Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm So Bad at Bios

So I write fiction for a reason: I pretty much suck at writing about real shit. Specifically, I'm awful at writing about myself. Want proof? Check out my poorly written bio for New Smut Project's Between The Shores anthology that my story "Donovan's Door" will be in.

And, you know, while you're there, please check out the excerpt too. And the book when it comes out. You know, for comparison. 

No, really, please check it out. It should be a good collection. I’ll keep you updated as more information about release dates becomes available. But, for now, woot!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kink in Primetime

So, when I saw ABC’s promo for last week’s episode of Forever, “Ecstasy of Agony,” well, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. It’d looked like just another lame attempt by mainstream media to portray BDSM & kink in their shows to titillate their audience with sexual boogeymen. I had planned on just skipping it, figuring it not worth my time.

But, like I’d said, I’m a fan of Sherlock-ian tales. And I was bored at work. So I checked it out.

And it wasn’t bad. It was actually pretty good.

Was it perfect? Well, no, but what is?

But it tackled the kink lifestyle with respect and with more than a bit of real understanding, making me wonder if there’s some kinky kin on the writers staff. The episode let us be people and real characters, instead of just caricatures, victims, or monsters. I like that the show actually explains why people are interested in something that seems counterintuitive to most people in a way that most, non-kinky people can understand. Which, as I’ve said before, isn’t always easy.

Like, when one detective asks why someone would “pay three-hundred buck and hour to get their asses kicked,” I like that our immortal main character, Henry Morgan, responds, “You’ve never consumed alcohol to excess? Never driven beyond the speed limit? Or engaged with a partner of dubious sexual history?” Pointing out that we all engage in activities that, taken out of context, seem ill-advised. Activities that involve risk. Even a lot of risk. But, when we weigh the risk-to-reward ratio, we often do them anyway, because we get more out of it than what we risk.  Yet almost no one blinks an eye at most of the risks we take for granted—some, like speeding, skydiving, and sea-deep diving, that carry far more risks than kink does—don’t judge people for engaging in them. We’re willing to, in most cases, live and let live, so long as nobody gets hurt. Is kink really all that different?

As a sensation-play kind of girl, I also really liked how philosophical they got about the idea of pain. The idea that it serves a purpose. It can teach us. It can protect us. It can be useful. And, for kinksters, it can be transformative, can give us a sense of control in an often harsh world by “[trading] one sort of pain for another more harmless one.” By allowing us to decide when and how and with whom we encounter pain. How, by not running or hiding from it, kink often gives us power over pain and fear. If just for the space of a scene.

One of the most impressive things, in my opinion, that mainstream media can do—something that it too often fails at—is managing to make kink look titillating without demonizing it. I’ll admit that, before the episode aired, I assumed that the killer would be some bastardized vision of a kinkster—some psychotic Dominant or some deranged submissive. When the episode started, I figured, if the crime wasn’t committed by a kinkster, it would most likely be the jealous wife who killed her closeted, kinky husband. 

But, while the show definitely played on those common, rather offensive tropes, I was glad that they didn’t play into them. Kink can look scary sometimes. It can look harsh. And it can look like it’s all about weird, sordid, illicit sex. And, in all fairness, it can be scary, harsh, weird, sordid, illicit, and sexual. That’s the fun part. And I like that the episode recognized that. It had an excellent balance between pleasure and pain, between security and uncertainty. From the sub’s smile in the very first opening scene to Henry’s own fascination with exploring kink with the show’s Domme, Iona, you can see the episode’s characters playing with the ideas of pain, power, and humiliation. Keyword: playing. During both scenes shown in the episode, you can see signs of negotiation and communication. Iona may push boundaries, but she checks in regularly and reassures as well as she threatens. The kink shown is all consensual and enjoyable. It’s depicted as a healthy and fun part of these characters’ lives. 
  
In the same vein, I really like that not everyone understood. The main character, Henry, got it. The Domme, Iona, got it. You even get the feel as if the show as a whole got it. But kink isn’t something that makes sense to most people. For all the Fifty Shades Effect has done to bring kink into the mainstream consciousness, people still don’t see it, don’t understand it, for what it is. And, often, like with the show’s detectives, people don’t get it because they don’t want to. They’re more comfortable thinking about it as a joke or a disorder or an evil in the world. And, while I don’t like that that’s a truth we have to live with, I really liked that the show portrayed that. Particularly with the cops. They presumed the worst about Iona simply because of who she was. Thought that the victim brought this upon himself because of who he was. The show did a good job of showing how seeing people do kink made them deeply uncomfortable. Like, in the instance they saw kinksters do what they do, those kinksters stopped being something those cops could understand. Stopped being someone they knew how to relate to. Stopped being one of the people they served and protected.

That might sound harsh. But the show portrayed that beautifully. With the way the cops examined the victim’s body, how his injuries went from cut-and-dry evidence to solve a man’s murder to being a complete and baffling mystery. How the detectives suddenly became far more curious about why a man would want to be lashed than who’d killed that man. You could see this in the way the cops went about solving the crime. It often felt less like finding justice for the victim, but more as a gottcha witch hunt against Iona. And, finally, you can really see it when the wife confesses that she’d gone to Iona to explore her husband’s kinky secret for herself. There’s a look on the detective’s face—of disgust and disappointment—when their last, true victim, the jilted widow of the killed kinky man, became one of them. There’s something interesting in that, in that moment, the investigation stops in the show. The plot is forced to shift to make the murderer much more active and present by kidnapping and torturing Henry, to force the cops to care about a killer they’d long since lost interest in. It’s not a nice reality, but it’s one that’s nice to see dealt with honestly in the media. 

Along with kink, I like that they didn’t demonize Iona for being a sex worker. Well, at least the show didn’t. Again, many characters, from the cops to the PI, did. Calling her a prostitute or a whore or a skank. Or, worse, as inherently dangerous. But I love that the show never let them get away with it. It took a clear stance against that kind of thought. From making her—at least, mostly—a safe, sane, consensual top in complete and competent control in-scene to making a parallel between Henry’s job as a medical examiner and Iona’s job as a Domme. Showing that it’s ridiculous to assume something about a person because of their job. After all, if Iona’s job where she “beats people for a living” makes her automatically violent, what would it say about Henry who has a job “[dismembering] dead bodies” or a cop who surrounds themselves in death and crime? 

And I really enjoyed how they portrayed Iona in her job. Like I’d said, I loved Irene Adler in BBC’s Sherlock, but one of the things that makes me like Iona more than Irene is that Iona is a service Domme. Irene is a frighteningly intelligent and manipulative woman who managed to make money off of something that she already loves, playing game of power. She never really seems to care much for her clients or sees them—or anyone, really—as more than a means to an end. Her interests are always entirely self-centered. It makes her interesting, certainly, and lord knows there are tops out there like that. It doesn’t necessarily make them bad tops, so long as they practice SSC kink. But Iona is much more like the tops I like to play with. 

Iona genuinely cares for her clients. She’s protective and observant, with an eye toward trying to ease and help her clients. I love that before she was a sex worker, she was a therapist, further cementing that caretaker take on topping. If anything, her flaw is that she cares too much, will try to help to the detriment of herself. She has a history of getting too close to clients and letting them get too close to her. She’s willing to be harassed by the cops instead of violate her clients’ privacy and the trust they put in her. The only thing that makes Iona break her clients’ privilege is the risk of harm to another person, then she does it immediately.

This isn’t to say that she’s some kind of selfless saint or doesn’t enjoy her work. No. You can see it while she works, she loves and needs this as much as her clients. Her service is just another part of how her particular kink works, as important as wielding a whip. One of my favorite moments in this episode is when Iona tells Henry, “Most people think my job is about what I do to my clients. It’s what I don’t do. I bring them right to the edge. And, in that moment where they are completely vulnerable and I can do anything I want to them, I stop. It’s ironic, isn’t it? […] That the only way you can truly feel alive is to give another person the power to destroy you.” What I love—love, love, love—about that is that she says this while handcuffed in the interrogation room facing a murder charge for a crime she didn’t commit because she won’t give up her client’s name. Proof that this concept of having power over someone works both ways. As a top, her bottom—in truth—has as much power over her as she does over them, no matter what it looks like to an outsider.

I also really liked that she’s more than just her Domme persona. Another of my favorite moments is when Iona gets let out of jail. When she’s allowed to just be a girl and Henry’s just a boy and their flirty cute-meet looks like anyone else’s. Sweet kiss and all. I like that they gave her this moment where the roles drop. Where you can see that she’s more than a costume or a persona. That there are parts of her that are just like everyone else. Where, at her heart, she’s just a woman who wants many of the same things most women want. 

I also really liked the wife’s character, the reasonings behind her actions and decisions. I liked that she knew, from the start, that her husband was seeing Iona. That she knew it was something that he needed and that she was willing to let him have that. Even if it meant him having it without her. I love the line where, after the detective asks her if she was jealous of Iona, she tells them that “Are you kidding? She gave me my husband back.” It’s not a perspective we see often and it was nice to see. 

But I also liked that the show layered that even more. The wife actually was jealous, as most women would be. After all, as she says, it hurts her to know that it took another woman to get her husband to open up. That she, as his wife, wasn’t enough for him. In almost any other show, this would have been her motive for murder—just as I’d feared at the beginning of the episode. But I love that those feelings didn’t drive her to kill. They drove her to try a scene with Iona. She couldn’t understand what her husband saw in Iona, so she—like a sane human being—sought to understand by giving it a try. It was perfect. The best reaction a character like her could have had. 

You can also really see the difference between healthy relationships with kink and unhealthy ones in this episode. The care and consideration between Iona and her clients during their kinky play provide a perfect contrast to the murderer, Wadlow, and his complete self-interested narcissism. It’s great that the episode shows that bottoms can cross boundaries too. I actually would have like to see more of that. I think the show could have done this better. For one, I wish that they’d gone more in depth about how he’d crossed boundaries with Iona, further emphasizing that being a bottom doesn’t mean you’re powerless or non-threatening, just as being a top doesn’t mean that you’re always in control. That it’s a relationship that requires trust and consideration from both sides or it breaks down. I also really, really wished that they’d had Iona resign as his therapist after Wadlow crossed boundaries or at least quit playing with him entirely while they worked on more traditional forms of therapy. 

And I wished that they’d found ways to show his topping as being in direct contrast to hers. I thought the show did do a fairly good job of showing the difference between Iona’s play and Wadlow’s torture, showing how one is done with desire and care while Wadlow’s abuse comes from a place of hate and psychosis. This could have been a perfect opportunity to give us more from the killer. To develop his character and divulge his motives. Like I love the slight hints of motive in the show, like how he buys the same toys as hers, like the collar on a pulley. I would have liked to see more of that. I think it would have been fun, story-wise, to see him further subvert and pervert her play style. Very much like a “this is what she used to do to me, what she does to you, and if this is the only connection I can have with her, I’m going to take it. I’m going to hurt her and you with it.” Especially considering that Wadlow was essentially using kink inappropriately to deal with his stepfather’s past abuse, this kind of misguided mimicry makes sense for his already messed up mind. It would have shown that, almost like the flip-side of the cops, Wadlow really doesn’t understand kink either and doesn’t really want to. Isn’t interested in doing it responsibly. He’s just using it as a cover—a veiled excuse—to viciously and selfishly channel the deep hurt and fury inside himself. Again, I don’t like the fact that this is part of the kink reality, but it’s nice when it’s portrayed as what it truly is: the very opposite of what real kinksters do.

Lastly, I was really intrigued by the deliberate contrast between Iona & her clients, Iona & Henry, Henry & Nora, and Maureen & Abe. This episode juggled a lot of relationships with a lot of issues running through each. But it managed to weave all of those together beautifully, showing that they’re not as different as people think. That we all—kinky or vanilla—hurt each other in a million ways that can sometimes hurt so good. At least, when kinksters cause pain, we’re trying very, very hard not to cause harm, which is more than can be said for some of the things the vanilla characters did.

But, like I said, the episode isn’t perfect. There were quite a few nit-picky things that bugged me. Like Iona Payne’s name. Really? Really? You have this smart, fun character and you give her a corny, porny alias? And how in both scenes we see, she cuffs her bottoms before stripping them first. I get that it’s network TV, but how did she leave lash marks all over the victim’s back but still leave his suit perfectly pristine? She stripped him, that is the only way. Why is the romance novel cover considered ironic? Why would it be ironic if she likes Harlequin-esque romance? If anything, if she wanted to be ironic, it should have been a sex-negative book or a Cosmo-ish sex 101 book. How she restricts Wadlow, after he breached boundaries, to once a week during daylight hours. How does this even make sense? How many times a week are these clients coming to see her? And how do they afford that? Particularly at $300/hr? I’m assuming that each session is at least two hours, so that’s $600 per session. To be restricted to once a week, that means you’d at minimum be paying $1200 a week to see this woman? Uh, who has that kind of money? 

But, more than the nit-picky stuff, there were definitely things that I found problematic about the episode. Like how, of course, I was not happy that Iona chokes her patients. That’s dangerous and ill-advised. And someone who Dommes for a living should know better. That’s just asking for something to go wrong. There are better, safer ways to explore with breath play than choking a person with a collar on a pulley. That’s kink 101.

I’m also not a fan of the whole idea of BDSM as therapy. I think it’s fine for the victim to have used it to de-stress, to use kink as an outlet for vulnerability and insecurities that he can’t show in other areas of his life. I think that’s perfectly healthy. Kink can be freeing, liberating, and, yes, relaxing. But I really think it’s irresponsible to portray kink as a form of professional therapy. 

For one, it perpetuates the idea that we’re damaged. Like we all have deep, dark, secret pain that we work through in-scene. That’s a dangerous idea. Kink is complicated enough; no one should be doing it if they aren’t in good-working order, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Kink, in all its forms, essentially destabilizes stable parts of your life. That’s the point of it. It’s what makes it exciting. It’s what makes it what it is. It creates power imbalances. It changes the meaning of pain and sensation. It allows you to step into and out of roles. It allows you to do and be all manner of things that you aren’t and can’t in the real world. If you aren’t going into all that on steady, sure ground, nothing you do within it is going to make you more so. In fact, it has a good possibility of making you worse. And, in doing so, you could be taking down anyone else involved in that scene with you.  Any emotional issues you bring into a scene, will still be there when that scene ends. Because kink doesn’t solve anything. And it’s not supposed to.

Which is why Wadlow should never have been Iona’s client. Depression or aggression issues from past abuse isn’t something you fix with kink. It’s something that needs to be worked out far outside the dungeon. A person shouldn’t even be playing inside a dungeon until that work is done. Because, as I said, kink without proper context can be confused with abuse, when they are in fact polar opposites. Once Iona discovered Wadlow’s issues, she should have dropped him as a client and referred him to another therapist who specializes in cases like his. Even as just a play partner, she had no business playing with him. When you can say “given what his stepfather did to him, he’s capable of anything” about one of your partners, that is when you know you should not be playing with them and shouldn’t have. Ever. This is a huge RED FLAG. The reddest.

Of all things that bugged, what bugged me most was that we never get much about Wadlow. He’s just crazy and a past abuse victim and obsessed with Iona. I don’t even think he was that kinky. He’s never shown as enjoying kink the way kinksters do. He’s just seen as deeply troubled and unstable. I’d like to know more about him because I still don’t know why he did what he did. After all, there are kinksters who’ve experienced abuse in their past and have never gone and would never go crazy and hurt people. In the exact same way there are vanilla people who can say the same. Which is my point. Abuse and kink aren’t linked. Not in any way. His abuse isn’t enough of a reason for him being violent and dangerous. Neither is his seeing a kinky sex worker. So, really, the only thing we have to explain why he does what he does is that he’s crazy. And that does kind of reduce him to just a monstrous boogeyman, even if he never quite feels like a kinky one. Again, I don’t think he felt offensive, but he certainly felt underdeveloped.

Also, I’m not sure how I feel about the skeezy PI scene. As much as a part of me wants to love it when Henry white knights and punches the guy out, it feels cheap. I actually preferred the subtle prejudice of the other detectives better. Because it feels more real. Not that there aren’t people out there who think like the skeezy PI, who see all sex workers as skanks and whores and kinksters as insane. There are. But, oddly enough, I feel less threatened by them than by the more subtle kinds of hate. Like with racism, homophobia, and sexism, when it’s overt—like the KKK or the Westboro Baptist Church—it’s easy to see as wrong. People, as a whole, don’t give it any credence. It’s easy to identify and combat. But, when it’s subtle, that’s when things get tricky. Those are the kinds that rarely get someone punched out. You rarely get people stalwartly protecting your honor against that. Hell, most of time, you don’t even know if you ought to feel offended or not. If you have the right to feel wronged. It’s the kind of prejudice that, as someone who’s different, you see more often. That, in small ways, here and there, you deal with most days of your life.

But, as I said, over all, I liked the episode. It’s one of the best portrays of kink I’ve seen on network TV, problematic or not. And it ends with a great commentary on some of the biggest elements of kink, sensation, perception, and connection. “Our body feels pain to warn us of danger. But it also reminds us we’re alive. That we can still feel. That’s why some of us seek it out. While others choose to numb it. […] But what if feeling nothing is the worst pain of all? What if the sharing of pain connects us to others? And reminds us that none of us is alone, as long as we can feel?” I like that the episode ends with a sense of community for a lifestyle too often shrouded in isolation. Again, the episode may not have been perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. And I was happy to see that.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

How I Want You - Part Two

Brought to You By
Week One Excerpt - Part Two
Read Part One Here
Welcome back to the wonderful world of NaNoWriMo, where I try to finish a novel in a month. Well, actually where I'm trying to finish the novel I began last year. And just like last year, here's an excerpt from what I've done for Week One of this literary adventure. As always, please enjoy.


Sam heard Fischer chuckle. “I think my naughty girl likes this too much.” He tsked. She felt his hands cup the backs of her thighs. His hands felt rough and hot against her skin. She sucked in a shocked breath as she felt his hands coast upward, catching her skirt and raising it up.

Her brain blanked. She wasn’t so sure about this. She ought to stop this. While she might feel exposed bent over with her ass in the air, that was a far cry from actually flashing her butt to a room full of strangers. She shivered as she swore she could feel the club’s open air—hot, sticky, and heavy with human sweat and sex—on her ass. The thong she’d chosen earlier in the evening because it felt risqué and fun now felt flimsy, a thin slip of cloth between her cheeks, a tiny, cotton triangle that barely hid her pussy.


“That’s better,” she heard Fischer groan, pleasure clear in his voice. His hands massaged her flesh, cupping and caressing her in his hands. “So beautiful.”


Sam bit her lip. He sounded so turned on; she didn’t want to ruin that. She wasn’t that uncomfortable, right? Not enough to make a big deal out of it. She didn’t think. She felt the muscles in her butt tense.


She cried out when his hand hit her ass next, the impact feeling more intense than before. Her eyes bugged and her mouth gaped. Sam heaved as she heard Fischer’s gleeful chuckle. Breathe. Just breathe.


But, instead, she sucked in a deep breath and held it as he smacked her over and over. Each strike burned in a hot bloom over her skin. She imagined her flesh, red and warm. Maybe with his handprint, like a brand, left on her body. She thought about the people all around them seeing that mark like a visible connection between them.


Feeling scandalously sensual, she let herself go, gave into the rhythm of it all. Her eyes focused on the strobe’s red pulse against the booth’s wall. The beat of the music drummed through her head. She didn’t understand why, but it seemed to trip something in her mind. Letting her body sink and settle into his strikes, feeling it—the beats and off-beats—like some sexual embodiment of jazz. She felt a throb inside herself that started against her ass—in the slap of his hand on her flesh—and moved through her. Like a tingle through her legs and toes. Like a headed churn through her hips and belly. Like a gripping clench in her lungs and throat. It rattled around her head, stirring her thoughts in a mix of adrenaline and endorphins. She bit her lip as that rhythm—that song—played down deep between her legs, tightening her thighs and slickening her sex.


God, it was almost too much. And, at the same time, not enough. She felt lost in it. She felt finally found.


She gasped—her held breath torn from her lungs—as he grabbed the full, round globes of her ass in his hands. He squeezed. Her head fell forward as sensation flooded her in a ravenous rush. Her body shook in a sob that started as a whimper on her lips that shuddered down her spine and weakened her limbs. She felt Fischer’s arms catch her as her body went limp, crumpling in his embrace.


She heard him coo while he pulled her close, pulling her onto his lap as he joined her on the bench. “I’ve got you,” he told her as he wrapped his arms around her. “I’ve got you.”


———


Phil swallowed hard and stared at Pip’s out-stretched hand. He wasn’t sure about this. The dish towel she’d used to tie him up before had been one thing—he could have torn that hold apart at anytime. He rattled the chain above him, felt the thin metal capturing his wrist. He wasn’t breaking out of this on his own. If he did this, he would be entirely in her hands.


He looked at those hands that held the other restraint. Long-fingered and elegant, her hands were beautiful. Manicured in a deep red, they looked strong and feminine, capable and sensual. Just like the woman herself. If he had to put himself in anyone’s hands, it would be with someone he trusted as much as he did Pip.


So he held out his hand, feeling like she were leading him somewhere as she locked him into place. His arms hung with his elbows bent and his wrists just above his head.


She stood with her hands on his shoulders. “How’s that feel?” He felt her hands massage the tense muscles. “Not too tight, right?”


He gave the chain a bit of a pull, feeling it tense and the metal cuffs bite into his wrists. “No,” he told her, “not too tight.”


“Not too much?” she asked, her tone concerned.


He looked up at the cuffs. He could see the latch that would release each restraint. He let the chain slip on the hook, seeing its slack as he straightened his arms. Looking at it all now, he was almost sure that he could get out of this, if he needed to. If he wanted to.


He was just as sure that he didn’t want to.


“Not too much,” he told her.


She smiled and kissed his forearm. “Good, because I’ve got eighteen minutes and I don’t plan on letting you go until they’re up.”


He shivered as her tongue and teeth and lips touched his arm. She nipped at his shoulder and neck before soothing the slight hurt with wet kisses. She moved down his chest, her hands joining her full lips in worship. His body tingled as her fingers brushed over his nipple. He’d never had a woman do that—not with Pip’s particular brand of tantalizing deliberateness. It was another one of those things that he had never really thought about—had certainly never missed—but made him wonder if he would from now on.


Her tongue flicked over the sensitive flesh before moving to his other nipple, giving it as much attention. When she kissed her way down his stomach, her hands reached for the clasp of his dark jeans. “Pip.” He panted as she lowered his zipper. Yes. She tongued his navel, taking her time before she shoved his pants’ heavy material down, catching his boxers along with it. He felt the elastic catch on the rise of his erection, pressing the cotton against the head of his cock. A moan slipped out from his throat.


She giggled as she reached into the vee of his fly and untangled him, freeing his hard cock. He bit his bottom lip as he felt his clothes puddle around his ankles, leaving him naked before her. She sunk to her knees, her breath hot against his hip. “Pip.” He shuffled his feet as he instinctively pulled against his restraints. He wanted to pull her close. Wanted to sink deep into her mouth that panted just inches away. Wanted to feel her wet heat move on him sweetly. “Pip, please.”


He felt her smile against his hip when she pressed close. She trailed sloppy kisses along the crease of his thighs. She nibbled down the insides of his thighs. She tongued behind his knees.


Then she slapped the sensitive skin of his inner thigh. He jerked and yelped, hearing her chuckle. “Are you laughing at me?” he balked in mock indignity.


“Uh-huh,” she giggled and nodded before trailing her tongue along the length of the abused skin.


Phil grabbed the chain the cuffs hung from in tight fists and moaned at the slick stroke over his sensitive skin. “You know, it’s not usually a good thing when a woman laughs at a man after she takes off his pants.” He squirmed when she scratched her nails down his thighs in a sharp slide. “It can make a guy feel…” His breath hitched when she bit his belly, just above the head of his cock. “Inadequate.”


“Mmm,” she purred, tickling her hand up his thigh. “I’d hate for that to happen.” She kissed and licked the skin around his erect dick, teasing but never actually touching his penis. “Especially, when you, Phil, are anything but.”


“Pip,” he begged, willing her to touch his cock. With her hand, her mouth, her pussy, whatever. He just needed to feel her. “God, c’mon, please.”


Pip laughed, the sound rumbling deep in her throat. Phil groaned and tensed as he felt her take him into her mouth. Her tongue swirled over the head of his penis before licking down his shaft. Her mouth felt amazing as her lips moved over him. Her hand gripped the base of his cock, stroking him between her thumb and forefinger, the touch an added layer to his pleasure.


He tugged at the chain and wished that he could bury his hands in her hair. He wanted to touch her face. He wanted to lie her beneath him. But he couldn’t. He felt the cuffs cut into his wrists as he frustratedly pulled, the bite a sharp contrast against the sweet soft, heat of her mouth.


Desires swam inside him. Desire for what he wanted to do. For what was happening. For what he couldn’t do. They all built upon each other, fueling each other, until he was so full of want and need.


She sucked him deep one more time before she let him slip out of her mouth. “Tell me what you want.” Her hand slipped wetly over his still slick penis. “What do you need?”


“You,” he said on a moan. He wanted her.


“How do you want me?” She increased her hand’s speed on his dick. “Tell me.”


He bit his lip, closing his eyes while savoring the sensation. “I want your mouth on me again,” he said. She nodded and obligingly moved toward his cock again. “But, this time,” he added as she parted her lips, “I want you to touch yourself too.”


Pip paused for a second. He looked down and saw her blinking up at him. She smiled as she caught his gaze. She leaned back and reached for the sides of her unzipped catsuit. She tugged the skintight material over her shoulders and down her arms. Phil’s eyes widened as he took in her dark nipples, hard tips on her small, sleek breasts. His mouth watered, wanting the taste of those sweet peaks on his tongue. “More,” he murmured, his eyes eagerly following as she pulled the suit lower and lower. “More.”


She tsked. “Greedy boy,” she scolded. “You just said to touch myself.” Her hands reached up to play with her nipples. “How’s this?” Her voice lowered.


He looked down as she bent forward again, taking his cock back into her mouth as she flicked her fingers over her nipples. Ah, yes, he loved watching her touch herself while she touched him. The thought of her feeling aroused was arousing. “Touch your pussy,” he begged. “Rub your clit.” He swallowed as she groaned against his dick. “Please.”


The head of his cock slid down her throat as her hands moved down from her breasts. She tucked her hand into the vee of her suit. Bent over like she was, he couldn’t see her hand move. But he saw her body go taut. Heard her moan and pant. Her lips sucked him harder, deeper, as her pleasure built. Her hips hitched and her breath caught. Her throat tightened on him when she choked slightly.


God, it shouldn’t have felt good, but it did. She was close. Just a little more. “Pinch your nipples.” She liked that; he remembered that from before. “Do it.”


Her mouth sucked harder as her hands moved over her body. He felt her gasp as she pinched her nipple. Oh God. Just the thought of it, with the feel of her mouth around him, was enough to push him closer and closer to the edge. Oh God. Her body tensed and she gave a small cry as she came, causing him to fall into his own orgasm. He felt her tongue lick and her throat swallow as he came in a heated rush, pouring himself into her waiting mouth. “Thank you,” he murmured as he let go of the chains in his hands to hang limply on the chains. “Thank you.”




LEARNING A NEW WORLD
Please check out my novel The Taming School from Sizzler Editions that explores discovering kink!

THINK YOU OWN ME?
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LOVE EROTICA? LOVE CONSENT?
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GEEK SEX IS THE KINKIEST SEX!
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LET'S GET INTENSE FOR THE MEN!
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HAVE YOURSELF A KINKY, LITTLE XMAS!
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MAKE-UP SEX MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER!
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FORGIVE ME, FATHER, FOR I HAVE SINNED!
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REBEL WITH US!
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YOU'RE INTO WHAT?!
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PRIDE & PUNISHMENT!
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BREAKING THE RULES!
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SEXT ME SWEETLY
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How I Want You - Part One

Brought to You By
Week One Excerpt - Part One
Welcome back to the wonderful world of NaNoWriMo, where I try to finish a novel in a month. Well, actually where I'm trying to finish the novel I began last year. And just like last year, here's an excerpt from what I've done for Week One of this literary adventure. As always, please enjoy.


This was amazing!


Sam Schaffer’s grip on Fischer’s left elbow tightened as they entered the darkened, black painted, cavelike club. She could hear the hard, pounding music raging to the red strobe lights pulsing wildly about the space. She could see barely lit people in all states of dress.


She blinked at a woman who was wearing tight leather pants and nothing more than two crisscrossed strips of duct tape over her nipples. A man led another woman around in handcuffs attached to his belt. A dark-haired woman stood in the middle of the dance floor swinging a long, heavy whip as she swiveled and swayed. A group of men watched her, fascinated.


Sam’s feet tripped as she lingered just a bit too long, staring at her gyrating hips. Fisher had a rule that, out in public—but especially tonight—when they were walking, she was to stay one step behind him on his left side. But that wasn’t the easiest to do with the dense crowd, writhing around her. She flinched as some dancer’s flogger flicked too close to her face. She ducked and shuffled closer to Fischer. There was just so much going on everywhere.


A part of her nervously shied away from it all while she watched a mostly naked man follow a latex-clad Domme on his knees as he licked the floor where she’d walked. But a part of her longed to dive right in. Her eyes widened as they came close to the club’s dungeon. It was a small, packed room filled with tables and booths of spectators, sipping drinks and enjoying the show. In the front corners of the room, two Dommes, sensually wrapped in leather and lace, worked over two hooded, bare-backed subs chained to the room’s walls.


The strikes of their crop and two-tailed whip punctuated the music blaring behind them. The strobe lights flickered over the Dommes’ thin, toned bodies. Even in the poor lighting, Sam could see blood dribble down the male sub’s back as the sharp whip bit into his flesh. She heard the female sub moan, the high-pitched sound quivering between pain and pleasure as her arms hung slack from the chains and her back arched with each slap of her Domme’s crop.


“Do you want me to put you on the list?” Fischer asked, leaning to whisper into her ear even as he pulled her closer against his body. She could feel him aroused and eager against her hip and wondered if he would enjoy seeing her bound to the wall in front of all these people.


“Would you be playing with me?” she asked.


He shook his head. “This is their space,” he told her. “Their equipment. Their toys. But,” he said, biting her ear and making her shiver, “I’d be right here watching.”


Sam bit her lip. She didn’t know. She watched the Dommes turn to swap partners, letting the crop that had been leaving harsh lines on the woman now mark the man and the whip that had cut into the man’s skin now sting and slash across the woman’s already abused back. Sam had never played with anyone but Fischer. Hadn’t even thought about what that would be like.


“C’mon,” he murmured against her temple. He ground his hip against hers, pressing himself hard and urgent against her. “You wanted to see what this was like, right? Here’s your chance.”


Sam worried her lip as the whipped woman’s cries rung in her ears.


Sam shook her head. “I don’t think that I can do that,” she said worriedly. “Not tonight anyway.”


Fischer frowned, but nodded. “All right,” he said with a bit of a pout. “I understand.” He took her hand and placed it in the crook of his elbow. “How about we grab a seat and just enjoy the show then?”


Sam gave him a relieved smile. She’d like that a lot. She followed him through the crowd to a booth closer to the front of the room. She noticed several couples like she and Fischer gathered in the crowd. A steampunk princess sat on a goth guy’s lap, grinding her hips over his as they kissed. A badass biker had his hand up a giggling, masked girl’s dress. Sam blinked and stared as they passed a couple hidden in the dark corners of another booth. She could barely see the guy—he was nothing more than tattered denim cuffs and an unlaced pair of tennis shoes—but the girl on her hands and knees on the bench bobbed in an obvious rhythm over him.


It was raw. Untamed and unapologetic. As if, in the shadows of the night, every dirty desire came out into the light. As if the dark gave them permission to want—to embrace—the darker sides of themselves. Her grin widened as Fischer ushered her into a booth with a sweeping bow. She curtseyed before she sidled onto the bench, smiling as she thought of Fischer watching her wiggle into the tight space in her short skirt and stockings. She looked back over her shoulder at him, enjoying the dazed look on his face as his eyes focused on her ass. She giggled.


Without warning, she felt him—hard and unyielding—against her back, a crushing arm wrapped around her waist. “Are you laughing at me?” His voice was a grizzled rasp.


Her breath caught in her throat. She tried to swallow, but she couldn’t. She shook her head as panic clawed at her skin.


“Sounds like you are,” he scolded, the sound cutting through the club’s noise. “Were, anyway.” He gave his own graveled laugh as his hand opened on her belly, his fingers stretched possessively across her body. “Not laughing now.”


She gasped as his hands grabbed her hips and jerked her back, making her fall to her hands and knees on the bench. Her heart raced and she panted. With her bent-over and backside-up, she felt exposed in the crowded club. She couldn’t see from her position, but she thought she could feel every person’s gaze centered on her. Felt their held collective breath as they waited—as she waited—to see what would happen next.


“ ‘Must be because you know you’ve been bad,’ ” she heard Fischer say, his hands and his voice feeling so large and imposing at this moment. “ ‘You must know you need to be punished.’ ”


She recognized the lines from her favorite BDSM novel, Steele’s Edge. Elliette Roberts’s writing coming out of Fischer’s mouth. Gregor Steele’s words said in Fischer’s voice. Sam’s face flushed and she felt her stomach flutter.


Reveling in the perfection of the moment, she welcomed the slap of Fischer’s hand against her ass. The sting of it made her moan and arch her back. Heat hummed along her skin.


———


Pip Jones giggled and led Phil Schaffer into one of the private rooms. “C’mon,” she said, pulling him into the room and shutting the door behind them. “According to the sign-up sheet, this room is open for the next twenty minutes.”


“Is that right?” Phil raised an eyebrow as he reached for her, shifting to press her back against the wall.


Pip let her head hit the hard surface when she felt his lips against her neck. She moaned and cupped the back of his head, holding him to her while he nipped and licked at her skin. She pulled his head up to hers for a heated kiss. She felt ravenous. She couldn’t touch enough of him.


Her hands reached for his clothes even as his found hers. She unbuttoned his shirt and slid it off his shoulders between kisses, the feel of his sleek skin hot and smooth under her hands. She shuddered as he slipped her suit’s zipper down. The metal pull from her throat, between her breasts, down her stomach, and past her navel felt electric. He reached beneath the fabric and pressed his hands against her breasts, rasping her nipples along eager palms. His hands moved down, tracing over her ribcage and along her hips. His fingers dipped over her thighs to the apex of her legs.


She grabbed his wrists and held them tight in her hands. Not quite yet. She grinned. She wasn’t quite ready for thins to progress that far. Not yet. There was too much she wanted to do still. No, no. She was far from done yet.


With one of his wrists in each hand, she thrust them behind his back and frog-marched him across the room, using their heated kiss to guide him. She used her body to press him to the wall, trapping his hands against it at shoulder-height. She bit and sucked at his lips, sliding her tongue inside his welcome mouth to play with his, while she slid his hands high above his head. God, he tasted good, like mint and heat and man.


She let go of one wrist and was more than pleased when he kept his hand where it was. He was such a good sport. She grabbed one of the cuffs dangling from a hook in the ceiling and snapped it over the wrist she still held.


She smiled as Phil tore his lips from hers. “Uhhh,” he said as he looked up at his now bound wrist. He pulled his arm down, yanking on the long chain holding the cuffs together. “You sure about this?”


Pip jumped up and snatched the other cuff before he could tug it out of reach, stopping his arm’s movement. Wouldn’t want to ruin their fun before it even got started. She smiled as she released the cuff’s latch. “Oh, absolutely.” She held out her hand for his other one. “Are you?” 



Read Part Two Here

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Does Dark Always Mean Dangerous?



I’m all for not demonizing non-traditional forms of love; not all love stories are sweet and gentle and they shouldn’t have to be, so long as they’re still consensual. But I’m deeply disturbed by disrespectful and dangerous mainstream depictions of them. Why is it, when we want to say something “really dark and weird and cool” about love or lust or sex, it too often tends to be horrifying?

What makes it even more frightening are the people defending Maroon 5's latest "Animal" video. Who say that the video is just depicting stalking and rape and violence that already exist in the world; it’s just telling it how it is. How can you get mad at that? It’s not like the video invented these ideas; it’s just using them to make a cool music video.

Or how it’s just a fantasy, dark as it may be. It’s just like 50 Shades of Grey and other kink fantasies that play with darker ideas and concepts. How can you defame this while defending other kinky sex?

Or how the video is not really that bad. You never actually see real violence. At most, you just see blood splattered all over the place. You see worse in horror films or cop dramas all the time. Why is this such a big deal?

Or how it’s not as if the girl in the video even knew what was happening, so what’s the harm? Nothing actually happens to her in the video.

And I’ll agree that on the merits of the song alone, I actually don’t mind it. The melody isn’t bad. I like Adam Levine’s voice. The lyrics themselves, while not the most romantic or even emotionally stable, aren’t bad. Raunchy, sure. But I’m a fan of raunch. And I don’t mind the idea of depicting darker, maybe even unhealthy romantic relationships. They exist and most of us have a few unwise, unstable, if fun-while-they-lasted relationship skeletons in our closets. In the right context, those are valid stories to tell. 

However, the video takes it several steps further into a very offensive category. 

1 ) It glorifies this type of psychotic behavior. At no time does the video take a negative stance on the horrible behavior it depicts. I argue that this video is condoning and, in fact, seems to celebrate this type of fantasy. The video is shot completely from the stalker’s perspective in a salacious, sympathetic, “yeah, she’s hot; I want that” kind of way. There’s no repercussion to the stalker’s behavior. You never see the harm that his stalking does. You never see him being punished for his actions. The video doesn’t even hint at the violation the woman would feel, if she knew that this was happening to her. 

This isn’t portraying stalking in a realistic light. This is a sick attempt to make stalking sexy. And it’s not. It never is. And can never be. Because, by definition, stalking is a non-consensual act. It’s never okay. It’s never sexy. 

But you wouldn’t know that by watching the video where an attractive guy follows his crush around, takes and enjoys naked pictures of her, breaks into her house to lie next to her, and has sex with her in his head. At most, the video makes it seem kinda creepy. And possibly—arguably—ineffective. Except for the fact that:

2 ) the woman being stalked and who is the center of this disturbingly violent fantasy is the singer’s wife in real life. It lends a lot of credence to the video’s creepy message when the creep being depicted is being played by a guy who’s married to the woman being creeped on. It’s tacitly saying that this behavior works. That it may be bad, may be creepy, but guess who’s in my bed every night? That, as the song says, “You can pretend it’s meant to be/ But you can’t stay away from me.” Intentionally or not, it’s saying that stalking is an effective mating strategy and that you don’t have to worry about whether your actions violate someone. Because she’s hot and you want that. And, according to this video, that’s all that matters.

3 ) Whats worse is that it’s teaching our boys that sex isn’t something they control; it’s something that controls them. That, as the song says, “You can’t deny/ the beast inside.” That they “have a natural, ’animal’ lust for women that they are biologically unable to control.” And that isn’t a message we can afford to keep teaching.

4 ) Because boys are learning this message. They’re internalizing it. Normalizing it. To the point that too many of them think that, so long as the women aren’t aware of the violation, it’s not really a violation. Don’t get me wrong; this is less the idea that anyone is going to think “Yeah, I want to be a stalker when I grow up” and more that things like this normalize behavior that shouldn’t be considered normal.

No one wants to be a stalker, no one aims to be labelled a stalker, but how many people are okay with looking at naked pictures of women taken without their consent? How many people viewed the stolen pictures from the Fappening without a single thought to the violation they were committing against the women in those photos? How many people thought they had a right to those photos—to those parts of those women—by virtue that they wanted them? No one proudly says that they violate women, but how many stories have we heard about college students raping girls because she’d passed out and they never took the time to think about how they were violating her? Because they wanted her and that was all that mattered?

Where do you think these people got the idea that what they want matters more than the people they want those things from? How many times do we see this line of thought repeated in songs, in movies, in TV shows, in stories? How many times do we hide behind the idea that it’s just fiction? How many times do we assume that no one could possibly read too much into them?

I doubt, after seeing this, that anyone’s going to become a mad butcher and seek to have blood-soaked sex with someone, but how many people might feel like following a crush or taking or looking at pictures of them without their consent—especially in comparison to everything else in this video—doesn’t seem that bad? That it’s just something people do when they desire someone. It’s almost romantic, really. After all, nothing bad happened to either the girl or the guy in this video—hell, those two are married in real life, right? So what’s the harm, really? 

It’s why far too many people think taking advantage of someone who’s unconscious is okay, or looking at private, stolen photos of actresses and models are okay to look at online, or repeatedly showing up uninvited or unexpectedly at a crushs workplace or home just to see them is normal, because they think it’s not hurting anyone. But it is. Acting without all parties’ consent is a violation. All violation is wrong. That’s the only message we should be teaching anyone about this type of behavior.

5 ) While I’m certainly not a fan of the 50 Shades of Grey novels, there is a massive difference between that and this video. The 50 Shades series plays very fast and loose with widely accepted SSC BDSM practices. The kink portrayed in that novel, as well as many other relationship elements in the story, are not what I would call ethical or healthy. And they certainly have been romanticized and glorified in ways that make me uncomfortable. 

However, while the books and film are definitely problematic in terms of consent, when done right, BDSM is completely consensual. Consent is what makes it all okay. Whatever your kink. Whatever the risks involved. So long as everyone involved gives informed consent, it’s okay. 

And, if anyone who read the 50 Shades novels wanted to learn more about how to do BDSM responsibly, they could do so. There are many, many, many resources to turn kink fantasies into safe, sane, consensual realities.

In a way that cannot be said for the one-sided, violence-driven fantasy of violation portrayed in this video. Because stalking and sexual violence are not consensual. And that fact makes kink and what’s displayed in this video polar opposites. It’s less a question of dark versus romantic. Or rough versus gentle. It’s a question of consensual versus non-consensual. To forget, ignore, or down-play that shows a complete ignorance on sex, consent, pleasure, and kink.

6 ) The same people who are upset by this video are likely the exact same people who aren’t happy with horror films—or many cop dramas, for that matter—for their tendency to oversexualize their female characters and then punish them, often violently and horrifically, for it. It’s the angry underbelly of the sex-negative, misogynistic current running through too many of our stories that longs to see women dress and act provocatively then accuses them of provoking violence against them. It wants to mold and shape women to conform to the desires of their audience—allows them only to exist if they fit that want—then promptly disposes of them once that want is fulfilled. Too often, when we want to tell darker, grittier, edgier stories, its at the expense of the women in those stories. Sex is too often seen as something those women have, something titillating and tempting, that gets taken from them and then used as a weapon against them.

My question is why it has to be that way. Why we cant tell better stories. The worst thing about this video is that it could have been done so much better. Like I said, I’m a fan of love and lust and sex with an edge. If you want to depict darker, non-traditional expressions of romance—hey, I’m all for it. 

This video could have made the woman in it an active participant in that expression—as the song’s lyrics seem to hint that she is. The song also says “you can’t stay away from me/ I can still hear you making that sound/ Taking me down rolling on the ground/ You can pretend that it was me/ But no.” These lines are repeated, making them seem important. The song, if not the video, seems to get off on the fact that the woman is taking what she wants too. That, good decision or not, she desires this too. And that’s what makes something sexy. It’s only sexy when all parties participating consent and actually want to do it. When everyone involved actually gets pleasure from it. 

If she’d been into it, if she had actively said or expressed any hint of a “yes” in this video that wasn’t a complete violent-fantasy-driven fabrication that only exists in this deranged stalker’s head, there would probably be less people upset by it. Instead, the video decided to romanticize the man’s complete, obsessive, and potentially violent violation of this woman.

And, I know, it’s just a pop song. Who really cares? Except it isn’t just this one pop song, is it? This is one more unbearable drop in a narrative bucket that has been overflowing for far too long. Stories are how we make sense of the world; it’s why we tell them and have told them since the dawn of time. Is this really a message we’re okay with putting out there? Haven’t we done that too much already?

Im not saying that dark, controversial materials shouldnt be out there. We need differing opinions and views out there in the world. If just to make us think more about the world we live in as a whole. Things like Bram Stokers Dracula or George Orwells 1984 or Chuck Palahniuks Fight Club or, hell, even Joss Whedons Cabin in the Woods, these are all dark pieces, but theyre dark for reasons. Their darkness aims to shine light on elements of their audiences lives. To make them think about the world they live in differently. They asked their audience to think about what is good and what is this thing we call evil and whether those definitions we hold are right. Thats something I can get behind. But dark for the sake of dark isn't something we should aim for. 

What does this video say? If you watch it and really look at the message its trying to put out into the world? At worst, it celebrates the violation of another human being. At best, itwhat?shows a creepy guy doing creepy things. At best, it plays pretend with real psychosis out there. Play acts at damaging madness that exists in the world, dressing it up as something it isnt. Was that really worth saying? Was that art that needed to be?

Im not saying that this video should be banned or censored or blamed for all the ills in the world. I'm saying that I wish its creators had put more thought into its creation. Because art does help people make sense of the world. With the advent of MRI scans, we realize that it does that in profound ways, for better or worse. And I think that does place a responsibility on those who create art for the masses. Art that is meant to be consumed by a staggering amount of people.

You want to make dark materials that make people question the darkness within themselves? Great. Fantastic. Go for it. 

But I dont think thats what this video does. This video asks its viewer to not question that darkness. It asks them to accept it and revel in it without examination. To play passive with it and maybe even allow it just a touch more mental reign in the real world. It makes things that should never be right feel just a little right. To feel satisfying and titillating in a way they shouldn't. 


As a woman, I find that disturbing and dangerous. As an artist, I find it lazy, irresponsible, and rude. Other artistsbetter artistsfind better, more meaningful ways to use the darker sides of humanity to create art worth making. Why couldnt the creators of this video take two minutes of critical thought to do the same?