Tag Archives: Harry Potter

Sexy Saturday Round Up

29 Jun

Sexy Saturday Round UpBy Elizabeth Shore

Don’t look now, awesome peeps, but it’s the weekend before the 4th! Hopefully you’re like half the people in my day job office who had the wise foresight to take next week off. But if you didn’t, that’s OK, too. Wednesday for much of us will be a time of relaxation, a break in the middle of the road, a day for slacking off and having fun. And speaking of fun on this weekend before the 4th, exercise your independence early by checking out the fun reads we’ve gathered up for you. No better way to get the party started.

Are you part of the rarest personality type in the world?

Harry Potter…and smut? One writer’s quest to write erotic fan fiction of HP. Am I the only one finding this just a bit creepy?

If an app can pick a date for you, why not let your parents pick your spouse. The case for arranged marriage.

Justice Kennedy’s retirement threatens safe and legal abortion. How to stop it.

Looking for beach reads on the wild side? 50 must-read werewolf romances.

It’s not porn – it’s making love! Here’s a sneak peek so you can judge for yourself.

The “sex ed guys” know little about sex ed. But at least they’re kinda funny.

Girl Boner August McLaughlin chats with the queen of lesbian sex 101, Stevie Boebie.

#Metoo from a man’s point of view. Author Amber Tamblyn’s new novel features a female serial rapist.

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Have a Soft Spot for Period Movies

6 Jan

by Thien-Kim Lam

Image via Warner Bros

Image via Warner Bros

I’m late to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them party, but I finally saw the movie this week. Even though I was a huge Harry Potter fan, I couldn’t muster enthusiasm for Newt Scamander and his magical creatures. I’d grown to love Harry, Ron, and the sassy, brilliant Hermione. Since our only other family friendly movie option was Sing, the adults voted for Fantastic Beasts instead.

The movie was fun and the perfect post New Year’s day escape. The story was cute. I loved all the main characters. But I can’t stop thinking about the 1920s costumes.

For me, Colleen Atwood’s costumes were also stars of the movie.

Long before I sat down to write romance books, I professionally designed and constructed costumes for theatre productions. After doing that for so many years, I can tell when a designer takes extra care with her costume choices. Let me show you what I mean.

The Goldstein Sisters

Let’s talk about the two main female characters from the film. They were inherently more interesting and complex than Newt.

Image via Warner Bros

Image via Warner Bros

Tina Goldstein (played by Katherine Waterston) was demoted from her Auror position after her unauthorized used of magic. She’s desperate to reclaim her status within the Magical Congress. Tina is strong, serious, and very responsible. She wants to do what’s right.

Image via Warner Bros

Image via Warner Bros

Except for one scene, Tina almost always wears pants and sensible shoes, which are perfect for chasing down the bad guys. Even her night clothes belay her practicality, an adorable but comfortable wide leg jumper. Just because she’s practical doesn’t mean that she can’t embrace her femininity with her v-neck blouses or don a flapper style dress for undercover work. No matter what she’s wearing, it’s usually black or blue with a hint of white or light blue (even in the night club). She’s serious but knows how to have fun.

Image via Warner Bros

Image via Warner Bros

Her younger sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) doesn’t have a physically demanding job like Tina. She prefers dresses that hug and accentuate her body. She knows that men are distracted by her beauty and uses that to her advantage when she needs to. Don’t let her fool you. She may have a big heart and look innocent, but she’s very smart and has the power to read your mind.

Image via Warner Bros

Image via Warner Bros

Queenie exudes femininity. She wears more “luxurious” fabrics: satin, silk, velvet, and lace. Textures that are soft and feel good against the skin. Soothing, like her voice and personality. To further contrast from her sister, Queenie wears pink in almost every scene. Also, I want that pink coat!

A good costume designer is able to make these choices and integrate them into the director’s vision, while creating a cohesive look among all the characters. Don’t forget that this is also a period piece, so there’s an expectation that the costumes look like they’re from 1926. It’s not an easy task, but when you’re a mega-award winning designer like Colleen Atwood, it probably comes naturally.

Costumes are one the reasons I love reading historical romances. The big ball gowns (or modest muslin ones) can tell the reader so many things about the characters’ personality and social class. Little details that add up to build one complex heroine.

I adored both Tina and Queenie. And I want all of their clothes. Of, maybe not Tina’s scuffed brown shoes.

What’s your favorite period costume film?

Thien-Kim Lam cut her teeth on historical romances and they will always have a special place in her heart. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check her Pleasure Pairings guide with buzzy recommendations for the adventurous reader

It’s ‘Rafe’, Actually

22 Feb

Ralph FiennesWe’ve been dishing all week on our favorite sexy stars, beginning on Tuesday with Justin Timberlake and yesterday with Timothy Olyphant. So I think it more than appropriate that we wind up this most enjoyable topic with one of the sexiest actors (IMHO) in the biz, and that’s none other than Ralph Fiennes.

Ralph really came into his own as a face to remember with his stellar performance back in 1993 in Schindler’s List, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (and, where he famously told a young reporter who was interviewing him and who incorrectly pronounced his name that, “it’s Rafe, actually”). He was awesome in that movie, playing the villainous Nazi Commander Amon Goeth. As far as sexiness goes, this wasn’t a typically sexy guy role. He played a Nazi after all, a horrible, evil person who shot Jewish prisoners from his balcony. Plus he was fat, unkempt, and a lech. Yet there was something so mesmerizing about him, gut and all, that I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.

Where I first noticed how hot he is was in the 1992 performance of WutheringWuthering Heights Heights, where he played tortured hero Heathcliff. First of all, the story itself gets me every time. Heathcliff in some ways isn’t really all that nice of a guy, but he’s so damn tortured over his unrequited love of Catherine. As a lover of romance, how can I not feel for the guy? And the way Fiennes played him completely absorbed me in the story. I really felt like he became Heathcliff. He wasn’t just a guy playing him on TV.

The year after Schindler’s List he played Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show, a movie that I happen to really like. Fiennes’ Van Doren isn’t really a “hot” macho guy kind of role, but he doesn’t really play those kinds of roles anyway. Where I think Ralph Fiennes really shines (hey, that rhymes!) is either as an evil villain, or as the tortured lover type guy. He’s not a chest thumping he-man but rather a cerebral, anguished, smoldering lover, and ohhhhh my, is he ever fabulous in that role.

In 1996 he earned his second Academy Award Nomination for his role as Count Laszlo de Almásy in The English Patient. This is Ralph Fiennes English Patientthe ultimate romantic hero role. Fiennes’ character has a fateful love affair with Katharine Clifton, played by Kristin Scott Thomas. It’s a big, epic kinda movie that will truly sweep you away. Once again, the character he plays is a tortured, agonized soul who loves and loses in a tragic, heartbreaking affair. I do wonder why he frequently choses these kinds of characters but clearly he’s drawn to them. Maybe he’s had similar experiences in his personal life, although I can’t really find anything out about it. He was married once, and had a long-term relationship another time. Or, alternately, maybe his relationships have been nothing but plain vanilla so he’s pulled into the complex, tortured ones.

Ralph Fiennes SunshineThere are a couple of movies that I thought he was brilliant in that I don’t know really caught on in a big way with audiences. One of these films is Sunshine. If you haven’t seen it, and are a Ralph Fiennes fan, do yourself a ginormous favor and add it to your Netflix queue pronto! Fiennes plays three roles in the movie, Ignatz Sonnenschein/Adam Sors/Ivan Sors, a grandfather, father, and son, and he’s incredibly awesome. Plus – worth noting for faithful Lady Smut readers – there are lots of mighty fine bum shots in this film because Mr. Fiennes has lots of sex in it.

True to form, he also plays an arrogant aristocrat in Onegin, the classic Russian literary story by Pushkin. He initially rebuffs the Oneginlove of wide-eyed, innocent Tatyana, only to realize years later – and far too late –  what he’s lost. Again with the tragic love! It’s a heart-wrenching film and even though the arrogant Onegin is a real jerk in the beginning for whom we don’t feel a lot of empathy, Fiennes plays him perfectly and in the end I felt for his loss. Also, the final confrontation scene in the end between Onegin and Tatyana is really wonderful. Tatyana’s character is played by Liv Tyler and she’s beautiful in in.

The films I’ve mentioned have all been from several years ago. Fiennes’ more recent work is much more well-known since he played Lord Voldemort in several Harry Potter films. Now, I recognize that a lot of people may howl with indignation, but I haven’t actually read a single Harry Potter book nor seen any of the films. I may get around to them; then again, I may not. There’s just so much reading and film watching time and much more material than any one person can possibly consume. And anyway, Voldemort isn’t exactly the definition of a sexy guy, so I’m not talking about that one.

What I will mention, lastly, is another early film starring Fiennes, and that’s the wonderful End of the Affair. I love that movie, End of the Affairand he’s sooooo hot in it. Yes, hot. He’s quiet but intense novelist Maurice Bendrix who’s hopelessly, obsessively in love with Sarah. There are some really steamy love scenes in this movie, too. For fans of Fiennes, what more can you want?

I could go on and on, but honestly, I think I’ve gotta go fire up my DVR. I’ve got some movie watching to do!

Enjoy the weekend and the Oscars on Sunday!

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