Archive by Author

Heroines Locked in the Erotic Gothic Universe of David Lynch

11 Jun

by Chloe Robbins

The gothic and the erotic go hand-in-skeletal-hand. When people think of gothic romance, first thoughts often run to authors like Edgar Allan Poe and Victoria Holt, but the genre is much larger than these titans. In fact, one of today’s most famous gothics often isn’t discussed as a gothic at all. Musician, writer, film and television maker, David Lynch’s work is chock full of delicious gothic eroticism and romance. In Lynch’s stories, gorgeous heroines are constantly thrust into the romantic, moneyed darkness of someone else’s realm—a hotel, a spaceship, a movie set—forced to navigate literal secret passages even as they explore their own internal ones. “Gothic” as a style is characterized by the grim, the extravagant, the grotesque, the violent, the darkly romantic, the mysterious—a style that drenches Lynch’s work.

In Baltimore, the erotic twists and edges of this style are also celebrated in Lynch’s work through an annual David Lynch Fest. At this festival, a diverse line-up musicians and burlesque performers come together to strip, sing, and dance to various interpretations of Lynch’s creepiest, sexiest stories. As a Baltimorean—and a lover of all things gothic-erotic—I want to share some of this annual celebration with you by highlighting just a few of Lynch’s sexiest, most powerful, and most gothic heroines. (Disclaimer: some spoilers lie beyond.)

Twin Peaks

Who can forget Audrey Horn from Twin Peaks? Even the ultimate cinnamon roll hero, Special Agent Dale Cooper, couldn’t help but fall under her thrall for a time.

Twin Peaks is constantly indulging in and poking fun at the romance genre and especially its gothic tropes. From the idea of “tainted innocence” (read: young girls coming into their sexual identity under dangerous circumstances) to doppelgangers to murderous/lecherous family members to ghosts. Audrey Horn epitomizes so many of these gothic tropes, but perhaps most obviously that of the “tainted innocent”: a high schooler who feigns experience and jadedness yet yearns for fairy-tale love (e.g. her relationship with Agent Cooper); the ghostly pale skin; the dark hair; the blatant sexuality (e.g. her decision to break into Agent Cooper’s hotel room and wait for him, naked, in bed); and the shadowy fortress owned by her pervy father (aka The Great Northern Hotel), which is, of course, riddled with secret passages and peepholes. Audrey Horn is one of many romantic gothic heroines in Twin Peaks, coming into her sense of self as well as her sexuality in the wake of a classmate’s brutal murder, discovering the countless ghosts, trapdoors, and Black (and White) Lodges within her town and within herself.

 

Mullholland Drive

Mullholland Drive is a delicious example of Lynch’s unique brand of Hollywood Gothic, and the main characters—the lovers, Betty and Rita—are dripping with eroticism.

Mulholland Drive

In the very beginning, Betty’s “innocent” dream of becoming a Hollywood star is juxtaposed with Rita fleeing a mysterious car crash, as if fate had slammed them into each other—a pair of shooting stars, shot straight into each other’s hearts. Set in Hollywood, lush gothic threads run all throughout this film: the winding hallways of the mysterious Aunt Ruth’s house, the haunted theater where Betty and Rita hear the ghostly rendition of “Llorando,” the sexually-charged search for identity that both Betty and Rita tumble into together, the shadowy film sets where Betty discovers darker and darker tunnels within herself, on and on and on. This film is all about the haunted house of the mind built within the desirous, hungry package of the body.

 

Dune

I know most David Lynch fans would rather his film adaptation of Dune be left unmentioned, but there’s no denying the gothic-erotic influences running riot through this space opera, and just because it’s not a great film doesn’t mean there aren’t moments and characters that aren’t sexy as hell.

Dune

As Tor.com is quick to point out in their break-down of why the film doesn’t work, this movie is aesthetically dark. Every cathedral-esque spaceship, castle, and cavern is packed with shadows, all but begging for some Phantom of the Opera-style candelabras. And while this maybe isn’t the best way to build up a vast scifi universe, it’s a great way to make the entire film feel as though it took place inside Vincent Price’s sexy little grin. Filled with scheming royals and estranged family members, with grotesque villains and flashing daggers, it’s no wonder that even Lady Jessica, a side-character and the mother of our hero, is turned into an erotic figure in this setting. I say “even” Lady Jessica because, in some ways, it’s positively radical that Lynch would take a middle-aged mother character and give her so much sex appeal, her own journey through this tale being one of tortured love for her murdered husband as she carries their secret baby (another classic gothic trope) to term.

 

Wild at Heart

And speaking of tortured love… Lynch takes the idea of a road-trip movie to a whole new level with the lovers, Lula and Sailor, who flee a band of assassins that Lula’s mother Marietta has hired to kill Sailor. The film’s gothic elements may shine darkest in the grotesque violence of Marietta’s desire to strip her daughter of all sexual power and freedom, but they can also be seen in the shape of Marietta’s slow-emerging madness that only Lula and Sailor seem to fully understand: the literal Wicked Witch of the West.

Lula’s character is another example of the “tainted innocent”: she’s charged with sexuality and power, especially (and ironically) due to her mother’s violent desire to see these powers contained, even as she is also a bit childish and naïve. Haunted, a runaway, abused as a child (and as an adult), adrift in a sea of violence, Lula fights to take what she wants out of life and retains a fairly healthy sexual identity through it all. A classic gothic heroine.

 

Blue Velvet

I’ll never forget seeing a Blue Velvet-inspired burlesque performance wherein a dancer wearing gasmasks over her face and breasts slowly revealed more and more gasmasks that she’d managed to hide on (and in) her body. For many, Blue Velvet is nothing but disturbing. But as disturbing as certain elements are—the violence, the constant taunting shadows, the gasmasks—there’s no denying the eroticism of a young hero exploring a stranger’s house in search of clues only to duck into a closet and end up spying on her.

The secret passage is a beloved plot device in gothic tales because it so often finds a heroine in a dangerous situation and gives her fresh power, fresh control, while also acknowledging that she herself is riddled with secrets and hidden depths. In Blue Velvet, we see this dynamic inverted with our young hero finding momentary safety within the heroine’s closet, watching her undress and drape herself in blue velvet, only to be discovered and dragged into the light. Our heroine in this story doesn’t need to lurk in the dark to find her power…or to allude to her hidden depths. She grabs a knife and forces him out of the closet herself, demanding that now he will undress for her.

The truth is, the gothic is often disturbing. It is often dark and uncomfortable and taboo. This is also why it’s so undeniably sexy. The forbidden. The dangerous. The fantasy. What’s important is making sure that the fantasy is handled by an artist who understands the live wire they’ve just taken hold of, someone who understands how these tropes and devices have been used in the past to cause harm and knows how to circumvent, challenge, and subvert these harmful possibilities. For danger to be sexy, there must also be great trust—perhaps not between the characters, but between artist and audience.

Chloe Robbins is a writer and editor living in Baltimore with her delicious husband and various taxidermied creatures. She’s currently at work on her paranormal romance novel, A Stony Heart, and has short fiction forthcoming with Circlet Press’s Dressed in Black anthology, inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

Sexy Saturday Round Up

9 Jun

Sexy Saturday Round UpWho needs some distraction my fellow sex-kittens?  (I do! I do!) We’ve got some gems for you to check out.  So grab that cup o’ tea and settle back to enjoy yourself with another episode of Sexy Saturday Round Up.

They’ve got a fast car: Saudi women fight smear campaigns to get behind the wheel.

Saudis legalize driving for women–but some of the activists who won this right are now barred from driving themselves.

Q: What is everyone going to be wearing this summer?

A: milk maid outfits.

A bizarre fashion trend is sweeping NYC this summer and ManRepeller has GOT to talk about it.

Dietland – is the hot hot hot story about The Now we need.

Hi I’m your local pedophile running for office.

The Alt Right Jewish Porn Conspiracy — explained for you.

Cool transformation of Jamie Raines from female to male.

Here’s Vox explaining the Lando Pansexual Controversy including some fan fic context around the latest star wars movie.

Kitty Marion — Actress & Suffragette Terrorist.

Wet Lettuce Vs. Bad Ass Chicks –a Brit politely rants about the limitation of Femininity in Genre Fiction

What is ‘fridging’? And why are women SFF fans sick and tired of it?

Stacy Abrams is rocking our world — first black female governor AND ROMANCE NOVELIST!!!!!!!!!

RuPaul’s show challenges gay identity

 

Sexy Saturday Round Up

18 May

Sexy Saturday Round UpWhat a week it’s been! Some of us are at RT in Reno, NV.  Some of us are at home wishing we were at RT.  And today we’re online at #LadySmut playing games and giving away ebooks.  Join us!

From Madeline:

We’re very exciting that Donald Glover is playing Lando Calrissian – but also that Lando is portrayed as a pansexual! 

What hat will YOU be wearing at the royal wedding?

Eric Schneiderman is giving BDSM a bad name

Lady Smut to DJ Khaled: You gotta give to get, bro

At THE WING, Women demand a single sex co-working space.

By Elizabeth Shore

They’re pointless, useless, and suck up time, but sometimes we all need dumb tweets to make us laugh out loud.

Did you think Miss Congeniality was gay? Well, as it turns out

What to know about hyposexuality.

Royal wedding gossip! All the dirt is right here.

Remembering a great writer. R.I.P. Tom Wolfe.

Who eats pounds and pounds of candy per person every year? You’ll never guess.

The weird, nutty Yanny vs Laurel explained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pliant, Helpless, & Half Naked: Excerpt from Wicked Apprentice

10 May

Wicked Apprenticeby Madeline Iva

Time for a scrumptious bit of fantasy romance, my lady vaginas.

Here’s an excerpt from WICKED APPRENTICE, Book One in the Wicked Magic Series. 

Prin has captured a “uncanny creature” and brought him back to her mistress’s castle.  She did it under orders, not knowing what the sorceress Hulgetta planned to do with the gorgeous, tall stranger and his pointy ears.  Yet as she notices how his eyes change from black to green and back again, she starts experiencing strange feelings–feelings that begin to challenge her obsession with learning magic.  She suddenly wants to know more about her prisoner–she wants to know him intimately.

“They all called you Prin,” he said at last.

“Yes.” He wasn’t going to mention how they behaved. Thank you. She took a bigger breath.

“That’s… an odd name.” His Berbainwick was strangely accented, his words all stretched out instead of clipped off. He kind of gargled them sometimes at the back of the throat. To her ears the language had never sounded half so charming before.

“It’s a nickname,” she explained, and then stopped, not willing to explain more. Touchy ground here.

“What does it stand for?” he asked. His voice was lilting and gentle, another tone entirely from before. “Princess?”

“Bet you say that to all the girls,” Prin replied. In fact, it was an abbreviation for ‘apprentice’ and a way of making fun of Hulgetta’s speech. She wasn’t going to tell him that, of course. Everything about him was gentle and refined. She kinda wanted to muss him up a little bit.

“I said nothing to them at all.” He looked puzzled.

She wrinkled her nose. “Never mind.”

“You are a princess then?” he said. He asked her a question in a language she didn’t understand. She looked down at her calloused fingertips and didn’t reply. Let him think what he liked. The silence stretched on. She looked up and his attractiveness hit her again like a physical blow.

His eyes had gone dark again, and he was a vision of sensitive torment. She felt herself involuntarily reaching towards him. Then, alas, the eyes changed back, and she regained a modicum of self-control. She stood up and paced around the cell, her heart still thudding about inside her chest.

“Who has imprisoned me?” he asked. “A murderous wizard? An evil enchantress?”

I did. “Technically speaking, she’s a sorceress,” Prin replied. “You don’t remember?”

He sniffed at the water in the tumbler.

“It’s not poisoned or tainted,” she said. “I freshened it with herbs myself. See?” She drank from the cup and then held it out to him to show him the sage leaves and borage blossoms. “Perfectly safe.” He took a tentative sip on his own, letting her hold the cup for him. The feel of his fingers sliding over hers. Her eyes widened, but he moved abruptly, pulling the cup away. As if he didn’t want to touch her.

“Thank you,” he said, not looking at her. Then he must have changed his mind about something. He looked up at her again, his eyes flickering black. “I thank you,” he said, this time with a tone of grave respect.

“You’re welcome,” she said, using the same formal tone. And did you know you’re smoking hot?

Lying there pliant, helpless, and half naked, he was so scrumptious her body itched to crawl on top of him. Moreover, all her fairy dust was up and screaming for him, and that just never happened to her with a guy. Ever.

She put the tumbler back on the wooden tray with the pitcher and stood there twisting her fingers up in her skirt. Nervous. Her mind strained for something to say. Her body looked for another excuse to bend over near him and reveal her cleavage. Get a grip, woman.

“And what are you called?” she asked, forbidding her fingers to play with her braids. The traitorous fingers took to the lacings on her corset instead, and she bit her lips a little to make them red. Where was her apprentice side? The scholarly side that wanted to learn? Pathetic.

“Princess, help me,” he whispered.

How was she ever going to refuse him anything when his eyes were all big and noble, yet softly luminous? She had felt loyal to Hulgetta. ‘Had’ being the operative word. Her loyalty was wobbling, big time. This was so wrong.

“Are you okay?” she said, filled with dread and concern. She leaned over the bed and put her hand on his brow again. Yes. It was warm now. She felt his cheek. It was hot. Spell all gone. Reluctantly, she took her hand away.

“Can you move your legs?”

He took her hand again and placed it back on his cheek, his lips parting a little. She went a little gooey and just stared at him, unable to think or move. He took that hand and kissed it.

“Help me escape.”

She stood up straight, breathless. Whoa. There it was. Bright needle-thin fear suddenly pierced the bubble.

“It would mean my life,” she said, simply.

You want more don’t you, reader? I don’t blame you — here’s a 100 page excerpt to entice you.

Also Wicked Apprentice is free right now on KU–so check it out!  🙂 

The Ghost of Hot Relationships That Never Were

9 Apr

by Madeline Iva

Watching a scene in a movie, or an episode of a TV show I’m like that kid from the Sixth Sense–but instead of dead poeple I see whole story lines that aren’t actually there.  It haunts me day in and day out. Don’t get me wrong. We’re lucky to have so many interesting stories out on TV and in movies.  I’m enjoying them; I’m reveling in them.  Yet I also see a lot of hot-boinking-that-should-be-there-but-isn’t.  To you they’re invisible–but they haunt me. Is this a blessing? Or is it a curse? <Cue the spooky music.>

There are just so many good shows in which the hotness factor between characters should be invoked.  Let’s seance with this sad spectre–the Ghost of Hot Relationships That Never Were as it wanders down the corridors of Untold Passion & Secret Scandalous Hook Ups.

MASSIVE MASSIVE MASSIVE SPOILERS!!!!!!! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!!!

Black Panther:

Michael B. Jordan played Erik Killmonger in Black Panther. Out of all the villains in Marvel Universe why did they kill off this one? Whyyyyyyyy? WHAT ON EARTH WERE THEY THINKING? Don’t they see the Loki potential here? With his ripped body, damned attractive face, and awwwwww story of heartbreak and loss as a young boy–it’s killing me. (Pun intended.)

The hint of dimples is what truly slays me.

Eric Killmonger is that Loki-ish anti-hero we lurv, no matter how many times he’s got “Kill Whitey” tattooed all over his body. (He doesn’t really. Just kidding. But you get the idea.) His character would draw everyone back movie after movie, sequel after sequel.  Someone go to the bottom of that waterfall and fish him out. Revive and rehabilitate that bad boy STAT!

While Hollywood is at it, I think you’ll agree hands down that Erik needs to get together with Okoye, AKA Danai Gurira AKA Michonne from Walking Dead.  Erik is hotness on a stick.  Okoye is the woman all humans bow down to.  I mean–did you see the movie? Yeah? Then you get it.  The movie would have been more realistic to me if Okoye had straightened Erik’s sh*t out in about ten minutes. Danai

Okoye needs to become Queen of Wakanda too, btw.  Ramonda, played by Angela Bassett may be worthy of ruling as well, and I didn’t have any problems with our super-hero, Black Panther. He was cute–incredibly cute.  He has a real “goodness to the core” super-hero vibe.  It’s just that clearly he needs to be out and about in the world.  His job is international.  But back home in Wakanda, Okoye is queen material.  She’s the f**king bad ass leader of all leaders.  Just calling it like it is, people.  As for Ramonda–well, see below.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: AKA Heather-Heather-Heather AKA Vella Lovell

I mean, I really like CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND overall.  Rebecca Bunch obsessively crushes out on a former flame named Josh, and goes to cray-cray stalker extremes often urged onward by our twisted societal values about a women’s worth.  But Heather, Rebecca’s neighbor-then-roommate is her polar opposite.  Tall, goy, hot and slacker-ish, Heather is instantly compelling to watch. With her vocal fry, colored hair extensions, and community college scholar wisdom she is the one I obsess over in this show.  Yes, I have a massive girl crush on Heather — and the actress who plays her recently expanded her career to movies.  She was probably the best thing in THE BIG SICK.  (And the writers of the BIG SICK should make a follow up about her character story. Can you say another Smart Indian Girl Rom-Com? Squeeeeee! Hasn’t anyone in Hollywood watched Bend It Like Beckam?)

Anyway Heather and Hector are now together in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.   Hector always was cute, if a bit oedipal, but he doesn’t get much face time on the show. We all know the two of them hooking up is really just an excuse to give us more Heather.

Though White Josh and Josh in the stripper scene were giving Nathaniel a run for his money,  Nathaniel’s character is pretty appealing.  The more he was into Rebekah, the more I was into him.  But clearly, he and Heather should be together.  They both are seemingly shallow but really good people with unexpected depths. They are both extremely sane despite recognizing their perverse impulses.  They are both vulnerable to romantic situations in which they’re being used.  I’m asking nicely— could they PLEAAAAAASE get together? Pretty please? And I mean really get together in a complicated, sweaty, guilty, dirty way — the way that Rebecca tends to get together with men on the show?

She’s just using you, Nathaniel. Can’t you see that?

If they can’t, I will totally accept Father Brah, played by Rene Gube as a Heather-Love-Interest substitute.  That guy is totally under-utilized in terms of hotness. Wasted actually.

BTW — did you expect Crazy-Ex to really go there with serious mental health issues? I didn’t. I’m pretty impressed. And making Rebecca the poster girl for BPD — whoa.  That mental disorder does not get a lot of sympathetic play.  So thumb’s up Crazy-Ex Girlfriend for going there, staying there, and then doing a song and dance number there.

The Good Place — This show is not for everyone, but I get off on weighing utilitarian counterfactuals against Kantian ethical theory.  The show is about someone mistakenly sent to heaven.  My version of heaven is Jianyu played by Manny Jacinto. Manny is divine. Manny and Kristen Bell would be too cute together as a couple.  Manny and Tiya Sircar would be too cute too.  I mean, can Jianyu just have his own spin off show next year? Something where yes, we see his cuteness factor, but also the other hot never-see-him-coming facets as well?

Meanwhile, I very much appreciate Elinor’s girl crush Tahani played by Jameela Jamil.  Tahani with her Amazonian posh presence gains a wonderful edge from Elinor’s girl-lust-crush.  If the creators of the show wanted to take relationships in that direction, I, as a fan, would happily follow.  Just sayin’.

Before I sign off though, let’s talk steam heat in terms of romance with age difference —

First of all, I would like to advocate for Angela Basset’s character Ramonda having a thing with M’Baku when she gets dropped off at M’Baku’s land.  M’Baku is played by Winston Duke, a 6′ 4″ drink of beef water.  He’s a wee bit Alpha for my taste — but even so…even so. His character has an unexpected sense of humor that slays.M'Baku

And I don’t care who you are, if Ramonda gets dropped off in your kingdom and you’re made to promise to protect her and make sure she’s “taken care of” –I mean, seriously, how could your mind not go there? It’s Angela Bassett, people. It doesn’t matter how old she gets. I think I spent the next fifteen minutes of the movie not hearing or seeing anything on the screen.  Instead I was still back at the toothy gorilla lair with M’Baku and Ramonda imagining how their forbidden sexual tryst would come about.  These moments are so obvious to me–am I the only one? Is anyone else seeing the possibilities here?

Back at The Good Place I also noticed that Tahani has fabulous chemistry with Michael, played by Ted Danson.  Yes, he’s like in his seventies or something, but still–they’re both dapper dressers.  In fact, they are too attractively tall together not to have hot sex/romance.   Maybe they seem to connect because they’re the only two tall enough to look each other in the eye.  Maybe it’s something more.  But I think they should work it.  Torture Tahani with the tantalizing promise of a ‘daddy’ relationship figure that goes to a naughty places.  Let us live a little.The Good Place

The Upshot: Hollywood is having outstanding success with greater casting diversity.  At last.  Finally! Bravo. (The horror that’s going on behind the screens –that’s another blog post). Let’s all urge them to keep heading further in this direction.  Despite hot (and I mean that in more ways than one)  new talent, the boink factor is suffering.

There’s chemistry going on here, people!  My mind is a-buzz with all the variations and combinations to explore — I want jealousy and lust.  I want tenderness and taut sexual tension.  I also want some light kinky elements–is this too much to ask? I don’t think it is.

What relationships do you wish you were seeing in movies/tv shows that you love? Please sound off below.

Madeline Iva enjoys penning stories about reclusive guys with dark secrets in mouldering castles.  If you like your gothic gloom with a perverse twist join her cult following newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

Sexy Saturday Round Up

7 Apr

Sexy Saturday Round UpAnd Boom! Spring has sprung.  Whether you’re taking a break from yard work or huddled up inside looking at snow on the cherry blossoms, Sexy Saturday Round Up is here waiting to cuddle up with you and news about the latest in gender, sex, and romance.  Enjoy!

From Madeline:

Liz Phair: 90’s Don’t-Give-A-F*ck Indie Girl-Icon

There’s just something about her: What happened to one reporter who wore pheromone perfume for a week

Common myths about sexual consent

Got Nipples? Try these important tips to satisfy your Nips.

A ravishing guide to 1830’s fashion. 

From the Guardian: One gay man’s fantasy about women  

 

 

 

 

Sexy Saturday Round Up

30 Mar

Sexy Saturday Round UpSpring is finally here! Balmy weather, soft blue sky with puffy clouds — time to hit the porch swing with your fav weekend read–Sexy Saturday Round Up!

From Madeline:

I guess you can call it an HEA: Hot Felon is expecting a baby with his new baby mama–the Topshop Heiress.

Looking for a good asexual character on TV? 

How do progressive porn directors handle consent?

And artist of ‘word pube play’ 

Face slap: Beer commercial is too racist and sexist to be for real.

From Elizabeth Shore:

Home alone with just you and your wand massager? Hallelujah! Here are 9 scorching hot ways to use it.

Intimacy, emotional labor, ethical sex…what you can learn as a sex worker.

The steamiest softcore porn online. Here’s where it is.

The best way to get the most from that painful spin class.

Give your eyelashes a lift by stamping them.

R.I.P. Anita Shreve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Worse Than Faking an Orgasm? Fake Science Slamming Porn

26 Mar

By Elizabeth Shore

Legislatures in Kansas have a lot keeping them busy these days. School funding is an enormous problem. Corporate control of the poultry industry and fighting pesticide-resistant noxious weeds are two more. But the legislatures of Kansas recently decided that their focus should be on something even more pressing: drawing inaccurate conclusions about porn, backing them up with fake science, and passing resolutions to deal with a hazard that doesn’t exist. Good on ya, Kansas legislatures!

While it’s tempting to blow off these nitwits with a chuckle and a snort, the problems they create with their puritanical agendas are all too real. As pointed out in a recent Huffington Post article, the Senate Resolution 1762 declaring porn a public health crisis is more ceremonial than anything, putting a stamp on conservative politicians’ ideology. It has no immediate bearing on the law. Yet what it does do is ellicit conversations that start on the basis of falsehoods and inaccuracies. Suddenly, like brush fires in a stiff wind, such conversations swirl wildly out of control, spreading their fallacies from water coolers to watering holes and beyond. Politicians pick up the baton, deciding they need to save us all from something that doesn’t exist and before you can say WTF we’ve got a resolution on our hands.

Beyond conversations where people quote falsehoods as fact, a very real downside of passing resolutions such as 1762 is that, according to Kansas Senator David Haley, it could “funnel precious funding toward what is indeed not a health crisis, when we really need those dollars for true health crises.” Like fighting the flu epidemic, for example. Kansas recently surpassed Missouri to claim the #1 spot in the country as having the highest percentage of people showing flu-like symptoms. And that, legislatures, is based on scientific fact. Not fake. Perhaps your attention should shift to that? Just sayin.

We all know the porn industry is made up of all things titillating and as such is simultaneously sought after and shunned. People are quick to denounce it while searching for free videos on RedTube.com. Those in the adult film industry can have life-long stigmas attached to them, as if they alone have cast the world into a cesspool of debauchery and corrupted innocent minds. And hey, we all have choices. If you don’t like porn, or think it’s wrong, or don’t want your kids exposed to it, have at it. That’s the great thing about a free society. We all have that choice. What’s not great is when others try to make choices for us by quoting “facts” that are untrue and twisting the truth to support an agenda.

In the case of the Kansas legislature, the measure it passed about the porn industry references a study supporters say backs their claims about the evils of childhood porn consumption. Except the “study” is actually nothing more than online surveys funded by the evangelical Christian church. As sexual psychophysiologist Dr. Nicolas Pause notes, such surveys are definitively “not science.”

What else do passing these types of measures do? They divert funding away from addressing actual health issues, thereby endangering the very children the fake science porn resolution is supposedly helping. And that’s not fake news at all. It’s just plain dumb.

Elizabeth Shore writes contemporary and historical erotic romance. She’s the author of Hot Bayou NightsDesire RisingThe Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires and (as Liz Madison) Season of Splendor and With His Promise. Her next release, Hot Bayou Fire, the second in the Bayou series, will be out in 2018. Release date announced as soon as it’s known. 

Sexy Saturday Round Up

17 Mar

Sexy Saturday Round UpHey ladies! It’s Saturday–thank goodness.  We’re here to entertain and enlighten you with great news links to articles about love, sex, and gender-ific goings on around the world.

From Madeline:

Where do you fall on the Kinsey scale? It measures your attraction to men or women (which may be a little limiting/outdated for some of you out there).

5 Steamy reads you want on your nightstand.

Why women make themselves attractive–is it about men? 

Signs that you are a Gen X-er going through menopause

Article advising women to stay single if their would be partner doesn’t support their career.

Why we choose ill-matched partners and how to stop.

Bruno Mars — who doesn’t love this racially ambiguous cutie? Here’s an article and video trying to pin down exactly what’s so problematic about Bruno taking home an armload of grammys?

The psychology behind ghosting and how to stop.

Why women love men with dogs.

How to prevent masturbation from ruining your relationship.

Furry fetish — it’s not just for weirdos anymore.  Inside America’s most misunderstood fetish.

How does society dismiss and demean stories by, about, and for women?

What your sex dreams are telling you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need to listen to something really loud? Something feminist? Alice Bag, “77”— a riot anthem against “The Man” and unequal pay.

 

 

 

The Science Behind Dark Gothic Feels

12 Mar

by Madeline Iva

Hello lovely people! How are you? I’m pretty obsessed these days with one thing and one thing only: dark, gothic feels.  I like all aspects of suspense–preferably set in intriguingly gloomy surroundings, and chock full of complex, morally ambiguous or hard to read characters.  I love how gothic reads make the heart race from a pinch of fear, a heaping amount of romantic tension, and a bit pit of secrets. But that obsession has branched off into more basic question: If you’re feeling a bodily reaction to someone — is the other person feeling it too? This is often an underlying question in gothic romance, where Things Must Not Be Said.  But how can we not question this in the times we’re living in?

I’ve had moments in the past where suddenly out of the blue, my radar begins pinging around someone.  I’ve later found out that the other person was *really* into me at the time.  Because of that, I’ve come to trust my inner radar–and my advice to friends is always: if you’re feeling it, it’s cause there’s something there.

Of course, I always add, the knowledge may not do you any good whatsoever.  Most of us are not ruled by our heart or groin.  With most of us, our head is firmly in charge. There can be multiple reasons–exponential reasons even–why the guy or girl in question may decide not act or want to act on the vibe between you.  They may be committed elsewhere, they may think that despite chemistry you’re a dork, or crazy, or difficult, or for whatever reason you just don’t match (either inwardly or outwardly) what their head requires in a date, mate, or f*ckbuddy.  😦  And they may deny that there is any chemistry at all if you try to initiate something.  SEE BELOW.)  The last thing you want to do is start off a conversation asking for an admission that ‘there’s something going on between us.’  Trust me, more than half the time that conversation is not going to go well.

But am I even right that if you’re feeling it, then the other person is too?  Science has been bending the microscope towards this question as well, and so far the answers are hacking big chunks out of my theory.  For one thing — if you present a sense of danger and even mild stimulants, it will raise levels of sexual attraction in men. (Artificially?)

The Science of How Thrills Leading To Feels: the article below from Scientific American reveals how men are much more likely to risk engaging with an attractive woman out if they are near a high suspended bridge and have had a major shot of caffeine.

How We Misinterpret Emotional Arousal

In fact, both men and women are very susceptible to mixing signals of danger for emotional feels towards another person.  The TED talk below explores the dangers of SSRI’s like Prozac in our society — because they inhibit dopamine.  Without dopamine, we have a hard time feeling attraction, or falling in love.  But we also get a dopamine rush from a sense of thrilling adventure, or danger.

The Brain In Love

And finally, science is starting to reveal that as more men and women feel it’s acceptable to form mixed gender relationships, a very high proportion of men assume that at the core of the friendship is a mutual attraction for each other that is being deferred for some reason–like one of them is in a committed relationship.  Women however, do not report similar assumptions at anywhere near the same rate.  They see the guy friends more often than not as “just friends” and there is no attraction on their part.

Dubious Aspects of Cross-Gender Friendships

What can we understand from these limited studies?

The bad news: just having a vibe around someone all of a sudden is not definitive proof that they’re feeling something too–even just sexual chemistry.  One hopes that men all across the world will take this message to heart and that many of them who do assume this will immediately stop being creeps.

The good news: men are REALLY susceptible to having feels for women they’re around. If you *are* feeling something for a cis-man, and you’re a woman–the chances are pretty high he could be feeling it too. Again–he may not want to do anything about it–or even acknowledge it.

In the face of this scientific news–and compounded by the sexual harassment issues we’ve been facing lately as a society, I simply must revise my theory:

Here’s my new version: If you’re feeling vibes coming off someone, can you assume they’re feeling it too? No.  But they *might* be. And the best thing you can do in that situation is hug that knowledge to yourself.

Because there are a ton of reasons a person can be sending out the sparky feels.  The passion of what they’re engaged in–career, hobby, or creative endeavors–can explain so much of why you’re getting those tingles down low.  The truth is men benefit from women’s company and friendship in so many ways — from the feeling of being able to confide in someone, to basic career assists, to the care-taking that women often provide.  There are TONS of reasons why a man may be in a state of high anticipation around you that has nothing to do with actually being into you–either sexually or romantically.

Which brings me back to the glorious wonder of Dark Gothic Feels. What we can no longer assume in the real world we can heartily assert in the fantasy world of the gothic.  Is he a vampire? He’s totally into you.

Is he a reclusive member of the upper class, harboring dark secrets in his decayed castle mansion? Into you.

Crimson Peak

Secrets….LOTS of secrets…

Is he an elf lord amidst rotting splendor and magic, cursed with the power of bespelling women? Oh he wants you.

Is he a nice guy who happens to be ridiculously hot and because of some misunderstandings between you early on, sincerely wants to help you fight the vicious demon eating your soul? Yeah, he not only wants dirty sex with you–asap–he luuuuvs you.

Retreat with me to these fantasy fictional worlds where every twinge of a vibe means something hot, pure, and true.

I’ve got a free novella you can check out — about the hot guy and demon infected heroine.

I’ve got a brooding elf-wizard in his lonely tower — sample the first 100 pages of WICKED APPRENTICE.

If your pleasure poison is the reclusive guy with dark secrets and a mouldering castle follow me and you won’t miss out on the glorious gloom.Wicked Apprentice

 

 

 

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