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Regulating our Fantasies

wickedwedThe topic of safe sex in erotic fiction comes up all the time amongst writers and readers. I recently had a run-in with someone who was disturbed by the fact that the characters in many of my novels and short stories, don’t wear condoms. It’s true. They don’t. They don’t because they live in the fictional world I’ve created, an erotic world designed to play out my fantasies and, I hope, those of other people as well. The truth is that never once have I had an erotic fantasy that involved the use of a condom. I have written a couple of stories in which condoms are used, but in those stories, I didn’t use condoms to make a statement nor to assume that my readers needed reminding that in the real world, safe sex is a must. Rather, condoms played a role in the development of the story.

My stories are my fantasies, entirely and completely the product of my imagination. I’m a firm believer that my readers are intelligent and savvy and very aware of the world around them. I also understand that some people prefer their fiction and their fantasies more realistic. Fair enough. Fortunately for them, there are writers who prefer to write that way. I don’t happen to be one of them.

Holly Condoms3It’s ironic that the stringent rules and regulations that apply to erotic fiction do not apply to other kinds of fiction. I understand that some of those guidelines in erotica have to do with the publisher knowing the target audience. But In other types of fiction, subjects are covered all the time that are completely forbidden in most standard erotic guidelines for submission, and yet no one expects that readers of non-erotic fiction should need to be reminded that guns are dangerous and murder and rape are wrong.

I have written stories for which the submission guidelines demanded the use of condoms in all scenes involving penetrative sex. I gritted my teeth and wrote what the guidelines dictated. But it seems to me that the message such guidelines send is two-fold. First of all that because erotica is about sex, it’s automatically more dangerous than other types of fiction, and secondly that readers of erotica are just not as smart as readers of other types of fiction and they must have extra instruction and guidance to equip them for the reading of such dangerous material.

Do we really believe that people are more ignorant where erotic literature is concerned, and more likely to cause themselves and others harm than they are if they read any other kind of literature? Do we really believe that if the character in a story has a gang bang without the use of condoms that the reader will automatically think this must be what sex is all about, and go out and try it for her or himself?

Erotica is, by its very nature, the place where the reader can experience for him or herself what would never be considered safe in the real world, what, given the opportunity to do in the real world, given the opportunity to participate in, her or his response would be an unequivocal ‘No thanks.’ Is it any different than a thriller or a horror story, or an adventure novel?

The whole point of a novel is to live vicariously a life that one wouldn’t have the opportunity, and more than likely wouldn’t even want to live, if one did have the opportunity. Commercial fiction is all about vicarious thrills and vicarious experiences from the safety of our own home. That’s why reading is so much fun.

I believe readers should be given credit for discernment, credit for being as savvy about the differencesP1010083 between erotic fiction and reality as they are about the differences between other kinds of fiction and reality. I’m not saying that fiction can’t be didactic. And indeed part of the beauty of fiction is that it offers the inadvertent opportunity to learn something new. What I am saying is that I tell stories. I tell stories for fun in a world that, I think, could use more fun. If there are lessons taught, they come about inadvertently while I’m having fun telling a story. But I don’t feel a deep burning need to tell my readers to do what they already know to do, what they’ve been aware of every moment of their lives from the time their old enough to understand that the world is a dangerous place. And sometimes the world adults must live and function in can be a boring place as well. If they’re like me, and I assume at least some of them are, that dangerous world, that boring world, is a very large part of the reason they enjoy fiction so much.

And they enjoy it while they continue to stop for red lights and level crossings, while they continue to treat their fellow person with respect, and while they continue to practice safe sex, all without having to be reminded that these things are for their own good.

(From 2011 Archives)

 

Who’s Really to Blame for Seven Deadly Sins

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Okay, so here it is; the real story behind the story. Here’s the truth about what happened  when dirty minds ran amuck late at night after Eroticon 2012 in the Ibis Hotel in Bristol. I swear it’s the truth because I was right there running amuck with the best.

I can’t say we’d had too much to drink. We hadn’t. I can’t say there were any drugs involved, unless you want to count the cold tablets I was popping for the springtime sniffles I had. What I can say is that we were high on smut writing. We’d just spent the day at the first annual Eroticon in Bristol. That was last March. We’d had dinner with some of our naughty compadres, and then Lily Harlem, Victoria Blisse, Lucy Felthouse and I went back to our hotel, which had a lovely all-night bar. Since we live in opposite directions in the UK, we seldom get the chance to catch up and talk writing, so we were up for the long haul.

Seven-Deadly-Sins-Cover-450(1)Lily Harlem started it. Yes, she’s the one to blame! After some raucous conversation about what we found sexy and what we liked to write about, she pulled out a pen and a scrap of paper and we began brainstorming ideas for smutty anthologies. We considered sex at work for an anthology; we considered sex alfresco for an anthology, we might have even considered food sex. Oh, the possibilities! And then Lily did it! Lily brought up the idea of an anthology about the seven deadly sins, the perfect way to cover all the naughty bases in one filthy swoop.

My hand was the first in the air to write a story about lust. Bet that surprises you, doesn’t itJ Victoria wasn’t far behind me, volunteering for gluttony. Lily was all up for envy and Lucy put in for pride. And so the night went. I’m not sure how serious we all were at the time. It was long after midnight, and to say we were punchy is an understatement. When a party of rather inebriated lads flooded into the bar singing Iris folk songs loudly and badly, we adjourned to Victoria and Lucy’s room and continued planning and scheming.

The next day we all hopped our trains and went back home. My sneaking suspicions is that it was Lucy Felthouse who is to blame for what happened next, though I’m sure that Lily was partly responsible for filling in the three remaining sins with naughty writers, Sarah Masters took up the cause to wax filthy about wrath, Lexie Bay weighed in with sloth and Rebecca Bond took on greed.

And, after that the blame all goes to KoJo Black over at Sweetmeats Press who bravely agreed to take on the brainchild four under-slept smutters had mapped out on a scrap of paper in a hotel bar. Thanks KoJo! Nine months later, Voila! A very naughty, anthology is now available for your reading and viewing pleasure, with illustrations by John LaChatte in the paperback version and in the Waterstones eBook version. Thought the eBook is available in all the usual places, do remember, if you want the naughty illustrations in your eBook version, you have to get it from Waterstones.

I confess, this anthology is truly sinful X seven, and I do hope that this little peek into the naughty origins of The Seven Deadly Sins will lead you into temptation to get your copy, and then let the filthy authors and that dirty boy of an illustrater, John LaChatte do the rest. I forgot to mention you can also buy each of the seven stories separately in eBook format if you have a favourite vice.

Seven erotic tales from seven sinful sirens. The Seven Deadly Sins have never been so sexy!

Aphrodite Gets a Piece of the Action by K. D. Grace
A young voyeur finds himself faced with the almighty task of going global with Lust!

Caged by Rebecca Bond
Greed pushes a policewoman straight to the top. But her quest for power uncovers more desire than she ever knew she had!

Glutton to Gourmet by Victoria Blisse
Anabel has never known when to say ‘when’. But the dashing Roman shows her that quality is just as delicious as quantity.

Green Eyed Monster by Lily Harlem
Penis Envy takes on a whole new meaning when Helen hatches a plan to use her own “cock” to its fullest extent!

An Indolent Seduction by Lexie Bay
When the demon of Sloth sets his sights on the angel Industria, apathy becomes dangerously alluring.

The Sweetest Revenge by Lucy Felthouse

Abigail’s crush on Mackenzie has made her do something stupid. Will Pride come before a fall…or cause them to fall in love?

Something Else by Sarah Masters
A man’s Wrath at the loss of his lover sets him on a vengeful path that leads him through a seedy and sexually charged underworld.

sevendeadlysins_large_promo

Blurb for Aphrodite Gets a Piece of the Action:

There’s no place to go but down when, against all odds, sexually inexperienced, nerd’s nerd, JACK CALENDAR gets shanghaied into being APHRODITE’s PA. And she has him going down a lot! Who could have guessed that the moonlighting Goddess of Love had head for business? The hours are long, the work is difficult and the Goddess is demanding and insatiable. Then there’s her family, who make the Corleones look like the Brady Bunch.

A PA’s work is never done, and Jack wasn’t hired for his impressive organizational skills. Nerdy Jack is at Aphrodite’s beck-and-call, because he’s the only mortal she has ever known with a lust powerful enough to match her own. Jack’s never had so much sex. He didn’t even know one could have so much sex – with someone other than themselves, that is. Just when he’s starting to get the hang of serving the goddess, Jack meets the husband, whose jealous temper is volcanic to say the least. Can Jack survive a run-in with the original dysfunctional family, or will he end up just one more manipulated mortal fucked by the gods?

Excerpt from Aprodite Gets a Piece of the Action

‘Hey you! Ass-wipe! Don’t make me come up after you.’

Coming up wasn’t necessary. Startled, Jack lost his balance on the limb and fell out of the tree backward, his fall being slowed by the hard thwack, thwack, thwack of a half a dozen smaller, more supple branches before he hit the manicured lawn flat on his back leaving him winded and stunned.

‘Izzee dead?’ A voice hissed from somewhere above Jack’s prone, breathless body.

‘Course ‘es not dead. His cock’s still hard. Sonovabitch! Hat’s off to ‘im, I say.’

‘Don’t matter. When her dad gets through with him, he’ll wish he was dead.’

‘Shut up, you two. No one asked your opinion,’ a third voice said. Then the owner of that voice grabbed Jack by the arm and hauled him to his feet nearly dislocating his shoulder in the process. He found himself nose to nose to a man with perfectly coifed hair that looked like it came straight from an eighties cop show. And the rest of him looked like a poster boy for a hard core muscle mag, right down to the bad-ass eagle tat rippling up his bulging right bicep. If that wasn’t crazy enough, the man was wearing a toga, for chrissake! His pecs bulged and his nipples looked like they’d been clamped within an inch of their lives. And who the hell noticed a man’s nipples, Jack wondered, especially when Blondie’s old man was about to make him wish he were dead.

‘Tuck it in, Bub,’ Toga Man nodded to Jack’s cock which, embarrassingly enough, still offered a full frontal salute. He shoved and shifted it back into his track suit, but even then it led the way as he fell into step behind Toga Man with two black-suit security types flanking him. What the hell was the matter with him? He could die or worse and he still had enough wood to start a bonfire.

‘Big Z ain’t gonna be happy you watching his daughter do the dirty,’ the suit to his left spoke out of one side of his mouth.

‘You shut your pie-hole,’ Toga Man said. ‘You dunno what makes Big Z happy. Besides, she ain’t his daughter.’

Big Z? What the hell was this, Jack wondered, some kind of Mafioso toga party? They made their way through the enormous marble foyer of the house Jack hadn’t noticed being anywhere nearly so huge from his perch in the oak tree. But then it wasn’t the house he’d been looking at, was it? At last, Toga Man dismissed the Mafia-thugs and fast marched Jack, both hands protectively folded across the bounce, bounce, bounce of his erection, to another set of double doors at the end of a long hallway. He threw them open and with a hand on Jack’s shoulder, half shoved him into an opulent study. There, Jack found himself face to face with the bare ass of a bloke doing the nasty up the bumhole of another, a situation that didn’t prevent Toga Man from announcing loudly. ‘We found this scumbag up the oak tree watching Aphrodite.’

Buy Seven Deadly Sins Now

Print:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

eBook:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Waterstones

 

Susana Mayer Talks About the Fabulous Erotic Literary Salon

I had the privilege of reading for Susana Mayer’s Erotic Literary Salon on tour while I was in Las Vegas for Erotic Authors Association Conference. The experience was one of the highlights of the conference for me, and ever since, I’ve been dying to know more about the Salon and about the woman who made it happen. And now is my chance. I feel very honoured to have Susana Mayer as my guest on A Hopeful Romantic. Welcome, Susana!

KD: What would you most like people to know about Susana Mayer?

Susana: I have recently reinvented myself as a sexologist, receiving my MA in Public Health 2005, and Ph.D. in Human Sexuality 2009. I am not a writer of erotica, except for the occasional titillating emails I send to my beloved.

Presently, I am working on several projects; a unique anthology, ebook form (more info. can be found at the Salon’s website) and a non-fiction self-help ebook to better understand the complexity of libido, sex drive and sexual desire. Bibliotherapy is one of my passions.

K D: Tell us about the Erotic Literary Salon. How did it come about, and how has it evolved since its beginnings.

Susana: Creating the Erotic Literary Salon was a culmination of a lifetime love of erotica coupled with my dissertation investigations (searching for a catalyst for women’s desire to have sex). Conclusions drawn from the research and the sexual climate in the US led me to believe the time was right to mainstream erotica in Philadelphia.

The social messages women have been receiving did not allow “good girls” to admit to enjoying fantasies they consider pornographic. Based on media marketing, our society allows men the liberty of enjoying hard core material, whereas women are relegated to fantasies spurred on by soft core erotica.

Pornography usually conjures up negative judgements, and erotica is a term that is most often equated with sexual material for women. I must admit when I initially created the Salon, it was geared towards women, and I too used the term erotica so as not to offend my prospective attendees. The terms Literary and Salon were marketing tools to extend legitimacy to the event, since I realized porn or pornography would immediately offend people who equated this term with degradation.

Unfortunately, but ultimately most fortunately, the public space where the Salon was to be held could not discriminate against men. From the very onset the Salon attendance has been approximately equal among the sexes. Ages range from twenty-one (liquor law restrict minors from attending) to mid-nineties. Couples, singles, poly — all sexual orientations and an ethnic mix all attend the Salon.

This event has gone through several transitions since its inception. Initially the format followed most closely the concept of a true French Salon. Works were shared, discussed, and critiqued. It has now developed into performance, where the attendees expect to be entertained by the readings. Occasionally I have featured performers who incorporate music, song, or movement with their erotic presentation.

As the host of this event I try to keep the evening flexible, open to the possibilities of discussions, critiques and Q & A. The featured presenters, number of readers and attendee’s responses all impact how the evening will proceed.

It still surprises me when I hear attendees express their gratitude for having a venue to share their sensexual* writings sans censorship. Remarks like; “Susana is doing a very brave thing….It’s hard to overstate what a remarkable event you produce each month….Philly needs something like this,” remind me there are no other events of this kind presently in this area and few in the entire country.

People have confided in me how writing and sharing their words have helped them deal with a myriad of issues. Often this is the only occasion they have to hear how others express their sexuality. Exposure to these writings, especially journals and first person works, have given them the opportunity to reflect on their own sexuality. It can be of great comfort to know that there is such a variety of styles to creating sexual pleasure. For those who are troubled by sexual pleasure, the sharing of words may assuage their guilt.

The Salon has also given victims of sexual abuse an outlet to share their shame. By giving voice to their distress, in some instances the mere act of sharing has relieved them of the burden of shame. For others the control of the pen has allowed individuals to rewrite their sexual history, enabling them to cope more positively with their traumas.

Some people attend the Salon just to enjoy a night out with their friends, or it can be an unusual place to take their date. For an increasing core group of regulars, it is a community of like-minded people who enjoy sensexuala*.

The Salon is many things to many people, but one thing is a constant – each Salon is unique. I never know how the evening will progress, since each month the readings and featured presenters vary. Similar to my daily posts at the Salon’s website, I lend my voice to this event by offering news items with my sex positive spin. Individuals are given the opportunity to view a sexual newsworthy item from a different perspective. As a muse for this event I feel these items not only educate but can be used as research material for their writings.

The Salon also continues via the web between gatherings. Those unable to attend because of distance constraints are able to share their works on the site, while enjoying some of the readings from the Salon. A professor of English in India expressed his gratitude for having a community that would enjoy his writings and comment on them.

I believe the mainstreaming of sensexuala in Philadelphia is slowly becoming a reality. The first year the Salon averaged between 20-30 people. These numbers have climbed to 60-80 attendees any given month.

K D: The Salon sounds like such a wonderful community to be a part of, and I think it’s fabulous that there is a website where those outside of Philadelphia can connect up with that community. You must have so many amazing memories of the Salon, Susana, can you tell us, what was your most memorable experience of the Salon?

Susana: The Salon’s nonagenarian, Frances (she’s my Chosen Mom), read the best seller, “Go the FOK to Sleep.” Can you envision a 94 year old, white haired, 4’6” slim built, beyond wrinkled woman, armed with elocution lessons from grade school (sans microphone) reciting this adult story disguised as a children’s book to Salon attendees? She brought down the house. I have extended an offer to the author to attend in May to hear her once again read this piece. I hope to get permission to video tape and post it on youtube and my website. Can’t imagine him declining.

K D: Wow! I would have loved to be there for THAT reading! It must have been amazing. Susana, how do you see the future of the Erotic Literary Salon? What plans do you have for it?

Susana: I am considering adding several larger events, with the Salon as the foundation while including visual arts, music, dance for a spectacular evening of sensexuala. I’m also in the process of creating a Salon ebook press, not only to publish the Salon’s anthology, but also works of others. The Erotic Literary Salon is becoming an established brand, and I want to spread the word of sensexual writings as a tool for bibliotherapy.

*sensexuala/sensexual. A combination of (sensual & sexual) that does not carry the same judgmental values as those attributed to erotica and pornography. You get to enjoy the value of the piece, eliminating the need to discuss the sub-genre classifications.

K D: Thank you, Susana, for sharing with us. It’s been such a pleasure to interview you, and you’ve raised so many other wonderful questions that I’d love to pursue further that I hope you’ll come back again soon.

 

 

Catching Up With the Latest

There’s been a lot going on lately in my writerly world, and I’m overdue for an update, so without further delay, here is the latest news.

 The new issue of the fabulous online magazine, Safeword, has just come out, and this month, it contains a gorgeous two-page spread on The Initiation of Ms Holly, with a steamy excerpt. It’s a wonderful magazine, and Holly looks very sexy all laid out in those lovely pages.

In yesterday’s mail I received my  copy of the German  translation agreement  for the Black Lace anthology, Liaisons, which contains my short story, ‘Archeogasms‘.  I’ll soon be receiving my German copy from Bastei Lubbe.  I love it when my naughty stories travel abroad!

 Monday, I found out that Xcite Books will be including my short story, ‘Flaws,’in their upcoming paranormal erotic anthology, Dark Desires. ‘Flaws’ is a story of witches and sex magic and love spells run amuck. I’ve heard a few names dropped as to the other writers included in this sizzling anthology, and I can only say that I’m very proud to be in such awesome and talented company.

In the past few weeks, the always astounding Lucy Felthouse has been introducing me to my neighbours in cyberspace, and a very friendly and talented lot they are indeed.

 On the 15th of February, Lux Zakari, author of the fabulous novel, Coercion, invited me by for an interview. It was a lovely chat on a great site, with an author I admire very much.  

 On February 28th, I was Keeping Office Hours, with the deliciously hot writer, Roxanne Rhoads, and having a fabulous time of it at Roxanne’s Realm.

 On March 1st, I was at fabulous Rawiya Erotica site talking about the outstanding moments that make erotic fiction shine.

And on March 7th, I was sharing my Dirty Little Secret with all the fab Smutketeers and all their fab friends, who shared a few dirty little secrets of their own, and now I feel like they are all my friends too. It’s always lovely to make new friends.

On a more general note, my sister, Nancy, has been visiting me from the States. She lives in Oregon, which is the lovely state from which Vincent, my hot hero from The Pet Shop hales. I’ve had the pleasure of picking her brain about some of Vincent’s West Coast haunts. I’ve also used her visit as an excuse for a lovely trip to the Lake District to do some research for Lakeland Heatwave: Body Temperature and Rising, which will come out next February. If you’ve not seen the previous blog post, you can check it out for details about our fabulous three days in Cumbria.

I think that about catches me up. My sister is here for a few more days, then I’ll keep my head down for the last bit of polishing and shining of The Pet Shop before I hand it over to Hazel at Xcite. In the meantime, this concludes this writerly update. Stay tuned for breaking news as it happens. And thanks for stopping by!

 

The Education of K D: Erotica’s Steep Learning Curve

I just spent a good chunk of last evening on line trying to find a decent definition of kink. Never did find one I thought was satisfactory. But what I did find was a very good online BDSM dictionary to save to my stash of smutting tools. When I was writing The Initiation of Ms Holly, I made multiple trips into London to question the wonderful chicks at Sh! Women’s Store about strap-ons and spanking and blindfolding.  I spent an afternoon online learning amazing things about chastity belts. And that’s just the physical stuff. I find myself learning why semen is good for women, why porn is healthy, and what happens in the human brain during sex.  And the list goes on.

One of the best things about writing erotica, one of the things I would have never thought about before I penned my first smut, was the steep learning curve. I’ll be the first to admit, I usually try sneaking in the back door first, no pun intended. One of the best ways of educating myself to what is out there is to read what other erotica writers have written. I guess in some ways it’s voyeurism for smutters.

Writing is learning; I’ve always known that. There are stories that can be written without much effort or research, but the act of choosing the right words and getting just the right nuances, or analyzing why what some other writer has done works so well, is a learning process in itself. So I learn as I write.

But writing erotica is different in its learning curve because of the average person’s shocking lack of sexual education  – myself included. And because sadly sex is one of those things people don’t talk about in ‘proper company.’ Though it may be true that there are no stupid questions, people are still embarrassed to ask and embarrassed to seek out answers where sex is concerned. M niece has taught university classes on women’s sexuality, and she says what shocked her most was how little women actually know about their own sexuality.  I have no trouble believing that. Though I’ve always considered myself fairly well informed about sex and extremely aware of my own sexuality, as I began to write erotica I was surprised by my own ignorance.

The frightening thing about ignorance is that it can breed resistance to things that aren’t in our own sexual context. I’ve tried very hard not to be prejudiced about facets of human sexuality of which I don’t know enough to judge. But the battle against resistance is on-going. And interestingly enough, I find that my resistance is directly proportionate to my ignorance.  Not too surprising, really. That’s usually the case with ignorance. We tend to fear and villainize what we don’t understand.

Which leads me back to the high learning curve for erotica writers. True, we write about what we imagine, but our imaginations work better with a basic understanding of as many facets of human sexuality as possible. Not only do our imaginations work better, but our hearts work better as well. Our minds are more open and accepting. The old saying  ‘knowledge is power’ is never more true than where human sexuality is concerned. And one of the fringe benefits to writing erotica is that all that scrambling to do research, to understand why people find certain things arousing, to understand what actually happens on a physiological level when we have sex, to understand the sociology and psychology and science and history of human sexuality, is empowerment.

Empowerment means I can better understand aspects of sexuality in their proper context. It means less reason for resistance; that means less fear. It means more compassion, more asking enlightened questions and more desire to share what I know.

If knowledge is power, then the real power we erotic writers have is the power to share all aspects of human sexuality, the power to portray its many facets openly and honestly and approachably through story. True enough — we don’t set out to educate. We’re mostly all about entertainment, all about fun, but inadvertently we do educate. Inadvertently we open up the windows and doors and let light shine into the part of our humanity that has been kept in the dark far too long.

Yes, I know, I’ve just made all smutters sound like campaigners for the cause, dressed in corsets of righteousness. But the education, the empowerment, the coming to grips with all the many facets of human sexuality, well all that’s a long-winded way of saying —  I write erotica because it’s fun, and the education of K D is just a lovely fringe benefit, one more reason to feel really good about what I do.

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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