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Are you celebrating Galentine’s Day?

13 Feb

It’s February 13th, which means 3 things:

Leslie Knope on Galentine's Day

Leslie Knope on Galentine’s Day

1.) You’ve got 24 hours, give or take, to buy any sweeties in your life awesome Valentine’s Day gifts.

2.) It’s probably time to take the Christmas decorations down.

And, most importantly,

3.) It’s Galentine’s Day.

For the uninitiated, Galentine’s Day is a day celebrating female friendship held the day before Valentine’s Day. The holiday was coined in 2010, on the second season of comedy Parks and Recreation by the fabulous Leslie Knope, who described it as “Lilith Fair minus the angst and plus frittatas.”

Since 2010, Galentine’s Day has become a thing. There are articles with Galentine’s Day Party ideas, adorable pink mugs, posts of gift ideas for your girlfriends–even Hallmark has a page dedicated to it. And we all know that Hallmark is the maker of holidays. (Just ask anyone who hates Valentine’s Day.)

I love the idea of Galentine’s Day. Sure, there’s a Friendship Day at some point in the year, but do you really know the date off the top of your head without Facebook telling you? I like the idea of Valentine’s being a celebration of love–not just romantic, but other types of love in our lives–so celebrating our friends the same week just makes bookstoresense to me. And our female pals–our gals–deserve a little love. Plus, they’re also more likely to appreciate all those pink, fuzzy, heart-shaped, and/or chocolate-covered things in all the stores right now.

One of the ways I celebrated Galentine’s Day this year was by doing a Secret Cupid gift exchange with an online group I belong to. Just shy of 20 of us bought gifts to mail to one other person. The fun part? We all got Harlequins for each other. So it was a win/win/win: a Galentine’s Day celebration, a fun book in the mail, and a chance to visit my local used bookstore.

How are you celebrating Galentine’s Day this year? Breakfast with your girl gang like Leslie Knope? A call or a care package to a friend across the country?

If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate the holiday, fellow Lady Smut writer Rachel Kramer Bussel will be featured at a Galentine’s Day erotica writer panel tonight at WORD bookstore in Jersey City. She’ll be talking along with a group of authors about writing erotica, what makes a story sexy, how to get published, and more. Go here for details.

However you celebrate, have a happy Galentine’s Day from all of us at Lady Smut!

Speaking of romances and treating the ladies in our life right, remember to subscribe to the Lady Smut newsletter to get free stories and other goodies in your inbox all year long. It may not be frittatas, but they’re guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

~

G.G. Andrew writes quirky romantic comedy. Her latest is the short story Girl Meets Grammarian, coming out Feb. 14th in the geek romance anthology Covalent Bonds. It involves a sexy sentence diagramming scene or two, because YES.

 

 

We Saw Fifty Shades Darker So You Don’t Have To

11 Feb

by Elizabeth SaFleur & Madeline Iva

Happy Weekend! We’re here to share with you all our thoughts after seeing FIFTY SHADES DARKER at the movie theatre last night. fifty-shades-darker

Madeline: I loved seeing that group of women who all came into the theatre wearing masks. In fact, my role here is to see the film with eyes of love.  To understand why women love it, why it’s so ridiculously successful.

Elizabeth: This blog post also could be titled, Fifty Scenes of Dakota’s Boobs. Or Fifty Shades of Mixed Messages.

Madeline: You’re in a mood this morning.  I can tell.

Elizabeth: I don’t hate the Fifty Shades franchise. I don’t love it either. I’m neutral, though I was really hoping Hollywood did a better job of portraying the lifestyle than they did previously. Of course, I recognized this story, from the get-go, isn’t a BDSM erotic romance at all.

Madeline: I mean, I agree.–But what is it then?

Elizabeth: It’s a story of a man with PTSD from his childhood who channels his angst by engaging in supposed sadism (I don’t think he’s really a sadist, by the way) with submissives. He meets an ordinary girl who sends this man mixed signals. But she would. She’s in her early twenties and still figuring herself out. But, Jesus, the back and forth!

All that chest--and no touching it. I would go mad.

All that chest–and no touching it. I would go mad.

Madeline: Yes, she’s still figuring it all out.  Jackie and I talked about that with the first movie. This is a strong message that’s getting out into the world these days and I applaud it.  You hear that men? Women are not playing games.  They’re not f**king with you.  They’re trying to figure it out, okay? And sometimes it’s not easy.

Elizabeth: I get why people love 50 Shades. Billionaires, mild kinky scenarios—

Madeline: Yay to mild-kink! Or, as I like to call it, Kinky-lite.  We need t-shirts.  I’ll get my people right on that.

Elizabeth: –especially if you’ve not been exposed before. People also love the luxurious settings, a man changed by the love of a woman. That trope is old as the hills.

Madeline Iva: As old as the hills–and yet there are real haters out there.  Haters who love romance, confoundingly.

Elizabeth: I get why people hate it. Bad BDSM benchmark set, a weak(er) story structure and did I mention the mixed signals from both characters?

Madeline: One thing about the mixed messages: I think that the movie makers had to do it the way that they did. They had to be true to the book and in the book, she’s walking away from kink.  On the other hand, what do we want? We want hot sex scenes in the movie! Like we had in the first movie, only different.  They delivered both.  Could they have delivered a movie that had a lot less sex? I don’t think so.

Elizabeth: The PR/Marketing person in me also thought they missed an opportunity to make the movie the best possible thing ever. No excuse! I mean, built-in audience, Hollywood! We had a row of women behind us who came as a group all wearing masks. You can’t buy this kind of loyalty.50-shades-darker-teaser-mask

Madeline: You think they should have really dug in and changed things, deepened the script, the plot, etc?

Elizabeth: Yes! So, sadly, this movie isn’t going to win any Oscars.

Madeline: So, here’s what I say — is this even really a movie? I mean, I thought of it as something in film form that was an homage to the book.  I think we’re in the early days of a whole new medium. We need to come up with a jazzy name for it.  I mean, that whole weird section with the helicopter crash? “Real” movies don’t actually work like that.  Which is okay–but comparing this to a movie is like comparing apples to…an apple flavored jolly roger candy.  You know?

Elizabeth: It will certainly please the 50 Shades crowd, but in equal measure that it will tick off the real-life BSDM enthusiasts. (I can’t help but think of how this mirrors our very-politically-divided country right now.)

Fifty pull ups. Cause you know *that* joke isn't getting old.

Fifty pull ups. Cause you know *that* joke isn’t getting old.

Madeline: Aren’t they already ticked off? I mean, by this point, I can’t imagine real-life BDSM enthusiasts going see this movie for sheer love.  Me, I was frankly relieved that it was so kinky-lite in the first movie.  FIFTY SHADES DARKER’s little play-time scenes were icing on the cake.  Besides, I brought my husband to see the movie, and was hoping to placate him with all the sexy biz.

Also, as Jezebel writers said: “What was good: basically nonstop puss eating.”

Elizabeth: !

Madeline: So sez Jezebel, so say we all. On the other hand, people kinda wanted to see Christian’s dick.  Not me, just…people.  #dickparity is a thing, I guess.

Elizabeth: What I liked about the movie: Dakota Johnson has got acting chops.

Madeline: I agree.

Elizabeth: She’d better than most people probably realize given she had to develop that character herself. Anastasia Steele’s clothes. I want that La Perla bustier garter set she’s wearing.

Madeline: We all want that La Perla bustier garter set.  And the body to go with it.

And it looks even better from the back...

And it looks even better from the back…

Elizabeth: –Ya know, for sitting around my home office so I can pretend I’m about to be whisked to a ball. Also, her lips. M and I agree – she had the best lipstick. And it stayed on no matter what they were doing like sucking face, which they did often.

Madeline: I liked the sucking face.  Jamie Dornan sucks face well.

Elizabeth: Christian Grey’s boat. Niiiice. Jamie Dornan’s buffness and scruffness – just the way I like it. Oh, and his neck! I just wanted to bury my face in it.

You want to grab him. Admit it.

You want to grab him. Admit it.

Madeline: I did not need him so buff.  But I am obsessed.  (Posting on that later.)

Elizabeth: The general eye candy was great. They live in a beautiful world.

Madeline: I was going through eye candy withdrawl. This movie definitely helped.

Elizabeth: But I can’t get over the mixed signals: “Christian, I can never, ever give you what you need.” Ten minutes later, “Christian, spank me.” “Take me to the red room.” Make up your mind, lady. You’re either into the kink or you’re not.

Madeline: Okay, here’s my take on that — at first in their relationship he wanted total control.  Even to the point of saying he didn’t “do relationships”.  Gah.  It’s like a dance, and he was always leading.

In FIFTY SHADES DARKER, she takes control.  It’s not about consistency.  It’s about her leading. In the past, with all his interactions the dominant dynamic was about them pleasing him.  Now he has to keep up with her, follow her lead, and prove to her that he can please her.  It’s all about her, people! (Which is catnip to us romance ladies.)

She's steering the ship now.

She’s steering the ship now.

Elizabeth: His admission that he’s not a Dominant, but a sadist really bothered me.

Madeline: It was certainly abrupt.

Elizabeth: And they acted like being a sadist must be a very, very, very bad thing. It’s not!!

Madeline: She’s getting on her BDSM soap box people.

Elizabeth: If you’re truly a responsible sadist, you play with consenting adults, and you never harm anyone.

Madeline: Which is different from causing them pain

Elizabeth: Right.  Pain is temporary, and some masochists get an endorphin rush off controlled pain, which registers as a kind of pleasure…so they like it.

Madeline: Yes, yes, yes!

Elizabeth: Harming someone is completely different.

Madeline: Noted.

Elizabeth: I had an issue with the symbolic kink. The movie brings out the usual kinky props, but clearly for symbolic reasons. There’s the blindfold and the cuffs but within one minute they’re having sex. They bring out the spreader bar and within one minute they’re having sex.  He gives her four spanks and then they’re having sex. I get it. They’re young, full of hormones and hot. But don’t expect any real BDSM. The movie had tons of sex and a little slap and tickle.

Madeline: I didn’t mind that at all. Huzzah to symbolic kinky sex!

Elizabeth: Speaking of the spreader bar. People…please DO NOT go to Amazon, buy the first spreader bar you see and do that flip move that Christian did to Ana without a lot of practice.

Do not try this at home...

Do not try this at home…

Madeline: It did look…quite…gymnastic.

Elizabeth: I’m not quite convinced that spreader bar exists in real life.

Madeline: A retractable spreader bar.  Yeah, that was a new one to me too.

Elizabeth: So don’t risk spraining an ankle or wrenching a back.

Madeline: Her breasts were like a third character in the movie.

Elizabeth: If there was an opportunity to show them off, the movie did.

Madeline: It’s actually in her contract–she must be topless or naked at least every fifteen minutes of the movie. (Joking.) But reading interviews, I think the actress has made this her thing.  And if an actor is a bit of an exhibitionist, who are we to complain? (I’m looking at you, Orlando Bloom.)

Elizabeth: Why couldn’t we get his glory to be the third character? Equal rights, man.

Madeline: #DickParity — starting that hashtag right now

Elizabeth: This movie was more sex positive than the last — and Ana wasn’t as big as a doormat as she was in the first movie.

Madeline: Amen to that!

Elizabeth: Oh, and for grins you really must check out this post from a Redbook writer, I Tried All the Sex From Fifty Shades Darker In One Weekend. Hilarious.

Madeline: I can’t believe Redbook did that…that is awesome.  Final comments?

Elizabeth: Bottom line: If you are a 50 Shades fan, you’ll love this movie.

Madeline: Durh.

Elizabeth: If you are a real-life BDSM lifestyler, you’ll probably stay away anyway. Christian is someone who needs to be “cured.” Yeah, right.  But what he needs (IMHO) is help with his PTSD, not his BDSM proclivities (though I’m not convinced BDSM even really is his thing).

Madeline: What is his thing?

Elizabeth: Okay–Growing up, Christian discovers how to use kink to channel his anger from his childhood trauma.  And so maybe when he gets together with her, and they bond, that anger starts to go away? And that’s why he walks away from it all.

Towards the end of the series, he says he doesn’t want to do it anymore.  In the third book he doesn’t want a red room in the new house.

A Dominant, meanwhile, that’s their main thing–being in control.  If he actually can be happy without being in control, yeah, he’s not a Dominant.  And a sadist — I’m sorry, but you don’t just actually decide not to be someone who gets off on pain.  It’s like trying to pray your way out of being gay.

Madeline: So if this was real life–which it’s not–Elena would be right.  Ana and Christian together as a couple would be a compromise for him.  A compromise most couples don’t survive.

Kim Basinger plays Elena in the movie--which makes it all very meta.

Kim Basinger plays Elena in the movie–which makes it all very meta.

Elizabeth: Right.  If it was real life.

Madeline: Which it’s not.

Elizabeth: I don’t care if this story is fiction, that idea should be sorted out. Okay, Hollywood, can you do that for us? So we’re ALL happy? See built-in audience above.50shadesshouldersleeping

And don’t forget out V-Day Giveaway.  Subscribe to Lady Smut — push the pink bottom at the top right of your screen and you’ll be entered to win. 

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

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

Bed Dance – Not Your Ordinary Lap Dance

11 Feb

…AS TOLD TO LADY SMUT BY SASHA SNOW

Sometimes you're in the mood for some lap dance action...only more horizontal.

Sometimes you’re in the mood for some lap dance action–only…more horizontal.

SASHA SNOW: I’ve been teaching exotic dance for the last seven or so years in a professional dance studio with curtains drawn, and the doors locked.  The idea behind these classes is to help ordinary women reclaim a part of themselves they often lose to years of child-rearing, stale marriages, and general malaise from living in the ordinary world.  I help them reclaim their sensual side to use however they see fit. One of the most popular offerings are lap dance workshops.

In the ninety minute workshop, you learn how to move seductively and give your partner a semi-choreographed dance on and around him while he’s sitting in a chair or on a couch. In the last few years, however, I made up a bed dance workshop. If you can seduce a man with dance and movement while he’s sitting in a chair, imagine what you can do with him lying in a bed.

This idea isn’t new. Bed dance has long been a staple in strip clubs. Female strippers charge big money to give a man a dance in a bed in the back room. But you can give your partner one at home.

LADY SMUT: There are good reasons to bring some movement and action into your bedroom.

“In fact, a recent science article suggests that instead of lying still in bed, women are actually much more aroused by moving around. University of Texas Dr. Cindy Meston reported this to the BBC:

‘For years we were told, ‘Have a bubble bath, calm down, listen to relaxing music, do deep breathing exercises, chill out before sex,” she says.

‘But my research shows the opposite, that you actually want to get women in an active state. So, you can run around the block with your partner and get them to chase you around the block, or watch a scary movie together, ride a rollercoaster together, even a good comedy act. If you really get laughing, you’re going to have a sympathetic activation response.’

Meston is talking about the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for subconscious muscle contractions that get us ready for the flight or fight mode, like heart rate and blood pressure. She has found that if this system is activated before sex it will help women respond more intensely and more quickly.

It’s quite the opposite for men.”

In other words, git up and dance! Sasha Snow has some helpful tips to offer.

TIPS FOR TRYING OUT A BED DANCE AT HOME:

Set some rules.  You need to do this so it doesn’t delve into sex right away:

  • no heels
  • no touching (this is a fun one to play with–how close can you get?)
  • no talking, no laughing
  • BE SAFE — hang onto the head board or hang onto the wall.
  • Move however feels good to you. 
  • Put on some music you like — not what he likes — what you like. (Cause he’s not really listening to the music.)
  • Spice it up! Remember — practice makes perfect.

And don’t forget — if you subscribe to LadySmut.com you are automatically entered in our V-day giveaway this weekend (2/10/17 to 2/14/17)

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

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

Fifty Shades Darker Celebration & Valentine’s Giveaway

9 Feb

by Madeline Iva

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

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

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

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

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

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

50-shades-take-2

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

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

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

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

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

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

 

 

The Kama Sutra: More Than Tab A and Slot B

7 Feb
Need a roadmap? Look elsewhere. Want to think? This might be the book for you.

Need a roadmap? Look elsewhere. Want to think? This might be the book for you.

By Alexa Day

Want to hear a secret? Sure you do.

Pretty soon, we’re going to announce a giveaway. Aren’t you excited? Nothing like a little random chance to make the day go by faster, I find.

But while you’re waiting to hear more about the giveaway, I thought we’d spend a few minutes with one of the classics.

Do you have a copy of the Kama Sutra?

I do. It’s not a new copy; I’ve had it for years. Mine is the Danielou translation. It’s complete, unlike the Burton translation. Burton was known to skip over the parts that made him uncomfortable and then use euphemism to render the rest of the book incomprehensible. Not so with Danielou. It’s still not the easiest thing in the world to read, but at least it’s all here.

My copy isn’t illustrated. There’s a large contingent of readers who question the utility of a Kama Sutra without illustrations. I’m not sure I’m convinced, either. Reading about the sex positions without the illustrations is a bit like reading assembly instructions without diagrams. Sure, you’ll probably get the project finished eventually, but you will wish for a picture many times before you’re done, even if the picture isn’t especially helpful.

Truth be told, though, the positions aren’t the most interesting part of the Kama Sutra. Not even close. So if you have a copy with no illustrations, have no fear.

The best part of the Kama Sutra, to my mind, is that it will make you think.

There’s a chapter entitled Virile Behavior in Women, which describes the alternatives available to women who had not been satisfied by their lovers. Scratching and biting each get their own chapter. I never imagined there was so much to know about scratching. Apparently, there are eight kinds of scratch marks, where I would only have counted one.

There are six chapters on courtesans, and a great deal of attention is devoted to the emotional difference between a relationship with a lover and commerce with a courtesan. And of course, there’s the challenge of reading the positions without illustrations, if you want to put your visual imagination through its paces.

The Kama Sutra isn’t a how-to, despite its format. It’s more of a cultural study. But it’s interesting to examine what life the Kama Sutra brings to today’s sexual culture.

And it lends a bit of weight to one’s shelves. Right?

Follow Lady Smut. You won’t need a map.

Stressed At Work? Take A Masturbation Break

25 Jan
Someone needs a break!

Someone needs a break!

By Elizabeth Shore

Although I’m not a smoker, I’ve always felt there’s something appealing about taking a cigarette break at work.

Know what I mean?

You go outside for a few minutes, get some fresh air, and just chill the heck out for a few minutes away from the phone, the computer, and those annoying work mates. It’s a few perfect moments to de-stress. And because it’s so darn perfect, seems like there ought to be a similar work stress break for us non-smokers. Sure, we could go outside as well and just stand there, but somehow not having the ciggie prop to accompany the standing doesn’t seem quite right. So what to do?? Well, according to some doctors, their go-to Rx is to find a private spot and rub out some self love. You read that right. To de-stress at work, they say you should take a masturbation break.

Psychologist and Life Coach Dr. Cliff Arnall, in an article posted in metro.co.uk., says, “I would expect a masturbation policy to result in more focus, less aggression, higher productivity, and more smiling, Certainly taking a masturbation break for boredom or an escape would increase work focus.”

I like the way you think, Cliff! After all, in corporate lingo, masturbation breaks seem like the perfect “win-win” situation. They’re healthy for the employee since she’ll be more relaxed and better able to focus on work, and healthy for the company because a happy employee is a productive employee. Anyone see a problem here?

Not Hot Octopuss. Last year the sex toy maker debuted its inaugural “masturbation booth” on 28th street and 5th avenue in NYC and claims to have had 100 men take full advantage of it on its debut day. Success like that surely means expansion, right? Right on! Hot Octopuss says it’ll be setting up more self-love booths in other major cities across the globe, so stayed tuned. Of courose, what I want to know is, where are booths for the women?

There are some religious groups, of course, who want nothing whatsoever to do with “pleasures of the flesh.” Porn-free.org states that masturbation, “opens the door to the deceiving influences of lust.” Sounds serious. However, there is a possibility that the masturbation break at work could potentially lead to sexual harassment situations. Or hostile workplace environments. For instance, if employees started bringing in their favorite skin mags as a way to “inspire” them during their breaks and then accidentally left them lying around. Or worse yet, asked a fellow employee to be the source of inspiration. If the solo becomes a duo, then inappropriate workplace behavior become an HR nightmare just waiting to happen.

Those concerns aside, the masturbation break is, literally, just what the doctor ordered as a way to de-stress. Apparently plenty of workers have already jumped on that bandwagon. A Time Out New York poll had 39 percent of male respondents confessing to doing the deed, and a 2012 Glamour magazine poll put the figure at 31 percent of all workers.

What do you think? Are you in on the masturbation break at work, or is it better to keep work and play separate? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow us at Lady Smut, where our posts are always a nice break. No lube required.

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.

 

Forest Bathing Your Way To Less Stress

4 Jan

By Elizabeth Shore

Let’s face it, now that we’re four days into the new year, the resolutions you made with such shiny optimism are already starting to tarnish. We’re back at work, the kids are back at school, the usual routines you had before holiday madness set in have returned with a vengeance and you don’t know how in the world you thought fitting in daily gym dates and eating salads had even a snowball’s chance in hell at success. Any moment of stress-free existence you may have had during the break – fleeting though it was – is now as gone as the presents you returned, and you’re paying the price. Your blood pressure’s as high as your piles of unfinished work and stress levels are through the roof. Ain’t life grand.

Consider this. According to Prevention.com, 90% of Americans report feeling stressed over at least one thing during the holiday season. Ninety percent! So thinking that a having break from the daily grind will rejuvenate you is like thinking that drinking a cup of coffee will make up for years of sleep deprivation. So what to do? Should you just accept that your life is a hopeless, never-ending hamster wheel? That the only people living stress-free lives are monks? Hell no. How about actually making an honest-to-goodness conscious effort to de-stress? Setting aside time for the sole purpose of calming your anxieties and centering your soul? Sounds good, right? So do what the Japanese do: take a bath in the forest.

Shinrin Yoku is Japanese for forest bathing. To be clear, you’re not hauling a tub into the woods like people in a Cialis commercial. Instead, forest bathing is a health-enhancing technique of letting the sights, sounds, and smells of being in the forest wash over you as you wonder. Bathing, as it were, in the sensations of the woods. To be a proper forest bather is not simply to trek along a woodsy path and call it a day. Instead, it’s to immerse oneself in all that the forest offers. Listen to the birds. Smell the earthiness. Feel the rustling wind on your cheeks. Bathe in the forest experience and feel your stress levels plummet.

The folks at shinrin-yoku.org have put up a three-minute video on YouTube to give you an introduction to the concept. Look! I’ve found it for you:

 

Amos Clifford, one of the leading voice of forest therapy, states in an article in Women’s Health magazine that a single three-hour walk in the woods can calm your mind and body for a week. Sounds good, but what if you happen to live where there’s nary a forest in sight? Fear not. Immersion in any natural setting can work just as well, from mountains to deserts to beaches. Even a park would do, as long as you can get away from your every day environment and immerse yourself in the natural. Phones and other electronic devices are strictly verboten. You’ve got to be able to escape the confines of stressful daily life and notice the nature around you. Another good thing to know is that while a three-hour immersion is recommended, studies have shown that even a few minutes of being in a natural setting can help calm and soothe the savage – and stressed – beast in us all.

The forest bathing movement and “ecotherapy” is catching on. Doctors are writing “nature prescriptions” to address everything from anxiety and depression to high blood pressure and diabetes. Studies purport to show that nature walks reduce cortisol – the hormone released during times of stress – and leave participants feeling happy and relaxed in the great outdoors.

Why not give it a try? Writer Gemma Hartley of the Women’s Health magazine article states that her writing flowed better than it had in years after she’d gone on a forest bathing retreat. So relax and rejuvenate with a bath in the woods. Your mind and body will thank you.

 

‘Tis the Season to Ring Those Bells

20 Dec
Is it too late to be good?

Is it too late to be good?

By Alexa Day

You know, this really is the most wonderful time of the year. There’s an abundance of food, drink, merriment and romance. People are being slightly less awful to each other. Snow has begun to fall. And most importantly, this is when I start looking forward to next year.

I’ll be taking a winter break, along with my learned colleagues here, but I’ll be back in January with more hijinks. In the meantime, why don’t you check out some highlights from this past year?

Snctm. Is it, as Churchill described Russia, “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”? I think not. I think it’s much less complex.

Soon you can go back to being naughty (if indeed you ever stopped). Don’t forget to touch up your skills.

Please, in the new year, can we resolve to keep the wild alpha wild?

Consider, as we broaden our horizons, the baggage we carry along with our curiosity. I have a word or two about urban romance here.

In this season of parties and bar hopping, don’t forget to be of service to your single friends. Start training to be a wingwoman here.

I would feel strange if I left you without a video, so enjoy this holiday favorite as you sit down to break bread with your loved ones.

Have a lovely holiday! And follow Lady Smut. We’re the gift that keeps on giving.

Have Yourself A Kinky Little Christmas

14 Dec

Wanna celebrate with me?

By Elizabeth Shore

Egad, can it be? Are we seriously saying that Christmas is the end of next week???!! Gaaah!! If you haven’t finished your shopping, there’s no time to waste. Stop binge watching Master of None and focus, people, focus! And yet…what to get? What would he love to receive? What should you do that he’d remember? Relax and rest easy, friends. Lady Smut is here with some decidedly smutty ideas to get you either 1) in the proper frame of mind to ignore rude, pushy shoppers at the mall; or 2) in the proper frame of mind to imagine what you and your gift receiver are going to do with your bounty. So get going!

1. Tis better to give than receive, right? We all know that. So instead of loading up on material gifts from the mall, how about giving your man a gift you can keep on giving? One he’s truly going to remember? And just what is this marvelous idea? Why, your supreme new techniques on pleasuring his balls, of course.

The delicate scrotum is to some women nothing but a scary sack of mystery. Should you touch it? Would he like it? Yes, and yes, according to an interview with Metro.com, in which the interviewer rounded up a bunch of guys and simply asked them what they like done with those gonads. Imagine that. The responses uniformly stressed the importance of remembering the delicacy of the family jewels. Treat them as if they’re “made of glass,” said one bloke, since they are “delicate souls” another reminds us. Still and all, soft stroking, licking, kissing, and cupping all made the list, so if this is the kind of selfless gift you’d like to bestow upon your guy, here’s the link for the tips.

2. Pull together a soundtrack for two. Getting your jiggy on is more fun when you can bump and grind to sultry beats, so why not present him with a customized playlist just for the two of you, fire it up and head for nirvana. Or Nirvana. According to Spotify, the #1 song in 2016 to have sex to is Rihanna’s Sex With Me. So there’s that. However, if it just so happens that you loathe that song (I’m just sayin’), Time Out New York put out earlier this year their list of 50 Best Sex Songs of All Time. We all know that music preference can vary wildly, but this list has a pretty wide range, with tunes from Lady B to Bobby D (Dillon, that is) and loads of artists in between. Get some inspiration from the list and then go inspire him.

3. If you’re hankering for a getaway where clothing is optional – and really, who wouldn’t? – why not give you both a vacation and splurge on the world’s “most iconic playground,” Hedonism II. With the tagline, Your Pleasure is our Passion, the adults only, clothing-optional resort lets you bring out your wild child. There are shows, bands, nightclubs, water sports – and theme nights! Ranging from hedonistic school girl to bare as you dare to fetish night, they aim to bring out the true meaning of hedonism, “the pursuit of pleasure and sensual self-indulgence.” Vice writer Anna Pulley said in a recent article that she learned to love her body at Hedonism II so really, how bad can that be? Book by December 20th and get a special “lust price.” I’m lusting already.

4. Some miscellaneous sexy ideas, in no particular order:

  • Butt table. It’s a table. With a picture of a butt on it.
  • Fur oil. Whether you’re bare down there or you’ve got a garden you tend, give it some love with fur oil. Sold on Gwyneth Paltrow’s site, Goop (where else?), for only $39 a little dab will do ya to soften and condition either the hair or the skin in your most private of regions.
  • Organic, fair trade-certified condoms, lubes, and wipes from Sustain. Oh, and they donate 10% of pretax profits to women without access to healthcare, so you can not only feel awesome about buying these products, you can be awesome by helping the cause.
  • Pine Pollen aphrodisiac. Mix it in a smoothie, or into tea. It’ll make you go whee!! Or not. Who knows. But it claims to be a potent aphrodisiac so it could be worth a try. At the very least, it’ll be fun to find out whether it works.

So there you have it. A few gift suggestions for making the season bright. Wishing you a very kinky holiday from all of us at Lady Smut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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