On The Hunt For Ethical Porn

17 May

By Elizabeth Shore

Do you read Dan Savage? Does anyone not read Dan Savage? He’s been writing his internationally syndicated sex-advice column, Savage Love, since 2002. Writers to Dan’s column seek advice on everything from relationships to whether dogs should be allowed in the room during naughty time, and everything in between.

If you’re not reading Dan’s column, I’d suggest re-thinking that strategy. It’s cool. You learn stuff. For example, I now know all about Chaturbate. For those who, like me until a few days ago, weren’t hip to it, here’s the deal. Chaturbate is a sex webcam site where viewers can watch males, females, couples, or transgender folks do decadent naughty things. You can watch for free but pay in the form of tips to have certain sex acts performed by those whose cameras you’re tuned in to. Ooooh, kinky!

The reason the topic came up in a Savage Love column is because a reader wanted Dan’s opinion on whether he thinks Chaturbate is ethical. The reader’s motivation behind asking the question was because he felt as if webcam sex is “one of the safest ways for girls to do sex work.” Yet, admittedly, he wasn’t sure. He enjoys his role as voyeur but wants to do “as little harm as possible.” Enter, Dan Savage.

Dan responded by saying that in his opinion, Chaturbate seems A-OK. Good with the ethics. According to the owners of the site, as posted in Dan’s response, “The ones who are there to make money don’t work “for” Chaturbate, they work on it. When they do work on CB, although they are independent, they must agree to comply with legal documentation requirements and they must agree to act ethically and legally as set forth in our terms.”

Note to those out there seeking money-making opportunities: Chaturbate performers can make decent cash. If they promote themselves and build up a fan base, the tips can actually translate into a way to make a living. A wild way, to be sure, and one I’m not certain I’d do, but that’s because I’m a corporate sludge and have to be prim and proper in the daytime world. Someone grabbing a screen shot of me doing something blissfully sinful could splash it all over the virtual world and there goes the end of Corporate Elizabeth. But I digress…

Anyhoo, Dan’s answer on the ethics question springboarded onto another intriguing conundrum. More and more people are apparently wanting their porn to be not only hot, but ethical. (And here some folks thought porn viewers are primarily dirty – and unscrupulous – old men. Not so!) To that end, a woman recently asked him where one goes to find feminist porn. Hmmmm. Feminist…porn? It seems as glaring an oxymoron as truthful politician. Does such a thing exist? Well, of course it does. And women are watching it. According to Pornhub, women now make up one-quarter of their global audience. Since there are 64,000,000 people visiting Pornhub on any given day, that’s a lotta women watching a lotta porn.

Dan didn’t cite any specific places to go to fulfill one’s feminist porn desires, but he did point out something obvious but worth repeating: you get what you pay for. It’s easy enough to find ethical, feminist porn (Google is a wondrous tool), but be prepared to pay for it, and be OK doing so. Being an ethically responsible porn consumer, writes Dan, means this: “Paying for porn downloads helps finance projects and create careers for filmmakers and performers we like (and get off to). If you gets all your porn from Tumblr and/or the various tubes, you forfeit your right to complain about the porn that’s out there. Buy the kind of porn you like and more of the porn you like will be made.”

Ethical and feminist. A different way to think about porn. Kind of wild. Speaking of, this week we’re celebrating our own Kiersten Hallie Krum’s finalist nomination for the RONE awards for her book, Wild on the Rocks. We’d love it if you showed her a bit of wild love and hopped on over here to cast your vote for her, and then for only $.99, go ahead and score a copy to see what all the fuss is about.

To go along with Kiersten’s fabulous book, we’ve got a scavenger hunt going on here at Lady Smut. Collect our various wild confessions in our posts this week for a chance to win $10 in spending cash over at Amazon.

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

 

 

 

In Praise of the Wild Man

16 May

Be honest. Are you really that attached to civilization?

By Alexa Day

Civilization. It’s a nice place to visit, but living there has its ups and downs. So many rules. Conventions. And it’s insidious. You might not think you play by society’s rules, but if you have an opinion about the man bun, you are closer to society than you suppose.

Enter the wild man. The unprincipled savage. He might be a little unkempt — hell, sometimes, he’s downright filthy. But he can be a breath of fresh air.

You guys thought of Daryl first, didn’t you? Don’t lie.

Daryl Dixon, of The Walking Dead, is proof positive that the wild man has a hold on civilized lady viewers. Daryl doesn’t even exist in the graphic novels upon which the show is based. Indeed, he all but admits that his life before the zombie apocalypse was basically non-existent. No job. No purpose. And yet we threaten to riot if harm should befall this person with no history.

Daryl’s an unrepentant redneck, in the best possible way. While others whine about the quality of canned food post apocalypse, he’s good with a squirrel or a snake or half of a rabbit from a few days ago. And he takes some measure of pride in being filthy. Avoiding a long overdue shower in Alexandria gave him some pleasure, I think.

But we love the Dirty South’s dirtiest representative because he’s genuine. His code is his own. He’s not one to just say something to make a person feel better. (He lied to Carol once, sure, but he did it because he was the only one to recognize that she was too vulnerable for the truth.) He can relate to civilization without being swayed by it, so when he makes a moral judgment, people listen to him. And he has so little regard for polite society that it’s heart-squeezing to watch him getting attached to anyone. There might not ever be a place in our civilized world for Daryl. But when he makes a space in his loner’s heart for someone, it’s a pretty big deal.

Wilder than Daryl and yet inexplicably clean is the ultimate wild man, Tarzan. Unlike the redneck with the heart of gold, Tarzan was once part of high society. He’s chosen to spend his life away from civilization, both European and African, and make a solitary home for himself in the jungle. For the women of his day — well, for some of them, anyway — Tarzan presents a potent lure. He’s an attractive, virtuous man who won’t force them to respect civilization’s restrictive rules because he doesn’t live that way himself. He lives far from anyone who would judge, shame or diminish him, and his chosen mate would share that world with him. Everyone — well, almost everyone — wins with Tarzan.

Because Romancelandia is, above all things, a world of abundance, many species of wild men populate its pages. Bearded mountain men. Tattooed bikers. Bare-knuckled fighters. Shifters of all kinds and varieties. All guys with both the will and the ability to carry us away from the many, many pointless worries and concerns that fill our everyday lives, despite our best efforts. Once the wild man’s gotten hold of us, we’ll forget all about that nail appointment, or whether we might have worded that email differently, or if the chicken breast is going to defrost by the time we get home. Okay, he’s not the sort of guy to arrange for top-shelf bottle service at your local high-end strip club, and I definitely want to make that happen at some point. But once your savage boyfriend makes all those frivolous distractions disappear, who knows what wild ideas might take their place?

Might I suggest a little nude photography? One of my wilder adventures.

Click right here to get your vote on!

Speaking of wild adventures, this week is Suspense and Thriller week for the RONE Awards with In D’Tale magazine. My esteemed colleague Kiersten Hallie Krum is among the finalists for this year’s awards, with her book WILD ON THE ROCKS. Pop over to vote for her this week, and be sure to score your own copy of this hot story about a beach bartender and the SEAL who loves her. It’s only 99 cents. Isn’t that wild?

And because I want you to win something, too, make sure you collect our various wild confessions this week for a chance to win $10 in spending cash over at Amazon. You like spending cash, right?

Follow Lady Smut.

Something Wild This Way Comes

15 May

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

It’s Wild Week here at Lady Smut! We’re celebrating the nomination of my novel, Wild on the Rocks, by InD’Tale Magazine for their prestigious RONE (Reward of Novel Excellence) Award in the category Best Suspense/Thriller: Short.

Click on image to vote!

The first step of the RONE nomination process is the public voting stage. I ask you, Lady Smutters, to kindly support my book for this award. Please go to http://indtale.com/rone-awards-week-five now to cast your vote for Wild on the Rocks in the Best Suspense/Thriller: Short category.

But wait, there’s more!

Welcome to the Lady Smut Wild Scavenger Hunt!

All week long, the Lady Smut bloggers will be sharing one wild thing they’ve done and one wild thing they’d like to do but haven’t yet. Then, you, lovely Lady Smutters, post in the comments of this post all the “wild” things you hunt down on the Lady Smut blog posts this week. All who comment will then be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card giveaway along with a copy of Wild on the Rocks! You can also be entered for the raffle by posting a screen cap confirmation of your vote for Wild on the Rocks.

And be sure to check in with Lady Smut on Thursday when I’ll be posting a brand new excerpt from Wild on the Rocks!

Something Wild This Way Comes…

In my family and with most of my friends, I’m known as the wild one. I am usually the first one to climb out on the cliff, the first one to ask the question, the one willing to try anything–within reason. The first guy I brought home when I was fourteen wore a leather jacket. My mother took one look at him and said to my father, “we are in trouble”. (BTW the guy turned out to be a total tool and my mother never stop needling me about him.)

Being the designated wild one always amused me because I’ve actually always been the good girl, endeavoring to get it right, follow the rules–and I am always, always afraid. Afraid of doing it wrong, afraid of disapproval, afraid of a conclusion I can’t anticipate or control, afraid of being punished for breaking the rules, however wrong those rules may be, ultimately afraid of “getting in trouble”. My best friend once said “Kiersten wants to be a rebel, but she keeps getting tripped up by the rules,” an eerily accurate description for the dichotomy of my personality: the Wild Good Girl.

Age has helped me get over the idea that being good and following the rules is some kind referendum on my character. A decent part of my adult life has been allowing myself to be free of those rules, or, more specifically, not to allow those rules to keep me from taking risks with long-term benefits for myself simply because they may not be looked upon as the right thing to do and/or may benefit the one over the many. Men make such decisions all the time; it’s expected of them, but when a woman breaks out in such a way, when a woman behaves in a manner traditional ascribe to the man’s role, it’s received with decidedly less favor. Socially, we’re expected to be self-effacing and modest, inclusive and without ambition, nurturing and unselfish. Standing up for ourselves and doing things that ensure our own happiness regardless of the opinions or judgments of those around us takes courage and verve and the ability to live with any potential fallout. It is, in effect, a wild move.

One of the wildest things I’ve done in my life is to travel abroad alone. I’ve done this twice–to Ireland in 1999 and to Italy in 2001 (a few months prior to 9/11)–long before women travelling by themselves became a regular topic in the The New York Times’ Travel Section. I love to travel and wanted particularly to visit both these countries, had longed to do so for many years. But I was never able to find a friend or partner equally ready and/or able to take the trip. So I finally decided, the hell with it. I’ll go on my own then. I was no longer willing not to do something, not to achieve a dream, simply because there was no one to do it with me.

It doesn’t sound very wild, does it? Not in today’s global climate where we’re all interconnect and the world is Twitterfied. But remember, there were no smart phones back then (I left my flip phone at home–both times). I had a digital camera with panoramic capabilities and that was considered pretty damn special. When the loneliness broke me halfway through my first trip, I called my mother from a cell phone booth on the west coast of Ireland–on her AT&T long distance card. Social media did not exist. By the time I got to Italy, Internet cafes were prominent because email was commonplace, but the full might of the Web had yet to become the lifeblood of every home. So stepping off a plane into a country you never before been in where you know no one and, in the one case, don’t speak the language, and you aren’t sure exactly where you’re going or staying from night to night, trust me, it felt pretty wild at the time. These are the things on which episodes for Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders are based.

For the past two years, I’ve been on a journey of physical self-improvement. I didn’t like my life–specifically, the limitations put on it by my physical restrictions–so I decided to change it. It’s an ongoing journey that I often get wrong, but as I walked around downtown Toronto last weekend in the rain, without having to stop and catch my breath, without having to rest every 30 or so feet, without each step being filled with pain and effort, without sweat dripping down my face from the immense effort of walking a straight line, I reveled in getting it right this time. Enough now that I can go back to being more than a bit wild.

So what’s something wild I *want* to do. Well, that list has been getting longer and longer, but top line are two things: sky diving and learning to drive a motorcycle.

I’ve been parasailing and loved it, so sky diving seems my next natural progression. And, I love to fly in planes; how much more awesome to fly in the sky (with a parachute for landing, natch)? As for the motorcycle, remember that first leather-jacket clad boyfriend? Not like this hasn’t been coming for a long time. My love for MC romances is well documented here at Lady Smut, so it’s hardly a surprise. And why ride pinion when you can drive (outside of being able to hold tight to a hot biker, of course)?

With any luck, there’s all sorts of wild out there yet to come for my future.

Click on image to vote!

Tell me something wild about yourself, some crazy thing you’ve done or have always wanted to do. Be sure to keep track of all the wild goings-on here this week at Lady Smut. And remember to get out the vote by going to http://indtale.com/rone-awards-week-five and voting for Wild on the Rocks!

Follow Lady Smut. We bring a bit of wild to everything we do.

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, has been nominated for InD’Tale Magazine’s prestigious RONE award! Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum.

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

 

 

 

Sexy Saturday Round Up

13 May

LAST WEEK WAS THE ROMANTIC TIMES CONVENTION: We came, we saw, we revealed some very, very naughty secrets about ourselves.  And now–we’re back.  Ready to collapse into a heap after a long week? So are we. Here’s your very own Sexy Saturday Round Up to snuggle up with through Mother’s Day Weekend. Where’s my mimosa?

From Madeline:

Nominate your favorite sex toy for an award.

Porn stars teach moms and dads advanced sex positions.

Our very own Rachel Kramer Bussel talks with Rolling Stone about how erotica writers are taking on Trump.

Tina, Amy, and the Female F*ck-Up: A filmography.

Meanwhile, BROAD CITY is a fearless priceless ode to female friendships.

The adulterers website Ashley Madison is expecting a massive 500 percent spike in sign-ups from women on the day after Mother’s Day.

From Elizabeth SaFleur:

It’s Lady Gaga’s bad romance meets Remax Realty: The home showcase video that’s more like soft porn.

From Elizabeth Shore:

Well, this seems fun. A slideshow of 41 steamy sex games.

Get off your a**. For real. Here’s what too much sitting does to your body – and it’s not good.

Looking for an awesome read? Check out the latest book people are obsessing over.

Weird new sex trends. Marinate, anyone?

Turns out not a lot of people are humpin’ on Hump Day.

Something fun and unique to do for Mother’s Day – interview your mom.

 

 

Never Have You Ever Ever, sex-postive game, home and office edition.

12 May
mic

Can you believe they trusted me with the mic?

What do sweet tea, brownies, free books, prize boxes filled with sex toys, swag bags featuring sexy body chains from Unbound Boxes, and highly personal, potentially inappropriate questions about your sex life have in common? If you joined us at the raved about Lady Smut Blogger’s RTBooklover’s convention event, Never Have You Ever Ever, you already know the answer.

If you weren’t able to join us, no worries. You don’t have to wait until next year to play. Here is the Never Have You Ever Ever home and office edition. How do you play?

  1. Gather a group of your friends.
  2. Do a trial run to make sure they know how to raise their hand. Do this by asking, “Do you want to play this highly personal and potentially inappropriate game?” Anyone who raises their hand is in.

Now that they’re in, here are the rules:

  1. You ask a question.
  2. If their answer is “yes,” they raise their hand.
  3. If their hand is up, they are still in the running to win.
  4. If their hand goes down, they’re out.

Variation: allow game players to rejoin if their subsequent answer are “yes.” To do this, they simply raise their hand to get back in. Later, you can switch to sudden death.

Variation: add your own questions.

boxes

Unbound Boxes, filled with sex toys.

The first round is the sweetness round. Here, the sweetest of the sweet is revealed. The sweetness finalists who attended our RT event were gifted with a box of sex toys…but, maybe you could simply offer your winners the great, well-kept secret underground website that only very few people know about: PORNHUB.

Ready, set, read the questions to reveal the sweetest of the sweet.

  • Raise your hand if you’ve had less than 2 sexual relationships in your whole life.
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve NEVER given or received oral sex.
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve NEVER EVER tried masturbating.
  • Keep your hand up if you’re a vaginal virgin.
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve NEVER EVER EVER French kissed someone.

The second round is the naughty round. Who among you has done…if not all, a lot. Same rules. Hand up for yes. Down for no. Again our RT finalists were gifted with an awesome box of sex toys. What should you give your winner? How about a pad of paper and a pen, so they can start writing some steamy romances for us all to read.

  • Raise your hand if you’ve ever done any role-playing.
  • Keep your hand up if you have any piercings below your neck.

    hostess

    Hostesses Kris, Elizabeth, Isabelle & Stephy. Keep your hand up if you’ve ever intentionally seduced someone.Keep your hand up if you have any piercings.Keep your hand up if you have any piercings below your neck.

  • Keep your hand up if you’ve ever intentionally seduced someone.
  • Keep your hand up if it’s not your bellybutton.
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve ever gotten or given a lap dance.
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve ever done any bondage or spanking.
  • Keep your hand up if you’re a member of the mile high club.
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve ever had sex with a younger person (by which we mean you were over the age of 30, and the person was at least 9 years younger).
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve ever had anal sex.
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve ever used a strap on toy .
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve ever interacted with a stripper or stripper–male or female.
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve ever had sex with more than one person at the same time?
  • Keep your hand up if you have been, or been with, a unicorn.
  • Keep your hand up if you’ve ever participated in an orgy.
  • Keep your hand up if you have a rumpus room at home.

There you have it, the official, abbreviated home and office edition of the first ever Lady Smut sex-positive game.

Start playing, folks! Share your discoveries and results in the comments! Follow us at Lady Smut! Subscribe to our saucy monthly newsletter!

-An Anthology of Romance and Horror-mediumIsabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers. Her latest story, BAIT, features a woman who hunts and sells zombies, can be found in the horror anthology GONE WITH THE DEAD.

G.G.’s Stolen in Love Available for Only .99!

11 May

by G.G. Andrew

Hey there, lovely Lady Smut readers!

I’m interrupting our regularly-scheduled weekly posts to let you know that my second-chance romantic suspense, Stolen in Love, is currently on sale for only .99! You may have read a sneak peek of it on the Sexy Sunday Snippet here last month. The book releases Saturday, May 13th, and after then the price will go up. So if second-chance stories or romantic suspense are your thing, grab it at one of the fine stores below!

Kim Xavier steals things. She can’t help it. Recovering from her shoplifting addiction has never been easy, but she’s giving it a shot. When she comes home to a ransacked apartment, Kim knows she’s finally taken the wrong thing from the wrong person. And she can’t tell the police–especially not the cop whose heart she broke months ago.

Scott Culpepper wants Kim Xavier. He can’t help it. Ever since he met the smart-mouthed woman while on patrol in New Haven, he hasn’t been able to get her or her red lips out of his mind. Unfortunately, she’s also got a police record, and the single dad has learned the hard way not to get involved with unpredictable women.

But when Kim is threatened by someone selling information used to harass women online, Scott steps up to keep her safe–even if it means spending more time with her than he should. The two work to unravel the case, which leads them from the dirty underbelly of the Ivy League to posh preschool parties to a drug dealer who can quote Kerouac. Though the biggest danger may be Kim stealing the very thing Scott can’t afford to lose: his heart.

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Kobo

You can find out more about the book here.

~

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Decent Acting, Gorgeous People, And BDSM! So Why Didn’t Anyone Watch Submission?

10 May

By Elizabeth Shore

A few days ago I found myself without anything to do. Well, technically, there’s always s**t to do, but nothing I felt like tackling. The solution? Cruise my way down couch jockey street, flipping channels until I landed on some mind-numbing goodness for a few hours of escape. Drink in one hand, remote in the other, I found Submission, a 6-episode series that aired last year on Showtime. Wait…last year?! Why hadn’t I heard of it? Admittedly, I’m not always hip to the latest on TV, but still. This show was right up my erotic romance alley and yet until recently had gone undiscovered.

Naturally, I binge-watched all six episodes. Not terribly impressive since they were each like 28 minutes long. Yet once I finished watching I really was perplexed about why no one’s been talking about this show. Let’s run down the list of attractions: beautiful actors (standard fare for TV shows, but still); not bad plotline, decent writing, money from Showtime. Oh, and sex. Lots and lots and lots of sex! BDSM, F/F, regular M/F, even ménage. And it was hot, too. A scene between one of the series’ main characters and an impromptu meet-up in the ladies’ room had me coming back ’round for a second viewing. De-lish!

It’s not surprising that the sex scenes are a major focus of the series. Its two creators, Jacky St. James and Paul Fishbein, have well-established creds in the adult video world. Fishbein, in fact, is the former CEO of Adult Video News and creator of the AVN awards show. So on paper it seems like this series would work. It’s even got parallels to 50 Shades. But I don’t know a single person who’s seen it and the show’s outlook for a season 2 is shaky, to put it mildly.

Here’s the plot: sexually frustrated Ashley ditches her boring boyfriend and decides to roommate with an old friend, Jules. Jules has an additional roomie, Dylan, who’s night and day different from Ashley. Dylan’s a sexually open, do-it-with-anyone kinda gal. She’s also a submissive. When Ashley meets Dylan’s master, Elliott, and becomes the object of his desire, giving Dylan the boot, things get interesting indeed. Nothing like a pissed-off subbie out for revenge. Dylan, as it turns out, knows something about Elliott that he’d rather keep secret. So unless Ashley does exactly what Dylan wants, Elliott’s in a heap o’ trouble. And naturally, adding fuel to Elliott’s fire, by this time he and Ashley are in love. Conflict abounds! Late-night smutty TV at its best. Oh, and then there’s the sex. Did I mention that?

I looked up deets on the show on IMDB and wasn’t exactly shocked to learn that the character of Dylan is played by former adult video star, Raylin Joy, whose stage name is Skin Diamond. Her character is the most sexually daring of the bunch. But here’s the interesting thing about the actress. She was born in the U.S. but lived most of her adolescent life in the U.K. She studied Dramatic Arts and her favorite subjects were ancient Greek theater and Shakespeare. For her acting final exam she played Antigone in the Sophocles play. With a theater geek background, why porn? She’s quoted as saying, “as an independent and highly sexual woman, taking charge of my own personal sexual growth in this manner was immensely empowering.”

Certainly comparisons can be drawn between Ms. Joy’s statement about her acting and why some of us choose to read and write erotic romance. There is indeed something personally empowering in creating sexually open characters and having them delve into all kinds of hot wickedness, wherever our naughty little minds choose to take them.

I personally think Showtime dropped the ball by not advertising the dang series. No one’s gonna watch if they don’t know the show exists, amiright?! Who knows if Submission will go beyond a single season, but if you want to see it for yourself, it’s streaming on demand. So if you’re sitting around with nothing to do, now you’ve got some options. 😉

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

The end of an awful marriage might be the beginning of something smoking hot. Click to buy.

 

 

 

 

 

For the Good of the Party: Simple Steps to a Wild Bacchanal

9 May

By Alexa Day

I’m concerned about the state of the party.

Not that party. As far as I’m concerned, the politicos are a lost cause.

I’m concerned about the state of the house party.

The other night, I got to watch a documentary on George Plimpton. George was a man of many talents, a participatory journalist and one of the founders of The Paris Review. But he’s also remembered for hosting some pretty legendary parties. James Baldwin, Gay Talese, Allen Ginsberg, and the bright lights of Sixties lit fic pressed together on the couch, drinks in hand and laughing merrily.

Well, maybe not James Baldwin. He was glaring at the camera as if daring his fellow reveler to photograph him. I can empathize. I’m not big on being photographed, either.

I will concede that in the New York City of the 1960s, it was probably not all that difficult to throw a legendary party. I’ll also acknowledge that the line between literary salon and wild party was probably pretty thin at George’s place. My suspicion is that wherever two or three writers gathered, a party was likely to follow.

But I had to ask myself. Do we make parties like this anymore?

We’re right on the heels of the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. Thousands of like-minded but delightfully distinct readers and writers enjoying loads and loads of parties, sharing the kind of memorable conversation that probably marked a Plimpton party. Parties like this are safe places to talk about what we’re reading and what we’re writing, without anyone asking to help with research or wondering when we’ll write “real books” or insinuating that “those books give us unrealistic expectations.”

They’re a sanctuary disguised as a bacchanal. How could that possibly be wrong?

Now, back in the real world, is it possible to preserve the magic of the wild party?

I have to believe that it is. It takes a little effort, and I’m sorry to say that adherence to rules is sometimes necessary. But I think you can manage.

What must you do? Read on.

1. Check your phones at the door. Some of you will resist, saying that you need to be in touch with babysitters and the like. (I’m presuming you got a babysitter. You don’t need me to spell that out, I’m sure.) I’m not so sure you need your phone as much as you suppose. You can always check in with it from time to time if you have to. If you have a Fitbit, as I do, your phone will tell you if it’s ringing. In any event, your phone is going to distract you, despite your best efforts. You’ll be more present for that intense conversation if you don’t have other claims on your attention.

2. Bring a stranger. The best parties promote the collision of worlds. Work friends meeting writer friends. Local friends meeting visiting friends. Friends of friends meeting each other. It’s too easy to get locked into parties with one group of people, people who have just one thing in common, people who all know you from the same place and in the same way. After that, it’s too easy to get locked into the same conversations. A diverse crowd of people is going to take that party to some deep and unexpected places after a while. To make this work, you as the hostess will have to make sure people are meeting each other. After all, these folks don’t have their phones, and they may be surrounded by strangers. But don’t worry. Introducing people might be a tough job, but before long, it will take care of itself.

3. Be patient. We live in a swipe-left-swipe-right world, and I’m asking you to talk with strangers. It’s a big change. Conversation takes time. It won’t always seem to be working. Modern society has taught us that we know each other right away, but the truth is that we have to invest a few minutes in getting to know another person without judging them. Find a few minutes.

4. Be honest. Deception kills parties. The great parties of old were great because no one had anything to prove to anyone else. I doubt seriously that Allen Ginsberg was holding back because he was worried about what Tom Wolfe would think of him. Be you, without apology. You’ll maintain that buzz more easily and get invited to more places.

One final word of advice. It’s not a good look to exclude people. Seriously, we would not have the story of Sleeping Beauty at all if Aurora’s parents had just invited Maleficent to the christening. Maleficent would probably have said no, but she would have very little in the way of legitimate grievance. People remember not being invited to a party. They will remember it for the rest of their lives, and they will not care even a little bit about why that decision was made. Trust me. It’s not a good look.

This brings me back to George Plimpton’s legendary parties. After fifty years on The Paris Review, George has moved on to the great literary salon in the world beyond this one, but the publication he helped create lives on in the 21st century. At the bottom of the page on The Paris Review’s website is a place to sign up for a newsletter promising to keep subscribers abreast of all the latest developments … including parties.

My heart made a giddy somersault as I plugged in my email address. Could it be this simple to join the in-crowd? Would The Paris Review newsletter counteract the emails I still receive from Snctm about their far less interesting get-togethers? I wondered what my first newsletter would look like.

But clicking the sign-up button brought me to, of all things, a MailChimp error page.

I was crushed. I could not believe The Paris Review was capable of such an error, despite what the grinning chimp said. Clearly, someone out there knew I was trying to get in and set up this elaborate scam to keep me from showing up in my cheap but comfortable shoes to defile the party with my coarse discourse. And once again, I had to be impressed by the effort required to make sure I stayed on the outside.

This would be a great place to quietly commit to throwing my own soirees. To outdo The Paris Review. To direct this disappointment into a much smaller sanctuary, disguised as a bacchanal.

And maybe I will someday.

But not before I find a way onto that mailing list.

Follow Lady Smut.

KFC Colonel Sanders romance novel Tender Wings of Desire is a real love story

8 May

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

What does mom want for Mother’s Day (and dinner)? If you guessed fried chicken and romance, then KFC has just the thing for you: a free novella on Amazon called Tender Wings of Desire, starring (and written by) Colonel Sanders (aka Harland) as the hero (which they’re calling their “first romance novella”). They even made an ad for it, which you can watch to get a sense of the hilarity:

According to a press release, the fast food chain was inspired by the fact that Mother’s Day is their bestselling day of the year. “The only thing better than being swept away by the deliciousness of our Extra Crispy Chicken is being swept away by Harland Sanders himself. So this Mother’s Day, the bucket of chicken I get for my wife will come with a side of steamy romance novella. Dinner is taken care of and she’ll have the time to escape her busy schedule,” George Felix, director of advertising for KFC U.S, said.

While the ad is totally over the top, I wanted to read Tender Wings of Desire, described by The Daily Mail as a “steamy, greasy fantasy,” for myself to see whether it was super cheesy, full of product placement or whether it actually worked as a romance. The work is described in part in its official blurb like so: “When she finds herself swept into the arms of Harland, a handsome sailor with a mysterious past, Madeline realizes she must choose between a life of order and a man of passion.” Yes, it’s true: whoever actually wrote this novella has read a romance novel or two, because I was rooting for Lady Madeline, with her family part of the ton in Victorian England, bemoaning her fate of being married off to lackluster Reginald.

Madeline runs away on her horse, escaping a life of luxury that felt stifling to her. She reaches a tavern two hours away and quickly finds herself a job and friend, becoming immersed in a new way of life. Soon, she meets “the most handsome man she had ever seen,” Harland, a dashing sailor. The attraction is mutual, even though, of course, it takes them a little while to figure that out.

Soon she winds up giving in to her urges and kissing him. “This was the closest she had ever been to a man, and she would not want it any other way. She felt as if she were a woman on fire, feverish in the best way possible, and something seems dot take her over when he deepened the kiss.”

Though the book isn’t actually all that “steamy,” with more of a fade to black approach to sex, it does manage to get in some plugs for independence and against slut-shaming. “Kissing a man who wasn’t her betrothed was supposed to imply that she was tainted in some way, as though she had been spoiled for her future husband. Perhaps that might have been true, but as she drifted off to sleep, the only thing she could think was that she felt free. She felt in charge. She felt as though she were finally coming face to face with the wonder of her destiny.”

Now, is Tender Wings of Desire the best historical romance I’ve ever read? No. But I can’t dismiss it simply as a corporate stunt (even though I would strongly urge you to try a home-cooked meal for mom rather than fast food) because it completely conforms to the romance genre, with a happily ever after that never once mentions fried chicken. It manages to play on the character of Colonel Sanders (who Harland is revealed to be) in a way that actually made me smile at the end, rather than the slightly smarmy guy hawking deals in their recent commercials. In truth, the novella is as much about Madeline discovering who she really is when not under so many rules about what she can and can’t do as it is about her falling in love. When she falls fast and hard, Harland really is tender and patient and sweet with Madeline. She really does end the book far happier than she was when it started. And you don’t even have to be a mom to appreciate that!

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Rachel Kramer Bussel (rachelkramerbussel.com) has edited over 60 anthologies, including Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 and 2, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Begging for It, Fast Girls, The Big Book of Orgasms and more. She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture and teaches erotica writing classes around the country and online. Follow her @raquelita on Twitter and find out more about her classes and consulting at eroticawriting101.com.

Sexy Sunday Snippet

7 May

Morning ladies—We reallllly like Afton Locke, and she’s got a new serial romance for us to savor. DRUNK ON MEN is an interracial romance set in the roaring 20’s.  After reading the excerpt below, go to her website for the first THREE INSTALLMENTS and get addicted!

When three African-American women meet at a resort on the Jersey Shore in the 1920s, they say goodbye to their old lives. Finding men as intoxicating as bootleg liquor, they pin their futures on happily ever after. But love can be worse than a hangover when the men’s flaws threaten to destroy them.

Hannah knows it’s time to replace her fiancé who died in the war, but the abrupt white man who rescues her from rough surf hardly fits the bill. Belle longs to ditch her latest meal ticket, but is the rich African-European owner of an upscale hotel out of her league? And while Edie struggles to face her upcoming arranged marriage, a rugged Hispanic-white fisherman decides to stake his own claim on her.

This 8-volume serial is a heady romance cocktail stirred with addiction, abuse, betrayal, and scandal. These women aren’t perfect and neither are their men. If you think you can handle it, read on and watch three steamy interracial relationships explode across the pages.

You may think it’s sloe fizz gin

But honey we’re sober, just drunk on men

“You’re a bootlegger,” she stated.

He sighed and made a rude gesture with his hand and chin. “What did you think, Belle? The booze simply drops out of the sky into my bar? I am performing a necessary service for the town of Ocean Promenade.”

Excitement rippled down Belle’s arms and legs. Tonight’s joyride was the most thrilling thing she’d ever done.

“How much booze does this town drink, anyway? The Sands is the only place I see that’s even wet. I have a hard time believing you could buy a car like this on that speck of business.”

“I see you are shrewd businesswoman.” He leaned between the front seats and shot her an admiring glance. “I am much impressed. Since you ask, the product also gets shipped to Washington, Philadelphia, and New York City.”

“So, what happens next?” she asked. “Where’s the booze?”

He slid his jacket sleeve upward with two fingers and glanced at his watch. “It’s coming. Please join me in the front seat where I can see you.”

“Not with the gun lying there. A girl could get her cha chas blown off with a thing like that. Besides, how do I know you’re not planning to bump me off for knowing too much?”

“You are too beautiful to kill,” he crooned as he moved the monstrous weapon to rest against his door. “However, you have become heavily involved. I wanted to protect you from this.”

“It’s okay,” she said, shrugging as she scrambled to the front passenger seat. “I’m a big girl. I’ll survive.”

He reached over and grabbed her chin, forcing her to face him. Adrenaline flooded her body. Without thinking, she smacked him across the face.

He reared back in his seat. “What was that for?”

“Don’t manhandle me,” she said coldly. “I don’t care for it.”

She hadn’t pegged him as abusive, but she wasn’t about to take any chances. Especially in this abandoned place. She’d do a lot for money, but she refused to tolerate violence.

Please tell me you’re not one of them, Raoul. I don’t want to have to give you up.

“Bella, please. You shocked me, and I think you broke my jaw.” He stuck out his bottom lip like a little boy and dazzled her with another smile.

She couldn’t help laughing. “Oh, you’re all wet. I did not.”

“I’m only trying to make you understand something.” He leaned closer but without touching her this time. “You will see things and people who don’t want to be recognized. If you do not keep your pretty kisser shut, you could endanger your life and mine.”

Belle took a shaky breath. “Understood.”

“And it means you are my lady. You cannot walk away from me. Not after tonight.”

As if she wanted to. They sat in silence for a moment. He caressed her hand and then the thigh it lay on through the thin hem of her dress, making her breath draw in with a hiss.

“I want to show you my hotel room soon,” he said, lazily stroking. “I have a circular tub with flowing water. It is like the ocean, yes?”

“Sounds divine,” she whispered.

“We don’t have much time, and I need you to show me your loyalty.” 

Loyalty?

Belle watched, fascinated, as he reclined his seat until it lay almost horizontal.

His voice dropped very low. Very soft. “Come here, Bella.”

25954402 – art deco vintage frames and design elements

Afton Locke is a USA Today Bestselling Author who prefers romantic fantasies to everyday reality. Fantasies take her to different times, races, places, and beyond. She lives with her husband, several unnamed dust bunnies, and a black cat that can be scary or cuddly, depending on the current book. When she’s not writing, Afton enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and watching retro T.V.

Find Afton here:

Web site: http://www.aftonlocke.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AftonLockeAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/aftonlocke

Newsletter: http://www.aftonlocke.com/mailing-list.html

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