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Sex Robot Anxiety: Alexa, Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?

10 Jan
I still think we'll all eventually have our own robot gunslingers. We just need to be very careful with them.

I still think we’ll all eventually have our own robot gunslingers. We just need to be very careful with them.

By Alexa Day

Am I obsessed with sex robots? I’m not sure obsessed is the right word. I prefer enthusiastic. I’m enthusiastic about sex robots.

And I really think we’re close to making sex robots a reality. I mean, we have most of the component parts out here right now.

For the first time, I’m a little worried about that.

Before I get to my concerns about the future, let’s have a quick look at where we are now.

Until recently, the reality of the sex robot was sufficient to dampen my enthusiasm (and not in a good way — heyo!). The real sex robots, predominantly women for male consumers, honestly didn’t look all that good. I don’t mean that they didn’t look hot. I mean that they didn’t look human. The average mannequin was a more attractive partner.

Sinthetics is changing the game. Elizabeth Shore wrote about them last month. They’re featured in a Vice Video, where the host Karley Sciortino commissions a sex doll named Gabriel with a sculpted body, blue eyes, and an erection that won’t quit until Karley wants it to. Gabriel was made by sex-positive people with a real eye for detail. You can see the veins in his arms. He has body hair. Thanks to Sinthetics, male sex dolls look pretty damned good.
(If you skipped the video last month, you missed out big time. Gabriel’s not shy about full frontal. Seriously.)

As hot as the modern male sex doll is, what separates him from the sex robot we’ve been talking about is a brain. We need him to understand what we’re saying, what we mean by what we’re saying, and what we might want later.
So where is our fabulous sex doll going to find a brain?

Ask Alexa. Not me. The other Alexa.

Amazon’s Echo Dot connects users to the Alexa Voice Service, a powerful artificial intelligence that recognizes and responds to a multitude of commands. Alexa knows your morning commute. She can read you the headlines. She’ll adjust the temperature in the living room. And the best part is that Alexa is learning as she goes. Amazon promises that the Echo Dot is adapting to its user’s “speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.” The more you ask of Alexa, the more she learns about you.

You don’t have to be terribly pervy to see the possibilities here (but it helps, I think). Alexa’s brain in Gabriel’s body seems like a fantastic idea, right? Aren’t you excited about the chance to educate your new friend?

Slow down, neighbors. Didn’t you read Frankenstein? That sounded like a fantastic idea at one point, too, but that snowball went downhill very, very quickly. We all have a lot to deal with right now, between smashing the patriarchy, protecting reproductive rights, maintaining our Netflix queues, and things of that nature. We won’t have time to chase a suddenly willful Gabriel all over creation, and we don’t know how quickly his hungry brain learns things. So we need to anticipate a couple of problems now.

We have an advantage over the Echo Dot in that we can move independently and it can’t. We could put the Dot into the underwear drawer if it starts getting a little ahead of itself. There’s a limit to how much it can do if it becomes disenchanted with its servile role in the household. Our robot friend isn’t going to be like that. I’m thinking about the Synths in the AMC show Humans. The Synths think independently enough to have secrets. It’s a big jump from following orders to keeping secrets, sure, but all a robot has to know in order to keep a secret is that knowing the truth will displease its owner. The sex robot’s job is to make you happy. How long do you think it would take our robot’s new brain to figure out that you would be better off not knowing the whole truth about something? It might start off innocently enough — one well executed surprise would teach our robot that withholding the truth sometimes pleases you. But once we’re not in complete control of disclosure, problems are going to arise.

The other problem is, well, people. Other people.

We aren’t out to take advantage of the sex robot, of course. To the extent a robot consents to sex, we’ll only be engaged in consensual activity. This is more about partner availability, the ability to have sex without having to make an effort to find an attractive partner whose presence we can tolerate. We are not awful people. We’re just about convenience and efficiency.

But awful people exist.

If you really want to be depressed by all of this, check out the brief documentary My Sex Robot. Along with all the rudimentary robots, you’ll find a host of men who will cheerfully tell you that the best part of having a sex robot is that she can’t say no. It’s kind of disturbing.

Is it possible to rape a sex robot? If it has a brain like the one we’re talking about, then I think the answer is yes. At the very least, the question invites discussion. Ideally, that discussion involves our new robot friend.

Damn. All I wanted was a robotic sex partner. Now that he sounds expensive and complicated, I might be forced to re-evaluate things.

And I will.

I promise.

Someday.

Are we moving too fast? Am I worrying about the wrong things? Let’s consider it in the comments.

And follow Lady Smut. We’ll get you all the nicest stuff.

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.

 

Seriously Stacked: Extremely Curvy Women

27 May

ChristinaThere are certain women in popular culture that rivet our attention with their seriously stacked, uber-curvy feminine bodies.  These bodies at the extreme end of the female spectrum–exaggerated and seemingly made for sex–fascinate us and drive a celebrity image.

There is something larger than life about all these women.  They are not simply actresses –they are vixens, femme fetales, and divas.  Add brains to all that or a great sense of humor, or–like Adele–a vibrant personality, and the experience goes sideways — our society just doesn’t quite know how to deal with so much woman taking up so much space. (There was a reason Marilyn Monroe played dumb.)

scarlettThe uber-curvy–as I think of them–are super sexualized by society–to the point where even an aspect of their innocence seems sexual. I also see these women as having a kind of vulnerability.  Even for the narcissistic facing a continuous onslaught of sexualized attention has got to be exhausting.  Meanwhile, these women have got to wear a bra at all times–or watch their booty–or both.   They have to be careful to pick out clothes that fit in a certain way –clothes that aren’t over embellished or boxy cut or baggy–if they wish to avoid looking frumpy and fat.   Kim Kardashian–the most reviled of them all–is actually the most dedicated in providing clothing designs for curvy women that flatter figures like hers.

LisaMuseMeanwhile, the ‘rape-y’ romances of the 80’s  played up this type of women and her body by the use of what academic scholars call ‘gendered fate’.  The basic idea is that those crazy curves inspire instant bodice ripping from any ‘real man’.  So the heroine, because of her body and gender–her beauty essentially–would be ‘fated’ to suffer from unwanted passion.  I.e. men were going to try and rape her.  She could either submit to that passion in the end (with the hero) or resist it to the bitter end (with the villain).  The brains & personality she had were going to provide an irresistible compelling goad to the hero, making him ‘tame’ her with his sexual prowess until she was breathless and weakly trembling afterwards with complexicated feelings.

Eva vampNowadays a lot of romances are on the more chaste side and they feature ‘relatable’ women — women that some of us aspire to be.  She’s not overly endowed, she’s much more trim.  It’s even okay if she’s sorta normal.  If men are driven compulsively into her embrace it’s because she’s good with dogs, she’s sassy, and she’s always helping others out.

The advent of erotic romance channelled the ‘gendered fate’ of the 80’s in a different direction.  The idea of consent and agency in women has firmly taken hold, and women of all shapes and sizes can find themselves surrounded by sex fiends in these romances. ;>

So where have all the crazy-curvy women gone? Today we have a category  called ‘Rubenesque’, ‘Voluptuous’, or ‘Full-figured’ in erotic romance.  You can go to an online publisher and search for this category by genre/sub-genre.  Beware: you might become confused and think you’re not in the right section because few, if any, of the women on the covers are actually full figured or uber-curvy.  This apparently is the fault of women readers who are less drawn to those covers…so I’ve been told. (I’m highly skeptical of this.  If you had a model like Christina Hendricks on the cover I think people would buy it.)

lena

Does Lena Dunham–creator and star of ‘Girls’ use her oft-naked body in a fetishistic way? (Are we supposed to be compellingly repulsed?) Or is she normalizing larger body sizes?

But what does ‘Rubenesque’ mean exactly? Is ‘rubenesque’ a politically correct way to say ‘fat’?  Are we talking Crystal Renn or Lena Dunham?  I read a novel by a fairly popular erotic romance author that had three love stories in it.  One involved a ‘rubenesque’ character.  Despite the authors best intentions there was a certain way in which she handled that character that rang a tad hollow–though props to her for trying.

For instance, unlike the other heroines, this character was always described in exactly the same way by all the men and women.  It was as if all the other characters saw her in this very specific, yet positive way. That doesn’t happen in real life.  Men are definitely drawn to different looking women in different ways–and that’s okay, why shouldn’t it be? More over, it’s completely different from having anti-fat attitudes.  Someone looks at a specific persona and sees eye candy. Other get hard or wet.  Others still feel a strong compelling sense of charisma or attraction — they are seeing someone they might want to mate with long term.

CrystalThe author I was reading used three stock phrases to describe her curvy heroine over and over again.  It was as if she had to keep reminding the audience that the character was different to reinforce the curviness as a kind of fetish.  Or perhaps she was slapping on a label to the character and didn’t really see her heroine beyond that label.  This author didn’t spend nearly as much time describing the other heroines throughout the book — instead it was their reactions to the sex they were having that took center stage.

Basically, women who aren’t a standard size and yet are incredibly sexy face a roller-coaster in terms of their status and self esteem.  If you aren’t a sex goddess then you aren’t being seen.

One thing that’s interesting or challenging about Christina Hendricks and her place in La-la Land is that she refuses to be called plus size or curvy or any other size-related term.  Woe to the  interviewer who tries.  She wants to be seen as an actress first and last, letting the public’s obsession with her body remain unspoken and sizzling beneath the surface.

Christina when she's not all glamor-ama.

Christina when she’s not all glamor-ama.

On the other hand, she’s making herself a little less relatable to everyday women who do categorize themselves as not fitting into that standard size 2 mold and who are looking for someone to champion them in another category.  However, in taking this stance she is doing something quite feminist and political–by insisting on being mainstreamed with the rest of the Hollywood starlets out there, she is breaking down the ghetto-ization of women who don’t fit Hollywood’s norms.  Go Christina!

Mmm, Smells Like Heroine To Me

22 Apr

You’re a bitch, you’re shallow, you’re selfish,” so says Tracey, a matchmaker on the reality TV show Ready For Love.  She’s reporting how she is willing to give it straight up to women about why they’re not married.  Mmmm, smells like a potential heroine to me. 

Ernesto

Ernesto. Can you say cute?

Pamela Palmer admits her love of deeply flawed heroes who must be redeemed, but I love me a flawed heroine just as much.  The ugly duckling, the woman afraid of intimacy…and the woman who has got a lot of great qualities, but some big honking flaws as well.  I think my obsession stems from my mother telling me The Taming of The Shrew as a bed time story when I was growing up.  I found the implied comparison between Kate and myself annoying when I was nine, but the trope of a beauty-in-the-rough who must be tamed obviously stuck with me through the years.

In last week’s show we saw some beauty, but also some beasts as the claws come out over the new guys up for grabs. Ben and Enrnesto were presented to their potential matches, and at the end of the show the women were called out on their bad behavior by the experts.

I watched one woman try to hold it together.  Her chin would come up and her lips tighten like she’d sucked on a lemon.  She did not like anyone—except Ernesto.  She was heartily sick of the other women but managed with sheer effort to rapidly pull her emotions together as soon as he came around and present him with a sense of herself: a flash of flame, and a hint of playfulness.  Yet she shot herself in the foot running down the other women in the house when she had Ernesto’s full attention.  She really just needed to vent a little, but his time is too precious for such ordinary activities and in the end she was sent home, thinking she was misunderstood.

Matt the matchmaker points out that even though she was feeling misunderstood: “She said she was feeling awkward, but her response to feeling uncomfortable is negative.  The dream partner is not an automatic drama queen when things aren’t ideal.”

Ben likes a woman who keeps him on his toes.

Ben likes a woman who keeps him on his toes.

I want to say back to Matt: but so many men marry drama queens! Face it: men love drama.  The next guy after Ernesto was Ben and when his ex is around he snaps to.  What’s going to happen next? Ben doesn’t know when he’s around her and he relishes the cheap adrenaline rush she brings to the table.

Mindy is only 80% selfish.

Mindy is only 80% selfish.

I didn’t really care for the contestant sent home but I was left to ponder what we want in a heroine.  Myself, I find a misunderstood heroine so appealing. After all, misunderstood guys are catnip for women.

Aubrey hates you.

Aubrey hates you.

Edward in Twilight is a classic example of the ‘misunderstood’ guy.   He’s not moody and unsocial, daddy, he’s just a vampire who’s trying not to kill me.  He even says he’s the bad guy and I should stay away…See, he’s totally misunderstood. (Okay Twi-hard haters out there, don’t leap on me in the comments section.  It’s just one example. I’m sure you can think of others.)

We love the misunderstood guy, but what about the misunderstood girl?

Cloe Moretz in the Carrie Remake.  Carrie is misunderstood AND scary.

Cloe Moretz in the Carrie Remake. Carrie is misunderstood AND scary.

Could the misunderstood girl become a new kind of heroine in romance novels?

Or the Selfish Girl?

Or the Anti-social girl?

Or the Scary girl?

Or must heroines all be near-perfect, selfless and endlessly giving?

Can you think of a heroine who’s idiocyncratic and a bit indifferent to others? I think I’d be interested in her—especially if her flaws keep me laughing.

Meanwhile, I’m even more convinced that the hero of Ready For Love is Matt the matchmaker. Again, trying to keep the women from succumbing to competition Matt says: “Men value what they have to earn.”  True, Matt, so true.  But so do women.  We watch these shows because it’s 8 women fighting over one guy—if they aren’t earning his love, I don’t know who is.

Matt speaks wisdom.  Even though I disagree with him a lot.

Matt speaks wisdom. Even though I disagree with him a lot.

Matt, my hero, then says towards the end of the show: “99% of people allow the quality of their life to be affected by strangers.  Never be one of them.”  Woot!

And then there was this heart-breaking moment for me.  There’s a virgin on the show, and Tracey, another matchmaker said to her: “Instead of being vulnerable you talked about being vulnerable. Big difference.”  It’s so true, that’s exactly what happened.  But come on Tracey, baby steps.  This virgin just doesn’t know HOW to allow herself to be vulnerable.  And my heart goes out to her because she’s trying.

In the end, I deeply admire the women we watch on these shows who are feeling so uncomfortable, but they just keep trying.  These are the women who suck me in and keep me watching.

The guys slay me too.  They are intent, focused, and yes, very vulnerable themselves.  My heart melts watching them struggle to be honest, to be the good guy, and work hard—but not too hard!—at their job of finding love.

I’m a Little Gay For Nigella Lawson

14 Mar
Crazy dress

Nigella in a crazy dress.

Hey readers–have you watched this The-Voice-meets-Master-Chef show called The Taste? It’s over now, but you can catch all the episodes here.  The primary reason I watched was because I’m a huge fan of Nigella Lawson.  She is the perfect romance heroine, in my mind.  Really gorgeous, British, and she’s super into comfort food.

Her figure is whack.  Naturally slender arms and legs, total hourglass.  Very large breasted.  It’s a classic va-va-voom figure and it’s a figure that’s gotten larger, and shrunk again.  To me, she’s a very glamorous woman with a great body.  She even has crazy large ears she hides under all that hair.

I first went swooney over her cookbooks, and and of course, a million college guys sat drooling over her cooking show. While their eyes glazed over with lust, and they contemplated their sudden mother/older-woman fixation, Nigella would make some slathered and luscious yet uncomplicated dessert that required just the right amount of finger licking before it was finished.  Always sexy, in her earth-goddess way, but never cheap–that’s what I like about Nigella.

A cray-cray figure

A cray-cray figure

She’s also got that classic romance heroine arc going on in her life. After a privileged youth, she suffered tragedy with the illness and death of her first husband.  She’s overcome all that, and she’s risen as well above the bullying she’d gotten from the cooking world and British tabloids about her weight gain.  (Gordon Ramsay was particularly nasty on his show The F Word about her weight.)

She older now, too, and I fear for what kind of chemical-frankenstein-hollywood terror she could be putting face and body through to try and match up to her youth.  I actually like the way her body looks now.  It’s more real, and just as amazing to my mind.  I enjoyed seeing who she was on the show–how she was up front about what she liked and why.  We got to see her question her own strategy and try to find a way to gracefully handle the decimation of her team.

I also liked Ludo, the French Chef they had on the show.  He was the outsider, with an accent as thick as beurre blanc.  Ludo has the supreme Gallic charm and flirty sexuality–but you can see he’s taking the playing right to the edge, and that in his eyes he’s a split second away from letting go.  He also has the Gallic temper that comes out of now where like a flash flood.  His fury cracks over the head of his team, and then just as quickly goes away again.  His team was almost unbeatable in the challenges.  When he helped–they were supreme.

Ludo n NigellaHe and Nigella were the show for me.  However, if I had to choose which one I had to sleep with–as tempting as Ludo is–I’d have go with Nigella.  That’s just the way it is.  She turns straight women gay.

Anthony Bourdain meanwhile,–eh.  I mean, I think I came away liking him better than I did before I watched the show.  I’d always thought him rather arrogant before.  He’s a little too real for me.  The New Jersey guy with his sack of issues. Whereas I find something inspirational about Ludo and Nigella. The greatness of the show was that you got to see some seriously gorgeous people who were very passionate about food.  For them, the taste of great food was sex in their mouths.

Speaking of people who are passionately aroused by food — have you checked out Liz Everly’s book Saffron Nights? It’s on sale right now for $1.99 online at Barnes & Nobel.  Check it out here.

SaffronCiao!

The Reacher Influence

11 Mar

I’m clearly addicted.  I blame my sister.  She has always loved the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child and so when one came my way, I tried it.  Didn’t like it at all, I said, not confessing that I read it in one sitting.

Give me a chance, sis.

Give me a chance, sis.

Then I saw another free Jack Reacher novel at the gym.  (Did I mention that I belong to the most perfect gym ever? They give away free books there.) The second book I read was ONE SHOT — That’s the novel that the recent Jack Reacher movie is based on–the one with Tom Cruise.  The movie my sister refuses to see because Tom Cruise is 5′ 6″.

Reacher is 6′ 5″.  Reacher starts off around two-hundred pounds or so, but after enough books he’s up to two hundred and fifty pounds of killing muscle.  Reacher grinds men’s bones to make his bread.  He also lives off diner food.

Then there are the women.  They are slender, they are pretty.  They  tend to loan Reacher their cars on sight.  Then they sleep with him.  They are either incredibly competent or they have small, yet adorable children and someone has been incredibly cruel to them.

Reacher never ever owns any possessions until after a long time he compromises and begins to carry  a travel toothbrush.

Reacher was made for the reader–male or female–who has a lotta kids, a lotta mortgage, a lotta burdens and obligations. Reacher was made for the reader who leaves a strip mall on Saturdays with a car full of stuff feeling empty and weird.

The brilliance of Lee Child is that he knows how to keep you turning those pages. Child sacrifices plausibility for the sake of action, lots of action, coming at you fast, fast, fast. “Character is king”– and Reacher is nothing if not a character.   Reacher walks with total confidence, he analyses crimes with total confidence.  He matches his arrogance against the arrogance of the bad guys and he comes out on top by playing dirty as much as he possibly can.

Reacher is a funny one.  Reacher’s peferred method of starting a fight is to give a sudden, unexpected crushing head butt.

Killing FloorEver get frustrated with good guys pansy-footing around? Are you thinking as you read Don’t tie the bad guy up–he’s just going to get away? Do you ever want to chant Just kill him–just kill him! to the good guys?  Reacher is your kinda guy.  Reacher does not tie up bad guys.  He does not hand them over to the cops.  Why bother? The bad guys are very dead by the time Reacher is through.  Reacher does not aim for truth or justice, he aims to maim and kill.

Yet he’s not like Dexter–he’s not a serial killer full of self-loathing.  Reacher likes himself just fine.

Character is King

Character is King

Is it any wonder, then, that being in a profession which loves alpha heroes that I’ve noticed my own hero is suddenly displaying some alarming Reacher-like qualities? My hero is suddenly a lot less apologetic in chapter three.  He is more preoccupied with business.

Scarier still, he’s perfectly willing to revel in the lust of a super sexy moment with my heroine, but afterwards he’s no longer immediately sucked into a deep pool of emotional commitment.  Pre-Reacher my hero was denying the bond.  Now he isn’t denying it–he doesn’t feel it. He is perfectly happy in the moment they have together and with her and how it all went. His thoughts don’t go one tiny bit beyond that.

As Reacher once said, “Feelings? What are those?”

It made me shiver when I read that. I also wanted to laugh, because he’s being honest.

So readers, what should I do? Impose a No Lee Child Reading ban while I’m finishing up my novel?

On the other hand, isn’t it good when characters come alive and have a will of their own?  Maybe the Reacher voice is a reality check against my man-loving “isn’t every man at heart really a good guy and a feminist if he’s being rational and not scared or something” mind set.  I mean, I want my guys to be good guys–sure.  But I want them to be guys.

Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Talk Like A Hot Girl…While Talking About Hockey

7 Jan

There are a lotta, lotta hot guys who play national hockey.  Here’s one.

Patrick Sharp

Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks. Yum!

Here’s another.

Carter Oosterhouse.  Family man.  H-a-w-t.

Carter Oosterhouse. Family man. H-a-w-t.

On the ice, a goalie is a human padded up to look like a wall.  Not so glamorous.  Then he lifts up his helmet and—oh my!

Mike McKenna, a goalie.  6'3" of gorgeousness.

Mike McKenna, a goalie. 6’3″ of gorgeousness.

Ryan Kesler.  What position does he play? What do I care?

Ryan Kesler. What position does he play? What do I care?

I have a little story about hockey guys.  They are intense.  I went to a college hockey game once with a bunch of other girls and sat in the bleachers.  None of us went to this particular college, so we didn’t know anyone in the stands or on the team.  But there was this guy playing on the team—I coulda sworn that he was staring at me through the glass as he passed by.  But how could that be? He was playing the game—a busy, violent, frantic game.  He was slamming into tall sides of beef, and he was going to get slammed to kingdom come himself if he wasn’t paying attention.

Then at one point, they took a break, helmets went up, and he skidded to a stop right in front of the glass. In front of my spot on the bleachers where I was looking like a deer in the headlights. I don’t think I’ve ever received such a pointed stare from a guy in my life.  His hair came down past his ears, he was sweaty and tired, and that stare was not hiding anything.  It was hot, it was intense.  Suddenly I didn’t feel chilly in the ice rink.

I’m just saying.

Meanwhile, say you want to watch a little hockey in a sports bar. Say that while you’re doing this some brooding hot intense guy happens to sit next to you and he likes hockey.  Say you want to talk with him about it.  Okay, here are some quick pointers.  Women don’t have to actually know much when it comes to scoring points with guys for liking sports.  They just have to avoid making asses of themselves.

images-2

My stick curves to the right, cause that’s the way I like it.

To sleep with the guy: Hockey involves hitting the puck with a hockey stick into the goal.  It’s pretty simple.  Some guy hits the puck real hard and it goes straight to the goal—that’s called a ‘slap shot’.   Got that? Puck, goal, slap shot. Really, it’s much easier to talk about than football.

Hot Girl Line: Hey, that number 7 has a mean slap shot.

The hockey stick can curve to the left or the right.  It all depends on the player’s preference.

Hot Girl Line: So you play hockey? Which way does your stick curve?

But what if you’re interested in more than Mr. Brooding Hottie’s best slap shot at the end of the night? What if  you want to actually get to know the man? Here are some key pointers in talking hockey that will get you into a deeper conversational mode.

Positions

I can think of more interesting positions.

First the positions:

They’re is not so important, actually.  What’s important is that you won’t understand hockey until you understand that there is one key position missing from this official chart.

That is the position of The Enforcer.

You’ll notice the enforcer when you watch hockey.  He’s the guy who comes out and is doing this:

Fight

It’s not so easy fighting on skates, but we manage.

Which, admittedly is pretty messed up.  But that’s why hockey is SUCH a bad boy’s game.  Wikipedia (which is a much better source than it used to be, btw) explains The Enforcer role this way:

Patrick angry.

Patrick angry.

Enforcer is an unofficial role in ice hockey. The term is sometimes used synonymously with “fighter“, “tough guy“, or “goon“. An enforcer’s job is to deter and respond to dirty or violent play by the opposition. When such play occurs, the enforcer is expected to respond aggressively, by fighting or checking the offender. Enforcers are expected to react particularly harshly to violence against star players or goalies.

Enforcers are different from pests, players who seek to agitate opponents and distract them from the game, without necessarily fighting them. The pest’s primary role is to draw penalties from opposing players, thus “getting them off their game”, while not actually intending to fight the opposition player (although exceptions to this do occur). Pests and enforcers often play together on the same line, usually the fourth line.

Got it? The Enforcer is a sorta glamorous position on the team, but in a f***ed up way.  The Pest is not glamorous. Do not mistake a pest for an enforcer.

Mistaking the pest for the enforcer does not make you sound hot.

Mistaking the pest for the enforcer does not make you sound hot.

Hot Girl Line (while watching man emerge onto ice and head straight for another guy, and then bloody him): Is he the enforcer?

Not Hot Girl Line (while watching a pest provoke players): What a crappy enforcer.

Meanwhile, you know how some sports have strings?  Like there’s the A string, the B string and then the bench warmers? In hockey they have lines, not strings, but it’s kind of the same thing.

Not Hot Girl Line: Which line does the enforcer play?

This does not sound hot because if you read closely above, you’d remember that The Enforcer almost always plays the fourth line.

Types of line

  • The first line is usually composed of the best offensive players on the team. Teams heavily rely on this line, which generates the bulk of the team’s scoring. These players often see the highest number of minutes among forwards in a game.
  • The second line is generally composed of second-tier offensive players, and helps by adding supplementary offense to that generated by the first line while contributing more two-way play than the offensively-focused scoring line. Higher end (typically first line) players may be put on the second line to spread scoring across the lineup, making a team more difficult for opponents to defend against. This frequently happens when a team has two high-end players who play the same position.
  • The third line is often called the checking line, and is generally made up of more defensively oriented forwards and grinders. This line is often played against an opponent’s first or second lines in an effort to reduce their scoring, and physically wear them down. The third line adds less offense than the first or second lines, but generally more than the fourth.
  • The fourth line is often called the “energy line,” both because their shifts give other players a chance to rest, and because their physically oriented play is said to give their teammates an emotional boost. It is usually composed of journeymen with limited scoring potential, but strong physical play and, as often as possible, strong skating abilities. With the smallest amount of ice time, they tend to play in short bursts rather than pace themselves. Pests and enforcers usually play the fourth line.
  • The penalty kill line is a specialized line of four or three players employed when a team is shorthanded due to a penalty. As the name describes, this is a primarily defensive line meant to prevent the opposing team from scoring during their power play.

So that’s enough info to get you and Mr. Brooding Hotness into a great convo. Now go buy yourself an oversized hockey jersey (because girls look really cute in them) and get out there to a sports bar.  Have a deep conversation about your conflicted feelings regarding enforcers–What it would mean to the game if they were no longer necessary?

I want you so bad...

I want you so bad…

No homophobia on our team.

No homophobia on our team.

Meanwhile, yes, hockey is about fights, but it can also be about acceptance.  The Toronto Marlies had their whole team sign a pledge to end homophobia in ice hockey. (Sniff!)

Looking to stay home in your oversized hockey jersey instead? Maybe you’re up for some great romance reads that feature hockey?  Look no further. Amazon has a great list of hockey romances here.

Enjoy!

xx Madeline

What Men Think of Erotic Romance

3 Jan

Do you wonder what men think of erotic romance?  Sure, maybe they sneer at straight romance as being far too emotionally gooey, but Elizabeth Shore has discussed couples who read together on our blog, and this made all of us at Lady Smut wonder: given that men DO like to read erotic romance with women to get everyone in the mood, would men enjoy reading erotic romance on their own?

Author Cassandra Carr says: Men know if they can manage to engage our brains the sex will be better too.

Author Cassandra Carr says: Men know if they can manage to engage our brains the sex will be better too.

So we at Lady Smut decided to perform an experiment.  We asked three guys who were willing to read some erotic romance to give us some feedback.  Do they find these stories arousing? What do they think of this new concept of erotic romance for men?

We found a Mr. X, a Mr. Y, and a Mr. Z  who were willing to read some erotic romance by women and some erotic romance written by women but specifically written for men.  Then we asked them what they thought.  All are very well-educated, sophisticated men—and their replies were surprisingly blunt.  Here are some of their thoughts on the subject:

LADY SMUT:  Mr. X, let’s start with you. You found that you don’t really like erotic romance—not even the stuff for men?

MR X:  Some men might. I’m into hardcore nonfiction and literary fiction when I read. I’m looking for work that will make me feel invested in the characters and situations.

LADY SMUT: What do you think of the elements in erotic romance for men that seemed specifically aimed at men?  For instance, is there a focus on big breasts and things being mightily shaved in lady land?  Was this arousing?

MR X: I admit that these bits were arousing, but look, large breasts and a shaved hoo-haa aren’t the only things that arouse men.

LADY SMUT: Mr. Z, we hear you thought that some parts of the erotic romance stories you read were pretty hot?

MR Z: True.  But overall the writing came across like what women imagine guys would like. For instance, in one story a woman shows up on a first date with a gigantic suitcase full of sex toys.  Would a woman really do this on a first date? To me it seems more like what a prostitute would do.

switch me up

Author Cristal Ryder writes: I’ve had men email me about my story. It’s based on someone’s experience – although very *highly* embellished LOL

LADY SMUT:  In one particular story a dildo came out.  What was your reaction?

MR Z: Would a straight guy want a dildo anywhere near his ass? No way, no how.

LADY SMUT: We also heard that you noticed a lot of references to how hard the guy’s cock is.

MR Z: As if that’s the uppermost thought in any guy’s mind. After awhile my feeling was, “OK. I get it. Your dick’s hard. Let’s move on.”

LADY SMUT: Meanwhile, the woman in the story wants to go on and on pleasing her lover. We heard that you had a strong reaction to this element as well.

MR. Z:  In a guy’s mind if the woman still needs more then he hasn’t “conquered” her. Men view the world as a battlefield. It’s all about conquering.

Lady Smut needs to point out here that Mr. Z grew up in a foreign country and while we wanted to report his honest answers, his take on women needing to be conquered made our eyes open up wide in shock.

MR. Z: If you’ve still got the woman wanting more sex right after they finish, then she hasn’t been conquered and you have to keep going. What a guy really thinks is that he’s conquered this chick. Give him a half hour and bring in the next one for him to conquer as well.

LADY SMUT: Yowza!

We have to interject here because it’s interesting to think about Mr. Z’s reactions.  Lady Smut has heard other men—some who were also foreign, but not all—relate the same idea of “conquering” the women so that the women is completely sated.  Phrasing aside, being sated to the point that you don’t want to even move or talk after sex is certainly a great sensation.  Point noted, Mr. Z.

Meanwhile, as far as dildos and men go—Lady Smut has noticed increasing cultural references to men vis-a-vis dildos over the years.  Not only in major men’s magazines, and on TV (there’s a “first date” scene in the television WEEDS that totally plays on a dildo-for-the-man scenario.  Granted, it’s done for maximal grotesque comedic effect.) But Lady Smut has also heard stories from people at parties relating their experiences with doing this (“It was his birthday and he wanted me to, so I did.”) And of course, Lady Smut has even read of this scenario in erotic romance–Jasmine Haynes work, for instance, comes to mind.   One wouldn’t want to suggest it’s common place, but it probably happens more than one would think.

Lea Barrymire: If you can seduce a woman with words--the whispered promise of a great experience--you've got them hooked.

Lea Barrymire: If you can seduce a woman with words–the whispered promise of a great experience–you’ve got them hooked.

LADY SMUT: Mr. Y, obviously your significant other is into romance.  What part of her interests in romance do you share?

MR. Y: I share her interest in people finding their perfect mate and the tension that comes from that kind of stuff.

LADY SMUT: What’s sexy to you? Give us your top five.

MR. Y:  1) strong women

2) f/m/f threesomes

3) historical romances

LADY SMUT: (!)

MR. Y: Because they tend to be better written.

4) humor – and by that I mean a heroine who can laugh at herself

5) f/f sex scenes

I also like the men not to be too overbearing.  You know, that I haven’t found so much in reading women’s romances. The guys are real dicks.

LADY SMUT: Obviously an erotic romance line for men–like EC for MEN–is not going to be Penthouse Forum.   Do you think that the idea of erotic romance for men is a good one? If so why? What kinds of erotic romances would you like to see written for men?

MR. Y: I think it’s a good idea. You can focus on some of the things that are a little too obviously aimed at women.  Like the men taking complete care of the women and the male being overbearing, dominating jerks.

Male erotic romance can focus on scenes that you don’t find in most romances for women – like f/f/m stuff.  There’s a lot of m/f/m stuff—way more than f/f/m.

LADY SMUT: What kind of endings work for you?  Is ending with sexual gratification enough? Are you looking for HFN (Happily For Now) or are you seeking a stronger connection between the characters in the story?

MR. Y: It would depend on the length of the story, I guess.  I think all three endings–sexually gratified, HFN, HEA– could be satisfying.  Shorter stories are fine with being just sexual, but I’d want a HEA with a longer story.

LADY SMUT: Bonus question: It’s a whole new world out there for men in terms of masculinity, being open about feelings, and basically just “how to be a man”.  Do you think men need the same kind of emotional outlet for sex, romance, and feelings that women have with romance novels?

MR. Y: Yes.  For most men, their female partner is where they find that emotional outlet and they store all their intimate feelings with her.

LADY SMUT: Are there outlets for men that already exist?

MR. Y: Not as much.  Of course a lot of stories already do have romance in them – an element of romance at least.  Most thrillers have an element of romance.

LADY SMUT: Give us an example.

MR. Y: An example would be the Bourne Identity. There’s almost always an element of sexual tension in most detective stories.  But they aren’t always dealing with intimate emotional elements.

So there you have it, ladies!  Wondering what your man would think of erotic romance written for men? Try your own experiment…click on the photos in this post to link to these EC for MEN stories. Let us know how your experiment goes. ;>

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