Friday, April 22, 2011

Fetish Friday special guest: Sascha Illyvich

Yay, a visitor! For today's post I bring you a special guest, Sascha Illyvich. Sascha is one of those rare creatures, a dude who writes erotic romance. It's mostly kinky, because he rolls that way himself (if you follow him on Twitter, you know that already). He also hosts the Unnamed Romance Show on Radio Dentata, contributes to the WriteSex Panel blog, and teaches classes in writing erotica, and, and...oh, lots of other stuff. Go read the bio on his website! Let's get to the guest postin'. Take it away, Sascha!

In Romance Stories, Dominant Males are Alphas.
By Sascha Illyvich

In a discussion with publicist Sharon Aviles, we’d discussed my teaching romance authors how to write BDSM and incorporate the elements of the Lifestyle into their romance stories.  She’d said that the interesting thing was in traditional non kinky romances, we call Dominant males, Alphas. 

Sure they may not be kinky but both men have to take charge of situations.  Both men feel the need to control and the underlying reasons behind this need for control is generally the same.  A belief that his way can guide his heroine into safety feeds his need to be a leader.  I teach this often in my course on how to write from the male point of view.  It’s aimed at romance authors but the lessons still apply to a broader spectrum of fiction writers. 

Often times both men will be in powerful positions either as corporate CEOs or highly trained military experts, these men are used to getting their way. 

In the bedroom we see similarities too.  Whether he’s using ropes and handcuffs, spankings and scarves, or just good old fashion strength to make his point, he’s still on top.  His goal is pretty much the same, drag something from the woman that she wants to give but doesn’t know how.  She’s generally afraid to ask and that fear is often masked as stubbornness or anger.  Sometimes it’s blatant fear.

As a guide, the dominant male must guide the submissive on their journey towards inner peace, as the alpha male must show the reasons he's overprotective.   Bondage becomes a tool used to strip away control and bring out emotions needing to be dealt with while the Alpha male may use consensual force to do the same.  In effect, he's binding the heroine and making her choose another path, one that leads to growth, rather than stunted movement.  Different plot devices can show us these traits from both sides.  Using the react vs respond method of character development talked about on WriteSEX, we can get this accomplished as writers. 

His ability to see past her defenses as an alpha male or Dominant is what spurs him on to guiding her.  It’s not until he’s learned to grow through the plot that he realizes he’s guiding her as she’s guiding him, but that’s another article.  In the end, the two types of men are really one and the same.  Our labels are just for publisher and reader convenience as they help us define the characters for the appropriate markets.

Sascha Illyvich

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Taking Breaks

It is exhausting to be part of a D/s relationship 24/7. Some people crave this, and for the right partners, it works. But human relationships are human relationships and they ebb and flow. Particularly committed ones. They take care, they take hard work, they take attention, and at times they need to downshift.

Many partners take breaks away from an active D/s dynamic with one another. If they have built a mundane, vanilla life together they may need to retreat to focus on other parts of that life. Or even retreat to focus on self-care if they've hit a low point or particular stress. There is such a thing as burn-out for those involved in the kink scene for extended periods of time. People actively participate and then back off for a time, and this comes as no surprise to me.

I began to think of the little ways partners keep reminders of a kinky lifestyle alive and well during these break periods. Foot massages. Toe nails polished. Dishes done nightly without asking. A favorite treat picked up at the market. A playful swat or pinch on the rear. Come to think of it, these are the same gestures that any loving couple might make to show appreciation. Although it may be without subtext for a vanilla partnership. But these little gestures keep us connected and get us through the mundane work (sometimes even drudgery) of life. They let us keep the flickering of the flame alive and well for when the time is right to stoke the fire and build the inferno once more.

Then, pull out the whip, baby, and get it started.

As enticing as it is to read a kinky erotic romance and imagine the partners constantly embroiled in the sensual, spiritual, emotional and sexually exciting world of BDSM, I'm exhausted when I stop to imagine it. Sometimes the heroes and heroines just need to go out for an ice cream cone. In the end, we love them more for it.

Have a good night's rest everyone.

Safe, sane and consensual,


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Research takes me to the oddest places. Not necessarily fun places like Desiree visited at RT in Los Angeles, but equally important. To be honest, sometimes I have to go back to Google to find out what the heck I was looking for in the first place. Tonight's winning combo? BDSM kink.

What I found was a more thorough discussion of safety during kinky sex than anything I'd seen before. I mean, I know about the basics in cleaning toys between uses or between partners, but how about in between locations on your own body during a solo act?

Are you cleaning your leather toys properly? Do you know the signs of blood loss or pending panic attacks? If you prefer to play in the privacy of your home, you need to plan for the worst in any scene.

This fantastic list I found is through ACT, the AIDS Committee of Toronto. You can read the list online, or print out the brochure at the bottom of the page. And while you're there, you might take a moment to click on the donate link on the upper right.

Have fun, but play safely!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Live and in living color

Okay, so I'm at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in LopsAngeles, and along with handing out promo, signing books, and all the other things that go along with an event of that kind, three other authors and myself took advantage of the opportunity to visit a local bondage club. Whether we chose to participate or not, it's always good to kick start your brain with some new experiences. Right? After all, there's only so much you can conjure up in your mind sitting alone in front of your computer.
For me, although I've written about BDSM for some time and have contacts who are wonderful about sharing information with me, this was my first actual visit to a club.
It didn't disappoint.
The hostess knew we were authors on a research trip and she took great care to give us a tour of the premises so we knew exactly what to expect and where to find it.
The club has performance areas both indoors and out but that night was a little too chilly for outdoor activities. Although the fire for people to warm themselves at was very enticing.
Inside people were already engaged in activities and I curled myself into a large leather armchair to take in the scene.
There was almost too much to watch.
Against one wall a man was being spanked against a St. Andrews Cross. On the other side of the room a woman was punishing and arousing her female submissive. In the center of the room a woman stretched out on a leather platform while an other woman expertly wielded switches of different lengths and materials. Watching her hands was like watching someone in a choreographed ballet, so expertly did she wield them and in such intricate patterns. She knew exactly how and where to apply them to elicit the maximum amount of pleasure.
I was also drawn to the couple next to me, especially when they were joined by another man and proceeded to indulge in their own activities while watching others.
I was struck by a lot of things - the respect all of the players had for each other, the familiarity with which they greeted each other as you would at any other type of social club. But most of all the delicious cookies in the kitchen. The hostess told us she baked them herself!
I don't know about my companions, but I left the club with my brain busily cataloguing everything I've seen and already thinking of stories to weave the scenes into.
So even if you just write about BDSM and don't actually practice it yourself, I urge you to get out and immerse yourself in the scene. What you learn will enrich your stories and help you better communicate to your readers what the lifestyle is all about.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New member intro: Marianne LaCroix

Hello readers! I am new to the group so I thought I would use my first post as a brief intro. I am Marianne LaCroix and I've been published in erotic romance since 2003 with my first book Lady Sheba. Even then my writing had a definite D/s theme, even though much more tame at the time. Since then I have ventured deeper into writing several very dominant heroes like Captain Fredrick in Crossed  Swords or Mr. Robertson in Rosy Cheeks. I really like writing manly heroes who can tame the heroine, but at the same time, they are also molded into a true hero.

Oddly enough, I personally prefer to be the one who calls the shots. I am letting that FemDom side of me come out more in my 1-800-DOM-help novella as well as another pirate novel I am writing for Ellora's Cave. I won't give too many details, saying I am writing more FemDom says enough.

My website is currently down and I am rebuilding as the database was wiped out. I have a new blog on Blogger. Come on over and "follow" me. You can also find me on FaceBook [profile | fanpage] and Twitter and Fetlife.

And finally, it is my opinion there is nothing sexier a man can say than, "Yes, Mistress." ;)

And for a laugh....

Friday, April 8, 2011

New members. Hehe, I said "member".

Yes, yes, I am the first to admit I have all the emotional maturity of a thirteen-year-old boy.

But enough about me, how about the new additions to our happy, kinky band of authors here at 1-800-DOM-help? We are so pleased to welcome Marianne LaCroix, Gail DeYoung, and Emma Petersen. Look for their names and links in the sidebar just as soon as I get them added in there :-)

Also wish me luck, y'all. Tonight I am taking my shy self (and a friend, for moral support) to a meeting of actual, live, local kinksters. At which I believe the plan is to talk smutty books and watch Sweeney Todd, because of course I hunted around until I found the special interest group with the kinky nerds who like books and movies (kinky nerds represent, yo). It sounds like just my kind of crowd!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursday Thirteen: Favorite Implements of Seduction

For this Thursday blog post, I thought I'd consider some of my favorite toys to include in love/sex scenes in an erotic romance.

1.    Hand.

Admit it. There's nothing sexier than the large hand of a sexy man. The way a man grasps an arm...a waist...a breast...or an ass. It's just hot. And when he applies that large palm to an upturned ass for a hot spanking? I mean what could be better than that?

2.    Paddle.
In keeping with the motif of a hot spanking, never underestimate the effectiveness of black leather paddle. The loud slap. The sting.

3.    Cuffs.
What's hotter than a submissive tied up and at the mercy of a sexy dominant? Yeah, exactly. Nothing. I love to use bondage in a scene when I'm writing. Leather cuffs. Metal handcuffs. Whatever it takes to restrain the submissive helps make a scene super hot.

4.  Butt Plug

Some of the hottest scenes I've read by other authors have involved butt plugs. The intimacy of the dominant sliding a butt plug into the willing ass of a submissive makes for a seriously hot read.

5.    Vibrator.

What's hot about a vibrator? What's not? Imagine a dominant applying the buzz to various body parts (clit, nipple, cunt or cock) while the bound sub cries out in pleasure, begging for more. Eventually the submissive screams for the buzzing to stop...and yet it doesn't. Forced orgasms. Climax after climax. Pain and pleasure merge into the ultimate mind fuck.

6.    Rope.

Another kind of bondage. Cuffs have their place, but rope can be used all over a body. Rope bondage is a special kind of hot. It can be used to increase the intimacy between dominant and submissive. It can also be an art form. That's school.

7.    Mouth.

Whether with a kiss, a lick, or a brush, a mouth is one of the sexiest toys around. Better yet, it's portable and always available. The mouth is also a conduit for the voice. Whispers. Commands. Husky. Whimpers and groans of pleasure. The possibilities are limitless.

8.    Spanking Bench.

A spanking bench isn't necessary, but it's a fun addition to any scene. It allows a dominant to have the submissive bent over for a hot spanking. The submissive can be bound to the bench too. Possible scenarios are only limited to the dominant's imagination.

9.    Food.
One of the sexiest scenes in 9 1/2 Weeks was the food scene in the kitchen. Elizabeth is blindfolded and John feeds her. Sticky. Spicy. Wet. Gooey. Talk about hot. Food stimulates the appetite...all appetites.

10.  Candles.

Candles provide subdued lighting to set an intimate mood. In addition, candles provide melted wax for sexy scenes involving drips of hot wax on sensitive skin. To get wild and crazy, add a little fire play to the mix to create a hint of danger.

11.  St. Andrews Cross.

Another alternative for bondage possibilities. Of course, the submissive could just stand against it and hold on, but combining rope with the cross adds to the mental intensity of the scene. The submissive feels helpless in a delicious way. They are able to really give themselves up to their dominant for an intensely hot scene.

12.  Ball gag.

Sometimes a scene is hotter when a submissive begs loud and long. But sometimes, a ball gag can be added to help the submissive immerse themselves even deeper into their own submission.

13.  Brain.
Okay, it doesn't LOOK sexy, but it is the most imperative part of a hot scene. Tease the brain and the body will follow. The dominant uses the brain to plan the scene out and to tease the submissive's wild imagination.

So what do you think?  Are any of these your favorites? Have I missed anything you think I should have included?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Same Old Same Old -- Sex and Boredom

I often hear complaints from erotic romance authors that writing sex scenes can become boring. That slot A only fits in slot B in so many ways. As a writer of primarily BDSM I felt lucky hearing these complaints. I figured there were inifinite possibilities beyond the typical vanilla sex that would keep me happily typing forever. But despite the fact I've published only three books, am halfway through a fourth (the sequel to Bound Odyssey) and written two freebie short stories, I've already noticed kinky scene writers fatigue. As I first began writing, making a choice about the types of BDSM play I included in a story was a factor of several things. First, the things that turned me on most. (Duh. I have to write the stuff, so what else should I do?) Second, the things I felt most capable of reliably representing. (Write what you know. Another duh.) Third, the play I thought appealed most to the reading market. Past blogs here have described some unusual kinks, many of which are not widely shared or understood by readers who may have just started their exploration of Dominance and submission in their erotic romance reading choices. And some topics are considered off limits by many erotic romance publishers. Scat play, urine play, age play, enema scenes to name a few (Other specialty publishers or self-published authors do include these topics. I've read some of it in books from high end erotica publishers.) I've written before about the difficulty including long term male chastity in stories when the expectation is of the partners reaching orgasm at some point. Tease and denial does not work in books for the same length of time it works in real life. And there are few cross-dressers featured as heroes in the mainstream BDSM erotic romance I read. The goal is still to write manly male characters, even those who are sexual submissives. Although boundaries are continually pushed in publishing, in any given moment there are limits to what is considered marketable. Given these limits and my own preferences I find it hard to avoid a lot of the same play scene variables in my stories. Although I was gratified to read a comment about the freshness of a scene in Magician's Chains that included some electricity play of the e-stim variety. But my typical short list includes basic bondage, St. Andrew's crosses, spiderwebs, sawhorses, crops, canes, floggers, whips, clamps, plugs, anal sex, oral sex, wax play, tease and masturbation. The list also includes painful spiked cages for male appendages and a variety of penis jewelry. I was recently asked to remove a reference to urethral sounds because they were too unfamiliar to readers. Sigh. Most of my list are respectable, time-honored components of BDSM play. They are nothing to scoff about. But still, I need to watch that I do not become stuck as a writer. Really what makes or breaks a great story scene is the emotional interaction between characters and the author's talent in creating the atmosphere and tension. That is not dependent on unusual toys or fetishes. The same old, same old can be magnificent if we've fallen in love with the heroes and heroines. But the idea of writing about something brand new does provide me with new energy. So what do you think? Do you write or read the same old, same old frequently? Do you ever wish for something new and exotic? What haven't you read about that you wish you could find? Or what old standards do you never tire of? Safe, sane and consensual, Michelle

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Use of Force

Writing my upcoming book, Fighting for Control, has been an interesting journey. Although I read tons of BDSM books and really love the dynamic it brings to a story, I had yet to write one before the 1-800-DOM-help series was proposed.

I decided to step out of my element, out of my safe little box, and go for something a lot more serious than I usually write. What surprised me was the few areas where I bogged down and had to force the scene to go on.

My critique partners picked up on those scenes as needing work. And after I reworked them, my editor still pointed them out for revision.

Then it hit me - writing about sex is like having sex. If you have to force yourself, you're not having fun, and what's the point?

Trying new scenes in real life is much the same. While life is a learning process and learning ain't always fun, sex should be. If you aren't enjoying a scene, a role you're playing, a position or location you're trying, stop and find something you do enjoy. Or if your partner seems to be forcing a scene, talk it out.

You can always save the Domme boots for Halloween, right? And pull out the whip at work when your subordinates aren't subordinating. Or whatever. But remember that beneath all the pain there is supposed to be pleasure.

I'm not sure where my characters are going to lead me now that I'm not going to force them into a scene, but I'm so excited to find out! I just now I'm going to love it.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Roses and Chains Release Day!

Yay! Woohoo! Roses and Chains, the next 1-800-DOM-help book, is out today! It's an M/f/f featuring a new male Dom and two female subs. This was my first menage, and I hope you enjoy reading it half as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The blurb:

Take one adorable suburban couple just starting to realize their D/s relationship isn't quite enough to satisfy. Add one cute and quirky sub who can't seem to find a Dom to suit her tastes. Place them in a room full of sex toys and candlelight, roses and chains...

And after a few smoking-hot nights of pleasure and exploration, all three might just find what they're looking for.

What's that? You'd like to read an excerpt? But of course (WARNING: it's a naughty, not-safe-for-work, grownups-only sort of excerpt...and it's an exclusive)!

Copyright © DELPHINE DRYDEN, 2011
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Scenes in the main room at the club weren’t Mara Tyndall’s favorite thing. But they served their purpose.

Tonight, that purpose was to make her forget her very stupid recent attempt to date outside her flavor. He was Plain Vanilla, she was Rocky Road. She should have known it could never work.

“I think this side’s done. Time to turn you over and toast the other side, slutski.”

Mistress Amie was relentlessly perky. Her kitten-with-a-whip insouciance struck a particularly cruel note tonight, because she knew exactly why Mara was there. She knew what Mara needed. And in her relentless, perky, cruel way, she was not saying “I told you so.”

She was not saying it very loudly, with everything she did and every expression on her face.

“Fucking…cheerleader from hell,” Mara gasped as Mistress Amie loosened the leather cuffs around her ankles. For her sass she received a brisk slap on the upper thigh where the flogger marks were still flushing, blending into one blotchy pink map of the pain she’d endured thus far this evening. Mara groaned when the Mistress released the restraints around her wrists and she lowered her arms too suddenly.

“I can see we’re not quite there yet. Okay, stretch it out then face the cross.”

Amie really did sound as if she were leading an exercise class. Which was appropriate, because she was a Pilates instructor and personal trainer. The kind who made a lot of money making wealthy people hate her guts, but love the results she helped them achieve. After all, Amie was an expert at getting people to take more pain than they ever thought they could tolerate.

Mara knew the heights Amie could inspire her to. They had spent close to a year, off and on, exploring those heights, and although her mind might resist returning, her body was already responding all too eagerly to the cheerful Mistress’s wicked ministrations.

“And now,” Mistress Amie chirped, shackling the leather back into place as Mara inspected the top crotch of the St. Andrew’s cross she was now facing, “let’s work that rear.”

The paint’s chipping. Tad needs to touch this thing up.

“Count off.”

The flogger cracked against her butt and she reflexively shouted, “One!” before her brain caught up. “How high, Mistress?”

“I’ll let you know. You know math isn’t really my thing, sweetcheeks.”

“Two!” Against the upper thigh.

“Three!” Really hard across the shoulders.

The unpredictability slowly lost its edge, ceased to engage her mind and instead forced her to relax, to accept that there would be a blow, that she wouldn’t know where the pain would land next. She was buffeted this way and that, just a leaf, and Amie’s flogger was the wind.

“Do you need to come?” The chipper, smug voice in her ear was accompanied by a surprisingly gentle hand that traced the line of her spine from neck to ass. “Hmm? You want me to make you come for me, Mara?”

The hand dipped lower, following the curve of one cheek, ending up cupping the top of one inner thigh. Amie wouldn’t touch her pussy unless Mara asked for it. Tonight was just a favor, and an orgasm would be another favor. Another reason for Amie to avoid saying “I told you so”.

But she needed it too much. She needed to come, in order to feel as if the scene was over for the evening. Submitting to her own needs was more important than submitting to Amie. It took more humility.

She nodded.

“No. You know better. Say it.”

“Please make me come.”

“No. You know what I need to hear, slut.” Amie paused then added more quietly, “You know what you need to say.”

“Mistress. I need to come, please make me come, Mistress.”