Tag Archives: interracial romance

Loving, Fiercely: Fifty Short Years

13 Jun

I bow to the Loving Project, both for this image and for their spectacular coverage of Loving Day 50.

By Alexa Day

Yesterday, June 12, 2017, was the fiftieth anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which made interracial marriage legal across the country. Loads of adorable interracial couples took to the Internet yesterday to thank Richard and Mildred Loving for their determination to defend their marriage against long-standing state law. This super-cute gallery is from last year, but couples turn up every year to smooch and be thankful.

Every year, someone asks me the same question.

“Alexa, are people still opposed to interracial marriage? After all this time, is that still a thing?”

In fairness, I have not heard that question yet this year. Maybe current events are answering the dubious for me. Nothing like hearing that some specimen left a noose at the National Museum of African American History and Culture to convince a person that yes, Virginia, people do still have an issue with racial equality.

But I’m going to approach this question squarely and honestly, by asking all of you to approach this question squarely and honestly. Take an objective look at the world around you.

Consider that 33 years after the Loving decision, Alabama finally got around to taking their anti-miscegenation law off the books. Consider that somewhere out there, someone’s first thought was that if the law was invalid anyway, why shouldn’t it hang out on the books for 33 years?

Consider that in 2009, there was a justice of the peace who would take the time to determine if a couple was interracial before refusing to marry them. In 2009. You might recall that the President of the United States at that time was the product of an interracial marriage.

And consider the many, many people who still endure hostile stares, snide remarks, ignorant questions, longstanding arguments with their families, and the occasional bold stranger who demands to know why they’ve chosen to marry outside their race. This will seem odd in a world where Richonne and a black Bachelorette and the golden days of Scandal are fresh in people’s minds. But in the real world, out there on the sidewalk with you, someone’s mom is being mistaken for the nanny. This happens all over the world, every day. Hip hop artist Eve, athletic goddess Serena Williams, and Prince Harry’s honey Meghan Markle have all had to take questions about the intersection of their racial identities and their love lives, and I promise that if it is happening to the three of them in the public eye, someone you know is having to deal with nastier questions.

So how do we fight this?

How a man looks at his wife is one thing. How he looks at the camera is quite another.

Take a lesson from Richard Loving. This is my favorite photo of him, with his arm around his wife. Mildred is smiling at someone off to our right, perhaps in the middle of a cheerful conversation about something other than being at the center of this court case.

Richard is looking right at us. His is the face of a man who knows his job is to keep his wife smiling, who takes his job very seriously, and who dares a nation of lookie-loos to make something of it.

Tell the Court I love my wife.

Or, if you’ll let me put frank language into his mouth: Fuck you. We’re happy.

How do we beat bigotry?

Choose happiness. Do it consistently, especially when people seem determined to make trouble. I can tell you from experience that this is harder than it sounds. One can only hear ignorant questions about what the sex is like or what everyone’s parents think so many times before wanting to flip out.

But today, we are much closer to a world where no one takes issue with marriage equality because of two ordinary people who wouldn’t back down. The least we can do is follow their example.

Love fiercely, my friends. And follow Lady Smut.

Speaking of loving fiercely, esteemed colleague Elizabeth SaFleur has a new release this week. Lucky is about a different sort of opposites attracted to each other, but my guess is that you can count on more BDSM in Lucky than in the average Supreme Court opinion. Click to score your copy of this super hot book about two people accustomed to getting what they want.

Click and go get it!

Billionaire, entertainment investor and resolute bachelor Derek Damon Wright and dance studio owner Samantha Rose are unprepared for their mutual attraction to one another. She desperately wants to have a baby, and family doesn’t match Derek’s sophisticated life of private jets, vacations in the Caribbean and his BDSM activities. Yet a magnetic passion draws them closer—at least until their past mistakes arise and threaten all hope of a real future.

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

This is Not Why We Need Diverse Romance–but it Sure Helps

24 Apr

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

There are a lot of reasons why #WeNeedDiverseRomance. We here at Lady Smut have discussed aspects of diverse romance regularly, whether it’s Alexa Day discussing the racial- and feminist-line blurring TV show Pitch or her examination of interracial romance through history or Thien-Kim Lam’s talking about #OwnVoices during #ReadHotter month, or my own look at the women who make America great, including the former first lady and the first Latina senator elected to office. Then there was Elizabeth Shore’s interview with Vikkas Bhardwaj who’s burning up romance covers and not only those covers with Indian or dark-skinned heroes. He’s challenging the need for white-washed heroes on romance covers regardless of the hero’s description on the pages inside. And we thank him for that. Oh do we ever.

We work to be a fuller, more rounded representative community here and not only when it comes to sexuality. I thought of that earlier today while trolling through Facebook (as one does on a Sunday afternoon) when I caught romance writer Zoe York’s post of a link to this delicious feature:

Gorgeous Asian Hunks Wearing Only Iconic Costumes Will Make You Thirsty AF

Well now, thought I, here’s my Lady Smut post for tomorrow.

Why yes, please do tell me more.

Whether they’re shirtless food vendors from Malaysia or smoking hot firefighters in Taiwan hosing themselves down with water, we here at NextShark can appreciate a hunky Asian man.

Thai portfolio service SKiiNMODE takes sexy snapshots that combine Asian culture with some of the continent’s most attractive guys, RocketNews24 noted.

Um, gulp.

Now, I myself, personally, am not a huge fangrrl of Asian cultural. I don’t like Asian food, or more accurately, my body doesn’t like it, and I seriously dislike anime. My cultural jones is firmly Celt and  British situated, for the most part. Thankfully, food and anime are only two minor aspects of Asian culture. There’s a ton of things to explore as with any culture, and I readily admit that samuri and geisha history fascinate me. I’m also fond of a great deal of Asian artwork and architecture.

Click on image to buy!

My romantic suspense addiction is likewise intrigued by the whole mafia/Yakuza genre. Criminal clubs/gangs/societies trip my trigger, I won’t lie, which helps explain my MC romance addiction. One of the things I loved about Anne Stuart’s fantastic dark romance, ICE series (which, if you haven’t yet, you must read–in fact, I just interrupted writing this post to one-click the hell outta the series and I already have every single book on my bookshelf in paperback) is her Asian bad ass heroes. Fire and Ice, book five of the series, has a defrocked Yakuza hero and takes place entirely in Japan, a culture of which the author is an admitted devotee. Stuart doesn’t take the tourist angle here either. Pursued by the bad guys, the hero and heroine go outside Tokoyo into the nitty-gritty aspects of Japanese society you can’t find on the NatGeo channel or with hours of devotion to Mortal Combat or Bruce Lee movies. I was just as intrigued by the Japanese culture Stuart utilized as I was by the story.

But holy hotness, SKiiNMODE. I think you just broke me.

Any of these chiseled examples of male perfection could easily storm the heart and attitude of the sassiest romance heroine regardless of cultural association on either person’s part. SKiNMODE also features gender-bending ideas for Ghost in the Shell geisha assassins and a male Elektra that would revive that sad franchise with one steely look. And who knew Power Rangers could exude so much sizzling sexuality. Morph me.

You can follow SKiNMODE on Instagram and Facebook and, bless them, there’s even a Tumblr page that gives a whole new meaning to NSFW.

You can thank me later.

Don’t forget that we’re going to be at RT this year.

Follow Lady Smut. We’ll happily morph all your cultural jones.

It’s coming fast. No, not the virgin heroine’s first orgasm. Rather, the Lady Smut big RT event is less than two weeks away! Join LadySmut bloggers at the RT Booklovers Convention May 3-7, especially at our super special reader event – Never Have You Ever, Ever, Ever. Win crowns, fetish toys, books and more! Goodybags to first 100 people in line! Wednesday, May 3 at 1:30.

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, is now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum

Exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

Half Past Time: Rachel Lindsay as the Next Bachelorette

14 Mar

Not sure what lies ahead for Rachel, but she seems to have done pretty well so far, no?

By Alexa Day

Her name is Rachel Lindsay, she’s 31 years old, and she’s an attorney working for a very supportive law firm.

She’s the next Bachelorette. And she’s black.

Some of you can’t be bothered to care, and that’s fine. I will defend to the death your right to apathy. Just understand that this is a really big deal for a great many people.

I’ve never really watched the Bachelor; I could only watch so many grown women burst into real tears on camera over some dude they just met. By the time, I stopped paying attention years ago, the show’s few black cast members were usually on the show long enough to make the network look good. Then they were gone before anyone started to think that the Bachelor, usually a white man, would actually choose a black woman as a romantic partner and potential spouse.

Gradually, black women garnered longer stays on the Bachelor. But before Nick Viall, whose run as the Bachelor will end tonight, none had cracked the final three. Indeed, Nick had a more diverse selection of women than many Bachelors. In the history of the franchise, going back 21 years, the Bachelor and Bachelorette have had only 43 black cast members, and eight of them were with Nick this season.

Rachel left the Bachelor last week, leaving Vanessa and Raven to vie for the final rose. This is about the time I found out that Rachel would be the next Bachelorette, and after I shook my head in wonder that it only took ABC thirteen years to make a black woman the show’s lead, I started to pick through the press coverage.

I liked Rachel immediately. She said her law firm is holding her job open while she films the show, something she knows to be an anomaly in the legal industry. She said she had no desire to know what her dad and Nick talked about, when the two of them apparently had their suitor-parent conference. And then, in The New York Times, she said, “Even though I’m an African-American woman, it’s not different from any other bachelorette.”

You might be asking, at this point, what the big deal is. She says she’s going to be just like any other bachelorette.

That’s the big deal. That’s a huge deal.

I’ve got a few years on Rachel, and so my experience with popular culture’s expectations of black women is probably a little different. Today, we have Rick and Michonne on The Walking Dead, who have moved beyond being the zombie apocalypse’s most dangerous couple and become its most adorable couple as well. On Scandal, Fitz’s adulterous relationship with Olivia might be a thing of the past, but he’s involved in another, similarly complicated interracial relationship with Angela, the director of the FBI … and his ex-wife, Mellie, is flirting across racial lines with her aide, Marcus. Not that long ago, I was delighted to spread the news about the immense but understated magnetism of Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga in Loving.

My point here is that we’re seeing black women with white men in the popular culture. We’re seeing it frequently. What’s so different about this?

The headline that sent me down this Bachelorette rabbit hole was this one, from The Hollywood Reporter: “History-Making ‘Bachelorette’ Opens Up About Pressure to Pick a Black Man.”

Rachel hasn’t even started production yet. And she knows there’s going to be some pressure for her to pick a black man, because to some person or persons out there, it’s okay for her romantic options to be limited by her skin color.
In short, she knows that a lot of people think that black people should be with other black people, to the exclusion of all other people. Whether this view is espoused by enough people to affect her pool of suitors remains to be seen. But she knows the truth about people’s perceptions, and she is willing to tell The Hollywood Reporter about it. In spite of this, she’s determined to pursue her reality-TV romance just like any other woman, of any other race.

“It’s my journey in finding love,” she said. “And whether that person is black, white, red, whatever — it’s my journey. I’m not choosing a man for America, I’m choosing a man for me.”

I hope the network is prepared to support her in this mission.

If Zack and Lisa mattered to you back in the day, then Rachel probably ought to matter to you now.

Because I’m older than Rachel, I remember how many a television show would bring on a completely random black character for the sole purpose of being an appropriate, but temporary, love interest for a more permanent black character. I’m also aware of the longstanding TV trope of pairing the black character with the least romantically desirable character on the show. We’ve made progress, sure. But let’s be honest. Popular culture is still very comfortable with black romance (interracial and otherwise) on the sidelines, leaving black characters with societally appropriate partners who have no chemistry with them, with some grand mission to assist other characters at the expense of their own love lives, or with no partners at all. Honestly, I’m still a bit annoyed with Magic Mike XXL for pushing Rome into the corner. I’m enjoying the rise of Richonne because part of me is afraid it’s going to be taken away soon. Please don’t start me talking about Sleepy Hollow again.

I’m not going to sit here with you and suggest that the Bachelorette is the flagship of romance. I did just say I couldn’t bear to watch grown women devastated to discover that they wouldn’t be marrying some dude they just met a little while ago. But Ali Barthwell from Vulture says it best in “Why a Black Bachelorette is a Big Deal.”

“Celebrating black womanhood in the context of marriage and motherhood might seem reductive to some, but because they’ve so often been denied those roles in pop culture, it’s in fact, revolutionary,” she writes. “Seeing a black woman as the woman pursued, riding off into the sunset, would do so much to diversify the narratives of black romance.”

Will I tune in for Rachel? Well, just last night, one of her future suitors apparently greeted her, on international television, with the promise that he was “ready to go black and never go back.” I have to support a woman who could hear a man say that and not punch him in the face, cameras be damned.

In the meantime, let me present two tales of reality TV romance where black women take center stage.

In The One, by Danielle Allen, heroine Zoe is a reality-TV skeptic who suddenly finds herself on a Bachelor-style show. And Bridget Midway’s Love series, starting with Love My Way, features a reality TV show that pairs Doms with their submissives.

Still looking for excitement? Try this on for size.

Let the Confessional Games Begin!

Have you ever had mad monkey love on a motorcycle? A three-way in an alley? Been roped, tied and pleasured? Have you never, ever, never done any of this? Be rewarded for your naughty or sweet past and win crowns, toys, books and more at the Lady Smut special reader event, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. at the RT Booklovers Convention.

Follow Lady Smut. This is where the fun starts.

 

 

Keeping It Real: An Interview with Bridget Midway

14 Feb
Best. Housewarming. Gift. Ever. Click to buy.

Best. Housewarming. Gift. Ever. Click to buy.

By Alexa Day

We’ve spent a great deal of the last few days celebrating Fifty Shades. I cannot in good conscience join that celebration. My consistently negative feelings about Fifty Shades — both the portion of the book that I struggled to read and the movies I have no intention of seeing — are well documented here on the blog. But today, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I have chosen to offer you a more gentle, generous message.

You can do better. You can do much better.

Take Bridget Midway. Her Fascination Street was one of the very first kinky romances I ever read. It’s more of a swinging romance than a BDSM story, although it’s Bridget’s first book featuring characters who are into BDSM. Still, it doesn’t look like many of today’s BDSM romances. There are no billionaires. There are no ingenues. There are no sex clubs (but there is absolutely an orgy). Fascination Street is the story of a couple discovering that their new home in the suburbs comes with some very kinky neighbors. It’s also an interracial romance, the first BDSM romance I’d ever read with a black heroine.

Woman In Chains features a Dominant hero who rescues a submissive from an abusive Dom. When the story opens, the heroine, Brea, has been so badly abused that she won’t even use her own name. Watching her find her way out of the darkness with her rescuer, Dakota, is pretty powerful stuff.

I got to interview Bridget about her sexy stories, where BDSM romance is headed, and whether BDSM’s chains and power exchange are especially loaded for black kinksters. I definitely learned a thing or two from our conversation.

AD: With Fascination Street, you showed us that kinky people could literally be the couple next door, and with Woman in Chains, I absolutely love the way you portrayed hero Doms and villainous ones, to show readers what these relationships should and should not look like. (I consider both of them seminal works, by the way.) Is BDSM romance doing enough to draw the line between good relationships and bad ones? Does BDSM romance have any responsibility to do that?

BM: All romance fiction should highlight what a great relationship is for that couple. (Emphasis Alexa’s.) What works for one person may not work for another. Belle in Beauty and the Beast desired the Beast more than Gaston, but I’m sure some woman out there wanted Gaston. The goal of BDSM romance fiction should be to represent the Lifestyle honestly.

A: Do you think that we, as erotic romance authors, are sacrificing the tenets of safe, sane, consensual to achieve more popularity? I think erotic romance has always been a little larger than life, but do you think that we’re going beyond the unrealistic into the dangerous? Do we have a mandate to educate, or at least to be responsible, in our portrayal of BDSM?

B: In all fiction, authors push the boundaries of reality to create a fantasy that will make readers fall in love with love and with the characters. I can only speak about my writing style and my goals. I stay in the boundaries of portraying safe, sane, and consensual BDSM relationships. However, there’s more to a BDSM relationship than safe, sane, and consensual. Trust is paramount. It’s the bedrock of any good BDSM relationship. I’ll shake the characters up by making them question the trust they have between each other.

A: What would you say to black kinksters and the kink-curious who may be torn between curiosity and the powerful cultural implications of the power exchange, the whip/chain/restraint trappings of BDSM? Is BDSM different for black practitioners?

B: Although I write BDSM, I’m not personally in the Lifestyle. However, I have learned about the Lifestyle from people in the Lifestyle for more than twelve years. The very first time I went to a munch, which is a lunch that includes a demonstration, the Domme who taught me about the Lifestyle taught me one very important thing. BDSM is about sensations. Some people like a harder sensation than others. Some may want to be spanked, caned or flogged. Some may want dirty talk or tickling or mummification. No matter the kink, people who are involved in the Lifestyle are doing it for themselves and no one else, unless your thing is being an exhibitionist. If it is, you still wouldn’t care what anyone thinks. A person of color who enjoys being tied down or whipped should want it because it’s what they desire and it’s consensual. That’s the most important thing.

It'll change the way you think. Click to buy.

It’ll change the way you think. Click to buy.

A: Do you feel any kind of a way about Fifty Shades?

B: When the books first came out and there was a definite buzz about them, readers contacted me and asked me what I thought about them. At the time, I hadn’t heard of the series or the author. So I went on the author’s website to check out what she was all about. In her Frequently Asked Questions page, she admitted that she did all of her BDSM research online. After that, I discounted everything in the series and the movies.

BDSM is a real lifestyle with participants doing it all over the world. At the time I learned, I lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I didn’t even think where I lived that there was even a local BDSM group. I thought the closest I could get would be D.C. or Maryland. I did a search online and found a group that welcomed me to their meetings and have been so supportive about everything I have done, from book releases to in-person events. So for that reason, the Fifty Shades of Grey author had absolutely no excuse for not going out and meeting people from the Lifestyle to get a real, honest perspective. People can and do lie online all the time. When you get in a room with someone who is getting flogged or see a rigger hoist someone in the air with ropes or watch needles piercing someone’s skin and hearing their reaction, you collect sensational memories that you can translate into compelling fiction. I heard what it sounded like for a paddle to strike flesh. I smelled the wax during wax play. I’ve felt different types of canes and floggers. I have swung a paddle and flogger, and struck someone before. For that reason, I hope readers find me credible when they read my work.

A: I want to hear all about Royal Pains! How long have you been putting on an annual event? Why did you start? What do you hope to accomplish each year?

B: Ah, “2017 Royal Pains with Bridget Midway and Friends”. To be honest, and you may find this hard to believe, I’m painfully shy. I don’t mind absorbing into a background and being an observer. On the flip side of that, I do enjoy talking to readers and talking about books. About five years ago, author Yvette Hines put on an in-person event in Virginia Beach. She invited other local authors, including me, to participate. I saw how much fun it was, and asked her if she wanted to partner to do a joint event that focused on BDSM. I had never heard of a BDSM author event at that time, and I had been to plenty of BDSM conventions like Leather Flea Market Fair, Leather Fet and Fetish Fair Flea Market. I wanted to marry the two concepts.

In 2013, Yvette and I put on an event called “Wrapped Up” and wrote complementing books in a series about brothers who were both Dominants and owned a candy shop. My book was called Licorice Whips. I invited a couple of people in the Lifestyle to talk about what it is that they do, and they did an actual scene for the attendees.

To put on an event is a lot of work. So I waited a couple of years, and then in 2015, author Adrienne Kama and I put on another BDSM event called “Kickin’ It”. In that one, I had even more folks in the Lifestyle there and they answered questions and did some interactive activities with them.

I was exhausted after that event and hadn’t planned on putting on another one. When the people in the Lifestyle came up to me at the end of the “Kickin’ It” event and said, “You are going to do this again, and we will be here for you”, I knew I had to put on another event. It was fun and so informative.

My goal is to educate and entertain. I want people to take the fantasy of what they think BDSM is out of their heads and look at something real. And I want them to see and hear from people that I lean on for my BDSM teachings. And if I sell a book or two, that’s icing on the cake.

A: What are you working on right now?

B: Right now I’m working on the fourth book in the Love series, which is called Addicted to Love. That series has been about BDSM in reality TV settings. The first book, Love My Way, was about a Dominant trying to find a submissive through a reality TV show. The second book, Slave To Love, is about a submissive trying to find her Dominant through a reality TV show. In that book, there were two characters in there that “spoke” to me. I wanted to explore their stories. The hero was a contestant on the show who doesn’t talk. And the heroine is a bubbly submissive. Truth be told, this is the most difficult book I have ever written. But I can’t back away from a challenge. I want to get his story told.

A: I want that story told, too!

I am so, so grateful to Bridget for spending some time with me and Lady Smut! If you’re down with what Bridget is saying (and I definitely am), check her out on Facebook. Every morning, she posts up some smoking hot imagery in the run-up to Royal Pains. I especially enjoy the femdom photos. Yes, ma’am! If you want to join the party at Royal Pains — and I agree with Bridget that watching a scene from inside the room far surpasses anything you’re going to see on the Internet — head over to Bridget’s site. When she and I spoke, there were only 14 spots left, and they are going very quickly.

Includes massage oil, candle, lip balm, and soap. Continental US only, please!

Includes massage oil, candle, lip balm, and soap. Continental US only, please!

And this is an excellent time to follow Lady Smut. You’re just in time for the Kama Sutra giveaway! Just subscribe to our newsletter for a chance to win.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Indivisible: The Simple Invincibility of Loving

22 Nov
It is as simple, and as powerful, as this.

It is as simple, and as powerful, as this.

By Alexa Day

About 18 months ago, I received news of Jeff Nichols’s film, Loving, with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. I did promise to give the movie a fair chance, but I could not imagine that any film would do justice to the real Richard and Mildred Loving, two people who simply belonged together.

I saw Loving this past weekend. It is magnetic.

From the very beginning, Nichols draws us into a world that never gets much larger than the two people at the heart of the story. The energy that flows between Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, who play the Lovings, is palpable but very gentle, a deep-running but quiet passion. As we follow them to Washington, D.C. and then back to Virginia, with three children in tow, the only thing any of us knows for certain is that these two people belong to each other. They nourish each other, and they grow into and through each other, and they are absolutely bound to each other. They are indivisible.

Given the groundbreaking nature of the Loving decision, I imagine that there’s always a temptation to turn this story into something large and sensational. It would be easy to play to the audience with raised voices and racial slurs and the protracted study of racial inequality in America in the 1960s. Nichols resists this temptation, and the film shines because of his restraint.

The beauty of the Virginia countryside fills the screen with lush color. The changing seasons come to life, softly reminding the viewer of just how long it took for the case to rise from Caroline County to the Supreme Court. Don’t even start me talking about the cars. Every detail is beautifully rendered, but all of that is just a backdrop for Richard and Mildred. They’re a constant in a world that slides around them. It is impossible to look away from them.

The movie never raises the question of whether the Lovings would stay together despite the opposition to their marriage. The film is built on one premise, the unbreakable certainty that neither would abandon the union. A different question arises from that foundation. We never wonder if the Lovings will stay together … but before long, we doubt society’s power to challenge them.

There is tremendous comfort to be found in the knowledge that two people would survive and thrive, despite opposition, simply by refusing to let go of each other. At one point, Mildred tells a reporter that she’s aware of the conflict she faces, but that she also knows that she and her husband have many, many allies. No matter what happens, the two of them are determined to live their lives on their terms, surrounded by family and friends.

That sort of confidence is the source of real, lasting change.

Is Loving playing in your town? Go check the website. Then have a look at Grey Villet’s photos of the Lovings.

And follow Lady Smut.

Better Living Through (Fictional) Science: Illicit Impulse Cover Reveal

26 Sep
It's almost here! Illicit Impulse returns tomorrow!

It’s almost here! Illicit Impulse returns tomorrow!

By Alexa Day

Writing erotic romance has got to be the best job in the world. I get to spend my time dreaming up the sexytimes with the sexy people. I get to trash their fictional world and watch as they crawl out of the wreckage to find love with each other. And every so often, I get to right a wrong. That’s why I loved writing Illicit Impulse so much. The story of John March and Grace Foley and those big experimental pills allowed me to address a biological injustice.

Oxytocin is widely promoted as a “cuddle hormone,” but I know its dark, clingy secret. Sure, oxytocin will make you want to snuggle with your sex partner once the fireworks have faded for the evening, and hey, that’s wonderful. But it also works a dark magic on a woman’s mind, where it transforms her sex partner into her boyfriend. Oxytocin doesn’t care that you probably aren’t going to see him again or that he was really just the entertainment for the evening or the weekend. So far as the “cuddle hormone” is concerned, it’s always cuffing season.

That just felt like a huge biochemical ripoff to me. I mean, I’m good with hormones lighting up for one dude over another, but I certainly didn’t want hormones choosing my boyfriends for me.

But what if there were some way to take oxytocin out of the driver’s seat?

Well, I might not be able to make an oxytocin suppressant … but I can sure make one up.

Illicit Impulse is the story of how complicated things can get when we try to uncomplicate things. Neuroscientist John March (the hot fellow in the glasses) has fulfilled my dream by creating an oxytocin suppressant called Impulse. He just needs someone to test it out and be completely honest about how well it’s working.

That’s where Grace Foley comes in. John and Grace are best friends, and she’s done a lot of kissing and telling over the years, hoping for the benefit of his advice. She doesn’t mind trying out a product that promises sex without commitment. Her friend with benefits, Tal Crusoe, doesn’t mind a little experimentation, either.

Simple enough, right?

There’s just one problem.

John and Grace both want to be more than friends. They’re also both certain that they’ve blown their chances with each other. So will these hot, hands-on experiments force them deeper into the friend zone? Or will Impulse make their friendship complicated in the nicest possible way?

Illicit Impulse was previously published by some other people before a very extensive revision for Loose Id. You can get your very own copy tomorrow as Lady Smut’s Smart Sexy Science theme week continues!

In the meantime, follow Lady Smut. It’s good for you.

Alexa Day is the USA Today bestselling author of erotica and erotic romance with heroines who are anything but innocent. In her fictional worlds, strong, smart women discover excitement, adventure, and exceptional sex. A former bartender, one-time newspaper reporter, and recovering attorney, she likes her stories with just a touch of the inappropriate, and her literary mission is to stimulate the intellect and libido of her readers.

A Hollow Farewell: Abbie Mills Deserved Better

12 Apr
It's half past time to start holding writers accountable.

It’s half past time to start holding writers accountable.

By Alexa Day

(OMG, I’m so late. I hope all of you had ice cream while you were waiting!)

I don’t remember where I was when I found out Sleepy Hollow had killed off Abbie Mills. I do remember that I responded with a shrug. It’s not that I’m not grieving. I’m certainly not happy about this. But I’m not surprised.

Truth is, I didn’t start watching Sleepy Hollow for Nicole Beharie. I started watching for John Cho. I can refuse John Cho nothing. Sleepy Hollow killed John Cho off (the first time) at the end of the pilot. You see how they do.

By then, I was all about Abbie Mills, though.

It took a really long time for things to go wrong.

Abbie Mills and her fellow Witness, Ichabod Crane, had amazing chemistry right from the start. He didn’t understand a whole lot about modern life, but he was a strong and steady male influence in her world, where family and friends rarely stick around for long. An easy affection started to deepen into something else.

I was really looking forward to Something Else. I wanted this in large part because of how well the writers handled John Cho’s character, Andy Brooks. You want to see someone absolutely destroyed by unrequited love, obsession, and the eternal consequences of his actions? Watch John Cho act the hell out of that role.

I figured the writers knew how to handle Something Else. Sadly, it gradually became clear that the Sleepy Hollow writers and Powers That Be were willing to move heaven and earth (and other dimensions) to prevent Something Else from happening.

Katrina appeared at the front of a long line of More Appropriate Companions. When that soured, Betsy Ross was shipped in from God knows where, as someone who had apparently dated Ichabod in the past. It looked to me like the writers were actually really excited about pairing Ichabod with a feisty, independent, lady bad ass — they just didn’t want him with Abbie. Nor did it seem that they wanted Abbie with anyone else.

So. The female lead on a major network television show is just not supposed to have a love interest. Certainly not the male lead. Wonder why?

Because she’s black.

I complained about this with Magic Mike XXL. There’s really no reason for such an important character as Rome, in such a sexual movie as Magic Mike XXL, to be left in the corner. Except that she’s black.

Hollywood has no problem at all marginalizing black female characters. For many, many years, characters who look like me have served a single purpose.

They’re here to help the white characters.

Here’s one now.

Never has not knowing nothing worked out so well.

Never has not knowing nothing worked out so well.

Here’s another.

She is smart. She really is.

She is smart. She really is.

Look, here’s one more.

Don't be fooled. Rome spent the whole movie in the background.

Don’t be fooled. Rome spent the whole movie in the background.

And now there’s Abbie. I saw the writing on the wall when Ichabod stood over her hospital bed and reassured her sister, Jenny, that Abbie would pull through. She was so, so strong, he said.

Of course she is. She’ll have to pull through and be strong if she’s going to keep helping out, right?

But seriously, I knew this was the end of Ichabbie because I knew that in Hollywood, the strong black woman never finds a companion. That’s not why she’s in the story.

I worry sometimes that you all think I’m the only person angry about this. Please be assured that I am not.

Orlando Jones, whose departure from the series is its own story, raises a brow here.

Colleague Sasha Devlin.

Rebekah Witherspoon tweeted at some length, but this is one of the real takeaways.

The Washington Post sees it. Take note, especially, of Nicole Beharie’s now-deleted report that she wasn’t even included in the first incarnation of DVD commentaries.

The final insult is the suggestion that as a Witness, Abbie’s “spirit” might return one day. An awful lot of people wonder what shape the spirit will inhabit.

Actually, that’s not the final insult. The final insult was that the writers crushed Jenny’s hope for love and happiness by killing Joe (her mentor’s smoking-hot, super tormented son), too. Those two were just lovely for each other — their baggage matched — and the writers actually made her the instrument of his destruction.

Explain to me again why Joe here had to die?

Explain to me again why Joe here had to die?

Hope lies at the bottom of Pandora’s box. And there is hope here.

It looks like this.

Hope springs eternal.

Hope springs eternal.

Someone does know how to write a relationship that looks like the one Ichabod and Abbie should have had. A few weeks ago, I literally cheered when I saw the strong black woman start a romantic relationship with a popular television show’s male lead. I made a lot of joyful noises and a lot of joyful tweets, and loads and loads of fans are ecstatic that Richonne is real at last.

The rest of television needs to take notice.

Now.

I see a lot of people promising to right the ship by writing their own sci-fi and horror projects, projects that don’t put people of color first in line to be killed or marginalized. But should that long, long overdue job really be relegated to writers of color, whose projects are, in turn, often diverted far from mainstream outlets? Is there any reason in the world that Hollywood writers’ rooms can’t manage this right the hell now?

I left Sleepy Hollow a while back because I thought Abbie Mills deserved better. I know Nicole Beharie does. And while I’m optimistic about the rise of Richonne, I’m not letting anyone else off the hook.

It’s high time Hollywood was held accountable.

Are you following Lady Smut? We believe in having it all.

Dead On! Rejoicing for Richonne

23 Feb
Stuff, thangs, and a touch of bow chicka wow wow.

Stuff, thangs, and a touch of bow chicka wow wow.

By Alexa Day

I’m writing this on Monday, almost a full day after watching the most recent episode of The Walking Dead, “The New World.” I’ve spent most of the day staring off into space and smiling. Everything is right in my little television world.

Why?

I’ll tell you. Of course, here’s the usual spoiler warning, with the usual classic music video to give the spoiler-averse the chance to slip away.

Still here? Good. I bet some of you will want to play that video again so you can sing. I needed three or four times, so I absolutely endorse that. Go for it. This post will still be here in fifteen minutes.

Is it any surprise that “The New World” is a world of love? Apparently it is a surprise to some folks. But I’ll get to that in a few minutes. I want to hit some highlights first.

Daryl teasingly echoing Doctor Denise’s jazz hands.

Rick playing the annoying older brother to the hilt — subjecting Daryl to his music and later swerving so that Jesus tips over onto Daryl’s shoulder. I’m an older sibling myself, so I loved watching Rick enforce the ‘my ride, my music’ rule.

Rick playing the loving older brother to the hilt — reassuring Daryl as they watch a truck full of supplies descend into a lake.

Maggie reaching out to Emo Enid, to let her know she needn’t be alone now that she’s helped both Maggie and her husband.

Carl teaching his baby sister how to find her way home.

Michonne telling Spencer that he still has a home and people who see the best in him, even though his mother has died.

And then things got real.

Carl explaining to Michonne that he didn’t kill zombie Deanna because it wasn’t his place. The job belonged to her family, he said, to someone who loved her.

And then Carl says, “I’d do it for you.”

Michonne, hearing Carl say that he is her family and that he loves her in this deep, dark, zombie-apocalypse way, returns his promise and embraces him.

Damn, right?

I really didn’t think we would get any more than that. And I was good with it. You know I love anything that gives Michonne and Carl the chance to be family.

But there’s more.

Rick and Michonne wind up on the couch, asking each other about their day. Conversations like that are always kind of intimate. I mean, anyone can ask how your day went, but we only tell the truth to our loved ones.

They watch baby Judith on the monitor.

Rick offers Michonne the roll of mints he got for her in lieu of the toothpaste she requested.

In the quiet, they hold hands.

They lace their fingers.

They turn toward each other.

I realized after a moment that I was actually trying to get my eyes to open wider.

They kiss.

I was afraid that if I moved or breathed or blinked, this would all be taken away somehow.

They look at each other — okay, yeah! And they kiss some more.

An astonished little squeak popped out of my mouth.

Rick and Michonne are making out on their couch.

This can’t possibly be real. Is this real?

Is Richonne real?

And then we cut to an overhead view of the two of them in bed, naked and entwined with each other, their weapons leaning against their respective nightstands.

Aww, check out the weapons on their nightstands!

Aww, check out the weapons on their nightstands!

Seriously, superfan and longtime Richonne shipper Yvette Nicole Brown had the same reaction I did. She just didn’t spend as much time shouting delighted profanities at the screen.

#LifeGiven #Richonne! Thanks to whoever made this pic collage!

A post shared by Yvette Nicole Brown (@yvettenicolebrown) on

So let’s be clear.

Richonne is real. Holy shit.

I’m surprised that all of this happened so soon after last week’s episode, yes, but only because my expectations have been lowered by Television As Usual. Television As Usual would have made us wait forever for this. We’d have gotten innuendo first, then hand-holding a few weeks later, and then interrupted kisses, delays to protect the feelings of others, and then did-they-didn’t-they for the season finale.

I should know better by now. The Walking Dead is not Television As Usual. The Walking Dead goes There. Now. Whether you’re ready or not.

I was ready. Richonne shippers everywhere were ready.

A great many people, however, are evidently surprised by this.

Nathan Fillion, on Sunday’s episode of Talking Dead, said he didn’t see it coming. And before I could ask what television show that dude has been watching, I saw headlines from Entertainment Weekly about the “huge Rick-Michonne shocker.” The Hollywood Reporter calls this “Rick and Michonne’s Surprising New Dynamic,” but it should be noted that neither Andrew Lincoln nor Danai Gurira seems terribly surprised by the nature of their characters’ relationship. Danai in particular saw this coming some time ago, and so have the people who have been stopping her on the street to ask when this was happening.

Is this a huge shocker? On one level, yes. If I hadn’t been surprised, I wouldn’t have launched into joyful hysterics back there. I’m surprised to have gotten everything I wanted in the space of two episodes. But I’m not surprised to see these two together. Rick and Michonne have been a great idea for a pretty long time.

I mentioned it here. Jamie Broadnax of Black Girl Nerds raised the matter three years ago. Yvette Nicole Brown (who should have been on the Talking Dead couch on Sunday — yes, I said it) started shipping Richonne back in season three.

So who is surprised? I don’t think the comics purists can claim to be shocked by this, honestly. TWD established a long time ago that the television series is not bound by the comics.

I’ll make a suggestion.

The same people who are totally okay with the marginalization of Rome in Magic Mike XXL are probably astonished to see that Richonne is real.

The same people who were good with relegating the Storm-Wolverine smooch from X-Men: Days of Future Past to the deleted scenes are probably shocked to discover that Richonne is real.

People who are confused by my use of “marginalization” and “relegating” just now probably didn’t see Richonne coming.

Ordinarily, I’d be bothered by that.

But I’m not going to let the easily shocked people of the world steal my joy.

Richonne is real. And to hear the powers that be tell it, Richonne is not going anywhere right away.

We’ll go easy on the told-you-so.

Follow Lady Smut. We love it when two good people come together and see Jesus.

Alexa Day writes erotica and erotic romance with heroines who are anything but innocent and fictional worlds where strong, smart women discover excitement, adventure, and exceptional sex. A former bartender, one-time newspaper reporter, and recovering attorney, she likes her stories with just a touch of the inappropriate, and her literary mission is to stimulate the intellect and libido of her readers.

The Dead Deliver: Is This the Season of Richonne?

16 Feb
Just a walk through the prison in the quieter days of the zombie apocalypse. Aren't they cute?

Just a walk through the prison in the quieter days of the zombie apocalypse. Aren’t they cute?

By Alexa Day

I am delighted to say that The Walking Dead is back, and I’m relieved (but not surprised) to say that its return on Sunday was amazing. It delivered everything I’ve come to expect from The Walking Dead over the years — such a welcome change from all the shows that have begun to disappoint me. But there’s a specific reason hope springs eternal during the zombie apocalypse.

This is your one and only warning. This entire post is basically wall to wall TWD spoilers. If you haven’t seen the season six mid-season premiere, “No Way Out,” you probably don’t want to read any more of this.

All the spoilers follow this music video.

Still here? Good.

The season six mid-season finale, “Start to Finish,” found my favorite couple-to-be, Rick and Michonne, trying to deal with the tremendous herd of zombies that overran Alexandria. I actually felt bad for Rick at this point. He has, either through action or inaction, jacked up just about every safe place this group has ever temporarily called home, but the invasion of Alexandria really wasn’t his fault. He did everything he could to protect the place that gave him the first shave and hot shower he’d enjoyed in months. Things just didn’t work out for him this time around, poor thing.

Anyway, at the very end of that episode, Rick led Michonne, Carl, and a handful of others dressed in zombie camo into the midst of the herd. Jessie and her family are part of the human chain, and just as they start their long slow walk through the giant wall of zombies, Jessie’s son, Sam, starts up with, “Mom? Mom? Mom?”

I’m not a parent, but I’ve been a kid, and I can tell you that my mother did not need the zombie apocalypse to, shall we say, gently encourage me to ZIP IT after three iterations of “Mom?”

But Jessie just lets him roll. “Mom? Mom?”

I have complained about Jessie before, at the opening of season six. I could not understand what made Jessie a viable love interest for Rick when the two of them have walked a very different path through the apocalypse, when she could not reach the very deep, very dark places inside Rick, and when it was painfully clear that they could not parent each other’s children. Indeed, I dared to dream that Something Might Happen to Jessie and Sam, and maybe her older son, Ron, too, while we’re at it.

Sam isn’t strong enough to be among the herd. Rather than retreating to safety with Father Gabriel and Judith, Sam insists on staying with his mother. More importantly, Jessie indulges Sam in his fragility. She’s done it before. She won’t do for Sam what Rick has done for Carl; she won’t force him to face the new realities of the apocalypse. As a result, Sam buckles amid the multitude of zombies, and when he blows his cover, he loses his life. Jessie, powerless to prevent his death, and equally powerless to save herself once he is lost, also loses her life.

Once he’s lost his entire family, Jessie’s older son, Ron, chooses this exact moment to take a shot at Carl. Ron has long had an ax to grind with Carl, and he has a poor sense of timing. Stationed protectively behind them, Michonne dispatches Ron, but not before his gunshot claims Carl’s eye.

One family has faced off against the other, and Jessie’s family has paid the ultimate price. The stronger family has prevailed.

Jessie was gone.

I’m ashamed to say that I was delighted.

I’m not that ashamed, but still. Even as Rick and Michonne rushed Carl to Alexandria’s hospital, I sighed and thought, “Now *there’s* a family.”

As the doctor examines his son, Rick finally breaks. He drifts out into the darkness to face the herd alone with an axe and a handgun. Michonne is torn — she wants to stay with Carl, but she can’t let Rick face the herd alone. Once the doctor stabilizes Carl, she tells Michonne to go after Rick, and then my heroine does something that choked me up a little.

She kisses Carl on the forehead before rushing out the door.

The apocalypse has cost Michonne a son, but this new reality has brought her another.

Everything that’s happened in Alexandria has worked to bring Rick and Michonne closer together. Michonne has been Rick’s strong right hand, providing valuable advice, daring to argue with the Ricktator, and shutting Rick down when he starts to go off the rails. She’s always been good with Carl, knowing how to protect him, when to give him space to grow up, and when he needed to be a kid. Carl and Michonne have been family for a long time.

Now, as the sun rises over a very different Alexandria, Rick makes a promise to his son. Rick has seen a world worth saving, a future worth claiming, and a place worth calling home. He pledges to make those things real for Carl.

I know Rick can’t do all that by himself.

Jessie was a barrier to the relationship between Rick and Michonne. In “No Way Out,” the barrier was abruptly removed. I’m sure the story has plenty of obstacles in store for Team Richonne, but Sunday night showed us that Rick and Michonne are ready to take all comers.

I can’t wait. Every romance fan knows how persistent real love is.

Follow Lady Smut. We’ve got your back.

Alexa Day writes erotica and erotic romance with heroines who are anything but innocent and fictional worlds where strong, smart women discover excitement, adventure, and exceptional sex. A former bartender, one-time newspaper reporter, and recovering attorney, she likes her stories with just a touch of the inappropriate, and her literary mission is to stimulate the intellect and libido of her readers.

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