Archive | Relationships RSS feed for this section

Sizzling Heat Wave: Fav Summer Reads

27 May

Hello Lady Smut readers — where are we going? Where have we been?

We’ve been busy publishing! Here are some new reads by our crew past and present that you want to check out for your summer reading:

FEARLESS

fearless cover

Sarah’s life of discipline and rigid control is nearly shattered by two men—one who wishes to submit to her, the other who might break her.

Sarah Marillioux fled back to Washington, DC after a weekend of reckless, delicious, impetuous passion in London with another Dominant, Steffan Vidar. Two years later, Sarah has re-established her life of unerring discipline and control until Steffan reappears to threaten her status quo of relegating all romantic encounters to a dungeon. He’s moved to DC and, with him, is Laurent Chacon, Steffan’s angelic submissive—a mixture of masculine strength and aching vulnerability. Together they will bring her carefully constructed world crashing down around her. It would almost be worth it to have Laurent. The problem is, she’d have to take Steffan, too.  AMAZON, APPLE, BARNES & NOBLE, KOBO

BEST WOMEN’S EROTICA

best women's erotica

In Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4, award-winning editor Rachel Kramer Bussel has gathered the hottest sexy stories starring outspoken women who daringly pursue love and lust.

You’ll read about a single mom who goes back to college and gets some very hands-on education from her hot professor, an Amish woman tenderly revealing her most intimate desires, and a woman who crafts the man of her dreams. From outsiders who passionately claim their place without apology to women taking the boldest of risks with their hearts and their bodies, these sizzling stories are sure to make your heart pound.

Featuring stories by popular authors including Alyssa Cole, Megan Hart, Tamsen Parker, Sofia Quintero, Suleikha Snyder, and Alessandra Torre, along with a variety newcomers to the genre, these tales will turn you on and stay with you long after you’ve finished.

 

 

 

The Ghost of Hot Relationships That Never Were

9 Apr

by Madeline Iva

Watching a scene in a movie, or an episode of a TV show I’m like that kid from the Sixth Sense–but instead of dead poeple I see whole story lines that aren’t actually there.  It haunts me day in and day out. Don’t get me wrong. We’re lucky to have so many interesting stories out on TV and in movies.  I’m enjoying them; I’m reveling in them.  Yet I also see a lot of hot-boinking-that-should-be-there-but-isn’t.  To you they’re invisible–but they haunt me. Is this a blessing? Or is it a curse? <Cue the spooky music.>

There are just so many good shows in which the hotness factor between characters should be invoked.  Let’s seance with this sad spectre–the Ghost of Hot Relationships That Never Were as it wanders down the corridors of Untold Passion & Secret Scandalous Hook Ups.

MASSIVE MASSIVE MASSIVE SPOILERS!!!!!!! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!!!

Black Panther:

Michael B. Jordan played Erik Killmonger in Black Panther. Out of all the villains in Marvel Universe why did they kill off this one? Whyyyyyyyy? WHAT ON EARTH WERE THEY THINKING? Don’t they see the Loki potential here? With his ripped body, damned attractive face, and awwwwww story of heartbreak and loss as a young boy–it’s killing me. (Pun intended.)

The hint of dimples is what truly slays me.

Eric Killmonger is that Loki-ish anti-hero we lurv, no matter how many times he’s got “Kill Whitey” tattooed all over his body. (He doesn’t really. Just kidding. But you get the idea.) His character would draw everyone back movie after movie, sequel after sequel.  Someone go to the bottom of that waterfall and fish him out. Revive and rehabilitate that bad boy STAT!

While Hollywood is at it, I think you’ll agree hands down that Erik needs to get together with Okoye, AKA Danai Gurira AKA Michonne from Walking Dead.  Erik is hotness on a stick.  Okoye is the woman all humans bow down to.  I mean–did you see the movie? Yeah? Then you get it.  The movie would have been more realistic to me if Okoye had straightened Erik’s sh*t out in about ten minutes. Danai

Okoye needs to become Queen of Wakanda too, btw.  Ramonda, played by Angela Bassett may be worthy of ruling as well, and I didn’t have any problems with our super-hero, Black Panther. He was cute–incredibly cute.  He has a real “goodness to the core” super-hero vibe.  It’s just that clearly he needs to be out and about in the world.  His job is international.  But back home in Wakanda, Okoye is queen material.  She’s the f**king bad ass leader of all leaders.  Just calling it like it is, people.  As for Ramonda–well, see below.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: AKA Heather-Heather-Heather AKA Vella Lovell

I mean, I really like CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND overall.  Rebecca Bunch obsessively crushes out on a former flame named Josh, and goes to cray-cray stalker extremes often urged onward by our twisted societal values about a women’s worth.  But Heather, Rebecca’s neighbor-then-roommate is her polar opposite.  Tall, goy, hot and slacker-ish, Heather is instantly compelling to watch. With her vocal fry, colored hair extensions, and community college scholar wisdom she is the one I obsess over in this show.  Yes, I have a massive girl crush on Heather — and the actress who plays her recently expanded her career to movies.  She was probably the best thing in THE BIG SICK.  (And the writers of the BIG SICK should make a follow up about her character story. Can you say another Smart Indian Girl Rom-Com? Squeeeeee! Hasn’t anyone in Hollywood watched Bend It Like Beckam?)

Anyway Heather and Hector are now together in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.   Hector always was cute, if a bit oedipal, but he doesn’t get much face time on the show. We all know the two of them hooking up is really just an excuse to give us more Heather.

Though White Josh and Josh in the stripper scene were giving Nathaniel a run for his money,  Nathaniel’s character is pretty appealing.  The more he was into Rebekah, the more I was into him.  But clearly, he and Heather should be together.  They both are seemingly shallow but really good people with unexpected depths. They are both extremely sane despite recognizing their perverse impulses.  They are both vulnerable to romantic situations in which they’re being used.  I’m asking nicely— could they PLEAAAAAASE get together? Pretty please? And I mean really get together in a complicated, sweaty, guilty, dirty way — the way that Rebecca tends to get together with men on the show?

She’s just using you, Nathaniel. Can’t you see that?

If they can’t, I will totally accept Father Brah, played by Rene Gube as a Heather-Love-Interest substitute.  That guy is totally under-utilized in terms of hotness. Wasted actually.

BTW — did you expect Crazy-Ex to really go there with serious mental health issues? I didn’t. I’m pretty impressed. And making Rebecca the poster girl for BPD — whoa.  That mental disorder does not get a lot of sympathetic play.  So thumb’s up Crazy-Ex Girlfriend for going there, staying there, and then doing a song and dance number there.

The Good Place — This show is not for everyone, but I get off on weighing utilitarian counterfactuals against Kantian ethical theory.  The show is about someone mistakenly sent to heaven.  My version of heaven is Jianyu played by Manny Jacinto. Manny is divine. Manny and Kristen Bell would be too cute together as a couple.  Manny and Tiya Sircar would be too cute too.  I mean, can Jianyu just have his own spin off show next year? Something where yes, we see his cuteness factor, but also the other hot never-see-him-coming facets as well?

Meanwhile, I very much appreciate Elinor’s girl crush Tahani played by Jameela Jamil.  Tahani with her Amazonian posh presence gains a wonderful edge from Elinor’s girl-lust-crush.  If the creators of the show wanted to take relationships in that direction, I, as a fan, would happily follow.  Just sayin’.

Before I sign off though, let’s talk steam heat in terms of romance with age difference —

First of all, I would like to advocate for Angela Basset’s character Ramonda having a thing with M’Baku when she gets dropped off at M’Baku’s land.  M’Baku is played by Winston Duke, a 6′ 4″ drink of beef water.  He’s a wee bit Alpha for my taste — but even so…even so. His character has an unexpected sense of humor that slays.M'Baku

And I don’t care who you are, if Ramonda gets dropped off in your kingdom and you’re made to promise to protect her and make sure she’s “taken care of” –I mean, seriously, how could your mind not go there? It’s Angela Bassett, people. It doesn’t matter how old she gets. I think I spent the next fifteen minutes of the movie not hearing or seeing anything on the screen.  Instead I was still back at the toothy gorilla lair with M’Baku and Ramonda imagining how their forbidden sexual tryst would come about.  These moments are so obvious to me–am I the only one? Is anyone else seeing the possibilities here?

Back at The Good Place I also noticed that Tahani has fabulous chemistry with Michael, played by Ted Danson.  Yes, he’s like in his seventies or something, but still–they’re both dapper dressers.  In fact, they are too attractively tall together not to have hot sex/romance.   Maybe they seem to connect because they’re the only two tall enough to look each other in the eye.  Maybe it’s something more.  But I think they should work it.  Torture Tahani with the tantalizing promise of a ‘daddy’ relationship figure that goes to a naughty places.  Let us live a little.The Good Place

The Upshot: Hollywood is having outstanding success with greater casting diversity.  At last.  Finally! Bravo. (The horror that’s going on behind the screens –that’s another blog post). Let’s all urge them to keep heading further in this direction.  Despite hot (and I mean that in more ways than one)  new talent, the boink factor is suffering.

There’s chemistry going on here, people!  My mind is a-buzz with all the variations and combinations to explore — I want jealousy and lust.  I want tenderness and taut sexual tension.  I also want some light kinky elements–is this too much to ask? I don’t think it is.

What relationships do you wish you were seeing in movies/tv shows that you love? Please sound off below.

Madeline Iva enjoys penning stories about reclusive guys with dark secrets in mouldering castles.  If you like your gothic gloom with a perverse twist join her cult following newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

Kiss and Tell: Guest post by Christina Mitchell

5 Mar

By Christina Mitchell

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

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

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

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

sexy bucket hat

Too sexy for this hat.

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

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

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

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

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

*Writing is my gift.

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

 

After the Fire: Where The Last Jedi Takes Us

5 Jan
unhuxed

Behold Domnhall Gleeson, unhuxed in The Revenant. I just thought you should see that.

By Alexa Day

Where do I start with The Last Jedi?

I spent a little while, probably longer than I should have, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to say about the latest cinematic installment in the mighty Star Wars franchise. Star Wars isn’t my family the way that Star Trek is, but the giant chord that gives way to the opening crawl still gives me goosebumps after all these years. My affection for the characters and the story runs deep enough to make me protective. I want the best for the series. So when I challenge the filmmakers to do better, I try to do so firmly but lovingly.

I loved The Last Jedi. It’s challenging an audience that needs to be challenged. It takes us into a darkness more subtle than its predecessors have shown us. Despair and hopelessness settle over these characters like a chill in a damp room. We’re restored to light and hope by the end of the movie, but there are a couple of places along the way that bother me.

And so, firmly but lovingly, let’s start with those places.

It’s all spoilers after this Tweet from Emo Kylo Ren.

Still here? I know. Kylo Ren has problems. We will address that in a moment.

First, let me join the long, long line of people delighted to see so many women in The Last Jedi. Star Wars has always been reasonably friendly to women in leadership for the Rebels, but the Empire and First Order have kind of been boys’ clubs until now. In The Last Jedi, I saw women working desk jobs for the First Order, down in the trenches working the switchboards with the buttons and the blinky lights. They call to mind a lot of women we know — working a crap job for a giant corporation because that’s how you keep the bills paid.

The First Order’s highest ranking woman actually appeared in the preceding movie. Captain Phasma made quite an impression in The Force Awakens, with her blinged-out Stormtrooper armor. In the giant corporation that is the First Order, Phasma is like so many of us out here toughing it out on the day job. She’s better than the drama that Supreme Leader Snoke uses to keep Kylo Ren and General Hux circling around each other, and she knows it. She’s not just trying to avoid the Disciplinary Chokey-Doke ™. She’s about getting her job done because that’s what effective leaders do. But all that hard work isn’t getting her the attention she deserves. The First Order rewards drama a lot faster than hard work. Raise your hand if that sounds like your job beneath the great ceiling of glass.

I want to see more of the woman in the gleaming armor (with a red-trimmed cape, no less), so I hope Finn didn’t succeed in killing her. I’m approaching this question the way I would approach it in a soap opera — no one is dead until there’s been an open-casket funeral and the box is in the hole. But Star Wars killed off Darth Maul just as he was becoming the most interesting character in his film. They’ve taken out characters with strong potential before. I was just hoping not to see that mistake more than once.

There is apparently a movement to ship Kylo Ren and Rey. That actually makes sense to me on one level. Over the years, I’ve had many, many friends who wanted to set me up with the only other black person they knew because we “have so much in common.” Sticking Kylo Ren together with Rey makes the same kind of sense, and it promises to have the same kind of results. The fact that Kylo Ren and Rey are both strong in the Force is not enough to build a dinner date on, much less a relationship. Kylo Ren and Rey are both living in a vacuum right now, so they can’t see that.

But I do. I see it.

Before I saw the movie, one of the spoilers that slipped through to me was that the mystery of Rey’s parents would be solved at last. I like Rey, so I was a little curious about who her parents are. I didn’t think Luke Skywalker would repeat the cycle of well intentioned abandonment that marked his own childhood. But who else could her parents be? Who else did I know?

Somehow I got to the end of the film with no answers. Concerned that I had missed something, I turned reluctantly to the Internet. At what point had the mystery of Rey’s parents been solved?

The answer was unexpected.

Rey’s parents were nobodies from nowhere who sold their child to get a fix and were later buried in a shallow, unmarked grave, forgotten by a world that was better off without them. We know that, the Internet says, because Kylo Ren says so.

He did say that, yes. I remember. I’m just surprised anyone believes him.

Sit down with your Aunt Alexa for a moment. This is important.

Kylo Ren — who needs to keep a shirt on at all times because the unnatural pallor of that poorly defined torso is not sexy at all, pookie — is lying to Rey. I think a lot of you have been told a lie just like this. I thought you knew it was a lie, but now I’m not so sure. So I want to help you out.

A person who cares about you will not tell you that you are nobody from nowhere who came from nothing. He will not do that even if he knows it to be true. He will not do that even if you know it to be true. He will definitely not do that if he knows this is something that bothers you. This is not to say that he will run along behind you, polishing your ego. Not at all. He might not constantly sing your praises to the mountains — but he will not tell you that you are insignificant, or that any part of your identity is insignificant.

You know who does tell you that you’re nobody?

That predictable, played-out lie is the trademark of a man who has figured out (a) that you are out of his league and (b) that you have not yet discovered this. You are nobody from nowhere who came from nothing, and you have no significance at all … except to me. Your Aunt Alexa and most of your friends can all name one useless dude who tried it with them because he had nothing to offer and he knew it. He probably needed to keep all his clothes on, too.

I hear some of you out there. But Vader —

It’s true that Darth Vader also gave Luke Skywalker some unwanted news about his parents. That situation was very different. For one thing, Vader was telling Luke the truth. His information was about as reliable as it gets. Vader was also trying to get Luke on the same side of the Force. Vader was trying to lift Luke up with him, using the truth. Kylo Ren is trying to drag Rey down with a lie.

I love you because we’re the same is a very different message from you can’t leave because you don’t have anything else. If you don’t hear me say anything else today, I need you to hear that.

The long road from farm boy to Jedi Knight to Jedi Master has not been kind to Luke Skywalker. His decision to follow Obi-Wan brought him to the highest point in his life, a place of meaning and purpose and fulfillment and enlightment. And then the bottom fell out, and the way of the Jedi cost Luke everything he had. This is the Luke who greets us at the beginning of the film.

Mark Hamill said, at one point, that he was opposed to where director Rian Johnson was taking his character. “[A] Jedi doesn’t give up,” Hamill said. The idea that Luke would find himself in such a dark place, no matter the circumstances, was simply unthinkable.

That really spoke to me. Because I am not in a place emotionally to hear from someone who never gives up. I’m tired. I’ve given up. And the idea that I would find myself in such a dark place was once unthinkable to me, too.

In a film filled with strong and vulnerable and multi-dimensional female characters, I saw myself most clearly in Luke. He doesn’t want to be involved in anyone’s spiritual transformation anymore. He wants to be left the hell alone and leave other people the hell alone in return. When I saw Luke hiking up to the Venerable Jedi Tree with a good old-fashioned firebomb in one hand, I pumped my fist. I don’t need another cheerleader. I need a good old-fashioned firebomb and a venerable target at which to hurl it.

Yoda’s appearance, just as Luke is about to let that firebomb fly, turns the film away from its slow but inexorable march into the dark. Yoda being Yoda, he does this in a way that feels backwards to the rest of us. He doesn’t stop Luke from burning down the tree. He starts the fire himself.

It raises an important set of questions.

When the tree is gone, Luke will remain. Who is he now, in the ashes? What will he do now that he’s closed the door on his past?

What will he make of his freedom from the order and structure that informed his entire life?

It’s a big question. Luke finds an answer in his most defining moment, before he truly passes the torch to Rey.

That question is out there for all of us. Who will we be after Burning It All Down? What will we do in the ashes?

I didn’t need a cheerleader or someone who never gives up, but dammit, I needed that question. I needed that as much as I needed to Burn It All Down. I think Hamill saw that for himself, too, because he walked back his doubts about the film and his character upon further consideration.

I don’t think fandom is entirely ready for all that. Not right away. There’s a reason AMC Theatres felt they needed to warn people that the interval of silence in the middle of the story was intentional and not a defect in the sound system. Some people aren’t ready, and some of them won’t be ready for a long time.

But are you? Are you ready to consider who you actually are, without the identity and the structure you’ve been trying to grow into?

Isn’t it worth asking?

Follow Lady Smut.

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.

 

 

 

 

New Year, New Man, New Approach

1 Jan

By Elizabeth Shore

Happy new year, Sexies! Candles are all blown out on the old year and we’ve lit them brightly for the new one. Adios 2017. Helloooo 2018. How ya doin?

If you’re anything like me, when the commercials come on for whatever TV marathon stuff-your-face-while-in-jammies fest you happen to be watching on new year’s day, you start to ponder. What will the new year bring? New job? New book contract? New slim body? New president?? (one can dream). Or, if you’re like one of my very best girlfriends, hope springs eternal for a new man in the new year.

For many the new year is time for change, which makes it the opportune moment to shed that frustrating loser you’ve been dating and get yourself a real man. Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Onine dating sites see anywhere from a 20 to 60 percent spike in usage during the first month of the year. But for my girlfriend, whom I’ll call Destiny, looking for a new man isn’t just something she does as the calendar turns to January. It’s what she does throughout the year, every year.

Destiny wants love more than she wants health insurance (she has none, but don’t tell), or money (very little), or any other fill-in-the-blank aspirational juggernaut that many of us strive for. Not my Destiny. Forget that other nonsense! Her hope, above all else, is to find her soulmate. Her lover. Her man. The guy with whom she can laugh, and grow old, and love above all others. In her heart of hearts she believes he’s out there; she just has to find him. There is one little catch, however, Destiny’s pool of candidates is pretty selective. It’s not the whole xy 35-55 age range across the globe type deal. Oh, no. Oh, hell no. Destiny’s future man must be tall, dark, and handsome. Literally. ‘Cause for her forever man, she’ll only consider African American guys. Why? It’s who she’s physically attracted to.

Trust me, I get the attraction thing. Let’s say you’re sitting with your besties at a bar and two hot dudes walk in. One’s a tall, fit, blond Swedish-type guy, and the other’s his equal except he’s Latin. Who ya gonna choose? Or maybe it’s more accurate to say, who’s nature gonna choose for you? We all have our types, right? And we can’t help who we’re attracted to, right? It’s nature!

Well, hold on there, pardner. The good folks at Psychology Today have something to say about that. Evolution definitely plays a part in desire. By nature, men are drawn toward women who appear fertile. Emphasis on appear. Even if your childbearing days are far in the rearview mirror, looking young and youthful – as marketers in the annual $64 billion U.S. cosmetics industry are quick to point out – is a must for attracting a mate. The same is true for women toward men. Statistically speaking, we’re far more attracted to strong men who seem like they can provide and protect. It’s evolutionary, my dear.

But what about that whole “type” thing? The fact that Destiny will only consider African American guys. I admire her eternal optimism, but it does seem as if she’s vastly limiting her prospects, no? What if she met a ginger, average height, average looks, but super funny and a fabulous supporter and provider guy, for whom kids and family are equally important for him as they are for her? If she writes him off without a speck of consideration there’s every danger she’s missing out on an amazing future mate.

The Psychology Today article, “Laws of Attraction,” says that when people state they have a type, what they really mean is they have a “preference.” You’d prefer a brunette to a blond, for example, if you could paint a picture of your ultimate guy. But being stuck on a type limits your opportunity for love. Instead, advises Psychology Today, date yourself out of it. Broaden your range. Take chances. Consider potential partners who don’t at first glance make you swoon. What they might do, in the long run, is make you fall in love.

So cheers to 2018 and to expanding our worlds. I’ll drink to that. Happy new year, everyone!

Elizabeth Shore writes contemporary and historical erotic romance. She’s the author of Hot Bayou Nights, Desire Rising, The Lady Smut Book of Dark Desires and (as Liz Madison) Season of Splendor and With His Promise. Her next release, Hot Bayou Fire, the second in the Bayou series, will be out in 2018. Release date announced as soon as it’s known. 

 

 

 

How I Married the Rock Star

1 Dec

 

By Alexa Day

In 1992, I married a rock star. Did you know?

I’m sure some people thought I was one of his phases. That was a big part of his career, the transition from one part of his identity to another. I’m sure people thought this was like that. Something new for him to try out.

How many times have you heard that one, right? I’ve always wanted to try one.

But this wasn’t like that at all. The man the world knew as a rock star was very different at home. When we were together, we didn’t have to wear the faces we presented to the world outside. We were just … us. Just the two of us, boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife, father and mother. Just us.

Our 25-year relationship might be the most vanilla thing he had ever done. But he made it extraordinary.

Fifteen days ago, I married a millionaire. Did you know?

When we started seeing each other, I didn’t know about Reddit, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t follow tennis. I wasn’t so sure about him at first. We spent a lot of time together, just hanging out. Six hours wandering around Paris. The rest grew out of that.

I wore three dresses at the wedding, starting off with a beautiful ball gown. It came with a cape. The sort of thing girls dream of wearing. Something that would let them be superheroes and princesses at the same time.

He called me a queen. He said his whole life had led him to me.

In the end, we were swept away on carousel horses.

Next spring, I’m going to marry a prince. Did you know?

How do you meet a prince? Through a well-connected friend. The same way lots of women meet princes. The same way they meet us, if they’re lucky.

His family doesn’t do things small. Spectacle might well be a shared middle name. But he and his brother know that all the opulence in the world can’t save a failing marriage, and the two of them know what makes a relationship work. More importantly, they care about what makes a relationship work. We were actually making dinner when he proposed. The prince and I. Making dinner.

The wedding’s going to be enormous. A word can’t capture how enormous it’s going to be.

After that, though, I think we go right back to being a couple living in the public eye, using the attention to do good for others, and enjoying dinners at home.

I remember the first time I heard I wasn’t beautiful.

I remember the first time someone let me know I wasn’t special.

I remember the first time I was told I’d never get married unless I shrank some part of myself and made myself small. I was too much. Too smart. Too talented. Too plain-spoken. Who would want that, after all? Who did I think I was?

I’m not the only one. You have friends — a lot of friends, I promise — who had exactly the same experience. If you’re good friends, she might tell you who let her in on these essential truths. She might tell you who made sure she knew she was so undesirable. She might not tell you. She might not ever tell anyone because she still feels a little silly for thinking she was beautiful and smart and capable and good enough and wonderful, just as she was.

The truth became a pericardium of stone. Protective at first for a little girl, or so everyone says when they realize there isn’t really an excuse for telling a little girl she isn’t beautiful. No one says that the stony wall will stifle a woman’s heart as she grows and the barrier doesn’t. That kind of a warning might lead her to think that the wall is unnecessary, and that really would be a problem. She has to live with the truth of her smallness and inadequacy, the reality that she is not beautiful, in a world wallpapered with cartoons that depict her as a man or an ape wearing a dress, where the only literature about her glorifies her for the depth and nobility of her endless suffering.

We’re not supposed to marry rock stars and millionaires.

We’re not supposed to wear glittering ball gowns with bejeweled capes.

We are certainly not supposed to face all the ways our lives will change when we join a royal family.

We’re supposed to live with the truth. Someone told us so, and they wouldn’t have sealed our hearts up with words like “not beautiful” and “not special” and “who do you think you are” if there were no truth to these words.

So it matters when someone tells any one of us that love is very different from the tomb we are taught it is.

It matters when he makes his way under or around or through the wall, like it doesn’t exist. It matters when he shows us a way under or around or through the wall.

It matters when he says, “Of course you’re beautiful! Who said that foolishness?!”

Or when he says he couldn’t sleep before your first date, like the rock star did.

Or when he says your life together is a fairy tale, like the millionaire did.

Or when he says he knew you were his match immediately upon being introduced, like the prince did.

When something like that happens to one of us, or three of us, or more of us, it happens to all of us, just like it’s happened to me.

So we all married the rock star and the millionaire, and next May, our family trees will reach up from slavery into the British royal family.

Maybe it shouldn’t be amazing, but it is.

So enjoy the spotlight. Revel in the magic.

And don’t forget to bring a little girl with you.

Follow Lady Smut.

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.

 

Whiny, Pathetic Losers Who Can’t Get Laid – And Why You Should Know About Them

13 Nov

By Elizabeth Shore

Remember right around this time last year when many of us were more than ready to kick the hot mess of 2016 to the curb? Don’t blink, but we’re now practically through 2017. While this year has had its share of crap, there’s positive momentum as we’re heading into the home stretch. It’s empowering and showing no signs of slowing down, and I for one am completely pumped. How ’bout you?

Let’s review. After the paralyzing shock of having a misogynistic, narciscisstic man baby elected president had subsided enough for rational thought to emerge, women roared to action. March on Washington 2017 in January saw millions-millions!– participating across the globe. Take that, you disgusting, self-professing, I-grab-women-by-the-p**ssies jerk. It was a good start. And we’re headed toward a strong finish. Women in 2017 decided their crap meter had reached its limit. A few brave souls spoke up, and then more, and then the tsunami wave began. Now it seems like every time we turn around there’s another male celebrity being exposed (as many of these cretins were wont to do toward their victims) as sex offenders. And that’s a very good thing.

Except, not everyone thinks so. Enter, the incels.

Incel is a portmanteau of involuntary and celibate. Incels are frustrated dickheads whose interaction with women has been so horrendously unsuccessful that it’s resulted in them never getting laid. Not surprisingly, they don’t like that. It’s made them angry. Very, very angry. Like any really pissed-off group of people, they come together to vent their frustrations. In the case of the incels, to rue the day they ever met a woman. After much gnashing of teeth and spewing of venom, their unified conclusion to deal with the double X chromosomes also known as woman is to encourage violence against them.

These sad sacks used to gather virtually in the subreddit r/Incels, but recently Reddit announced, as part of their policy to ban content that “encourages, glorifies, incites or calls for violence or physical harm against an individual or group of people,” that they were shutting down the incels’ subreddit. Incels can gather there no more. Good on ya, Reddit! Alas, there are plenty of alternate options. Widespread misogyny on the internet is alive and well. But it’s a start.

Odious incels love to cry like babies at how horribly women have treated them, never for one milligram of a second acknowledging that maybe their creepy disgusting behavior has a little something something to do with whatever shunning they’ve received. The thing about incels is that they’re not just a forum of lonely hearts. Oh, no. In the incels’ simplistic world view, their lack of sex has nothing to do with them and everything to do with women. It’s 100%, entirely, wholly those vile women who’ve caused these men to involuntarily have no sex. Because, I guess, if it weren’t for women they’d be having lots of sex…with women? Who they hate? Or…?

A part of me – while not feeling sorry for these creeps – does try to understand where the anger is coming from. Identifying the motivation behind someone’s behavior can be enormously helpful in trying to address the problem, right? So it’s a pretty safe bet that the numerous rejections from women that incels have received eventually pushed them over to the dark side. No guy wants to be emasculated. It’s the rawest form of humility for a man. So rejection from a woman, the “weaker” sex, can strip down their very maleness and turn them into stark raving, violence-promoting, scary wackos. That’s why you should know about them.

One thing the revolting incels seem to have conveniently forgotten is the shit-ass treatment that women have received from men ever since the f**king beginning of time. Rape and bullying and violence and unfair treatment from men toward women for no other reason than because of their sex. Not because women have “done” something that in their twisted minds justifies shitting on them. No no. Men have simply been brutally horrific toward women because they can be.

What do we do? We stand up and fight. We speak up. We create a movement (hello #metoo). And if we’re romance writers, we still in our minds think up beautiful, wonderful stories about the awesome relationships that can be had between the sexes. We conjur up our dream men. Men who are kind and thoughtful and supportive and generous. Oh, and super scorching hot.

So incels, how about a challenge? Why don’t you start your own romance novels? Why don’t you dream up a woman you’d love to be with and write a story about it. A story in which you’re not rejected and in which, after a few bumps along the way (cause it’s not really a very fun story without a conflict to resolve), you work together, as partners, to form a relationship. You have hot amazing sex. You share laughs. You support each other. And you always end up happy at the end.

This whole girl power thing has worked pretty well for us. I dare you to give it a try. If you’re man enough.

Elizabeth Shore writes contemporary and historical erotic romance novels. Find her on Twitter, Facebook or her website. Her next release will be Hot Bayou Fire, the second of her steamy, sultry series after Hot Bayou Nights set in the Louisiana bayou. Look for it in 2018. Release date announced here as soon as it’s known! 

 

 

Halloween With The Mother

30 Oct

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Halloween was one of The Mother’s favorite holidays, which, on the surface, was slightly incongruous. But her beloved grandmother’s birthday was on Halloween, and her death marked one of my mother’s biggest life losses. So to honor her Gran, The Mother decorated our house with somewhat antique Halloween decorations. Every year, the same spiders and witches and ghouls on our windows, never anything truly scary and always with a bit of fun to celebrate the season, and, by extension, her beloved Gran.

She put out buckets of candy on the front porch if we weren’t going to be present for trick-or-treaters, and, when the razor blades started to show up in candy bars (this was the 80s), was one of the few (if not only) mom in our neighborhood to switch to pencils or other non-edible items as a Halloween giveaway (something that didn’t make me popular in grade school, but then, nothing did).

Our youth pastor’s birthday was also on Halloween; one year, The Mother got Big Sis and I up on Halloween at the crack of ever-lovin’ dawn to go fill his church office with balloons before he got there. We were late for school; she wrote us notes. We had a blast. Even after she moved in with me and then when her health derailed and failed, there were always pumpkins and window decorations, even a few wonky gourds. One night, I came home from the day job to find a witch had slammed into my front door–face first.

Her love of Halloween is one of the many things I neglected to share about The Mother when I gave the eulogy in January at her celebration service. I’d planned to write it out rather than do my usual pantser protocol, but I wound up instead staying up till 4 AM the night before, scanning old photos to put into a slide show (that never happened because of a technical miscommunication) while scribbling down notes on a cue card as scattered thoughts about her life came to me.

So pants it, I did.

Grief is a motherfucker that screws with you left, right, and center, and one of the many ways it’s dicked with me over the last nine or so months is the regret I feel when I think of something long forgotten about The Mother–usually while driving or showering or, (awkwardly), while sitting across from my OKCupid date–now that I’ve lost the designated platform on which to share it. I expect there will be years of these moments when something 20 years old or more that I learned from her, or because of her, will come to me, sparking the never-far-from-reach grief back into the foreground of my life.

Halloween is tomorrow and while my personal appreciation for the event has ebbed and flowed over the years (I don’t find it entertaining to be scared, but I do like to wear costumes), I thought this an appropriate time to share a few of the things The Mother taught me that I failed to share back then. This will not be everything–there is likely not enough bandwidth in the world for that. But it’s a taste of who she was and why I loved her madly. Thank you in advance, lovely Lady Smutters, for this indulgence.

Always drive a block ahead. That way, you can see what you’re headed toward. I still do to this day, even if it’s at 80 mph.

Know your material and you cannot fail. As a young woman, The Mother played professional accordion. She hated it; she wanted to play the piano, but my grandfather told her they couldn’t afford a piano, so accordion it was. She’d happily left it behind by the time I came along, but would pick up piano lessons here and there until her arthritis or her financials made it impossible. Once, she forgot her music and played an entire gig completely from memory.

The sign of a true professional is in their recovery. The Mother was at nearly every voice lesson I took. She actively tried not to listen to my lessons because she didn’t want the instructor to feel as though two people were learning for the price of one. My voice teachers never saw it that way, but that was The Mother. I made many mistakes when I performed, I can’t think of any performance where something didn’t go wrong, but she had long ago taught me that professionalism isn’t in being flawless, it’s in recovering and carrying on to an excellent finish no matter what.

Put your clothes out the day before an event. This way, you can see if you need stockings/pantyhose and get to the store before Sunday morning. This was a a lesson almost always related to being ready for church on Sunday morning. I rarely was, ready that is, and the few times I was solely happened because I followed The Mother’s instructions and laid my clothes out the night before. She’d be tickled, no doubt, to know I now mentally prep my day job wardrobe, sometimes even planning multiple days ahead at once. The Mother was big on “being prepared” and often laid us down for camp and whatnot with preventative items no one else would think of (but which are now fairly commonplace), which is probably why in my purse now there are band aids, wet wipes, antiseptic gel, eye drops, eyeglass repair kit (even though I wear my contacts every day), wallet, checkbook, protein bar, backup charger for my mobile, compact, business cards (in a business card holder, natch), 14,000 lipsticks, three pairs of sunglasses (in case one or the other breaks), breath mints, and a small hairbrush. I carry a big purse. Sue me.

Carry condoms. Don’t rely on the guy; protect yourself. If you’re not too embarrassed to have sex, you can’t be too embarrassed to buy your own condoms. The Mother was an RN and spoke frankly and naturally about sex to her two (mortified) teenage daughters. Mortified or not, we grew up with a healthy “yeah, and?” attitude about where we came from and what was happening to us through puberty. Though not one to go so far as actually hand out condoms to her teenage daughters, when I went to the senior prom as a junior in high school, The Mother wrote me this beautiful, emotional note about not giving my virginity away, but to be sure I was making the choice to end it, if that’s what I decided. There was no shame or recrimination in her words, no talk of morality or religion, merely the recognition of opportunity and the desire to be sure her daughter was as prepared for such an event as she could make her–and above all know she was loved no matter what decision she made. Though I didn’t read the note until the next morning, she had nothing to worry about. She’d taught me well enough already.

Be proud of your beliefs, but always, *always*, respect others who believe differently. I grew up in a community with a predominantly Jewish population. Most families who weren’t Jewish were Catholic. My family was (is) evangelical fundamentalists. Around Easter when I was in 5th or 6th grade, it became trendy in evangelical churches to have a “Birthday Party for Jesus!”. I don’t know why this was around Easter and not Christmas, but whatever. Maybe I remember it wrong. What I don’t remember wrong is that The Mother called each and every Jewish family in my class to explain that their lack of an invitation to this party was out of respect for their beliefs and the desire not to insult them with such an invitation that they would have to refuse as the party was in direct opposition to Jewish teachings. She didn’t want the kids to feel excluded or rejected, but she also didn’t want to put their parents in an untenable situation. I don’t remember the conversation that led to me being made aware of this, but I remember the complete “of course I did” attitude with which she told me. It was the natural, respectful, and appropriate thing to do. So she did it. That too was The Mother.

Stand up for what’s right, even when your kid might hate you for it. Sophomore year of high school, I delayed a term paper on Edgar Allen Poe for months. When I was finally given a firm deadline, I wrote the thing in a Coco-Cola infused rush that had my 15-year-old self bouncing off the walls at 2 AM. I got an A on the paper; the teacher said it was one of the best things he’d ever read from a student. The Mother was aghast; she thought this rewarding of my procrastination and late-night cramming was not teaching me how to plan for adult life. She told my teacher and principal this when she dragged me into the principal’s office to demand my grade be lowered. Yes, lowered. The principal, already well aware of the futility of opposing The Mother when she was in a state–and right–order the (amused) teacher to lower my grade. I got an A-.

Play to your strengths, but never sell yourself short. She always pushed us forward, even, no, especially when we didn’t want to move. She liked to tell the story of how I screamed at her all the way up Millburn Ave after my first English honors class, yelling how it was not for me and she had to get me out of that level because the kids in that class used words like “eloquent” and “moving” to describe a poem when all I could come up with was “I liked it”. (Incidentally, this was the same class in which I wrote the Poe term paper six months later.) She insisted I stay, and she was right to do so. She also taught me to recognize when all the eloquent and movings of the world are simply complete bullshit. Throughout the rest of my life, the phrase “eloquent and moving” was one we used to recognize when it was all just bullshit and I needed to press on.

The Mother was a great cook, but a self-confessed crap baker, creative, but completely incapable of sewing anything. She once, under protest and due to extreme best-friend pressure, helped with the children’s Christmas pageant costumes; hers was the only donkey with crooked ears. Her creativity shined in decoration and hospitality. She was the Hospitality Coordinator for our church for many years, a full-time job on its own, and put on extensive missions’ banquets for hundreds of people, creative Superbowl parties to be enjoyed around evening service, somber funerals, and monthly pastoral breakfasts for some of the leading evangelical figures of our era. Big or small, each event under her tenure featured The Mother’s special flare.

She was uncomfortable in front of people, but determined to be heard. Little phased or cowed her. The Mother was one of the few women in our church of her generation to have a full-time job and not be a stay-at-home mom once Big Sis and I were full-time grade school students, and boy, did she catch flack about that. She loved the ocean but never learned to swim. She could (and did!) sit for hours on the rocks on Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine and watch the tide go in and out. She loved antique stores and at one time collected silver spoons and antique books. She was terrified of fire and of the dark, almost irrationally so. She adored music, especially classical and jazz, and took particular pleasure in complex and unusual arrangements. About ten years ago, I got her tickets to see Itzhak Perlman at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Her joy was too great for words. When they saw her alone with her walker (I could only afford the one ticket, so I took her in and turned her over to a docent charged with her care), the staff upgraded her to an empty seat in a box right above the stage from where she was able to see Perlman’s hands move on the strings of his violin. He played the entire concert from memory, choosing pieces at random that sent his pianist scrambling through pages, while Perlman merely tuned up and dredged the notes from whichever memory vault in which they’d been stored; The Mother was gobsmacked. When she emerged from the concert, she was bubbling over with effervescent glee. A life-long dream realized. The ticket hangs on her bedroom wall to this day.

We once went to a piano recital at the Steinway store; I made sure to get us seats where she’d be able to see the pianist’s hands. She didn’t only want to hear the music, she needed to see the excellence with which it was crafted. She thought herself Salieri to everyone else’s Mozart, able to recognize the genius but not produce it herself. She was wrong; she sang in church choirs her whole life until her steroid breathing treatments stole her voice. She often said her biggest fear was of losing her mind and her voice; she felt those were the only things of her worth mentioning. She was humble and gracious, truly appreciative for what people gave and shared with her, honored to be the one with whom they did. She was also demanding and picky, sometimes hard to please because of both, even as she took genuine joy and pleasure in the smallest and simplest of things Big Sis and I did or gave her. We are lucky women to know how proud she was of us and how much we were loved because she told us every day. Yet she could also be judgmental about how things should be. A properly complex and challenging lady.

Remember to be silly and laugh at life. Our family vacations were spent in the Pocono Mountains and usually involved my father, bless him, making an extra trip up in our VW Rabbit with luggage and supplies. Back then, the closest supermarket was a 45-minute drive away, so we brought everything in with us. One year, after we’d arrived and were all unpacking, we heard The Mother laughing hysterically from her bedroom. She’d packed every single pair of shoes she owned…and not a single pair of underpants. Every time she pulled out a new pair of shoes from another bag, she started laughing all over again, until she and I and Big Sis were sprawled across the bed giggling our asses off.

She once ran out of the house for work in a flurry, coat on, briefcase in hand, turned around to lock the front door, looked down…and realized she’d completely forgotten to put on her skirt. She was standing there on the front stoop in her full suit and overcoat and her half slip. While working for a healthcare review company (a job she loathed, as it made patient care into a numbers game), The Mother did a short stint with nail extensions. She didn’t even make it home before the cackling began–she’d stuck the extension into the seat-belt holder. Then she couldn’t figure out how to pick her nose with the extensions on. The list went on and on. She once, incensed by her job, drank an unusual two glasses of wine on an empty stomach, and only afterwards remembered she and my father had an event that night at church. We wound up keeping a book to record the silliness–which we called “The Book”–and the phrase “put it in The Book!” became regular lexicon for our family.

There’s no reason to be afraid of old people. The Mother worked in nursing homes. She was a gerontologist with a true heart for the elderly. From a young age, she had Big Sis and I visit her at the nursing home where she worked. She introduced us around and we even “adopted” a woman named Gladys as our honorary grandmother. Gladys went on to get her high school diploma at the age of 90 and we were there for her graduation. I don’t remember how or when Gladys died, but I remember how she lived and what she accomplished no matter her age. That too was The Mother.

Choose your signature scent. The Mother always smelled good. Chanel No 5 and Red and Shalimar and White Linen. These were the scents that would waft over me when she bent over my bed to kiss me goodbye before she left for work. She once told me a story of being at a bar when she was in nursing school. A guy she was dating at the time was there with another girl, but he had yet to notice The Mother was also there, and not so very far away either. It wasn’t too long though before she heard him say, “I smell Shalimaaaarie! I didn’t know you were here!”

Always leave the dance with the man who brought you. The Mother dated. She was a size six and 5’7″ in the 60s with hazel eyes and red/brown hair, so yeah, she was a hot ticket. At one point, she dated five guys at the same time who all had names that started with “D”. But when there were three guys waiting for her at the hospital front desk, she went out the back door with my father.

Goodbye is not forever. When I was fourteen and had to have spinal tumors removed, life-threatening tumors that were wrapped around my abdominal aorta, The Mother, the RN, had to let me go into the operating room alone to face death and maybe conquer it. (Spoiler alert: I did.) She couldn’t and didn’t know whether she would again see me alive. But she had faith that she would see me soon one way or the other–either in this life or in eternity. And so the last thing she said to me before they wheeled me away was “see you soon” trusting that indeed, she would.  After that life-changing event, whenever we took leave of one another, for the day, for a month, for however long we’d be apart, we would say “see you soon”, sure that we indeed would do just that, one way or the other.

When I took my leave from her after her passing, my final words to her were “see you soon”.

That too, was The Mother.

 

Kiersten Hallie Krum writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. She is the award-winning author of Wild on the Rocks, and its follow-up, SEALed With a Twist. She is also a past winner of the Emily Award for unpublished novels.

A member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Long Island Romance Writers, Kiersten has been working in book publishing for more than twenty years in marketing and promotion. At other times in her career, she’s worked back stage for a regional theater, managed advertorials for a commerce newspaper in the World Trade Center, and served as senior editor for a pharmaceutical advertising agency.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. Born and bred in New Jersey (and accent free), Kiersten sings as easily, and as frequently, as she breathes, drives fast with the windows down and the music up, likes to randomly switch accents for kicks and giggles, and would be happy to spend all her money traveling for the rest of her life.

The ‘O’ in ‘Team’: Would You Hire a Sex Coach?

11 Jul
You could go all the way. Heyo!

You could go all the way. Heyo!

By Alexa Day

Hello, neighbors! I’m hard at work this morning — FOR YOU — but I wanted to leave you with something to think about today. So think about this oldie but goodie from way back when. I’ll catch up to you again soon.

As part of my Post-Tax Clutter Purge and Shred Festival, I gathered up a lot of my old magazines to send to various magazine-seeking charities. Among this year’s odd discoveries were a stash of Cosmopolitans (not sure how those got here), a Playgirl (I know exactly how that got here), a People Sexiest Man Alive issue with Pierce Brosnan on the cover, and the June 2012 issue of GQ.

I got rid of the Cosmos, stashed the Playgirl and the People, and sat down with the GQ. I always enjoy my time with GQ. It’s nice to keep track of high fashion for men because real life is not providing me with useful examples of what erotic romance characters wear. But the June 2012 issue answered two questions for me and raised a third.

Question 1: What is this fascination with Michael Fassbender? The June 2012 issue features a lovely interview with Mr. Fassbender, who is a better looking fellow than I had first supposed. I think I was wrongly blaming him for whatever is now happening to the X-Men movie franchise. I hope he’ll forgive me for that someday.

Question 2: Where has Mark Strong been all my life? Mr. Strong is in the June 2012 issue, too, along with a handful of iconic movie villains. Big as life, with a safety pin in his mouth. He’s been right in front of me, apparently. I spent a little time imagining how the words “right in front of you” would sound in that voice. Then I had a really cold beverage and returned to my reading.

Question 3: Would I hire a sex coach to watch me have sex in the comfort and privacy of my home and then help me out with some pointers? Here’s a link to the article I read about Eric Amaranth. Check it out, along with the best headline ever.

Would I? Would you? Think about it.

Oh, come on. If you had an answer that quickly, you didn’t really think about it. Think about it.

Tab A in the slot formation.

Tab A in the slot formation.

First, let’s look at this in a general sense. I don’t mind telling you that I don’t know everything there is to know about sex. In fact, I would shy away from people who told me they did know everything there is to know. I’m delighted to report that there’s more for me to know and that the body of knowledge gets bigger every day. I keep a reading list and a little library here. I want to achieve my best possible performance sexually, and why not? I mean, I’m not putting any pressure on myself (heyo!). I just wonder if it’s possible to have more than what I have right now, and I think that’s a nice thing to wonder about.

But would I want a coach right here on the sidelines? Do I want that sort of practical hands-on and hands-off (mine on, his off) study?

I honestly don’t know. Seriously, I can’t answer that question. With the right partner, it might make for quite the experience. Even without a partner, it still has the potential to be fascinating.

And let’s consider our alternatives. There’s book learnin’, which is spectacular but has its limits. There’s personal experience, which is as limited as the person; bedding Tom only teaches you how to bed Tom, and only as well as he knows at the time. It leaves much to learn about bedding Dick and Harry. It also leaves out the things Tom doesn’t know but would like to know if he knew about them.

On top of that, there’s the lure of knowledge for knowledge’s sake. The world offers no more seductive whisper than this: “There’s so much more to learn.”

(Darn you, Mark Strong. Darn you to heckfire.)

So would I? Would you? Let me know what you think.

And remember: there’s no ‘I’ in Lady Smut. Follow us and see.

Rules? There *Are* No Rules–When It Comes To Love

29 Jun

by Madeline Iva

Airplane ride coming up? Click to buy.

Life is messy.  We know that.  I grab a romance to escape from all that chaos that whomps down on my head every so often.  Okay, frequently.  I call romances happiness machines. Though sometimes we love romances that it makes us ugly cry.  So…okay, catharsis machines.  And yet…sometimes I yearn for less romance tidiness.  Sometimes I just really like it when an author breaks all the rules.

If you know of any romances you LOVE that ‘break the rules’ –please let us know about them.  You can comment down below or post to our Lady Smut FB page. If you reallllly want to get into the nitty gritty about sex that breaks the rules in erotic romance books or erotica–about why you like it anyway (and believe me, I’m all ears) — then you’ll want to request that we add you to our Lady Smut Speakeasy –a private group on FB. Come talk to us there and tell us allll about it. ; >

I’ve talked before about Never Sweeter and Untamed.  Both are books that had my eyes widening and saying out loud “OH MY GOD!” But here are two books that break the rules quietly — and firmly.

REMINISCENT HEARTS by Rachel De Lune has that hot, “gotta have you, rip your clothes off right now” kind of sex that I always really love.  Ohhh, but Rachel De Lune makes you wait for it.

Here’s my blurb for Reminiscent Hearts:

Lily wants the bad boy Jake.  But Lily ends up doing what any sane, intelligent heroine would do. She gets together with someone equally wonderful, without all the twisted parts, and they live happily ever after.  Until they don’t.  When Jake runs into Lily again, things have changed.  She’s totally changed.  Now there are no rules. 

So shivery delicious.  The thing is this: I was told as a would-be romance author you CAN’T DO THAT.  You can’t show the heroine falling happily in love with someone else.  Noooooo.

Why not? This book shows that you can do it, and it’s a perfectly wonderful read.

Because readers don’t like heroines who are promiscuous is why.  But coming out of the sexual dark ages, let’s be real.  Most people in life that we know have had sex with more than one partner by the time they’re thirty.  And they’ve been in more than one happy relationship.  If you read the book, it’s quite clear that Lily is about as far from promiscuous as you can get without belonging to a religious cult or something.

But I have to say, that I quite like and cheer for someone who doesn’t succumb to the alpha male treatment, who doesn’t sign up for a relationship with a young ass-hat.  Jake needs to grow up some and gain some control–and he’s not ready for Lily until then…he doesn’t deserve her until then.

I whiffled right through it in one plane ride.  You will enjoy it too! Buy it here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MTBPL5O?tag=books2read02-20

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reminiscent-Hearts-Rachel-Lune/dp/194645415X

itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/reminiscent-hearts/id1198006612

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/reminiscent-hearts

$4.99. Click to buy.

THE ART OF THREE by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese is a book I’ve just started, so I can’t say anything about where it goes or how it ends–or even what kind of sex is in it.  It’s described as “contemporary romance/queer romance”. I’m already getting the feeling this is definitely NOT erotic romance and that with two bi-sexual men, it’s not menage either.  It’s polyamory.

I’m finding it terrifically soothing.

So far, everyone is behaving well towards each other, even though the characters constantly find themselves in social situations that are tricky to navigate.  I’m just at the part where the hot movie star is not seducing his hot male co-star, because the co-star is too sleepy. Yes, it’s that kind of book.  If you’re looking for a romance that’s modern, that celebrates instead of clashes, you’ll want this book.  It’s as good as settling down on your couch with a throw and the best cup of tea ever.

Buy it here:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Three-Erin-McRae-ebook/dp/B01MZ4TY7Y

Oh, and check out their website: https://avian30.com/about/

And follow them on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Erin.and.Racheline

Meanwhile, follow us on Lady Smut — we’ll soothe your sensitive soul.

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

Disclaimer: I met Rachel De Lune recently at a writing retreat and we instantly bonded, I now consider her a friend.  I know Rachel Maltese via a facebook group we both joined.  

%d bloggers like this: