting; I probably wouldn’t have started writing if I hadn’t moved here. It’s a really inspirational place.

As to focus, I’m ADHD (not diagnosed until my thirties when my son was), and back in the day, I had to learn to keep at what I was doing. So no breaks for me or I can’t stay on task. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I used to sew a lot. But I’d stay up all night and make the outfit from beginning to end. I don’t pull all nighters any more, mostly because if I write when I’m tired, it looks like gobbley gook.

MADELINE IVA: And you are focussed. From having a plan, you’ve achieved success in a few short years.  How did you go from having a concrete plan to making it happen?

ELLA QUINN: Before I was half-way done with Phoebe, I knew I would write a series. It took me a month to finish the first draft, then I went to the only writers’ forum I’d ever heard of, the Compuserve Writers Forum. There I learned about critique groups, RWA, and the Brenda Novak auction. I immediately joined RWA and bid on a critique from an agent in the auction. Because I could use the agent’s critique as a rejection, although she did say she thought I’d be published, I fast forwarded to PRO. That’s when I finally found a critique group that worked for me.

Now I say finally, but the length of time was actually two months, three if you count the time to write the first book. I knew there were problems with the first book, other than head hopping, but I didn’t know how to fix it. So, I called Jerry Cleaver from the Chicago Writers’ Group. He advised me to read his book, and if that didn’t help, then he’d mentor me. I was writing the 3d book when I attended the NJRWA conference, and a lovely person, Madeleine Iva, helped me get more agent/editor appointments. That’s when I discovered I had a query problem with the first book.

MADELINE IVA: ;> Glad I was helpful.  Certain aspects of your plan–like having an agent–aren’t strictly under your control. What’s the key to your success?

ELLA QUINN: One, I firmly believed that writing was something I was supposed to be doing, and I was open to both self-publishing and traditional publishing. I gave myself a deadline to make a decision. I joined QueryTracker and took a shotgun approach to querying. They were very helpful for not only finding agents to query to, but for keeping track of the queries sent.

For the second book, I sent queries to forty agents. I received several requests for partials and two requests for fulls. I received an offer, but then my agent asked for an exclusive for a month. The day of my deadline, I received the offer I wanted, eight months after I’d started writing.

UnknownMADELINE IVA:  It’s a lot of work to carry out swiftly. Many people choose self- publication because they like to speed up the process of publishing–but you’ve managed to move quickly even with a traditional publisher.

ELLA QUINN: I thought to myself, I don’t have that much time. I was already fifty-eight and wanted to be published before I turned sixty, and I was.

MADELINE IVA: Are you ever tempted to stray from the historical realm into another genre? If so, what would that genre be?

ELLA QUINN: I do have an idea for a short time-travel, probably a novella, but I’m pretty busy with the series. Putting out three big books a year, plus marketing, take a lot of time.

I really don’t see myself willingly leaving the Regency period. Because my characters are extremely prolific, I’ll end up in the Victorian era, but the late, Elizabeth Peters has given me some wonderful ideas around all the restrictions of that time.

MADELINE IVA: That’s so much for stopping by, Ella!

beacchReaders if you want to know more about Ella’s books, here’s a great link to the series.  Ella Quinn writes and lives in outrageously beautiful St. Thomas on the Virgin Islands.  She wakes up every day to paradise (baring an occasional hurricane).  If you friend her on fb, you can see these gorgeous pictures that she posts of her home from time to time and she has great give aways going on. 

All you Regency fans out there: say ‘yoiks’ to more frolicsome, roguish fun and follow us at LadySmut.

And The #1 Sexiest Feature Of A Guy Is …

16 Apr

Couple woman hugging man from behind

By Elizabeth Shore

I had a blast this past weekend hanging out with writer friends from my local RWA chapter at our annual writer retreat. We talked about books, writing, plotting, characterization, and held an extended critique session. But when the work was done and it was time to play, naturally the conversation progressed to things a bit more, well, naughty. And, in the spirit of naughtiness, I asked for their comments on something I’d just read from TheRichest.com about the top 10 sexiest features of a man’s body, as rated by women. The interesting thing about the article was that it included polling results from the women, as well as tidbits from the men on how they thought we’d rate them. To no one’s shock and surprise, disparities abound between the women’s results and the men’s assumptions.

The most obvious discrepancy pertains to a certain male, ahem, appendage. As you might imagine, guys thought that ol’ Mr. Johnson downstairs would rank much higher on the sexy scale than it actually does. Women, in fact, ranked it #9, just ahead of chest and shoulders (which, curiously are combined as one unit). So, chest and shoulders #10, junk #9.

Men thought their tushes would come it at #8 – butt they were wrong! Instead, making its debut at #8 on the sexy male features hit parade  is neck.  We gals like a guy’s neck, at least according to that poll. It is indeed a nice masculine part of the body, especially when grazed with a bit of stubble. A very subtle hint of cologne’s not a bad thing, either.

When my romance writer gal pals were putting forth guesses on what they thought would be included, eyes were figured to be #1. And why not? Eyes communicate so much between people. You can gauge another’s emotions strictly by the expression in his eyes – happy, sad, afraid, pissed, turned on – it’s all right there. And who doesn’t enjoy obvious looks of appreciation from the opposite sex? His eyes burned with desire as they roamed every inch of her body? Sounds a-ok to me! Logic would suggest that with all that going on, it’s enough to rocket eyes straight to the top. TheRichest.com poll, however, puts the peepers at #4, behind flat stomach, slimness, and the number one hottest feature of a guy . . .  (drum roll, please) . . . his butt!

As mentioned earlier, guys thought their derrieres would come in at around feature #8. Gals, however, ranked it right at the top. We’re no different from the guys in how much we like a good bum. Also, according to the poll, shape is more important than size. Small, large, or somewhere in between doesn’t matter, but a good tush has gotta have that curve to really make us swoon. Or drool. Or something.

To recap, here’s what the poll revealed to be the top 10 sexiest male features according to women:

10. Muscular chest/shoulders
9. Penis
8. Neck
7. Hair
6. Height/tallness
5. Long legs
4. Eyes
3. Flat stomach
2. Slimness
1. Butt

More than what was on the list, I have to admit (with my pals backing me), how surprised I was by what wasn’t on it. Where, for example, were hands? I always always notice a guy’s hands. Good hands are such a sexy feature (and I’m not even talking about what those hands can do!). Hands, like eyes, can be so expressive. People talk with their hands, work with their hands, caress with their hands. Men with nice hands – straight fingers, not too long, not too stubby, cut nails (a MUST), skin lightly tanned . . . for me that’s a sexy feature indeed. A fellow writer friend would add arms to that. Where were arms on this list, she wanted to know. It seems like a glaring omission.

Where were brains on this list? As Madeline Iva pointed out in one of her posts, smart guys are damn hot. And last – but in no way least – what about smile? Who doesn’t notice a man’s smile? Personally, I also notice his teeth. Yeah. Teeth. Hey, teeth can get really close to you in place few are ever allowed. Do you really want teeth the color of morning pee nipping at your skin? I rest my case.

This list, like many of its ilk, is really just all in good fun. It’s not as if scientific data is baked into the formula with consensus on definitive conclusions. And really, perhaps the sexiest feature of all is when a man is really into you. That’s enough to make any girl swoon.

Sound off on what you think are a guy’s sexiest features below, and don’t forget to follow us at Lady Smut. We bring you sexy features every single day.

 

 

 

Like Honey

15 Apr

Do you Like Honey?

Liz Everly does.  This the third book in her super spicy culinary romance series.  She’s away today but check out her book!

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The Golden Years of Love and Sex

14 Apr

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

I visited my 95-year-old grandfather in the nursing home this weekend and I wasn’t in the common room  five minutes before there was a cat fight between two elderly woman while the man over whom they sniped watch The Three Stooges without care. Apparently, the woman who canoodled with the man was not his wife though she frequently claims to be so, along with several other male residents.

eldery lovers

The woman who objected was, essentially, calling the other woman on her shit. It is likely the most acrimonial interaction I’ve ever witnessed in a elderly-care facility, though that’s not to say it’s uncommon. When my mother served as director of nurses in a nursing home, she often had wild stories of unapproved slumber parties among the residents.

Just ’cause you’re old, doesn’t mean you’re not horny.

We like to think of elderly love in adorable pictures that will make you believe in love again. But the truth is that nursing home and retirement communities are increasingly more like college campus dorms and Greek houses—togas not included. People are living longer and are in better health during those extended years. And as women outnumber men in most nursing homes 7 to 10, throw in some little blue pill action and the Golden Years become a playa’s paradise.

Nursing homes are scrambling to adjust administration policies to account for seniors who are still ready and eager to rumble with each other. “Very few nursing homes around the country acknowledge the sexual behavior or intimacy of their residents,” Daniel Reingold, president and CEO of the Hebrew Home for the Aged, told public radio program Here & Now last August. “We realized that there needed to be a grown-up conversation and a grown-up policies and procedures to govern this behavior.”

An editorial in The Journal of Medical Ethics argues that “while every effort should be made to ensure that no resident comes to harm, RACFs [residential aged care facilities] must respect the rights of residents with dementia to make decisions about their sexuality, intimacy, and physical relationships.” Many of them already appear to be doing so. A federally-funded study by The New England Journal of Medicine found that many older Americans engage in sex, oral sex, and masturbation. According to the study, 53% of people between 65 and 74 are sexually active, a number that decreases to 26% for individuals aged between 75 and 85.

“Somewhere along the line, the idea of sex got tangled up with the concepts of youth and virility. Which led to the idea that sex is only for the young and healthy, and even the misconception that sex is dangerous for the elderly,” notes Rachel Lesser in Sex in the Nursing Home? The Surprising Facts About Senior Sexuality.”

Not all elder care institutions are so sanguine about allowing residents  the freedom to love.  After the Windmill Manor, Coraville, IA scandal in 2009 where two dementia patients were found having sex with each other inciting questions of consent and accusations of rape, many elderly care facilities chose to crack down on the rise of sexual activity between their residents rather than risk a similar situation. “This is uncertain terrain,” said Dirk Johnson and Julie Scelfo in their Newsweek article “Sex, Love, and Nursing Homes.” “American nursing homes are scrambling to frame policies that respect—and protect—their 1.6 million residents, a number that will soar in coming years as baby boomers continue their inexorable march to old age.” At the moment, only 18 states currently allow conjugal visits in nursing homes and only four allow those to be outside of a marital status.

Things become more complicated by the fact that the majority of senior citizens are from an era that predates the education of safe sex. With pregnancy no longer an option and hanky panky a top choice on the seniors menu, STD testing has become as common a requested health maintenance test as colonoscopies. “In 2011 and 2012, 2.2 million beneficiaries received free sexually transmitted disease screenings and counseling sessions. And more than 66,000 received free H.I.V. tests,” says The New York Times Sex and the Single Senior”. Chlamydia infections also increased between 2007 and 2011 by 31% and syphilis by 52% in the 65 and older crowd. “Both ageism and age-related changes in the body result in the ability for STDs to be contracted more easily and go undetected for longer, which could potentially cause more harm,” writes Lara Belonogoff in Caring.com’s “Sex and Seniors: the Debate Continues”. Yet there are no reports of elder-care facilities installing a condom machine next to the low-sodium snacks.

Back at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Bronx, NY, respectful policies are already in play for staff to use when handling romantic and sexual relationships between residents. “Our position is very strongly that consenting adults who have capacity, this is a civil right of theirs,” Reingold said to Here & Now. “They do not give up a civil right simply because they are in need of nursing care in a facility. And that our obligation as a nursing facility is to encourage their civil rights, as we would do with respect to voting.” This applies to same-sex couples as well as the home discovered when one of its married residents began a relationship with another male resident in the home. The Hebrew Home worked with all three parties to address the needs and desires of all.

Most of us are more comfortable believing our parents never had sex beyond the required means for procreating our selves and siblings. Surely considering the sex lives of our grandparents causes skeevy feelings in entirely new places. But people at every age want love and companionship and while the levels and abilities may alter, desire remains full and real. It is a privacy issue and a rights issue but above all, it’s a love and sex issue.

cris anson

My friend, erotic romance writer Cris Anson, is a woman of a certain age who cheerfully writes her novels with the joie de vivre of a woman half her age. Delightfully bawdy, Cris had the opportunity to be her own cover model in her book What She Needs where the heroine is a cougar experimenting new sexuality with a younger man, ably demonstrating that in print as in life, love and romance can and do happen at every age.

Follow Lady Smut. We take all (legal) age groups.

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