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Real Life Christian Grey Talks BDSM & Fifty Shades

15 Feb

Hello readers!  We have a guest post for you today from A.C. Rose–an interview republished TheThreeTomatoes.com. Find out more about A.C. Rose’s writing and her book about 50 Shades at her website. Check out her facebook group 50 Shades of Grey Fans.unnamed

Shades of Al Daltrey: Talking About BDSM with a Real Life Christian Grey

As “Fifty Shades Darker” plays in theaters around the world women are once again thinking of Christian Grey, BDSM and sexually dominant males. I felt it my journalistic duty to bring you an interview with a man who knows about it all, first hand.

Al Daltrey is a real life Dom who lives the lifestyle and also writes strong BDSM erotica. His books come with a warning label and are not traditional erotic romances, yet he has gained a following of female fans that appreciate his unapologetic peek into the world of BDSM. You might even say it brings some of them to their knees.

By day, Daltrey dons a suit and tie, and works in marketing. In 2014 he opened his laptop and somewhat accidentally launched a second career as an erotica author, penning his first book, Testing the Submissive. He admits it is “more extreme” than anything he would ever consider doing with a real life submissive, yet readers say the story makes them tingle in all the right places.

There is a line in that book that, to my mind, sums up why women love to read about powerful Alphas. “Experienced and mature dominants always have an understated confidence,” he writes. “There is no need to flaunt their power.” There is something very sexy about men, real and fictional, who own their power.

His second novel, A Condo With Two Views, is written from the point-of-view of both the Dom and the Sub. His most recent books are, Pain, Pleasure, and Purpose: Pleasure (Book One) Pleasure) and Pleasure, Pain or Purpose: Pain (Book Two).They tell the story of three best friends who help each other navigate life, loss and love…and lots of kinky sex. “I poured everything I had into this story,” says the author.

It’s not often you get to pull up a chair and talk to a real life, happily married, sexually dominant male, so we appreciate Al taking the time to answer some of our burning questions.

AC ROSE: What exactly is a male dominant?

AL DALTREY: First, let me say: definitions are not always universal.  Ask 25 people the difference between a liberal and a conservative and you will get 25 different answers. All my answers in this interview are my personal opinion based on my personal experiences. Others in the BDSM lifestyle may disagree, and that is fair.  For this question, I assume you mean a sexual dominant. The simple definition is: a person, male or female, who takes control during consensual sex. The submissive of course, relinquishes that control.

And what is exactly vanilla sex?

Vanilla sex is simply regular, normal, healthy non-BDSM sex.  Or, even more simply…non-kinky sex. It is a term that became popular within the BDSM lifestyle to describe sex between those who are not in the lifestyle.

So from your perspective, can a sexually dominant male enjoy both?

Absolutely.  Personally, I have always loved great vanilla sex. I may practice BDSM, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy vanilla sex too. BDSM became the icing on the cake.  In a good healthy sexual relationship, there are nights where a couple wants the lovemaking to be soft, tender and romantic.  Another night, for kinky fun, they might employ bondage and spanking.  The point is, it’s not all or none. There is room for both.

How did you find yourself on this path, personally? And are you currently in a power exchange relationship?

I was born with it. I know that for a fact. Growing up, the fantasies and inclinations were there. That said, for me, consent is key. I do not believe in force, and do not find force arousing in any way.  Today I am very happily married to my beautiful wife.

Female sexual submission is a controversial topic. Some see female submission as a weakness yet many women find role play satisfying and they obviously like reading about it too.

During my lifetime I’ve been lucky enough to meet my fair share of submissive women. And don’t for a minute think these women were weak. Outside the bedroom they were confident, opinionated, gregarious and self-assured. In fact, many of them were successful executives or professionals. At the workplace, they kicked butt. However, inside the bedroom (so to speak) they wanted to feel the strong firm hand of a dominant man taking complete control.

What got you started writing erotic books?

I started writing because of an interest in BDSM, not because of an interest in writing. One day, I flipped open my laptop and starting writing a kinky BDSM story, not really thinking about where it would lead. Soon I had 20 pages, then 40, then 60 and I knew I was on my way to my first novel.  I heard about self-publishing, so cleaned it up and uploaded it onto Amazon. The reaction seemed positive, and soon I had a Street Team on Facebook helping me promote the book.

Erotic romance is a huge now. Do you find as many readers who just want to read about kinky sex for arousal?

In my view, the market for erotic romance novels is far bigger than the “kinky sex for arousal” market.  The latter market scours the internet for sites such as Literotica to get their fix.  There are exceptions of course.  Some novels do well.  But generally, I believe the kinky sex market is remarkably small.

Since you are writing as a sexually dominant male, what do think women hope to learn from your books, and from you?

I worry about that. My books are not intended to “teach” anything about the BDSM lifestyle. They are intended simply as fiction. A story. I worry when people read my books hoping for a glimpse into the real BDSM lifestyle.  My books have a lot of stuff that I don’t condone.  Just like action movies are exaggerated, so are BDSM novels.  People should read my books for fun, not for education.

Is the sex in your novels rough because that is what your readers want?

It’s not that I’m trying to cater to what the reader wants but in storytelling almost everything is exaggerated for dramatic effect. In a cop story we see these wildly spectacular car chases where 10 Police cars chase a car through crowded streets at speeds of 200 mph. In a medical drama the Doctor heroically saves countless lives.  In a sports movie the athlete scores the winning goal with two seconds left.  Think of every single Hollywood movie you know. So, with a BDSM novel, the same applies. The tasks that the submissive must perform are exaggerated for dramatic effect. It’s fantasy. So, in my books, the sex scenes are intensified as is the case in every other genre.

Your reading audience is primarily women. Some would like to turn their vanilla mates into dominant males, or at least get them to experiment. Any advice on getting guys to try new things?

To answer a question like that would take pages, and even then, it varies by person/couple.  I’m not sure I can provide a succinct answer.  There is some information on my blog.  As I say in my blog: not all men are born with a dominant gene. With those men, I’m not sure that there’s any hope.  Those men who have the underlying qualities – at least there’s hope. Someone could probably write an entire book on this, lol.

Do people call you master?

As mentioned, I am happily married and have been for some time. My wife does not call me “Master” no. Nor do we discuss our personal lives in any kind of detail. I can tell you that I have been called “Master,” and it’s actually a lovely feeling. Obviously it is commonly used in a scene, but also it can be a nice endearment among two people who live the lifestyle.  He might say, “Sleep well my little pet,” and she might say, “Goodnight Master.”  Like anything, if terms of endearment are overused they become goofy.  We’ve all been around couples who make us gag because they are so lovey-dovey.  But used properly “Master” can be a great word. I’m not sure if your question was poking fun at the term…but I hold it in high regard.

Learn more about Al Daltrey.

Find Al Daltrey books.

Visit Al Daltrey’s Erotica BDSM virtual community.

A.C. Rose is a love, romance, and entertainment columnist and author of steamy romance books. Her Latest book is AROUSAL

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Only .99. Click to buy.

 

Allison Monroe just got kissed on an elevator.

But she has no time to be distracted by this gorgeous man, with his panty-melting glances and sexy accent. She’s headed to the most important event of her career—a launch party for the new “My Fantasy e-Reader” at Club Kismet, high atop a Manhattan Skyscraper.

She’s determined to forget about the amatory elevator ride.

But Nicolai Petre has other ideas. That kiss confirmed what his grandmother’s vision had already told him—that Allison is his destiny.

He’s determined win her love but has only six days to prove they are meant to be. So he must keep her in a state of… AROUSAL.

Kinky F*ckery in 50 Shades: Interview with Jackie C. Horne

11 Feb

Ladies—Jackie from ROMANCE NOVELS FOR FEMINISTS is here with me today to delve deeply into the core themes of the 50 Shades phenomenon. We focussed on two questions:

Why do women love this fantasy?

Two reasons I love this fantasy--and they're big and blue.

Two reasons why I love this fantasy–they’re big and blue.

Does 50 SHADES represent a step forward in women’s sexual freedom—or a step back?

If you like 50 Shades and smart discussion – you’re in for a treat!

MADELINE IVA: I’m very interested in focusing on what it is that draws women to the 50 Shades fantasy…

JACKIE C. HORNE: To answer that, you first have to answer the question “what is the fantasy” that these books and films hold out to us? And that fantasy may be different for different readers and viewers. As a literary critic, I see three different fantasies at play in books 1 & 2. First, the fantasy that an ordinary girl (ordinary in both looks and intelligence) can catch the attention of a wealthy, handsome man (the cornerstone of much romance writing).

Second, the fantasy that said ordinary girl can rescue/save an emotionally messed-up man (again, a foundational trope in romance).

And finally, the fantasy that indulging in “kinky fuckery” is something to take pleasure in, rather than something to be ashamed of, even for an ordinary girl. The latter fantasy is the most progressive one, the most positive one as far as women’s rights and women’s sexual freedom goes. But the two former ones are what makes it safe, I think, for readers to accept the latter one. It’s the combination of all three that made the books such a phenomenon. Romance tropes as the life preserver, if you will, that allow readers to imagine themselves swimming out into the less familiar waters of sex with a touch of kink.50

MADELINE IVA: I’ve never heard it stated so well, Jackie! We’ve touched upon this topic before: I see the role of BDSM in the romance genre as representing a fundamental evolution in the role of consent.  Women are now asking for the sex they want and negotiating with their partners for sex that they want –or don’t want!–tons more than they used to.  I’ll be interested in hearing your thoughts about this after watching the first movie.

JACKIE C. HORNE: I think this depends on the reader’s relationship with BDSM and the BDSM community. In the book 50 Shades Darker, when Ana is talking about Christian’s sexual needs with Christian’s psychiatrist, Dr. Flynn explains that “of course there is such a thing as sexual sadism, but it’s not a disease; it’s a lifestyle choice. And if it’s practiced in a safe, sane relationship between consenting adults, then it’s a non-issue” (412). If you are a reader who is a sexual sadist, or who is familiar with the BDSM community, then you’re probably going to find 50 Shades problematic when it comes to consent. The reason why I didn’t read these books until you asked me to participate in this discussion was because I had heard from romance writers who write erotic & BDSM romance that the books aren’t an accurate depiction of BDSM or of the BDSM community.

MADELINE IVA: True, but there’s a crap-ton of fantasy in BDSM erotic romance already. Inaccuracies abound and many fans want the fantasy—not the reality. (Esp. when it comes to sex clubs.)

JACKIE C. HORNE: If you’re not familiar with BDSM, though, if you read the consent to kinky sex not as a realistic possibility but as a metaphor, then yes, it can definitely be a metaphor for female consent.

It takes Ana a while (all the way to the end of book 1) to figure out what she wants, and doesn’t want, out of her sexual relationship with Christian. She’s up for bondage, up for spanking, up for lighter sexual pain, all things she never would have imagined she’d liked before she met Christian.

MADELINE IVA: Yes! And in the movie — what we see dominates what we hear. What we SEE is Ana enjoying lite kinky play…In the book, which is so much internal, her confusion and ambivalence take center stage.first-kiss-50

JACKIE C. HORNE: But in the book’s climactic scene, she realizes that she is not up for being punished, for being the object upon which Christian takes out his anger. Refusing to consent to the linking of love and male anger, the idea that male anger is always a part of male love—that may be the key shift from Old Skool romance novels to contemporary romances.

MADELINE IVA: This is a great interpretation, and I agree that if the fundamental message is not to accept male anger as a part of male love, that it’s a good one.  But I don’t know….(more on that later.)

What I saw as I watched that final scene in the first movie was her seeing his emotional pain and wanting to take on his pain — like a martyr.

Meanwhile, Cara McKenna is my touchstone for an author who shows consent VERY well without bogging down the plot or making us fall out of the fantasy.  50 Shades maybe does this less well, but it might be interesting to contrast how consent is carried out in the movie vs. the book.

JACKIE C. HORNE: Did you think there were major differences between book and movie in this regard? I didn’t notice any myself, but if you have specific scenes you can point to, I’d be happy to go back and re-watch the film again.

“Please, Ana, let me make love to you.”

“Yes,” I whisper, because that’s why I’m here. (50 Shades of Grey, 113) 

MADELINE IVA: I’m thinking of the contract stuff.  In the movie she was actively negotiating with him face to face and crossing out elements she vetoed. It seemed like there was energy to this exchange. To me this showed strong female agency — and have we ever seen a woman in a film before negotiating over sex so thoroughly? (Excepting scenes with sex workers–and even then not so much.)

In the book, meanwhile, the contract seemed (this is my interpretation) a packet of doom.  It seemed to make her cringe, and the details dwelt upon had to do with total control over her as well as painful sex acts.  It dragged her down into a pit of (again my take)  “No, no, no, no, OMG. Am I going to have to do this stuff? Gah!

JACKIE C. HORNE: Oh, yes, the contract scene is so great in the film! It shows Ana being far more empowered, and really enjoying the negotiating with Christian. Many film reviews cite that scene as the best thing in the movie.

In the book, the language of the contract appears not just once, but four times (at least in part). Is it just sloppy writing, that repetition? Or is there something really important in that legal language to James? The idea that this is a business relationship, rather than a personal one, to Christian? Which is an idea that Ana ultimately cannot accept.

MADELINE IVA: I’m interesting in talking about Jamie Dornan as a man/actor who was a kind of reluctant participant himself in the movie.  Yes, he did it for his career, and didn’t have long to think about his choice.  Also he is most definitely NOT a fan of the life style.

Dakota Johnson seems to have adapted a bit more (maybe because it’s the corner stone of her career?)

There are interviews where Dornan apologized profusely to Dakota Johnson before each take.  Do we care as much about male consent as we do about female consent? Is this going to be a problem? (Is it one already? Can men refuse sex without having their sexuality challenged, or facing aggressive repercussions –even if not physical violence?)

JACKIE C. HORNE: Your questions make me think about 15-year-old Christian, at the start of his affair with Elena. Did he consent? He says he did, but Ana is consistently appalled by the mere thought of an adult woman inviting a 15-year-old boy to have (kinky) sex with her. Ana never asks Christian to tell her more about his experience; she instantly assumes that he had no agency, no ability to consent, that he was molested and abused.50-shades-shower

I was disappointed that the books, which initially reserve judgment on this issue (was Christian abused? Or was his relationship with Elena a positive, even life-saving one?) end up coming down hard on the side of abuse by the end of book 2. Rather than presenting Ana’s intense jealousy of Elena as misguided or immature, the end of book 2 reinforces the idea that Ana is right to be wary of Elena. I thought this a very sexist move, complete with bitch-slap for the erring woman (not by Ana, but by Christian’s adopted mother).

I wished we could have heard more about Christian’s experience with Elena, that Ana had been more curious rather than judgmental about it. In some ways, you could say that Ana is infantilizing Christian by refusing to grant that even as a 15-year-old, he might have been capable of making informed decisions about his sexual desires.

MADELINE IVA: And this goes back to the core fantasies.  What you saw as the ordinary young woman saving/healing the wounded man I saw as a kind of mothering thing — the power of soothing.  “Let me make the hurt go away” kind of actions.

No cigarette burn scars on his chest in the first movie. Whoops! They fixed it for the second film.

No cigarette burn scars on his chest in the first movie. Whoops! They fixed it for the second film.

JACKIE C. HORNE: The larger issue—about male consent in general—is an interesting one. Yes, a man who turns down a chance to have sex is still likely to have his masculinity, or his heterosexuality, called into question, even in this day and age. But a man who turns down BDSM sex, or feels squicky about it, there’s something different going on there. BDSM sex isn’t as widely accepted, as widely admired, as straight heterosexual sex; there’s a taint attached to it for many people. Wanting to dominate women is a big no-no in our purportedly post-feminist age. So not consenting to participate in Dom/sub sex, or expressing uneasiness or discomfort with having to act as if you enjoy it, can be read by many as a positive thing, an endorsement of more equal power during sex between partners. A women’s rights kind of thing, no?

MADELINE IVA: Well, I actually know men who say “whatever she wants sexually I kinda have to do” and that with one man it’s kinky stuff with his wife. He’s okay with it, because she enjoys it.  With another man it’s about his incredible discomfort playing out semi-rape fantasies with women he’s having sex with…I think part of his discomfort involves reinforcing the perception that in some way he LOOKS predatory, etc.

JACKIE C. HORNE: I haven’t heard similar stories from any of my male friends or acquaintances. But your friends’ experiences do show how men can be subject to (or even victims of) sexual stereotypes. (I’m in the midst of reading a book about a gay asexual man, and he feels quite similarly, that he is surrounded by the imperative “men always want sex”). No man, or woman, should feel like they HAVE to do anything, sex-wise, that they don’t want to do. Ever. I hope your latter friend can find women to date who won’t push him to play the semi-rape game.

MADELINE IVA: Yup, I agree. The singles world of dating, hook-ups, etc, is a jungle—the price we pay for more sexual freedom seems to be more social pressure about sex and displaying sexuality in increasingly artificial ways.

Part of the conundrum of playing up one’s sexuality is that some men I know have that bad boy vibe, but at heart they’re good guys. They draw women to them, but eventually hit an impasse when looks and who he is just doesn’t match her expectations.  In this film the bad boy is gradually revealed as a ‘good boy’ on the inside. So maybe there’s hope for my friends…fifty-shades-ball-1486048963

Moving on! Has Trump ruined billionaire romances? Or put a significant dent in them? I remember thinking: “Consent all you want young woman from a poor family. Once you’re in handcuffs in his home he could do anything he wanted to you and probably get away with it…” and I know this is a direct line of thinking from the news/publicity about Trump during the election…

Yet there’s always one side in the romance world shouting “IT”S JUST A FANTASY!” Is there a problem with saying it’s all just a fantasy? And what are we to do with the constant  demand from women for forbidden sexual fantasy? Should we be pragmatic and accept this?

OR for instance, (as one who grew up watching male fantasies of women in the media), do we understand that this has deeply impacted and harmed our culture?

JACKIE C. HORNE: I was recently interviewed by a reporter for the Village Voice, who asked if I thought the billionaire romance trend had contributed to the acceptance of Trump by many women. Rather than ruining billionaire romances, Trump might be the logical outcome of this romance trend. Because billionaire romances paper over the trouble that actual billionaires present, don’t they? Unlike saintly Christian, whom we only ever see engaging in business that is meant to help the powerless (donating food to Darfur; developing solar technology; donating money to the university to develop sustainable food programs), most real-life billionaires make their money through capitalistic competition, competition that often relies on shortchanging the average Joe (or average Ana) worker. To fantasize about a powerful billionaire falling for them, women have to forget or ignore all the other women (and men) upon whom his billions were built, and upon whom his continued wealth still relies.

And they also have to keep imagining that the only path to power is an indirect one, by being in a relationship with a wealthy man, rather than imagining that they could gain power themselves. Those are both fantasies that limit, rather than empower, women.

So I don’t buy the “it’s just a fantasy” explanation/excuse. What is the fantasy, and why are we having it? That’s a far more productive question, and avenue for exploration.

MADELINE IVA: I have no problem with this, only sometimes the liberal peeps can be as judgmental and shaming as conservatives without exploring the needs, frustrations, and context of those who are very different from them in terms of race or class.  If we could explore all of these issues without a dose of shaming, it would be nice.

But you know, scientific research on sexuality seems to indicate that what sexually turns us on seems to be fixed.  Maybe the “Why” of the fantasy and the turn on go back to that slushy mix of our evolution and what we were exposed to in our youth/teens and that’s that…Which takes us right back to your point about Christian’s first sexual experiences…

Let’s turn to talking about the differences between the first book and movie.  Some things just not translate well from book to movie? I don’t recall when in the book he showed up in Savannah that it was as big a deal to me.  But in the movie I had an involuntary “Stalker!” reaction. He seemed so much creepier in the movie.  Or is this just that I’m coming off watching him in THE FALL where he played a serial killer? ; >50shadesbathrobe

JACKIE C. HORNE: Funny, I had just the opposite reaction!

MADELINE IVA: — Okay, I hang my head and accept that I am having a post-The Fall Dornan experience.

JACKIE C. HORNE: I thought he was far creepier in the book than he was in the film. Dornan just smiled too much to feel like the controlling Christian of the books to me! (Must say I’ve never seen The Fall, though). The film cut out many of book-Christian’s more stalker-y/controlling moves—no mention of him moving her to first class on the plane without asking her, and he’s not so insistent about her eating all the time—so he didn’t come across as quite so control-freakish in the film as he does in the book.

MADELINE IVA: The eating thing.  Ugh!  It also made Ana seem SO PASSIVE and waify/victim-y.50-touching-lips

JACKIE C. HORNE: On the other hand, in book 1, when Ana teases Christian in an email “Have you sought therapy for your stalker tendencies?” he tells her (and us) that “I pay the eminent Dr. Flynn a small fortune with regard to my stalker and other tendencies” (290). This reassured me; I had thought from what people had told me about the books that they normalized stalkery/über-controlling male behavior. That Christian is actively seeing a psychiatrist about his issues sends the opposite message: that stalkery/über-controlling behavior is psychologically problematic. I was disappointed that Christian’s shrink did not make it into the film.

MADELINE IVA: Yes! Anastasia seemed to enjoy most of what they did a whole lot more in the movie than her internals showed in the book.  And did that tilt the scales of problems some people had with the book?

ana-shirt-2JACKIE C. HORNE: For all that we get so much of her internal thoughts in the books, Anastasia of the novels is a pretty empty character. That’s not a good or a bad thing; it’s just a way of telling a story, a way that allows the reader more easily to project herself into the novel than if Ana’s character had more individuality, had been more fully developed. Ironically, though we get little of her internal thoughts in the film, seeing Dakota Johnson up on the screen made her more of a person to me, an individual with thoughts and emotions different from mine, rather than just an empty placeholder for me to project myself onto.

The lack of access to Ana’s thoughts makes her wishy-washy-ness re: the kinky sex less apparent. I agree that in the film, she seems to enjoy the kinky sex more than she does in the books. And that made the story more interesting to me—the story of a woman exploring the boundaries of her own sexual desires.

MADELINE IVA: I agree that Dakota Johnson did a great job of seeming vulnerable and kinda raw in her own skin, but also very fluid and interesting in the kinky scenes.  She also just seemed older, which I found reassuring…

Going back to how this series explores typical/conservative romance values side by side with the more progressive idea of a young woman exploring kinky sex—Ultimately, Ana rejects kinky sex.  Do you think that this is on par with the other more conservative values of the book’s romantic tropes and again, makes it more safe for more conservative romance readers to accept it?  (Noting that this move seems to enrage many BDSM erotic romance authors more than anything else.)

Are we back to the “forced seduction” sexual tropes of the 80’s? In those romance novels it was okay for the woman to have sex in those situations because she didn’t ask for it… In the 50 Shades franchise, is it okay for Ana to explore BDSM-lite because ultimately she rejects it and therefore is still ‘a good girl’?

Meanwhile, what are we in the audience doing throughout the movie if not enjoying Ana’s engaging in forbidden kink?

weredoingwhat

We’re doing WHAT? Everyone seems to agree that both actors are much more comfortable filming together now. Not surprising, given the success of the franchise, and the boost to their respective careers.

JACKIE C. HORNE: Funny, I was thinking about what title I would give this discussion and came up with “Having your kink and condemning it too”!

I agree with you that Ana’s disgust with and rejection of the punishment aspect of Dom/sub play does dovetail with the more conservative values of the book’s romance tropes. Her rejection gives readers an “out,” a having your cake and eating it too safety valve. Which does undercut the progressive message to a large degree.

But on the other hand, Ana doesn’t rejects ALL kink (at least by the end of book 2). As I noted above, she enjoys being tied up, being restrained, being spanked. And in DARKER the book, she’s bugging Christian all the time to go back to the Red Room of Pain. Which doesn’t seem to me to be just about serving Christian’s needs; it seems to be a deep curiosity of her own about kinky sex.

Ana’s rejection of Christian’s sadism (and the book’s rejection of that label for him) enrages many BDSM erotic romance authors because Ana’s decision at the end of book 1 has a larger ideological weight: it tells the reader that the power dynamics in ALL Dom/sub relationships are both shameful AND are signs of psychological damage that needs to be repaired. Which is exactly the opposite message of current psychological thinking, as Dr. Flynn explains. Someone is a sadist just because he (or she) is one, not because he or she was traumatized as a child.

Perhaps Ana should pay Dr. Flynn (or another qualified psychologist) a visit to talk about her own ambivalences about BDSM?

MADELINE IVA: Perhaps!

Thank you Jackie SO MUCH for chatting with me! And readers, don’t forget our KAMA SUTRA giveaway.  All you have to do is hit our pink subscribe button above and to the right.

kama-sutra-giveaway

This giveaway includes massage oil, candle, soap, and lip balm.  (Continental US only!)

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_low_res_500x750

 

 

 

Fifty Shades Darker Celebration & Valentine’s Giveaway

9 Feb

by Madeline Iva

Are you going to see FIFTY SHADES DARKER this weekend? We are!fifty-ball

Well, Elizabeth SaFleur and I are. We’ve already got our tickets and we’re taking our spouses.  Not only that–we’re holding a celebration event on Facebook to chat with y’all about the FIFTY SHADES DARKER movie.  We hope you join us!50shadesshouldersleeping

Go to our event on facebook, press the *interested* button, then tell us what you thought about the movie:

  • What did you love? The actors, characters, settings, costumes, plot?
  • How did FIFTY SHADES DARKER compared to the book and the first movie?
  • Do you love billionaire romance themes in general? Or BDSM romances in particular? ; >

We’re also blogging about fascinating aspects of the movie here.  (Don’t worry, we’ll post everything over at the fb event too.)

  • Reasons Why Billionaire Romances Are Never Going Away
  • My obsession with Jamie Dornan
  • 5 Ways In Which Real Life Millionaires Aren’t Like Us
  • Jackie Horne from ROMANCE NOVELS WITH FEMINISTS will stop by. We’re discussing where young women are going with BDSM and how this is or isn’t reflected in the movie.
  • Joey Hill shares with us how to get kinky with her 10 favorite kitchen items.

50-shades-take-2

Admittedly, not all of us at the blog are 50 Shades lovers.  You might not be either — that’s why we have other smexy Valentine’s Day posts to offer you this month.  pantiesCheck out our posts on:

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

This Valentine’s Day weekend, we’re offering a Kama Sutra giveaway from Lux Aromatica that includes massage oil, soap, a candle, and lip balm.

To enter the giveaway, hit the SUBSCRIBE button on our blog now–it’s the pink button up at the top on the right–and fill out the form.  One random winner will be chosen from central Virginia where Kerensa’s stores are located and one random winner from the nation at large. (Continental US only, please!)

We look forward to seeing you all this weekend, even if you’re just stopping by to say hi. — xoxo

wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_low_res_500x750Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

 

 

Transgender Romance, Anyone?

8 Dec
Andreja Pejic--a globally successful trans model.

Andreja Pejic–a globally successful trans model.

by Madeline Iva

In a wonderfully reassuring moment on Facebook — yes, I *know* how strange that sounds — I was in the middle of a discussion about transgender romances.  They’re out there.  And if you’re looking for something new when it comes to contemporary romance–something a little m/m but not–transgender romance might just be the ticket.

How do you come out to your folks that you're trans? "Mom, Dad, there's this really funny TV show I'd like you both to watch," could be your conversation starter.

How do you come out to your folks that you’re trans? “Mom, Dad, there’s this really funny TV show I’d like you both to watch,” could be your conversation starter.

Meanwhile, I would consider the last year to be “Year of the Trans”.  From Laverne Cox to Transparent, to using bathrooms, we’ve had more exposure and acceptance of this tiny group of individuals than ever before.url

With that increase in recognition and acceptance, of course the romance community has swelled to include romances starring trans hero/heroines.  HERE’S A GOODREADS LINK TO SOME TRANS ROMANCES you can scroll through. The descriptions at first may not SOUND like the romances are typical m/f.  But read closely and follow the reviews–you’ll see they are a bit more wiggly and complicated–breathing fresh life into familiar romance tropes.

Trans models are rocking the fashion world--which seems totally open to anyone and everyone--as long as they're skinny. It's a twisted kind of radical acceptance.

Trans models are rocking the fashion world–which seems totally open to anyone and everyone–as long as they’re skinny. It’s a twisted kind of radical acceptance, I guess.

For my part, I’ve become fascinated with trans model Andreja Pejic and this interview with Madeira Darling got me all revved up imagining a trans-sexual hijinks vampire plot that my obsessive brain will not leave alone.

Also, G.G. Andrews has started this whole #ReadHotter challenge at Lady Smut.  Trans romance really fits the bill for stretching my reading boundaries–how about you?  ; >

Carry on my wayward kittens! And if you’re bored and looking for sparkly-bright distractions, follow us at Lady Smut where we purr and snarl over all things fascinating in the world.

wickedapprenticefinal-fjm_high_res_1800x2700Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

Madame X & My Book Hangover: Guest Post by Thien-Kim Lam

2 Sep
Click to buy.

Click to buy.

Hello Dear Readers! Madeline here.  I am exceptionally excited to have Thien-Kim Lam guest post on our blog today. 🙂  Alexa Day was bemoaning declawed alpha males earlier this week, but I think Thien-Kim has found a ringer here—check it out, Alexa!

When I first pick up a romance, it’s the heroine I fall in love with first.

It doesn’t matter who she is, I root for her. Sometimes she’s funny or ambitious (or both!). She doesn’t need a man in her life, but she’ll glad take him for a hard ride. (Maybe more than once.) I love her because she chooses her own path and expects to be treated equal to others. I adore that romance authors give my (our?) heroines agency in their lives.

Agency is what makes all romance heroines feminists.

Then I met X. That’s Madame X to you.

In opening pages of Jasinda Wilder’s Madame X, our heroine is calculating and demanding. Her confident tone would be heralded if she had a penis between her legs. Despite her expertise, the recipient of her reprimand refuses to accept her instructions. She’s unwavering in her demands and he eventually accepts his reality: Madame X won’t take shit from her man-child client.

I loved Madame X mere paragraphs into the novel.

Who is Madame X? It might be easier to define who she is not. She’s not a prostitute. Nor is she a dominatrix. She teaches spoiled, affluent clients how to exude confidence and control inside the boardroom and out. She uses great skill to force these young men into (psychological) submission. Madame X always succeeds. Thus, her services are in high demand.

She is one badass woman who’s not afraid to take control. I want a friend like X. Someone I could drink some 12-year-old single malt scotch with and talk about everything: men, work, sex, and definitely orgasms.

My heart stopped when Caleb entered X’s apartment. Suddenly her personality changed. Around him she spoke softly, acted demurely, and instantly responded to his command to strip. He takes what he needs from her: her mouth, her breasts, her sex. She feels she has no choice but to give Caleb what he demands. He saved her when she had no one else to take care of her. He’s given every material thing she touches and every memory she has. Even if her heart and mind tries to stand up to him,her body responds to his touch. 7e7bd95b7d149c15b55241f1f5d75dd3She never fails to reach her peak under his hands.

Madame X submits to Caleb’s dark eyes and roving hands while wishing for the freedom to choose what she wants. A freedom that Jasinda Wilder’s opening pages led me to believe that X had. A freedom that I wish for X as badly as she wishes for herself.

As a reader, I expect an emotional roller coaster ride, but Jasinda’s novel was more like Space Mountain than the Seven Dwarves Mine Train. I had no idea where she would take me but I blindly–and happily–hung on for dear life. She had me hooked. I was determined to keep my eyes open during the thrill ride, even if I could only see tiny little lights ahead.

It’s been almost a month since I finished Madame X and I cannot stop thinking about this book.

Did she fit into my idea of a feminist heroine? Her lack of freedom, the options available to her, and the choices she made said no. More confounding to me was the desire she had for Caleb. How could a strong woman like X need approval and affection from cold, calculating Caleb?

I relive X’s journey in my head over and over. Why did she make the choices she did? Caleb held the key to her gilded cage, but surely she could have stood up to him the way she stood up to her clients. Maybe he wouldn’t give her complete freedom. Maybe she could ask him to let her decide when and if she would submit to his sexual demands. Why didn’t she just ask?

Then it hit me. I’m projecting what *I* would do onto Madame X.

c666b4943fc8ee0ee370f1b4b6a93198X makes the best decision based on the information she has. Even though the novel is written in first-person, I–the reader–feel omniscient. I see how Caleb is gaslighting X. I see the cyclical signs of emotional and verbal abuse followed by remorse. X’s circumstances have not given her the knowledge bank to realize Caleb may not have her best interests at heart.My knowledge and background are different from hers so my choices are different from hers.

Madame X may not be the feminist heroine that I envisioned when I first met her, but I never got the impression that she was weak. I had to have faith that Madame X would choose what she felt was best for herself even if I didn’t like her decision.

I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, but it fits for this dark romance. Just like my personal journey, X’s intense emotional journey can’t be told in just one book. I’ve fallen in love with X, and I want her to be happy. I’m not ready to let her go. Madame X caught me tightly in its web. I’m ready to take deep breaths and buckle in for the next two books in the series.

If you haven’t read Madame X yet, be forewarned that you’ll have the biggest book hangover ever.

Just make sure you’re buckled in for the Jasinda Wilder roller coaster ride.

Thien-Kim Lam is a feminist who loves erotica and romance. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries are always included. Check 5 Steamy Book & Sex Toy Pairings for Your Pleasure Chest for buzzy recommendations.

Servant of the Undead, erotic zombie horror free read

28 Aug

Isabelle Drake’s Servant of the Undead. If you’re new to this serial, you can start with Part 1, “Do it.”

Part 16: “You’re beginning to understand how this relationship works.”

There were no human words for what he was feeling. He grunted in response, but his body betrayed him, and he found himself leaning toward her, seeking her strength and giving in to the power she had over him.

“You know, with only a bit of encouragement, she’ll be ready to go again too.”

Hayden shook his head, even though his dick was growing still larger in her palm. “No,” he said. “I’ve had enough.”

“You’ve had enough when I say you’ve had enough.” She let go of his shaft and reached around to grab his ass. “Maybe if I join you two, you’ll feel differently.” She caressed his flesh, sliding her hand between his ass cheeks. “I’d be happy to—”

“Take control. I know.” He tried to push her back but she used her strength to hold him.

“That’s right.” She nudged his chin with her nose. “You’re beginning to understand how our relationship works.”

He tried again to push her away and she grabbed his arms, spun them both around, lifted him, and set him on the edge of the sink. She tapped the door with her foot and it slid closed. 

“You and I are a matched set. A linked pair. Unless, of course…” she tipped her head toward the bedroom, “I decide to add her. Then we’ll be a trio. I like the sound of that. I’ve never had two servicing me at the same time.”

The hard edge of the sink cut into the back of Hayden’s thighs. “Leave Rachelle out of this,” he said, ignoring the pain in his legs as he shoved at her.

“She has a lot of spunk.” She held on to him and whispered into his ear. “I think I like her.”

Hayden stopped struggling. “You don’t know her.”

“And you do? Are you sure about that? I think we both learned a lot about her tonight. She’s…responsive.” Mattie let go of his arms and set her palms on his inner thighs, just inches from his jutting shaft. “I like responsive.”

Hayden’s dick hard and ready for fucking, and he knew if she wanted, she could demand it from him. And he would do it. He’d do whatever she wanted. He worked to keep the fearful dread out of his eyes when he lifted his face.

She moved her hands in and brushed her icy fingertips across his ball sac. An electric pulse shot up from his groin. The muscles of his torso twitched.

“I don’t need you again. Yet. But it’s good to know I’ve chosen well.” She glanced at his cock. “The others will be jealous.”

“Others?”

She grinned as she caressed the hard edges of his shaft. “The others in the tribe.”

The tribe. Images flickered in his mind. The sex rituals, the man tied to the tree, the undeads constant need for sex. Bile rose in Haydn’s throat, burning an evil path up from his gut.

“Don’t look like that. It’s good to make people jealous.” Mattie pressed a kiss to Hayden’s neck. “Sometimes, anyway. Especially some people. The ones who deserve it.”

Maybe that was true. But they weren’t talking about people.

She kissed his neck again, softer, letting her cold lips linger on his still-feverish flesh. Each press gave new life to the sexual pull she had over him. A pull Hayden did not want or understand.

“I have to get back to Rachelle,” he said, speaking softly. He leaned back and caught Mattie’s gaze. “Alone.”

She stilled, no longer the aggressor, but not yet ready to let him go. That same expression passed over her face, the one he’d seen outside when she pressed her hand to the window. The vulnerability was a surprise, a shock, but somehow it made sense. She must have been human once. What was she like then? Hayden shoved the question aside.

He set his hands on her waist and kissed her lightly on her cold mouth. “It’ll be better this way.” He didn’t really know what he meant by the comment, but it sounded right, and it kept her from reaching for him again.

“Better for who?” she asked, her voice small and thin and surprisingly unsure.

“For you. Me. Rachelle.” Again, he wasn’t sure what he meant, but as he spoke, he got the sense that it wasn’t the words she was after. It was the exchange. A conversation. For the first time since they’d met, he had the upper hand. If he kept it, he could get her to do what he wanted. He nodded toward the open window. “It’ll be good this way. You go back out the way you came. She won’t see you.”

He touched her face, pulling her toward him. He kissed her again, lightly, a whisper of lips, then gently turned her toward the window.

She let go of him, took one step back, then another toward the window. “I’m leaving because I want to,” she said, raking over his naked body with her careful study.

He nodded as he gradually slid off the sink. “I know,” he replied, rubbing the pain out of the backs of his legs.

“Hayden?”

It was Rachelle, the soft pad of her feet getting louder as she approached the closed bathroom door.

Mattie slid silently to the window, moving without taking her gaze from his bare skin.

Hayden turned on the faucet and spoke loudly over the rush of the water. “I’ll be right there.”

“You okay?” Rachelle called from the hallway. “Everything okay?” She was right on the other side of the door.

“I said I’ll be right there. Go back to bed where you belong.”

He heard her laugh, a husky warm sound. “Okay, all right. I get it,” she called, her voice growing distant as she headed back to the bedroom. “But you don’t have to be so bossy about it.”

“You like me bossy,” he yelled, forcing lightness into his voice.
Mattie was pushing the sash of the window all the way up. Once the opening was wide enough for her to climb through, she sat on the ledge and swung her legs over. She turned and looked at him from over her shoulder. “You’ll see me again soon. You know that, right?”

He nodded, staring into the swirling steam rising up from the sink. When he finally lifted his head, she was gone, out into the endless storm, and the window had been pulled shut. Except for the evil electricity coursing through him and the last vestiges of her scent, it was as though she’d never been there.

***
Want more? The next part will be here next Sunday. Or, you can come over to the Servant of the Undead Wattpad page and read more for free right now. Unfamiliar with Wattpad? It’s an online community for readers and writers. Its filled with free fiction of all kinds. It’s easy to log in and get started; you can use your Facebook account.

Until next time, follow Lady Smut, we’re always here to inform, entertain, and keep you up to date.

***

Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers. Best Friends Never, her newest release is the first in the Cherry Grove dark YA series.

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

30 Jun
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.

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.

***

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.

And follow Lady Smut. We read without boundaries.

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.

Servant of the Undead, erotic zombie horror free read part 3

29 May

By Isabelle Drake

Each Sunday, I’m offering up a part of my serialized erotic zombie horror story, Servant of the Undead.  If you’re new to this, please start with Part 1, “Do it.”

Part 3: “Thanks.”

Servant“Um, hi?” she said, her smudgy eyes taking on a desperate sheen. “My name’s Mattie, by the way.”

Hayden reached over, trying to X out of the update email he’d been writing to Bob Keeler so he could shut down his computer. Her hands slid down from his waist, over his ass, and around thighs, the light pressure easily heating him up even through the thick material of his pants. Trying to ignore her and his lust, he jabbed at the keyboard, hitting whatever he could reach. He had to get the hell out of there before he started acting on the fantasies flickering in the back of his mind. This girl was going to get him into trouble, somehow. He just knew it. “I really have to get going.”

“But, you—I—” Mattie rolled herself around him, hopped onto the table, and wrapped her legs around him. She reached behind to brace herself with her hands but slipped back when her palm landed on one of the books. She looked back, stayed still for a few seconds, slid the books around, running her hands over the titles. “You’re reading about zombies?”

Hayden cleared his throat. “It’s research.”

“What did you find out?” she asked, flipping open the book with the pictures.

He reached around and pushed the book closed. “Nothing.”

She opened another, thumbed through the pages. “What were you looking for?”

“Anything. Nothing. Whatever I can find.”

She spun around and shimmied, her breasts bouncing. “I can help. What do you need?”

“Thanks, but I don’t think you can help. Unless you have proof that zombies are real. Like some pictures, you know. They’re combing the streets, looking for flesh. Haven’t you heard?”

She grinned up at him, her eyes shining with unmistakable lust. Was it for the zombies or him? “Sounds scary,” she said, lifting her eyebrows.

“Scary is right. If I don’t get something fresh about zombies my editor probably won’t give me any more special assignments.”

She didn’t say anything, just sat there rocking her shoulders, staring at him with her smudgy eyes, licking her pouty lips and looking exactly like a Barbie doll gone bad.

Why was he talking with her anyway?

Hayden tried to free himself from her thighs, but she was stronger than she looked. A lot stronger. He reached down to pry her legs off, but the rows of table lights went off, and he was blinded. His eyes began to adjust, making use of the light from the street lamps coming through windows. It was flickering from the snow, so it was still difficult to see clearly. He fought her legs again, pulling in a deep breath as he did. That scent settled across his tongue, spread to his teeth, making his mouth open.

Hayden gave up trying to break free from her legs and reached for her chin, tipping her face up to try and reason with her. “I think this section is closing, so—” When their gaze connected, his words fell away. Her eyes flickered in the darkness, glowing green.

She blinked, but the gleam came back as soon as her gaze found his again. It wasn’t the snow casting the light in her eyes. It was something inside her. Something that explained why she was climbing around in the night, not wearing a coat, not cold. Hayden slid his palm across her neck to settle on her throat. There had to be a pulse.

Of course.

He was being totally ridiculous.

Just to be sure, he slid his hand down lower, stopping over her heart. The thick straps were in the way, so he tucked his fingers under them, stopping when he felt the swell of her breast. Before he could feel her heartbeat, she laid her hand across his and guided it lower, brushing his palm across her nipple. The peak tightened and she sighed softly, the sound a cross between a moan and whimper.

legsHayden tried to move his hand lower, to feel the weight of her breast in his palm, but the straps were too tight, and his hand wouldn’t move. A thread of panic ignited his nerves, and he tugged. She moaned again, reached up to pull the straps from her other breast and pinch her own nipple, wiggling with satisfaction. His cock responded, the sudden flow of blood making him impossibly hard.

She dropped her hand and reached for his belt, her fingers working quickly to undo the buckle, the snap, and zipper. His cock jutted straight out, ready to thrust into her pussy despite the confusion and anxiety swirling through him. He tugged at his hand again, and it finally came free. But he was still held captive by her legs. With strong, sharp motions, she yanked him closer, tightening the grip around his waist as she lifted her skirt.

The black fishnet stockings ended near the juncture her thighs, just as he’d imagined and she was, in fact, without panties.

The dark wood of the table contrasted with her light skin, and the smooth lips of her pussy were slick and ready. The possibility of trouble was still there, but this other possibility—doing something crazy—was the one he was paying attention to. His dick was so hard he could drive into her with one thrust, he was sure of it.

Hayden grabbed her thighs, spread her legs and swung her forward, angling her so her hot sheath opened completely. He inched closer, so the tip of his penis touched her wet skin.

“Do it,” she whispered. “Fuck me.”

~~~

Want more? Here’s Part 4. Or, you can come over to the Servant of the Undead Wattpad page and read more for free right now. Unfamiliar with Wattpad? It’s an online community for readers and writers. Its filled with free fiction of all kinds. It’s easy to log in and get started; you can use your Facebook account.

Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers. Best Friends Never, her newest release is the first in the Cherry Grove dark YA series.

 

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