Monday, 28 May 2012

Lazy Sunday afternoon

Picture the scene: four gay guys, Velvet and me.
Snatches of conversation:

- I'm going to give you a little bit of my meat.
- Let me put some of my cream on your pie, you'll love it.
- If you want, you can have a chocolate brownie sandwich...

Yup... we had a picnic in the countryside. Happy birthday to the birthday boy!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Sex slavery news story

Mostly I try to write blogs that are either erotic, humorous or at least interesting. This one's a little different. It's a breadcrumb for a BBC news item about sex trafficking, sexual slavery and prostitution in Latin America, with young women brought from various countries into Mexico from where they're trafficked into the US, often to New York, and kept in forced sexual servitude.
The BBC reports on this in 'Trafficked - sex slaves seduced and sold'. One place in particular, the semi-rural small town of Tenancingo, is reputed to be based almost entirely on the economy of sex trafficking.
The BBC site has a series of short video news and interview items and is tagged 'Viewers may find some of the video content disturbing'. It is, and not in a good way.
If the content isn't available where you are, the story's been reported by a number of other sources: in the US, try The Takeaway and Jezebel.  The same story, in Spanish, is at BBC Mundo (the BBC Spanish language world news site); also in Spanish, it's in Vanguardia,  La PoliciacaAnimal Politico and Zolaco Saltillo.
This isn't, obviously, the only place where sex trafficking happens. And if you look back at news sources over the last couple of years you'll also see that in some parts of the world, young boys are similarly treated.
Much as people have fantasies and act them out, and much as fantasies can be extreme and involve sex slavery, the actual slavery of unwilling victims is evidently more common than any of us might like to think, and a serious social problem.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Of shepherds and cottages

Conversation, an hour or so ago:

V:   I've made a cottage pie for dinner, it's in the oven.
Me: Thank you!
V:   Actually I think it's a shepherd's pie, because it's made with lamb mince.
Me: I thought shepherd's pie and cottage pie were the same thing?
V:   No, shepherd's pie is made with lamb and cottage pie with beef.
Me: So shepherds eat lamb and cottagers eat beef?
V:   Just remember the kind of friends we have... As far as they're concerned, a cottager eating beef would have a whole different meaning!

Note for those who don't know gay slang from 30 years ago: 'cottaging' is what happens in 'tearooms' (no, I don't know why those terms were chosen either). But you can read all about it in Laud Humphreys, Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places (1975).

Monday, 14 May 2012

Tricks for Kicks published

Tricks For Kicks: Sex with Rewards - a new Xcite collection edited by Elizabeth Coldwell and with contributions from Veronica Wilde, Mary Borsellino, Fulani, Victoria Blisse, Maxim Jakubowski, Catelyn Cash, Landon Dixon, Tabitha Rayne, Heidi Champa, Dominic Santi, Kay Jaybee, Kathleen Tudor, Marleen Yong, Giselle Renarde, Cecilia Duvalle, Alanna Appleton, Cynthia Lucas, Sommer Marsden, Scarlett Blue and Elizabeth Coldwell.

Twenty stories in all, available in paperback (224 pages, £7.99) or electronically (£6.49).

Ever had the urge to pay for your thrills? The characters in this collection have, but it’s not just money that changes hands when these lovers go all the way. Pimps and prostitutes, gigolos and gold-diggers are all to be found enjoying Tricks For Kicks. And let’s not forget the boys and girls of the vice squad, whose intentions are often just as dishonourable as the hookers they’re arresting.

From girls who’ll do anything for that special piece of jewellery to the confessions of the woman running the best little whorehouse in town, here are twenty tales of sex for money – and other benefits.

My own story, 'Filthy White Dress', is a foray into a world in which an actress is paid for her encounters with a guy who wants her to act out his fetishes. And yes, they're sexual fetishes - but probably not in any conventional sense of the words 'sexual' or 'fetish'.

As a disclaimer I should point out my piece also appears in the smaller five-story ebook-only Making Her Pay, which also contains the stories by Veronica Wilde, Mary Borsellino,Victoria Blisse and Maxim Jakubowski and is available at a very reasonable £2.99. Xcite do this with quite a few collections now, to give the choice of 20 stories in one book or four smaller 5-story publications.

In other news - the Erotica Romance Ebooks site that Xcite ran alongside its own website, and that enabled some authors to sell directly to the public, currently redirects to the main website. And no, I don't know if that's a temporary thing or not. More news as I get it.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Whip workshop

I've just done a longer blog post about this over on DeliciouslyDeviant, but here's a quick note about a workshop I went to yesterday.

My local munch organisers ran a whip workshop by Alex Jacob of Cobra Whips. It was billed as a small, low key affair. 'Low key' is not something I associate with Alex, who has a... let's just say a flamboyant personal style, especially with a whip in his hand. But it was an excellent session that, for my purposes, was a good way to revisit some of the basics of handling long whips.

I won't bore you with the details but in essence, you need to think of your arm and body as an extension of the whip, and keep all your movements smooth and flowing. The workshop was an occasion to work out how far out of practice I am (I haven't picked up my bullwhip and snakewhip for some time) and a good reminder that practice makes perfect.

Plus, Alex shortened the fall and refitted a better cracker to the snakewhip, roughly doubling the volume of its crack. And two of the other participants were a couple of writers, one of erotica and one of game scenarios, and we were able able to have a conversation over dinner.

So congratulations and many thanks to the organisers. Excellent session!

Quick note for those who don't know: a 'munch' is a low-key gathering of like-minded people, usually in a pub or bar. The term started out, I believe, in the US when computer geeks got together to discuss matters of mutual interest - but then other types of munch started as well, including those for people with an interest in bdsm. 

There are several dozen - in fact probably over a hundred - monthly bdsm munches around the UK, including five within a short drive of where I live (this says nothing about me other than that I'm fortunate, because I don't organise any and turn up only occasionally). A munch is likely to comprise anything from half a dozen to several dozen people, in a public venue and dressed (mostly) in normal everyday wear, who recognise each other through some symbol such as a particular item placed on the table they're using.

If you're relatively new to bdsm, or have moved to a new location, a munch is often a fast way to start to find out more about what bdsm is and how it works, and/or to connect with like-minded people locally. Many people new to bdsm aren't confident about going straight into the club scene and a munch is a good half-way house; you'll meet people in a normal environment who may then be contacts who can introduce you to other people, clubs, skill sets, or whatever you want, really. If you want to know what munches are around in your area, Fetlife (free to join) has lists as does, in the UK, Informed Consent (also free). 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Erotica Romance Ebooks - a note

If you've recently tried to buy any of my books - or indeed any others - from Xcite's 'third-party' website,, you'll have noticed that it's currently down. Erotica Romance Ebooks is the site that sells Xcite's own books and also acts as a shopfront for a bunch of other publishers, including self-publishing authors.
Apparently stuff is happening to get it sorted.
In the meantime you can of course use Xcite's own website, or Amazon, or (where applicable) Smashwords or any of the other places my stuff appears such as AdultEbookShop or BDSM-Books.
I'll let you know when I see Erotica Romance Ebooks up and running again.

Friday, 4 May 2012

A writing experiment - Achtung Fetish

I recently had one of those random conversations on Fetlife that took an interesting twist. I was exchanging emails with the guy who runs the Achtung Fetish porn site and we kicked around the idea of me writing a story to accompany a photo set. This is standard for the site - all the sets come with a short story - but the idea of doing one intrigued me on a couple of levels.

Firstly, I wondered how it would work trying to write a story around a set of pics that had already been taken, so the 'narrative arc' was more or less given.

And secondly, since the subject matter was breathplay, which I know is popular but also know is very risky, I wondered if I could do a treatment of the pics that both respected the images and was erotic, but nonetheless conveyed the point that there is no such thing as safe breathplay.

Essentially, breathplay risks both immediate problems of hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain with possible damage to brain cells), and less well known, risks of heart attack because your heart works much harder to try to get oxygen to the brain, and the strain can result in a heart attack not only at the time but hours or even days later. There are other risks too but those are the main ones.

The results are on the Achtung Fetish website, but before you go looking for a link bear in mind you'll be linking to the samples page of a membership-based site that specialises in hardcore, edgy and sometimes quite transgressive porn. That said, you can get a quick sample (not the whole thing) on their free updates page (for now: it will presumably change soon) and on their blog page (which is probably a more stable link).

So how did it work out?

On the first point, a lot of the pics are fairly similar to each other, at least from a writer's point of view - for example they have the same model in the same pose, shot from several different points. My solution to this was to use internal monologue, narrating the model's thoughts as the scene progressed - including some elements external to the picture about her background, previous experiences, knowledge of bdsm, and so on. In fact since the first pic shows her posed on rocks on a seashore, naked except for thigh-length leather boots, I had to devise a passage that placed her plausibly in that situation to start with.

I did have a phone conversation with the photographer to find out how, when and where the set was shot and some of that information fed into the story, and I know the model is a professional fetish model, but if the story reflects anything of her life at all that'll just be happy coincidence...

On the second point, I was pleased to be able to write successfully on something that's perhaps more transgressive than my usual topics, and to write on something that is definitely not a favourite practice of mine. This is because back in the day when I was a dungeon monitor at a fetish club, one guy decided to do some autoerotic asphyxiation - nice and quietly, in the shadows in the corner of a playspace where he thought he wasn't visible. And he did it by locking a collar round his neck tightly. He didn't bother to let anyone know the key to the collar's padlock was attached to a chain round his ankles (he thought he'd be able to reach it with his handcuffed hands) and he was lucky I spotted him in time and had a torch handy to look for the key. It was one of the less pleasurable moments of being a DM and a good example of why, if you absolutely must asphyxiate yourself, it's a good idea to make sure someone else knows and is close by, watching, knowing what to watch for, and is able to release you quickly.

I was also, and for obvious reasons, pleased to be able to include a section at the point the breathplay starts in which the internal narrative explains the risks while also acknowledging that breathplay is, for some people, a hugely erotic experience.

As an aside I should point out there's a short Wikipedia article on autoerotic asphyxiation that discusses both the erotic and hallucinatory states caused by lack of oxygen, and the risks, including that such states may prevent a person from freeing themselves even if they're using fairly simple release/escape methods - once the hallucinatory state takes over they simply forget to release themselves. There's also, in the UK, a famous 1994 case of death due to autoerotic asphyxiation (the MP Stephen Milligan).
In the event, my story includes the model going into a hallucinatory state and being released from it by her dominant.

I'm going to do more stuff for Achtung Fetish from time to time, because writing to fit the pictures is an exposure to practices I might otherwise not write about, and it's an interesting discipline because if I can do it with 'real' pics I can probably do more effectively with the imaginary, 'mind's eye' pictures that I often base parts of my stories around.