Tag Archives: research

The ‘O’ in ‘Team’: Would You Hire a Sex Coach?

11 Jul
You could go all the way. Heyo!

You could go all the way. Heyo!

By Alexa Day

Hello, neighbors! I’m hard at work this morning — FOR YOU — but I wanted to leave you with something to think about today. So think about this oldie but goodie from way back when. I’ll catch up to you again soon.

As part of my Post-Tax Clutter Purge and Shred Festival, I gathered up a lot of my old magazines to send to various magazine-seeking charities. Among this year’s odd discoveries were a stash of Cosmopolitans (not sure how those got here), a Playgirl (I know exactly how that got here), a People Sexiest Man Alive issue with Pierce Brosnan on the cover, and the June 2012 issue of GQ.

I got rid of the Cosmos, stashed the Playgirl and the People, and sat down with the GQ. I always enjoy my time with GQ. It’s nice to keep track of high fashion for men because real life is not providing me with useful examples of what erotic romance characters wear. But the June 2012 issue answered two questions for me and raised a third.

Question 1: What is this fascination with Michael Fassbender? The June 2012 issue features a lovely interview with Mr. Fassbender, who is a better looking fellow than I had first supposed. I think I was wrongly blaming him for whatever is now happening to the X-Men movie franchise. I hope he’ll forgive me for that someday.

Question 2: Where has Mark Strong been all my life? Mr. Strong is in the June 2012 issue, too, along with a handful of iconic movie villains. Big as life, with a safety pin in his mouth. He’s been right in front of me, apparently. I spent a little time imagining how the words “right in front of you” would sound in that voice. Then I had a really cold beverage and returned to my reading.

Question 3: Would I hire a sex coach to watch me have sex in the comfort and privacy of my home and then help me out with some pointers? Here’s a link to the article I read about Eric Amaranth. Check it out, along with the best headline ever.

Would I? Would you? Think about it.

Oh, come on. If you had an answer that quickly, you didn’t really think about it. Think about it.

Tab A in the slot formation.

Tab A in the slot formation.

First, let’s look at this in a general sense. I don’t mind telling you that I don’t know everything there is to know about sex. In fact, I would shy away from people who told me they did know everything there is to know. I’m delighted to report that there’s more for me to know and that the body of knowledge gets bigger every day. I keep a reading list and a little library here. I want to achieve my best possible performance sexually, and why not? I mean, I’m not putting any pressure on myself (heyo!). I just wonder if it’s possible to have more than what I have right now, and I think that’s a nice thing to wonder about.

But would I want a coach right here on the sidelines? Do I want that sort of practical hands-on and hands-off (mine on, his off) study?

I honestly don’t know. Seriously, I can’t answer that question. With the right partner, it might make for quite the experience. Even without a partner, it still has the potential to be fascinating.

And let’s consider our alternatives. There’s book learnin’, which is spectacular but has its limits. There’s personal experience, which is as limited as the person; bedding Tom only teaches you how to bed Tom, and only as well as he knows at the time. It leaves much to learn about bedding Dick and Harry. It also leaves out the things Tom doesn’t know but would like to know if he knew about them.

On top of that, there’s the lure of knowledge for knowledge’s sake. The world offers no more seductive whisper than this: “There’s so much more to learn.”

(Darn you, Mark Strong. Darn you to heckfire.)

So would I? Would you? Let me know what you think.

And remember: there’s no ‘I’ in Lady Smut. Follow us and see.

My Six Summer Obsessions

14 Jul

By Liz Everly

Every once in awhile we here at Lady Smut delve into our obsessions. It’s been awhile for me, so I thought it was about time.

1. I’ve started watching “Orange is the New Black.” We all know how behind I am on pop culture things. It’s like I’m constantly playing catch up since I’ve become a parent. I don’t really mind–I’m not much of a pop culture person. but in this case, I’ve said to myself, “self, you need to pay more attention!” This show is amazing. I’m not through with the first season yet. In-credible show.

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2. Lemon water. Oh yes. That’s it. I’ve been drinking it by the gallons this summer. They say it detoxes your system.  I don’t know, but I love it. In fact, I crave it. I don’t know how I will survive in NYC a week without my own stay of lemon water.

3. Cara McKenna. Why are her books not found at my local libraries? I can’t afford all the books I want. Oh Cara, let’s get you into the library.

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4. The RWA Annual conference in NYC. I’m not sure I’ll even ever been halfway prepared. But it is bound to be a hoot meeting some folks I’ve only known online. I can only take so many panels and often find myself overwhelmed and sipping a cold one in the bar. I am thrilled to be able to go this year.

5. Research. I know that sounds dreadfully boring to many of you. But I totally adore research. And I’ve been doing a lot of it for the historical I’m writing. Not a romance, alas. But I am working in some romantic elements and hoping to hook up with some historical folks at RWA. (See #4)

6. Paul McCartney and the Beatles.

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My husband and I took our daughters to their first rock concert. We agreed this one would be worth the price and the experience for our daughters. It was. And it was worth all of the crap we had to do to get there and get home. The crowds, the rain, the parking garage dramatics. This concert sort of set the tone for much of our family conversation this summer. We’ve been talking about the music, the lyrics, the history. How some of McCartney’s songs capture characters so well, in such few words. What a talent!

How about you? What are you obsessing about this summer?

Swiped Out: Confessions from Tinder Research

2 Nov

By Alexa Day

About a month ago, I went to Charlottesville to meet the inimitable Sven Gillingham for Girls’ Night Out, where I led a discussion about the various sexual things one can do with one’s mobile phone. Part of my presentation was about Tinder, the hookup app that seems to be morphing into a dating application. In order to speak about it intelligently, I spent part of a week fooling around with it.

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Tinder doesn’t work like standard online dating. Because it originated as a hookup site, its roots are substantially more superficial. In essence, Tinder shows you the pictures, first names, distance from you, and age of people you might be interested in, and you use that information to decide whether or not you want to contact that person.

Tinder is supposed to be fast-paced. You’re not looking for a spouse. You’re not even looking for a date. You’re looking for a hookup. The idea is that you’re either interested (in which case, you’d swipe right) or not (swipe left). If you and the other person both swipe right, Tinder connects you to make the arrangements. If you swipe a person left, Tinder makes sure you never see him again, which is a lovely courtesy.

That sounds simple enough, right? Yeah, I thought so, too. The whole thing is supposed to move quickly, so I figured I would just need a couple of minutes on my lunch half-hour, while I ate.

The first day, I got everything set up and started swiping. I admit that I spent a little too much time between swipes initially. I’m not going to apologize for that. I certainly don’t want to hook up with just anybody.

Not that *I* was in it for the hookup, you understand. I was just about the research. You know, for the party. Just to be clear.

After left-swiping an ex-boyfriend with more vehemence than necessary, I finally encountered someone who looked interesting. I swiped him right, and Tinder announced in joyous script that “It’s a match!” I was kind of joyous myself. I’d begun to worry that I wouldn’t have anything to discuss at the party.

The first guy is not a bad-looking fellow at all. By that time, unfortunately, I had about three minutes of lunch left. My new friend told me to feel free to text him and sent me a phone number. The gesture reminded me that I hadn’t arranged for an alternate phone number of my own. I certainly don’t want the Men of Tinder gallivanting around with my real phone number.

Not that it mattered, of course, because this was really about research. I should have told this person that. As I’d left it, he probably thought I was trying to hook up with him.

Tinder was difficult. Should Tinder have been difficult?

The next day, again at lunch, I went back to Tinder, resolved to make things easier for myself. That day’s crop of potential partners (for research) was different, though. Instead of shirtless posturing or posing with various landmarks, I saw pictures of kids. Sometimes they were alone, in Little League uniforms. Sometimes they were with their parents, whose names and ages appeared on my phone as usual. I didn’t make any matches that day — I swipe left for kids — so I was more discouraged than usual when I sought out a Tinder-aware friend for advice.

She explained that I was probably taking too much time between swipes. She only spent a few seconds deciding which way to swipe, the way I had when I saw my ex. She also said Tinder pulled photos from users’ Facebook albums. That explained the kids; parents often forgot to remove their kids’ pictures from their Tinder profiles.

“I thought you didn’t have any pictures of yourself on Facebook,” she said.

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I didn’t. What I did have was my most recent cover, which features a woman provocatively posed in a man’s arms. I should mention that neither of those people is clothed. It had not occurred to me that my fellow Tinderfolk might have presumed that I was in the photo.

I went right for self-deprecating Tinderfail humor. “I guess guys are probably swiping right for that.”

She smiled gently at me. “Alexa, guys swipe right for everyone.”

I’d have felt bad about this if I hadn’t just been in it for the sake of research. Instead, I decided I had probably seen enough of Tinder to discuss it intelligently at Girls’ Night Out. Once I arrived at the party, I pulled Madeline Iva aside for a bit of a demonstration.

I got Tinder going on my phone and got to swiping for her. Two left swipes, and then … a lean, muscular, shirtless fellow displaying his tattoos as he lifted weights. Sure, his back was turned, and we couldn’t see his face, but whatever, it’s just Tinder. For research.

“We’ll want to talk to him,” I said.

I swiped right and was matched with my tattooed friend. Of course. Men swipe right for everyone.

I greeted him and said I was about to give a presentation for a group. I asked if he was interested in answering a few questions.

He asked if I wanted to hook up. A fair question, this being Tinder and all.

“Right now?” I asked. I explained that I wouldn’t be available for a while.

After some thought — maybe two full minutes — he said that would be fine. Then he asked where I lived.

But it was time for my talk. I closed out and got down to business, and by the time I was done, I imagine he’d found a more convenient partner. I never heard from him again, and I think he’s expunged our conversation from his end. I might have felt something about that if it hadn’t been all about the research.

So it’s been a month now, and now that I’ve told all of you about my Inspiring Adventures with Tinder, I can uninstall it once and for all. And I will. As soon as I’m sure there’s nothing else I need to research.

As for you, you’ll want to follow Lady Smut. We’re here looking for friends first, and maybe something more, if things work out.

If You Find It, You Will … Arrive: In Support of the G-Spot

2 Mar
The G-spot is a little smaller than this, but don't worry. You won't need a map.

The G-spot is a little smaller than this, but don’t worry. You won’t need a map.

By Alexa Day

It’s part of my job as a writer of erotica and erotic romance to keep an eye on all the latest Sex News. (Yes, it is capitalized like that.) I like to know what people are interested in, and what’s new under the sun, and I use the information to make sure my work is as hot as I can realistically make it. And it’s fun.

Last week, I ran across a distressing quote.

Dr. Susan Oakley, an Ohio OBGYN, has been working on a study about the relationship between the size and location of the clitoris and the frequency of the female orgasm. The Huffington Post ran a story on the study results, and it sounded like the kind of exploration I could get behind. But then Dr. Oakley said, “There’s no G-spot. There’s a C-spot — the clitoris.”

I don’t know if she meant that in a hip, ironic, the-G-Spot-is-so-last-year kind of way. Maybe she did. I don’t know if she’s saying that what we know as the G-spot is actually part of the clitoris. Either way, this is kind of a problem because when a medical professional says something doesn’t exist, people don’t hear it in a hip, ironic way. They don’t consider possible changes in nomenclature. They hear a fact. They hear a fact even when science seems to change its mind every 18 months or so about the existence, location, and proper care and feeding of the G-spot.

Let me be really clear about something. The G-spot does exist. The G-spot orgasm also exists. If the G-spot isn’t real, then I have one hell of an imagination, and so do plenty of other women. I think the trouble is that many people have a little difficulty finding the G-spot. Good thing we have Dr. Jennifer Berman to help us out. Here she is, using a sophisticated teaching tool to show Conan O’Brien exactly how to get to it.

So how did this denial of the G-spot happen? Well, I’m no scientist. I’m not sure I’m qualified to say. But I know that the G-spot is easier to find when women are very relaxed and very aroused. I’m guessing it’s tough to achieve those conditions as part of a scientific study (although I had fun imagining that sort of thing in my book).

We cannot make this a grim, forced march to the G-spot. That’s a recipe for frustration. The G-spot might be the only thing in life — more than true love, more than success, more than happiness — that we’re more certain to find when we are not actively looking for it.

I’m not going to get into what the G-spot orgasm feels like. To the extent it can be captured in words, other writers are doing it better than I can. I can say that the experience was kind of mindbending for me, very stimulating both physically and intellectually. And that was very real indeed.

Friends, too many people believe in the G-spot to give up on it. Can’t we have both a G-spot and a C-spot?

Why not leave a G-spot testimony in the comments? Then follow Lady Smut. We’re easy to find.

Ride Alongs, Doctor Calls, and Drug Busts: All in a Day’s Work

9 Jul

By Liz Everly

Last week I was at Fourth of July party and had an interesting conversation with an educated woman, whose husband is even more educated. Let’s just say they are in the medical profession. She was shocked when she found out that writers actually do research—not the book kind of research one might imagine, but that they actually call on experts and ask them questions. She didn’t realize this  until a writer called her office to ask questions. The woman I was speaking with thought we simply made everything up.

Hmmm. I wonder how many readers think like that or simply never give it a thought. I mean we are mostly here to entertain readers—so I guess if readers are not thinking about everything that goes into the book, maybe we are doing a great job. And I kinda like the notion that readers think writers are a fount of information and don’t need to reach out to experts. But most of us consider research to a be big part of the job of writing—even when we are writing fiction. We still need to get the facts within the fiction right. It makes the story more believable. You don’t want your reader to stop dead in their tracks while reading and think “that’s not right” and maybe set aside the book because from that point on, it’s difficult for them to believe your story. Even though it’s fiction.

I’ve done all kinds of things in the name of research. And I usually do it while I’m writing or after. I fill in the gaps of my writing after I check out more specific things with my research.. I have police officers, lawyers, chefs, and doctors that I call on to answer questions. I’ve found that people really like it when you ask them for advice.

One of the things I’m most excited about is a conference that I’ll be attending this fall. I’m hoping to make a lot of contacts that I can call on. It’s beneficial for everybody for crime and suspense writers to get the facts straight. Even though I write culinary romances as Liz Everly, there is an element of suspense in them. (And I write mysteries under another name.) “The Writer’s Police Academy” will offer classes in forensics, self-defense for women, jail tours, patrol ride along, sessions on gangs and human trafficking. First hand knowledge. You can’t beat it.

When I Google “ride along,” this movie trailer came up and I have to say it made me laugh. Especially the part where the trainee shoots the gun (which I will not be doing, because I didn’t sign up in time). But I am in the lotto for a ride along and it’s serious business for which you have to sign a waiver and dress in decent clothes–not jeans and a t-shirt–because you don’t want to be confused with a suspect at any time. Here’s a clip from “ride along.”

What the craziest thing you’ve done for research?

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