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Kiss and Tell: Guest post by Christina Mitchell

5 Mar

By Christina Mitchell

I love first kisses. I love watching them and reading about them. Ennis and Jack. Logan and Veronica.  Megan and Graham. Weetzie Bat and My Secret Agent Lover Man. So many swoons. But in real life, they aren’t always so wonderful. I’ve had a lot more more like Cordelia & Wesley than I have Buffy & Angel. Mostly because I tend to make awkward situations exponentially more awkward and my unintentional comedic timing is superb.

Here’s Cordelia & Wesley’s Awkward Kiss — in which we learn that lust and chemistry are not the same thing.

At 13, I was madly in love with the 16-year-old boy down the street. He wore ripped jeans and had an undercut with a curly blonde ponytail, like my beloved New Kid, Donnie. My diary entries dripped with love and hate, depending on the day. We played a naughty version of red light, green light, with his hand going further and further up my skirt until I shouted RED LIGHT right before he touched my panties. One day we were wrestling around and he picked me up and tossed me on his mom’s bed and gave me my very first kiss. I can’t fault his technique. I’m not opposed to the Me Tarzan, You Jane school of lovin’, but he went in with a bit too much gusto and jammed his tongue all the way to my uvula. Not prepared for literal tonsil-hockey, I shoved him off me, ran to the bathroom and dry-heaved. Which was a bit of a mood-killer. We never really flirted or spoke much after that and my poor diary combusted beneath the flames of my angst.

So I kept my lips (and uvula) to myself until I was 16. I flirted with a boy with a speech impediment who called me KWES-TEENA and wore his drum major bucket hat all the time, even with his t-shirts and jeans. My friends were like, CHRISTINA. NO. But I thought he was quirky and adorable. After two tepid weeks of talking on the phone, the manic pixie dream boy met me in an empty, dark classroom, and went in for a kiss. Don’t know why, but I panicked and jerked my head away at the last minute, and he ended up licking me from the corner of my mouth to my jaw which caused me to burst out into hysterical giggles that wouldn’t stop, until he mumbled an excuse and left the room. Can’t imagine why, but he broke up with me the next day.

sexy bucket hat

Too sexy for this hat.

Then there was that guy I made out with on the bus with the giant raver pants, chain wallet and Marilyn Manson t-shirt. And that other guy I made out with on the bus who didn’t wear raver pants, but did stalk me for a few weeks afterward–hey, we all have that summer, amiright?

At 20, I met a hot gamer. Yes, bucking stereotypes like a motherfucker, this guy was great looking, had his own house and played live action Mage: The Ascension at the most dingy comics shop in town. After game one night, I missed the last bus. It was snow-storming out and he offered to let me stay the night on his couch. I didn’t know how old he was, hell I didn’t even know his last name, but I said yes, because everything looks like a green flag when you’re young and horny. So we sat on the couch and talked for hours. The flirting got heavier and suddenly he yanked me onto his lap,  dug his hands into my braids and gave me THE MOST AMAZING KISS I’ve ever had in my life. No offense to those who kissed me afterward, including my wonderfully kissable hubs, but this guy was a triple gold medalist in Tongue Curling at the Smooch-Olympics. I wish I could describe what made it so fantastic, but I have no idea. The whole time we made out, my brain kept crashing like Windows going straight to the blue screen of death.

Things got hotter and I remember feeling victorious. Nothing would screw up this magical moment! I wriggled around on his lap and my body got all tight and aching. Really aching. Unpleasantly aching. Wow, my stomach hurt. And then…I started my period. Yes. You do not understand awkward until you have your hand in a stranger’s pants and their hand is in yours, just as a rush of uterine hate sluices forth from your wretched baby-maker, turning the hottest experience of your young life into the most awkward encounter you’ll ever have*. We called it quits and he bid me an bemused goodnight. And since I wasn’t carrying a purse with me, I had to make a maxi-pad out of toilet paper whilst contemplating the folly of desire. Oh, and in the morning, he told me he had a girlfriend anyway.

It’s a miracle we humans ever try again, isn’t it? But try I did.  Years later, on a second date with a nice guy I’d met on the internet,  we were standing in a parking lot, outside of CiCi’s Pizza. He was being a total gentleman and I was totally over it.  So I grabbed him by the collar of his polo shirt and kissed him. He had the most delightfully glazed look when I pulled away and then he went for it, giving me a bone-meltingly slow kiss that made my brain short-circuit in a different way.  When I said goodnight and got into my car, Nora Jones’ “Turn Me On” blasted from the radio. I drove home in a fog of giggles and swoons and wrote in my Live Journal that I was in “deep, deep trouble.”  And I was right. I married that guy.

Still though, it’s rare for life to offer up a truly magical first kiss. That’s why we writers do it for you. That satisfyingly deep, dark vortex of desire, the surety of intent, the crashing of lips against each other without the corresponding chipping of teeth, is fiction at it’s best.

*Writing is my gift.

Christina Mitchell writes love stories that fall somewhere between the dark humor of David Sedaris and the sensitive lyricism of Metallica. Her first novel, How to Stay will be available…mumble mumble 2018? Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

Thor: Ragnarok: Anti-Patriarchial Action Adventure

23 Nov

 

 

I knew going in what I wanted fromThor: Ragnarok going in–And I got it.  But it also had some excellent surprises.  First let’s go over the good stuff we expected:

I wanted humor. The very first Thor film had a lot of excellent humor–and who doesn’t love a hero–and a franchise–that doesn’t take itself too seriously? Who doesn’t love riffs on anti-cool-ness? (I do!)

I wanted Hela! I was excited to see an all-powerful villainess with the most-est.

As played by Kate Blanchet, Hela in all her glory is a lot of Goth eye make-up and a lot of scorching fury. Her tortured, slinky self was magnificent. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: her antler horns are ridiculous–almost as ridiculous as Loki’s–which is saying a lot. It takes quite a good actor to wear it well, and Blanchett did.

I wanted Loki – Hiddlesbum, you hot thing you.  He was expected, even needed in the film every bit as much as Thor was. Always elegant, and in this film not given particularly much to do. He nevertheless did a good job of portraying his own skewed agenda throughout. Sometimes a reluctant part of the team, Loki’s never one of the mob. He’s an independent thinker, with his own perspective, and that’s why I like him so much. 

Idris Elba as Heimdall, alas, has never pleased me in the Thor franchise. Three reasons why:

  • They loaded him down with some crazy eye contacts
  • and about five tons of too much sincerity
  • in too small a role. Sigh.

What I wasn’t expecting was:

Valkyrie! Tessa Thompson got to play the reluctant hero role as a POC side-kick. YAY!  I found her arresting.

Thor gets a make-over! He gets a haircut. (Yay!) There is also some gratuitous shirtless Hemsworth time. (Was that abdomen CGI? I don’t think it was, but day-am!) Hemsworth, really is at his best as an actor playing a frank, yet dumb warrior dude. He doesn’t deserve his role because of pure acting skill; there is no denying the man’s super-human arms. Whew! In a way, I’m glad his shirtless moment didn’t go on and on, because I have no idea what was being said in that scene, and wouldn’t have been able to follow the movie’s plot had such shocking Hemsworth shirtlessness continued.

WHAT YOU DIDN’T SEE IN THE FILM BUT I COULD TOTALLY IMAGINE:

I think the creators of Thor know us by this point, ladies. That Thor ending—where there’s a bit of a singular moment between Thor and Loki when they’re alone. Full of emotive unspoken feelings. Full of pauses.

This is what I said to my sweetie on the way back to the car afterwards:

In my version of the film that’s where they would have started having sex.

Sweetie said: No way! They’re brothers.

Adopted!

Please.

Look it’s been a hard year for us women. We need Thor & Loki sex.

META-NARRATIVE ABOUT THE DEATH OF OLD SKOOL PATRIARCHY, ANYONE? (!!!)

It was a surprise to see Karl Urban with a bald head and heavy make up at the beginning of the film, yet he was there purely as a representation of Old skool masculinity.

A sop to a certain kind of gun-loving guy, Karl Urban has babes and guns at the beginning of the film. But the film really deflects that. An instant later, some creature spits up all over the babes, and things go to hell in a handbasket. Poor Karl really just wants to have his one true warrior moment. At the very end, he gets to have that moment—along with all the gun-toting idiot dudes out there–as he go down in a blaze of old skool masculine glory, seemingly selfish at first, but sacrificing himself for the good of others.

LET’S GO DEEPER PEOPLE: That’s one layer of the film–and it’s thin.

I would posit that the rest of Thor is attempting to shift Action Movies in a new direction—make them more progressive. (Shocking, I know.) How did THOR: RAGNAROK mark a profound shift in action adventure movies of the future? Many critics are buzzing about the different meaningful aspects of this new directorial vision – the first POC director in the franchise. I want to argue that the film is (as much as it is anything else) literaly dismantling patriarchy, as well as creating space for women as active players in the Thor Universe.

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!

First the women: Hela is a great villain. She could have been more clever, could have gotten deeper, but her role involved a shocker—see below.

There’s also the Valkyrie. No more Thor’s mother and sister sitting around at home while all the action was happening elsewhere. The Valkyrie is right up in it. She is the female Karl Urban, taking up far more space in the film.  She also fights in the end, knowing she’s gonna die.

No women need to be saved because they’re the weaker sex in this movie—on Valhalla the entire population needs saving. Nor are the women reserved for romantic interest fodder. There are no romantic interests at all in Thor: Ragnarok (unless you buy my Loki & Thor m/m fantasy. ;>) Women are included as players, pure and simple. Hela kicks ass, and the Valkyrie—full of doom and foreboding–wads into a losing battle, then pounds away at it just like the men.  Why not, right? They’re all gods–it’s not like their physical forms really matter.

Credit:Jasin_Boland/Marvel Studios 2017

But what was even better and more riveting to me—was this fabulous tearing down of Odin—Thor’s father (played by Anthony Hopkins.)

The back story in this movie is that Odin had a daughter, named Hela – and they ravaged 9 kingdoms together, raking in the booty. That is, until one day Odin seemed to grow a conscience about all the plundering and decided to go in another direction. So Odin’s solution was to cast his daughter out of Valhalla. Her very history was written over, with other remnants and symbols from that time buried and forgotten. Until Odin’s death. As he’s dying, he tells his two sons about their lost sister—and once he’s dead, she’s back, with a big old chip on her shoulder and some major daddy issues.

The first thing she does is go and uncover all this erased history in Valhalla, (I couldn’t find pictures of the cool moving ceiling mural–but it was really well done) staking her claim as first born to rule all of Odins 9 realms. And what the hell—she wants to go out and conquer all the remaining realms as well.

The picture of Valhalla literally crumbles to reveal a hidden truth underneath.

So as a villain, her major lasting strike is that she complicates the idea of Odin as a good guy. Nor is he ever vindicated in the end. There’s no rolling back from her revelations once she’s vanquished.  The upshot: Valhalla, built upon ill-gotten, illicit colonialist wealth, is destroyed.

Buh-bye patriarchal kingdom.

In the end, yes, Hela is displaced by Thor. It’s not done with a “the man’s supposed to rule” kind of presumption. Thor acknowledges that as eldest born Hela has a legitimate claim to the throne.

But then Thor points out that she’s the worst. True. Hela has an unquenched desire for conquest, totalitarian rule, and a cavalier disregard for the death and destruction of her subjects. That’s what they say, but that’s not how actions play out.  At the very end, Hela **is** left to rule Valhalla–and to destroy it. A world born out of multiple sins is pulled down into flames and destruction, while Thor and his people seek a new place to start fresh.

Want to read more interesting discussion about the film?  Here’s a Mashable blog post on Thor’s themes of colonialism.

and a blog post about the deliberate use of Maori humor in Thor:

https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/31-10-2017/thor-and-his-magic-patu-notes-on-a-very-maori-marvel-movie/

 

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Lady Smut – our Black Friday giveaway that starts tomorrow, Nov 24, 2017. Check it out!

Madeline Iva is the twisted sister you always wish you had.  She’s also the author of the fantasy romance Wicked Apprentice.  Check out her other Lady Smut postsJoin her newsletter or follow her on Facebooktwitter, and Pinterest

Viking Warrior Princess–Bitches!

14 Sep

by Madeline Iva

What you need to know:

For a long time, many asshats in the archeological world wouldn’t admit this mighty Viking warrior in the grave was not a dude.   And that’s despite a lot of people saying “Um, that skeleton looks, um, female?” Because: swords—lots o swords. But until more asshats can disprove it, DNA tests seem to confirm that the warrior was female.

We’ve got horses on the side, and some games and weapons. Yup, that’s a warrior. But, um, this dude looks like a lady.

Let me pause a minute to express myself to all those archeologists who weren’t willing to admit hard scientific evidence:

I myself have always wanted to be a Viking warrior princess.   I think I’ve got the hair for it, frankly. (You’re looking at my photo – don’t pay attention. I don’t really look like that.)

Scandanavian genes? Check. Not that I think these are necessary for a warrior princess…just if you want to be super Viking-y about it.

Warrior Princesses are HOT, no matter what ethnic flavor.

 

Ability to fight with swords? Check. (Technically, it was fencing, but whateves. I could take you, is what I’m saying.)

Do people fear me? Well, no. But they did in high school. I was one of those tall, strapping girls who looked perpetually irritated with the world.

I did say one time about someone who was flirting with my sweetie that if I caught her doing that again I’d rip her tits off. Jokingly. I mean, in my defense, it was only one time. And I didn’t even say it to her directly. She wasn’t even there. It was more an aside to others. Of course for the next few days every time she saw me she crossed her arms protectively over her chest. Jokingly.

But I think the whole Viking warrior princess thing is a state of mind, really.

Viking Warrior Princess state of mind? Check.

An anecdote to illustrate:

Once, a good decade ago or more, I was hanging out with these three guy friends while I was working a summer job. My sweetie was working about an hour away, so for the first time ever we were living apart. That lasted exactly one week then one night sweetie said on the phone, “Hey! Guess who I ran into today?” It was his ex. The next week I got him a job where I was working. However, these three guy friends were rather curious to meet my sweetie. But later on, I asked them why they were so quiet when I introduced them. They said: “We were kinda underwhelmed.” Why? I asked. “He’s just not who we were expecting,” one of them mumbled. Who were you expecting? I asked. “Thor, god of thunder.”

Moving on—let’s discuss the perks of the warrior princess job:

1) Being called a Warrior Princess, obviously. I think this is an epithet that we cannot throw around too much. Let’s use it to replace bitch, slut, bossy pants, etc – all those negative terms we seek to pin on women who get shit done, who take charge, solve problems, and frankly, make the world go round.

We will know we’ve overused the term by the time Forbes says “Like the other 5000 warrior princess CEO’s of top American companies in the corporate world…XXX, who, before becoming president earned more than every other CEO to date, has finally gotten an equal pay amendment passed by congress.” At that point I’m happy to retire the term.

2) Fearless Sex. Viking Warrior Princesses have sex outdoors up against trees—where anybody—including squirrels–can see them.  They have sex in pottery studios – a la Ghost but with less clay-goo and more biting. They are fearless about shower sex. I should know this – because I’m a Viking Warrior Princess and I’ve done all these things.

3) Weapons of choice. My weapon of choice these days is no longer a sword (technically a fencing foil). It’s a pick mattock – your garden’s version of a pick axe.

It looks like this:

Scary, no? Mine is dull and needs to be sharpened as I tame this jungle we call our yard. Viking Warrior Princesses do not like dull weapons, btw. (Try hauling that thing over your head ten times fast while chopping out ash trees. It gets your heart rate right up there, lemme tell you.)

4) An excellent side kick. Warrior Princesses are lucky because superior side-kicks come in so many varieties these days. Take this quiz below and see if you know your awesome sidekicks.

Don’t be surprised if I suddenly have a warrior princess series coming your way.  Like they say–write what you know.

HEY! We’re also celebrating Elizabeth Sa Fleur’s latest release— check it out if you’re all into strong women like we are:

Madeline Iva is the author of the fantasy romance Wicked Apprentice.  Follow her on Wattpad to read her latest novel WICKED ENCHANTRESS. New chapters are posted every Friday.  Join her newsletter.

 

Bang-able Villains

12 Apr

Hello Lovely Readers! Elizabeth Shore is away today. Instead, we have a happily edgy post from the amazing and kick-ass Saranna DeWylde here.  I asked Saranna to do a guest post after I saw this exchange on facebook:

Yes! Exactly!

So I asked Saranna to talk to us about why we women are sometimes (often?) a bit more interested in a really good villain than they are the hero.

I absolutely love a well-constructed villain. I don’t mean an anti-hero, I like them, but this post is all about the E-ville. Is that a misspelling? Not at all. Say it out loud, roll it around in your mouth. You’re not a good villain unless you have the mustache-twirling pronunciation. Maybe even a bit of goatee stroking. You know what I mean?

No, I didn’t. 

When I first think about favorite villains, Hannibal Lecter comes to mind, but he’s not really a villain anymore, is he? In the television show, he’s more of an anti-hero.

 

Is he??? I haven’t seen this show, but I’ve heard so much about it…Check out the preview above.

What especially interests me about villains and their bangability is societal reaction and what we deem acceptably attractive in people. No one thinks anything about me saying I’d like give Darth Vader a run for his money except to say that maybe his parts don’t work in that suit. I maintain he could probably give really great orgasms with The Force. A little breath play, and pretty much whatever else he wanted you to feel. (Is it getting hot in here, or is just me?)

Old Darth does it for Saranna, Kylo Ren is all tortured and interesting to a new generation.

If I say I thought Paul Spector was hot from The Fall, I’d be one of those twisted girls into serial killers. But I know real serial killers. I was a prison guard. I hung out with them for eight hours a day, sometimes sixteen. None of them look like Jamie Dornan. And none of them were ever the least bit attractive to me.

Which is not to suggest that because someone is physically handsome in real life he’s NOT a serial killer….Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha

(Incidentally, I didn’t crush on Jamie Dornan until The Fall.)

Fictional evil is attractive. There’s a nod to everything that’s not the ideal. That’s not a princess. That’s not perfect. And part of us wants them to win because that means we can too. A charismatic villain makes so much easier to acknowledge our own sins, see our own dark places, and we can empathize with him in fiction, because we don’t have to own our massive flaws for real.

I find when a hero holds up his virtues it’s much harder for me to say, yes…that’s me too. The writers of Luther posited through show dialogue that women specifically were attracted to evil men because we were able to claim some of their power for our own. There might be something to that.

While we’re at it, I kind of have a type. The Devil. Almost anyone can play The Devil, and that’s an insta-girl boner. Hell, this could probably comprise most of my list. Apologies to Tom Ellis in Lucifer, though. He’s hot, but he started out an antihero so he doesn’t make my list. So pretty, though.

Tom Ellis as Lucifer

With that said, let’s open our Slam Books to

Top Eleven Villains I’d Bang.

Not ten, because I’m being contrary in honor of our villains. (After, you better share yours, too, or I’m not going to share my slap bracelets.)

In no particular order:

Darth Vader– As I said before, he could do some crazy shit with The Force. I just keep thinking about that choke hold. Amirite?

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale), American Psycho– That might actually be bad sex. I’m not so much down for the coat hanger and he’s so arrogant, he’s probably terrible in bed. I think I really just want to pet his shoulders and his hair after we eat at Dorsia.

Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), The Fall– Well, I mean. C’mon.

Paul Spector in The Fall, aka Jamie Dornan

Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek), From Dusk Till Dawn– Everyone wants to let her bite them. Everyone. She’s single-minded in her approach to food and any other pleasures. I support this wholeheartedly.

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), The Wolf of Wall Street– I’m not sure if it’s the part where he says, “the book, motherfucker) or if it’s because he’s unrepentant about what a piece of shit he is, and I don’t know if I’d think the real JB was attractive, because he did actually hurt people. But his characterization? Yeah, I’d hit that.

Lizzie Borden (Christian Ricci) Lizzie Borden series– Here’s a woman who isn’t taking shit from anyone. She knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to take it. Whatever the cost.

Viggo Mortenson, The Prophecy– His portrayal of the Big D is one of the best ever. He’s not meant to be attractive, yet, somehow still is. He’s horrible, and awful and I love every second of it. “Little Tommy Daggett. How I loved listening to your sweet prayers every night. And then you would jump into bed, so afraid that I was under there. And I was!” Really, do you promise? Please?

Gabriel Byrne, End of Days– Gimme. (I also dug him as the priest in Stigmata, but he was sort of a hero there. Kinda. It doesn’t count.)

Mark Pellegrino, Supernatural– He’s almost an anti-hero. But not quite. Just enough… I love his character so much.

Sam Neil, The Omen Part 6400-I don’t know. I just can’t help myself.

Bradley James, The Omen TV series-He doesn’t want to be bad, he just is. And when he finally owns it? Boo yeah. Bring it, handsome!

Anyway, those are my eleven for the moment. My list is ever-changing, but I’d love to know which villains you’d like to lock in your bedroom. Tell me in the comments below.

Want more Saranna? Check her out on facebook, or sign up for her newsletter at her website. Tomorrow I’m responding more to Saranna’s post — check it out!

And follow us at Lady Smut where we’ll happily explore your dark side all night long.

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

Let’s Not Wait Until We’re 70 to Talk About Sex Toys

7 Apr

by Thien-Kim Lam

Netflix's Grace and Frankie

I’m not a big fan of sitcoms, but Netflix’s Grace & Frankie has been lighting up my television. I’ve even been tempted to cheat on my husband and watch ahead. But I’m not. I promise.

The premise of the show sounds like romance tropes on crack. Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) learn that their husbands have been secret lovers for twenty years. You read that right. Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) have come out and want to get married. Grace and Frankie, who couldn’t be more more different, are thrown together with crisis as their common denominator. The fallout is both entertaining and awkward as the children try not to take sides between their mothers and their step dad-to-be.

 

via Giphy

What makes the show different from your typical romance is that our heroines are well into their 70s. There aren’t very many romance books that feature heroines over fifty. Even Hollywood isn’t kind to women actresses once they reach their forties. To see older women playing funny, ambitious, and even raunchy multi-dimensional characters? I love it.

While I’m not even close to their ages, I love seeing these two amazing women and the characters they embody every night on my tv.

I learned a something very important from Grace and Frankie: Don’t wait until you’re 70 to talk about sex toys with your friends.

via Giphy

In season two, the two women have many discussions about lube and vibrators. The discussions aren’t always easy or comfortable for either characters. Even though Grace ran a successful skincare business, she still has a hard time ask for what she needs during sex. I won’t spoil it for you but let’s just say that Frankie makes her own lube out of yams.

Netflix even made this fake commercial for her yam lube:

During the twelve years that I sold sex toys at home parties, the majority of my clients were embarrassed to discuss sex toys and speaking up in the bedroom. You might scoff and say it’s an older generation thing, but that wasn’t what I saw.

Women of all ages, social class, and ethnicity had a tough time talking about sex. They were comfortable discussing it with me, a person they’d only met. But their friends? It took a few glass of wine to reach that comfort level. Some didn’t even talk to their husband about their lack of orgasms during sex.

We’re excited to tell everyone about the most comfortable yet stylish shoes we’ve found,so why can’t we do that with sex toys? Talk to your girlfriends about sex, vibrators, lube, foreplay–anything sex and body related. Maybe a friend tried a new position that blows her mind. Or you found a vibrator that makes you sing–loud.

Not sure how to start the conversation? Here’s some ideas:

  • Watch Grace and Frankie together.
  • Visit boutique sex shops with your friends
  • Host a home sex toy party
  • Start an erotic romance book club

Sex is fun. The more you talk about it, the less taboo it feels.

Do you talk to your friends about sex toys?

Thien-Kim Lam is runs an erotic romance virtual book club and you’re invited! She is currently writing romances about Asian American women who have mega hot sex. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check her Pleasure Pairings guide with buzzy recommendations for the adventurous reader

Buffy, But More Bawdy: Deborah Wilde’s The Unlikeable Demon Hunter and Crazyhead

31 Mar

by G.G. Andrew

I miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A lot of us do, especially with the recent release of the cast photo for the 20th year reunion of the popular Joss Whedon show about a chosen one and her friends battling supernatural baddies. Along with its stellar cast, the show had wit, romance, and demons–what’s not to miss about that trio of goodness?

But as it turns out, Buffy is back. She’s just a bit raunchier.

This November I discovered the show Crazyhead on Netflix (via Madeline Iva; thank you, Madeline!). A British show, it’s the story of two women who form a friendship because they can both see, and thus fight, demons. If you haven’t already, check out Madeline’s post on all the reasons the show is fantastic. Like Madeline, I read many reviews on the show comparing it to Buffy, and while I can see that it’s a direct descendant in many ways, it’s very much its own animal. I think it owes as much to the rise in female comedy in recent years as it does to Whedon. Because Crazyhead is not only funny, but pretty dirty. In an early episode, one of the women pees on her friend to exorcise the demon that’s inside her. There’s also foul language and awkward sexual encounters aplenty.

April marks the debut of urban fantasy author Deborah Wilde‘s Unlikeable Demon Hunter series. I’m reading an advanced copy of the first book right now, and it’s also filling that sweet spot that was vacated by Buffy, but adding its own hilariously adult humor to the mix, much like Crazyhead does. To see what I mean, check out the beginning of the book’s blurb:

The age-old story of what happens when a foul-mouthed, romance impaired heroine with no edit button and a predilection for hot sex is faced with her worst nightmare–a purpose…

Deborah Wilde describes her books as “Bridesmaids meets Buffy,” which is the perfect way to capture this awesome thing I see happening here: supernatural stories with kick-ass heroines who push the envelope humor-wise.

Nava Katz, the heroine of The Unlikeable Demon Hunter, is a party girl who’s taking a walk of shame back home after a hookup when she crashes her twin brother’s initiation into a demon-hunting brotherhood by trying to get herself a little hair of the dog–which turns out to be wine intended for the ceremony. Then she’s got another surprise coming: she appears to be chosen instead of her twin. The brotherhood, which is a Jewish organization tracing back to King David and a boys-only club, is not somewhere where Nava thinks she fits. She wears “trollop togs,” has a “collage of speeding tickets spelling out vroom” in her room, and feels more loyalty to her bras than her hookups. She sometimes ends up in bed with demons, like you do. And when she sees hot barkeeps, she tends to think thoughts like these: “Ladytown flooded like it was time to start collecting two of every animal.”

Basically, Nava’s like the fun-loving, dirty-talking, drink-tossing best friend you’d want to take to the bar. But you’d also want her around, because, you know, demons.

Buffy will always have a special place in my heart, but nowadays when I often spend my days doing too much adulting, there’s nothing better than ending the day with the naughty laughs I get from Nava Katz or the girls in Crazyhead. I’m hoping these saucy supernatural stories are here to stay, because I’ll keep devouring them.

The Unlikeable Demon Hunter releases April 18, but you can snag it for .99 as a preorder right now.

What have you been filling the Buffy-shaped hole in your life with? Let us know here or on our Facebook page!

~

Subscribe to the Lady Smut newsletter to learn more about our authors and books, plus get free stories all year long!

Also: Coming to the RT Booklovers Convention? Join the Ladysmut.com bloggers for a very special reader event – Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever — and win crowns, fetish toys, books and more. (Ooo, and we’ll have brownies….) Goodybags to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. Go here to find out more!

G.G. Andrew writes quirky romantic comedy. Her latest is the short story Girl Meets Grammarian in the geek romance anthology Covalent Bonds. It involves a sexy sentence diagramming scene or two, because YES.

“Up On the Hog Babe, Let’s Go For a Ride”: The Hot Men & Sexy Voices of Male Audio Narrators

27 Mar

HOT MEN, SEXY VOICES: Last Saturday was #VALoveFest at Virginia Festival of the Book 2017.  Among the excellent panels during the day by far the most popular was THE MEN OF ROMANCE panel where audio narrators shared their experiences about the work, a bit about their backgrounds, and their appreciation for the romance genre.  Below is a video that you must watch/listen to if–like me– you twitch involuntarily at any real man who is into romance.

Andi Arndt was the fabulous moderator. She spoke with David Brenin, Luke Daniels, Will Damron, Derek Perkins and Aiden Snow. Jennifer Dodde Conner captured this video of the event. (Caution! It looks like the video goes sideways for a second–but it’s just for a moment and then gets righted again.)

Details of note:

Luke Daniels has done audio for Heather Graham and Sylvia Day among many, many, others.

When Will Damron does the really sexy stuff he uses the name Jeremy York.

Aiden Snow mostly does military romances, but he likes romances that play out deep gender and relational dynamics.  Most of the time, however, he said “it’s like: ‘Up on the hog babe, let’s go for a ride.'” And all the women in the room about fainted.

Speaking of Aiden Snow —  I saw him walking across the lobby at the festival — and having been converted by my friend Adriana Anders to beardy hot goodness, I said to myself ‘Damn, who is *that* guy?’ (Shoulda stopped him and gotten a picture.  I’m just kicking myself now. Oh well!)

Derek Perkins is British and does a mean Scottish Accent.

I, for one, find a man’s voice at the top of the list for the sexiness factor.  I think that romances often neglect the serious ear appeal of the right voice.  There are men who I find reasonably attractive, but when they speak and their voice is like low thunder, I’m suddenly riveted by their whole being.  I want to chitter like a cat at the window watching birds fluttering around outside.

Perhaps it’s because there is something fundamentally right and reassuring to me about a relaxed, warm male voice.  It’s a verbal embrace, a reassuring caress in my ears that everything is going to be all right.

I’m so curious to find out if any of you listen to audio books and if you do listen to audio books, are you aware of who the audio narrator is? I know Richard Armitage narrated two Georgette Heyer book, but do you actively seek certain narrators?

Are you like me? Does the right male voice send you?

If you want to listen to more of the panels from Love Fest, including HEROINES OF DESTINY — which is the panel that I moderated–go here on facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1905127766399699/permalink/1909010616011414/

Kiersten Hallie Krum will be back next week — and I’ll be blogging more on Thursday about other fascinating & fun parts of Love Fest.

Meanwhile, get on the hog, babe, and follow us at Lady Smut. ; >

Madeline Iva writes fantasy and paranormal romance.  Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, featuring a magic geek heroine, is available on AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo, and through iTunes.  Sign up for Madeline Iva news & give aways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternative Endings to the Bachelor

16 Mar

Huzzah! Rachel Lindsay–The first POC bachelorette.

by Madeline Iva

I saw the very first season of the Bachlorette while packing for a Big Move to the South.  I made it through a few seasons after that because I was fascinated by watching grown women aggressively fight for the attention of one man–while pretending not to. So deliciously perverse! Alexa Day posted about the announcement of the latest bachelorette on Tuesday, and the rest below is just one long riff about The Bachelor and other thoughts her post inspired.

I loved how the most interesting women (to me) on The Bachelor in the end ultimately had to be–I mean HAD TO BE–there for the money. (Student loans, I’m guessing.) Top ways to tell:

  1. They were very popular with the other women in the house. This, I think, is a key sign. But at the same time, they didn’t seem to have a secret boyfriend at home, or were there for some kind of acting career –and thus could dodge the “you’re not here for the right reasons” attack.   (BTW has anyone ever gone up and attacked a contestant saying “You’re just here to pay off your student loans—aren’t you, bitch?”)
  2. Often they would acknowledge being on the fence about their feelings for the guy. Why? Because they weren’t that into Mr. Available.  This only helps them not seem like a threat to the other women, of course.
  3. The fact that they weren’t so into the bachelor often seemed to make the bachelor far more into them.  Like he wanted to chase them hard.  After all, for most men, chasing is their comfort zone.  (Some of us are challenged when it comes to being adored.) Logically, enlightened men *know* it’s okay for a girl to chase a guy.  But they’re not actually comfortable with it.  It’s not their usual pattern–and sometimes breaking patterns feels odd.
  4. Because these women were just “passing time” to earn their paycheck, they could neatly avoid conflict in the house with the rest of the women–and work on soothing things out.  This is where their attention was.  It’s like they reguard the other women in the house as their fellow co-workers and wanted to be team players more than they were actually vying for the heart of one man.
  5. There’s almost an instant, quick and quiet break up following the conclusion of the show when one of these women was chosen.  The fact that a break up would immediately follow seemed like wonderful karma to me.  That’s what you get, you bachelor guy, for going for the girl that’s “not that into you” and ignoring the ones who were good people and desperate for your man-love.

At any rate — I’m glad that the show chose a POC bachelorette.

But I gotta wonder: how is this show going to continue to appeal to any but the most conservative audience? Because with polyamory becoming an accepted thing amongst all the hipsters and millenials, doesn’t the idea of picking ‘the one’ seem just a wee bit old fashioned?

I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with being a monogamous type of person (I’m one myself). I’m just saying that when the Batchelor says “OMG, I’m in love with BOTH of these women” is this still the shockingly upsetting drama that it used to be?  Aren’t twenty and thirty somethings across the land saying “And? This is a problem why?”

Or–a more radical theory still–was the repetition of season after season of The Bachelor/Bachelorette actually paving the way for widespread polyamory across our heartland over these last ***seventeen*** years by making TV America overly familiar with the idea that one person can easily fall in love with two (or more) people at the same time?  I mean, think back to when polyamory started becoming a thing–right? Amiright?

I’m just waiting for the season when the Bachelor/Bachelorette decides to propose to *both* women or accept a proposal from *both* guys.  Now that would be a ratings booster.

Maybe if this this new bachelorette says yes to a black man AND a white man we can all have our cake and eat it too.

MEANWHILE — Idris Elba for Bond.  Seriously.  Accept no other substitutes.  Unless it’s Tom Hiddleston.  Then we’ll have to talk.

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

 

One Hot Zombie Husband, Please!–And Other Lustful Zombie Stuff

2 Feb
santaclaritadiet

Let that repressed manic side out, Timothy Olyphant.

by Madeline Iva

On Friday night I’m watching a new show called THE SANTA CLARITA DIET on Netflix. Why? Two words: Timothy Olyphant. The guy has a kind of restrained mayhem vibe that makes women purr. He’s good when he’s a bad boy, and I like it when he does the humor thing, but really underplays it. Let’s hope he gets to do both in this new TV show.

What’s unusual is for Olyphant to be part of a duo, for he often plays the lone wolf.  Yet he’s a supportive husband (awwww) as his wife’s body goes undead and her twisted feral id coming to life. (Peeps, this could be my own marriage we’re talking about—esp. when I’m on deadline.)

As for the rest of the show–we shall see.  I lurv Drew Barrymore and early reviews say the supporting cast is excellent.  The creator is Victor Fresco who did the short lived but great (!) show BETTER OFF TED, which walked the line of absurdism and also had a supportive, understanding, and munch-a-licious lead.

But hey, let me be your zombie pimp and recommend some other zombie joy you may have overlooked. My preference is for zombie comedy/satire. Take R in WARM BODIES.  So cute and so protective in his own teenage, shuffling, groan-y way.

Click to buy the DVD

Click to buy the DVD

 

There’s also a wonderful funny little book call BREATHERS.  Subversive and with a sexy element that I quite enjoyed.

Click to buy.

Click to buy.

Have you seen the movie SEAN OF THE DEAD? It’s a bit like The Office meets zombies. Quite surprisingly daffy and satiric all the way through.

Imagine The Office as a zombie flick. Click to buy the DVD...

Imagine The Office as a zombie flick. Click to buy the DVD…

Meanwhile, let us not forget some serious Zombie smut, like what you’ll find with our own Isabelle Drake’s SERVANT OF THE UNDEAD along with Daisy Harris’ mix of not-quite-human stuff.  I lurved Hariss’ “Steins” and sex bots.  In BUILT FOR IT Harris discovered M/M erotic romance and never looked back. (Can you even get these books anymore Daisy?)

 

557e4e368babb5e201b7f2d2b531d8cbOnce upon a time, Lexi waxed philosophical on the ethics of sex with an undead body. I, dear readers, completely understand.  Who really wants to kiss decaying flesh?  On the other hand, a zombie is nothing if not a metaphor.  Give me your metaphors–satiric, comedic or full of pathos and killed by societal excess and ennui.  Sometimes we all seem a little rotten to the core.  Zombies get to wear their decay on the outside where it’s all embarrassing and visible.  Ultimately, they’re monsters and I dearly love a monster-hero, even if his heart is dead and cold.

That’s not to say that one can’t enjoy zombie horror.  Lexi has traced the path of an end-of-the-world romance on the Walking Dead that I’ve followed probably with more enjoyment that I took in watching the actual show.  Check out her posts:

LIFE AMONG THE DEAD: IS MICHONNE READY TO LOVE AGAIN?

THE DEAD DELIVER: IS THIS THE SEASON FOR RICHONNE? 

DEAD ON! REJOICING FOR RICHONNE

If you do like your zombies with a lot of blood splatter, there’s a movie coming out called THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS.

You'll slurp it up if you like post-apocalyptic action/adventure. Click to buy.

You’ll slurp it up if you like post-apocalyptic action/adventure. Click to buy.

The book was gripping–I stayed up all night reading it.  I’m sure the movie will be excellent too, but check out the book first. It’s post apocalyptic, British, and I liked how the balance of characters in the book were female.  They seemed to have deliberately switched around the race of the characters in the movie.  Hmmmmmm.

There’s also World War Z — not your typical zombie genre book.  It’s totally different and only about a thousand times better than the movie. (Sorry Brad Pitt.)

Another book I've read in one sitting. Click to buy.

Another book I’ve read in one sitting. Click to buy.

Well, time for me to do some groaning and shuffling myself as I sign off to go jog, shower, and write. Follow us at Lady Smut.  We give you reasons to live.

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.

 

Horror Sex Camp

20 Sep

Hi there–Madeline here today.  I’m picking up from where Elizabeth Shore’s post left off yesterday.  She was talking about how well horror and erotic romance go together.

Meanwhile my favorite type of horror — campy horror — goes even better with sex.  I’m talking hot, uninhibited, I-don’t-care-that-you’re-not-my-boyfriend sex.

I mean, before the 80’s you had horror films that had sex stuff in them.  Sure.  The sexy popular girl always got slashed first, of course.  Female audiences weren’t supposed to enjoy the sexy part of these films though.  You had women taking off their sweaters as suspense built, blah, blah, blah to get men off.  They were thrown a gratuitous arousal boner as a way of staving off boredom until the part came where their date would jump around, scream, and cling unto her date.  Which led to boinking said date afterwards. (Apparently almost all horror films make bank for this very reason.)

Although, I never quite understood how that worked.  You just watched a film about a woman going off with a guy alone, getting all slutty, and then getting slashed.  So after the movie, you go off with a guy alone, and you get all slutty with him…

BUT THEN! Along came a time-warping little freaky-deaky project called The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).

This film was less about horror and really more of an excuse to display one giant, cross-dressing, trans-gender orgy. But the film was an important one.  First it gave teens across our suburban lands something to do on a Saturday at midnight.  Second, in this film Janet made it quite clear she needed someone to touch her.  Lucky for her, there happened to be this specially made big golden hottie around to do it.  We learned from Rocky Horror that even nice girls needed to get some.

And with Rocky Horror Picture Show, the age of the 80’s and political correctness was spawned.  But despite the money grubbing, despite the cold war repression, a new tradition was born.  Ironic Camp came of age.  Yes, Poltergeist, The Shining, and a remake of The Thing happened, but this new trend in horror films took our lives in a whole new direction.

For instance, American Werewolf in London (1981).A sexy, slightly unsure American tourist is bitten.

Now, it’s the cute guy getting naked, not the cute girl.

The film was also funny, providing a different kind of release.  Horror and camp go together. As certain horror films got campier, they also got sexy in a different way–in a way that was definitely aimed at women.

[People older than I would say–well, what about Michael London, Mr. Little House on the Prairie, who was in “I Was A TeenAge Werewolf”? And I would say, “What’s that grandma? I can’t hear you over the loose dentures rattling around in your mouth.” And they would say, “Fine, smarty-pants, but they’re remaking it–aren’t they?” And I would shrug, because I dunno, maybe they are? Was that show campy? I doubt it.  I’m talking about camp here, grandma. Camp.]

The Lost Boys (1987) came along.  They were troubled bad boys, their leader a totally hot Jason Patric.

Oh, and Kiefer Sutherland was sneering about in the  background too.

Then you had the (mostly forgotten) film Lair of The White Worm (1988) starring an unknown British actor named Hugh Grant.  (Which also had a hot Scottish guy in it, btw, pictured here, covered in blood.)

After that came Buffy — the movie (1992), wherein cute Luke Perry got to stand around and watch his girlfriend kick ass. Feminism had truly arrived.  (Luke, you are cute, but not enough for me to bother getting your pic and showing it here.)

And Buffy begat Scream (1996).  In which Skeet Ulrich seduces and betrays and slays — His best. Role. Ever.

And Scream begat Buffy again–this time the TV show (1997-2003).  Spike.  Angel.  Need I say more?

And Buffy the TV show, in some ways, begat Torchwood (2006)

Which was horror/sci-fi and very sexy, yes, but in ways you were never expecting—and in ways which left you totally uncomfortable afterwards.   Oy.  Not one person in that cast ever had hot, uncomplicated sex.  EVER.   It was Tortured, as much or more than it was Torchwood.

So, what’s coming next for Horror Sex Camp? Maybe there’s something out there right now that I’m missing–? Leave a comment.  Let me know.

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