Monday, November 29, 2010
My husband always teases me about being a planner. In every aspect of our lives, I like to plot and plan for the next few days, weeks, months, years. It keeps me centered and focused, and I think this tendency serves me particularly well when it comes to sex. While vanilla sex can be done more spontaneously (and can be quite a treat after a long day), I’ve always believed that kink needs to be thought out. We need props and scenes and let’s face it, if we’re not careful, someone can get hurt or at least feel a little worse for the wear. What with careers and kids, time is at a premium anyway for most couples. I think the kinky couple has it that much harder. Is there a way to be both spontaneous and kinky? Maybe it’s me, the control freak planner, that has trouble just jumping in. I’d love to hear from others. I’d love to find a way to be more flexible. I’m just not sure it’s possible.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Never underestimate the use of a prop, either in a story or in a real life scene. My whip is useful for many purposes. If I did go ahead and learn basics, the sound itself, the crack of the tail, would elicit fear and excitement on its own. The visual cue of it, the sleek sinuous braid, instills tension. All of this is predicated on the activity of the most important sexual organ humans possess. The brain. The meaning of the whip is as important as its bite. A well crafted script about what I might do with the instrument could achieve a satisfying effect. Although I could just use the grip as a gag with a sub biting down on the leather. I don't need much expertise for that.
As writers we are experts at using props. Since the real item is never present in a reader's living room where she's curled up with a book, the description of naughty play items is always an erotic tease of the mind. That's one of the roles erotic romance plays altogether, to tease the mind and all of those attached parts.
So what's the most creative prop you've used or read about or wrote about in a sexy scene? Real life or fiction. Hey, it doesn't even have to be in a kinky situation, although that's good too. Did it motivate the characters? Is using a prop sometimes even preferable to a physical experience? I'd like to say yes. What do you think?
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
|Me & Paris at RT 2010|
I can't let this day pass without bowing down in praise to my critique partner, Paris Brandon. She has a new EC release, Cross My Heart, coming out on December 17 - check it out. I have to tell you, this tiny little lady packs a hell of a wallup and she writes good too.
So when I finished Controlling Interest, my story for the 1-800-DOM-help series it was almost 5000 words too long. My friends, that's a LOT of words. I went to Paris and screamed...HELP! She answered as only a true friend and excellent crit partner can. She told me to calm down and put my butt in the chair cause we could do this. Thank you friend! I needed that. Then she read through the story and took out her red pencil (actually her highlight to red ink thing - we were working on the computer after all). Then she helped me find characters I could take out or minimize. Unnecessary words. Entire scenes I could remove.
Last night I finished going through her edits and got the length right. Today I sent it off to my editor along with my revised synopsis. I could NEVER have managed this without your help, Paris. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
Writers, if you don't have a tough little Italian woman to kick your ass, I pity you. And I encourage you to FIND ONE! They are worth their weight in gold. Hell, their worth MY weight in gold (since she's kinda tiny). Love ya lady!
So, please... If you want to praise your crit partner in the comments today, please do. They deserve it. They also deserve chocolate. LOTS of chocolate. Grin...
Monday, November 22, 2010
We are delighted to have Deborah Isadora Wade, MSW here with us at 1-800-Dom-help!
Deborah Isadora Wade is a fiery, flawed and fabulous femme. She has been part of the Leather community for over ten years. A proud member of Alameda County Leather Corps, she is Ms. Alameda County Leather 2009. For two years she was Secretary of The Exiles: San Francisco. She is a member Mama’s Family as Mama’s Dragondancer. Retiring from social work in 1999, she was a college instructor at the University of Minnesota and The Women's Theological Institute. She was awarded a National Community Service Medal, presented by Eli Wiesel and President Clinton, for her work in building collaborations and her 30 years of work with homeless families, domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. She was a columnist for Lavender Press (Minneapolis/St. Paul) and Of A Like Mind. She is Co-Author of Partners in Change: Building Collaboration, a book on moving organizations from networking to full collaborative ventures. Deborah infrequently (related to her elder status and semi-retirement) writes for Leatherati. Deborah loves anything that sparkles, social gatherings, dancing, and organizing. She may have a wee shoe fetish, umm collection.
Today she is sharing the differences between SSC and RACK.
Safe meant I took care not to harm anyone, to not spread sexually transmitted diseases and to educate myself on both techniques and personal growth. What areas on the body can be hit without harming someone? How do I keep someone’s mental and physical self safe? How do I provide care after play? Safe words and signals were developed. I was taught the basic safety of “Yellow” meaning slow down or pause and “Red” meaning stop that activity or scene. Learning about safe applications of toys is vital for keeping me and my play partner(s) emotionally, physically and mentally protected.
Trust is a vital principle when it comes to letting someone hurt me because I like it, or to submit to me by exchanging a power dynamic. Sane is about self control. Sane is about self knowledge. It is about never losing awareness of yourself, your body and your stability. It is more than just trusting your Dominant or submissive (D/s); it is about trusting yourself, knowing your limits and boundaries. Sane is about boundaries. Sane is realizing what your needs are, what your rules are, what your “no’s” are and where you draw your personal line in the sand. Sane also respects consent.
The move to consent happens when individuals want to play together in certain ways, within set parameters and with agreed upon toys. Both SSC and RACK have consent as their foundation. I negotiate a lot when I consent to play or dominate someone. “Are you interested in playing with me?” when asked politely may be respectfully answered with a “Yes” or “Let’s talk” or a “No, I am really not here to play tonight.” Whatever my answer, it is valued. I need to hear out loud that “Yes, you may (fill in the blank).” Consent for D/s may be in the form of service or play. Consent for some is Master/slave (M/s) and the person chooses to be owned. Consent is because you want to play; you want to be tied up, teased with a feather or a flogger and brought to sexual fulfillment. Consent means knowledge. Consent means approval. Consent means permission to play with me within these limits and boundaries we have agreed upon.
Safe, Sane and Consensual worked. As in all communities, we evaluated and looked at our own behavior and practices to develop a more comprehensive and realistic paradigm for ourselves. I don’t see SSC and RACK as a contrast but more as a deepening of the understanding and importance of our play. Some see RACK beliefs as closer to their practices and more realistic. Nothing is truly safe and the risk is an essential part of the buzz. Risk is lowered by skill development but it is still risk. So in 1999, Gary Switch proposed the term RACK.
Nothing can be 100% safe. We do not have a robot following us around, waving his arms spouting, “Danger, Will Robinson.” Risk aware means everyone involved is aware of the threat or hazards that may occur. Everyone plays differently. Each of us has our limits and consideration of where the “edge” of our particular play cliff is located. There is no safe or not safe there are only degrees of each. Accidents happen. Needles break. Floggers slip in your hand. Earthquakes shake your bondage bed. Your mother comes to visit and you need to hide the eyehooks. It is all about being risk aware.
Consensual encompasses all of the same parameters as the SSC paradigm but with RACK the ethical paradigm consents to and acknowledges the risk inherent in some play.
I see kink as the overall term for alternative sex in our community. It means twisted for a reason. Kink is living my most deviant and bizarre needs out in a sexual or non-sexual manner. Kink is the overall word I use in community to describe general preferences. If I am kinky, I probably like more than just missionary position in my sexual life. If I am kinky I may like sex in places I might get caught because it heightens the endorphins and makes me wet. If I am kinky I may like to kiss one person while another is at my feet kissing my toes. If I am kinky I may be pushing someone against a wall, tearing off their clothes and running a whip across their shoulders. All are alternative sexual experiences that some see as abnormal or beyond the standard of sexuality as they know it. Kink includes BDSM. Or BDSM includes kink.
So RACK becomes a more realistic expression of being safely aware of my ability to practice self control and consent. We expand our beliefs to realize that all forms of pleasure need ethical paradigms to keep us healthy and from harm. Either way it is more inclusive of all the forms of delightful unexpected sweet release!
Websites to explore for more information:
- SOJ is a not-for-profit, all volunteer, San Francisco-based education and support organization devoted to the art of safe, consensual and non-exploitative BDSM.
- Leatherati explores the unique lifestyle of contests and titleholders, travel and events, dining and drinking, entertainment and shopping and of course, news and opinions around the Leather (mostly GLBTQI) community.
- Informed Consent is the leading website about BDSM in the UK.
- Black Rose is a support, education, and social group for adults who share these interests.
Friday, November 19, 2010
|One of these things is not like the others|
|Tunti Illuminating Budoir Toybox|
|Not flashy, but functional & cost-effective|
|Sneaky! I like it!|
|Not that roomy, but damn it's classy|
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Really, though, what this post is all about is something my oldest child shares with me besides a sense of humor. My daughter is nearly eighteen and she just came out to me not only as a lesbian (which I suspected anyway), but as a Domme, as well. This bit of news blew me away. My husband and I have been very careful to hide our kink from the kids, although we’ve been open about how I’m the boss. When she confessed her bdsm inclinations, I actually got a little weepy. This is nature at work. How else to explain it? And unlike me, she has someone to come to and help guide her through the lifestyle, and tell her that she is okay.
She and I have always been close, but this brings us together at a whole new level. I love it!
Samantha, the proud mom.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Congratulations Natasha! I'll email you for your contact information to receive the tote.
And thank you everyone for playing. We got a lot of great entries and I hope everyone enjoyed scanning through our websites to learn a little bit about us. We're thrilled to have you here and hope you enjoy our series.
Friday, November 12, 2010
So what is it, really? Good question! It can mean bondage and discipline (B&D), dominance and submission (D/s), or sadomasochism (S&M) There are more definitions for each of those words than Baskin-Robbins has flavors. In fact, there are as many meanings as there are people trying to tell you what it all means.
Despite a common misunderstanding, this alternate form of sexuality has nothing to do with destructive behavior. A 'D' (dominant, top, sadist, master/mistress) person simply wants to dominate in sex while the "s" (submissive, bottom, masochist, slave) person often wants to be stripped of any initiative. You can be both, or either, switching roles as part of your play or swapping 'sides' over time.
But most commonly it means sex involving Dominance and submission. And the D is always capitalized. Activities range from spanking to bondage to tickling to "flogging" or whipping. The people involved set their own limits. The three most common words are safe, sane and consensual.
But the most important element is trust. Openness and trust, meaning communication, are absolute musts in a BDSM relationship. Bondage covers everything from soft silk scarves in bed to chains. Spanking and whipping are just as common but the degree to which these activities is carried out varies greatly. The imagination and feelings of the partners before and after the punishment are just as important as the spanking or whipping itself.
Experimentation allows each partner to discover the most arousing edge of pleasure/pain. For the submissive acceptance of the D is a sign of absolute faith in that person and it is the very foundation of affection, intimacy and passion. Openness and trust clear the ground for activating your fantasies. This in turn heightens intimacy, passion and ecstasy. The submissive always has a safe word, and when the Dom or Domme pushes the limits beyond that the safe word is a big red light.
A very important aspect of "after-play", which many people don’t realize, is aftercare. Emotions run wild for both partners and that is the time to solidify the trust. It’s a good time for mutual holding and soothing. I can’t stress enough how important talk and communication is, but allow some time to pass for emotions to settle.
So whether you read about it, play at it or adopt the full lifestyle, one last reminder here. The four most important words are trust, safe, sane and consensual. Remember that and you will find pleasure in a brand new erotic world.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
It's out!! I am super excited to let everyone know that Commanding Acquisitions, the second book in the 1-800-DOM-help series is now available from Ellora's Cave.
When we started talking about the series, a lot of ideas were bounced around. At the time, I was working at a conference for my day job, and as we chatted the idea for Commanding Acquisitions popped into my head. I wrote the synopsis on my BlackBerry in between conference sessions and then tore back to my hotel room to get started.
The end result is a story I'm very happy to call my own. :)
I thought I would share with you today our new group prologue, and a short excerpt from Commanding Acquisitions. I hope you enjoy!
The magic begins with the appearance of the business card. Sleek black print on a pristine white background—unassuming in its appearance. Those brave enough to call the number will begin a journey that will explore their greatest desires.
Once the call is made, the Operator goes to work. Somehow he knows just what every caller needs, always able to find the answer the caller seeks.
Callers may be directed to Unfettered, a new club in town, one nobody has heard of. It provides a safe haven for all who enter. Members are free to explore their every desire...even those they weren't aware of. Little do they know Unfettered will disappear once those yearnings have eased.
Submissives who don't know how to handle their Dominants. Masters looking for the perfect sub. People who need just a little push to admit vanilla isn't their favorite flavor. The card finds them all.
And once you dial 1-800-DOM-help anything can happen.
Simon cocked his head to the side, looking at the man kneeling by his chair out of the corner of his eye. He hadn’t moved. The drink was still being offered, though Simon could see the slight shake in his arms. With a bored sigh, he reached out and took the tumbler.
The familiar, pleasant burn of the scotch made its way down his throat. Damn, that was good. He took another sip and held his glass out. The sub reached for it, taking it neatly from him.
A loud crack was followed by a sob. “One. Thank you, Mistress.”
Simon reached out and took the glass again. He ignored the tiny rush of electricity when his fingers brushed against the sub’s. Fuck, he hadn’t even looked at the man yet and Simon was ready to tie him up.
“Two. Thank you, Mistress.”
He knew he wouldn’t be able to put things off too long. If Simon wasn’t going to play with the boy, then he needed to cut him loose sooner rather than later. It wouldn’t be fair to waste the poor guy’s whole evening.
Crack. “Three. Thank you, Mistress.” Gasp.
“I bet his ass is red now.” Simon said softly. It could be brushed off as him speaking to himself, but he knew the man at his feet would hang on every word.
“Five. Thank you, Mistress.”
“I bet the welts are nice and white. He won’t be able to sit down for hours.” Simon sipped his drink. “I wonder if she’ll fuck him or if she’ll leave him to suffer.”
“Seven. Thank you, Mistress.”
Not wanting to wait any longer, Simon looked over at the man at his feet.
He didn’t appear to be much younger than Simon. He was shirtless, wearing leather pants and his feet were bare. Brown hair fell forward to cover his eyes, which Simon inexplicably wanted to know the color of. His long, lean arms were now resting at his sides, knuckles pressed to the floor. God, he looked like a swimmer or runner. Someone who took the time to exercise and look after himself.
In short, he was gorgeous.
“Nine. Thank you, Mistress.”
The sub at his feet was breathing a bit harder now. Simon liked that he was affected by the scene going on. Not that they would be able to do something like that now—not without setting limits at least.
“Think he’s going to make it? She’s been going pretty rough on him. Answer me.”
“Yes Sir. He will.”
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Tomorrow is D day, or C day if we want to be technical. (No, not C as in the naughty word. Although that's perfectly acceptable language in this place.) It's release day for Commanding Acquisitions, the second in the 1-800-DOM-help series. Christine d'Abo is treating us to this yummy story about Simon and Gavin. Check it out.
At the end of October I announced our "Win a Tote Full of Naughty" contest to celebrate the launch of our 1-800-DOM-help series and this blog. We'll wrap up the home stretch of the contest with the celebration of the Commanding Acquisitions release. The winner receives a tote bag of naughty items including a mini flogger and other bondage accessories. To enter participate in our scavenger hunt and answer questions based on information available on our author websites.
I'll post the questions and links below again for you to search. This means one more chance to enter. Email your answers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on Wednesday, November 10th EST. Since you will all be busy reading Commanding Acquisitions that day, I suggest you finish your search early (by the end of tonight) to free up your time in anticipation.
I'll announce the winner on the blog hopefully on Thursday. I've already collected a nice number of entries, so scurry along and play catch up folks.
Here are the questions:
Ari Thatcher asks -- In what story does artist Lily get a second chance at success?
Christine d'Abo asks -- How many books are in the Eternal Bond series?
Delphine Dryden asks -- Jack and Katie from the upcoming Xmas Spark are also the main characters in which of my earlier books?
Desiree Holt asks -- Which one of my books received the CAPA Award from The Romance Studio?
Francesca Hawley asks -- What book of mine received a 4 1/2 star review from Romantic Times Magazine?
Marilu Mann asks -- What is the name of Ramey's boss in Needing Harte?
Michelle Polaris asks -- How many stars did Bound Odyssey receive from Just Erotic Romance Reviews?
Samantha Cayto asks -- With which hot guy does Caroline end up in Illegal Moves?
Click on the author names to start your searches.
Good luck. And hurry.
Safe, sane and consensual.
Monday, November 8, 2010
I bought The Topping Book. The Bottoming Book. And a whole lot of other books on BDSM. Books that aren't typically on the shelves at Barnes and Noble or Borders. When I was working on my contribution to the 1-800-DOM-help series, I needed to find books about rope bondage. I don't have any direct experience with rope bondage (except for finding it very hot), so I went to my trusty local adult emporium, Christal's in West Des Moines, Iowa. I love this place, and I knew I'd seen rope bondage books there. I was right.
I picked up some excellent items while I was shopping:
Friday, November 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Submissive is seen as weak.
Just for fun I went over to the fountain of all knowledge...Wikipedia...and did a search for what they felt Submissive meant.
Submissiveness is the incidence or trait of voluntarily yielding to the will of another in an interpersonal relationship, or as a result of intimidation to some display of assertiveness or aggression by a partner. It can be found in everyday human and animal interactions.
Interesting. Let's keep reading, shall we.
In interpersonal relationships, some people prefer or are willing to adopt a submissive role in sexual activities or personal matters. The level and type of submission can vary from person to person, and from one context to another; and also is dependent on the other partner being willing to assume control in those situations. Some people can include occasional acts of submission in an otherwise conventional sex life, or adopt a submissive lifestyle.
What I like about this definition is the awareness of the range of submission that can be had in a sexual relationship. It's not all whips and chains people (though those can be a LOT of fun) and we should broaden our views of what submissiveness means in a sexual context. You can play Dom/sub games with a partner. It can spill into your day to day life...or never leave the bedroom.
The power in the Dom/sub relationship is with the sub. They are the ones who set limits (though some Doms have lines they won't cross as well) and they can halt the games as they go on.
It takes a lot of strength to give control to another person.
So what do you think?
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Add a blindfold and you've increased the need for trust quite a bit. But, every sensation will be heightened by not being able to see it coming. Tension increases as you wait, wondering. Will your lover tease you with a feather? His tongue? Or maybe the startling roughness of a brush. Again, you've increased your body's reactions without giving up too much.
As your trust level increases you can introduce floggers, whip-like instruments with soft tails to add some sting. Or a paddle, if spanking is your thing. But the paddle can hurt if used too harshly, so discuss this with your partner thoroughly before use.
What about nipple clamps? Are you ready for a little pain?
Shopping together for your new toys can be foreplay just from imagining using the item. You can also find out limits and areas of interest you never suspected. These are both good to know before you bring your purchase home.
Do you have a favorite toy you're willing to confess to trying? Or one that's on your list to try? Do you enjoy reading about the toys a couple (or moresome) uses? A well-written sex scene can take away the need for toys, scenes and a partner, right? Because we all know the largest sex organ is the brain. Here's to stimulating your brain!
Monday, November 1, 2010
I am on a mission to convince women that there is nothing hotter than a gorgeous alpha male going down on his knees and submitting to his woman. I know, I know, you want the strong man, the protective man, the man that other men respect. You can have that. Outside, he's going to be all of that for you and himself. But at home, he bends to your will, not just devoted to you, but trusts you to take charge. You're doing him a favor, really. All day long, he has to be the one to make the hard decisions and be responsible for other people. You take that obligation away from him for a little while. He can relax, let go. And frankly it helps if he's into a little pain, too.
Yeah, I'm one of those women that gets off on hearing a guy cry out in pain. What can I say, it's my sexual orientation to be a Domme. My fantasy man has always been a submissive alpha male who likes to ease his stress with a bit of pain now and again. I used to think I was some weird woman and there couldn't possibly be such a man as that. It's sounds like a total oxymoron. I know better now. There are a lot of guys out there with very stressful and important jobs who are desperate for discipline. A couple of years ago, I was meeting with some law colleagues (yep, I'm a lawyer) and this one woman I didn't know very well was lamenting how her brother had taken up with a Domme. When she happened to mention his name, I realized it was this brilliant, commanding lawyer I had worked with when I was junior associate. This guy was highly respected by everyone, especially other men with whom he regularly wiped the floor. The last I had heard, he'd been dating this nice, quiet woman who always did things his way. It seemed like the perfect fit for him, but no, he wanted a commanding woman. See, they are out there!
I want (and I am writing) more stories that show how erotic femdom can be. So, what do you all think? Can you wrap your mind around submissive alpha males?