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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.

 

The Sexy Dane Solution

5 Jan

by Madeline Iva

hyggeHere’s a Danish word for ya:  HYGGE

Pronounce it Hoo-gah, but try throwing a little “U” into that ‘oo’ sound and you’ve nailed it.  Hygge translates to “cozy” in Danish, but it’s not just a word to the Danish, nor just an emotion—it’s a genius cultural ideal!

It’s cold outside, my peeps.  And we are in desperate need of ideals right now.  Also, after the holidays we’re poor. Yet we can still pull on a big pair of wooly socks, make a delicious pot of hot soup, and settle down in front of the warm lights of the fire.  Or Xmas tree you still haven’t taken down.  Or your space heater.  Whatever. We can still embrace each other and cling to everything in our world that is simple, good, and warm.

Like hot guys in winter sweaters. hygge2

My romance ideal is founded on the concept of Hygge and I think you may already recognize it:

SEXY + HYGGE = SMYGGE (SMOOGAH)

Hygge is not at all contradictory with a bit o’ sexy. In fact, if you’re like me, this is the package in which you actually prefer your sexy. Show me a guy with great bed head in a big ole sweater with jeans, or conversely some boxers and hot abs and I’ll show you my clenching ovaries. Give him a mug of coffee or a kitten to hold and…my God, you’re killing me here.hygge4

Yes to Hygge! Yes to Sexy! Put them together and you’ve got Smygge – my new sensual ideal. Happy New Year!

Got Smygge?

Got Smygge?

(To find more of all things Smygge, go to my PINTEREST page. ; > )

Icy Hot.

Icy Hot.

GOT MIRTH?

And while we’re at it–materialistic American beasts that we are–let’s embrace the wider ramifications of Hygge and Smygge. We’re not just talking Nordic sweaters, kittens, and mittens—we’re talking about the fundamentals of creating social joy.

In Denmark, Hygge means means having your friends over for an informal dinner with candle light. (Cough. While candlelight is very Hygge, it also hides a vast amount of housekeeping neglect. Cough. Cough.) Or better yet, leave those dust bunnies to roam, and wander down to the local pub with your mates to drown your winter sorrows in an amber pint of excellent Danish lager. (Preferably while wearing a nordic sweater.) I’m talking an informal sense of togetherness and peace – this is very Hyggelig.  (Hoo-glee)

When you create warmth for you, your loved ones, and friends–and without spending a lot o’ money–you are essentially creating social joy.   For me, 2017 is going to be all about creating maximal hygge warmth and mirth as a big wholesome buffer against the forces of evil and uncertainty that loom.

My ovaries! My ovaries!

My ovaries! My ovaries!

So embrace these velvet fog days, snuggle down in your warm flannel sheets, and draw your loved ones (or pictures of your favorite tv/movie stars—I won’t judge) close.

And for that added kick of joy, put a little smygge in your life—pop on that warm wool sweater and socks (but nothing else). You won’t regret it. ; >hygge-7

Follow us at Lady Smut — we’re an excellent daily source of Hygge.  And subscribe as well! It’s free and fun stuff is coming to our subscribers very soon.

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.

 

Making Love In The Mud To Save The Earth

23 Nov

By Elizabeth Shore

Here’s a conundrum to consider: what do you do when you’re so adoring of the earth that recycling your plastics or turning off lights as you leave a room aren’t nearly enough to show your planetary passion? When you’re so besotted with nature that you’re perfectly comfortable talking dirty to dirt? Or making love to a carrot? Why, it’s simple, really. If you find yourself pining for a pine tree, wanting to truly commune with nature, then you, my friend, might be an Ecosexual.

A good pal recently alerted me to this growing phenomenon, and growing it is! According to an article in The Sun (and really, how appropriate for an article about the earth to appear in The Sun), there are now more than 100,000 people worldwide who call themselves Ecosexuals. They even, luckily, have a manifesto. Here we can read about the beliefs and behaviors of nature lovers who, literally, love nature. They celebrate their “E-spots.” They also, according to the manifesto, “shamelessly hug trees, massage the earth with our feet, and talk erotically to plants.” Well, okay. Aside from the plant thing it doesn’t sound all that nutty. But is this merely to demonstrate a wonderous worship of the planet? No indeed! As it turns out, Ecosexuals not only love the planet, they feel that making love to the planet can actually help save it.

From what I gather, the thinking revolves around lovemaking as a means of rejuvenation. Life begins with a seed, and spilling seminal seed into the earth might just give it a revitalizing boost. Of course, biologically speaking, that’s a bunch of hooey. Human seminal fluid isn’t exactly going to fertilize corn. Or is it? If Ecosexuals believe that making love to the planet can help regenerate it, a quick romp in potting soil might be just what the earth doctor ordered. As their manifesto even states, “We are very dirty.” Oh my.

For those planet-loving Ecosexuals for whom showing their passion for the earth by spilling their passion on the earth still isn’t enough, good news! You can also marry the earth. Or the moon. Or a lump of coal. How? By taking earth vows, of course. Elizabeth Stephens and Annie Sprinkles, whose field of research is “Sexecology”  – the intersection of sexology and ecology – perform earth weddings and have posted earth vows on their website. If you, too, want to take the plunge and marry the earth, it’s important to remember that part of the vow includes the statement, “everyday [sic] we promise to taste you.” Sooooo…. however you want to interpret that, if you marry the earth it’s your duty as earth groom or bride to taste your spouse. Whether that means simply consuming some of earth’s bounty, like a freshly picked apple, or whether that means licking mud appears to be entirely up to the newlyweds.

For Sexecology experts Stephens and Sprinkles, their fervid earthiness is shown in various ways, including publishing a list of “25 ways to make love to the earth.” First order of business: ditch those feelings of embarrassment you may have about you and the earth shackin’ up. Much like with a human lover, the earth has no need for a lack of self-confidence. You love the earth? Well then, show her, damn it! Roll around in the dirt, masturbate under a waterfall, f**k a tree – you name it. Go “au naturel” and make love to the grass. Rusticate with roses. As long as you’re a peace-lovin’ earth lover, it’s all good.

Elizabeth Shore writes both contemporary and historical erotic romance. Her newest book is an erotic historical novella, Desire Rising, from The Wild Rose Press. Other releases include Hot Bayou Nights and The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires

 

 

 

Ways to Be Wicked

24 Oct

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

It’s theme week here at Lady Smut as we celebrate the release of Lady Smut blogger and all-around guru, Madeline Iva’s, new novel Wicked Apprentice, a high-fantasy romance filled with betrayals and power juggling and chained up lovers and all sorts of sexy, magical hi-jinks just in time for Halloween!

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Click on image to buy!

In Wicked Apprentice, the heroine, Zephyr, a magic apprentice, has to do a wicked deed in order to satisfy her mistress. This deed backfires in a delicious way when her captive elf becomes her captive lover and soon after, a power shift makes her his master–but you’ll have to read the book to find out how that comes about.

Wicked can mean different things to different people. Evil, obviously. That’s a given. Those from the Boston area have been known to use it as an expression of cool. I tend to use it more along the lines of “naughty”–a little bit of wicked to spice up life. For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been musing on the many ways one can be “wicked” (again, not the evil kind because, bad). Musing and occasionally–let’s say testing things out. A step-by-step approach in ways to be wicked, so to speak.

Enter Halloween, that bastion of wicked deeds done right. The one day a year (other than comic-cons) when people can legitimately dress up in costumes with varying flamboyance and indulge that wicked, naughty side that is otherwise kept, for the most part, under wraps and behind closed doors. It’s the time of the pagan solstice, of Samhaim, a night historically meant for remembering the dead, but one that is now more about costumes and hordes of candy. Hordes.

Every year, my inner feminist heartily frowns–frown, frown, frown–at the proliferation of sexed-up costumes for women. It’s hard to find an advert for an adult woman’s costume that doesn’t include the word “sexy” or pictures that require no added description. Honestly, it’s ridiculous. Sexy maid, sexy cat, sexy pirate, sexy teacher, sexy school girl, sexy plumber (you never know). These days, there’s even sexy Harry Potter characters, though, okay, yeah, who wouldn’t be tempted by thatespecially after a peek at this set of Harry Potter boudoir pictures. Acc-ee-ohhhhh.

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Ruth Ginsberg Halloween costume

Fortunately, MTV and PopSugar have put together a list of feminist friendly costumes that may also be sexxed up to the wearer’s preference. Though, admittedly, I think “sexy tampon” or going as a (very large) vagina is a tad too on-point and, well, tasteless. But that’s me.

This helpful post from Bustle even gives assembly tips on how to construct your feminist-friendly costume. Here too is a Pinterest board of the same, and I gotta say, I’m sorely tempted by the Justice Ruth Ginsberg option. Because she rocks that SCOTUS bench hard.

A quick trip through the options left me with an overwhelming sense of pantsuits, but if it’s good for the (soon-to-be) POTUS-elect, then bring it on! Which is, of course, another feminist-friendly and seriously timely costume option (sexy quotient left up to the wearer, natch): Senator Clinton. If I had to guess, I suspect there’ll be a plethora of Clinton costumes on the adult Halloween party circuit this year. What would be really cool if a group of lady friends got together to be Clinton throughout the years. Cue the Google search.

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I don’t care how sexy safe sex is. No. Just no.

That said, when I found myself in need of a costume for a Halloween party with a Jazz Age/Steampunk theme (compliance not required, bless them), I did not immediately search for a feminist-friendly costume. I immediately wondered if there was a prayer my red flapper dress might fit (it doesn’t) and then immediately went Amazon searching for the bustier/ruche skirt/high boots route. I may even have ordered thigh-highs and garters–okay, I totally did. Because, dammit, I wanna get my sexy on!

And that’s the key. Like lingerie, sexy costumes should, in my opinion, be about what makes the wearer feel sexy, not for another person’s prurient pleasure. (That’s just a bonus, am I right? *rim shot*.)

Look, I’ve been wearing some version of a Wonder Woman costume since I was five years old (surprising no one, I’m sure) and that’s basically just a leotard and a tiara (and a lasso!). I can see me revisiting that tried and true (and awesome) homage in future years, especially given the update the costume is getting in the new Wonder Woman movie next year. And I can’t imagine anyone claiming that Wonder Woman, of all female icons, is not feminist. Ditto the sexy. Because kicking bad guy ass in a sparkly leotard and a tiara (with a lasso!) is freakin’ sexy, y’all. Even a five-year old knows that (kinda) (you know what I mean).

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Ah. Yeah.

There was a day and age when women’s sexuality was deemed to be wicked and evil. Women were called witches and heretics for daring to speak up for themselves. These days, thankfully, women–even the nasty ones–don’t have to eschew their wicked, sexy ways to avoid being burnt at the stake. They can indulge their inner naughty side and really, they don’t have to wait for Halloween to do it either. In the 60s, women burned their bras in protest. Me, I like my bras–the sexier, the better–and I’m way too frugal to burn them. Instead, this Halloween, I plan to embrace the spirit of the occasion and indulge my wicked, sexy ways without setting aside my inner feminist to do it. A little bit of wicked never hurt anyone…for long.

Be sure to check out Madeline’s Wicked Apprentice and follow Lady Smut so you never miss any of our wicked, sexy ways. 

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, Wild on the Rocksis now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

The Lobster: Most Un-Romantic Movie EVAH!

21 Jul
colin-farrel-looks-for-love-in-the-lobster

Would you fight to the death for this man?

WARNING: DO NOT GO SEE THIS MOVIE ON A DATE. Use extreme caution when seeing the movie on a couple’s date-night, and avoid completely if you happen to be angry at your significant other.

In fact, shy away from the film if you’re feeling positive and optimistic about the world and just want to hold onto that feeling for a while.

It’s a weird movie, people. A good movie, okay? but very, very weird. So weird, I’m thinking if you’re not an art-house movie lover, you’re probably not going to see it.   Not to worry, cause I’m here with massive spoilers for one and all.

In the first place, this movie tries to make Colin Farrell look unsexy, so WTF?

What a great cast--with women carrying as much of the movie as the men.

What a great cast–with women carrying as much of the movie as the men.

In the second place, it’s hilarious.

Thirdly, like the best satire, it sticks the knife deep into everyone’s pretensions, then walks away leaving a high body count and enough gory tragedy for a greek chorus at the end.

The premise of the movie exposes the tyranny of society in its attitude towards singles:

In the near future, in a drab city landscape, all people who are single must go to the “hotel” out in the country side, where they will attempt to find a partner. If they do not succeed, then in forty-five days, they are turned into an animal.

Are you with me still? Colin Farrell’s character has decided that if he doesn’t find someone, he’d like to be turned into a lobster.

THE REST OF THIS POST IS MASSIVE SPOILERS!!!!

At the hotel he shows interest in three women: one of whom suffers excessive nosebleeds, another who would rather be turned into a pony than be matched with a man who might go bald in the future, and a third who is a sociopath.

The movie ridicules couples who get together – showing off their righteous preening, and yet as the hotel manager explains, if it looks like they cannot survive being alone together during the trial period, they’ll be given a child to help them stay together.

Farrell’s character, facing down a ticking clock, after being rejected by pony-girl ultimately chooses the sociopath.  Farrell shares a room with her and his brother–who as a failed single is now a boarder collie.  However she’s suspicious that Farrell’s not really a sociopath, and attempts repeatedly to prove it, in order to thus reveal that they clearly have nothing in common.  She tests Farrell one last time by killing his brother–slaying the mild boarder collie one night in their bathroom.

Farrell is enraged.  Although the sociopath tries to go on the hunt for him, he is the one who captures the sociopath, knocks her out, then drags her off into the room where people are changed into animals and does who knows what to her.

The narrator certainly doesn’t know.  She’s played by Rachel Weiss and is one of a band of rogue singles who occupies the forest where they are hunted daily.  Farrell joins their guerilla force, eluding the hotel guests armed tranquilizer guns. The singles who are brought down during the hunt are bagged and tagged and then brought back to the hotel.  To be killed? Turned into golden retrievers? Who knows?

CAUSE LOBSTERS DO IT FOR LIFE.

CAUSE LOBSTERS DO IT FOR LIFE.The movie sticks it to all the singles eager to hook up as well, those who’ve drunk the magic cool-aid and now go through awkward attempts to form or pretend to form a lasting bond over the most banal commonalities.

But the roque singles have their revenge.  (This is so funny.) They go on special ops retaliatory missions where they invade the hotel at night, hold the couples at gun point, and get the couples to reveal relationship hypocrisies, as well as other petty lies, and betrayals.

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Even when he’s not acting, he’s lighting his co-stars up. #ColinFarrellisASexyBeast

Shockingly, there’s a rather tender love story at the center of all this anti-romance.

The moment Farrell joins the feral singles, he falls in love.

His feelings, along with the jealousies that arise as a result, are hard to control and place him in great danger, since all sex and love is forbidden in the forest.

Rachel Weiss is his love interest, and the movie goes on to show that as they forage in the city malls for grooming supplies, they work together as a faux couple to avoid capture with intuitive cunning. Effortlessly they project paired contentedness, falling madly in love as they do so.

All this is good, but of course there is a price to pay.  The other single women find evidence of their attraction, and either jealous of Farrell or politically against anyone else being happy in love, they exact a brutal revenge, making Rachel Weiss their target.

Colin Farrell’s character nevertheless keeps trying to make the relationship work, as if he were a broody animal with an evolutionary imperative to do so, while his higher order brain is blinking DOOMED at the audience.

IT’S FASCINATING THAT THE MOVIE CHOSE TO HIDE 99.9% OF THE COLIN FARRELL MAGIC.

There’s a way in which Farrell is either a really good actor, or (more likely?) well directed. He plays his character in such an even way that we don’t really like him, but we don’t particularly dislike him either.  Yet ultimately, I was pulling for the man.  You cannot despise a character who falls in love, the way someone might be accidentally swept over a waterfall. He keeps trying to continue the romance in his life when things go badly, even though he is forced to recognize that his worst enemy is himself.  The movie shows how he wants to sacrifice for his one true love—in a monumental way—but he’s just not feeling it at the moment.

At times this satire hacks and slashes with brutal awkward gestures.  At times it creeps on velvet feet with devastating finesse.  Ultimately it glories in exposing the inevitable betrayals committed in all relationships when push comes to shove.

WE LEFT THE MOVIE GUTTED

As an excruciatingly happy couple, my sweetie and I walked out of this movie a little stunned.  He wanted to go home, draw the covers over his head and find a happy rom-com to watch as a sort of exorcism to remove the movie from his brain.

At the same time I ruminated on the finer truths the movie presented –acknowledging them–because I do believe that in any long term relationship there will eventually be some betrayals both small and large.  I also believe that this ultimately doesn’t matter in most cases.

IN CONCLUSION:

You have to look at excellent relationships (ones that are more than ten years old,) the way archeologists look at a 4,000 year old Grecian Urn. Yeah, it’s got a lot of cracks in it. So f***ing what? That’s the point: how something this fragile has survived for so long.

It’s a species of miracle, and should leave us in awe, rather than in a state of suspicious skepticism. Happy couples don’t necessarily lie to themselves about what’s going on.  We see the truth–and then we make the decision to move on, even if it’s a little ugly.  Happy couples know we’ve sinned as much as we are sinned against.

Also, some of us refuse to abandon our significant other when mistakes are made. In a crisis, some of us can do nothing but cling to each other like the good lobsters we are.

Follow us at Lady Smut, where we’re a whole ocean of wonderful.

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.

 

 

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