Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest for a day of relaxation in their Aqua Sauna! This is an annual visit for myself and a close friend.
They have all sorts of sauna/spa experiences from the traditional Turkish to the Japanese Salt Steam Room, Greek Herbal Bath, and Tyrolean Sauna to the lovely warm relaxation beds in the Tepidarium or the Laconium.
There is the spa pool, the reflexology foot baths, the spa pool, zen garden, ice fountain….. and I finish the day with a facial.
This week’s post on fictional BDSM versus the real thing is on the Dom – and sub - ‘look’:
In fiction I generally find that the Doms wear leather, usually black, sometimes a suit or at the very least dark jeans, maybe teamed with a black t-shirt. Often with very short hair. Basically this is ‘power’ dressing. They need to show they are dominant, in charge, the person in control. And this works well.
I was quite surprised therefore to learn from my American Dom that, in real life, while many Doms do wear clothes of this sort, many also have the markings of a sexual Dom, eg, lot of tattoos, pierced genitals, facial hair, etc. I guess these are other ways of showing dominance but I personally have this image as the sub being the person with the piercings and tattoos. (I’m not getting into the Domme look as this is not my area of interest but suffice to say black, red, basques, very high boots with stiletto heels come to mind). Personally if I read about a hero/Dom with facial hair it would be a complete turn off as facial hair does nothing for me (similarly with piercings). I am fine with tattoos, but not too much.
So what does the sub look like in erotic romances? Well, taking the female sub perspective, they are certainly expected to wear short skirts – sometimes denim, sometimes leather, tight clothes, see-through or revealing clothes, basques, skimpy tops, virginal white or maybe red, high heels (or barefoot) or even be naked. I don’t think I’ve read one book yet where she arrives in a floor length skirt with flat pumps and a blouse done up to the neck and hair back in a tight bun! Although there is scope there for the ‘buttoned up girl to turn into a sub’!!
In reality more confidant subs will go panty less, crotchless, assless, tits exposed, etc. This is taken as a sign that they are "open for business". The idea of the sub being ‘partially clothed’, in particular exposing sexual areas, is somehow more blatant or ‘sluttish’ than the thought of someone being naked in my mind.
But what about above the neck? I asked if people wore masks to hide their identity in case it got out that they were involved in the BDSM lifestyle as it could affect career or family relationships. And the answer was that it is indeed very common for the Sub or Dom to wear a mask. There are a lot of underground individuals who take on a masked persona – but it is more or less for the people that they are unfamiliar with or in public. If ‘playing’ at a private party where everyone knows each other, then that is a different matter.
Of course, the most common element identifying a sub from a Dom is a collar which implies that the Dom and sub have a strong commitment to each other (although there are ‘training’ collars and the sub could then go onto another Dom when trained).
The leather dog collar style is the one you most often see in shops/websites selling BDSM gear in the UK, but my American Dom says that is more of a private thing. A lot Subs prefer the more elegant gold, platinum or jewelled collars. These collars tend to be worn 24/7 as a mark of ownership. The public usually just assume it is a fashion accessory and do not think a lot about it. Or some people will have a ‘day’ collar that is less obvious and can be worn at work/in public/around family and friends without anyone thinking anything of it before wearing the fancier one elsewhere.
There are collaring ceremonies that people look at as the ultimate BDSM commitment and is often the finale in a story – usually because they have fallen in love and it is a metaphor for ‘the wedding ring’! In reality, it’s because they wish to commit to the other whether in love or not.
This is the last post on this topic. I have enjoyed writing them and many, many thanks to my American Dom for his patience in answering my multitude of questions.
I may do more posts in the future as topics occur to me. If there is anything you would like me to comment on, do leave a message.
NO! I haven’t been having sex by the sea!! LOL. However, I did attend an event arranged by British erotica writers for the launch of a book by this title and during the day there was a free event (always good!) which including readings by authors.
And one of those authors was ME! And it was a little nerve wracking as I have never done a reading before. Not that standing up in front of an audience was a problem as I have done amateur dramatics in the past and lectured in countless family history workshops, but it was more about being embarrassed reading my own work – particularly any sex scenes.
But I got around that by reading some funny dialogue instead (yes, I copped out!). I read from ‘Friendly Seduction’, my favourite book to write because I laugh at stereotypes in erotic romance (okay, so I take the mickey out of my own genre!) But I had a ball doing it, eg, pointing out that the heroes are always handsome and hunky and never short, fat and bald and that they often seem to be a king or prince or leader of some sort, never the person who cleans out the sewers!
And it seemed to go down well. People laughed – in fact one person was nearly rolling on the floor in laughter – and several people came up afterwards to say how much they enjoyed my reading including a lecturer in creative writing! And writer, K D Grace, who asked me to guest on her blog! (I’ll let you know when I am there in due course).
Thanks to the great writer, Janine Ashbless, who lives in my town and encouraged me to go and gave a great reading herself. She also gave me a lift and as we hadn’t seen each other in a couple of months I rabbited at her all the way there and back whilst the poor woman tried to concentrate on the sudden torrential downpours and the odd pig on the road (I kid you, not! The pig, not me talking. That’s normal!!)
I won a prize on a tombola (some lube!), and a lovely lady called Bea bought one of my books (well, she sent her husband to buy one!) and asked me to sign it (another first!).
Thanks also to Victoria Blisse and her smutty co-conspirators for organising the event. Best of luck with the launch of your book.
PS - here is me reading in my brand new 'branded' t-shirt!
This week’s post on fictional BDSM versus real-life BDSM is on jealousy:
I have often wondered about relationships in BDSM and whether the issue of jealousy comes up. You don’t often read about it in erotic romance fiction. If it does happen it is usually a secondary character who often turns out to be the bad guy. In some cases their jealousy gets so bad that they try to harm the good guys and, of course, the good guys win (it may even lead the hero to realising he nearly lost the heroine and that he does really love her!!)
So I talked to my American Dom who said that there is not really any fighting or jealousy between Doms but, instead, a good deal of respect among them. However, he felt that there is less respect and more jealousy between subs as sharing a Dom or being the favorite is a major issue with a lot of subs where he is, regardless of age, and winning the affection of a Dom is a big deal which can lead to a lot of problems.
Now that is certainly what I would expect as it mirrors any kind of relationship, vanilla or otherwise. But what about ménage relationships? It is common to read about two Doms sharing a sub (rarely do two subs share a Dom in fiction, although you can find them). He stated that it is more common for one Dom to be with one sub IF that relationship is secure and that it would be very hard for a Dom (or sub) to have more than one totally committed relationship where they could be available to all participants. This may be why there is a lot of moving from one Dom/sub relationship to another. Any jealousy or overly vying for a Dom’s affection may bring anxiety to the entire relationship.
He went on to say he thought the percentage of Doms with more than one sub is about 25% (or a little over) and the percentage of subs with multiple Doms is less that 10%. There is however a lot of playing with the other Doms, but these are not considered a relationship, but rather fun service. Hmm. Interesting. This goes counter to what I said in the previous paragraph about the number of ménage stories where the two or more Doms share a sub.
I was amused when he felt that it would be much easier for the reader to relate to a one on one Dom/Sub relationship – that the Sub hierarchy system could turn some of the readers off. In actuality ménage stories sell better than straight forward male/female stories.
We women like our fantasy of the heroine being the centre of attention of more than one man. If Doms fight over her, that doesn’t cause us any problems, in fact it adds to the excitement. But readers don’t really want two heroines fighting over the one hero!
Next week’s post (the last in this series) is on the Dom ‘look’.
To get inspiration for my books I like to try out new things for myself. This recently included 'Food Play'! Although I got the impression that the person I did it with was humouring me, particularly when I asked for my favourite foods, eg, strawberries, maple syrup, strawberry ice cream, and they started to be all red .... So I made the rest of the meal red too, eg, ham, salami, red peppers, carrots, red lettuce, etc, etc! (Or in the red/orange spectrum).
So what food is erotic? – well, just getting chocolates is romantic but if you want to be erotic then as they are melting it’s great for licking off the fingers of another person or eating from their lips. Even more fun if your hands are tied behind your back. (Yes I know chocs are not red but the colour brown is made of RED and green..... - and anyway, they came in a red box)
Feeding someone else can be fun, sensuous, teasing. Being blindfolded and then fed adds an element of excitement, and submission, since you don't know what you are being fed and you have to trust the person feeding you.
Dipping a cherry tomato into olive oil dressing before rubbing over the other person's lips before feeding it to them is fun (and I always find the texture of oil on the lips VERY sensuous!)
If you place the food elsewhere on the skin and lick or eat it off them, you can guess how exciting that can be. *grin*
Something we could have tried would have been to drop some of the strawberry ice cream onto the body before licking it off thereby getting a cold and hot sensation! (The flavour would make no difference except to the person doing the licking, naturally!!!)
I have it on good authority that strawberries make good lubricant!!!!
(Mash it on your hands and then use your hands …..) Maple syrup, on the other hand is a bit too sticky but the two together make for a very sweet kiss.
Another one from Raven McAllen on the 'other' type of rabbit!
I have a couple of friends who I meet up with in Edinburgh a couple of times a year. One of them is now in her 70's and for some reason always makes a bee-line for a certain sex shop. The first time, I think it was by accident as she saw a nice bra and panty set in the window, which she thought would be a good present for her daughter in law. She dragged us inside before we had a chance to point out where we were. Then we almost got ejected from the shop as she said at the top of her voice, "They're faulty, there's a big hole in them."
You'd think after that she'd realize and not go near the place again.
Oh no, next visit, back in we go. And end up in the vibrator section. To find two of us trying not to laugh, and drag her out, as she examines a rabbit.
"Why do they call it a rabbit?" (my older friend) She stares at it as if it's going to jump up and bite her.
"It looks like one, and it goes like the clappers." (my other friend)
"Rabbits aren’t pink or purple and what's these bits for?" She points at the vibrator, but doesn't touch it.
Me… "Tease your bits."
"They're the ears." (other friend) "Like a rabbit"
At this point my older friend picks up and turns the display model on, and watches the beads in it swirl and vibrate. She touches it to her cheek and shrieks. "Yeuk, its all wobbly. Do people really want that in their lady?" (her words not mine)
Me… "Yes why not?"
"It's good if your other half's on night shift, or away or something. Does a treat." (other friend)
"It's all funny, not a bit like the real thing" (older friend) "I'll settle for my hubby."
At which point she drops it back onto the shelf and it writhes and twists about like a well, vibrator I guess.The assistant comes over to see if she can help us. We (my other friend and I) are in hysterics, as my older friend looks at it as if it's got a life of its own.
We drag her out, and swear never again…Ha! Not a chance, I think she does it on purpose.
This week’s post on fictional BDSM versus the real thing looks at the behaviour of the sub:
In our books the sub shows her interest in the lifestyle usually by wearing skimpy clothes, by attending a BDSM club and when there by being fascinated by everything going on around her. She is then usually attracted to a particular Dom and ignores everyone else. Her demeanour may indicate submissiveness by not having eye contact, or if in a relationship she may kneel at his side. There is enough sexual tension, sexual attraction written into story that the Dom is aware that she is ‘available’.
In reality my American Dom tells me that Doms tend to look for easy submissives who display ‘sluttish’ behaviour indicating this is a sub who loves sex, loves to be dominated and displays their whore-ish demeanor. That is not to say there are not lady-like submissives, but that is not the norm.
Verbal degredation, eg, calling the sub names like slut, whore, cunt, etc, also seems to be very common in real life. Most subs expect to verbally humiliated and it is just part of the lifestyle. Interesting, my American Dom says as he gets older he doesn’t do this as much.
He also told me that, while subs often wear skimpy clothes or wear basques, more confidant subs will go panty-less, crotchless, assless, tits exposed, etc. He always reads this exhibitionist behaviour as "open for business".
I was fascinated when he said that there are some Doms who show skin or expose their genitals, but, he felt that a Dom should act more appropriate and let the sub be the slut.
But, here is my quandary, if I were to make my heroine subs more whoreish or have them enjoy being called those sorts of names (or have the hero use them), that doesn’t fit in with the publisher’s criteria that the hero/heroine has to be ‘noble and honest’.
It is a fine line between making the heroine flirty enough and sending out enough sexual signals that the reader feels they can put themselves in their shoes, and not putting them off altogether by making the heroine seem like a prostitute. She can be a flirt but not a whore!
The point to remember here is that the heroine’s behaviour is directed at the hero and not everyone or anyone who will have sex with her and once the hero is with the heroine he disdains anyone else. I usually reserve that sort of attitude for secondary characters.
Next week’s post is on relationships, particularly in ménage situations, and whether the issue of jealousy ever rears its ugly head.
Thanks, guys! Hope you have enjoyed reading my blog posts. Do tell me which ones you have liked best (the BDSM posts, monthly interviews, general updates on my books, rabbit fridays, friday funnies, erotic lunches, blog hops, any other!) and I shall endeavour to do more. Or if there is something else you would like to see more of.
This week’s post on fictional BDSM looks at the age of subs. In our books they tend to be in their twenties or thirties and occasionally in their forties (males subs generally tending to be older than the female ones, I’d say). The reader doesn’t really want to read about subs older than that. They want to put themselves in the shoes of the heroine, the sub, and therefore want her to be young and beautiful.
But in actuality the age range varies enormously.
So if you are an older woman afraid of looking ridiculous by going into a BDSM club that you think will be filled with beautiful young women – think again.
Subs tend to start as early as 18 but most are about 25 before they get into the lifestyle, I understand. Once they are in, subs can be any age. My American Dom contact has seen them as old as 70+. Apparently college girls seem to be quite flaky and move onto other endeavors over time, but the more mature ones seem to have a real interest.
In fact, my English Dom (I seem to be collecting them like one collects foreign dolls…..) says he’s met a few older subs over the years. One, he recalled, was in her mid-seventies who said that being a sub is like taking a drug, in that you become addicted to that form of pleasure AND it was not about sex at her age, because intercourse was too painful and any form of impact was out as she bruised too easily. Instead it was about the enjoyment of being submissive.
Doms also range in ages, but usually are much older when they start, 30 is about average. (This is from my American friend Dom – I have no idea if this is the same in the UK).
There is also something called ‘Age Play. Where there is a big difference in the age range of the Dom and the sub whether the Dom is old and the sub young or even vice versa. Some Subs really get into being with an older Dom even if is only a few years, this could be chalked up to having daddy issues.
The problem is if I write about a really old man acting as Dom to a very young sub, whether this really happens or not, the readers will think it seedy and perverted. Similarly, do they want to read about a 70 year old heroine who is a sub falling in love with their Dom? On the other hand, I can certainly add instances like these as secondary characters. Next week's post is on sub behaviour - how sluttish should she be?
This month’s inspirational author is Fiona Archer who lives in Sydney, Australia, and shares a house with her dog, and a flock of cockatoos that take over the back yard each afternoon, demanding their feed of Arnott's Milk Arrowroot Biscuits!
Her love of romance started back when she was twelve and her mum's stash of Mills and Boon novels proved too much of a temptation. At fifteen, she decided the life of a romance writer was for her but it took some years before she clawed together enough gumption to make her dream a reality which I can soooo relate to.
Chloe’s Double Draw is both her first book and the first to be published. It was one of those exercises that stretched out over years, three in fact. She started writing the story in November 2009. She is an inspiration because she finally finished (many drafts later) in September 2012. Over to you, Fiona:
Tell us about your latest book.
“Chloe’s Double Draw” is the first book in the “King’s Bluff, Wyoming” series published by Siren Bookstrand. I plan for five books in this series, with a spin off series in the works too!
Here’s the blurb:
Chloe Morgan fled to King’s Bluff, Wyoming, to start a new life. With a past that haunts her, the shy schoolteacher must make a choice. She can hide away and protect her secrets or embrace the acceptance of the small community.
Noah King and Flynn Taylor have traveled the world as members of Australia’s elite SAS. They’ve earned scars, both inside and out. Now powerful influencers in King’s Bluff, Wyoming, a town founded by Noah’s ancestors, the men have made a haven from the ranch Noah inherited.
One look at Chloe convinces Noah and Flynn she’s worth pursuing. Introducing her to BDSM and the ménage lifestyle accepted by the town will be a hard sell. She’s scared, skittish, and refusing their advances.
As the two Doms strive to gain her trust, Chloe’s past crashes in on them, threatening their futures. When a man obsessed with her tracks down his prey, nobody could have imagined how high the stakes would go.
What makes a great hero?
I love a man that doesn’t back down to a woman who challenges him when she’s fighting her own demons, to a bully who wants to hurt the vulnerable, or to society when it shouts that his views are politically incorrect even though those same views have women salivating in their dreams.
An alpha hero isn’t simply a grab ‘em and kiss ‘em kind of guy. He possesses intelligence, resourcefulness and compassion. Above all, he has a sense a humor. Don’t you find it sexy when a man has the confidence to laugh at himself? He’s the guy you know you can turn to when things go bad, the man who will always have your back. He’s also the Dom who can reduce you to a sweet subbie puddle with his powerful stare.Alpha heroes? Yeah, I love ‘em.
(Wow! Where can I find one of them………)
Do you have anything in common with your characters?
You mean my stubbornness and love of murder mysteries? Or the fact I’m a sucker for strays and want to save every waif I come across, human or those covered in fur?
Is there any trivia about your latest/forthcoming story that you can share with us (eg, the name of a real life pet that you used in the story)?
All of the book titles in the King’s Bluff series are “Card Poker” terms. Noah King’s ancestors won the land that is now King’s Bluff by winning a hand of poker. And you guessed it; he did that by calling his opponent’s bluff.
I’ve had to read up on the different “hands” of poker and their hierarchy. In my current WIP, High Stakes Loving, I have a group of my hunky heroes playing their usual monthly card game. Does a Full House beat a Flush? That kind of thing needs to be sorted well before I send the WIP to Siren.
What’s the strangest (bravest, funniest etc) thing you’ve ever done?
I’d always wanted to get my ears pierced but was terrified of the pain. On the last weekend of a holiday in Washington State, my friend challenged me to do something special to see off my visit. Bring on the pierced ears! Several glasses of bubbly were imbibed to fortify my courage. Now, slightly, um, tipsy, and with my friend holding my hands and telling me to breathe, I ended up getting my ears pierced at this little discount jewelry shop in Seattle. I purchased a pair of tiny diamanté studs, plus a tiara, and then went crazy and also bought flower and diamanté flip flops. I proceeded to wear my new treasures as we shopped in Seattle. I soon discovered that city understands that sometimes a girl needs to let her tiara shine and hey, when you smile and are happy, that can prove to be infectious to those around you.
(Hey – well done, you!)
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Johanna Lindsay is a favorite from years ago. Her lusty pirates and rogues captured my heart with the same determination they grabbed hold of their heroines. More current authors include Cherise Sinclair, Sophie Oak, Lexi Blake and Sierra Cartwright.
(Gosh, yes. Johanna Lindsay. You’ve been looking at my book shelf haven’t you…..)
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate is my first pleasure, although I refuse to label it with the term guilty. Next after my cocoa obsession would be reading, closely followed by a finely brewed café latte.
What are you currently working on, or what’s on the horizon?
I’m currently working on High Stakes Loving, the second story in King’s Bluff, Wyoming series. This is Reagan, Mike and Quinn’s story. After that, is another in the KB series and then a self-pub, currently set in Seattle and featuring BDSM themes.
Who did you dedicate your first book to?
My mum! Yes, I know sounds sappy but without her encouragement, I would not have been in a position to follow my dream.
What’s the hardest part of writing?
Gosh, when I write myself into some freaky rabbit hole. You smash out a pile of words and realize you are nowhere near where the plot demands you to be. So, it’s “off with their heads” and you start again.