Mar 182015
 
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by Nobilis Reed

It happens every so often. Some author somewhere will get called out for not including substantial female characters in their novels. It also happens with creators of comics, TV and movies. If there are women in the story, they fall into a few roles that generally don’t leave them much room for agency; the princess that needs to be rescued or the girlfriend who gets “fridged” in order to provide the hero with motivation. This sort of writing is the primary reason for the Bechdel Test. And too often, the author accused will respond with something like “Oh, I couldn’t presume to write deeply about female characters. I don’t understand them well enough.”

I have no doubt that this is utter bullshit.

I’ve been writing stories with well-developed female characters since the beginning. It never occurred to me that women might be mysterious creatures, beyond my capacity to understand or empathize with. They were always just people. People who may or may not have the same background, expectations, drives, desires, and ways of thinking as I do, but then most of my other characters don’t have the same thoughts and feelings either. I’ve never felt that my imagination and empathy were not up to the task.

Maybe I’m just a genius?

Maybe I’m this paragon of perspicacity, peering past the veils that obscure the feminine soul, teasing out Secrets Man Was Not Meant to Know. Maybe I’m a mutant, bitten by a radioactive woman, with amazing mental powers that I can call upon in times of crisis. Or maybe I’m actually trans, unbeknownst to my generally-male sense of identity up to this point, and my body is inhabited by a female mind.

Or maybe, just maybe, the whole idea that women, as a gender, are more complicated than any man can hope to understand is bullshit. Maybe it’s a pillar of sexism that gives men an easy out, an excuse for failing to empathize, for brushing off their failures to treat women like human beings. Maybe it’s a pass men give themselves to avoid having to examine their own thoughts and feelings about women deeply.

Because here’s the truth, which some may find disturbingly radical: Women are human beings. And as human beings, their thoughts, feelings, drives and ambitions are not that different from anyone else’s. An author with the capacity to write a character who isn’t one hundred percent identical to themselves must, therefore, have the capacity to write someone of a different gender. In fact, it’s easier to write deeply about someone of a different gender who shares the author’s basic cultural background than it is to write about someone from a radically different background. After all, dear male writers, women are all around you. All you have to do is watch, listen, pay attention. Just as you would with anyone else.

And here’s your story idea for the month, fresh from Poughkeepsie: A character arrives in your city from an alternate universe where there’s no sexism.

***

Stories that don’t stop at the bedroom door—or the castle gate—or the airlock.
http://www.nobiliserotica.com
Podcast: nobilis.libsyn.com
Twitter: @nobilis

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Mar 142015
 
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By billierosie

Slowly, slowly, the beacon fire smouldered. In 1897, Bram Stoker struck the first spark when he published his horror novel Dracula. The kindling had been stacked up for centuries, in the form of mythologies, rumours and stories; those creepy tales whispered about Vampires. Creatures of the night; the undead, seeking you out to sink their fangs into your tender jugular and drink your blood; draining you. The stories go back thousands of years. Now, in 2015, the beacons have crossed oceans; the fires flame fiercely, proclaiming that the old stories are still being told and new tales are being written.

Stoker could have had no idea that his short novel would precipitate a whole genre of writing that would hold sway on our collective imagination for decades.

Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, the novel’s influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for many theatrical, film and television interpretations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

From the beginning of history, vampire-like spirits and beings have been recorded. The Akhkharu were blood-sucking demons, written about back in the time of Sumer. We’re talking about 5,000 years BC. The ancient Chinese wrote about “hopping corpses” which would go around and consume a victim’s life essence (commonly known as chi). Even ancient Egyptian lore had a story where the goddess Sakhmet was consumed with bloodlust. From the earliest of times, vampire-like beings have been prominent in the folklore of several different cultures.

The most well-known versions of vampire myth are those of the Slavic and Romanian cultures, which, due to their proximity, are similar. And it is from Eastern Europe, that Stoker’s Count Dracula originates.

There are several reasons that a person may become a vampire, such as unnatural death, birth defects, or conception on certain days. Romanian legend gave rise to the belief that being bitten by a vampire would doom one to become a vampire after death. Both Slavic and Romanian myths hold the belief that, with the advent of a vampire, there would be deaths of livestock and family members of the vampire. The favoured way to kill a vampire in these two myths is by driving a stake through the heart, decapitation, and if necessary, dismemberment. Slavic and Romanian vampire myths have given rise to the most popular world-view of vampires.

But what’s the fascination? Why the endless retelling of this old story? Are we playing with danger from the safety of fiction? The horror of vampires is very real; I should know. I spent my adolescence terrified of them; especially Dracula. I invented bizarre little rituals to ward him off and keep me safe. Positioning on my left side as I lay in my bed, was paramount—as was a convoluted prayer; a mantra that I would recite over and over again. Sleep would be a long time coming.

The success of Dracula spawned a distinctive vampire genre. The vampire is such a dominant figure in the horror genre that literary historian Susan Sellers places the current vampire myth in the “comparative safety of nightmare fantasy”.

We relinquish control to the vampire. He swirls his cloak around his victim and bites. His teeth penetrate us. It’s a reconstructed image of the sexual act; in fact actual copulation seems tame compared with what the vampire can do. The victim has no control over his ghastly lover. The victim flirts with death.

Sex and death.

But it’s not just the Count we have to fear. He is scary, but his entourage of female vampires more so. Female vampires are predatory and take their pleasure where they will; they are women who take control of the sex act itself. Victorian men—beware! The ideal Victorian woman was chaste, innocent, a good mother. She definitely wasn’t a sexually aggressive huntress.

The three beautiful vampires which Jonathan Harker, Stoker’s narrator, encounters in Dracula’s castle, are both his dream and his nightmare; indeed, they embody both the dream and the nightmare of the Victorian male imagination in general. The sisters represent what the Victorian ideal stipulates women should not be; voluptuous and sexually aggressive—thus making their beauty both a promise of sexual fulfilment and a curse. These women offer Harker more sexual gratification in two paragraphs than his fiancée Mina does during the course of the entire novel. However, this sexual proficiency threatens to undermine the foundations of a male-dominated society by compromising men’s ability to reason and maintain control. For this reason, the sexually aggressive women in the novel must be destroyed.

In a passage highly charged with erotic symbolism, Jonathan Harker writes in his journal,

“I was afraid to raise my eyelids, but looked out and saw perfectly under the lashes. The girl went on her knees, and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck—she actually licked her lips like an animal, till I could see in the moonlight, the moisture shining on the scarlet lips and on the red tongue as it lapped the white sharp teeth. Lower and lower went her head as the lips went below the range of my mouth and chin and seemed to fasten on my throat. Then she paused, and I could hear the churning sound of her tongue as it licked her teeth and lips, and I could feel the hot breath on my neck. Then the skin of my throat began to tingle as one’s flesh does when the hand that is to tickle it approaches nearer, nearer. I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the super sensitive skin of my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there. I closed my eyes in languorous ecstasy and waited, waited with beating heart.”

The vampire lover is receptive erotica personified. You relinquish control; you do nothing, other than give yourself up to the seduction.

Janine Ashbless suggests; “We don’t fantasise about controlling vampires—we fantasise about how we have NO control over them. They are stand-ins for Death itself.”

Stoker’s narrator flirts with the promise of an intercourse so erotic that he will give up his life.

Later in the novel, Count Dracula has made his way to England, and sets about possessing the upper-middle class Lucy.

Once infected by Dracula, Lucy becomes sexually overt and aggressive, and is portrayed as a monster and a social outcast. She feeds on children making her the maternal antithesis as well as a child molester. In order to rectify Lucy’s condition she is sexually overpowered by her fiancée, Holmwood; the scene is witnessed by Jonathan Harker and Van Helsing. Holmwood penetrates her to death with a stake through the chest, a staking which is openly sexual in interpretation:

“The thing in the coffin writhed; and a hideous, blood-curdling screech came from the opened red lips. The body shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions; the sharp white teeth champed together till the lips were cut, and the mouth was smeared with a crimson foam. He (Holmwood) looked like a figure of Thor as his untrembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper”

The killing of Lucy is a sort of legitimised gang rape, legitimised because the Victorian balance of sexual penetration from the female domain is back in its accepted station within the male domain.

The reasons for our fear of, and fascination with, vampires change with the times we live in. To Stoker’s contemporaries, Count Dracula posed many threats to Victorian social, moral and political values: he changes virtuous women into beasts with ravenous sexual appetites; he is a foreigner who invades England and threatens English superiority; he is the embodiment of evil that can only be destroyed by reasserting the beliefs of traditional Christianity in an increasingly skeptical and secular age; he represents the fear of regression, a reversal of evolution, a return to our more primal animal state.

Think of the wealth of literature, film and television dramas that we wouldn’t have if Bram Stoker hadn’t written Dracula.

Perhaps they leave you cold—I love them! I’m over my teenage angst about them. There’d be no exotic Lestat, from Ann Rice. No Hammer House of Horror. No vampires with a conscience; M.Christian wouldn’t have written his vampire novel, Running Dry. Neither would Janine Ashbless have written her short story, “The Blood of the Martyrs”. All wonderful stuff; my favourite writers digging around in my agonised psyche.

And then there’s those TV shows; Buffy, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries. A blood-letting, tinged with magic. I lose myself in a world, of exotic, erotic fantasy. A strange world of death and immortality. Stories that speak to us once again of an ancient, horrid rite and fear.

***

billierosie has been writing erotica for about three years. She has been published by Oysters and Chocolate, in The Wedding Dress. Logical Lust accepted her story “Retribution” for Best S&M 3. She has also been published by Sizzler, in Pirate Booty and in their Sherlock Holmes anthology, My Love of all that is Bizarre, as well as Hunger: A Feast of Sensual Tales of Sex and Gastronomy and Sex in London: Tales of Pleasure and Perversity in the English Capital. She also has a collection of short, erotic stories, Fetish Worship, as well as novellas Memoirs of a Sex Slave and Enslaving Eli, both published by Sizzler Editions in 2012 and available for purchase at Amazon.
billierosie can be found at Twitter, @jojojojude and at her blog.

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Feb 212015
 
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By billierosie

My friend Ed likes to be dominated by a woman. For Ed it is his raison d’etre—his reason to live. I asked Ed to explain how it works. Here’s what Ed told me…

For the past 35 years or so, beginning long before I was old enough to act on my desires, I have been drawn to the mystery and magic of dominant women. There are millions of men just like me, though relatively few discuss it openly. In fact, many overcompensate with a macho pose that reminds me of teen boys who think smoking makes them look cool. You know the type: they pinch a cigarette with a pinky jutting out that has no other place to go at the moment. Holding a smoke in an inexperienced hand, the kid announces to the world his nervous foray into manhood, or at least an awkward semblance of it.

I have known other submissive men, and the Pose is a common theme among them. They talk about women as though they understand, appreciate and ultimately conquer them with a rakish style, a heady cologne and swagger. They fool some of their mates, but they don’t fool me. Never have. I have been submissive to exotic and commanding women since before many of these chintzy peacocks were born. And what have I discovered? Exactly this: any woman with a healthy dose of self-esteem and a cultivated air of authority will bring any heterosexual man—be he submissive, dominant, neither or both—to his knees whenever she pleases.

Even when being coyly submissive, such a woman is in control of herself, in control of the situation, and in control of the overheated male, blind to his own complicity in her plans for seduction. It probably has been like this forever. If there indeed was a Garden of Eden, it was Eve after all that wielded the apple, plunged Adam from his perch of grace and blamed it all on a lying snake. That she also was banished from Paradise only authenticates her humanity, else countless men would be tempted over and over again by her sweet, swaying sorcery. Heaven would never be rid of us.

Yet don’t we men clumsily forget that essential fact, her very powerful humanity, as applied to the domination of males throughout the ages? If Woman was Divine and not mortal, where would be the glory in her triumph? Goddesses at play are a provocative myth, but the power of Womanhood is tangibly real. In the fever swamp of lust, up to our eyes in desire, we men surrender our tenuous grip on independence—a maddeningly ephemeral quality even in daily life—and we fall to our knees and worship the source of our physical being. No price is too high or sacrifice so exorbitant that we can resist answering with a meek yes when She shouts Her stern, insistent warnings. And then we jump madly, all primally enchanted fools, into the ultimate trap, a honey-moistened delta of destruction awaiting our swollen egos.

And, clever in her erotic wickedness, She will have us begging for more. In the inescapable clutch of her talons, our pride bleeds away as our seed splashes into the void. Thus She encloses and conquers him, and the archetypal Femme Fatale is celebrated, adored and obeyed by the very victims that would greedily have held her for ransom had they been conceived with the pluck to outwit Mother Nature.

I do not know a man alive or dead (starting with myself!) who would not play out this eternal drama to infinity, Sisyphus grunting and pushing his damnable rock, so long as occasionally, as might satisfy our rulers, their gates of Heaven opened, however sparingly, admitting the unworthy—all of us simple, salty males—to enjoy, however fleetingly, the ecstasy of release, madly shooting spasms of our essence through her portal to the stars.

Men are proud beggars, an irony of hard muscle and weak will. Women who grasp this verity are fit to rule their men, from affairs of the boudoir to the politics of the planet. It is the next Great Awakening.

***

billierosie has been writing erotica for about three years. She has been published by Oysters and Chocolate, in The Wedding Dress. Logical Lust accepted her story “Retribution” for Best S&M 3. She has also been published by Sizzler, in Pirate Booty and in their Sherlock Holmes anthology, My Love of all that is Bizarre, as well as Hunger: A Feast of Sensual Tales of Sex and Gastronomy and Sex in London: Tales of Pleasure and Perversity in the English Capital. She also has a collection of short, erotic stories, Fetish Worship, as well as novellas Memoirs of a Sex Slave and Enslaving Eli, both published by Sizzler Editions in 2012 and available for purchase at Amazon.
billierosie can be found at Twitter, @jojojojude and at her blog.

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Feb 142015
 
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by Suz deMello

For many of us who write erotica, the paranormal sub-(sub-)genre is the most enticing one of all, with its many ways to increase sexual tension. World-building allows us to create our own erotic settings, invent sexier creatures than those who exist on our planet, traipse through time to find or lose lovers…we can bend reality any way we choose. We can invent supernatural beings both virtuous and villainous; we can invest the corners of our new world with quirks, setting up the thrills and spills that make a great read.

Really, though, the paranormal encompasses so many sub-sub-genres! These include, but are not limited to: futuristic, including science fiction; steampunk; time travel; fantasy, which encompasses “creature” stories with vampires, weres, the fae, dragons, zombies and the like, as well as magic and witchcraft. All of these can be mixed into any story brew you please.

Take the basic elements of any book and consider how they could be made paranormal, i.e., beyond the normal.

Characters and conflicts

There’s a natural tension in a romance between a paranormal entity and a human, and you can exploit this to your advantage and to the betterment of your book. Vampires are a great example. How can there be a “happily ever after” in a romance between an immortal, virtually invulnerable being and someone who will, inevitably, die? Would any sensible vampire dare to open his or her heart to a fragile human?

And how can a human trust in the love of an immortal? We who age must fear the loss of an immortal’s love.

Vampires, being denizens of the night, are intrinsically mysterious. As powerful predators, vamps step easily into villainous roles, but lately we’ve been reading about heroic vampires as well; with their extraordinary senses, vampires can make extraordinary heroes. The vampire lovers in my short story Blood is Thicker… are a case in point. One’s a detective and the other a private investigator.

There’s also natural tension in a relationship between different supernatural beings. Werewolves and vampires are both dominating creatures with their own alpha males and females figuring into many an erotic romance. What happens when territories overlap? Clashes are inevitable, and the sex is awesome.

Many writers have created supernatural beings whose abilities amplify each other’s. For example, Jayne Castle (Jayne Ann Krentz) created different types of psychics in what I call her flower trilogy (Amaryllis, Orchid, and Zinnia); their differing talents need each other in order to focus and operate powerfully. Thus, they have to work together in dyads to solve the mystery and trap the villain. Often (but not always) in a heterosexual pairing, the psychics experience sexual tension, emotional intimacy and conflict via this device with, say, one psychic wondering if the other loves her or if he’s simply invested in their complementary powers.

Other writers create creatures made for sex. Succubi and incubi, supernatural demons who use humans for sex and seed—these and so many others have all become quite popular. Some writers have invented aliens which can extrude body parts and insert them into their human subjects for pleasure and pain.

Setting

Setting is an often overlooked aspect of our novels. As an editor, I have read several stories with completely unspecified or only vaguely sketched-out settings. As a reader, I like to be grounded in a story. I like to know where and when the story’s taking place. As a writer, I let the reader know where and when the story’s taking place, even if the both are completely imaginary, e.g., “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”

In a paranormal story, it is fatal to overlook setting. The more richness and depth you can impart to your story’s world within the constraints of wordcount, the better—in fact, some settings are so compelling that they will earn your book a spot on many a reader’s “keeper” shelf. Fans return again and again to the Harry Potter books and to Tolkien not only because of the intriguing characters, compelling conflicts and universal themes, but because they want to spend more time at Hogwarts or exploring Middle Earth. Orson Scott Card calls fiction dependent upon a particular setting milieu fiction, and gives Tolkien’s Ring Trilogy as an example.

Of course you may create any setting that compels you, but when you do so, consider how it will facilitate or block mystery and romance.

When world-building for a paranormal erotic romance, I like to include elements that will facilitate sexy situations. In Queen’s Quest, a paranormal erotic thriller, I postulated a planet with an extremely low birthrate. Babies were rare and prized. Thus, sex was encouraged—including public sex—which enabled me to include numerous erotic scenes, while the dearth of normal births encouraged the characters to find other reproductive methods. These added to the suspense subplot (I don’t want to say more without providing a spoiler alert) as well.

Settings need not be exotic and magic need not be arcane, invented from whole cloth. You can use what you already know. I drew upon my teenage interests in Tarot reading and Wicca to write Gypsy Witch, an erotic short story set in my hometown of Sacramento, California during the dog days of late summer. A character used witchcraft to bring to life the stone statues of knights set at the doorway of the downtown Masonic Temple, bringing magic to an otherwise mundane setting. The romantic conflict ended in a ménage—a different kind of magic.

Theme

Theme is also overlooked, and unfortunately so; it’s intrinsic to our stories, as much so as words themselves. Many paranormals feature the clash of good against evil, often employing mythical and/or religious figures such as goddesses and gods, angels, devils, demons and the like. They will inevitably dabble in moral questions that the author may or may not have intended to raise—but it’s no wonder they make their way into our books; these questions are older than Faust, older even than the Bible.

Coming of age stories are also common, and (if the characters are old enough to consent freely) can be particularly enthralling in an erotic context. In erotica, we often read the induction of a virgin into the pleasures of sex. One of my erotic short stories, First and Last, was about an arranged marriage on a lunar colony. Similarly, another popular theme is the BDSM newbie learning about the joy of kink.

The message? Erotica isn’t only about sex, and paranormal content is an exciting and infinitely fertile way to engage the reader. Write a good story and weave in explicit sex and you’ll have a really good story. Put it on another planet and you’ll have a great story.

***

About the Author:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written nineteen books in several genres, including nonfiction, memoir, erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms Totally Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

–Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com

–For editing services, email her at suzdemello@gmail.com

–Befriend her on Facebook, and visit her group page.

–She tweets @Suzdemello

–and posts to Pinterest

–and Goodreads.

–Her current blog is TheVelvetLair.com

 

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Aug 122014
 
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By billierosie

It is all women’s fault. All of it. Everything, ever since the world began. …But which women? We are used to blaming Eve for her disobedience to God‘s holy decree—and we are wrong to do so. Greek mythology blames Pandora for her insatiable curiosity when she opened up the pretty box. Wrong again. The fault of womankind and consequently every bad thing that has ever, ever, ever happened, is actually the fault of Lilith—Adam’s first wife.

There are many stories about Lilith in ancient Hebrew and Assyrian texts. The stories tell us that God created Adam and Lilith at the same time, and out of the same dust. It seems that conflict arose between Adam and Lilith, because Adam insisted that Lilith should lie beneath him during sexual intercourse. Lilith was furious and refused; she was Adam’s equal. She spoke the sacred and ineffable name of God and vanished in a rage, flying off into the air.

Adam was understandably angry and insisted that she return to him. Adam asked God to help him, so God sent three angels—Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof—to find her.

She was eventually found in the Red Sea. The angels threatened her. If she did not return to Adam, her husband, one hundred of her sons would die every day. Lilith countered their threat by telling them to do their worst, retorting that she was created to harm new born children and that is what she would do. But she made an oath that she would not harm a child wearing an amulet with the images of the three angels inscribed on it.

Lilith’s first appearance is probably in ancient Sumerian texts; she also is mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls. She is older than Judaism and is the most important of a small collection of named female demons in Hebrew legend.

As far as I am able to ascertain, there is only one Biblical reference to Lilith—in Isaiah 34:14:

Wildcats shall meet with hyenas,
goat-demons shall call to each other;
there too Lilith shall repose,
and find a place to rest.
There shall the owl nest
and lay and hatch and brood in its shadow.

The passage associates Lilith with the night and with repulsive, unclean creatures. She is clearly linked with the demonic world, and I get a sense of her plotting, scheming and finding ways to do harm. As stories around her develop, Lilith becomes associated with endangering pregnancy and childbirth—if she can make things go wrong, she will.

Lilith is also a succubus. Men fear her coming to them in the night, stealing their seed, copulating with them, as they slumber helplessly. She personifies licentiousness and lust. Even holy men feared her; in the Middle Ages, celibate monks kept Lilith’s nighttime visits away by sleeping with their hands crossed over their genitals and holding a crucifix.

Kabbalah has a clear view of Lilith as well.

While it is heavily used by some denominations, Kabbalah is not a religious denomination in itself. Inside Judaism, it forms the foundations of mystical religious interpretation. Outside Judaism, some see its scriptures as standing alone, without need for the traditional canons of organised religion. Kabbalah seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other ontological questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and to thereby attain spiritual realisation.

Through the teachings of Kabbalah, Lilith maintains a status fixed in Hebrew demonology. She leaves a trail of tragic tales wherever she appears. She strangles children in their cribs and she seduces any man she fixes her gaze upon. She is the partner of Samael (Satan) and with him, she rules the forces of evil. She visits her earthly husband, Adam, as the succubus, stealing his seed, and she copulates with Satan. Lilith gives birth to one hundred children a day and is held responsible for populating the world with evil.

Men and babies have no protection against a sexually powerful entity such as Lilith. She personifies female sexuality and her mythology perceives her sexuality as a terrible threat, disruptive and destructive, going against the natural order of things. Lilith disturbs identity, system, order. She has no respect for borders, positions or rules.

These days, her name is unspoken—either because we don’t know about her, or because we live in the enlightened decades of the twenty-first century. But Lilith still lurks as a sinister entity in the minds of biblical commentators and in the teachings of Kabbalah, and as a powerful entity in feminist readings of mythology. She provides a necessary sexual dimension, which is otherwise lacking in the Genesis story. Genesis, when read in literal terms, portrays Eve not as some wicked femme fatale but as a naive and largely sexless fool.

***

billierosie has been writing erotica for about three years. She has been published by Oysters and Chocolate, in The Wedding Dress. Logical Lust accepted her story “Retribution” for Best S&M 3. She has also been published by Sizzler, in Pirate Booty and in their Sherlock Holmes anthology, My Love of all that is Bizarre, as well as Hunger: A Feast of Sensual Tales of Sex and Gastronomy and Sex in London: Tales of Pleasure and Perversity in the English Capital. She also has a collection of short, erotic stories, Fetish Worship, as well as novellas Memoirs of a Sex Slave and Enslaving Eli, both published by Sizzler Editions in 2012 and available for purchase at Amazon.
billierosie can be found at Twitter, @jojojojude and at her blog.

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May 222014
 
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This month’s Fetish Column takes an introductory look at one of the most potentially dangerous forms of “edge play”: autoerotic asphyxiation. While the editors of WriteSex are pleased to include this information among its other fetish-related posts—we feel it will inform our readers’ writing and general knowledge—we would like to remind readers that neither this nor any of our “edge play” posts serve as endorsements for reckless behavior in real-life bedrooms or dungeons. Which is also to say: do not attempt autoerotic asphyxiation without the supervision and assistance of an experienced, highly-trained expert, and/or without having attended a class/workshop given by an experienced, highly-trained expert. At the very least, do not do it alone.

Both the writer of this post and one of our editors have lost dear friends to unassisted autoerotic asphyxiation and have no desire to see any of our readers numbered among them.   —Ed.

 

By billierosie

What is Autoerotic Asphyxiation?

Autoerotic Asphyxiation is the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal. It is also called asphyxiophilia, autoerotic asphyxia, hypoxyphilia or breath control play. Colloquially, a person engaging in the activity is sometimes called a “gasper”. The erotic interest in asphyxiation is classified as a paraphilia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. Psychiatrist Joseph Merlino states that it meets the criteria for a disorder because it has the potential for death or serious injury.

The carotid arteries, on either side of the neck, carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the brain and the accumulation of carbon dioxide can increase feelings of giddiness, light-headedness and pleasure, all of which will heighten masturbatory sensations.

When the brain is deprived of oxygen, it can induce a lucid, semi-hallucinogenic state. Combined with orgasm, the rush is no less powerful than cocaine, and like cocaine, can be powerfully addictive.

Various methods are used to achieve the level of oxygen depletion needed, such as a hanging, suffocation with a plastic bag over the head, or gas or volatile solvents. Sometimes, complicated devices are used to produce the desired effects. The practice can be dangerous even if performed with care and has resulted in a significant number of accidental deaths in the United States, the United Kingdom and across Europe.

Death from Autoerotic Asphyxiation

Deaths often occur when the loss of consciousness caused by partial asphyxia leads to loss of control over the means of strangulation, resulting in continued asphyxia and death. While often asphyxiophilia is incorporated into sex with a partner, others enjoy this behaviour by themselves, making it potentially more difficult to get out of dangerous situations. Victims are often found to have rigged some sort of “rescue mechanism” that has not worked in the way they anticipated as they lost consciousness.

In some cases, the body of the asphyxiophilic individual is discovered naked or with genitalia in hand, with pornographic magazines nearby, with dildos or other sex toys present, or with evidence of having orgasmed prior to death. Bodies found at the scene of an accidental death often show evidence of other paraphilic activities, such as items of fetishistic clothing (e.g. corsets, harnesses, frilly underwear) and masochism. In cases involving the discovery of deceased family members, parents/siblings/spouses might disturb the scene by “sanitizing” it, removing evidence of paraphilic activity.

The great majority of known erotic asphyxial deaths are male. The typical age of accidental death is mid-20s, but deaths have been reported across a wide range of ages, from adolescence to the mid-70s. Very few individual cases of women with erotic asphyxia have been reported.

Autoerotic asphyxiation has at times been incorrectly diagnosed as murder, especially when a partner is present. Some hospitals have teaching units specifically designed to educate doctors in the correct diagnosis of the condition.

Lawyers and insurance companies have brought cases to the attention of clinicians because some life insurance claims are payable in the event of accidental death, but not suicide.

Famous and Fictional Deaths

The composer Frantisek Kotzwara died from erotic asphyxiation in 1791, which is probably the first recorded case.

Albert Decker, the stage and screen actor, was found in 1968 with his body graphitized and a noose around his neck in his bathroom. The artist Vaughn Bodé died from this cause in 1975. Stephen Milligan, a British Conservative MP for Eastleigh, died from autoerotic asphyxiation, combined with self-bondage, in 1994. Kevin Gilbert, songwriter, musician, composer and producer, died of apparent autoerotic asphyxiation in 1996. The actor David Carradine died on the 4th of June, 2009 from accidental asphyxiation, according to the medical examiner who performed his private autopsy. His body was found hanging by a rope in a closet in his room in Thailand, and there was evidence of a recent orgasm; two autopsies were conducted and concluded that his death was not caused by suicide, and the Thai forensic pathologist who examined the body stated that his death may have been due to autoerotic asphyxiation. Two of Carradine’s ex-wives, Gail Jensen and Marina Anderson, stated publicly that his sexual interests included the practice of self-bondage.

The introductory scene of the film The Ruling Class shows the death of Ralph Gurney, the 13th Earl of Gurney (portrayed by Harry Andrews), from accidental autoerotic asphyxiation. Autoerotic death was also used in the Robin Williams film World’s Greatest Dad.

A Final Word

And death by Auto Erotic Asphyxiation isn’t just the reserve of those with celebrity status. The tragedy hit close to home when my friend George found his older brother Charlie hanging from a coat hook on his bedroom door. The Coroner’s Report registered Autoerotic Asphyxiation as the cause of death. They played Don McLean’s Starry, Starry Night at Charlie’s funeral.

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Apr 082014
 
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By billierosie

A while back, I wrote a story called “Will You Be my Mommy?” It’s in my Fetish Worship collection. The tale explores the fetish of infantilism. I talked about the despair and isolation that I imagine having such a fetish can entail—the sense of being the only person in the world who could possibly feel like that; of having no one to communicate with. The shame of being found out; of being laughed and sneered at. I think the story struck the right tone, judging by the comments it’s received. So I followed it up with another story called “I’m Sorry, Mommy!” where I continue to explore the deepening sexual and emotional relationship between my two protagonists. In this latter story I introduced a lactation fetish—a desire to suckle and drink milk from a woman’s breast. The two seemed to fit together. And there were more excited comments.

“Paraphilic infantilism,” explains the Wikipedia entry on same, “is also known as autonepiophilia , or adult baby syndrome, and it involves role playing and regressing to an infantlike state. Behaviours may include drinking from a bottle or wearing diapers. Those involved in the role play can engage in gentle, nurturing experiences; an adult who only engages in an infantilistic play is known as an adult baby. Others may be attracted to wearing diapers; the Infantilist may urinate or defecate in them.”

Some may want to be punished and be attracted to masochistic, coercive, punishing or humiliating experiences. While infantilism—like BDSM and role play in general—requires the consent of both partners, it is often said that the one receiving the punishment or humiliation ultimately controls the way the scenario is played.

Little research appears to have been done on the subject of infantilism. It has been linked to masochism and a variety of other paraphilia. It has been confused with paedophilia, but the two conditions are distinct and infantilists do not seek children as sexual partners. Rather, they want to roleplay as the children; the adulthood of the other people involved adds to the relative “littleness” of the infantilist, and the appeal of the scenario as it plays out.

It seems that the motivation is around the need for a parental figure, usually that of a mother, who will look after the adult baby’s life and make the world feel safe—though as we’re talking about adults, it’s usually sexualised as well. This sexualisation can be expressed through scenes that play with the tension between permissiveness and discipline: the adult baby transgresses some kind of rule and is spanked or smacked for it; the adult baby can do absolutely anything in their playpen or cot, including soiling their diapers—at least until “mom” finds out.

When I wrote about Infantilism, I focused on the needs of a high-powered businessman desperately seeking the woman who would play the part of his mommy. When Joel walks into his home at the end of a stressful day, he kicks off his shoes, relinquishes his control and plays the role of a twelve-year-old, relying on Sally to make everything safe and okay.

And then there is the “Daddy” fetish: Daddy is strong and warm, a comfort, a source of strength and power that doesn’t have to come from within. He takes away the responsibility that the sub, or the little girl/boy, has grown weary of having to handle.

Psychologists and psychotherapists sometimes deal with repressed memories; the return of the repressed. Perhaps infantilism is a way of returning to a childhood—either the infantilist’s own or the one they wish they’d had—through an actual physical therapy that allows, through role play, the ability to relax into a world that involves little to no responsibility and a great deal of loving physical intimacy (compare that to the state of far too many lives in our world, love-starved and burdened with stress). Maybe it’s an effort to reboot one’s entire process of socialization; if you were taught all your manners and potty training and other social restrictions at the hand of an impatient, ill-equipped parent, maybe you want to go back and learn it all again with a good one. Or maybe infantilism is a response to an incest fantasy, or even a memory of incest which needs to be processed. Perhaps it’s a basic, human, long-buried desire to have one parent, a mommy or a daddy, all to oneself in the closest possible way.

 

billierosie has been writing erotica for about three years. She has been published by Oysters and Chocolate, in The Wedding Dress. Logical Lust accepted her story “Retribution” for Best S&M 3. She has also been published by Sizzler, in Pirate Booty and in their Sherlock Holmes anthology, My Love of all that is Bizarre, as well as Hunger: A Feast of Sensual Tales of Sex and Gastronomy and Sex in London: Tales of Pleasure and Perversity in the English Capital. She also has a collection of short, erotic stories, Fetish Worship, as well as novellas Memoirs of a Sex Slave and Enslaving Eli, both published by Sizzler Editions in 2012 and available for purchase at Amazon.
billierosie can be found at Twitter, @jojojojude and at her blog.

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Mar 312014
 
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By Nobilis

Every author has strengths and weaknesses. If we’ve been working toward growth, then we know what those strengths and weaknesses are. When we work with editors and good beta readers, over time we’ll start hearing the same problems that need fixing, the same overlooked and under-addressed areas that need strengthening. And if we’re lucky, we’ll also get some positive feedback informing us of what we do well, but that’s rarer. Suffice it to say that if some aspect of your stories rarely receives criticism from your editors and beta readers, then it’s probably a strength. Once you’ve identified your strength and weaknesses, what do you do with that knowledge?

My own weaknesses pop up again and again when I get stories back from first readers. Most of the time I need to add more descriptive details, especially in how things sound or feel. It’s not that I’m not capable of setting a scene more vividly—once it’s pointed out I can easily produce the prose, but I don’t tend to think of it while I’m writing.

Lack of detail wasn’t always my only flaw. I used to overuse some words. “Begin” was a big one for a while, and its sister, “start.” I also overused “just” a great deal. After a particularly intense edit, I found that I was noticing when I was using those words, and I could stop myself right there in the first draft. That made editing later drafts much easier, because I didn’t have to fix that particular problem throughout. Since then, I’ve found I can strike the overuse of those words from my list of weaknesses.

So with what I’m writing now (the next story in the Monster Whisperer series) I’m trying to pay more attention to those descriptive details that I know my beta readers will watching for. I’ll make sure to put them into the first draft, and I’m going to pay a lot more attention to them while I’m doing my first round of edits.

Even when I’m not actively writing, I’ll learn more and faster by studying other authors’ work as well, when those authors know more than I do—or even if they just do things a little differently. I’m certainly going to watch how they use descriptive details in their scenes: what they draw our attention to and why; how the details affect character development and interaction, how they contribute to the eroticism of the story; how they’re described, etc.

Some people might worry that by focusing so much on my weaknesses as a writer, my strengths will be eroded somehow, but that hasn’t been my experience. My strengths come naturally to me, whereas the more practice I get dealing with the otherwise undeveloped aspects of my writing, the more strengths I can add to a list which, if I play my cards right, will keep growing for the rest of my life.

—–

And now for your News from Poughkeepsie:

A man shows up to a blind date to find that the woman across the table from him is a six-foot-tall female bodybuilder. She’s not really his ‘type’ but she’s friendly, intelligent, and charming. She’s not what he’s always told himself was his physical type, but they hit it off, and before too long he finds himself in bed with a very unusual woman.

—–

Learn more about Nobilis and his work at his…

Website: www.nobiliserotica.com
Podcast: nobilis.libsyn.com
Twitter: @nobilis

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Mar 032014
 
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By Nobilis

Like anything else, kinks run in fads—especially when it comes to fiction. A few months ago, everyone was talking about the authors who sold thousands of copies of dinosaur erotica ebooks. Then it came around to bigfoot and similar creatures. I’m sure in a few months it will be something else again. While each fad was in its prime [and before Amazon started its somewhat zealous censorship campaign —ed.], those books clearly had a large array of readers who couldn’t get enough of them, and I don’t begrudge their authors a bit of their success. This is also a great thing for me, because I consider tentacle sex (one of the things I like to write) to be somewhat related to those stories. I might get a bit of a boost in sales.

And then there are the other topics I like to write about: things like growth transformations, genderfuckery and other kinds of shapeshifting. Those aren’t even close to being in fashion, and they don’t necessarily appeal to the people who would buy them for an ironic laugh. There are folks out there who like those stories, but their sub-sub-genres aren’t getting blogged at Buzzfeed, Jezebel or Io9. And that’s fine too. Maybe someday I’ll get featured in one of those big-name blogs, but I’m certainly not going to build my career around hopes of a few weeks’ worth of fame and fortune by discovering a previously unrecognized novelty niche.

Because ultimately, it’s my career. My hope is that people buy my books because they like the way I write, not solely because they like what I’m writing about. If I’m not a good writer, then they won’t come back after the first book. But if they do like my work, the subject matter isn’t as important. On a number of occasions, readers and listeners have said to me, “I never thought I’d like a tentacle-sex story, but I liked this one!” or “Lesbian sex isn’t usually my thing, but this story really caught my attention.”

That’s my favorite kind of reader. Those are the folks who will stick with me, maybe read things they otherwise wouldn’t have. I think that’s the kind of reader we all ought to aspire to attract, if we don’t already. Does anyone really want the stories they’ve written to leave their readers either vaguely disappointed or unsatisfied? To have their name forgotten when the reader goes to find something new to read? I’m not at my best when I’m trying to write to someone else’s taste, when I’m trying to imitate or emulate; I’m much better off following my own muse. So I stay with what I like to write.

Not that this type of commitment makes it easy to see someone halfheartedly knock out a series of monster-du-jour books and get lots of attention (and dough) for it—I’m not immune to a bit of success envy. But I understand on a fundamental level that the stories I tell have to be my stories.

Because otherwise, who will tell them?

—–

And now I’m going to follow that essay with a story idea, as I do every month. Please have a look at it, and decide if you can make it yours—because a story is more than idea:

What if you were born on an isolated space colony with a small population, say a hundred people or so, and discovered you really were the only person on the planet that had a particular fetish? There’s always something missing from your life—until a starship arrives, carrying someone with a brain implant allowing any fetish to be put on and taken off like a new set of clothes…

—–

Learn more about Nobilis and his work at his…

Website: www.nobiliserotica.com
Podcast: nobilis.libsyn.com
Twitter: @nobilis

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Feb 182014
 
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By billierosie

Hey You! Yes, you peeping through the keyhole. Yes, you, the guy masturbating in the peepshow booth, watching the lady dance her erotic tease.

And you, you, who thought you were safe looking at dirty pictures in secret, while your wife sips her tea from her favourite china cup; you’re not safe. And neither is the sophisticated lady cruising the National Gallery pretending to look at the chiaroscuro, form and line, in the masterpieces.

You’ve been spotted.

The naked females stare boldly back at you.

You’ve been caught out. You’ve been caught looking.

Your quest to fulfill your carnal desires has landed you in big trouble. Your desire to obtain knowledge of the female form cannot be obtained in any innocent way. In the vernacular, you are a Peeping Tom. To give you your polite name; you are a Voyeur. You are no better, no different to Tom, blinded for his crime of looking at his Lady as she rode, naked through the streets. Peeping Tom saw what was taboo; forbidden. So have you.

And you hetero girls, don’t think you’ve got away with it either; so wipe those smirks off your faces. That wonderful statue of David, by Michelangelo; did you know that David’s eyes follow you? He’s watching you looking at his beautifully sculpted cock. He may be flaccid, but you are dreaming of an erection. He can see the lust in your eyes.

And something else that has to be considered; the place of the Exhibitionist. There is something about Michelangelo’s statue that makes the viewer feel that David knows that he is being watched. The tables have been turned; the viewer is now the subject of scrutiny. Painters have responded to the theme, too. Goya’s nude Maja almost glares at the viewer with a sneer of irritation. And Manet’s “Le dejourner sur l’herbe”—the lunch on the grass was shocking at the time Manet exhibited it. A woman naked, casually lunching with two fully clothed men, was an affront to public decency. But the naked women in these paintings negate any suggestion of indecency. The women confront you with an expression that seems to find the viewer’s excitement boring. As if they are saying; “Oh, do grow up!”

Faced with that, the viewer’s lust is diminished.

Film has responded, too, to the place of the voyeur. I was watching the classic Hollywood film Rear Window a few weeks ago. Looking is what film is all about and Rear Window is about voyeurs and the pleasure of looking; the pleasure of looking that cinema offers. James Stewart’s character Jeffries is incapacitated by a broken leg and is confined to his apartment. To alleviate his boredom he takes up watching his neighbours—and here, Rear Window establishes a connection between cinema and television. There are cuts from Jeffries’ face to the shots of what transpires outside his window to the frame of Jeffries himself watching the man in the helicopter watching the women that Jeffries himself was just watching. This classic narrative film is a metaphor for cinema, but it is actually television that the film most identifies with. Jeffries’ viewing—and our point of view is most often that of Jeffries—is more like channel surfing than watching a film. Each window across the courtyard offers a different channel.

And yes, television has made voyeurs of us all. We live our lives through watching lives unfold before us on the screen. The hourly news programme directs us to people dying of hunger on the other side of the world. One man watches another man starving to death. I didn’t want to see the hanging of Sadam Hussein on my television screen. But I had no choice, the moment was there before me before I could switch off or change channels. Reality TV programs, Big Brother. And again the Exhibitionist. The desire to be famous has been well documented; but famous for what? It doesn’t matter; just being seen on television is enough.

 

billierosie has been writing erotica for about three years. She has been published by Oysters and Chocolate, in The Wedding Dress. Logical Lust accepted her story “Retribution” for Best S&M 3. She has also been published by Sizzler, in Pirate Booty and in their Sherlock Holmes anthology, My Love of all that is Bizarre, as well as Hunger: A Feast of Sensual Tales of Sex and Gastronomy and Sex in London: Tales of Pleasure and Perversity in the English Capital. She also has a collection of short, erotic stories, Fetish Worship, as well as novellas Memoirs of a Sex Slave and Enslaving Eli, both published by Sizzler Editions in 2012 and available for purchase at Amazon.
billierosie can be found at Twitter, @jojojojude and at her blog.

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