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The Morning After

The Morning After Smut by the Sea 2014:

P1010991It’s been a week since Smut by the Sea now. Can’t believe how fast time flies, and what a roller-coaster ride the week back home has been. But I want to talk about The Morning After today. I wrote most of this post on The Morning After. That meant everything was running late. My brain felt like someone stuffed it with cotton wool. When I sat down to write, I spilled my coffee and woe to anyone who crossed my path wrong. I’d have probably either bitten their head off, or worse yet, I’d have cried. As I walked to the green grocery that Morning After to cheer myself up with some summer fruit, I thought about why The Mornings After are so hard.

This time it was the Morning After Smut by the Sea. Just as I had expected, at Smut by the Sea there was that fantastic camaraderie with other writers. There was the chance to meet readers and encourage new writers to press on. One of the best parts of Smut by the Sea this year was meeting four members of the Brit Babes’ Street Team. Alison ScottDebbie Lowery,  Stephanie Robb and Peter Hill.What a pleasure it was to share the smut-tastic fun with the four of them. I was inspired by Victoria Blisse. I have the P1010956beginnings of a hot new story thanks to her workshop. I was reminded of what editors need and want in Lucy Felthouse’s workshop – always good for writers to remember. I was encouraged by the wonderful reaction and input and snippets share by the lovely writers in my writing workshop. I loved being read to in the reading slam and being intrigued by the stories shared there. Jackie Brocker had me squirming on my seat and my mouth watering with the most sensual description of eating a chocolate eclair I’ve ever heard. Janine Ashbless read some of the hottest, most prickly vampire prose I’ve ever heard. I was in aural heaven.

Beyond the actual schedule of events of Smut by the Sea, there was the wonderful catching up with other writers and talking shop. We writers work in isolation so we seldom get that chance to share with each
SBTS 2014 poster 2other. There was the chance to encourage new writers and the opportunity to meet readers in person. All in all it was a perfect day.

Buuuuuut … the Morning After, back home, I moped around with my chin on the ground. Why is the Morning After so hard? Here is a truth that I share gently and, in small doses, with new writers because I’m always afraid I’ll discourage them. Writing is hard enough and discouraging enough without hearing another writer talk about the hardships of the vocation. It’s a neurotic job we do. We work alone; our work is never done, and no matter how hard we try, we’re never a hundred per cent satisfied with what we do. Then there are the rejections that are just a part of the package and the bad reviews that every writer gets. There’s the wondering if we’ve done the best we can to promote ourselves, to make sure that our babies get the attention we think they so richly deserve. There’s the constant mental battle to decide what tasks we can leave undone so we can spend more quality time writing. And who doesn’t live with the chilling fear that tomorrow morning we might wake up and not a single word will come to us when we sit down to write?

P1020023The Mornings After are those days that follow the highs of being a writer – a good review, times spent
with other writers, a new sale, a nice royalty cheque, an inspired writing session. The Mornings After are the times when we remember that we’re always on our way up a very steep slope and that the pause to enjoy and to celebrate with writing friends — a pause we’ve well earned — is only that, just a pause.

Those last few weeks before and the weeks immediately following the publication of my first novel, I found myself depressed. The publication of The Initiation of Ms Holly raised the bar. Every writer wants each story, each novella, each novel to be better than the one before, and every writer wants to do all she can to see that her baby gets a good start. The Morning After is the understanding that we don’t know what will happen next, we don’t know exactly how to get where we want to be, as writers, and it’s inevitable that we’ll make mistakes along the way. The path is incredibly daunting. Sometimes it’s daunting because of the huge challenge we face. I felt that way when I began writing as Grace Marshall. Sometimes it just feels overwhelming because there are never enough hours in the day to do what we’d like to do to promote, to write, to become better at our craft. Quite often the Mornings After, for me, involves the overwhelming desire to run away and hide someplace where no one can find me until my heart rate settles and I can breathe again and think rationally again.

But when I strip away all that overwhelms me, all that frightens me, all that upsets me – the massive writing image 2need to promote my work, the blog posts that need to be written, the work that needs to be done, the editing, the social networking, the tight deadlines, the fact that I’m never totally pleased with myself and I set my standards outrageously high and I’m tunnel-visioned, and … breathe, KD! Breathe!

Once everything else is stripped away, the bottom line, the bedrock of my life and who I am as a human being is that writing is not a job for me. Writing is not a hobby. Writing is my vocation, my calling. Telling a story is my passion, and I’ll do it no matter what. I’ll do it because I can’t NOT do it. It’s as important as breathing. It’s my anchor to sanity when I feel like running away screaming. It’s both the gift and the curse, and the pull at my centre that keeps me focused and moving forward.

I hope that by writing this, I haven’t scared new writers, or maybe I hope that I HAVE scared them. It’s that perpetual state of fear and discomfort edged up close and personal to the love affair with story, with word, with a vocation that sometimes baffles us, but never, NEVER bores us; it’s that sharp edge that makes writing the story more than just a hobby, that makes it a spiritual journey and a digging down into the meat and bones and grit of the tale we’re compelled to tell and the passion we have for it.

No worries. I got through the Morning After. I always do. The Work in Progress grabbed me by the P1010987collar, yanked me away from my navel gazing and sat me in front of the laptop, and once again I’m  focused on what really matters. I’m a writer at the heart of me, and if I go to the heart of me, I can always get through another Morning After.

A very special thanks again to two of my heroes in the world of smut, Victoria and Kev Blisse. Thanks to you two, Smut by the Sea was the kind of event that make for great memories, loads of inspiration, and much encouragement long after The Morning After. xxx

 

Sex and Fiction Revealed

From the Archives:
Rodin 250px-The_KissI once sat through a reading of four fairly well-known romance writers, who had great stage presence, read beautifully from their new best sellers, and answered the audience’s questions with the level of expertise one would expect from people who make their living as writers. That is until they were asked about writing sex.

There was a frisson of embarrassment across the stage and a lot of shifting and shuffling and throat clearing as all four made excuses for why they were uncomfortable writing sex and therefore didn’t do it if they could avoid it. Then the question was dismissed with all the gravity a question about the proper shade of lippy might have been.

I wanted to shout, ‘This is sex! It’s the biggie! It’s what romance leads to! It’s what made us all! Beyond the shouting, sex is the powerful leveler of persons that strips us of our facades and brings us down to the deepest part of ourselves, and occasionally the best part. It exposes our animal nature with all its crudeness and all its charm. Sex is one of the best ways for a reader to get to know a character. With that in mind, I can’t imagine why all writers aren’t dying to write their next sex scene.

I appreciate a good sex scene in a novel – any novel – because sex in fiction, no matter how dangerous, is always safe sex. I enjoy writing erotica because it allows me, and my reader, to experience sex vicariously, safely, in ways we would never experience it in the real world. In some cases it’s only to see what the appeal of being there is. In other cases it’s the fulfillment of fantasy on the written page done safely without leaving the comfort of the recliner. For me, as writer and reader, there’s also the added excitement of sharing fantasies with total strangers.

I’m told I don’t look like the type of woman who would write erotica, but the more I write, the more I
wonder why the type of woman who writes erotica shouldn’t be Everywoman. We all have fantasies, and I can speak first hand as to how hot it is to write those fantasies down – in detail. No one needs to read them but ourselves. Hey, it’s a cheap sex toy – a piece of paper and a pen – a hot pink one, maybe??? It’s safe sex at its best. The world of the written page has always allowed us to walk in other dimensions, other realities, other times, and to see the world through the eyes of other people. Why shouldn’t sex be included in those other realities?

Coming home from the States on a night flight a couple of years ago, unable to sleep, I found myself watching the film, The Ugly Truth, with Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigle. Butler’s character is trying to help Heigle’s character develop a relationship with a hot doctor. He asks her how often she Naked guy readingmasturbates. Horrified, she says she doesn’t do that sort of thing, to which he replies, ‘If you don’t want to make love to yourself, what makes you think anyone else will want to?’

According to Wallace Shawn, “Sex really is a nation of its own. Those whose allegiance is given to sex at a certain moment withdraw their loyalty temporarily from other powers. It’s a symbol of the possibility that we might all defect for one reason or another from the obedient columns in which we march.”

I’ll admit it; I’m a defector to that nation of sex. It’s a large nation with lots of room, and I’m inviting everyone I know to defect and enjoy.

You can read Wallace Shawn’s great essay about writing sex here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/jun/20/wallace-shawn-writing-about-sex

 

Happy Masturbation Month

Sex toy incentiveMG00625-20140322-1049As a novelist, who writes erotic romance, May is always a red letter month on my calendar because it’s National Masturbation Month. Okay, I’ll be there first to admit that for me, every month is masturbation month,  and I’m always a bit surprised that anyone could be ashamed of such a powerful creative force.

I’ve shared this delicious tidbit about masturbation before, but as we all gear up for the rowdy, randy month of May, it’s always timely.

The ancient Egyptians believed masturbation was a creative act in its own right. In the Heliopolis creation myth, the god Amen rises from the primeval ocean, Nun, and masturbates the divine son and daughter into existence, and they populate the world. Even if I look at the Judeo/Christian myth in the first two chapters of Genesis, where God speaks the world into existence, I am still looking at a solo act.

Eric Francis on Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross’s Sex Information Online site writes, ‘Masturbation is the most elemental form of sexuality, requiring only awareness and a body.

Awareness and a body. Masturbating the world into existence. It happens all the time. At the risk of offering too much information, my understanding of sex, my deepest understanding of my own sexuality, comes from awareness and my own body. That’s what I have to work with. My understanding of writing, my deepest understanding of the creative forces in me also comes from awareness and my own self.

I’m astounded that in a world where solitude and the meditative tradition is a part of almost every religious discipline, we shy away from the very concepts that could have well given birth to it, awareness and Body. Can there really even BE awareness without a body? And how can we possibly understand the boundaries and the limits of either without the two rubbing up against each other. Our act of one-ness, our proto-sexuality, as Eric Francis calls it, I suggest is by its boundary-exploring nature, also our proto-creativity.

A Snippet from Fulfilling the Contract to honour  Masturbation Month

(Caution! Adult Content)

The damned alarm went off in the middle of the hottest fuck Nick had ever had. He came up out of the Fulfilling the Contractdream roaring like an angry bear and practically slapped the clock off the night stand in his efforts to shut it off. There was no going back to sleep, not with his heart hammering and his dick stretching out between his legs like it owned the place. Cursing between his teeth, he stumbled to the bathroom with only one eye half open. Not bothering with the stop at the commode for the piss he knew he couldn’t manage as hard as he was, he shoved his way into the shower and cranked the hot water. No cold showers this morning. He had every intention of giving this dream a good send-off. For a minute he leaned against the wall letting the jets from the shower massage work their magic. Then when he was nice and wet, he soaped up, still not bothering to open his eyes, still doing his best to capture the vivid images from his dream. Once his chest and armpits, lower back and ass were well lathered, he went to work where he needed it most. And when his pubes felt like they were mounded in thick whipped cream, he closed his fist around his well-sudsed hard-on and began to stroke, letting the dream flood full-on back into his head. It had all started on the top of the Humvee in the parking lot at the Mango. It was right there in broad daylight. He had Tanya Povic’s tropical print skirt shoved up over her ass, ploughing into her fast and furious while he kneaded her gorgeous tits like they were bread dough ready to bake. They were grunting and thrusting and shoving and she kept saying in that sexy Slavic accent, ‘Is good! Is so good! Fuck me harrderr, Nick Chase, I vant to come!’ And he was happy to oblige.

The parking lot was full of people with scopes and cameras, of all things, and they were all watching Nick mount Tanya on top of the Humvee. Some of the men had cocks out tugging and jerking like they’d lose control. The women either had hands in their panties or on their tits, which they were happy to expose to the desert sun. Some of the watchers were even humping each other while Tanya kept begging him to fuck her harder.

Elsa Crane had her keyboards and monitors and electronic surveillance equipment set up on the hood of his limo. She was all bent over with her leopard print loin cloth barely covering her magnificent ass. Then all of a sudden she turned to Nick and Tanya and said in a loud voice, ‘Tanya, you’re fired. Get off Nick and let me fuck him.’ Nick watched with his cock in his hand while Elsa gave Tanya’s tits a fondle and made her bend for a good pussy-probing, as though she might be trying to stash something in that tight little hole — like office supplies maybe. It was a dream, after all. As Elsa stroked and spread and examined Tanya’s cunt, Tanya turned her attention back to Nick’s hard-on, giving him a sucking that would have made his eyes cross if he hadn’t been so keenly focused on what Elsa was doing.

Finally Elsa gave the woman a hard smack on her pert little backside, and Tanya went in and out among the crowd offering to suck cock or lick pussy for anyone who would fulfil the remains of her contract so she could get her bonus. Then the next thing he knew, Elsa had her top off and her loin cloth hoiked, as she crawled right up onto the Humvee and mounted him in a seductive squat, her tight pussy sheathing him like a surgical glove. Then she grabbed him by the hair and pulled him up to nurse on her luscious tits, a task he was totally up for. People with their cameras and scopes moved up close and personal-like, to where he could even hear their heavy breathing, which was no small feat above his own. With Elsa Crane gripping and squeezing and rocking and riding, he was about to go off like a nuclear warhead. And then … Then the damned alarm clock went off instead of him.

The tug, tug, tug on his cock against the bounce of his lead-heavy balls was just about to get him there under the pulsing of the shower, though why it should be Elsa Crane who got his cock iron-stiff, he didn’t know. She was a hard ass, if ever there was one, and she’d all but laughed at him when he’d offered to fulfil Tanya’s contract. Tug, tug, tug. She probably did laugh when he turned and left. Jesus, it was insane what they were doing. Filthy insane. He thought about the ménage he’d viewed through the telescope. Tug, tug, tug. He thought about him standing in the desert jerking off from the experience, and it was Elsa Crane he’d been fucking in his fantasy. Jesus, what was it about that woman? Was it that avalanche of thick shiny hair? Those deep blue eyes? Was it the fact that the leopard print did little to disguise the fittest body he’d ever seen? Was it the slight gravel to her voice that he just wanted to rub up against? Tug, tug, tug.

But as the dream gave way to his fantasy, she wasn’t begging him to fuck her harder. She was hardly the begging type, was she? In his fantasy, she rode him like she was a jockey and he was her stud. She didn’t need to ask him anything. She took what she wanted, and he was happy that she took it from him. Suddenly the cameras and the scopes and the watchers were almost on top of them and it was enough. All of them watching Elsa Crane fuck him until his balls exploded – it was enough. He came in a convulsing, backbreaking ejaculation that belied how hard he’d come in the desert just a few hours ago. The cascade of steamy water from the shower washed the evidence of his lust down the drain.

 

The Domestic Goddess Gene & the Lack Thereof

IMG00659-20140420-1020I’m just home from my annual visit with my sister in the States. My luggage arrived home a day and a half later than I did, but no cause to panic. All the clothes were clean, pressed and neatly folded. No laundry for me to do! My sister’s a laundry fanatic. She doesn’t believe in returning home from a trip with dirty clothes, so the night before a flight, I’m handed an over-sized bathrobe. I strip down and my sister washes and dries EVERYTHING! And if it needs ironing, she does that too. I LOVE my sister! My sister most definitely qualifies as a Domestic Goddess. In fact, all of the women in my family qualify as Domestic Goddesses … except for me …

I look fairly well-adjusted to most people, and I can pull off the normal act pretty well after years of practice, but the sad truth of the matter is, I live in the heavy shadow of a long line of domestic goddesses. It’s a burden I bear as best I can, and the women in my family have bucked up well in spite of the family secret. Bless them, they love me anyway., but there’s no denying it. I just didn’t get it … the domestic gene. It’s not my fault. You get what you get, don’t you? And I just didn’t get any of that nesty, homey, Suzie Homemaker stuff in my genetic soup bowl.

My mother could have moved into a cow shed and within a few hours, a few days at the most, made Martha Stewart herself proud. Me, I’m more the type to move into a nice flat and adapt to whatever the previous resident’s version of interior design was. Does repainting everything to my own taste ever enter my mind? Nope! Does buying new curtains and placing pictures tastefully on the wall ever enter my mind? Only if there is a spot that needs to be covered. It’s not that I’m a pig or anything. I’m not even a slob. (okay, maybe I’m a little bit of a slob) I’m just oblivious.

I know there are women who actually enjoy housework. But I’ve never been able to see what’s to enjoy? And what’s the point? Don’t give me all that satisfaction of a job well-done rubbish. Even if I wanted to do it well, I couldn’t. It’s not genetically possible. My efforts, no matter how earnest, are always mediocre at best. My mother and sister, even my sister in-law, and my neices Writing imagecould cook a three course meal for a family of twelve in a kitchen smaller than a shower stall and dirty only one pot doing it. My kitchen is considerably bigger than a shower stall, and there are barely enough dishes in my house to make pasta and a salad for my husband and me. No, it’s not a shortage of cookware; it’s a shortage of domestic savvy.

Oh, I took home economic classes like all girls my age were forced to when we were in school, and I even passed the courses, but I think it was because the teacher took pity on me, or maybe she took pity on herself because she didn’t want me back in her class again. Don’t get me wrong, I can cook a decent meal. I can run a vacuum through the centre of the living room to get the crunchy bits all off the carpet. I can iron the biggest wrinkles out of a shirt without ironing back in too many more new ones in the process. I can sew on a button and even get the blood stains out of the shirt afterward from the needle wounds in my finger. But I lack finesse, I lack enthusiasm, I lack that certain domestic spark that the other women in my family just naturally have.

My sister would say my gifts lie in other areas. And she would say that while whipping up a batch of cookies between ironing creases in her tea towels. I love to go to her house. It always feels like someone just freshly unwrapped the package. And the cool thing about my sister’s house is that she manages to make it look clean, smell like freshly baked cookies and feel comfy and welcoming all at the same time. If I ever manage to get my house clean enough to meet the standard and make it smell like freshly baked cookies, the resentful scowl with which I would welcome guests and the deep beetling of my brow from all the effort that doesn’t come naturally would go a long way toward cancelling out the comfy and welcoming feel I was aiming for.

062It’s a good thing I can write, because I can’t sew, crochet, make tasty canapés or do any of that homey artsy stuff. Fortunately the women in my family have never held my genetic short-comings against me. They love me anyway. I’m glad, because they do that even better than they do domestic stuff, so I came out okay in the end. And really, I think it’s an excellent trade-off, the domestic gene for the writing gene. I’m not too warped from my dearth of domesticity, and the writing gene has made me almost completely self-entertaining and a very cheap date. Plus I can do a fair job of entertaining others as well. It may just be that in the end, my mother got a real bargain with me after all.

 

Cara Sutra Tells How to Enjoy a Taste of Bondage without Any Accessories at All

It’s totally my pleasure to have the fabulously talented Cara Sutra on Hopeful Romantic today talking about how you can enjoy a taste of bondage without any accessories. Welcome Cara! 

Sounds like an odd thing for someone who has just launched her own bondage kit to say, right?

Cara Sutra imagecs_dress_clean_logoThe truth is, I’d hate for those who have never tried bondage before to be afraid of this invasion of ‘shackles’ into their bedroom, into their sex life. To the uninitiated, it can be highly intimidating to feel like your sex life needs anything other than you and your partner, enjoying one another’s embrace and attentions.

What is this ‘bondage’ thing everyone keeps going on about, anyway? Why is it so popular?

When bondage is talked about in a sexual or sensual sense, it refers to the practice of restraining someone’s movements for the physical and psychological pleasure, enjoyment and fulfilment of both the one being bound and the one doing the restraining. Usually, this includes the use of bondage sex toys such as ankle and wrist cuffs, spreader bars, Japanese bondage rope for Shibari and a whole variety of other options.

Bondage has also come to be known as the ‘catch-all’ phrase for all things kinky, ranging from light role play in the bedroom to full-on, hardcore BDSM activities. Strictly, bondage refers only to the practices restraining movement, but words have a habit of evolving or being appropriated as necessary.

Kink and bondage have always been popular with perhaps a more underground area of society. Cara Sutra image 2fantasy_shoot-18Due to the overwhelming taboo attitude from mainstream culture in previous years, BDSM was forced into hiding – being an activity that took place in the secrecy of private clubs and a hidden part of couples’ sex lives, a shameful secret.

Regardless of what you think of the Fifty Shades of Grey books, there’s no denying that the popularity of this trilogy brought bondage and kink into the consciousness of the general public, making these activities palatable and almost acceptable. More people than ever before want to experience this perceived-as-new way of spicing up their foreplay and sex.

If you don’t know how to begin and unwilling to part with your hard-earned cash for accessories before you even know if you’ll like it, there are some ways to experience a taste of kink and bondage without any extras in the bedroom at all. Aside from your partner, of course.

Here are 7 ‘kinky but cuff free’ ideas to try out the next time you’re feeling a little adventurous.

1. Tell them you want to be held down. Even saying the words aloud will feel kinky enough, but if you’re not quite brave enough to reveal the desires out loud, why not put them in a saucy text message, instant message or email? Or maybe you want to do the holding down. Approach it from a gentle and cautious point of view, with sensuality and eroticism at the forefront of your mind. It needs to be for the pleasure of your partner as well as your own satisfaction, remember. Consent, above all things. Being held down during sex is the most natural form of bondage you can experience.

Cara SutraFantasy-red-full+box22. Introduce spanking through role-play. A Dominatrix bullwhip might sound like the sort of thing you’d simply never enjoy, but a firm hand spanking punishment from your partner? A lot more sexy, yet still corporal punishment strictly speaking. Why not lead the way by suggesting some naughty roleplay before sex, perhaps combined with dressing up? It’s easy to move from scenes such as naughty schoolgirl and a Doctor or Nurse’s body inspection session to a sound bottom spanking of a naughty girl or boy.

3. Try some masturbation and orgasm control. Again, there’s no need to dive into the deep end by throwing them under lock and key with a chastity device. Being controlled or having control of your partner’s orgasm and masturbation schedule is undeniably erotic. Depending on their usual masturbation frequency, you can decide between you whether you ban them (or give up your self-pleasure control) for a couple of days or a week. When you’re finally ‘allowed’ to masturbate or orgasm, ideally with your partner present, the result will be so much more intense and dramatic.

4. Call them names. Nice, dirty names, of course. If you’re used to dirty talk before and during sex, it can become a natural progression to include some terms of respect or submission, as well as the usual depraved names such as ‘slut’, ‘whore’, ‘bitch’ and the like. The effects of calling a dominant partner Miss, Mistress or Ma’am, or Sir, Master or Lord depending on their gender is Cara Sutrafantasy_shoot-7quite profound. Recognising the Dominant and submissive dynamic by using these titles adds an extra hot factor to proceedings.

5. Layer pain amongst the pleasure. If you enjoy exploring one another’s bodies during foreplay and erotic massage, why not include slight tidbits of pain mingled in? Watch for their responses. During the rush of endorphins which happens at high states of arousal, lightly tapping into pain reflexes can add to the pleasure. This might be a slight nip of their skin between licks and kisses, or turning strokes of the skin into light grazes and even a passionate scratch or two with fingernails. This can progress into hair pulling during sex, and from there you can incorporate other ways to deliver the pleasure of pain.

6. Strive for obedience. As your partner what they’d do to please you, then teasingly call their bluff. Suggest that you go for a date night, but request that they wear no underwear. Alternatively you could tell them that you want them to go remove their underwear, then return and hand it to you, while you’re out. Getting naughty in public while no-one else knows what you’re doing is such a turn on, and submitting to your partner and agreeing to be obedient to their whims is an extremely kinky way of discovering new highs.

Cara Sutra postbox-mockup7. Restrain yourself. We’ve talked about enjoying a natural form of bondage where you’re held down by your partner, but what about having to remain motionless while they do what they will? Not being allowed to move while they perform oral sex on you, or even during the act of penetrative sex, is an incredibly erotic experience for both lovers. Stopping yourself from crying out as you’re being pleasured is another way to give a kinky aspect to sex.

It’s clear that you can enjoy a kinky sex life which includes bondage even without the use of any sex toys or BDSM accessories. Once you discover a little more about what turns you and your partner on, you can then make some informed choices about whether you’d like to add any helpful extras in the bedroom. This might be in the form of comfortable leather wrist cuffs, a slave type collar or a spanking paddle. You can find out more about bondage sex toys over at my site.

Enjoy discovering the many facets of pleasure than a broad spectrum of sexuality and kink can bring to your sex life. It’s a fantastic journey.

– Cara Sutra

Cara sutra 2Bannercs_468

Find Cara Here:

 

 

 

 
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