Juliette Banks : Remembering Roxy

It’s my pleasure to host my dear author friend, Juliette Banks, who has an exciting new release. It’s a real sizzler; perfect for bedtime reading! Juliette’s stories are influenced by her early love of Jane Austen and the Brontes, Thomas Hardy and D H Lawrence, combining elements of romance with the elicit thrills of spanking and bondage.

She admits, “I wasn’t really exposed to erotic literature until my late thirties, when I discovered The Story of O, which introduced me to an understanding of erotica. Bear in mind that I grew up before computers and Kindles, and such material was not easily available. It had quite a profound effect on me, and led me to other writers, such as Anais Nin. I realised that some of my erotic thoughts were, in fact, in others’ minds too. It was intensely liberating.”

Juliette’s writing is also influenced by her love of film. “I’ve watched quite a lot of French and Italian cinema over the years, which seems edgier than English or American film-making. Their portrayal of relationships, sex and emotions is far more intense. I don’t always have to have a ‘happy ever after’ either, which is almost anathema to Hollywood. I can remember leaving the cinema after watching Dr Zhivago many years ago, with tears streaming down my face because of the sad ending, and yet I adored the film. However, writing for my current publisher, a HEA is obligatory. I can’t have my heroine throwing herself off a cliff!”

She adds, “Cinema has been an important influence, alongside books, as my  window on to the world. I used to daydream about escaping my mundane teenage life. Perhaps, that’s reflected in the escapism of my stories.” 

 

Remembering_roxy

Juliette’s latest release is ‘Remembering Roxy‘, published by Blushing Books

Roxy is a modern, independent, kick-ass woman, who hides a secret desire—she likes a bit of spice in the bedroom. Will she ever meet a man who can satisfy her, without expecting her full submission?

Oliver loves some kink in his life, but doesn’t want to be tied down by a possessive woman. He also has a secret life that doesn’t bode well for a long-term relationship.

When they meet, the attraction is immediate and electrifying. However, Oliver’s secret life threatens not only their relationship but his life.

Remembering Roxy-2

 

Sneak Peek

I couldn’t see him, but I knew he would be sitting in the leather chair, probably sipping on a glass of whisky. He liked these little displays of mine. He liked choreographing them and controlling my movements. He liked his power over me and I handed it to him voluntarily.

“Move that sexy little arse of yours. Show me what you can do. Be my private dancer. Make me want to fuck you without mercy.”

I swayed and undulated my hips, running my hands up and down my body, knowing his excitement would be mounting until he could resist me no longer. How I loved to torment him. And how he made me pay, deliciously, for it.

“Enough.”

I stopped immediately. He reached out and ran his palm down the curve of my back and over my bottom. “Bend over.” I did as he asked and was rewarded by his hand slipping between my thighs and stroking my pussy.

“You’re so wet already. So sexy. You’re my little slut, aren’t you?”

From him, that was a term of endearment. The more I was his slut the more he loved it. His touch made me groan with need.  He grabbed me by the arm and pulled me down, over his lap. As my feet left the floor the shoes fell off with a clatter and lay at his feet. They wouldn’t be needed further tonight. My behind would be lathered and then I would be fucked – hard – just as I loved it.

“Are you sure the pics haven_t made their way on to the Internet?” Twitter

Juliette Banks also writes under the name Rachel de Vine. She loves to travel, read and enjoy her beautiful garden, in the heart of England. She enjoys hearing from her readers, so feel free to contact her on the links below.

Website:  www.racheldevineauthor.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/juliettebanksauthor

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Juliette-Banks/e/B01K0EIMNW

 

An Interview with Dorothy Freed

Dorothy Freed is the author of Perfect Strangers: A Memoir of The Swinging 70s:
inspired by her own life, as a newly single woman, and her sexual awakening, after years of discontent in an unhappy marriage. She hopes that her journey towards sexual liberation and personal empowerment will make not only for great reading but will Perfect Strangers cover Dorothy Freedinspire others to be true to themselves.

She tells us, “At seventy-three, I claim to be the oldest practicing erotic writer in the SF Bay Area—which may or may not be true—but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m pretty open about my real-life experiences influencing my erotic stories. Even the most fictional of my stories contains some seed of personal experience.”

Born in New York City in 1944, as the only child of white-collar parents, and raised in a suburb, forty miles up the Hudson, Dorothy describes her childhood as carefree, with a ‘provider dad and housewife mother’. “My upbringing was traditional: men brought home the bacon and women cooked and served it. During my teen years, girls who had sex before marriage were considered to be sluts—unless they married the boy they had sex with. Consequently, I found myself married to the first man I felt lust for and we began our family a year later.”

Sadly, it wasn’t a successful union; despite having great sons, a house in the suburbs, and a Fine Art degree from Syracuse University, Dorothy felt she was ‘failing’, due to having an unfulfilling sex life, in which she never managed to reach orgasm.

By 1974, Dorothy was twenty-nine and deeply frustrated. Then, she walked in on her husband, naked, on top of her best friend, Cassandra. “It wasn’t the infidelity that hurt me the most,” Dorothy asserts. “It was the sizzling sex they were engaged in! I thought, Damn! Twelve years of marriage. We were never that hot!”

Following her divorce, she arrived in mid-70s San Francisco. “It was an era when casual sex seemed as simple as a handshake, in a decade of unprecedented personal freedom, but for a woman to achieve orgasm, vaginal or otherwise… well good luck with that!”

Dorothy was not only single-parenting but managing a coffee house near Haight and Ashbury. She prioritized her children, but was keen to explore her sexual nature, after so many years of discontent. “I set out to find a replacement husband, still buying into the fantasy of marriage and monogamy. After a series of unsatisfying erotic encounters, I gave up on looking for love—and launched an all-out search for a sexually compatible ‘perfect stranger’. There was something plain hot about being alone in a room with a stranger, with nothing between you but sex!”

Find Perfect Strangers: A Memoir of The Swinging 70s, on Amazon 

 

dorothy freedMore about Dorothy Freed

Dorothy is now retired from running her ceramic art business. You’ll find her at yoga every Monday morning, or attending her two weekly Pilates classes, as well as walking her dogs daily. She’s a member of the Erotic Reading Circle, at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco, and another writing group on non-erotic topics.

Dorothy’s work appears in several short story anthologies. She emphasizes, “Each story emerging from me is a small miracle of recalled experience and acquired wisdom.”

She’s been happily married to her second husband (and Dom) Lee, for thirty-four years. “We met on a blind date and felt immediate sexual chemistry. Even better, our fantasies matched up, kink for kink. We began a BDSM relationship and played an active part in the Bay Area Scene. Today, we live in a coast-side community near SF, enjoying our rescue dogs… and the occasional erotic fling.”

Dorothy is already penning her next book, Life After Promiscuity, about her years with Lee.

 

Praise for ‘Perfect Strangers’

“Dorothy Freed walks readers through the swinging 70’s, showing the very personal impact of the sexual revolution on her life as she goes from wife to erotic explorer.”

—Rachel Kramer Bussel
Editor of BEST WOMEN’S EROTICA OF THE YEAR, VOL’s, 1-3 and over 60 other erotica anthologies.

 

“PERFECT STRANGERS: A Memoir of the Swinging Seventies, a decidedly sex-positive memoir, takes the reader along for the ride as newly divorced Dorothy Freed undertakes an erotic journey into the real contours of the sexual revolution, seeking to discover her pathway to orgasm. Her story demonstrates just how hot the process of writing oneself whole can be!”

—Jen Cross
Founder/facilitator and author of Writing Ourselves Whole, co-editor of Sex Still Spoken Here, and co-facilitator of the Erotic Reading Circle.

 

MORE STORIES BY DOROTHY FREED

I Really Do Belong To You

featured in The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30, Vol. 2, edited by Rose Caraway

Full Body Massage

featured in Dirty Old Women: Erotica by Women of Experience, edited by Lynx Canon

Love Sling

featured in FOR THE MEN: And The Women Who Love Them, edited by Rose Caraway

Two Doms for Dinner

featured in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year Vol. 1, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

The Corset

featured in Dirty Dates: Erotic Fantasies for Couples, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

The Gambler

featured in Sex Still Spoken Here: An Erotic Reading Circle Anthology, edited by Carol Queen, Jen Cross, and Amy Butcher

A Timely Correction

featured in Cheeky Spanking Stories, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Seduction Dance

featured in Twice the Pleasure: Bisexual Women’s Erotica, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

After Twenty-Eight Years

featured in Ageless Erotica, edited by Joan Price

Adventure at the Casa Cervantes Hotel

featured in The Mammoth Book of Quick & Dirty Erotica, edited by Maxim Jakubowski

Plaster Orgasm

featured in Seattle Erotic Art Festival: Literary Art Anthology, 2012, edited by Kerry Cox

Gold Standard

featured in Tonight She’s Yours, Vol 2, edited by Rose Caraway

SaveSave

Kay Jaybee : Out of the comfort zone

 

It’s my pleasure, today, to host Kay Jaybee: named Best Erotica Writer of 2015 by the ETO. She also received an honouree mention at the NLA Awards in 2015, for excellence in BDSM writing.

Kay emphasises that, within submissive/dominant erotica writing, she likes to push herComfort Zone protagonists’ comfort zones (and, thereby, those of the reader).

Will the sub go that little bit further for his or her master/mistress?

Will the Dom demand one task too many?

Will trust – and therefore the relationship – be broken as a result?

“The concept of taking a submissive away from where he or she feels safe to do whatever is asked of them, and re-root them in a strange location provides endless plotlines – some light – some very dark indeed. It can produce some incredible story sparks,” Kay explains.

Just as Jess Sanders is adjusting to her new life as the submissive in residence on the fifth floor of The Fables Hotel, her employer, Mrs Peters, makes a startling announcement. She has agreed to loan Jess, and her dominatrix Miss Sarah, to one of their most demanding clients; Mr David Proctor.

Whisked away to The Retreat, a house hidden in a remote part of Scotland, Jess and Miss Sarah find themselves teaching a new submissive how to meet Proctor’s exacting rules.

As Jess comes to terms with the techniques of The Retreat’s overpowering dominatrix, Lady Tia, she discovers that Proctor’s motives may not be all they seem. Just who or what is Fairtasia? And why does Jess feel like she’s walked into a warped fairy tale?

In order to get back to the fifth floor, Jess is going to have to be far more than just a perfect submissive…

Kay asserts that ‘by changing a character’s familiar location, a complex web of anxieties is delivered directly into the writer’s hands’. In the case of The Retreat, she transports her protagonists away from their ‘safe-place’ of the Fables Hotel, showing their personal misgivings under the rule of Mr. Proctor.

Of course, all the best tales have a mystery to solve, and several twists, to keep us guessing. Jess and Miss Sarah are obliged to sift the truth from the lies they’re told, and navigate the dangers of their new home…

Read on for an extract from ‘The Retreat’

The knock at the door was brief, only functioning as an attempt at politeness, before theretreat_socialmediaLady Tia wafted into Elena’s study in a haze of musky perfume. As she clicked on her screensaver, the Scotswoman peered at her assistant over the rim of her glasses. ‘Good evening, Lady Tia. Thank you for coming so promptly.’

‘I am not happy about this situation.’

Dr Ewen’s smile stayed in place, but not so much as a hint of it hit her slate grey eyes as she gave a brittle response. ‘To the point, as ever.’

‘I see no reason to be any other way, especially as I suspect this will have a greater impact on our work here than you imagine.’

Totally unintimidated by the immaculate presence towering over her desk, Elena replied with complete assurance, ‘I expect there to be an impact on our work here. I expect it to improve. To lift us from the small, albeit successful business we have established here serving select holiday makers, to a thriving concern with a constant flow of business trade. Customers Mr Proctor has deemed “special guests”. Ladies and gentleman of some means who, for reasons David may or may not choose to share with us, he has decided to reward with our services rather than financially. This is an opportunity for a new clientele I propose to exploit fully.

‘We are to be a treat. A memorable experience that will ensure his clients wish to work with him again. Never –’ Dr Ewen paused for emphasis ‘– has our work here been so important. Mr Proctor’s influence in the world of business in general, and in PR in particular, is considerable. This alliance can only do us good. We will, as I have explained to you twice before, benefit from these changes. Your position here is not under threat. Nor will it be. That is not why David is having the women bought here.’

Bristling at the implication that she might feel threatened in some way by the two bits of girls being shipped in from the south, Lady Tia curbed the barbed remark that was forming on her tongue. Elena Ewen may have been half her size, but she was the mistress here at The Retreat, and only a fool would forget that her petite, aristocratic frame was capable of keeping even the strongest Dom in his or her place.

Adopting a more civil tone than the one she felt like using, Lady Tia said, ‘I can assure you that I do not feel threatened. However I do resent the fact that this man has, in only a space of six weeks, purchased this place from under us, dismissed our female submissive, and –’ Lady Tia spat out her final words, her displeasure getting the better of her common sense ‘– thinks we require training, when he knows full well you and I have far more years of experience than Laura Peters could ever dream of.’

Rather than reacting with a return of the venom being aimed at her, Elena moved to the plush sofa that ran along the side of her office. Picking up her laptop, she gestured for her companion to approach her as she sat and lifted the screen. ‘I trust you are not wearing underwear?’

Recognising the question for what it was, an instruction and not a query, Lady Tia inched up the skirt of her dress, revealing her muscular chocolate legs, and a shaved pussy that seemed to have the ability to pout as broadly as its owner’s mouth.

Inclining her head a fraction in approval, Elena patted the cushion on the sofa next to her. ‘I would like you to keep your skirt high and sit here.’

As she obeyed, Lady Tia’s eyes were still set in disapproval, but the more defined rise and fall of her breasts was clearly detectable to her manageress’s expert eye.

Dr Ewen pointed toward the laptop’s screen. ‘You see this woman?’

Lady Tia studied the scene as the computer was balanced on her boss’s lap. A young, shapely woman was fastened to a white rope hammock, and her ample tits were squeezed through the gaps in the weave. The slight pot of her tummy was squashed against the rope; her reddened face was a vision of climax-preventing concentration.

‘Let me introduce you to Miss Jess Sanders. You will be meeting her in approximately one hour. She’s been working at Fables for six months. This is a recording of her final training session before being accepted on to the staff permanently. If you continue to watch you will see that she is not alone.’

As the camera angle panned outwards, Lady Tia saw that a man had been laid beneath her, and a battle of wills was obviously in progress to see which of them would break and plead for release first. ‘Do you know the circumstances behind this session, doctor?’

‘No. I do know, however, that the gentleman you can see is Mrs Peters’ partner; both in a business and a personal sense.’

‘She has a lover of her own?’ The dominatrix’s immaculately plucked eyebrows rose in disapproval. ‘I hadn’t considered her weak enough to have a full-time companion, let alone emotional connections.’

Elena nodded. Her eyes didn’t leave the screen, but her left hand moved to Lady Tia’s thigh. ‘Laura Peters writes her own rules.’

Forbidding herself from focusing on the cold palm against her skin, Lady Tia twisted her head sharply. ‘You didn’t tell me you knew her?’

Refraining from answering, Elena walked her fingers very slowly towards her companion’s mound, resting them below the heart-shaped flesh, before clicking the computer on to another screen. ‘This is Miss Sarah. Reports on her are good. One hundred per cent good, in fact. The consummate professional. Whereas Miss Sanders is relatively new to this lifestyle and continues to makes mistakes. But then, what use is a submissive that doesn’t make mistakes? I’ve always thought the whole point is that we can punish them for their errors.’

The dominatrix watched the screen with hawk-like eyes as Miss Sarah, her slim body perfect in Victorian clothes, chastised a man bending over a desk. So that was the competition. Lady Tia didn’t care what Dr Ewen said; there was only room for one dominatrix at The Retreat, and that was her. She wasn’t stupid enough to share her thoughts, however. It was time to think tactically, especially as she suspected her own resolve was about to be tested.

‘I reluctantly have to confess I’m impressed.’ Lady Tia continued to scrutinise the image before her, not allowing her gaze to switch even for a second towards the palm so near her core. ‘Miss Sarah has excellent technique and poise. Her expression is serene yet indomitable. I would hazard a guess that it is very difficult to read her reactions.’

Dr Ewen, whose own expression was frequently impossible to assess, was not fooled for a moment by the compliment Lady Tia was laying on the woman she was already sure was already being considered as a rival. Nor was she misled by Tia’s lack of reaction to the fingertips which she was now edging very quietly up and down her thick thigh. ‘David has informed me that Mrs Peters suspects these two women of having formed an intimate alliance beyond the requirements of work.’

This time Lady Tia did react, her voice keen. ‘Suspects, but isn’t sure?’

‘Let’s just say that neither of them has been foolish enough, or unprofessional enough, to give their association a name. But the very fact these women care for each other could be useful to us. Something that, should we need to, we can use to our advantage.’

The smile on Lady Tia’s face was sardonic as her mahogany eyes blazed with the hint of malevolence…

 

You can purchase The Retreat from

AmazonUK, AmazonUS, AmazonAU, AmazonCA
Barnes&Noble, iBooksUK, iBooksUS, Kobo and Smashwords

(The Perfect Submissive Trilogy doesn’t have to be read in order, but you’ll get more out of Jess’s story if you read The Fifth Floor before The Retreat)

 

 

More about Kay

Kay on sofaKay Jaybee has over 180 erotica publications including, The Retreat- Book2: The Perfect Submissive Trilogy (KJBooks, 2018), Making Him Wait (Sinful Press, 2018), The Fifth Floor- Book1;The Perfect Submissive Trilogy (KJBooks, 2017), Wednesday on Thursday, (KDP, 2017), The Collector (KDP, 2016), A Sticky Situation (Xcite, 2013), Digging Deep, (Xcite 2013), Take Control, (1001 NightsPress, 2014), and Not Her Type (1001 NightsPress), 2013.

Discover more at www.kayjaybee.me.uk

Or follow Kay on:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kay_jaybee

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/KayJaybeeAuthor

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3541958-kay-jaybee

The Brit Babes Site – http://thebritbabes.blogspot.co.uk/p/kay-jaybee.html

 

Kay also writes contemporary romance and children’s picture books as Jenny Kane www.jennykane.co.uk  and historical fiction as Jennifer Ash www.jenniferash.co.uk

Blue, by LN Bey: a review

LN Bey was a reader of erotica long before taking up the pen, with particular attraction Pauline Réage History of O BDSM eroticato the inherent illogicality of BDSM — as LN puts it ‘the desire to be beaten, controlled and humiliated (or to do the beating) despite it making no logical sense’.

As a reader, LN embraced Molly Weatherfield, Laura Antoniou, AN Roquelaure and Pauline Réage, each with their own brand of erotic cruelty, of ‘consensual non-consent’, exploring systematized sex slavery.

AN RoquelaureAs LN explains, “In Story of O, in the Beauty trilogy, and in The Marketplace, the subs are there to serve and to lose themselves, not to be coddled before and after a spanking. It’s assumed that Masters are entitled to their slaves’ submission, and that’s what the submissives expect, and want, as well.”

317fRIVTvWLUnlike Story of O and the worlds of Antoniou, Weatherfield and Roquelaure, there are no castles or billionaire mansions in Blue, which is set in the blandest of American suburbs, where our cast of kinky suburbanites, each flawed and ego-centric, have day jobs, shop in supermarkets and battle traffic jams.

As LN explains, “I’m not a fan of overly romantic language, sweeping us along doe-eyed and swooning, with our hands clasped under our chins. I wanted to write realistically, taking what I most love about fantastical erotica and placing the scenarios into a believable setting.”

LN Bey, in Blue, presents characters each on their own quest for self-realization, usually through extremes of self-expression – through film, photography and performance, but also, as ‘artists’ of their identity, shaping themselves as living works of art (naturally, as works in continuous progress). The most obvious example of this is the character of Mai, who stands, in imitation of a statue, throughout the novel, decorating a niche of Carolyn’s home, but there are many others, less overt.

89598Blue references erotic art and fiction, creating a nod to the reader, in their role as ‘connoisseur’: we recognize ourselves in these characters who read erotica, peruse erotic art works, and indulge in sexual fantasy. Janet, the leading protagonist, begins her journey in just this way, with a collection of well-thumbed novels of ‘erotic peril’ and some coffee-table books of provocative images.

Janet engineers her entry into a fantasy, built upon expectations from her reading of sensational fiction (in this way, Blue is rather like a kinky, 21st century version of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey). Unsurprisingly, she is destined for disappointment, as reality fails to match her imagination (although there are elements of her experience that do appeal to her, and keep her coming back for more). Meanwhile, Janet’s fears must be overcome, in order for her to attain self-realization. LN tells us, “She isn’t looking for love but thrills, for her fantasies to come true, even if the book is largely about the impossibility of that. She knows how she wants to be treated now (‘strictly, but not callously’) and she’s suddenly got the opportunity she’s been looking for.”

Blue is about the artistry of pain, and control, and the struggle to fulfill yearning, to gain self-realization. Janet discovers, through her ‘quest’, that she craves being dominated, being compelled to serve and to take pain (despite disliking discomfort). She is a submissive, rather than a masochist, gaining pleasure from obedience rather than from the endorphin rush of pain itself.

Blue quote chapter 14In parallel, Carolyn, a dominant seemingly in control of everything around her, struggles to control her own emotions. LN tells us, “I modelled Carolyn’s crisis on the HAL 9000 character from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. An artificial intelligence-level computer, HAL was faced with two contradictory missions; unable to cope with conflicting impulses, as in Carolyn’s case, all hell broke loose.”

The most moving chapter in Blue is unveiled entirely through phone voice-mail, revealing Carolyn’s true feelings for her submissive.

LN comments, “I’m fond of alternative means of narration. That chapter shows us relics of communication, with a different timeline. We later learn that the voicemails weren’t even effective, because he wasn’t checking his messages. She was talking to no one.”

Some of the most vivid scenes in Blue evolve around hyper-stylized film-making, where Laura Antoniou The Marketplace BDSM eroticatension is heightened, since we, like Janet, have no idea what will happen next. Speaking of the inspiration behind these scenes, LN references director Kubrick’s ‘lingering’ shots and wide angles, and his tendency to shoot people as he would objects, examining them in minute detail.

As LN comments, “Blue is a book about erotica. About people who read erotica, and how we build expectations from reading it. One of the goals of the book is to subvert the expectations that the reader is likely to have about the story and characters, just as Janet’s expectations are constantly subverted.”

Purchase Blue from Amazon

As her guests arrive for dinner, Janet is both fearful and aroused—because this is no 317fRIVTvWLordinary suburban dinner party. Recently divorced and looking for something new, Janet definitely finds it when her friend Jon invites her to join an exclusive club of kinksters whose initiation is to be the host—and the entertainment.

Before the food is even served, she’s naked and on her knees, not to mention in over her head.

Kinky and sexy, intelligent and perceptive, Blue is both highly entertaining social satire and red hot erotica.

About LN Bey

LN has lived in various cities and towns throughout the American West and Midwest with spouse and pets in tow, pursuing various creative endeavours and playing interesting games.

LN’s debut erotic novel Blue was released in 2016 and the three of five segments of the Villa series are now released.

LN also appears in the following anthologies:

Best Bondage Erotica 2015, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Love Slave: Sizzle, 2016, ed. by Dom Exel

No Safewords 2, 2017, ed. by Laura Antoniou.

 

Find LN at  lnbey.com and Viscontipress.com

On TwitterAmazon and Goodreads

 

 

 

Author Influences : Sonni de Soto

Sonni de Soto loves to tell stories, exploring not just the world of our sexual fantasies, but the practicalities too. She laments that most mainstream BDSM fiction avoids looking at the ‘realities’. She explains, “For real-life players, kink takes connection. Not the kismet kind or the magic soulmate sort, but the type that comes with a lot of communication and a lot of earned trust. Too often, in fiction, that’s seen as unromantic but, for me, that’s where the romance and sizzle always lie.”

Of her own reading, she tells us, “I’m a big fan of interconnected stories: when we follow characters within the same world, seeing how one character sets in motion events which affect all the others, in their own stories. This echoes the truth that everything we do affects everyone else (whether on butterfly-wing levels or typhoon ones).”

sonni quote 2Among her favourite such reads is David Schickler’s Kissing In Manhattan collection, which gives readers a ‘strange and seemingly random cast of characters, centred on a mythic Manhattan apartment complex called The Preemption’.

Sonni asserts, “I love that each story is complete, and can stand entirely on its own, but gains greater impact when viewed alongside the others. Like people in the real world, everyone has a story. Everyone is the star—the main character—of their own story, as well as being a side character in everyone else’s. We all make an impact. I wonder if my own Donovan’s Door world would even exist without Schickler’s Preemption.”

Although Sonni rarely writes speculative fiction, she notes “I love to read such stories, and sonni quotewatch films which take a fresh look at our everyday world by adding extraordinary elements, making our familiar settings seem somehow strange and unknown. Unexpected futures we’ve yet to fulfill. The occult lurking in our shadows. Hidden powers that manifest in the meeker among us. The magical meeting realism.”

Among Sonni’s favourite films are surrealistic-fantasy masterpieces Pan’s Labyrinth, Brazil, and Mirrormask.

She adds, “That’s how kink scenes in stories feel for me. A fantasy constructed within—constructed from—reality. They require a certain suspension of disbelief but also rely on there being basic, consistent ‘rules’.”

“Whenever we try to translate fantasy—whether sexual or speculative—into the believable, we need a firm grounding in reality or we risk straying too far from the humanity that connects stories to audiences,” warns Sonni.

“In movies, you want the special effects to be mind-blowing and unlike anything anyone sonni quotehas ever seen before but, if they go too far or are overdone, the film falls flat. For me, kink scenes follow the same logic. I want my sexy story bits to be steamy and hot, but I want to be sure that they’re still grounded in something real. Do body parts actually move and react that way? Is proper safety, negotiation, and consent being observed? Does the kink serve a purpose to the plot and character development or is it more flash over substance?”

She asserts, “Speculative films taught me that if you want to make someone believe something unknown and strange—be that aliens walking among us or that pain can be exquisite pleasure—you have to really sell the setup.”

Theatre made a significant impact on Sonni from an early age. She tells us, “I’ve been involved in theatre one way or another since I was able to walk, but it took thirteen years before I really saw roles on the stage—and in stories in general—that looked like me. RENT was a huge influence on me, as a writer and as a person. It was the first time I really got to see characters of color and LGBTQ+ characters as the stars of a show. That was so powerful: to see that our stories are worth telling and that there are people who want to hear them.” She adds, “I never used to tell stories that featured characters of color or LGBTQ+ characters. Now that’s pretty much all I do.”

Sonni underlines, “As creators, we fear that nothing we do is original… that everything has been done before. I know that all stories have been told in some form or another before, but mine offer my own special spin.”

Sonni’s latest release, with Sinful Press, is Show Me, Sir, exploring the themes of feminism, BDSM, kink, and community.

Show Me Sir

Max Wells is a ball-busting, ass-kicking testament to female empowerment, who’s yet to meet the person who can push her down.

Until she meets a man she only knows as Sir. Shamelessly deviant, Hayato knows exactly what Max thinks of Dominants like him. Ready to dismiss his lifestyle, she’s the type to assume she knows everything about it, and him, after one cursory glance from the outside in. But, looking at Max—at her intelligence and passion—he can see more in her than the misconceptions with which she’s deliberately blinding herself. And, determined, he plans to show her more.

Max and Hayato engage in a dance of wit, will, and seduction as they negotiate roles, rewrite rules, and learn the true meaning of empowerment.

However, just as their game heats up, someone threatens to drag their private lives into the spotlight. With high stakes and bitter scandal looming, Max and her Sir must work together to show that they’re not defined by what the world thinks they are.

Buy Show Me, Sir here

About the Author

Sonni is an office-grunt geek with a passion for cosplay, taking cloth, paint, wire and, even, plumbing parts to bring some of her favourite fictional characters to life.

She describes herself as a kinkster of colour, and is the author of The Taming School (Sizzler Editions) and Show Me, Sir (Sinful Press), as well as Give to You (Deep Desires Press). Her short stories feature in six anthologies, including in Riverdale Ave Books’ First Annual Geeky Kink Anthology, in Sexy Little Pages’ Sacred & Profane, and in Stupid Fish Productions’ For the Men (and the Women who Love Them).

Follow Sonni on Facebook, pay a visit to her blog, or find her on Amazon

Part Two: Behind the Erotic Pen – interviewing the authors of ‘For the Men’ anthology

I’m delighted to feature in a tantalizing new anthology, for-the-men erotic fiction fantasywritten For the Men (and the Women Who Love Them), edited by Rose Caraway.

As we know, erotic fiction isn’t just for women; the ‘erotic’ has the power to speak to everyone.

The collection features twenty-five tales, each bite offering a new flavour: from darkly bitter chocolate, to lush caramel, with some tangy surprises.

As a reader, I love it when a story keeps me thinking long afterwards, moving me to speculate. We don’t need all the answers on the page. We, as readers, should be ‘filling in the spaces’, finding parallels to our own experience, or emotional state. Through contemplation of the fictional, we take away some understanding of our own self. For me, this is what’s meant by finding ‘truths’ in fiction. I discover what is true of myself in reading about others’ motivations, behaviours and choices.

In this series, I’m sharing insights from the authors of ‘For the Men’. Last week, in Part One, I looked at stories exploring the theme of sexual exhibition, revealing what is usually concealed, for the delectation of other eyes. Today, I’m looking at dichotomies, particularly those relating to ‘power’.

Adrea Kore, in Dance for Me, explores seduction through performance, showing a woman’s elation and liberation through ownership of her sexuality. Her character reveals herself through dance, and is ‘fully seen’. In this way, she demonstrates both ‘vulnerability and power’.

adrea-kore-for-the-men-quote-erotic-fictionAdrea goes on to say that, in contemporary sexual culture, we tend to think of men being ‘hardwired’ to initiate. In Dance for Me, Adrea presents, first, her male protagonist as the recipient of pleasure, through dance. She explains, “In the second scene, the dynamic is reversed – he becomes the giver and she the receiver. Of course, the sharing of pleasure in reality is not so clearly polarized – the current of energy flows both ways, in varying intensities. Across the two scenes in this story, there’s an exchange in roles of who primarily plays the giver and the receiver.”

In response to editor Rose Caraway‘s call, I wrote Labyrinth: a scenario of sexual and emotional conflict. I look at our self-destructive side, and how we channel that ‘destruction’ onto those we love. In association with this, I wanted to look at our desire to inflict (and receive) pain as well as pleasure. I find it fascinating how these two opposing elements sit alongside each other, whether we speak of physical pain/pleasure or emotional.

My story uses the metaphor of the maze. We are ever seeking, though for what, we emmanuelle-de-maupassant-for-the-men-anthologyare unsure. Within, are our unspoken yearnings, and our fears, our ‘monsters’.   Our inner life is the labyrinth: action following on from action, leading us to where we stand now. We are as we are in this moment, though shaped by moments that have gone before, and the promise of those yet to come.

We are the protagonists of our own stories. We wander our personal labyrinth, slaying ‘monsters’ as we go. This very act of exercising choice, of being active in how we determine our path, brings our sense of ‘being alive’. In this, there is another dichotomy: that of passivity and action.

In a similar vein to Adrea Kore, Rachel Kramer Bussel emphasizes  that ‘dominance is not a one-way street; it’s an interplay’. For Picturing You Naked, Rachel relates ‘the way desire can overtake us, especially at work, when we’re supposed to be thinking about other things’, and the ways in which a dominant/submissive couple can ‘push each other’s boundaries’.

Rachel asserts that, although her businessman talks tough, he is ‘undone’ by his partner’s charm and creativity. She adds, “I liked the idea of him getting flustered by her. They are equally masterful. I want readers to enjoy the wordplay.”

for-the-men-fiction-erotic-rachel-kramer-bussel

As for who might be cast in the role of her heroine, were the story to be filmed, Rachel mentions Emma Stone, for her mischievous personality. 

Dorothy Freed conceived her story, Love Sling, first from a submissive female point of view. She then became curious as to how it would read from a Dominant viewpoint. The second version of the story is ‘longer and more detailed, presenting more of the male protagonist’s feelings and motivations’. She underlines, “I intend my portrayal to illustrate how much care, consideration, and understanding is involved in safe, sane, consensual BDSM.”

Casting a film version of Love Sling, Dorothy imagines actors similar to Mickey dorothy-freed-for-the-menRourke and Kim Basinger in Nine and Half Weeks. 

D. L. King believes her stories speak to men ‘because they can see themselves in the role of the protagonist’. She prides herself on showing ‘the softer, emotional side of the male psyche’ and underlines, “It’s different from its female counterpart, but is there, hiding in plain sight, waiting for the right woman to notice. I notice.”

As to who she’d cast to play her characters in Cupcakes and Steel, she opts for Margot Robbie as her dominant female, and Eddie dl-king-for-the-menRedmayne as her male lead.

Simon Drax’s The Binding of the Babe in the Backseat evokes his own fantasy of being in a position to save a sexy woman (in bondage) from danger. His character does battle, winning the woman’s respect, and his ‘reward’ in her arms.

Full of action, the story quickly evokes tension. Meanwhile, his damsel in distress isn’t passive (she bites off her attacker’s nose). Simon notes the arousing dichotomy of a ‘powerful woman’ being in a vulnerable position.

He pictures Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Taxi Driver, and Chyler Leigh as Erin.

simon-drax

Discover more from the authors behind this anthology, in parts three, four and five.

***

Erotic fiction offers an amazing space in which to explore. Dare to dip your toe into the unexpected, and the uninhibited.

Twenty-five authors have pooled their talent to bring you teasing tales of temptation and scorching stories of seduction.

for-the-men_cover-copy-back-02An audio version is also available to complement the e-book, narrated by huskily voiced, utterly fabulous Rose Caraway.

My darkly erotic story, ‘Labyrinth’, features in final place in the collection, following stories by authors Adrea Kore, Tamsin FlowersRachel Kramer BusselAllen Dusk Terrance Aldon Shaw, Rachel de Vine, Jade A WatersDorothy FreedD.L. KingChase Morgan, Marc AngelCharlie Powell, Landon Dixon, Sonni de Soto, D. Lovejoy, Erin Pim, J.T. Seate, Spencer Dryden, Winter Blair, Simon Drax, Lynn Lake, Josie Jordan, Daily Hollow, and T.J. Christian.

Find out more here, in Terrance Aldon Shaw’s interview with Rose: on creating an Stupid-Fish Rose and Dayv Caraway interview erotic fiction pganthology attempting to encompass the scope of male desire, on advice to aspiring writers, and the importance of plain speaking when it comes to sex.

You may enjoy a peek at my own interview with Rose, and husband Dayv, on their superb work in creating for-the-men_official-cover-copyerotic audio-fiction and anthologies.

More from Rose, including sexy snippets from each story, and her own interviews with each author, at Stupid Fish Productions.

Purchase your copy of ‘For the Men: And the Women Who Love Them’ from Amazon.

Siri Ousdahl: contradiction, paradox and CONSTRAINT – a review

Constraint is Siri Ousdahl’s debut in the genre of erotic fiction, although she has written prominently under an alternate author name for many years. She holds several prestigious writing awards and has worked extensively in publishing.

Within this, my critique of Siri Ousdahl’s novel, she joins me to discuss transgressive themes and the contradictions within our psyche. 

Constraint pulls no punches. There is no sweetening of the pill. It is a tale of kidnapping, siri-ousdahl-constraint-emmanuelle-de-maupassant-critiquerape, violence and humiliation.

Our natural response is outrage. How dare one human being treat another this way? The early phases of the story are written clearly with the intention to arouse this reaction from us.

We are told that Alex is a sadist and has always been so, musing, from the youngest age, on ropes, chains and controlled violence. As an adult, he rises to the challenge of exercising precise control. ‘He wants to work out how much he can darken her flesh without breaking her skin.’

It is from this position that Siri Ousdahl unravels her story: winding back and forth, through past and present, and presenting us, readers, ready to judge and condemn, with knots we must unpick.

What should be simple is not, because we are human, and to be human is to be a creature of paradox.

Siri, while no writer can ‘control’ the reactions they inspire in readers, your story clearly aims to manipulate strong emotional responses, shaping them in various ways as the tale progresses. In this way, where do you hope to lead your reader?

This is my first formal erotic writing. In my other world as a writer I’m committed to psychological realism, and my ambition is to elicit a complicated, conflicted reaction from my readers. Very little is unequivocally one thing or another, red or blue or green; everything is tints, shades, and blends. If our understanding of ourselves is at all realistic, it is full of unresolvable contradictions. I wanted to write a sex novel that reflected that.

When I decided to write a noncon BDSM novel, I was my primary reader, so the person I was challenging was myself. I wanted to write a book that was as morally problematic as Lolita and as sexy as The Story of O. I wanted to see whether I could balance unsentimental realism with the poetry of eroticism, telling a story that, ideally, would both repel and attract. I wanted to see how long I could stay on the tightrope without falling off.

siri-ousdahl-author-writing-quote-1Our psyche comprises contradictory elements. Linnea, we are told, is ‘an alloy’, stronger than the metals from which she is made. A powerful metaphor in the story is given through Linnea’s sculptures, which comprise contrasting, yet harmonising materials: hickory and chestnut or oak and walnut. They symbolize Linnea’s inner being. ‘There are three tiny knots… clustered like moles on a woman’s shoulder.’ This metaphor continues. ‘The twisting shapes hint at lovers entangled ankle to throat’, bound by fine steel wire, brass straps, clear glass bands, rough rope knotted. Linnea’s art is a visual representation of what she desires for herself: bondage and forced compliance. We are told that ‘wood fucks wood’ and that the scent is ‘musky, human’.

Later, we read that Alex and Linnea’s bodies are a ‘sculpture’, representing ‘blood and hunger’.

Siri, you use Linnea’s art to reveal her state of mind (both during her captivity and beforehand). Can you tell us more about your research into the art world and how you’ve used art to bring layers of meaning to the story?

As a child, I didn’t study art (though I drew a lot), but I was raised in a family that valued art, much of it carved wood and stone sculpture. I’m sure my mother would not be thrilled to know how often I touched the art, running my hands along the shapes, marvelling at the three-dimensionality of it, its gravity.

I knew Linnea was a sculptor almost before I knew anything else about her. She was strong-muscled and ‘saw’ with her hands. Her art needed to be nonverbal, because I’m entirely verbal. Her sculptures were very clear in my head from the start, and I wish I had some of them!

Her photorealistic paintings were a surprise to me, but as I spent time in her head, trapped in the siri-ousdahl-author-quote-writing-4enclosure, I knew she would become obsessive about the walls: that she would make art from this constraint, as well.

I did a lot of research into the women of the abstract expressionist movement, and I developed immense respect for them. A woman artist of the first half of the twentieth century – in any movement – was in a horrible situation: her work ignored or treated with contempt, expected to model for and/or have sex with the men who defined whether she would ever be taken seriously.

As we enter deeper into Constraint, we’re given insight into the mind of kidnapper Alex, and the subject of his fixation, Linnea. Neither are as they seem and, as the story unfolds, the paradoxes within their natures are made more explicit.

A central theme of the story is our inward battle: our desire for self-determination and our wish to surrender some part of ourselves, to forfeit control, to allow another human ‘under our skin’, even (or sometimes, especially) where we know that surrender has the power to harm us. Most love stories explore, to some extent, this contradictory push and pull. In Constraint, there is an overt ‘battle’ between Linnea and Alex.

We’re told that the attraction for Alex is the paradox of the situation: that he enjoys Linnea’s compulsion to fight him, while witnessing her simultaneous arousal, seemingly against her wishes. He enjoys the ‘battle’ yet also wishes ‘for her to want him as much as he wants her’. We witness Alex’s violence towards Linnea, yet also his tenderness. ‘She has rolled close to him in her sleep, with her hands tucked close to his ribs and her face pressed against his shoulder… He…turns his face into her sleep knotted hair and breathes and breathes and breathes.’

We also see Alex’s compulsion to lose himself to a place of otherness, of transcendence. ‘He snaps the switch lightly against his forearm. It’s barely a touch, and the bright sting is no more challenging than walking out into icy-cold air or biting into raw ginger, but a faint white stripe flares and flushes red, a color shift as sudden as an octopus shifting camouflage. He observes this siri-ousdahl-author-writing-quote-3with interest. He is dropping into the strange, abstract space where she stops being entirely real to him, where he stops being real to himself: the no-place that is all places, and their bodies become geometries and his body and brain divide themselves into pieces simultaneously dissociative and entirely, pulsingly, engaged.’

While whipping Linnea, Alex ‘…does not think as he builds rhythms, patterns… He switches to using both floggers, infinite eights overlapping. And faster, until he is breathless, fighting a strange wild laugh that is rooted not in his mind but his body’s work… Linnea is barely present in his mind; she is also the entire focus of all his attention.’

Meanwhile, we learn that, as a child, Linnea played games of self-torture for pleasure. ‘In her teens she started to make sense of it all. She read Réage, Millet, Nin, Roquelaure, McNeill; eventually (with a horrified blend of alienation and recognition) de Sade.’ Linnea ‘knew she longed for bondage and all the sorts of torment ingenious men and women had developed. She was hungry for the whip, the collar, marks.’ She ‘knows that her body will respond in complicated ways—as it always has been complex, pain and pleasure tangled like necklaces tossed onto a bed…’

In this way, they are sexually well matched. We are told that their ‘games and rituals’ are such as ‘their natures decree’. Linnea watches coyotes outside, dancing, playing, fighting, then mating: another metaphor for her relationship with Alex.

Siri, can you tell us more about the psychology of the dynamic between your siri-ousdahl-author-quote-writing-6protagonists?

 I was a lot like Linnea as a girl, with a high tolerance for pain and a craving for adventure that was not satisfied by my quiet upbringing. I did many dangerous and stupid things, all of them exhilarating. I was also a pain in the neck, for reasons I did not then understand: My mother says that I would ‘cruise for a spanking’, restless and clearly pushing rule after rule until I eventually did get spanked – ‘and then you would calm right down, happy and settled’ – which is how I remember it, as well.

My nature decreed what I wanted, even as a child. As I became sexual in my late teens, I found I moved effortlessly into BDSM, though I didn’t always understand how to get what I needed until I was in my 30s. As an adult, I have both topped and subbed for floggings, whippings, bondage, D/s, and many other things. When I write, I write from experience.

Despite this, I think I understand Alex better than I understand Linnea. Writing is basically a top’s game: I write something to elicit a response. I design a scene and then execute it and if I do it right, the reader feels things they didn’t expect. I am in charge, though the reader can always safeword out, put down the book and walk away.

In exploring the theme of constraint and freedom, we see the metaphor of inside and siri-ousdahl-author-quote-writing-6outside spaces – looking inward and outward. Linnea struggles against Alex’s constraint of her freedom, but we come to see that her constraint is also internal. ‘She’s a coyote in a leg-hold trap, chewing at her own ankle.’ When she asks what he wants from her, he laughs, evading, ‘because the answer is love and he cannot admit that’. Linnea evades, as well. ‘It is not the house and enclosure that blocks honesty; their constraints travel with them.’

Alex seeks tension. He ‘draws a narrow line around Linnea and longs for the moments she breaks past them… What hawk comes to your hand without training, without bribes and constraints…? How is this different than other, more conventional relationships?’ He muses that even true love is built from ‘unconscious accommodations, invisible chains.’

The non-consensual elements of Constraint are, by nature, disturbing, while yet having power to arouse. It is this very juxtaposition that makes the story compelling, since we are encouraged to examine paradoxes within our own behaviour. You’re exploring where many authors fear to tread. Siri, what inspired you to choose this theme, of our contradictory, paradoxical, self-destructive nature, and of the constraints we carry within us?

A correctly structured BDSM experience (or relationship) has clear rules and expectations, but many ‘traditional’ experiences do not: in most relationships, love and trust change meaning unilaterally, over time, without negotiation. A lot of BDSM fiction is actually terrible BDSM: even if the sex/play itself is safe, sane, and consensual – even if there are contracts – the characters lie, manipulate, gaslight, misdirect, and cheat their way into the relationship.

Alex is, at least, honest about what he wants, to the extent he understands it.

Having delved into Linnea’s romantic past, Alex challenges her lack of intimacy with siri-ousdahl-author-writing-quote-2anyone. She resists, saying, “No one is anyone’s.” Later, taunted by dominatrix Klee, Linnea asserts, “I am not yours. I am no one’s.” Klee responds, “So sad. We all belong to someone…”

We see Alex’s desire topossess’ Linnea, to make her love him, while this can never be true until she wishes it to be so, until she recognizes an emotional connection to him.

The relationship between Linnea and Alex progresses, through shared intimacies, until she feels that he is ‘seeing her, actual her, instead of whatever he usually sees when he looks at her’. We read that he sees ‘she is her own person’.

By the closing pages, he has accepted that his non-consensual treatment of her has been unacceptable, to the extent that he is willing to suffer any consequences (including imprisonment). He notes that he no longer has ‘certainty that his decisions are the right ones’.

Alex tells Linnea explicitly that he loves her and offers that she may choose what happens next, even if it means her turning him in to the police. He has the power to continue as he did, but recognizes his error in having attempted to force her love.

Meanwhile, Linnea admits to Alex that she believes he knows her as no one else does, and chooses to submit because it is what SHE wishes, not because it is forced upon her. ‘Her skin is her own. She is not afraid of him. She never has been; fear was never the thing that kept her here.’

Siri, did you consider other conclusions to Constraint or, for you, was this ending inevitable?

As with The Story of O, several endings are possible. This is the HEA ending, or as close as a story like this could honestly have – and it is dependent on where I typed ‘The End’. I can’t believe they bdsm-erotic-fiction-story-of-o-pauline-reagewill stay together as things are, but there’s a sequel I have thought about that starts six months from now, when Linnea has left Alex and ends up in Switzerland, using Klee, Berndt, Vadim (and others) to make sense of her experience. Can they return to one another after that? Depends on the next book.

There’s also a less romantic ending where she escapes or he lets her go and she returns to her life (or a life) without talking about this to the police – which is how women often address rape. And an ending where she does turn him in, and has to then deal with the fact that she will never be as satisfied sexually, as seen by her partner, as she was with him.  

Fiction, within the safety of its pages, invites us to explore what disturbs us, to process what is written and to respond. It asks us to reflect upon our own behaviour, our motivations and compulsions. The non-consensual theme of Constraint is liable to inspire controversy, reaching as it does into realms of discomfort for many readers. To anyone who would criticize the story as eroticism of rape, how would you respond?

It’s fiction. In what way is this different than reading book after book about a murderer? If someone is fucked up enough to think that an erotic novel gives them permission to rape someone, the problem is the rapist’s. That said, we do live in a culture permeated with sexual violence against women; the (substantial) percentage of women who like to read or watch noncon and dubcon erotica are as conditioned to this as the men who think it’s okay to rape. A hundred years from now, if we sort out rape culture, will books like this still be being written? I don’t know, though I have theories.

I am an intelligent, philosophically inclined woman who values honesty in interpersonal dealings. I am writing this book as a direct response to the artificiality of most noncon and dubcon fiction. Is it eroticizing rape? It is also engaging directly what what’s wrong with eroticizing rape. It’s a complicated stance.

Siri, your language is both precise and lyrical. Which authors have inspired you in creating your distinctive voice?lolita-nabokov

I was thinking a lot of Lolita while I was working on this. Nabokov never sets a foot wrong: every word is exactly calibrated. I was also thinking a lot about the French writer Alain Robbe-Grillet’s strangely opaque voice.

I’ve no doubt that readers will anticipate further works from you. Can you share what’s in store?

I do write fiction under another name, and some of Siri’s readers may recognize her voice elsewhere. I have thought about writing about Klee as a young woman in 1970s France: how did she become the woman she is? I was partway through the book when I read a recent Vanity Fair article about erotic novelist/octogenarian dominatrix Catherine Robbe-Grillet, wife of writer Alain (and what a strange coincidence that was). Robbe-Grillet has a lot in common with Klee, I realized.

siri-ousdahl-constraint-emmanuelle-de-maupassant-critiqueI’m also researching an erotic fantasy novel! Yes, research: I can’t bring myself to write anything without lots and lots of reading ahead of time.

Thank you once again to Siri for taking time to discuss her intent in writing and the complex psychologies of her work.

If you’d like to read Constraint, you’ll find it for sale, here.

You can also find Siri at Visconti Press

Read more from Siri on motivations in writing erotic fiction here, as part of the 130 Authors series.

You may also like to read critique of Constraint written by Remittance Girl, here, and by Terrance Aldon Shaw, of Big Brain Erotica, here.

 

Patrick Califia’s ‘Mortal Companion’: a review

There is much that is playful in this beguiling tale, including speaking vampire cats, and a wealth of snappy dialogue. There are also scenes of powerful allure, and those of heartbreaking poignancy.

What better vehicle for exploring the many pains of love than a full-length vampire novel?

It doesn’t take the reader long to be rooting for leather-clad, biker Ulric, born in the 14th century, and struggling with the loneliness of Patrick Califiia Mortal Companion erotic fictionimmortality ever since (Califia’s vampires being cursed with finding the company of their own kind unbearable).

Through the centuries, Ulric wanders lost and largely loveless, his suffering sweetly punctuated by short periods of mortal companionship: Alain, who becomes an early victim of AIDS, and, now Lilith, a small-town librarian ripe for exploring her passion for her new lover.

Califia’s sex is heavily influenced by BDSM elements, presented in glorious techni-colour, and with authenticity (having been inspired by Califia’s own experience of the San Francisco scene). Califia’s sex is not only lava-hot but innovative. Combined with a writing style that embraces the brutally raw and the gently lyrical, this is a recipe for an erotic masterpiece. Califia knows his craft.

Above even his skillful manipulation of language is Califia’s creation of compelling, multi-layered characters. Ulric is both dominant and submissive to his new love, tender and masterful. Their relationship is one of balance, presented as an ideal. Lilith is, of necessity, a less dramatic persona, but carries her own quiet authority and we have a sense of her agency in her own fate. She is the giver and receiver of pleasure, Ulric respecting (almost worshipping) her female sexual power on equal footing with demonstrations of masculine erotic strength.

The plot revolves around an ancient feud, initiated by Ulric’s half-sister, the fearsome, obsessive, ruthless Adulfa. Statuesque, and beautiful in all senses unconventional, she pursues vengeance with a single-mindedness that, in the hands of a less talented author, might result in a stereotype of wickedness: a two-dimensional villainess. However, in blaming Ulric for having sentenced her to vampiric Patrick Califia erotic fiction review mortal companion Emmanuelle de Maupassantabomination six centuries earlier, we see not only her capacity to inflict pain on others, but the pain she carries within herself.

On discovering Ulric’s mortal companion, her plans unfold with steady inevitability, set against a catalogue of sadistic scenes in which we, as readers, are left in no doubt that Adulfa’s revenge will surpass anything we can imagine.

Adulfa’s brand of perverted domination is explored at length, leaving us intentionally disturbed and disrupted. Her behaviour, destructive as it is, to others and herself, is the perfect foil to the mutual love we witness between Ulric and Lilith. Where their sex scenes revolve around pleasure and emotional fulfillment, Adulfa’s couplings are spiced liberally with excruciating humiliation and torture.

The story, in its very concept, is fantastical, and yet Califia makes it so easy to suspend our disbelief. We shiver with delicious fear at the sinister path of Adulfa as readily as we shiver with satisfaction at the sex scenes involving Ulric, Lilith and their lovers.

The closing pages of the story are unexpected, and leave the path open to a sequel (as yet unwritten).

Would I like more of Adulfa, Ulric, and Lilith? Oh yes…

 

You many purchase ‘Mortal Companion‘ by Patrick Califia, here.

 

Thoughts from the author, and other male writers of erotic fiction in this article: The Erotic Vein.