Tag Archives: Humor

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

12 May

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.


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.


    Hostesses Kris, Elizabeth, Isabelle & Stephy. 

  • 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.

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!


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.

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:


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.


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.


Dear men over forty,

11 Nov

by Isabelle Drake.

I little while back, I had an experience that got me thinking.

While at an intimate party, a guy came up to me and gave me the once over. You know what I’m talking about, that head to toe assessment. While I’m wondering why he didn’t have the decency to at least do that from a distance, so I could politely turn away and save us both additional awkwardness (and in his case some wasted time), he says, “hi.”

Before I finish this story, and get back to to the real point of this post, let me tell you guys, we hate the hi. Here are a woman’s options in response to the hi.

  • Be polite and say hi even if we have no interest in continuing the conversation. Most of us pick this, because of societal expectations and all that.
  • Say nothing, look away. The risk here is the follow -up hi.
  • Say nothing, snarl obviously, look away. Result, being bummed or annoyed that we had to act that way just to be left alone.

You’re thinking, what if she likes me? Wants me to say “hi”? If she likes you, don’t waste time on the hi. Just start talking. Bonus, if she doesn’t like you like that, she may be happy to chat about whatever it is you’ve just brought up.

Ok. Off that soap download_6_2box and back to my party story then on to the soap box I came here to actually get up on.

After I reply with my polite hi, he asks me, “Are you here with anyone?” Me: yes. Him: Who? Me, pointing to my date, that guy. Him: The big one? Me thinking, yeah, at 6’4″ and 220, I guess he’s big: Yes. He gives my date that once over, then, I guess deciding I’m not worth getting punched in the face by the big guy, shrugs, says not a single word, then walks off. Seriously? No, this isn’t the only time this sort of thing has happened.

So, gents over forty, have you ever wondered why your wife/girlfriend/office romance/favorite barista and every other reasonable woman in your life reads super hot books with to-die-for heroes?

Aside from the fact that these books rock, it might be because these women miss days when a man spent more than three minutes trying to get their attention, seduce them, and get them into bed. I know, at forty+ it may seem like there isn’t time to waste on sexy getting-to-know-you conversation and that split-second too-long-to-be-polite stares might not net a night of sex, but I’m here to tell you, the night of sex you do after putting in some effort will be much, much better for it.

Contrast these approaches:

Approach A. You see a woman at a bar that you think is hot so you go right up to her. Instead of asking her name, you ask her if she has her own car there. She says yes. Then, you impress her with, “I’m a dentist because I’m good with my hands; want to go to my place? Okay if we take your car?”

Approach B. You see a woman at a bar. You think she’s hot, so you stare at her. She catches you starting and stares back. But then looks away. You move around to the other side of the bar. You stare again. She catches you again, stares back a bit longer, then looks away. You repeat this two more times. You do not get impatient. Instead, you get that her being stared at is turning her on. As a mature guy, you know if she didn’t think you were hot she would not stare back. Finally, when her body language tells you she’d ready to talk–shoulders facing you–you go up and say hi. You tell her your name. You ask her name. Then, you ask her something fun. Note ask – not tell. Why? She does not want to be impressed, she wants to have fun.

Since you are a man, I’ll be direct. Approach B is better.0796

Married men, you aren’t off the hook. You still can and should seduce your wife, so you too are going to want to go with approach B.

It’s never too late to switch it up and put some effort in. Next time a woman near you is reading something hot and looks up from the page with a misty expression and a soft sigh on her lips, remember what I told you.

Also remember, just because you’re a man doesn’t mean you can’t follow us here at Lady Smut. We’re always here to inform, entertain, and keep everyone–women and men–up to date.

Isabelle Drake writes erotica, erotic romance, urban fantasy, and young adult thrillers.

What to do about Valentine’s Day?

12 Feb

By Isabelle Drake

23d71f7ed7040cccd9740e807474e9cd.jpgWho truly loves Valentine’s Day? Who wakes up on February 14, sure that the entire day will be wonderful, romantic, and filled with complete happiness?

Not most of us. There are too many pit falls. Too many possibilities to feel emotions other than pure bliss. Like what, you ask?

Non-bliss emotions caused by gifts:

  • Disillusionment: No gift from your SO. Not even a cheap box of conversation hearts? (SO = significant other).
  • Irritation: Wrong gift from your SO. You clearly said you wanted sparkly jewelry. Not an itchy brown turtleneck sweater.
  • Exasperation: Last minute gift from your SO. The orange price tag from gas station kind of ruins the mood.
  • Unworthiness: Much, much too nice gift from your SO. You expected a bag of Hersey Kisses and got a new BMW. How can you possibly live up to that?
  • Puzzlement: Unidentified gift when you have two or more possible gifters. Who to thank?

Non-bliss emotions caused by your “status”:

  • Irritation: Not so subtle, prying questions from your well-meaning friends and relatives who are older, wiser, and concerned about your ‘painful’ single status.
  • Annoyance: Not so subtle, prying questions from your well-meaning friends and relatives who are in new, sparkling, fresh relationships full of excitement and romance and are concerned about your ‘boring, been-together-forever,’ couple status.

Non-bliss emotions by sex:

  • Ecstasy: Okay. This one isn’t a non-bliss emotion. But it is a possibility and so must be included here.
  • Weariness: After all that pressure about the gifts, your status, where to eat and what-not, your just too wiped out for those extra steps to make it wild enough to lead to the ecstasy.
  • Bewilderment: After a bottle and half of wine, your SO suddenly decides to try __________ (< insert anything never talked about or even considered). You have no idea where to start and so spend all your energy trying to figure out what to do instead of relaxing and getting to the ecstasy.

f3cc473e11c259c4e56e99bb7c8366ce.jpgSee what I mean? It’s a wonder any of us make it through the day at all.

Because I like to leave you Lady Smutters with a little something more, I’ll offer a link to this quiz, How Sexually Adventurous Are You? It won’t help you avoid the above non-bliss emotions, but it might make you laugh. And hell, if you ask me, laughter is an absolute necessity on Valentines Day.

Princess Peach, Bud Light, and the Trials of Being the Cool Girlfriend

10 Jul

So you decide to be the “cool” girlfriend…MKSC_Princess_Peach

…and hang out with your boyfriend and all of his friends. You can be one of the guys too, right? You show up with pizzas and a 12-pack. Most of the food gets devoured seconds after it’s placed on the living room table. Your guy says, “Play Mario Kart with us” and thrusts a wii-mote at you. All the guys look at you with anticipation and for that split second you are the center of attention. It’s fabulous.

Ready to seize that moment, you take a seat on the Doritos-dust covered couch and try not to think about the fact that the hideous plaid thing was probably garbage picked from a frat house that got condemned by the CDC. You’re given a hasty tutorial on what the buttons do. The guys deliver it with such enthusiasm and look super cute but the info only confuses. Still, you’re committed so you choose Princess Peach and before you know it the race starts.

images (1)Your previously slug-like, couch-potato guy friends are suddenly filled with life. They spring off the couch, onto their feet, screaming. They yell at each other, at you, at the pictures flashing across the screen. You think you might be in last place but nobody seems to notice. Someone gets a “blue shell” and your boyfriend starts swearing like a twelve-year-old who finally got to sit in the back of the bus. Four minutes later, it’s all over. You finished 6th out of 12. Not last! Everyone crashes onto the couch. You flop down next to your guy. Someone spills beer on you reaching for a pepperoni that fell to the floor from earlier but you don’t say anything because right now you’re the cool girlfriend, one of the guys.

The ritual from before is repeated, and repeated, and repeated.

Two hours of bumping into walls, getting taken out by bananas, and driving off cliffs. You want to be done, but you’re in it for the long haul. Surely they’ll get bored of it soon. Before you know it, it’s 3 a.m. and your thumbs are starting to cramp up. You realize you’ve been sitting in that same spot for eight hours and you smell like Bud-Light and Doritos and cheap pizza.doritos1

You open up Snapchat and look at all the fun your friends are having at the club. But quality time with the boys is more fun than that, right? You turn to your boyfriend. He’s snoring away, using the towel someone used to clean up the beer spill from earlier as a blanket. Everyone else lumbers off to bed and you guiltily send an SOS then steal a few Cheetos from a bag left open on the floor. The friend you called arrives so you give your sleeping angel a kiss goodbye then leave.

The Romance Writer’s Secret

2 Jun

It is a truth universally acknowledged that romance writers are not romantic.

Wait! Is that a lie? Oh, I don’t know! I’ll admit that I was thinking about the portrayals of romance writers often by writers in other genres. Not manly men writers who think all women who write romance are frivolous, empty-headed and unrealistic — like a lot of the crime guys I know who are comfortable suburbanite dads who write about killing sprees, gritty drug dealers and serial murders which are totally realistic in their lives.

I’m reading Barbara Pym on a whim because I realised despite binging on her books when I first discovered her back in the 90s, I had not read Less Than Angels which is about academics, so perfect for me. And I’ve been mostly reading very dark crime stuff, so change of pace. Though Pym is often compared to Austen for all the good reasons, as Salley Vickers points out in the introduction, she really has a lot more in common with Kingsley Amis, particularly in this novel.

Pym has a dry humour that builds through characters. She skewers people so deftly they seldom feel the barb. “Academic toilers,” one character asserts, “do not understand the art of being fashionably late.” Indeed, “the hands of the library clock were barely pointing to six when a mass of people seemed almost to hurl through the door.” It adds to the amusement that the academics are all anthropologists studying ‘primitive’ cultures, while Pym studies theirs.

The best character of course is the romance and ‘women’s magazines’ writer, Catherine Oliphant. A lot of the story comes from her perspective and she’s so odd and funny (and often unappreciated by others especially men, who find her somewhat scandalous because she says what she thinks). Pym’s perspective is equally direct: “There are few experiences more boring and painful for a woman than an evening spent in the company of one man when she is longing to be with another.”

Catherine finds people react oddly to her being a writer: “‘So you write? Stories, Deirdre told us.’ Her tone was a little uncertain for she had never met a writer before. She had heard that either they hated you to mention their profession or were offended if you didn’t.” But she’s no more confident in talking about her work, as Pym tells us, “adopting the rather derogatory tone behind which writers sometimes hide from the scorn and mockery of the world.”

But she makes a living at it — in contrast to the starving students and shabby genteel poverty of the faculty. Catherine offers outrageous opinions to suburban folks, who in their typically British way are reluctant to admit to being appalled. “Yes, of course women do think the worst of each other,” Catherine tells one ‘uncomfortable’ woman, “perhaps because only they can know what they are capable of.” She lives an unconventional life and though it is not without heartache, she’s also more realistic and thus adventurous.

The young student Deirdre, in contrast, falls head over heels and only gradually begins to realise the difficulty of real love — and disappointments. “Women so often find themselves examining a man’s books, trying to find something intelligent to say about them, and even at nineteen Deirdre was beginning to get her share of it.”

Pym isn’t exactly romance, although there is a lot of jockeying for romance in her books. They are laugh out loud funny at the most unexpected moments. But she has a deep understanding and love for romance and romantic tendencies. Her characters quote poems by Donne, Barrett and Shelley, and she refers to Austen’s Anne Elliot and even quotes her words about how women do not have the luxury of forgetting so quickly, then briskly informs us of the character, “Elaine was not much of a reader…which was just as well, even if she missed the consolation and pain of coming upon her feelings expressed for her in such moving words.”

Pym may not be romantic, but she loves romance.

If you love romance on the sexy side, be sure to follow Lady Smut — and don’t forget to enter to win Dark Desires!

Ten Steps to Inner Peace

27 Jun
One Night in Rome by C Margery Kempe - 500

Out July 22nd from Tirgearr!

by C. Margery Kempe

While most people are getting ready for their holidays or counting down to the end of classes for themselves or their children, I am doubling down on the busy as the last couple months of my sabbatical loom before me like the blades of a guillotine [just joking (not)]. This week as I’ve been picking up speed, lots of people around me have finally found the leisure to take a breather — and come up with things for me to do.

Insert grumpy face here >:-(

But don’t worry! I have tried and true ways to beat the stress and find your inner peace. So if you’re scrambling like me, just take a moment to run through these steps and see if you don’t feel better in no time.

1) Swear

It’s a well-known fact* that cursing opens up your chakras and allows you to reduce blood pressure. Directed at the source of your stress it may temporarily at least put an end to your receiving further stress.

2) Throw Tantrums

Who was that one guy who wrote that book about learning everything he needed to know in kindergarten? I rest my case.

3) Drink

Hydration is key to good mind/body balance and martinis make you witty and gay. And sometimes belligerent and arrested, but that’s by the way.

4) Meditation

Every good plan starts with mindful meditation. You cannot maintain world-domination or carry out a perfect crime if you do not meditate carefully on the detail work. Axes don’t bury themselves in skulls, people. It takes thought.

5) Letting Go

Let go of the doubts that hold you back. Let go of your pre-conceived notions of what counts as success. And when the police tell you to drop your weapons, do it.

6) Prioritise

You can’t do everything at once. Divide and conquer should be your motto. That and avoiding land wars in Asia. If you’re making a kill list, some one has to go at the top. Think carefully. Who most deserves to experience the full force of your murderous mood.

7) Know Yourself

Do you know your true self? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Introvert or extrovert? Rage-killer or cold-blooded? Axe or pistol? It will save time if you choose wisely and work to your strengths.

8) Skip anything you don’t want to do


10) Make Lists

And then just throw them away. Or make them into blog posts. And then go have that martini.


Follow Lady Smut here and on Facebook. We’ll set you straight.


*Fact here may be read as “my considered opinion” and I am a doctor (of philosophy, sure, but what the hell do you think this is? Q.E.D.) Need I say this is all in good fun and I wouldn’t hurt a fly? Seriously, just joking. We’re only serious about our books: click on any picture to find out more.

How To Guide: World Domination

18 Apr
Buy CMK's book!

Buy CMK’s book!

by C. Margery Kempe

Some people use the holiday to give gifts, bond with families and eat too much. These people will never control the globe.

Lots of people have a good string of days off this time of year when they are free of the mundane tasks required to make a living scraping by in a moderately successful job. Most will spend their time imbibing festive drinks and visiting other locales. The more ambitious, however, will put this freedom to better use by formulating a plan to dominate the world.

While reading Manisha Thakor’s piece on how women seldom ask for raises, instead hoping their hard work will be noticed and rewarded (it won’t), I was struck again by the failure of so many women to risk not being seen as nice. ‘Nice’ will not conquer worlds: look at Dick Cheney. I’m sure Alexander the Great did not remember his co-worker’s birthdays. And if Stalin ever brought cookies to the office, they were probably poisoned. If you want to rule the world, keep a few of these things in mind:

Have talent

It’s not essential, of course. Look at any number of talent-free celebrities. But it makes it a lot easier. For all the outrageous fashion choices and outlandish theatrics, the heart of the Lady Gaga empire is damn catchy music and a fabulous voice. Actual talent makes it easier to navigate through the inevitable bubbles of backlash that strike anyone who achieves an inordinate amount of success.

Have a brand

When you hear the words Stephen King or Oprah Winfrey you have a picture in your head, not to mention the sound of screaming, for somewhat different reasons (usually). Your mission must be clear: world domination on its own can be perceived as nakedly aggressive. Try to come up with some thing more friendly and beneficial. Ideally, your brand statement should fit within a tweet and look good in an appropriate font. Theme songs help, too. Defining your brand identity can help you clarify what your goals are and when you drift from them. Focus is key to success.

Have a plan

Most attempts at world domination fall down on the details. Conquerors tend to be people with vision rather than clerical skills. This can lead to problems if you try to expand your empire too quickly. Unless you’re the Russian mafia or Thomas Kinkade, you’ll probably benefit from staying on the right side of the law. Given that women and children make up the vast majority of those living in poverty, this cannot be emphasized enough. It’s no good dominating the world if you end up broke, jailed and despised (e.g. Thomas Kinkade).

Oh, sure—world domination may not be on your agenda, but a more focused and conscious approach to your career, whatever it may be, will give you benefits beyond the immediate future. Things are tough out there and we all need to be smarter about our paths and clear about our goals. The good news is romance writers tend to be better at this than other kinds of folk.

It’s better than stuffing your face with all those chocolate bunnies anyway. Happy Easter! And hop down the bunny trail with the Lady Smut crew if you want to keep up with what’s sexy.



[Original version of this diatribe appeared at Bitch Buzz; forthcoming in The Triumph of the Carpet Beetle]

Funny Women are Sexy!

21 Feb

1/24 Slide Ab Fabby C. Margery Kempe

Back in 1994, I had a weekend that seemed to be on a downward spiral. My car died, quietly and suddenly, and I was stranded in the part of Connecticut that people don’t talk about: the Quiet Corner. This was my experience of the state when I moved there from Cambridge: I drove past the campus, looking for the little college town. Must be the other way, I thought after driving a few miles and seeing only cows and pastures. So I turned around.


So I was adjusting to country life after my funky town and losing a car was like losing a valuable limb. It was a blow, canceling all my weekend plans. Then I turned my head. No, literally (and I do mean literally) and suddenly I was in so much pain that I could not move it again.

Joy. I ended up spending the weekend lying on my friend’s couch in pain, almost immovable. I had a television to entertain me. I mostly hate television especially in the States because it means endless, repetitive commercials. But I got a gift that weekend, for which I thank the comedy gods forever because Comedy Central debuted Absolutely Fabulous that weekend with a non-stop marathon (well, non-stop except for advertisements, d’oh!) and I had a new favorite show — one that I have bonded with so many other women over.

Most women will tell you that a man who makes them laugh is miles ahead of the competition, but it seems to be a rare man who appreciates a funny woman. Why? Because it means we’re smart and quick thinking? Sorry, but if you’re intimidated by a woman being funny, you’re really not worth the effort. Here’s to the funny women!

Who are your fave funny women?

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