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Forcing A Collision of Fantasy and Reality With Renee Rose

26 Aug

By Elizabeth SaFleur

Today we have a special treat for you my LadySmutters. USA Today Bestselling Author Renee Rose is here! And don’t squeal too loudly, but…a sexy snippet from Renee’s latest work in progress is within this interview. Oh, go ahead and squee…I did.

For those of you who don’t know Renee, well…she’s a self-professed naughty wordsmith who writes BDSM and spanking romance novels. Named Eroticon USA’s Next Top Erotic Author in 2013, she has also won The Romance Reviews Best Historical, Sci-Fi and BDSM awards, and Spanking Romance Reviews’ Best Historical, Erotic, Ageplay and favorite author. She’s hit #1 on Amazon in multiple categories in the U.S. and U.K., is often found on the list of Amazon’s Top 100 Erotic Authors and is a regular columnist for Write Sex Right. She also pens BDSM stories under the name Darling Adams.

On to the goodies…

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What draws you to write about the Domestic Discipline or 1950’s household lifestyle?
RENEE ROSE: I prefer non-con or dub-con, so domestic discipline offers perfect, delicious scenarios for punishments, humiliation or D/s scenes to wind my crank. I think there’s something about the “danger” of non-consent or dubious consent–the not knowing for sure when or if he’ll stop, etc. that heightens the turn-on.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Do you believe today’s world of women’s hyper-independence contributes to this desire for Domestic Discipline (or some form of it)? Or perhaps it’s just the fantasy of reading it that provides some relief?
RENEE ROSE:I definitely think it’s just about the submission fantasy. I think of D/s as a sexual orientation–something about ten percent of the population are born into. I think it would be there regardless of the current gender roles.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: You’re so prolific! What is your writing day like? How do you get so many books published? We want to drink whatever you’re drinking.
RENEE ROSE: For some reason, I always have this feeling I’m behind! I have all these books in mind and can’t seem to keep up with them. I feel like the little hamster in the wheel! I see clients out of my home and write in the in-between times–whenever I can. I bring my laptop with me everywhere so I can write during my daughter’s piano lesson or at Starbucks after dropping the kids at school and before an appointment.

(Ed Note: Okay, now I’m jealous. Being able to write anywhere? What a gift.)

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: You also write in so many genres—regency, contemporary, western, medieval, paranormal, renaissance, age play, domestic discipline, spanking, and Sci-fi. That is quite a list. Do you have a favorite? Do you just wake up and think, ‘hmm, today I want to write in X genre.’ Or do you have a set schedule?
RENEE ROSE: LOL. I think I do just wake up and think, “hmmm, today I think I’ll write a ___.” 🙂 It’s whatever mood strikes me I guess. The common thread is always the D/s.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Is there a story you’re just dying to tell but haven’t been able to turn your attention to it yet?
RENEE ROSE: So many!!! I’m waiting to write a new shifter book (and I have another trio plotted) and I need to write the follow up to His Human Slave. There are several others yapping away to be written too!

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR:  What had you write BDSM under a different name, Darling Adams?
RENEE ROSE:  I was at a stage in my career when I felt like I needed to reinvent myself. I was lucky in that I had some initial popularity right out of the gates, but then readers’ interest seemed to tail off. I think trying out a new name just helped me shift out of my “stuck” energy. I also had the idea at the time that I would make a clear delineation. Renee Rose would be for DD-style books and Darling Adams would be for BDSM. Of course there’s no such clear delineation anyway, so I don’t know what I was thinking!

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: How much do you believe fantasy and reality collide in DD, BDSM, spanking and other kink novels? And is there a line you won’t cross? Or a line you think should be crossed more often?
RENEE ROSE: I have crossed many lines I didn’t think I would. When I started writing, I didn’t think I’d write ageplay. Or even BDSM (I found consent boring). I didn’t think I’d write rape-y scenes, but I just wrote my first one in His Human Slave. I guess I hope all my books force a collision of fantasy and reality. The reality is the emotions involved and the fantasy, of course is the actions/plot. I hope all the emotions come across as “real.” To me they certainly are.

(Ed note: His Human Slave is part of the Human Surrender anthology.)

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: What are you reading?
RENEE ROSE: I’ve been reading mainstream novels with a D/s edge, studying how far a mainstream author can go. My agent wants me to write a “non-kinky” version of my Bossman series so I just finished reading Kresley Cole’s Gamemaker series and Tessa Bailey’s Protecting What’s His. There’s a little ass-slapping and all kinds of dominate talk, without ever crossing into real D/s. They work for me–they still turn me on. Even though they don’t have my full fantasies playing out, I could imagine them there, between the pages. I’m hoping to do that with this new series.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR: Oh, I love the Gamemaker series! Anything else coming, writing-wise, for you?
RENEE ROSE: I’m sketching out the non-kinky mafia series right now. In the first book, the heroine is an art historian with bad taste in men. She’s left her last boyfriend and taken a temporary job at a mafia-owned casino as a maid. While cleaning the owner, Nico Tacone’s apartment, he shows up and assumes she’s a spy, subjecting her to a strip search.

Here’s a little snippet:
He reached out and ran his fingers swiftly along the collar of my housekeeping dress, like he was feeling for some hidden wire tap. I was pretty sure the guy was half out of his mind, maybe delirious with sleep deprivation. Maybe he’s just nuts. I froze, not wanting to set him off.

To my shock, he yanked down the zipper on the front of my dress, all the way to my waist.

A tiny mewl left my lips, but I didn’t dare move, didn’t protest. In a flash, the dress dropped at my feet and he shoved me aside to get it out from under my feet. He picked it up and ran his hands all over it, still searching, determined I must have hidden something.

“Look, I don’t know what you’re looking for, but I don’t have it,” I squeaked. “I was helping Shannon and then she got a call–”

“Save it,” he barked. “You’re too fucking perfect. What’s the con? What the fuck are you doing in here?”

I was confounded. Did I keep arguing the truth when it only pissed him off? I swallowed. No words reached my brain that sounded like the right ones to say.

He reached for my bra. It was a front hook and he was obviously quite experienced with women’s lingerie because it’s off faster than the dress. My breasts spring out with a bounce, and he glares at them, nostrils flaring, as if I was the one who bared them just to tempt him. He examines the bra, then tosses it on the floor and stares at me. His eyes dipped once more to my breasts and his expression grew even more furious.

I tried to step back but I ran into the toilet. “I’m not hiding anything. I’m just a maid. I got hired a few weeks ago. You can call Samuel.”

He dropped the bra and stepped closer. The hardened menace on his handsome face flattered him, only increasing his attractiveness to me. My body thrilled at the nearness of him, pussy dampening. Or maybe it was the fact that he just stripped me practically naked while he stood there fully clothed. If I hadn’t been so scared, it would be uber hot.
He palmed my backside, hot fingers sliding over the satiny fabric of my panties, checking for bugs. He slid a thumb under the gusset, running the fabric through his fingers. My belly fluttered.

Oh God. The back of his thumb brushed my dewy slit. I cringed in embarrassment. He just noticed how wet he made me. His head jerked up and he stared at me, in surprise nostrils flaring.

ELIZABETH SAFLEUR:  Whew! Panting a little over here. We can’t wait until this book comes out! In the meantime, what is your favorite way to connect with readers?
RENEE ROSE: I have a private facebook group where we have weekly “Wanton Wednesday” meet ups to discuss issues related to kink, relationships, books, implements, sex, etc. I absolutely adore and look forward to those events. I also get a fair amount of reader emails–I love when readers write back to share their journey with D/s.

All the better for us!

Psst…Did you know Renee also wrote a wonderful short in the Hero to Obey series, which features our very own Alexa Day, too?

THE LADYSMUT FAST LANE

Favorite smexy scene you’ve written?  I loved the angry whipping scene in His Human Slave.
Billionaire, cowboy or military hero? (or other?)  Billionaire, but military hero’s a close second.
Going back in time or jumping forward to the future? Back in time (corporal punishment– yay!).
Story you wish someone would tell already! I’d love more books that empower kids to follow their own hearts
Favorite holiday?  Thanksgiving. I love to cook and who doesn’t adore gratitude?
Tea, coffee, wine or martini (or all of the above)?  Coffee, then wine.
Number one bucket list item?  New York Times bestseller!

LOVE LINKS – Stalk Renee here
Newsletter
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads (Renee Rose)  (Darling Adams on Goodreads)
Pinterest
Amazon
Instagram

And if you’re seeking a little more D/s and domestic discipline in your life, read Renee Rose or my latest release, PERFECT, a DD erotic romance with just a touch of suspense. Sometimes the perfect man is the most forbidden.

Click on image to buy

Who Wants a PERFECT Hot, Sexy Spanking?

25 Aug
Click on image to buy!

Click on image to buy!

by Madeline Iva

Time for some research, folks! I’ve been thinking about Elizabeth SaFleur’s latest book PERFECT, which has a fair amount of suspense, but also focuses on some smexy spankings.

Here are things I know:

Our Lady Smut followers lurv spanking–or at least reading about it.

Many of my girlfriends shrug when it comes to spanking, don’t get it at all, or totally love it.  I’d say it’s about a third each.  These are women over thirty, who are comfortable with sex, with themselves, and with men.

There’s an assumption (when one looks at the internet at least) that a lot of men out there are dying to spank women — if not spank them, then slap their ass during sex.

This assumption–that being a man means you are driven to dominate women I think is just like the assumption that all men are secretly/not so secretly dying to have anal sex.  I don’t buy it.  It probably reflects more the general ass-hattery that crops up on the internet.  The asshats are a significant population, sure, but probably half the size of the majority of absolutely clueless and the much smaller slice of thoughtful relationships put together. It’s the thoughtful relationships that *I’m* talking about, btw.

In terms of men and women in relationships, I’m not sure that it’s really true all men across the board want to spank.  (I know of no males who want to be spanked, but maybe I’m just hanging out in the wrong social circles.) Based on a very, very small statistical sample of men who I know about–cause it’s not something one wants to ask strangers–I tend to get the idea that the men are more complicit partners when it comes to this kind of stuff–it’s the women who are leading the charge.  But if it makes her happy….

So for the people who shrug or don’t get it, here’s what I found out from my research:

  1. Spanking is a gateway erotic sex act.  It’s pretty basic, very safe, and yet involves some of the elements of more advanced BDSM: power, infantilization, hurting/caring dynamics, and trust issues. It’s kinky lite for the beginner, the uninitiated, the uninhibited.  It still requires communication with your partner–a key element to happiness in all sex.
  2. Spanking can release endorphins in the body, stimulate pressure points, and even cause vaginal orgasm.  Or not.  It depends on many factors–but with a “good” spanking–and there can be some skill involved here–and pain can melt into pleasure.
  3. Spanking pleasure is built as much upon the pleasurable nervousness of anticipation as it is upon the actual act.

Which brings me back to Elizabeth SaFleur’s book PERFECT which involves a domestic discipline relationship.  There’s a ruler with teeth marks in it in the book that I can’t get out of my mind.  I’ll leave it to your imagination to figure out what I’m talking about. <wink>

In contemplating domestic discipline, and why people might get off on it, I would argue that domestic discipline aims to amp up that anticipation factor.  The man (usually) sets up the rules of the house.  Violations are punished with spankings.  Rewards can be spankings too.  So the tension involves how the submissive decides to play with power.  Does the submissive want to strive to please her partner or violate the rules? Either way, she is in control of the anticipation; first while she contemplates being compliant or defiant, and afterwards when she takes action.  Then she gets to wait–and desire is all about the art of waiting.

Want more spanking? Here are some popular Lady Smut blog posts about it:

Outlander A Spanking A Spanking!

Getting Comfortable Over the Knee: An interview with Lee Savino

How to Have an Orgasm From Being Spanked

The Art of the Spank

A Little Spanking With Room Service, Please

Brand Spanking New

Spanking the Princess, Pt. 2

And here are some other blog posts to explore if you’re thinking about how to get started:

Why do men like to spank in bed?

How to get started with spanking.

Go git you some...click to buy.

Go git you some…click to buy.

But don’t forget to check out Elizabeth SaFleur’s new book PERFECT— it’s going bazonkers over at Amazon right now–join the stampede.

Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes the perfect man is the one who’s most forbidden.

After her husband’s death, Isabella Santos fled Washington and its bruising memories. But estate matters force her to return and fate gives her a chance to connect with a man she’d always secretly longed to call Master—Mark, the brother of her late husband.Mark, retired from his black ops career, grabs the second chance Isabella’s sudden appearance in D.C. presents. He’s never forgiven his late brother’s neglect of Isabella, a woman he’s loved from afar for ten years. Now reunited, he’s determined to earn her heart and submission.As their forbidden love blooms, they forge a perfect domestic discipline life that provides a feeling of oneness and completion. But her family’s opposition and demons from her late husband’s life intervene. In the end, the only way to have the future they’ve dreamed of, is to come to terms with the past.

Looking for the perfect blog to follow for smexy intelligent fun? Click on the follow button to your right.

 

D.C. Under Cover, After Dark

23 Aug
Click on image to buy!

Click on image to buy!

By Alexa Day

We’re celebrating a new release this week! Perfect, the latest from my esteemed colleague, Elizabeth SaFleur, is a second chance romance with loads and loads of kinky heat.

Check it:

Sometimes the perfect man is the one who’s most forbidden.
After her husband’s death, Isabella Santos fled Washington and its bruising memories. But estate matters force her to return and fate gives her a chance to connect with a man she’d always secretly longed to call Master—Mark, the brother of her late husband.
Mark, retired from his black ops career, grabs the second chance Isabella’s sudden appearance in D.C. presents. He’s never forgiven his late brother’s neglect of Isabella, a woman he’s loved from afar for ten years. Now reunited, he’s determined to earn her heart and submission.
As their forbidden love blooms, they forge a perfect domestic discipline life that provides a feeling of oneness and completion. But her family’s opposition and demons from her late husband’s life intervene. In the end, the only way to have the future they’ve dreamed of is to come to terms with the past.

Perfect is part of a series, Elite Doms of Washington, which sets hot BDSM romance against an equally sexy backdrop. (Just as an aside, the first book, Lovely, is 99 cents as I write this. Just saying that.) I have to admit that the focal point of this smoking hot cover, as far as I’m concerned, is the Capitol dome in the background. The nation is watching! 

This revelation has not been easy for me. You all know that I love a hot shirtless dude as much as the next girl. On top of that, I was spawned in New York City, and my soul and spirit are only truly at home there. How could any other city ever be hotter?

But I think the nation’s capital might actually be a sexier place.

Somewhere, the Head New Yorker in Charge is raising her head, thinking of revoking my NYC Card. It’s okay. Bear with me.

First and foremost, Washington is powerful. I’m a new convert to the idea that power is an aphrodisiac. Not sure why it took me so long. Maybe I’ve spent too much time with dudes who are underachievers. This is not to say that Washington isn’t home to the occasional fellow who could be doing more with his life. But whatever your political leaning, whatever your cause, Washington has an influencer for that. A person who can get things done with a whisper to the right person at the right time. There’s definitely something hot about powerful men. They can transform their passions into real change. Conversations with them have lasting consequences. The woman who can turn his head … well, she might have a power of her own.

There’s something just as hot about powerful women. Their words and actions have impact, in a world where many of us have to educate people not to talk over us or suffer through mansplaining. But in bed — or on the way there — a powerful woman becomes the chooser. She’s used to getting whatever she wants, without apology or excuse. I am absolutely on board with that.

Secondly, Washington is all about secrets. New York, the home of my heart, isn’t the same way. New York is more about minding your business. Its motto might as well be “what the fuck are you looking at?” That’s really more about discretion — the presumption that, with few exceptions, people are not and should not be paying attention to what you are doing.

Washington favors secrecy. Hidden places. Secret groups. In a place as powerful as Washington is, control of one’s public face is key. A person might lose all that influence, everything that put him in the center of things, if anyone knew who he really was. Washington isn’t like New York (or Vegas, which also tempts me from time to time). All that affluence can still get you some very nice things, but no one has the freedom to let it all hang out, as it were. Nowhere is that safe. Home isn’t even that safe for some folks. That’s why it’s so important to have a secret getaway.

Risk. Trust. And the possibility of a fleeting glimpse at that special someone’s real identity. Does it get sexier?

Get down with the Elite Doms and let the world know.

And follow Lady Smut. We’ll tell you what we know, and when we know it.

Psychological Torture You Pay For. Say Hello To The Blackout Experiments.

3 Aug

By Elizabeth Shore

In a country where it’s said anything can be had for a price, I haven’t given much thought to parting with my cold hard cash in order to be psychologically tortured. To have people scream at me, gag me, call me filthy names, force me to take off my clothes and run blindfolded through a dark room while being told what a hellish loser I am. But there are, it turns out, people who are indeed willing to not only voluntarily go through the experience but to pay money to do so. Introducing The Blackout Experiments.

I learned about this in a documentary film a saw recently entitled, appropriate enough, The Blackout Experiments. The film follows a group of participants – “survivors,” they label themselves – while they speak of their experiences with Blackout and talk about what makes them become borderline obsessed/addicted to it. And yes, one man’s therapist wife, whose speciality is treating addicts, told her husband he was indeed as hooked on Blackout as an alcoholic is to booze.  Yet Blackout, according to those who indulge, is not so much a harmful addiction as it is a cathartic experience to confront and overcome one’s deepest psychological fears. A true transformational process. As one participant in the film stated, “Blackout has the ability to change you if you let it. You learn what you’re capable of.”

As we get to see what goes on in the haunted house that is Blackout, a pattern emerges. Every participant is really there to confront his or her fears, and what exactly those fears are sets the stage for the Blackout experience. Participants want something truly powerful, something they’ve never experienced before. The film’s primary subject, Russell, stated, “I think deep down I want something intense enough that pushes me to the point where I want out but that I choose not to.” After a pause he adds, “That almost sounds like I want to overcome something.” And that, in fact, is what he does want, or at least what “survivors” say is the entire point. They want to overcome their fears.

But is this really what it takes for that to happen? Is there no way to conquer those demons other than being repeatedly degraded and humiliated by strangers? It seems from the film that many would say there isn’t. They’re like phoenixes emerging from the ashes, survivors of the fire and better because of it.

Naturally, the whole thing had my Lady Smut mind delving into sexual parallels. There are those who claim humiliation is the surest path to arousal. Being called a filthy whore, told to lick someone’s boots or clean whips with their tongue. The S&M part of BDSM once – although no longer – considered pathological, has similar psychological outcomes for participants as those who  go through a Blackout experience. S&M participants have reported lessened states of anxiety after engaging in sadomasochistic sex, and researchers say there’s science behind this related to how the body restricts blood flow to certain areas of the brain during S&M sex. The result, for some participants, is a feeling of “oneness,” and an actual altered state of consciousness.

That all sounds groovy, but I’m not jumping on that Blackout bandwagon. One guy in the film, who was the experience’s only detractor, said he’d gone through Blackout a number of times until it reached a point where he felt it had morphed from helping him overcome fears into what he called actual abuse. He claimed he’d been slapped and had feces stuffed in his mouth, and that session had gone far beyond the point where it helped him. Yet like a druggie who experiences a terrorizing hallucination, even those who said they thought Blackout might have at one point or another “gone too far” still came back for more. It wasn’t until the end of the film in which we saw the guys who run Blackout actually make the participants kick the habit and swear off the experience forever. One guy said it was if it had been decided that they’d “graduated” from Blackout and there was no longer anything from it that they could learn through more sessions. But the participants were hard-pressed to want to give it up. One woman said she felt like it was a rejection.

Speaking of those guys who run the sessions, their names are Kristjan Thor and Josh Randall. They only spoke for a few minutes at the end of the film, but what they said was interesting. Josh stated that the point of Blackout was to give something to the participants that was “undismissible (sic).” If we push ourselves to the limit, he says, it allows us to learn certain truths about ourselves. That’s why people pay money to be tortured.  An interesting side note: the two guys state that the concept was born out of wanting to make a wildly new haunted house experience, something no one had ever done before. But the concept grew, eventually becoming something far beyond its haunted house immersive theater beginnings into a deeply meaningful experience for a lot of tortured souls.

If anything, it’s certainly it’s a conversation starter. Are you ready to take the Blackout plunge? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to follow us at Lady Smut. We promise it won’t be torture.

 

 

 

We’re All Kinky Monsters. Yes, We Are.

22 Jul

By Elizabeth SaFleur

I have no frickin’ idea how to start this post, except to tell you the truth. I was minding my own Internet business doing research when I came across  this Psychology Today blog post talking about how fetishes aren’t so, well, fetish-y anymore. It’s a fascinating short read in which I learned in some parts of Japan you can find vending machines that sell used school girl panties. Ya know, to satisfy that on-the-go panty fetish urge.

giphy (2)

But after reading said post, a question arose. Are there any sexual taboos left? Any more sexual proclivities one wishes to keep secret? Like not out in public via vending machine where anyone with a phone can snap a pix of you burying your snoz in a girl’s thong?

Let us review. A decade (or two) ago, being gay was considered scandalous. Five years ago (okay, maybe ten), most people were aghast at BDSM. The Fifty Shades phenomenon cured that last one — sort of. So now? I ask, in my best Carrie Bradshaw voice, are there any sexual activities left that cause scandal? Or have we all woken up to the fact we’re all kinky monsters at heart?

giphy

According to Psychology Today, fetishism is “sexual attraction to objects, situations, or body parts not traditionally viewed as sexual.” This definition did not help at all in discovering who might fall into the kinky camp.  I turned to the diagnostic criteria for 302.81, a.k.a Fetishism, from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, Copyright 2000, by the American Psychiatric Association. (We at Ladysmut like to be all official-like with our references.)

Criteria, by the Big Bad-Ass Psychology Community, for being a fetishist:

  1. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving the use of nonliving objects (e.g., female undergarments).

Does a vibrator count? Because that pretty much puts most of the female population on this list.

  1. The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Well, that depends. Define impairment. Like think about it all the time? Wouldn’t that put most males between the age of 12 and, oh, 70 in that category because they have sex on the brain?

  1. The fetish objects are not limited to articles of female clothing used in cross-dressing (as in Transvestic Fetishism) or devices designed for the purpose of tactile genital stimulation (e.g., a vibrator).

So, I guess dressing up as a woman if you’re a man and using a vibrator isn’t a fetish? And if I’m a woman who worships her vibrator like the God-given-best-thing-man-ever-invented-since-fire miracle that it is,  I’m off the hook, too? But if I throw in some stuffed animals (plushophilia) or other objects, I’m a deviant? What about foot fetishes (podophilia)? They’re human (partly) and not an object. (I’m not gonna lie to you, I want to do Alexander Skarsgard’s abs as seen in Tarzan like nobody’s business.)

Further research only confuses things. You  can find reams of studies that show kinky sexual fantasies are super common, how some kinks (such as cuckolding) are growing in popularity, and  how even the Big Bad-Ass Psychology Community has been re-assessing its viewpoints on BDSM (not considered a kink by many, but close enough for our purposes).

giphy (4)

Bottom line, there seems to be a growing acceptance that if something turns you on and you’re not hurting anyone (including yourself), have at it. Okay, then. Carpe the fucking diem out of that turn-on.

Yet perhaps something even more important is going on. We’re growing to become more of who we really are and not society’s version of who you should be?  Sorry for the Dr. Phil moment. But, really, addressing your desires, even the dark scary ones that some Big Bad Ass Psychology Community has deemed “not normal” can be empowering and healthy (once again provided it’s safe, sane and consensual). In fact, many new studies have shown people who engage in BDSM are happier and healthier than most people. Why? Because they’re being themselves.

Psst. In case you’re absolutely convinced you’re 100 percent vanilla, I don’t want to burst your bubble. But if you are turned on by hot men (or women) pictures you might fall into pygophilia, the love of buttocks. Or, perhaps you love muscles? You have sthenolagnia. Sicko. Then, of course, most males would fall into having mazophilia, which is worshiping breasts. Geez, get out the straight jackets.

Personally, I think we should all adopt erotophilia: Positive attitude to sexuality (opposed to erotophobia). Here, let us help:

27a6a09f577dc026efcf3f50e17454b6

Follow Ladysmut. We don’t mind if you’re kinky. We love eeeeeverybody.

Speaking of which, check out Rachel Kramer Bussel’s latest anthology, Begging For It.

What would you give — or give up — to fulfill your most cherished sex fantasy? In this Cleis Press collection, erotica editor Rachel brings us femme fatales and shy women, women on a mission and women opening up to new worlds of discovery: women who know what they want and are not afraid to beg for it! Let yourself go with these 20 tantalizing tales of tortuous longing and release.

*****

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary erotic romance and she’s not afraid to get a little graphic about it  — “it” being the smex, the BDSM or Washington, DC society, which she regularly features in her series, the Elite Doms of Washington. She also is super proud of her erotophilia and sthenolagnia.

Cover Reveal and Sm3xy Excerpt – Get Your Fire On

16 Jul

No Sexy Saturday Round-Up today. The minion SSRU smutters are taking a little break. Rather, we give you a cover reveal and hot excerpt!

Perfect cover_SaFleur_

Story Blurb
Sometimes the perfect man is the one who’s most forbidden.

After her husband’s death, Isabella Santos fled Washington and its bruising memories. But estate matters force her to return and fate gives her a chance to connect with a man she’d always secretly longed to call Master—Mark, the brother of her late husband. Mark, retired from his black ops career, grabs the second chance Isabella’s sudden appearance in D.C. presents. He’s never forgiven his late brother’s neglect of Isabella, a woman he’s loved from afar for ten years. Now reunited, he’s determined to earn her heart and submission. As their forbidden love blooms, they forge a perfect domestic discipline life that provides a feeling of oneness, completion and a healing of wounds neither knew they had. But her family’s opposition and demons from her husband’s past have different ideas. In the end, Mark must become more than her Master. He must use all his training and skills to become her savior.

~~~~~

How do you like your erotic romance? Five alarm chili-hot or just a little spicy? Personally, I enjoy the heat, which is why this fireplay excerpt from PERFECT, book 3 of the Elite Doms of Washington books, was so much fun to write. This second chance romance includes domestic discipline, as well as a few surprises. Enjoy!

Excerpt from PERFECT, an Elite Doms of Washington erotic romance

Warnings: fireplay and a smexy, adult situation

When Isabella entered the Library, her spine snapped straight. Mark sat in a tall-backed, velvet chair. His arms draped casually over the armrests like a king settled into his throne. He didn’t turn when they entered. His focus remained on a nude, statuesque redhead who lay face-up on a table.

“Who is that woman?” Isabella had to know.

“It’s not what you think, Isabella. Charlotte is under his protection.” Alexander understood her unspoken question. Why is he with her?

A dark haired man peered down at the porcelain-skinned woman. Her fiery hair and lush figure left Isabella feeling small and ordinary, like a daisy to a bird of paradise bloom.

The man turned, dipped two cotton-tipped wands into a shallow dish and then waved them over a pillar candle igniting their ends.

She startled.

Alexander’s arm descended on her shoulders. “You’ve seen fire play before?”

“Yes. I’m not—”

“Fond of fire. Do you wish to leave?”

“No.” She jerked her gaze to his face.

Alexander cocked his head at her vehement tone.

“I mean, I’d like to stay. Thank you.”

While she wasn’t a fan of edge play, no one else seemed alarmed. Rather, they appeared riveted by the scene unfolding before them. She wouldn’t flee like a coward. Instead, she’d simply channel the courage Mark displayed.

The other Master’s face glowed in the amber light as he waved the fire sticks over the woman’s body as if preparing her for a fiery impact. “Charlotte,” he growled.

The redhead’s lips moved in response. “Master.”

The one word ran through Isabella like a storm. She flushed. Why did she feel her presence interrupted a private moment? Even surrounded by two dozen people, she sensed the Master, the woman and Mark had secreted to a private world.

The dark-haired Master drummed the wands of fire up the woman’s belly to her breasts. She arched into the flames! Why?

The woman turned her eyes to Mark and sent him a contented smile. The side of his mouth arched up, and he dipped his chin in acknowledgement.

Her face softened with a palpable gratitude.

The other man smoothed hair from her dampened forehead while tapping one breast lightly with the lit wand. Her mouth dropped to an “O” and she arched again toward the flame. The Master glanced up at Mark, who had leaned forward in his chair, his gaze sharpening on the woman’s reaction.

The other Master caught Mark’s glance and stilled. Mark nodded and the man resumed his actions.

Isabella’s stomach flipped over. There was no way this was not what she thought. Mark most certainly was with this statuesque firewoman. Though the other Master held the fire, Mark’s command of the scene was unquestionable.

“Why is he . . . ?” Her breath hitched.

“Mark is introducing Charlotte and Master R to fire play. It’s her first time.”

As if that made it okay?

Mark leaned back into his chair. His fingers relaxed over the ends of the armchairs. Even from the side, she caught the tiny flashes of firelight glinting in his eyes.

Again, more swipes of the fiery wands captured her attention. They made soft yet sharp sounds, like freshly laundered sheets flapping in the wind.
In her periphery, she was aware that the five or six people, who milled a respectful distance away, had shifted and separated. Couples leaned into one another, as if they’d grown embroiled in the intimacy woven between Mark, the other Master and Charlotte.

She tuned into her body. An undeniable feminine ache settled between her legs. Well, her response to the scene was merely the Club’s atmosphere. Accendos’s very air hung heavy with contagious, sexual arousal.

She shifted her focus to the woman now glowing in a sheen of perspiration. The fire matched the red in her hair, and she seemed to grow almost liquid in her undulations.

Mark’s consideration remained on Charlotte squirming under the attention of two Masters. Charlotte. The name sounded soft, pliable and pleasing, yet it meant “strength.” It was a name given to royalty—to duchesses and princesses.

Princess Charlotte gasped. Mark sat back, as if released from her behest that he provide her his full and undivided attention.

An orange flicker flashed across the woman’s chest and earned a throaty sigh from her throat. The Master then drummed the wands faster up her body.

Isabella nearly tipped backward. Good thing Alexander’s arm kept her upright.

“He’s not hurting her, Isabella. Imagine someone tapping a large, hot Q-tip over your skin.”

She could imagine such a sensation.

“It’s more mind play than anything,” Alexander continued. “Many people are afraid of fire. Are you?”

She slowly nodded. Like most people, she understood fire’s utter indifference to whatever lay in its path. Fire didn’t care if you lived or burned. Yet, today, its warmth called up a strange fear in her that exhilarated rather than paralyzed.

Charlotte seductively licked her lips and peered up at the Master. He cupped a handful of her breast and tapped her nipple with the wand. She cried out lightly, ending in a coo playing on her lips. There was no question she loved the sensation. The Master appeared to love her reaction to what he did.

Isabella took in Princess Charlotte’s assets, adding up her points. At least ten years younger than her. Taller. Breasts more firm. Can withstand fire. Did that last quality win her the crown?

She sent an invisible plea to Mark. She mentally begged him to angle his chin a fraction so he’d catch her in the doorway. If she could just see his confident and stoic face.  . . Alexander had said the redhead was merely under his protection, whatever the hell that meant. In the community, people bandied labels about like confetti.

A loud pop from one of the wands startled her. The flames attached themselves to Charlotte’s skin for the briefest second and then vanished like orange and red ghosts.

She pulled her blouse free from her clammy chest. The slight waft of cooler air did nothing to dissipate the heat growing where it should not be growing. She hadn’t been aroused in . . . how long?

How about in Mark’s kitchen? Or the bridge? Or . . .pick any other time you were with him? Shut up, she told her internal voices. Perhaps she should have tried edge play before. Then Marcos would watch her that way, wouldn’t he?

She projected herself onto the table. If she asked, the flames could land on her skin, make her arch her back that way. Even before she’d been widowed, she hadn’t had a Master’s touch in far, far too long.

Perhaps Marcos could . . .

Stop. She shouldn’t yearn to be in Charlotte’s position. So just don’t think it.

Ha! Like that would work. Her traitorous mind conjured pictures of herself splayed out, nude and writhing, as Marcos, and only Marcos, mastered her body’s reactions. The flames danced over its princess as if alive. Oh, to feel that alive. To have fire skip over her skin. To be the object of Mark’s attention.

He stood. Where was he going?

He strode to Princess Charlotte and smiled down on her. She sent him an adoring look. The kiss he laid on her forehead said everything. He was her real Master, wasn’t he?

Mark sat back down and nodded once. The Master resumed, thrumming the lit wands up the beauty’s legs. The fire skittered across Charlotte’s skin.

She twisted and moaned. More licks of warmth reached Isabella’s skin.

She searched the quietest corners of her mind for the bits of peace she’d stitched together in the last few months. The cool, empty places that didn’t need so desperately. They were no help in settling the arousal growing inside.

She turned and looked up at Alexander. He looked over her head and nodded in Mark’s direction. She didn’t dare turn her head.

Alexander gently turned her so she once again faced the scene. “Mark has requested you stay.”

“You got all that from a nod,” she whispered to the center of the room. She didn’t need to pose it as a question. The elite Dominants at Accendos had an uncanny understanding of one another. Their near clairvoyant abilities were part of their allure. They watched out for each other, as they watched out for their charges. Only she wasn’t anyone’s responsibility. She had no Master.

At that instant, her soul felt thrown to the periphery, outside wherever Mark, the other Master and the Fire Princess lived. The detached feeling should have numbed her body. Instead, she was overcome by a sense of loss.

Why had she come back? She should have never returned to D.C.

She glanced up at Alexander once last time, and then fled.

*****

PERFECT is a stand-alone novel in the Elite Doms of Washington series and will be available on August 22.  Follow me on Amazon if you’d like an alert when it’s out. In the meantime, stay cool and follow LadySmut.

*****

Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary erotic romance and she’s not afraid to get a little graphic about it  — “it” being the smex, the BDSM or Washington, DC society, which she regularly features in her series, the Elite Doms of Washington.

He’s Hot, He’s Tied Up, and He’s All Yours–Now What Are You Gonna Do?

30 Jun He's hot, he's tied up, and he's all yours.  Now what are ya gonna do?
Some days a woman feels her inner spank more than others.

Some days a woman feels her inner spank more than others.

by Madeline Iva

Let’s talk about women in seriously tight leather, wielding whips. While everybody hates a shrieking bitch, we all respect the woman who has her sh** majorly together.  This woman is my role model when I encounter her–be she a mom or a boss.

She is unflappable when it comes to getting results.  ‘Results’ often means putting man or man-child back in his place and making him behave.  I respect this kind of woman–but do I identify with her as my heroine in an erotic romance story? Sure I do!

In the DEVIL’S DOORBELL anthology I was raving about last week, the heroine in Megan Heart’s story is a domme, with a hot sub.  His dick may be in chains (literally) but he is clearly empowered with his own agenda.

Our heroine in this story is heart sore (but then again, what Megan Hart heroine isn’t? ; >) She tends to his needs, until her own needs become so large, that her sub puts his role aside.  He takes his turn being the comforting one, the one to hold her and fuck her hard if that’s what she needs.

All of which helps when a demon from her past comes back into town.  This bad boy who once wrecked the heroine shows up to befuddle her head and break her heart. Again. Yet thanks to her domme experience and her sub, who’s shown her just how good a real man can treat her, she is no longer the broken woman her ex left behind. She finds an emotional power to deal with her ex calmly and firmly—putting him in his place sexually–even in her highly vulnerable state.  Not your typical spanking sub tale.

Click to buy to read this forceful, sexy, hero's story...

Click to buy to read this forceful, sexy, hero’s story…

Joey Hill has probably been most successful writing domme heroines and sub heroes. In NATURAL LAW, the hero is a cop going undercover at a sex club as a sub to catch a murderous FemDom.

Mac is an interesting alpha-sub. The heroine thinks he throws himself into the submissive roll with the cocky idea that he’s so tough, no woman can break him.

Such attitude makes her itch to try, of course.

Letting himself be restrained, Mackenzie, full of male pride, insists he can take anything she dishes out. There are two scenes when Violet violates his sense of old skool masculinity.  As he roars with primal fury, he’s helplessly getting off – and getting off – and getting off some more.

Reading these scenes, I was like ‘Oh my God!’, my eyes glued to my Kindle.

Viola breaks her bucking bronco, and leaves us with a wounded, sexy beast, weary and full of feels as she holds his large head in her hands.  He’s more humble, his primal force banked in the tenderness he feels towards her. I’m sure this scene hits all the right pleasure button for women readers.

MADELINE IVA: How are you the rare exception when it comes to erom writers in being able to have really successful FemDom sex that actually sells? What’s your secret sauce?

JOEY HILL: When I started writing my first FemDom/male sub story, I didn’t expect to BE writing that genre. Holding the Cards was intended to be MaleDom/female sub, because that’s what I liked to read myself. But it didn’t work, and I became so frustrated, I flipped the roles and suddenly the book took off. That was the story that taught ME that I could enjoy reading about that type of relationship.

I didn’t quite get my feet under me until the next one, which was NATURAL LAW. When I wrote Mac and Violet’s story, I figured out “the secret sauce” so to speak. Like most of those who were writing erotic romance at that time, I was a traditional romance reader. I loved romances with uber-alpha heroes (aka Dom wannabes that the world wasn’t ready to call Doms yet, lol). So when I wrote NATURAL LAW, I wrote a hero who had all the elements of those traditional heroes. Mac Nighthorse was protective, strong, and sensitive at the right moments in a masculine way (not a girl hiding in a guy’s body, lol), but he had the intriguing twist of desiring to submit sexually and serve… Full stop.

He's hot, he's tied up, and he's all yours. Now what are ya gonna do?

He’s hot, he’s tied up, and he’s all yours. Now what are ya gonna do?

It was that word “serve” that clicked for me. Since then, I’ve called this form of submissive the “palace guard” sub. He’s the type of guy who might be a cop or in the military, with such a craving to serve the woman he loves that it translates into a submissive orientation. I am a submissive myself, so I used my understanding of the submissive psychology to guide me through the scenes, but integrated it with how I’d expect a male hero to react and handle those scenarios.

Of course, the nice thing about how the erotic romance genre has evolved is it also now has room to explore the beta male subs.

Oh behave!

Oh behave!

It’s also REALLY important not to forget the Domme side of the equation. Just as my male sub still has traditional qualities of romance heroes, my Domme has vulnerabilities. She doesn’t stop being a woman in love; far from it. Her Domme side is all part of how she loves. She’s tough and amazing, but she still needs to be held when she cries. Which is genuinely the way a Domme is in real life as well. Dom or sub, these are still human beings whose needs and desires are pretty much the same as what we all have – they just express them through a Dominant or submissive orientation.

MADELINE IVA: Do you think FemDom will be more embraced by romance audiences as we move along?

JOEY HILL: As the erotic romance readership has grown more sophisticated, they’ve become more willing to try storylines they wouldn’t necessarily have considered when they first started reading erotic romance. So yes, I think as readers hear from other readers “Hey, this is really good and you should try it,” they will. That’s how NATURAL LAW gained in popularity and became the book that launched my career. Pretty funny, since I assumed in the beginning I would only ever write Male Doms, lol. Now I do Dommes, Doms, threesomes, you name it. I guess erotic romance authors become more diverse and sophisticated as we go along, too.

But final note, if an author wants a FemDom book to take off get it in the hands of readers/reviewers who will give it a try and crow from the rooftops to other readers if they love it. I’m seeing more and more requests from readers looking for “good” FemDom/male sub stories.

MADELINE IVA: Thanks Joey for being here today and answering these questions! Our very own Alexa Day has a FemDom story out in the new anthology HERO TO OBEY.

Click to buy it now---only .99 cents!

Click to buy it now—only .99 cents!

The hero in this story is young-ish, hot-naturally–and performs as an excellent bar back for the owner of a restaurant and bar on the seashore. The heroine’s female employee is like “Can we keep him? Can we?” because he really puts an strong work ethic into his physical labors in an efficient and conscientious way. The heroine, however, has other ideas about what to do with such an obedient, gorgeous employee who responds so well to her commands.

There’s a great scene in the store room where nothing is said really, but the chemistry is palpably felt to the point where the relationship cannot go back to the way it was.  You’ll have to read the rest to find out what happens.

Meanwhile, do you have a favorite FemDom read? A favorite Joey Hill or Megan Hart book you adore? Does FemDom do it for you? Do you think this sub sub-genre is a growing trend?

As we become more comfortable with women in positions of enormous power, *cough* woman president of the United States *cough* do you think more women will see themselves in the FemDom role and look for more of these romances? Or do you think it will drive women even further into the fantasy of submission as they seek a break from all that responsibility?

Do tell.

Meanwhile make your mistress happy–follow us at Lady Smut and subscribe to our newsletter.

Madeline Ivaimgres writes fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance.  Her novella ‘Sexsomnia’ is available in our LadySmut anthology HERE, and her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, will be out Fall, 2016.

Doing Whatever He Wants – And Loving It

29 Jun

By Elizabeth Shore

Yesterday our own Alexa Day – whose story Passing Through is part of the fabulous new naughty military release Hero to Obey that we’re celebrating this week – wrote a great piece on the idea of Femdom, i.e., flipping the tables on the traditional concept of woman as submissive. With femdom, of course, she’s the one in charge, and as Alexa smartly points out, this gives us, “a take-charge heroine [who] drives her own sexual journey, and I’m all about seeing her partner treating her with the deference reserved for royalty.” Yepper. I’m on board with that, too. But still and all, in my hot fantasies, being the submissive is still where it’s at. Yet, why??

In Alexa’s post yesterday she pointed out that one reason submission in romance is so popular is because it appeals to the side of women who may have wild sexual desires but who are reticent to explore them without direction. A dominant male telling a woman to roleplay her fantasies removes any guilt she may have about the fantasy. She can’t be scorned, after all, for crawling across the floor like a kitten since she’s just doing what she was told. The burden of having to justify her behavior, even if only in her own mind, is removed when the behavior is dictated by someone else.

I think there’s certainly some truth to that, but that explanation alone still doesn’t entirely satisfy. So I set out to find intel on what strong women who like being dominated – the so-called tough on the streets, submissive in the sheets – had to say about it. Here are a few quotes from a post on thoughtcatalogue.com.

“Women are raised to act pure and chaste and I find that disgusting. Being his little sex slave is my way of rebelling against a society that tries to oppress female sexuality.”

“I like to be manhandled, mastered and degraded – but only with someone I trust. It’s a bonding experience.”

“I like being treated like his sex slave; it makes me feel irresistible.”

The best article I found was one from several years ago on alternet.org that includes a long attribution from our own Rachel Kramer Bussel, who states, “There’s no reason why a woman’s feminist thoughts or credentials or beliefs should be somehow demoted because she’s sexually submissive.” No indeed. In fact, when I think in a personal way about why the idea of submission is arousing to me, it boils down to the last of the three quotes, “it makes me feel irresistible.”

In any Dom/sub relationship, negotiation takes place and boundaries are drawn. What each person likes, what they don’t like, what really gets them off. Which means that if a man is dominating me, he’s thinking about me. I’m the one getting his full attention. I do, as the last woman stated, feel irresistible, because I’m very well aware that this scenario is also massively turning him on. I alone am the source of his desire. And let’s be honest, it’s nice. No complaints. Having wanted attention devoted just on me…I’m good with that. 😉

It’s been said that the everday powerful woman likes being dominated in the bedroom because giving up power there temporarily liberates her from having to make constant decisions. Someone else – whom she trusts – is taking care of that. It’s freeing to be sure, and perhaps that’s also a huge draw for many. Even if a woman doesn’t have a traditionally thought of “powerful” day-time role, she’s still got obligations and decisions to make that don’t have to be dealt with while in the role of submissive.

Hero to Obey cover imageI’d love to hear what you think. Dominant or submissive? Do you set the rules, or does your partner lead the way? While pondering, be sure to check out Hero to Obey and see how Alexa’s heroine Gigi takes care of business. And then follow us on Lady Smut. Do it, you hear. That’s an order.

 

 

You Have to Read This! The Devil’s Doorbell Erotic Anthology

23 Jun 51Zn-9CjvxL._SY445_QL70_
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Click to buy, consume, whiffle down in one gulp and then lick your fingers afterwards. Yum!

by Madeline Iva

I don’t know how many ways to say this: buy this anthology now!  THE DEVIL’S DOORBELL would be my vote for best anthology of 2016. (That said, why doesn’t RWA have a best anthology category for the RITA’S?)

Why should you buy it? Let me count the ways:

1) I’m really a hard core erotic romance reader and this is labled erotica, but it very much satisfied my erom itch.

Something has to be super-hot and well written for it to be erotica and work for me.  That said, this anthology has all the elements that I want/lurv in erotic romance.  They’re such wicked little sexy short stories and novellas but even so, I thought there were a lot of happy endings.

Yeah, they come wrapped in HFN ribbons, but the relationships are so well done, you get the feeling that when the ribbons are plucked off, inside the package are a lot of HEA’s.  Okay, maybe I was reading into some of them–but there was only one really that made me think it was a classic erotica story in which the relationship would be pleasing, but then they would still move on. And even that one satisfied this erom gal.

In fact, some seemed more like the beginning of a book, where the couples could go on (and I’d read more!) because they seem to have made such a solid connection, and it seemed like there’s more goodness to come down the well-paved story path.

2. Excellent writing.  It was really a delight to read this anthology simply for the mastery of prose. Your head will sink into these stories like a freshly plumped pillow in a luxury hotel.

3. Classy as all git.  People, I have gone to war with the erom f*** fest.  I don’t want randy, flat characters senselessly humping away by page twelve. I want rounded characters, I want some intelligence, sensitivity, and yes, class when it comes to people whimpering with sexual need.  This book had it all. I really liked the honest yet sophisticated attitudes towards women, men, and sex.

Molly O'Keefe's character reminded me of Alexander Skarsgard-but in his "I've lost my memory, Suki" more vulnerable state.

Molly O’Keefe’s character reminded me of Alexander Skarsgard in his “I’ve lost my memory, Suki” vulnerable state.

4. Hot as hell. Smexy sauce spurting everywhere.  Mollie O’Keefe’s writing is new to me. Her story anchors the ending. It’s about a sexy, muscled, female welder-artist type who meets up with a scarred, tall, nordic he-man of the wilderness (I’m picturing Alexander Skarsgard). So yeah, I really liked the feel of her characters. Like the other big girl writers of this erom anthology, her writing was so crystal clear in my head that her compellingly like-able iconic characters played out in my imagination with the ease of watching a sexy mini-series episode.  And by that, I don’t mean to drag the comparison down to the level of crap TV, I mean to lift it UP to a comparison of “It’s so glossy, polished, and well done, I could just sit here all day watching this entire series in one go” kind of comparison. You know what I mean.

5. Glamorous locations.  Anne Calhoun’s story kicks off the anthology, and takes place in England. The setting is rich, pretty, and the sex is weighted with all the carnal delight of late afternoon sun on a glorious mid-summer’s day.  I pictured someone hot English aristo like Matthew Goode in the hero’s role.

6. Compelling plot concepts! I have to say–my fav, fav, favorite story was Christine D’Abo’s DEVIL IN THE DARK. (Though I loved them all, you understand.) This story was hot and to the point.  Great concept — With nicely done characters in a very short amount of pages.  The story is about a women who creates a wicked little app, a sort of zipless fuck menu, in which you can make up a list of illicit naughty sex you want to try out with a stranger.  Then our entrepreneur heroine finds a brooding mystery man at a disco bar who’s willing to be her first victim.

7. Diversity in kinds of sex. There’s a fem dom story in the collection by Megan Hart. (More on fem dom next week.) And even an f/f story by Megan Mulry***.  Megan! (Fanning myself.) Set in London no less–a lush setting and a perfect match for Calhoun’s story.

We, of course, are big fans of Megan Mulry’s already, but this story was so excellent.  Light and bubbly. Hawt.  And this was (at least with my rosy romance spectacles on) the one erotica story that didn’t seem like the relationship was going to last for forever.  I didn’t care.  It was satisfyingly luxurious. Really an elegant f/f erotica story–if I can even say that about a plot that starts off with an ad for face-sitting. Kudos, Megan!

But there are other very different kinds of stories/plots/and sex as well.  Roll playing.  Illicit office sex. Virgin sex. Some take place in warehouses. Some involve new encounters, some evoke the haunting of old flames.  A whole variety of characters from backwoods he-men to millionaire female doms.  Sexy bartenders!

8. Awesome authors!  I’m babbling here.

I just really liked this anthology.  It’s an all-star erotic romance author line up, people.  I also want to give a shout out to Delphine Dryden who has a story in the anthology, cause I’ve always been a big fan of her sexy geeks.

Buy it already! You know you want to — a perfect summer read for the beach.  Perfect!

***And thanks to Megan Mulry for slipping me a free copy at my request.  I knew I was probably going to like it — but I didn’t know I’d like it THIS MUCH.

Meanwhile, follow us at LadySmut where we’ll inspire your TBR pile with a wave of our battery operated wands and some unicorn fairy dust.

Madeline Ivaimgres writes fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance.  Her novella ‘Sexsomnia’ is available in our LadySmut anthology HERE, and her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, will be out Fall, 2016.

 

Embracing the Dark: An Interview with Tabitha Black

14 Jun
If you like kinky stories with military heroes, click to preorder. Like right now.

If you like kinky stories with military heroes, click to preorder. Like right now.

By Alexa Day

So here’s the big news I wanted to share with you last week: I’m really excited and honored to formally announce that I’m one of 22 authors contributing to a box set called Hero to Obey. The collection, which releases June 28, features military heroes and more kink than you can shake a flogger at, and Lady Smut guests Sierra Cartwright and Lee Savino are also participating. The best thing about working with so many wonderful authors? Each of them brings a distinct flavor to the many varieties of kink and the military men who like it naughty. (If you’re down with spanking, you will definitely want a big piece of this box set, by the way.)

As the set was coming together, I got a peek at Tabitha Black’s story, “Understanding the Enemy,” which sets a dark erotic romance against a futuristic, dystopian backdrop. The heroine, Lena, is a resistance fighter captured by the enemy and interrogated by Blaze, who has plenty of ways to get what he wants out of her. It’s a powerful, sexual tale with compelling characters and an intriguing setting, and it delivers plenty of darkly erotic goodness for eager readers.

I have a thing for dark stories. My imagination is drawn to something about them — the danger that calls to the heroine, the hero’s depraved desires, all those delicious secrets. Not long ago, I shared an abduction fantasy involving Tom Hiddleston, Mark Strong, Jason Statham, and the Jaguar F Coupe. So I knew I’d be down with the darkness! Still, I was curious about what draws so many readers to this growing subgenre of romance — and what might be keeping them away. Tabitha indulged all my questions, and I’m so excited to share our conversation with you today!

But first, I have to hit you with an excerpt. That’s what friends do. Before you start reading — the bullet is a vibrator.

Lena was ready to scream. She’d been mentally prepared for anything—anything but this constant, torturous state of aching arousal and blatant humiliation.

She was also bitterly regretting having asked to have her blindfold removed. She’d hoped that the sight of her tormentor would help; that seeing the gargoyle who held her very life in his hands might go some way towards tempering the helpless lust he was inducing purely by the tone in his voice.

She couldn’t have been more wrong.

The man—Blaze—was attractive. No, more than that, he was gorgeous. At first she’d been unaccustomed to the light and had been able to make out nothing more than his silhouette; a broad-shouldered man in a dark green militia uniform… but then, like a Polaroid developing, she was able to take in more and more detail.

The perfect shape of his closely shaved head.

The thick, dark brows, one of which was bisected by a neat scar, the classic but slightly broken Greek nose, the wide, mocking mouth. The glittering onyx eyes.

And then, when he’d grinned, a dimple in his left cheek.

What the fuck kind of torturer has a dimple?

Lena’s breath had caught in her throat and she’d almost asked him to put the blindfold back on when she realized that this man had seen, examined and watched every last inch of her—and, worse, that she was still lying naked and spread-eagled on a table in front of him as he looked down at her with an odd expression in his eyes.

Greg had never warned her about that eventuality.

And now she was still on that fucking table and Blaze was still watching her—albeit from the next room. Not that that made much of a difference; it was almost as though she could sense his presence. She could certainly feel every single excruciating tingle that bullet deep inside her pussy was shooting through her core. Every time she came close to calling out, to begging him to stop, it shut off… only to resume its infernal humming again a short while later.

He wasn’t really going to do this all night, was he?

LS: Capture, interrogation, sexual torture … that’s absolutely my cup of tea. But do you find that readers are conflicted about dark erotica? Are people uncomfortable about wanting to read it and wanting to love it?

TB: I think there are readers in any genre who are uncomfortable about wanting to read about – or write about – it, be it spanking, gay/lesbian, ageplay – or even ‘straightforward’ erotica, so there are undoubtedly those who feel conflicted about darker, edgier stuff, perhaps more so than other genres.

I think the reasons why are different, though. Women are taught from childhood that a man raising his hand to a woman is wrong, that letting a man ‘be the boss’ is wrong, that any time a man exerts his physical dominance over her, it’s wrong, abusive and so on. And of course, if that ever happens in real life without consent, it is undoubtedly so. But for many women – like me – there is freedom in submission. There is something inherently sexy about having no control whatsoever. And there are many women who are turned on when they’re afraid. There seems to be some kind of link between fear and arousal, as well as similar physiological responses.

However, if you’re a woman who admits to reading and enjoying dark, capture erotica, you fear being judged by those who don’t seem able to distinguish between fiction and real life, between fantasy and reality. People assume that just because you enjoy the stories, you condone that sort of behaviour in real life. And it’s unfair, because erotica is the only genre in which that happens. No-one who reads James Patterson or Thomas Harris is told they must think killing people is okay if they enjoy ‘those kinds of books’, so why apply that logic to this genre?

LS: What draws dark erotica readers to the genre, and deeper into it?

TB: I’m sure it depends on the reader – and on the story. Personally, I can say that there are two main elements which appeal to me: the lack of control and freedom in submission I mentioned before, and then there’s the suspense/horror element which fascinates me.

There are many, many erotica genres but most of them are happy, loving, consensual, and often almost toothache-inducingly sweet. But life isn’t sweet. And there can sometimes be a lack of tension in ‘boy meets girl, they both fall in love and live happily ever after’ stories, even if they are erotic. One thing you’re guaranteed in well written dark erotica is tension; internal – and often external – conflict. Not only is the heroine often horrified at what’s happening to her, she’s equally horrified at the fact that her body is responding, that she’s enjoying it. And dark erotica often has more interesting settings; science fiction, fantasy worlds, dystopian—a refreshing alternative to the more traditional erotica settings.

Finally, I think there’s a definite element of pushing boundaries. Readers can get jaded. There are only so many ways to tell a spanking story, or to describe ‘vanilla’ sex. The ‘shock’ value wears off, as does the excitement. Dark erotica is a natural continuation of that… it’s a way for authors to delve deeper and write something new and interesting for them, and it’s something fresh and exciting for readers to pick up when they’re in the mood to be captivated, shocked, or, yes, aroused.

LS: This might be an amateur hour question, but is a happy ending always guaranteed in dark erotica and dark erotic romance?

TB: There’s nothing ‘amateur hour’ about that question! It’s tricky. Romance publishers often won’t accept manuscripts unless there’s a ‘happy ever after’ or at least a ‘happy for now’ ending. Romance readers are used to it. There are also still absolute no-nos, as well, even though these things happen too often in real life; cheating is a prime example. The hero can do anything he wants to the heroine sexually or physically, but the minute his focus wanders to another woman, there’s outrage on the part of the reader.

I guess I’m trying to say that no matter what genre, including dark, there are set rules. And authors know that if they break or even bend those rules, they risk negatively impacting not only their book sales, but also their reputation with fans. Whether or not they want to do that, including denying readers that longed-for HEA, is ultimately up to them, but I think most of them are too scared to try. And for good reason: no-one wants to disappoint the readers.

LS: Have you ever gone too dark with a story? Have you surprised a publisher … or yourself?

TB: I’ve absolutely surprised myself but never a publisher – yet. In real life, I’m a masochist as well as a submissive, and my partner is a very sadistic Dominant. He’s introduced me to all manner of play forms which I’ve never seen in books; even in dark erotica. The author in me wants to incorporate all these things into my work, but I do fear many of them would be considered ‘too dark’ for the readers. (Not to mention my publisher!)

Having said that, I do have one or two things in progress where I am starting to push the envelope – just a little bit – and depending on how those are received, I may then decide to take it further. ‘Understanding The Enemy’ was one such experiment, and I’ll be very interested to see the reviews.

LS: What inspired the dystopian setting of “Understanding the Enemy”?

TB: I was actually born in Germany, and even though the Berlin wall fell almost 27 years ago, the after-effects are still very much in evidence. I was nine years old when the wall was torn down, and my mother was watching it on television and crying. I didn’t understand what it was all about; and when she told me how there was this wall, and how people on one side had to live under such tyranny and poverty, whereas on the other side life was far, far better, but if anyone tried to get across it, they risked being killed, it had a deep and profound impact on me. When I was looking for a setting for what I knew would be an interrogation story, it seemed like a good starting point. What if, in the future, after a catastrophic event, mankind had to ‘resettle’ and something like that happened again? The story just progressed from there.

LS: What makes the military hero a good fit for dark stories?

TB: Aside from the fact that a creative author can put a dark twist on almost any theme, I think military men are a great fit because there are a lot of parallels between a good Dominant and a good military man: a commanding presence, rigid self-discipline, analytical thinking, physical strength and fitness, loyalty, a protective streak and so on. You combine that with the fact that no simpering, weak coward ever wants to join the military, and you have a recipe for a sexy hero.

I also think that things are done in wartime… there are scenarios like capture, invasion, interrogation and so on… which lend themselves wonderfully to the external conflict and tension necessary for a dark, edgy story.

There’s this sense that military men/women are tough and have seen/done it all; they’re not likely to faint at the first sight of blood, and there’s an element of danger involved, as well.

If I may, I’ll give you a little example: which is more likely to get your heart racing and your panties wet; being pushed against the wall and ‘manhandled’ by a reedy college student, or by a man who’s been to war, has done things you can barely imagine, who has muscles bulging out of his shirt and whose hands on your body can either bring you to extremes of pleasure or extremes of pain?

I know which I’d choose – not that I have anything against college students.

LS: “Understanding the Enemy” is a great story for people wanting to explore their feelings about darker stories; Lena and Blaze are fantastic, relatable characters whose lives and surroundings have given them a bit of a dark side. What other stories and authors would you recommend for readers wanting to dip their fingers into these shadowy worlds?

TB: Aw, thank you for the compliment! There are actually a few authors currently taking the dark genre by storm, and I can highly recommend all of them. These include Jennifer Bene, Sophie Kisker, some of Alta Hensley’s works, and Addison Cain’s Alpha’s Claim series is currently soaring up the Amazon charts. Deservedly so; she writes wonderful, conflicted and relatable characters in a truly dark and evil world – and she pushes the reader’s boundaries, which I very much admire.

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Convinced yet? Head on over to preorder your copy of Hero to Obey at the special price of 99 cents. On June 28, you’ll get my story, Tabitha’s story, and 20 other super hot reads to add extra steam to your summer.

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Alexa Day writes erotica and erotic romance with heroines who are anything but innocent and fictional worlds where strong, smart women discover excitement, adventure, and exceptional sex. A former bartender, one-time newspaper reporter, and recovering attorney, she likes her stories with just a touch of the inappropriate, and her literary mission is to stimulate the intellect and libido of her readers.

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