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Keeping It Real: An Interview with Bridget Midway

14 Feb
Best. Housewarming. Gift. Ever. Click to buy.

Best. Housewarming. Gift. Ever. Click to buy.

By Alexa Day

We’ve spent a great deal of the last few days celebrating Fifty Shades. I cannot in good conscience join that celebration. My consistently negative feelings about Fifty Shades — both the portion of the book that I struggled to read and the movies I have no intention of seeing — are well documented here on the blog. But today, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I have chosen to offer you a more gentle, generous message.

You can do better. You can do much better.

Take Bridget Midway. Her Fascination Street was one of the very first kinky romances I ever read. It’s more of a swinging romance than a BDSM story, although it’s Bridget’s first book featuring characters who are into BDSM. Still, it doesn’t look like many of today’s BDSM romances. There are no billionaires. There are no ingenues. There are no sex clubs (but there is absolutely an orgy). Fascination Street is the story of a couple discovering that their new home in the suburbs comes with some very kinky neighbors. It’s also an interracial romance, the first BDSM romance I’d ever read with a black heroine.

Woman In Chains features a Dominant hero who rescues a submissive from an abusive Dom. When the story opens, the heroine, Brea, has been so badly abused that she won’t even use her own name. Watching her find her way out of the darkness with her rescuer, Dakota, is pretty powerful stuff.

I got to interview Bridget about her sexy stories, where BDSM romance is headed, and whether BDSM’s chains and power exchange are especially loaded for black kinksters. I definitely learned a thing or two from our conversation.

AD: With Fascination Street, you showed us that kinky people could literally be the couple next door, and with Woman in Chains, I absolutely love the way you portrayed hero Doms and villainous ones, to show readers what these relationships should and should not look like. (I consider both of them seminal works, by the way.) Is BDSM romance doing enough to draw the line between good relationships and bad ones? Does BDSM romance have any responsibility to do that?

BM: All romance fiction should highlight what a great relationship is for that couple. (Emphasis Alexa’s.) What works for one person may not work for another. Belle in Beauty and the Beast desired the Beast more than Gaston, but I’m sure some woman out there wanted Gaston. The goal of BDSM romance fiction should be to represent the Lifestyle honestly.

A: Do you think that we, as erotic romance authors, are sacrificing the tenets of safe, sane, consensual to achieve more popularity? I think erotic romance has always been a little larger than life, but do you think that we’re going beyond the unrealistic into the dangerous? Do we have a mandate to educate, or at least to be responsible, in our portrayal of BDSM?

B: In all fiction, authors push the boundaries of reality to create a fantasy that will make readers fall in love with love and with the characters. I can only speak about my writing style and my goals. I stay in the boundaries of portraying safe, sane, and consensual BDSM relationships. However, there’s more to a BDSM relationship than safe, sane, and consensual. Trust is paramount. It’s the bedrock of any good BDSM relationship. I’ll shake the characters up by making them question the trust they have between each other.

A: What would you say to black kinksters and the kink-curious who may be torn between curiosity and the powerful cultural implications of the power exchange, the whip/chain/restraint trappings of BDSM? Is BDSM different for black practitioners?

B: Although I write BDSM, I’m not personally in the Lifestyle. However, I have learned about the Lifestyle from people in the Lifestyle for more than twelve years. The very first time I went to a munch, which is a lunch that includes a demonstration, the Domme who taught me about the Lifestyle taught me one very important thing. BDSM is about sensations. Some people like a harder sensation than others. Some may want to be spanked, caned or flogged. Some may want dirty talk or tickling or mummification. No matter the kink, people who are involved in the Lifestyle are doing it for themselves and no one else, unless your thing is being an exhibitionist. If it is, you still wouldn’t care what anyone thinks. A person of color who enjoys being tied down or whipped should want it because it’s what they desire and it’s consensual. That’s the most important thing.

It'll change the way you think. Click to buy.

It’ll change the way you think. Click to buy.

A: Do you feel any kind of a way about Fifty Shades?

B: When the books first came out and there was a definite buzz about them, readers contacted me and asked me what I thought about them. At the time, I hadn’t heard of the series or the author. So I went on the author’s website to check out what she was all about. In her Frequently Asked Questions page, she admitted that she did all of her BDSM research online. After that, I discounted everything in the series and the movies.

BDSM is a real lifestyle with participants doing it all over the world. At the time I learned, I lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I didn’t even think where I lived that there was even a local BDSM group. I thought the closest I could get would be D.C. or Maryland. I did a search online and found a group that welcomed me to their meetings and have been so supportive about everything I have done, from book releases to in-person events. So for that reason, the Fifty Shades of Grey author had absolutely no excuse for not going out and meeting people from the Lifestyle to get a real, honest perspective. People can and do lie online all the time. When you get in a room with someone who is getting flogged or see a rigger hoist someone in the air with ropes or watch needles piercing someone’s skin and hearing their reaction, you collect sensational memories that you can translate into compelling fiction. I heard what it sounded like for a paddle to strike flesh. I smelled the wax during wax play. I’ve felt different types of canes and floggers. I have swung a paddle and flogger, and struck someone before. For that reason, I hope readers find me credible when they read my work.

A: I want to hear all about Royal Pains! How long have you been putting on an annual event? Why did you start? What do you hope to accomplish each year?

B: Ah, “2017 Royal Pains with Bridget Midway and Friends”. To be honest, and you may find this hard to believe, I’m painfully shy. I don’t mind absorbing into a background and being an observer. On the flip side of that, I do enjoy talking to readers and talking about books. About five years ago, author Yvette Hines put on an in-person event in Virginia Beach. She invited other local authors, including me, to participate. I saw how much fun it was, and asked her if she wanted to partner to do a joint event that focused on BDSM. I had never heard of a BDSM author event at that time, and I had been to plenty of BDSM conventions like Leather Flea Market Fair, Leather Fet and Fetish Fair Flea Market. I wanted to marry the two concepts.

In 2013, Yvette and I put on an event called “Wrapped Up” and wrote complementing books in a series about brothers who were both Dominants and owned a candy shop. My book was called Licorice Whips. I invited a couple of people in the Lifestyle to talk about what it is that they do, and they did an actual scene for the attendees.

To put on an event is a lot of work. So I waited a couple of years, and then in 2015, author Adrienne Kama and I put on another BDSM event called “Kickin’ It”. In that one, I had even more folks in the Lifestyle there and they answered questions and did some interactive activities with them.

I was exhausted after that event and hadn’t planned on putting on another one. When the people in the Lifestyle came up to me at the end of the “Kickin’ It” event and said, “You are going to do this again, and we will be here for you”, I knew I had to put on another event. It was fun and so informative.

My goal is to educate and entertain. I want people to take the fantasy of what they think BDSM is out of their heads and look at something real. And I want them to see and hear from people that I lean on for my BDSM teachings. And if I sell a book or two, that’s icing on the cake.

A: What are you working on right now?

B: Right now I’m working on the fourth book in the Love series, which is called Addicted to Love. That series has been about BDSM in reality TV settings. The first book, Love My Way, was about a Dominant trying to find a submissive through a reality TV show. The second book, Slave To Love, is about a submissive trying to find her Dominant through a reality TV show. In that book, there were two characters in there that “spoke” to me. I wanted to explore their stories. The hero was a contestant on the show who doesn’t talk. And the heroine is a bubbly submissive. Truth be told, this is the most difficult book I have ever written. But I can’t back away from a challenge. I want to get his story told.

A: I want that story told, too!

I am so, so grateful to Bridget for spending some time with me and Lady Smut! If you’re down with what Bridget is saying (and I definitely am), check her out on Facebook. Every morning, she posts up some smoking hot imagery in the run-up to Royal Pains. I especially enjoy the femdom photos. Yes, ma’am! If you want to join the party at Royal Pains — and I agree with Bridget that watching a scene from inside the room far surpasses anything you’re going to see on the Internet — head over to Bridget’s site. When she and I spoke, there were only 14 spots left, and they are going very quickly.

Includes massage oil, candle, lip balm, and soap. Continental US only, please!

Includes massage oil, candle, lip balm, and soap. Continental US only, please!

And this is an excellent time to follow Lady Smut. You’re just in time for the Kama Sutra giveaway! Just subscribe to our newsletter for a chance to win.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Why You Should Read More Romances Written by #OwnVoices

3 Feb Interracial couple holding hands

Interracial couple holding hands

by Thien-Kim Lam

Earlier this week, my fellow Lady Smutter Alexa Day challenged you to read more diverse books and spread the word about them.

I’m going to up the ante and challenge you to choose diverse romances written by #OwnVoices.

The basic own voices concept is to read and promote books with diverse main characters written by authors from that same diverse group. For me diversity means any community or group that is not the mainstream. It can mean race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, and/or mental illness (and more). The #OwnVoices hashtag was originally coined to highlight diverse books in children’s publishing, but the philosophy is important for all genres, even romance and erotica.

In the last few years, diversity has been a buzzword in publishing. I hate that people talk about it like a trend. My experiences as a Vietnamese American is not a fad or a trend. Reading about an Asian American woman who falls in love and has mega hot sex shouldn’t be a trend. It should be just be something normal that happens–as in real life. (Now you know that I have mega hot sex.)

2 women in wedding gown

While the heroines and heroes in the romance industry catch up with real life, it’s also very important that we choose to read #ownvoices. (And spread the word about the ones we like.) When you read a love story about a Black, Asian, Latinx, or queer woman that is also written by someone from that culture, you’re getting an inside look from someone who has experienced the feelings, stereotypes, and family expectations from that culture or background. They’ve walked in those shoes and felt similar feelings as their characters. Someone who is not of that same diverse group can only give readers an outsider’s perspective of their character’s life.

When we only read diverse characters written by outside voices, we risk reading a singular story. Stereotypes are more common: Asian American men who are nerds or geeks; African American men who are sports jocks or preachers; and so on. While stereotypes and tropes are common in romances, why limit our alphahole billionaires to white guys?

South Asian couple in love

Romances that stick with me are ones that defy stereotypes or put a fun twist on a common tropes. Why not have a Black computer nerd who falls in love with a Latinx woman gamer? How about successful Latina woman realtor who secretly meets her bisexual landscaper for trysts? (If any of these exist, please leave the title in the comments so I can read them!)

If you’re not sure where to look for #OwnVoices romances, read Alexa Day’s books. Then check out these blogs and indie presses for more recommendations:

I’m not saying you should only read own voices books. There’s plenty of good romances out there that do not fit this category. I’m challenging you to seek out ones that are #ownvoices and read them.

Two men in love

After you read them, support the author. Leave reviews, tell your friends to buy the book,and spread the word. More importantly, call out the diversity and own voices in your reviews so that those of us who are searching for them can find them. Give the books good Google juice so when I type in “sexy romances with Hispanic SEALs,” they’ll show up on the first page of results.

Will you join me and take the pledge to read and review more #OwnVoices romances?

Thien-Kim Lam 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

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.

 

Illicit Impulse Excerpt: Simply Sinful Giveaway Event

25 Nov

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After our day of thanks (and gluttony), Lady Smut has another buffet of delicacies to offer you: a day full of wonderful excerpts capped off with a perfectly sinful giveaway. The Black Friday celebration continues with this little peek at Illicit Impulse. Heroine Grace Foley has been charged with testing her best friend’s experimental sex pills. She’d love to have a little alone time with her brainy bestie, John, but he’s made it clear that his interest in her is purely platonic. That leaves her friend with benefits, Tal Crusoe. Good thing he’s willing to help a girl out in the name of science!

Don’t forget — you have to comment on this (or any) post from today’s parade of excerpts to be entered in the giveaway. The winner will be announced on Saturday, so don’t love us and leave us, okay? More details after the clip.


The drive from Bank to Tal’s home in Jackson Ward was short but challenging, a trek into a warren of one-way streets. To make matters worse, parking spaces were harder than usual to find on a Monday night. Somewhere people must have been watching the game, but Grace couldn’t see or hear anything like a sports bar as she hustled from her parking spot past empty storefronts. On their usual nights, this walk brought out the adrenaline junkie in her, and she felt like a criminal as she hurried alone down darkened streets in search of something dirty and dangerous. Tonight, she maintained her brisk pace, but she felt leaden inside.

She needed her vice of choice a little more than usual tonight. She needed that familiar comfort. A satisfaction only one man would offer her. She needed to be seen. Desired. Touched.

When she arrived at her destination, a warehouse located farther away from her car than she preferred, she checked the windows at the top right corner of the building. Bluish light flickered in the darkness there.

Good. He’s home.

She pressed a button beside the big metal door and unleashed a resounding buzz into the space beyond. She stepped away from the door and watched as more lights came on behind the upstairs windows. She pulled her coat tightly around herself and started an awkward little dance, trying to ward off the chill that had descended onto her after she had taken one of the pills at the bar. Perfectly normal, John had said, since oxytocin regulated body temperature. That didn’t make it any less uncomfortable, but Grace knew she’d be warm soon enough.

The clanging of locks preceded a loud rumble as the metal door slid open on its track. Barefoot and clad in well-worn jeans and a plain black T-shirt that clung to his hard body like a shameful secret, Tal Crusoe gave Grace the naughty grin that never failed to make her melt.

“Well, isn’t this a nice surprise?”

The sight of him, the deep voice that sounded like old Virginia money, the eager heat in his blue eyes—all of it wrapped around her, banishing the cold for good. Her breath quickened and her sex grew warm and heavy, the muscles there flexing hungrily. The thought of him inside her, working her hard, overwhelmed her with its intensity. The new depth of her need surprised her. Could the pills be causing that as well?

He leaned against the door frame, and she longed to stroke his blond hair. “Did we…?”

She cursed herself for not calling before racing over here. Maybe he had another woman up there. Maybe he’d just sent one home.

“No,” she said. She looked past him. “Do you…?”

“No.” He moved out of the doorway to let her in. “Come on. It’s cold out there.”

Despite the concrete floor and walls and all the open space, the converted warehouse that was Tal’s home and workplace remained quite warm. His loft overlooked the personal training studio where he transformed his clients through individualized fitness programs. Radiators maintained a temperature comfortable enough to sleep in the nude and on top of the covers, even in the dead of winter.

Tal slid the front door closed again with a rumbling roar. His shirt hugged his powerful frame as he moved, hard muscle flowing and shifting in a lovely advertisement for the male anatomy. Grace swayed slightly as she watched him, as if her hips and her legs and her hands had minds of their own, all desperate for his touch. When Tal turned to her, she shrugged out of her coat, responding to his gaze on a primal, instinctual level by beginning to undress.

He took her coat from her and flung it away into the shadows. “Look at all this.” He stared shamelessly at the curves that filled her provocative outfit. “You put this on for me?”

“I did.” She smoothed her palms over her hips. “Are you going to take it off for me?”

His mouth covered hers, and as his arms wound around her waist, she pressed her body to him, opening her mouth to let their tongues duel and play. The sound of her breathing was harsh and loud to her ears. This intense craving for him excited her, and she tugged at his thick hair, pulling him closer, wanting more. But Tal withdrew from her mouth and nipped her earlobe with his teeth.

She slid her palms down the back of his neck and over his shoulders. She loved the way he filled her hands, as if he’d been made for her pleasure. His tongue slowly caressed the sweet spot at the corner of her jawbone. His hand slipped beneath her skirt, gliding over her thigh onto her ass. God, the man put out heat like a furnace. She reveled in the sharp, clean scent of his skin.

“I was just thinking about you,” he whispered. His big hands roamed over her before settling on her hips and slowly inching her tight skirt up and up and up.

“Nice thoughts?” she asked.

Tal swept his hand between her body and his, nudging her thighs apart with his broad palm. His fingers stroked the scrap of fabric that covered the wet heat of her. The sensation building between her legs rocked her like an earthquake, and she whimpered, shamelessly bucking against his hand. His breath teased the fine tendrils of hair just in front of her ear. She closed her eyes and let him work his sensual magic.

“No.”

***

Are you down for a little experimentation? Grab yourself a copy.

Want to see what sinful goodies are waiting in the basket? Well, you’ll find all the makings of a decadent night in: books, wine, delightful bath bombs, and yummy scones. Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win it all! And stick around for Elizabeth SaFleur, a woman who has mastered the impossible task of making Washington, D.C. sexy.

Enjoy!

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

Indivisible: The Simple Invincibility of Loving

22 Nov
It is as simple, and as powerful, as this.

It is as simple, and as powerful, as this.

By Alexa Day

About 18 months ago, I received news of Jeff Nichols’s film, Loving, with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. I did promise to give the movie a fair chance, but I could not imagine that any film would do justice to the real Richard and Mildred Loving, two people who simply belonged together.

I saw Loving this past weekend. It is magnetic.

From the very beginning, Nichols draws us into a world that never gets much larger than the two people at the heart of the story. The energy that flows between Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, who play the Lovings, is palpable but very gentle, a deep-running but quiet passion. As we follow them to Washington, D.C. and then back to Virginia, with three children in tow, the only thing any of us knows for certain is that these two people belong to each other. They nourish each other, and they grow into and through each other, and they are absolutely bound to each other. They are indivisible.

Given the groundbreaking nature of the Loving decision, I imagine that there’s always a temptation to turn this story into something large and sensational. It would be easy to play to the audience with raised voices and racial slurs and the protracted study of racial inequality in America in the 1960s. Nichols resists this temptation, and the film shines because of his restraint.

The beauty of the Virginia countryside fills the screen with lush color. The changing seasons come to life, softly reminding the viewer of just how long it took for the case to rise from Caroline County to the Supreme Court. Don’t even start me talking about the cars. Every detail is beautifully rendered, but all of that is just a backdrop for Richard and Mildred. They’re a constant in a world that slides around them. It is impossible to look away from them.

The movie never raises the question of whether the Lovings would stay together despite the opposition to their marriage. The film is built on one premise, the unbreakable certainty that neither would abandon the union. A different question arises from that foundation. We never wonder if the Lovings will stay together … but before long, we doubt society’s power to challenge them.

There is tremendous comfort to be found in the knowledge that two people would survive and thrive, despite opposition, simply by refusing to let go of each other. At one point, Mildred tells a reporter that she’s aware of the conflict she faces, but that she also knows that she and her husband have many, many allies. No matter what happens, the two of them are determined to live their lives on their terms, surrounded by family and friends.

That sort of confidence is the source of real, lasting change.

Is Loving playing in your town? Go check the website. Then have a look at Grey Villet’s photos of the Lovings.

And follow Lady Smut.

Illicit Impulse: A Tempting Little Excerpt

2 Oct
What's a little experimental drug testing between friends? Click to find out.

What’s a little experimental drug testing between friends? Click to find out.

By Alexa Day

My colleagues and I have been celebrating the re-release of Illicit Impulse, my hot story with one sexy scientist, lots of experimentation, a spirited friend with benefits, and a pill designed to improve women’s sex lives. Sound complicated? Well, here’s the story in a nutshell:

Scientist John March has a problem. He needs the perfect subject to test out his new project, a sex pill called Impulse. His best friend, Grace Foley, might be the right woman for the job. She’s more than willing to see just how far these pills will take her … and her friend with benefits. But can John maintain his objectivity when he wants Grace for himself?

Grace wastes no time testing the big red pills and her own boundaries with her buddy, Tal Crusoe. Grace’s real fantasy is to spend more alone time with the sexy scientist who gave her the drugs, but her best friend has already refused her once. They’ll never go to the next level, but sharing her experiences with him – in explicit detail – might be the next best thing.

Want some more? Let’s join John and Grace at their first interview.

***

“Big smile,” John said. He shut the laptop. “Does that mean you’re a satisfied customer?”

Grace folded her coat over one arm. “More than satisfied.”

“Is that so?” John asked.

She nodded. “Want to hear all the juicy details?”

Of course he did—until she asked. Now, as the end of the question hung in the air, he wasn’t so sure he still wanted exactly what he had asked her for. And the smug look on her face said she knew it.

Grace draped her coat over the empty chair on her side of the desk before sitting. “I’ll go easy on you at first.”

John rearranged his notes, the microcassette recorder, and an overabundance of pencils and pens on his side, just as he had with dozens of other people, sitting close enough to observe their physiological responses and distant enough that they couldn’t see his notes. He tried without success to make himself comfortable in the cheap desk chair.

“Do you mind if I tape you?” he asked. “I want to make sure I get everything. I tell everybody that nobody else will hear it, but that’s doubly true in your case.”

Grace picked up the recorder. “You still use actual tape?” she asked.

“Instead of digital?” He nodded. “But just for you.”

She returned the recorder to its place on the table. “Why?”

“Three reasons. Nothing is ever left on the recorder—once I take out the tape, the recorder’s empty. The tape is easy to keep private—if it’s with me, no one else can get to it.” He looked up at her and smiled. “And if anything goes wrong, the tape will be easier to eat.”

Grace laughed and leaned back in her chair. “Can’t argue with that.”

“This is more of a conversation than an interrogation.” He slid the recorder to the center of the desk. “So you might not feel like I’m asking you many questions. I just want to hear what happened.”

“Sounds simple enough,” she said.

He engaged the recorder with a click. Then he sat back with one of the notepads, which he tapped with one of the over-sharpened pencils. “Okay. Let’s hear it.”

John turned his attention to the blank page, writing the date and time in the upper right corner and waiting for Grace to begin. Often he’d found that his subjects would communicate more if he wasn’t looking at them. In this case, he worried that he wouldn’t be able to concentrate.

“You know I went to see Tal right after I saw you on Monday,” Grace said. “He thinks this is a great idea, by the way. He wants to be first on the list when you come up with one of these pills for men.”

Still holding the pencil, John rotated his hand, listening to the tendons pop. Tal is helping you, he reminded himself.

That’s right. Good ol’ enthusiastic Tal is helping you.

“I know this is a secret,” Grace said, “but I didn’t think it was fair to ask him to do all this without knowing.”

“No problem.” John popped his wrist one last time and glanced up at Grace. “As long as he doesn’t say anything.”

“His lips are sealed. So what do you need to know?”

“Let’s start at the beginning. Right after you took it, did you…feel anything?”

“Anything…like what?” she asked playfully.

“The little chill we discussed.”

“I did feel that. Really cold, but just for a few minutes, until I got to Tal’s.”

The pencil’s scratch seemed very loud between them as he took note of the chill. “And then what?”

“As soon as he opened the door I felt really…agitated.”

“Nervous?” he asked. “Jittery?”

“Horny.”

John looked up from his hastily scribbled notes. Almost everyone had reported fidgeting, pacing, or generally feeling antsy. No one had mentioned an increase in arousal. Not to him, anyway.

“You look surprised,” she said. Her self-assured smile was back in place.

“Me? No, no, no. Not surprised.” And he wasn’t, really. It was just that she was so matter-of-fact about it.

“You’re sure?” she asked.

“I’m sure. Keep going.”

“Okay.” Grace stretched her legs out in front of her, gazing at the ceiling. “So as soon as I saw Tal, I felt this rush. I just had to have him.”

John watched her take a long breath before she moistened the center of her upper lip with the tip of her tongue. She was reliving it now, whatever she had done that night after she’d left him. Inside him, something uneasy buckled and knit, pulsed with his heartbeat as her mind returned to this other man. He wrote down the counter number from the cassette recorder and reminded himself that he’d sent her on this errand. He’d chosen to be in this position, and if he was bitter about it now, he had no one else to blame for the bad taste it left in his mouth. He forced himself back to business.

“Any chance this was just your normal anticipation? For your friend, I mean.”

“No.” She took a deep breath and slid her palms down her thighs. “Usually we’ll talk a little or have a beer first. That night we were all over each other.” She glanced over at John. “It was a little scary, to be honest.”

“Increased urgency.”

“Yeah, definitely.”

He took note of her symptoms and of her movements now as he looked on. Her fingers twisted on her lap. Reluctance. This couldn’t be uncomfortable for her, too, could it? “Okay. Then what?”

Grace turned back to the ceiling. “Everything was more intense. When he put his hands or his mouth on me, it made me so…so wet. Everything he did made me want more.”

Had she lowered her voice for his benefit? The color that bloomed on her face told a different story. She wasn’t spinning a yarn for his entertainment. The recollection was turning her on.

More. He could practically hear her saying it. More. Please. More.

Damn. What would he have to do to make her blush? Would he ever be the one to make her breathless?

He idly traced the margin’s red lines. He’d had his chance with her already.

“And then?” He tried to maintain a neutral tone of voice.

She bit her lip. “I don’t know. It’s hard to describe. I was ready to come as soon as he touched me. It was like being a teenager again.”

“Out of control?”

Her eyes met his. “Yeah! Mmm. Out of control.” Her voice lowered again, as if she was sharing a secret with him.

“Like being in heat. That have-to-have-it feeling, you know? There is something…liberating about losing control. Giving in to biology.” She smiled. “But then I don’t mind having the extra scoop of ice cream either.”

He chuckled. “So you’re aroused.”

She blinked, and he savored that moment, enjoying the rare sight of Grace in shock. He might never share a bed with the woman, but he could still manage a surprise or two. He pointed at his notes with the pencil.

“Oh!” she said. “With Tal. Yes.”

“Everything he does makes it worse.”

Slowly, she shook her head. “Oh, no. Better.”

“Stronger.”

He watched her consider the choice of words. “Stronger,” she agreed.

He took note of her increased sensitivity, careful to use the word they’d chosen together. “And then?”

Silence stretched out after his question until he looked up to find her grinning at him. “Oh my God,” she said, amusement in her voice. “You’re blushing.”

“I am not.” Blushing. He snorted. He did this every day. He’d heard far worse than this. Hadn’t he?

“You know,” she said, “it’s going to get pretty graphic before I’m finished.”

Like he needed the reminder. “Well, that’s why we’re here.” He turned back to his notes and pushed his glasses up on his nose. “So get graphic. I can take it.”

***

Ready to follow the Impulse? Go grab a copy right now.

And follow Lady Smut. There’s always something new to try around here.

The Great Sexperiment, or Bodies of Knowledge

27 Sep
Buy it, try it, lurv it. Click here.

A man, a woman, and an experimental drug. Click to buy!

By Alexa Day

Great news — Illicit Impulse is available for your reading enjoyment right now! I hope you’ll grab yourself a copy and find out just how far two best friends will go to test an experimental sex drug called Impulse.

The Impulse experiments sound simple enough at first. Test subject Grace Foley just has to take the pill, have the sex, and report the results. Sure, her best friend, John March, is the one taking notes on her encounters, and she’ll have to work around her feelings for him. But aside from that, there shouldn’t be any trouble, right?

(There’s trouble. I promise. Just in case you were worried.)

As I was working on John and Grace’s story, I discovered that there’s a long tradition of sexperimentation quietly simmering beneath science’s sedate exterior. My personal favorite is the anatomical study of sexual intercourse conducted inside the MRI machine.

That’s right. Two people had sex inside an MRI so that we, the inquisitive public, can see what happens. Talk about sacrificing your body. I’ve been inside an MRI machine, and I’m a pretty open-minded woman. But I don’t see how two people can have missionary-style sex inside that thing. When I asked the tech —

What? Of course I asked. As expensive and unpleasant as an MRI is, I figure I get to ask whatever the hell I want.

Anyway, when I asked the tech, he said that there’s more space in the machine than I suppose. He’s been inside it a few times himself (for maintenance purposes, not for sex, you nasty people) and suggests that it is not as impossible as I think it is. Indeed, the report (please, you’ve got to read the report) says that when the couple was in position, only 3 centimeters of space separated them from the top of the tube.

Intrigued? Well, this European report comes with a video. Enjoy!

Creating Impulse and the tricky experimentation that went with it … that was a labor of love for me. So many of the modern sexperiments focus on men’s sexuality. Their testosterone levels, their arousal, their performance. Studies focused on women tend to produce mind-bending conclusions like “Jinkies! Women apparently want to have sex, too!”

Seriously, the number of results I got when I Googled “the enduring enigma of female desire” was both surprising and disappointing. Is it an enigma? Why does it endure so? Could it be that female desire would be less of an enigma if — I don’t know — someone were studying it more?

Illicit Impulse is built around a sex drug that only exists for women, a drug whose sole purpose is to allow women to enjoy sexual adventure. In the hands of a woman who loves her freedom and a man devoted to studying her pleasure, Impulse lives up to its potential. And that’s before Grace’s friend with benefits gets involved.

If you’re down for a little sexperimentation, grab a copy of Illicit Impulse. And stay tuned as Lady Smut’s smart, sexy theme week continues.

Follow Lady Smut. Give it a try and see what happens.

Better Living Through (Fictional) Science: Illicit Impulse Cover Reveal

26 Sep
It's almost here! Illicit Impulse returns tomorrow!

It’s almost here! Illicit Impulse returns tomorrow!

By Alexa Day

Writing erotic romance has got to be the best job in the world. I get to spend my time dreaming up the sexytimes with the sexy people. I get to trash their fictional world and watch as they crawl out of the wreckage to find love with each other. And every so often, I get to right a wrong. That’s why I loved writing Illicit Impulse so much. The story of John March and Grace Foley and those big experimental pills allowed me to address a biological injustice.

Oxytocin is widely promoted as a “cuddle hormone,” but I know its dark, clingy secret. Sure, oxytocin will make you want to snuggle with your sex partner once the fireworks have faded for the evening, and hey, that’s wonderful. But it also works a dark magic on a woman’s mind, where it transforms her sex partner into her boyfriend. Oxytocin doesn’t care that you probably aren’t going to see him again or that he was really just the entertainment for the evening or the weekend. So far as the “cuddle hormone” is concerned, it’s always cuffing season.

That just felt like a huge biochemical ripoff to me. I mean, I’m good with hormones lighting up for one dude over another, but I certainly didn’t want hormones choosing my boyfriends for me.

But what if there were some way to take oxytocin out of the driver’s seat?

Well, I might not be able to make an oxytocin suppressant … but I can sure make one up.

Illicit Impulse is the story of how complicated things can get when we try to uncomplicate things. Neuroscientist John March (the hot fellow in the glasses) has fulfilled my dream by creating an oxytocin suppressant called Impulse. He just needs someone to test it out and be completely honest about how well it’s working.

That’s where Grace Foley comes in. John and Grace are best friends, and she’s done a lot of kissing and telling over the years, hoping for the benefit of his advice. She doesn’t mind trying out a product that promises sex without commitment. Her friend with benefits, Tal Crusoe, doesn’t mind a little experimentation, either.

Simple enough, right?

There’s just one problem.

John and Grace both want to be more than friends. They’re also both certain that they’ve blown their chances with each other. So will these hot, hands-on experiments force them deeper into the friend zone? Or will Impulse make their friendship complicated in the nicest possible way?

Illicit Impulse was previously published by some other people before a very extensive revision for Loose Id. You can get your very own copy tomorrow as Lady Smut’s Smart Sexy Science theme week continues!

In the meantime, follow Lady Smut. It’s good for you.

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

My Girl Crush on Gong Li & Why Miami Vice Is The Crime Film of the Future

8 Sep gong-li

miami-vice-008by Madeline Iva

I was thinking the other day, i.e. doing the dishes, and watching MIAMI VICE (the movie, not TV show) staring Gong-Li, Colin Farrell, and Jamie Foxx.  [SPOILERS abound below—you’ve been warned.]

FIRST LET US DISCUSS THE OUTRAGEOUS HOTNESS FACTOR OF THIS MOVIE: I mean really. Jamie Foxx. Damn. Colin Farrell–mullet, mustache and all, with those big brown eyes—damn. And Gong-Li. I’m a little gay for Gong-Li. If I had to sleep with one of them, I think Gong-Li would be my first pick, but I wouldn’t say no to a foursome.

The love story in the center of MIAMI VICE is like the rich gooey filling at the center of a chocolate bon-bon.  So good, and then it’s gone.  Whenever I finish watching the movie on DVD, I walk around afterwards a little dazed, still living in the movie, still clinging to that mood of desperate longing.

gong-liThe film has many wonderful aspects, yet MOSTLY I’M OBSESSED OVER GONG LI’S CHARACTER. Which is not to say it’s a perfect movie. Do I believe she’s Cuban-Chinese? Nah. Do I care? Not really, because while her accent isn’t so great, she is helping to eradicate the role of “the girl” in crime film movies.  Her role transcends decades of stereotypes.

SHE’S PART OF THE GANG – NOT JUST A TOY  So many of the small female roles in crime films are accessories—these women characters are there to lounge about on couches looking bored, sexy and rich. I cannot stand these women roles.  They are trophies, an equivalent to a car or designer piece of furniture and with about as much personality.

No, in this film, Gong Li is the number two in command. When the undercover cops meet face to face with the representative of the cartel, Jose Yero, and his instincts start to pick up on Colin Farrell—that something’s not quite right about him—It’s Gong Li’s character, lurking in the shadows who tells Jose to the cut the shit, stop wasting their time. She’s an integral part of the plot—the cartel’s white collar money manager, and she helps call the shots in collaboration with the king pin.

biz-womanHER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BAD GUY: It’s got some murky corners, admittedly. Michael Mann doesn’t take the time to spell things out from A-Z. She’s with the bad guy, yes as his business partner/employee, but not just that.   They’re involved.

montoya

Montoya, the drug king pin, has brown bedroom eyes, and there are little flourishes to this small role that are compelling.

However, she points out to Colin Farrell that they’re not married. She says doesn’t need a husband to support herself or to own a house. And we’re left to fill in the blanks however we want. Open relationship? It’s okay if it’s just physical? Later, she strait up tells king pin that she’s slept with Colin Farrell. Not to hurt the bad guy—she tells him to clarify her actions, and to avoid secrets as they discuss their path forward in doing business with the team.  Yet neither does she explain her reasons why to him.  He’s free to interpret it however he wants.

Me? I’m just thrilled to death that our bad-girl-good-girl is not drawn along that false dichotomy of worthy monogamous partner/slut.  And her actions are pivotal to the plot. Towards the end, it’s her emotional betrayal that determines everyone’s fate.

WILD CARD!  Jamie Foxx’s character Ricardo Tubbs, warns Colin Farrell’s character, Crockett at one point that “she’s may be many things…but in the end, she’s with them.”

And she is with them – until she and Colin have such hot chemistry that she’s with him too.miami-vice-movie15

They meet in a business setting. They trade just one long look that no one sees the second time they meet, and when the time comes he goes for it. He offers to talk to her about business, one on one. Instead of answering, she says she wants a ride on his boat. Then she asks him what he likes to drink. He’s a fiend for mojitos so off they to Havana Cuba (her home ground, not his) where they dance and dive deeply into one another until Sonny is not sure which way is up.

But in their short time together, whether it’s business or personal–and they go back and forth between the two with extreme fluidity—they are peers. They are collaborative. It’s written into the script with a bit of clunky-ness, but they play it out better that it’s written—and I LOVE IT!   Their doomed relationship—the hotness—the there’s-no-way-this-can-end-well desperation: I just wiffle that sh** up.

sad-endI am also left with another kind of longing. I want to write stuff as diverse as this movie. I want to show a couple (though perhaps a pair that’s a little less doomed) who lose nothing of their smexy twisty factor from the characters being on an even plane. Sigh.

OTHER REASONS WHY I LOVE THIS FILM: the characters—the multi-dimensional, multi-cultural, hot, and mostly very rational characters are what I totally fall for. Yes, visuals are lush and grand—Miami at it’s stormy, dramatic best. The soundtrack is full of moody feels that adds to it all. But it’s the characters—always the characters that I come back to.filmboatrace

CRIME FILMS OF THE FUTURE: Michael Mann provided a diverse cast in a setting that calls out for diversity: Miami. He made a crime film that’s a convincing mixed stew of race and gender. In painting his cast with a melting pot brush, he doled out a heaping portion of the power, the action, the leadership, and the romance to the POC’s and the women.

The result is that all of the characters have agency—not just the leads, not just the white people, not just the men.

Jamie Foxx may be a supporting role, (i.e. he gets a bit less screen time than Colin Farrell), but he’s not a side kick. He has a relationship as well—and if you think they’re all set from the beginning, you’d be wrong. His girlfriend plays a major role in the plot—and yes, her life is at stake at one point, but she is not in any way a victim. She’s part of the team, she has a job, and she is the one who determines the way forward in the face of threats they face.

"That's not what happens. What will happen is... what will happen is I will put a round at twenty-seven hundred feet per second into the medulla at the base of your brain. And you will be dead from the neck down before your body knows it. Your finger won't even twitch. Only you get dead. So tell me, sport, do you believe that?"

“That’s not what happens. What will happen is… what will happen is I will put a round at twenty-seven hundred feet per second into the medulla at the base of your brain. And you will be dead from the neck down before your body knows it. Your finger won’t even twitch. Only you get dead. So tell me, sport, do you believe that?”

THEN THERE’S THAT ONE SCENE — MY FAVORITE SCENE: It coulda been a guy doing the scene. It could have been Ricardo or Crockett rolling under the building, drilling a hole, inserting a camera, and going into the bad guy’s lair first. Instead Michael Mann gave this role to a woman on their team. The next moment is a tense stand off as Gina goes up against a guy with a bomb trigger ready to blow them all up. It’s such a bad-ass scene. It’s definitely on the level of the best Dirty Harry moment—but it’s underplayed, explosive and elegant all at once. In other words–it’s the BEST EVER!!!! My favorite moment in the movie, truly.

THE BAD GUYS HAVE DEPTH AND COMPLEXITY:

The bad guys are Hispanic, Chinese, and White supremacists. They work together as bad guys do when they’re focused on making mega amounts of cash. And while the white bad guys are completely repugnant, the POC bad guys are almost as hot and interestingly complex as the main characters are.

EVERY SINGLE MINOR ACTOR WAS SO CRAZY GOOD:

I feel like I could hold an Oscars award just for the category of best supporting actor in this one film. There are so many contenders: Gina, the team member whom I described above. The police commander, Martin Castillo, who gets some great lines. (My sweetie and I will occasionally quote his lines to each other from time to time.) There is no one in the entire cast who is not brilliant.

John Ortiz -- the most unsung brilliant actor in Hollywood today.

John Ortiz — the most unsung brilliant actor in Hollywood today.

However, the standout performance for me is John Ortiz who plays Jose Yero. This guy is a tremendous character actor with an enormous range. He is sadly unsung in Hollywood. You’ve probably seen him in the Silver Lining Playbook, and if you have, you’d have a hard time recognizing him in this movie. He takes a repugnant role and makes it so compelling, interesting, and charismatic. He brought a depth of emotion to a psychopathic pig. And!!! He did it with no words, just looks–just in the way he interacts with people.

So check out MIAMI VICE if you haven’t already.  It’s a movie you can revel in over and over again.

Meanwhile, if you want some desperate hotness in your life, follow us at Lady Smut.

Madeline Ivaimgres writes fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary romance.  Her novella ‘Sexsomnia’ is available in our LadySmut anthology HERE, Her fantasy romance, WICKED APPRENTICE, will be available for pre-order Oct 1st and out November 1st, 2016.

 

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

2 Sep
Click to buy.

Click to buy.

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

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

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

Agency is what makes all romance heroines feminists.

Then I met X. That’s Madame X to you.

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

I loved Madame X mere paragraphs into the novel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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