Everyone wears a mask of one kind or another.
In romance novels, masks tend to be elaborate, lavishly decorated things, hiding the identity of the mysterious lover from the (more often than not) naïve hero/heroine.
But, in real life, our masks tend to be far less erotic … and much more complicated.
The average human being doesn’t only wear one. They become layered, one over the other. We switch between them throughout the day, showing the face we need for a given situation – parent, spouse, sibling, employee, neighbor. On occasion, one will fall away when we don’t need it anymore, but we tend to add more as time goes on, piling them up until it sometimes becomes difficult to remember who we were to begin with.
Masks can take us away from ourselves.
But sometimes they show who we really are.
And the effect is broad. In the search to find ourselves, it may not even be our own mask, but someone else’s mask, that reveals the truth about us.
There are so many different kinds of masks. In my life, I’ve worn many – masks of compassion, nurturing, confidence, protection. In my work as a professional Dominant, I’ve seen hundreds more – men and women peeling away who they have to be in their vanilla lives and wearing, for my eyes only, the masks they show no one.
This concept of masks has always fascinated me – the idea of becoming more yourself by changing what people see, either literally or symbolically. In my story for Sinful Press’s new anthology Sinful Pleasures, “The Man in the Mask”, I decided to combine both the mask of a man longing to remember who he was with the elaborate mask of the romantic lover. At his birthday party, with every person he knows in attendance, Miguel decides to turn back the clock on his life by doing the one thing that most people would find unthinkable – cheat on his husband with a beautifully submissive masked stranger.
But that’s what we see on the surface. Beneath their masks, Miguel and his anonymous lover aren’t necessarily who they appear to be.
You can find out more about this story, and many of my other writings, by following me on Tumblr – https://lady–divine.tumblr.com (or https://lady-divine-writes.tumblr.com for a more safe for work version ;D). You can also find me on Twitter @FrancescaHartz, or on Instagram at ladydivine91 as I embark on my latest adventure, which is as far from professional Dominant as I could possibly get – fledgling freestyle skater 😉
Stay safe, stay sane, stay consensual – but remember to play dirty as often as you can 😉
a.k.a. Lady Divine
Excerpt from “The Man in the Mask”
Shhh. We have to do this quick,” Miguel says, reaching around the body of the man standing in front of him to undo the buttons of his shirt. “My husband is going to come looking for me soon.”
“O-okay,” the man acquiesces. “Well, then, do you think I can at least look at you while we…?”
Miguel stops unbuttoning and clamps a hand over the man’s mouth before he can say another word.
“No talking!” he snaps. “I don’t know you, you don’t know me, and it’s going to stay that way. Got it?”
“Is that what you want?” the man asks in a softer voice, hoping Miguel won’t object.
“What if it is?” Miguel replies, his accompanying chuckle cruel. He’s indifferent to the man’s feelings because tonight, he’s not a man. He’s a puppet. A toy. An instrument for Miguel’s use…for his pleasure. “It’s what you must want, too, yes? Otherwise, why do you come here wearing that mask?”
The half-mask the man has on is an odd sort of accessory. It’s lavishly decorated, almost gaudily so—blood red around the eyes and trimmed in gold sequins, swirling filigree designs, and accented in gold dust and rubies—a dramatic shield obscuring a face of pale skin, meticulously styled brown hair, and stunning green eyes.
“Because I was t-told…” The man stutters to a stop when Miguel’s fingers brush his skin, playing through the hairs on his chest. He begins again, wishing he had taken one last shot of the whiskey they’d been serving downstairs. It might have strengthened his voice. “I was told that if I wore it, I would meet the man of my dreams.”
“So, you admit to coming here of your own free will?” Miguel asks. Consent is essential to him. Without it, he’ll dismiss this man now, no exceptions.
It would be a shame not to get the chance to have him, but there are others willing to take his place.
“Yes,” the man replies.
“Say it,” Miguel demands. “Word for word. Say you are here of your own free will.”
“I am here of my own free will.”
“Even though you know what I might do to you?” Miguel has to wonder if this man truly knows anything about his unconventional tastes, his unusual cravings. “Even though you know what a night with me might entail?”
“Yes,” the man answers without hesitation. “I know, and I consent.”
Sinful Press welcomes you to lose yourself in Sinful Pleasures.
Join us as we weave our way from mainstream erotic romance to surreal sex-filled dreamscapes and everything in between, created by some of the best new and established voices in the erotica genre.
Janine Ashbless, Ella Scandal, Sonni de Soto, Jo Henny Wolf, Lily Harlem, Lady Divine, Gail Williams, Samantha MacLeod, Tony Fyler, Ellie Barker, Lisa McCarthy
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Lady Divine is a professional Dominatrix living and working in Southern California, and that’s where most of her writing inspiration comes from. She is also a wife and a mother, a classical musician, a photographer, and a greco roman wrestler, as well as an LGBTQIA+ advocate. Lady Divine can be found gracing the internet at www.lady–divine.tumblr.com