Tag Archives: kink

Flash Fiction: Statue

White marble classical statue of a woman's torso and thighs covered by a sheer veil

Marble statue. Courtesy of Getty Images

“So. Henry has this fetish….”

Marjory swirled her martini around with a naked swizzle stick. She’d already eaten the olives.

“Okay,” Jackie replied, waiting for the ellipses to run out. They didn’t.

“So, is he into feet or something?”

Marjory shook her head.

“Spanking?”

“No.”

“Breast milk? Teddy bears? Tell me it’s not corpses.”

“No, no. It’s none of that. Besides, Henry’s too squeamish for dead people.”

“Thank Christ.”

Jackie downed the last of her cosmo and signaled for another.

“So, what’s he into then?”

Marjory blushed and looked away.

“Statues.”

“Statues?”

“Yeah. You know… Greek statues.”

“Like…the kind in museums. With boobs and missing bits?”

“Yeah. Like those.”

“Huh. That’s interesting.”

“Yeah….”

Marjory had always played it kind of straight. Jackie was the one who’d gotten around. She waited for her sister to say more, but wasn’t surprised when she didn’t.

“So what’s the problem? It could be worse. It could be corpses.”

“Stop with the corpses. This is serious.”

“Okay, okay….”

The bartender set down Jackie’s cosmo. She tossed him a wink for the extra twist.

“So,” she said, toying with the little curl of lemon. “Tell me why it’s serious. Can’t he get it up? Can he only fuck in the Met? Museum fucking is hot….”

“No! I mean, yes. He can get it up. But he really, really wants me to do this thing and I’ve never done anything like it before and I don’t know if it’s normal or not.”

“Sweetie,” Jackie said, “there is not such thing as normal. There’s just stuff you’ve done and stuff you haven’t. So what does he want you to do?”

“He wants me to…you know. Dress up.”

“Like what? A statue?”

“Yeah,” Marjory said, chewing her lip. “Like a statue. He even bought me an urn.”

“Aw! He bought you an urn? That’s super sweet!”

“Yeah, but is it? Sweet, I mean? Isn’t it kind of weird?”

“I don’t know. What does he want you to do with it?”

“Hold it.”

“While he fucks it?”

“No. Just hold it. While I watch.”

“Yeah?” Jackie smiled. It was a smile she knew Marjory hated, but only because she’d never smiled that way herself. “Watch what?”

Marjory leaned in and dropped her voice.

“He wants me to watch him…masturbate.”

Jackie slapped the bar and laughed.

“That’s it? He wants you to hold a vase while he wanks? That’s great! Oh! You know what you should do? You should wear, like, a sheer toga thing and expose one breast. That would be lovely! He’d be so surprised!”

“Jackie, I’m serious!”

“Marjory, so am I! Of all the fetishes in the world, this one is pretty sweet. Random, but sweet. It’s not like he’s asking you to cut off your arms for authenticity. Besides, haven’t you ever watched a guy get off? It’s fucking hot!”

The bartender glanced over and pretended to straighten the cocktail napkins. Jackie pounced.

“Hey! Sexy guy! Am I right? Isn’t being watched by a woman you’re into hot?”

“Uh…yeah. Actually, it is.”

The bartender smiled. Jackie grinned.

“See? It’s hot! And the only other thing he’s asking for is that you hold a thing and stand super still while he does it. My vote is that you go for it. Expand your horizons. Embrace the new.”

“I don’t know….”

“Of course, you don’t. You’ve never tried it. Go on. Be a statue. Live a little.”

“Okay…if that’s what you think.”

“That’s exactly what I think,” Jackie said, scrawling her number on a napkin and sliding it to the bartender. He took it and tucked it into his pocket. “You’ve already got the urn. Now all you need is something sheer.”

“I don’t have something sheer.”

“We’ll go shopping for curtains tomorrow.”

Technicolor Sex

Marilyn Monroe in a read dress against a green floral background for Technicolor Sex by Malin James

Marilyn Monroe, circa 1952. Image courtesy Getty Images.

You know how sometimes, every now and then, sex can light you up? It’s the kind of sex that squeezes your heart and gobbles it whole. Sublime, intense, shattering sex that leaves you wrecked and soaked and scratched and bruised and so happy you could cry?

Yeah. I love sex like that.

I used to associate catastrophically good, mind-altering sex with kink because, when I was younger, the only time I experienced it was in kinky situations. The impact it made on me drove me to experiment with all sorts of sexual deviance, which was great and profound in its own way, but it also kept me from understanding my natural sexual wiring until much later.

Recently, I’ve come around to realizing that, while I am definitely a kinky person, kink isn’t actually what drives my sexuality. Intensity does, and kink is one possible way for me to get a hit of that drug.

Note: When I say “kink”, I’m referring to all of the kinks I enjoy, plus the million other kinks that fall under the term’s umbrella. Unless I specify a particular kink by name, just figure I mean it as a placeholder for anything that falls outside the sexual mainstream, whatever that is….

Some people have a central kink around which other kinks play out, like the sub who loves spanking but isn’t into service. I don’t have a central, identifying kink. I have a spectrum of equally weighted, kinky options. That’s because, for me, the turn-on isn’t the kink itself, but the intensity that comes from engaging it.

I’ve written before about how I don’t identify as a Domme because it comes with a set of expectations that don’t consistently apply. While I enjoy playing that role, I slide in and out of sexual dominance depending on what I’m doing and who I’m with. For me, sexual dominance is an impulse—awesome when it’s instinctive with a partner, but not necessarily something I pursue for its own sake.

Unlike someone whose sexual identity is fairly set, my sexuality is fundamentally intuitive. I’m kind of like a tuning fork—I ring at different frequencies with different lovers because different people tap different aspects of my sexuality. This isn’t to say that I don’t have my own preferences and boundaries. It’s no secret that submission isn’t my thing. Masochism, however, is. I like pain – both dishing it out and taking it – but only if it’s part of my natural dynamic with a partner.

And that’s really the thing for me—my dynamic with my partner. It doesn’t matter if it’s a one-time thing or a long-term relationship, more than anything, I respond to connection – that humming recognition that you both want to fuck. While I really enjoy a lot of different kinks, the intensity I crave has more to do with a feedback loop than with the kink itself, and what creates that delicious feedback loop changes from partner to partner and moment to moment.

So, when I say that my sexuality is intuitive rather than definitive, I really mean that my sexual response cues off a feedback loop. Kink can, and often does, form the basis of that connection, but sometimes it just happens out of the blue. It’s a lot like dancing – you move with each other’s impulses and improvise, so dancing with one partner is nothing like dancing with someone else. I’m hyperaware of my partners’ impulses, and that awareness shapes my response. It creates a sort of bespoke sexual experience, but what fits one partner in one moment, won’t necessarily fit another.

That’s why, while I love rough sex, I’m only going to want it with certain people because it’s not about rough sex, per se. It’s about rough sex with someone I want to have rough sex with. So, as much as I enjoy restraint and watching and being watched and group sex and fucking in places you shouldn’t be fucking, I love vanilla too. For me, it’s not about what we’re doing; it’s about how it feels while we’re doing it.

If I get that intensity through missionary with unbroken eye contact, fine. If I get it through edge play, voyeurism, or trusting a partner enough to push my own boundaries, fine. In the end, it’s all just a gateway to the kind of intensity that makes for the kind of sex that dismantles your brain and turns you into a cock or a cunt and the basic need to fuck.

That isn’t to say that I can’t enjoy kink or have amazing sex without that brain-dismantling intensity because I can and have and will. In the end, I love sex—kinky sex, or sex that’s as vanilla as it gets. The kind of sex that I’m talking about here is just one variation in a million. I just happen to love it because it’s as context dependent as I am.

For me, at its best, sex is a function of impulses and variables and kink is just one of those variables. While I genuinely enjoy kinky, filthy filth, the intensity I want is a product of dynamic and connection, informed by, but not dependent on kink. It’s just as likely to happen with eye contact as it is with anything else.

I like it when sex is the unpredictable product of impulse and instinct. I like it when sex surprises me. Within the boundary of certain hard limits, my sexuality is fluid enough that it doesn’t hold a definitive shape, which means that sex is always something of an adventure. Even if I’ve been with someone for years, something – an emotional quirk, a request, whatever – can hit me in a way I didn’t expect. That sudden change in frequency is the shot of sexual adrenaline that starts the rest of the feedback loop.

It’s like alchemy and it’s different with everyone. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it reminds me what having a body is all about. That’s when you get sex that’s shattering and cathartic; sex that’s so intense and so fucking good you have to check for a heartbeat after. That’s sex in blazing Technicolor. Kink or no kink, I love Technicolor sex.

On Submission, Strong Women & The High Alpha Male

Black and white of a woman wearing black boots and ball and chain by Ellen von Unswerth for On Submission, Strong Women and The High Alpha by Malin James

Ellen von Unwerth, from Revenge

I had a brief conversation the other day that got me thinking. I’m going to paraphrase chunks of the exchange rather than quote directly (because consent), but I’ll stick as close to the original as I ethically can.

So, here’s the opener:

Hi Malin. As a high-alpha male, I appreciate strong women. Dominant women are a rare challenge. I love your work – it gives me a lot of insight into how strong women tick. 

Given my initial response, the smart thing to do would’ve been to ignore it and move on. Unfortunately, those three sentences annoyed the fuck out of me so I responded with this:

A rare challenge…interesting. Care to unpack that?

Here’s his response:

Sure! For alpha males there’s nothing as exciting as an alpha female. Alpha females handle themselves, which is great (and rare with women in my experience, IMHO), but even more exciting is the challenge I mentioned. When a strong woman breaks and submits to you, that’s the biggest high you can get as a Dom. All women, alpha or not, want to submit to a strong man and being the only man that an alpha female submits to is a fucking high.

So…setting my visceral response aside, what he’s essentially talking about is a fetish for strong women. That, in and of itself, isn’t a bad thing. Strong women rock in all kinds of ways because there are all kinds of ways in which women are strong. Where it goes wrong for me is in why he appears to fetishize a particular kind of female strength.

He doesn’t love strong women because he thinks strong women are interesting. He doesn’t love strong women because he wants to submit to a worthy Domme. He doesn’t even love strong women because he thinks an alpha female is the only kind of woman who can match his “high alpha” self. He loves strong women because they’re a challenge.

Let me rephrase that. He loves strong women because making a strong woman “break and submit” to him is a challenge.

The attraction isn’t in the woman. It’s in a narcissistic fetish for a certain kind of power. He wants to be the very special, uber-alpha male who breaks an unbreakable woman and makes her submit. He’s not fetishizing her strength, he’s fetishizing the idea of being the only one who can strip her of it.

Needless to say, I’ve got a few issues with this. The first is that it devalues the actual submission of actual female subs (many of whom are fucking bad-asses). The second is that it makes the “strong woman” in question a challenge (ie: a thing to surmount) rather than a person, and any view that reflexively turns a person into something other than a person is pretty much a no-go for me. The third is that this appreciation for strong women is entirely ego driven. Here’s what I mean….

If you work from the stated assumption that “all women, alpha or not, want to submit to a strong man” (*eye roll*), you get the implication underlying the attraction –  that any guy can make a submissive woman submit because women are, by nature, submissive. It takes a “high alpha male” to break the “rare” dominant woman.

That particular appreciation for female strength has nothing to do with respect or actual, you know, appreciation. It’s a purely reflective thing – the value of her strength is in how brightly it highlights his.

Full disclosure: I have a button here. Though I’m not a Domme, I am naturally dominant with a wide streak of  don’t-tell-me-what-to-fucking-do. I’ve written about how my natural dominance attracted an ex who was, to put it bluntly, a diagnosed sociopath who loved me best when I was needy (“but only for him”) and who wanted to “crush me and break me and make me his”. (Direct quote. Fuck it).

That’s not to say that this gentleman is a sociopath. To be honest, I don’t think he really understood what he was saying. It just rubbed my fur backwards and, once I got over my initial annoyance, I didn’t like how it unpacked.

Essentially, this kind of attraction turns a very specific form of female strength into fetishized commodity while dismissing all the other ways in which women are strong. In other words, it turns female dominance into a kind of drug that makes a certain kind of man feel special. It has nothing to do with the woman or her dynamic with that man. It has to do with the ego boost that comes from fucking her in a particular way.

It also turns the “rare” alpha-female one of two things:

  1. a disposable experience, or
  2. a possession to groom and keep.

Either way, it’s no good. Every woman does not crave submission, and those that do should have autonomy within their submission. Anything else falls back on a cultural mode that normalized a husband’s right to spank his wife for failing to make the perfect pot roast.

In the end, there’s a fundamental difference between spanking Lara Croft and spanking Lara Croft’s alpha female glory to the breaking point. The spanking isn’t the issue – it’s the motives behind it that makes the difference between awesome and toxic. If a dominant woman (or man) trusts you enough to submit to you, even if only for a night, that should speak to the connection and trust between you, not to your prowess as an alpha.

Fetishize power in a partner. Revel in it. Love strong women. Love strong men. Just don’t turn whatever happens into proof of your Domminess. Don’t fetishize the ego boost that comes with “breaking” someone you perceive to be strong. Sex and submission aren’t about how alpha you are. They’re about feeding off each other’s strengths – that’s the real fucking high.

NB: I realized after I posted this that I should clarify some terminology as usage in that conversation got fairly muddy.

“Alpha male” and “alpha female” don’t equate to Dom and Domme (or sadist or top). All alpha means it that someone has what might be called a dominant personality. Some alphas have personalities that are more dominant than others, as do some betas, etc. All dominant people are not alpha, nor are all alphas dominant.

Alpha, dominant and Dom are often equated in casual conversation, which is fine insofar as it goes. It’s just important to acknowledge that a person’s alignment in social hierarchies may differ than their (natural or chosen) position in sexual power dynamics.

As for the term “strong women”, it most definitely does not apply exclusively to dominant women or alpha females. Some of the strongest women I know are subs. Sexual wiring has little, if any, bearing on a woman’s integrity, resilience or strength.

Erotic Fiction: Slow Burn

“Come closer.”

I lie back on your bed, curled up in the nest of your rumpled, blue duvet.

I’m naked. I love being naked with you, in your bed, where my body feels soft and silky, like a celluloid princess in a silent film. But I’m not a princess. Nor am I silent…not that I can’t be quiet as a mouse. I just don’t want to be. Silent. There is too much joy in your weight between my legs; and in the way my body feels fitted into yours.

You come closer to the edge of the bed. There isn’t much room, but now you’re squarely in front of the window, which is where I want you to be.

“Strip for me.”

You flush. You’re still cold from your run to the store. I imagine dark heat spreading through your cells, and seeping into your skin. We’ve done this before—the stripping. But your sloping shoulders seem bashful. So does the curl of your hand, as if you’re surprised that I want this from you…. But you do strip, meeting my eyes the whole time once your shirt is off.

“Slower,” I say.

I’m teasing you now and you know it. You’re already going slow. But you comply and go slower as your lips pull up to one side. You’re going to tease me back. You slow down even more. But I love it. I love the frustration and the time it gives me to watch your body move. And all the while, your eyes stay on mine, focused, very precisely, on me, and on us, and on the game we’re playing now.

You’re already hard when you take your pants off. I knew you would be—we’ve been playing all day and you’ve already fucked me twice. Once, slow and sweet, like spoons in a drawer with your arms wrapped around me and my hands clutched in yours. The second was  hard and fast, up against the counter after breakfast and tea. I was still soaking wet after the first time. I’m soaking wet right now.

Being around you makes me wet—your quick solidity; how small and strong you make me feel; your scent; our skin. I love the way we fuck. I love the noises you make when you come. I love the noises you make when you don’t. Since we woke up, I’ve come, in great, hazy waves, more times than I can count. You have not. You haven’t come at all because we’re playing a game and you won’t until I say.

I open my legs, half snuggled into your bed. My cunt feels soft and warm when I slip my fingers in. You watch me. You know what we’re doing. I don’t have to say. But you wait for me anyway.

“Lick your palm and stroke your cock.”

You do, eyes still on mine. My fingers slide over my cunt without my having to try. My body wants to be filled. It’s sucking at my fingers as I drag them out and push them slowly in.

My legs drop open even more. You pause and take a step.

“No,” I say. “Don’t touch me. Slide your hand up and down your beautiful, fucking cock and think about how good it would feel to be fucking me instead.”

I think about us when I get myself off. I think about us so often that it’s natural, even now, despite the fact that you’re less than a foot away. And all the while, your eyes are on mine. Your eyes bring me closer in ways that my hand alone never does….

I lie back and arch my hips, bringing my cunt up to your cock, as close as I can without blocking our hands. I want to keep the hard, thick pull of wanting you this bad. But I come, and I cry out as I do, a guttural, not-beautiful sound. And then I come again.

You’re sweating and your face is flushed, not cold anymore; I smile up at you and you smiled down at me. We are co-conspirators. You know what we’re doing. I don’t have to say. But you wait for me all the same.

“Don’t you fucking come.”

It’s a slow, slow burn.

Thank you to Exhibit A for the use of the words-fail-me, (very) inspirational image.

And if you haven’t read Exhibit A’s work, you should. The man is much more than just a pretty…em…face. He’s brilliant and his erotic fiction and sex writing are some of the best I know. Find more of him here.

Guys & the Girls Who Want to Watch: On Homoeroticism

A black and white photograph of two men embracing for Two Guys and the Girl Who Wants to Watch: On Homoeroticism by Malin James

Erotic postcard by Jim French

Roughly two years ago, I wrote a post asking this question:

What is it about two men having sex that turns so many women on?

That post got a lot of generous responses from men and women all over the sexual spectrum, including Exhibit A (though I had no idea at the time it would begin much more than a correspondence). His response, in particular, stood out because it underscored something I’d been suspecting – that the appeal of homoeroticism is, perhaps, even more common (and complicated) than I’d originally assumed. So I set the question aside to think about it.

Two years later….

I’m finally writing the follow-up thanks, once again, to Exhibit A, who retweeted the original post last month. While I’m usually a bit sheepish about letting a topic drop, I’m glad of it in this case. After two years, my thoughts on this issue have matured in ways that I couldn’t have anticipated when I first posed the question.

The biggest adjustment in my thinking was my realization that, while m/m sex clearly appeals to a lot of women, it also appeals to a lot of men who identify as flexibly straight (as opposed to bi). This realization made me curious about how it appeals across gender divides and sexual identities. But first, I want to address the question I originally posted two years ago. Why do women think m/m sex is hot?

As with so many things, the appeal of homoeroticism is intensely subjective, so there is no one answer, but I was able to slot the responses I got into three general categories:

  • Homoeroticism appeals because I like good looking men, so the more the better. 
    • Pretty self-explanatory.
  • Homoeroticism appeals because it gives me access to something I otherwise don’t have access to.
    • Not surprising given our cultural attraction to voyeurism, taboo or potentially transgressive sex; and our obsession with the mutual incomprehensibility of the opposite sex.
  • Homoeroticism appeals because it subverts a dominant paradigm.
    • Also pretty self-explanatory, but worth breaking down a bit.

That third category refers to the fact that, in mainstream porn and media, the traditional understanding is that there’s a power imbalance between men and women when it comes to sex. While this paradigm is shifting thanks to shows like Jessica Jones, Masters if Sex and American Horror Story: Coven, it’s been a standard for so long that this power imbalance is a cultural assumption for a lot of people. This leads to the common perception that men are sexually dominant (ie: guarded or inaccessible) while women are open, emotional and vulnerable.

The m/m fantasy subverts this expectation thanks to a different cultural assumption—one that presumes that two guys will avoid this paradigm more naturally than a straight pairing. Of course, this is ridiculous because sexual dominance and submission are about interpersonal dynamics and not about gender, (which is why M/m pairings are so hot). Regardless, a lot of women admit to being turned on by m/m sex because they assume the men involved to be enjoying a level playing field – both actors are sexually assertive while remaining emotional vulnerability.

This idealization of male sexual agency tends to lead to romanticized readings of m/m dynamics. I’ve read more than one study in which women thought m/m sex was because the guys were “equal” “open” “real” and “vulnerable” in a way that they hadn’t witnessed before.

Of course, we’re talking about fiction in most of these cases—specifically porn. The popularity of m/m pairings in slash, porn and erotica reflects a certain kind of female fantasy—one that subverts dominant paradigms and gives the illusion of emotional access to men in sexual contexts. And it does all this by appropriating a somewhat romanticized version of what people imagine happening when two guys fuck.

Sidebar

This form of appropriation is important but it’s also complicated enough that it requires its own post, so I’m going to leave it there for now and come back to it later. (Hopefully in less than two years).

End Sidebar

While the fictional portrayal of m/m sexual dynamics appeals on one level, the reality of gay sex appeals on another. So, while some women (and men) fantasize about general aspects m/m sex, others engage it more specifically. In otherwords, some women want to watch their man fuck and / or get fucked by another guy; and some guys want the same thing.

I can only speak for myself when I say this, but my desire to watch my partner with another man has nothing to do with the romanticization of m/m sexual dynamics, and everything to do with our relationship and all of the complicated, nuanced reasons that make it something we both think is super hot.

Which brings me to the selective appeal of homoeroticism across genders.

Awhile ago, I wrote a story called “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” about a woman who gives her boyfriend an m/m encounter for Christmas. It plays to a lot of my own kinks—voyeurism, dominance and, yes, homoeroticism—so I was really happy when women and men seemed to like it though they seemed to like it for different reasons.

Women liked it because the idea of watching their man with another guy is goddamn hot (because it is). Men seemed to like the wish-fulfillment aspect or it. The male protagonist wants to suck cock and get fucked, and his girlfriend makes it happen. It’s a portrait of the gray area between gay and straight, set against the backdrop of a loving, if unconventional, relationship.

That gray area is where homoeroticism appeals to me.

Don’t get me wrong – homoeroticism is hot for a lot of reasons, and it can subvert dominant paradigms. But that’s not why I love it. I love it because it breaks a barrier—one that often sits between a man and a woman, as well as between two men.

Unless you bury the needle at either 0 (exclusively straight) or 6 (exclusively gay) on the Kinsey scale, sexuality is more fluid than we tend to realize. The sexual behaviors sanctioned by mainstream society don’t always allow for safe experimentation within the gray areas. Homoeroticism, whether engaged as fantasy or more directly, is one way of experiencing a fuller range of sexual possibilities than might otherwise be available to strictly heterosexual pairings. What’s more, it makes those possibilities available in a relatively unthreatening way.

Homoeroticism is a way of romancing “the other”, whether “the other” is a partner of the same (or opposite) sex, or some unexplored facet of yourself. Ultimately, humans crave understanding and connection. We’re curious. We want to know and touch. A fascination with homoeroticism is one way we can taste things we don’t normally find on our plates.

Woman in Repose

Woman with arched back lying on a dark bed

Woman in Repose by Steve Harris

The past few months have been challenging. A series of difficult things destabilized what had been a very stable foundation. It was a bit like playing Jenga. Each thing that happened removed a pin from my tower, until I was leaning and listing everywhere – nowhere near falling, but structurally unsound.

As a result, it’s  fair to say that I haven’t been myself. The people in my life have had to deal with me being unusually emotional and term bound while I struggled with a limited sense of perspective. I’ve been anxious, reactionary and far more taxed (and taxing) than I ever want to be. It’s a state of mind that made me want to unzip my skin and divorce my body from my brain until I got a handle on things. And that’s essentially, what I did. The result was a general disinterest in sex and, to a greater degree, D/s.

There are labels I use for myself, and others that I don’t even though they could superficially apply. The primary example of this is “Domme”. I never refer to myself as a Domme even though I am sexually dominant. (To be honest, I’m dominant in general though I try to keep that checked. I’d rather be accessible than in control…unless there’s a reason to be in control).

I make the distinction between dominant and Domme because, while I enjoy playing with power, I can just as easily not and be very satisfied. The label “Domme” comes with implications that I feel don’t quite apply because my dominance isn’t formalized, nor do I want it to be. My recent situational reticence with D/s underscored that distinction for me in a very concrete way.

Side note: Drawing this distinction deserves its own post, so forgive the broad brush I’m using now.

While I love playing games, I’m equally happy to meet my partners without a power dynamic in play. What keeps me from being even remotely switchy is the fact that I won’t submit sexually to anyone. Ever. My aversion to sexual submission is serious enough that I couldn’t do it for love or money. There are reasons for this, but I’m going to save those for a separate post.

I’d be lying if I said that I don’t enjoy gentle cruelties or imposing my will on consenting partners. I’d be lying if I said that there isn’t a carnivorous part of me that gets off on taking control. But I’d also be lying if I said that that particular kind of assertion is an integral part of who I am. It’s something that I do, not something that I am (unlike my resistance to submission, which is a fundamental part of my personality). That’s why I love sex with an equally dominant partner just as much (and often even more) as D/s play. 

The result of dealing with what I’ve been dealing with is that I haven’t really wanted to play in a D/s sense. I haven’t wanted to control, create or weave scenarios. So much of my energy was going to keeping myself under control, that the idea of taking external control in a play context was exhausting. Unfortunately, I didn’t consciously realize any of this at the time, though I wish I had. I was pushing myself in ways that I shouldn’t have.

In hindsight, I can see that what I needed was something else – good sex, balanced dynamics and, perhaps most lowering, a sense of safety so that I could get out of my head and back into my body. I’ve been sexually reticent and, though not passive (because I’m almost never passive), I’ve definitely been more cautious and reserved – what a friend of mine would call a woman in repose.

While I was in London, Exhibit A and I went for a short run. Afterwards we talked about how, after you’ve been injured, you tend to go more carefully and not push yourself as hard. It’s an understandable thing but, at a certain point, that self-protective instinct can get in your way. Then again, sometimes it’s what you need, even if only for a short time…the hope is always that you’ll return to running at speed.

To circle back to where I started, certain facets of my sexuality and personality have been feeling fairly injured of late – facets that are tied to my relationship with sexual dominance. In a sense, I needed to rest those muscles – the ones I use in D/s – because D/s is not my home base. Sex is. I needed to get re-grounded in sex while those other parts of me rested. I needed to feel, not think or plan. I needed to be spontaneous and basic, so I didn’t go out on available limbs or explore interesting possibilities. I played it safe because, as with running after an injury, I needed to respect my boundaries and get the lay of my land again.

I didn’t realize it until I wrote this, but sex was, and is, the key to that for me. Good, connected, uninhibited, back-to-basics sex with someone I trust.  And now, on the tail end of what turned out to be a pretty difficult patch, I’m happy to say that I’m in better shape than I thought I was. The muscles that needed resting are stretching and waking up. I’m feeling like myself again, and it feels awfully good. I really am happiest on my feet.

Guest Post: An Evening with Alex & Em

Back in February, I had a birthday. As a present, Exhibit A wrote me a guest post called “Strong Foundations”, one of the sexiest birthday presents anyone could wish for. He tailored it to my kinks and tastes, so what I ended up with was a piece of erotica specifically designed to turn me on. I am happy to report that it did (and continues to do) its job very well.

In fact, it was such a fantastic birthday present, that when Exhibit A turned 34 a few weeks ago, I decided to return the favor. The story I wrote for him is called “An Evening with Alex and Em” and it’s a saucy little mash-up of a few of his many and varied sexual interests – Femdom and CFNM, with a little voyeurism and exhibitionism thrown in for good measure.

When he asked me if I’d mind if he put it up on his blog, I very demurely acceded (meaning I said yes without even pretending to hesitate). In fact, it’s up on his site as a guest post right now. You can read it by clicking here.

And if you haven’t already, check out “Strong Foundations” too. It’s a hell of a hot story, and it inspired “An Evening with Alex and Em”, a story that was a hell of a lot of fun to write.

Kinky People Sex

Art by Franz von Bayros

Art by Franz von Bayros

I’ve been thinking about labels recently. It started with the resurgence of the erotica vs. porn debate (which Tabitha Rayne addressed beautifully in this post) but quickly spun out to include people, sexuality, kink and the labels we use to describe ourselves.

I’ve written about my own system of genre classification and many others have addressed the question from different angles since. But when the issue was brought up again, I was struck by just how subjective labels like “erotica” and “porn” are. Yes, there are standards most people agree on – erotica has a narrative focus while porn is primarily concerned with sex – but beyond that there’s a lot of grey area defined mostly by an individual’s impression of a work.

I’m not saying that literature and genre defy definition (I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a post-modernist). What I am saying is that regardless of what label we place on a thing, that thing’s identity (or classification) will likely retain some level of fluidity. Anais Nin called a great chunk of her work pornography, while today we consider her catalog one of the foundations of modern literary erotica. A group of Christian moms considered this fondant teddy bear’s seam to be an overly sexual image. I can’t say I agree. The point is that a thing can shift labels depending on who is viewing it.

Which brings me to my actual topic. Labels and people. People use labels as a short-hand for larger, more nuanced identities – are you one of us, or are you “other”? In this way, labels can be incredibly useful. But if you become unquestioningly wedded to your label it can box you in, because labels can’t always keep up with the fluidity of a person’s experiences.

If you’re primarily straight but have slept with someone of the same sex, does that make you bi? If you’re primarily dominant but sometimes like to sub, are you a switch? If your experiences or beliefs are non-binary, then labels may fit accurately, but if you inhabit an ideological or sexual grey area, it often becomes a curiosity when you deviate from the behaviors your label dictates.

Kink is a great example of this. Kinky people are generally thought to be those whose interests fall outside the sexual norm (whatever the “norm” is). I’ve identified as kinky since my early twenties when I realized that threesomes (and foursomes) were a thing. Adopting that label was liberating at the time. As a result, for much of my twenties, I allowed the “kinky” label to direct my sexual interests. I played in ways that I might not have otherwise done and, for the most part, I loved it. I also enjoyed a ton of sex that I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed if I hadn’t also adopted the label of slut. But I also remember feeling that my occasional desire for straightforward, vanilla sex didn’t adhere to my label(s), so I often went without the no-frills missionary I also craved.

At that point in my life, I thought that kinky people were supposed to have kinky sex all the time, which isn’t necessarily true. For many people, kink defines their sexualities in a very whole and satisfying way. But for others, like me, identifying as any one thing excludes five other labels that I could just as easily adopt. It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I made up my own label – sexually omnivorous. I want a helping of everything and always have. Or, to put it another way, I have a very fluid relationship to my sexuality and kinks.

Now, just so you know where I’m coming from, I’ll toss out a few of the labels that I do feel comfortable claiming:

Bisexual

Non-monogamous

Voyeuristic (with an exhibitionist streak)

Dominant (though not a Domme. I’m more of an alpha who likes D/s. Domme implies things I don’t want to claim.)

I also like rough sex and boundary pushing. I like feeling vaguely uncomfortable and I like it when my partner feels vaguely uncomfortable too (within the bounds of consent). More than anything, I love intensity. If a sexual experience serves up intensity, odds are I’ll be interested. It doesn’t matter if the intensity is emotional or physical. Even better if it’s both.

That said, I also love vanilla sex (which can also be emotionally and physically intense). I love missionary. I love waking up, having slow, drowsy sex and then going back to sleep. I love catching a quickie before running out for drinks. I love oral – both giving and getting. I love Sunday mornings in bed. I love entire week-ends spent doing nothing but straight up fucking – no games, no trappings, just hungry-for-more fucking. I even love making love with the right person.

So, do my more conventional tastes cancel out the kinks? I don’t feel they do – I think my sexuality covers a lot of ground and that exercising all aspects of it gives me pleasure. I’m hardly going to lock down the snuggly-missionary-loving part of me in the name of kink, any more than I’d give up D/s play because it doesn’t fit conventional sexual tastes. What I want has everything to do with who I’m with and what we need at the time. Sometimes, it’s rough. Sometimes it’s sweet. Unlike my young self, I’m not interested in missing out on either.

So, to bring it back around. If a person dedicates themselves to writing “porn” that’s great. If they claim the label of “erotica” (or “erotic romance” or “smut”) for their work, that’s great too. The danger is in becoming overly committed to a label – whether it’s porn, romance, kinky, straight, feminist, Christian, atheist or anything else. My concern is that, when a label becomes an ideology, it can curtail the intellectual, creative and sexual fluidity that makes you an individual, rather than a component of a larger, homogenous group (kinky people sex aside); or, in the case of erotic fiction, it can needlessly limit your work in a falsely simplified genre.

Strong Foundations (Guest Post by Exhibit A)

I got a lovely birthday surprise today – a guest post from Exhibit A. He wrote an excellent introduction to this story, which is up right now on his blog. I really encourage you to check it out, as he talks about what went into creating a story out of this particular scenario.  

As for me, my capacity for critical thought is a little challenged right now – “Strong Foundations” is, quite literally, exactly the kind of story that turns me on most. It’s fantastically fucking hot, and  full of the sort of tension and boundary pushing that can only happen when two people trust each other implicitly.  It’s a brilliant story from by a brilliant writer. I hope you enjoy! xx.M

NB: Exhibit A just put up a supplement to the story on his blog. It’s got some additional (hot) background on the writing of it, as well as a very illustrative visual aid. Have a look…

Strong Foundations

by

Exhibit A

“Here – you look stressed.”

I turned away from my laptop just in time to see Ally put a fresh cup of tea down on the kitchen table next to me.

“I can’t fucking concentrate with all that banging going on downstairs. Do they have to be so loud?”

“Honey, they’re ripping out the whole shower unit. I’m not sure what made you think that would be a silent process.”

I glared back at Ally, but only because I knew she was right. Arranging to work from home on the day the builders came had not been one of my smarter moves. My desk sat flush against the bathroom wall, and vibrated each time hammer struck chisel next door; moving upstairs to the kitchen had helped a bit, but in our cosy maisonette apartment there was really no escape from the repetitive thud, and the sound of tiles clattering down onto the floor.

“I know, I should have gone to the office. I’m an idiot.”

Ally pressed her fingers into my shoulders, easing out the tension. I leaned back into her as she bent down and brushed her lips against my ear.

“Mm, you really should have done. I’d have had far more fun with those two if you weren’t here.”

I pulled her round onto my lap and she squealed with laughter.

“Oh really? And what exactly do you mean by that?”

“Well…they’re not exactly painful to look at, are they? And such strong young men. I bet they have plenty of energy. Yum.”

I rolled my eyes. Ally’s nipples were hard against her tank top, inviting attention, but when I moved my hand toward her breasts, she slapped it away.

“Do you think they’d enjoy seeing me like this if I took them tea right now? That one in the khaki overalls, I know he definitely liked what he saw when I went down there earlier. I bet he’d love to know what the thought of his bulge was doing to my nipples.”

Ally squirmed in my lap, and I felt her grind down onto my cock. I willed it to stop twitching, to stay soft and unresponsive, but she knew my body too well; her grin was triumphant and smug as it started to swell beneath her.

“Oh, don’t worry, I know that you would like that. In fact, maybe I should leave you up here with your work and go see how hard their dicks get when I sit on their laps. What do you reckon? It’s not as if these shorts leave much to the imagination.”

I paused, weighing up my response. Ally smirked down at me.

“Maybe you’d prefer to hear them hammering away at my cunt instead of the bathroom wall. Making me scream. Is that it? Would you find it easier to concentrate on your laptop then?”

I could feel the skin at the base of her spine getting warmer with every word. It was one of her favourite games, and she played it with merciless proficiency. If I hadn’t already hated the builders for their intrusion into my working day, the lust that practically dripped from her tongue would have left me wound tight with rage at how wet she was for them; and for how she held that arousal just out of my reach, teasing me with it.

What we both knew all too well was that the anger only turned her on more, so it was no surprise when she swung one leg over me and hopped up onto the table, her feet kicking together as she contemplated her next move. I saw it spread across her face well before it reached her pursed lips, but that did nothing to deaden the impact.

“Ok, get up. We’re going to have a bit of fun here.”

I levered myself out of the chair and shuffled across the wooden floor. She slid into the space I’d vacated and leaned back, arms crossed behind her head. My shoulders tensed at the sight of her body stretched out like that, lithe and feline. In contrast, mine felt clumsy and awkward, weighed down by the dense, thrumming desire that only her piercing gaze could awaken in me.

“Strip for me. Slowly. Jeans first.”

I tugged at my belt, my fingers cold and shaky without the reassuring warmth of her body curled in my lap. Downstairs, the hammering stopped and I tensed, a nervous response I inwardly cursed as she raised a questioning eyebrow.

“Sorry, I just…well, what if one of them comes up?”

“Huh. What indeed?”

“Are you kidding, Ally? They can’t see me like this, ok?”

“Then why are you getting hard? And don’t deny it! I can see you straining against the fly. Are you worried they’ll see you? No, that’s not it: ah, you’re worried they’ll think you’re small!”

“I…”

“Because I saw the way they filled out their overalls. Fuck, there’s no comparison. Those boys are packing, and you…ha! I mean…well, we can’t all be superstars, can we?”

I flushed, a deep, angry red that I felt warm my chest and set my stomach on spin cycle. The heat spread lower though, and I gritted my teeth against it, trying to stop my body betraying me, even as I shimmied out of my jeans and presented myself to her.

She looked me up and down with a careful, studied gaze. I felt shy, coltish and awkward; undone by her forensic attention. I trusted Ally to push my buttons in a way that worked within the context of our relationship, but the sudden charge to the atmosphere between us indicated that we were both moving into new territory.

The hair on my legs shivered in the cold of the open, airy kitchen. I lifted my striped, long-sleeved t-shirt up over my stomach, and extended my arms towards the ceiling, stopping only when her voice cut through the silence.

“Did I tell you to take that off? Boxers first. I want to see how much you want this.”

I untangled my arms and let them hang limp by my side. Casting a final anxious glance at the stairs, I slowly peeled the tight boxer-briefs down over my cock, and let them join my jeans in a puddle on the floor.

Ally leaned forward and watched intently, fingers tapping against her thigh as I stood exposed in front of her.

“I really should take them tea, you know. They’re working ever so hard. Put the kettle on.”

My mouth hung open, but no sound came out. We stared at each other like poker players; it only took me a few seconds to realise that Ally wasn’t going to blink first. She held my gaze, then pulled my eyes over to the worktop where the kettle rested. The nod was subtle enough that I almost missed it; firm enough that my feet had already started to move across the floor by the time my brain processed her message.

I flicked the switch and stepped back again, shocked by how eager my body was to submit. Ally laughed, rich and warm, the way she did whenever I was stiff with her friends or slow to warm up on a night out.

“God, I’ve never seen your cheeks that colour. They’re almost as dark as the head of your cock. Speaking of which…”

Ally closed the gap between us with the sort of balletic grace that only further exposed the way she’d reduced me to slow motion, my body stuck in quicksand as hers took flight. She tapped her hand against my chest and held me in place, just far enough away that my cock could only graze the soft cotton of her white top.

“Mm, not quite dear.”

I felt my arse clench in frustration. Biting back every swear word that threatened to pour out of my mouth, I presented myself to her, wondering for the first time just what the two builders might have that I didn’t.

I watched Ally press the pad of her thumb against the tip of my cock, and slide her index finger down the shaft till it nestled snug against my pelvis. She jerked back as I twitched against her, and lifted her measurement in front of my face; I frowned, and wrinkled my nose in disbelief, but she refused to widen the space between her digits.

“Heh. You wish.”

The kettle boiled, but neither of us moved. Slowly, Ally lowered her hand and curled it around my cock, her fingers silken and warm. I longed to feel her mouth as well; she gave head with great enthusiasm, her tongue as skilful at working me into a frenzy as it was at taunting and teasing me. Instead, she caressed the shaft with quick, light touches, just enough to keep me achingly hard, but well short of what she knew I really wanted.

I dreaded the sound of footsteps on the stairs, but Ally showed no sign of putting me out of my misery. She scraped one nail over the head of my cock and pushed the pad of her finger against the slit, almost as if she was telling it to stay quiet.

“You…you clearly want me to make you come. But what you want isn’t really important right now. What I want is for you to be a good boy and make the tea. Think you can manage that?”

She stepped to one side and ushered me to the worktop. I dropped a teabag into each of the mugs laid out on the side, and poured hot water over them. When I wheeled around to fetch the milk out of the fridge, my cock bounced in front of me, and Ally gave it a playful tap as I moved past her.

“You’re not going to make me take these downstairs, are you?”

“And deny myself the chance to have another perv? Not fucking likely. Besides, while I’m sure you’d enjoy walking down there like that, I don’t think they’d be quite as impressed.”

Nodding meekly, I picked up the mugs and tried to hand them to Ally. She put a hand on my arm and steered it back to the worktop.

“Uh uh, don’t be so eager. There’s something else you need to help me with first. Unzip my shorts, please.”

“What? Why?”

“I stood at the end of our bed this morning and put this underwear on especially for you – you didn’t even notice it. Perhaps the two chaps downstairs will be more appreciative.”

I felt the disconnect between my brain and my body growing. The shame I felt at the thought of her parading in front of them only seemed to make my fingers work faster, helping her to push the waistband over her hips, and exposing the sea green lace beneath. They were her favourites, and I stopped to admire the way they clung to her arse, accentuating her curves and leaving just enough to the imagination.

I knelt to untangle the shorts from her feet, and she put her hand on the top of my head, using me to balance at the same time as she held me in place. She ruffled my hair and slid her fingers through it, letting them come to rest on the back of my neck.

“Kiss me. You know where.”

My lips were dry, but I let Ally ease them towards her crotch. I could smell her arousal well before the soft material made contact with my skin, but it still took me by surprise to feel how wet she was. I kissed her cunt through the knickers, and she moaned, a sound that never failed to make my cock tingle in response.

“Can I lick you? God, you smell amazing.”

“No. Not yet. You have to wait. For that. For me. For everything.”

“But I…”

“No, let me finish. You’re going to wait here for me, on your knees. Don’t get up. Don’t cover yourself. Just stay right here, with your dick hard between your legs and think about them looking at me. Think about those fucking delicious bulges in their overalls getting bigger and bigger as they stare at my arse in these tiny knickers. As they imagine groping my tits and filling my wet cunt with their fat cocks. Then maybe – just maybe – you’ll actually notice the next time I make an effort to look nice for you. If there is a next time.”

I sank back as she turned to pick up the two mugs, my arse resting on my heels. The blood rushed to my head and I barely heard her cross the kitchen floor toward the stairs. Her footsteps were light; where the wood creaked under my weight, she seemed to dance over it, and I knew the builders wouldn’t hear her coming. They wouldn’t know she was there till…God, even just thinking about it!

The hammering stopped and I closed my eyes, listening intently. A million thoughts raced through my head. I hated every single one, but each got me harder than the last. Her laughter floated up the stairs, followed by the low murmur of voices. It was maddening to hear them talking, without being able to make out the words.

A second laugh joined hers. Rough and dirty, a bark next to Ally’s musical lilt. Fuck, what did she say? I imagined her telling them what she’d done to me. Holding her thumb and forefinger up for them, even closer together this time to emphasise her point. My cheeks burned, but my cock refused to stop responding to the torment my brain was determined to inflict.

I didn’t think anything could be worse than the laughter – right up until the moment it stopped. The voices fell silent and I strained to hear what was going on. I thought about her fingers skimming the front of their overalls. Reaching inside. Their big hands pulling down her tank top, under her breasts. Cupping them. Pinching and teasing her nipples.

The click of a latch almost brought me to my feet. It could only be our bedroom door! She wouldn’t, would she? I fought to remain calm, my fists balling again and again by my side. One minute passed. Two minutes. Three. I tried to empty my mind, but the images wouldn’t stop scrolling across it. Ally on her knees in front of them. Ally bent over our bed, twisting the sheet between her fingers. Ally’s eyes scrunched shut, her mouth open wide in a soundless scream of ecstasy.

My knees ached. My thighs and back were rigid with tension, but still I didn’t move. Then, like a car radio bursting back into life as it exits a tunnel, the voices picked up again. Hers quickly left the other two behind, getting louder and more distinct as theirs tailed off.

“…oh yes…definitely…ha, the pleasure was all mine…”

Ally’s head came into view first, the rest following swiftly as she hopped up the stairs. I waited, unable to meet her eyes with mine. She walked over to the table and leaned against it, her feet crossed. Without speaking, she peeled off her knickers and spread her legs a shoulder-width apart. Tossing the discarded underwear in front of me, she cleared her throat and spoke, her voice softer than it had been earlier.

“Taste them. Taste how wet I am.”

I reached for the knickers and pressed them against my face, afraid all of a sudden. Afraid that I’d taste not just her arousal but theirs too. Her lips quirked up.

“Don’t worry sailor. There’s only one cock I want inside me right now. I’m so fucking horny, and I need you to take care of that. Think you’re up to the job?”

I scrambled to my feet. I no longer cared who might hear us, or who might see my dick as it pulsed with desire. Ally turned and bent over the table. She was soaking, her thighs sticky and hot, and her cunt wetter than I’d ever felt it before. I thrust inside her, as deep as I could; she shuddered around me, her whole body vibrating against the wooden surface.

“Jesus. I’m not going to last long. Harder – fuck me harder.”

I did as I was told, pouring myself into her with a fury and hunger that shocked me even as I let it flow out of my body. I came in seconds and Ally followed me over the edge, her cunt squeezing me in desperation.

She slumped down underneath me. I rested my forehead between her shoulders, feeling our sweat mix together. Her hand found mine, and she gave it a tired shake. I looked up in time to see her lift the index finger on her other hand. The one holding onto mine disengaged and move back up to the table. With a theatrical flourish, she extended a second index finger, lined the two of them up alongside each other, and slowly moved them apart.

Four inches. Five. Six. Still going. Still…

The smile on her face as she turned to look at my reaction was more wicked than happy.

“What the…”

“I do like men who travel with their own tape measures. Don’t you?”

Jade & Malin Talk 50 Shades

Jade & Malin, minutes from embarking on the FSoG experience.

Jade & Malin, minutes from embarking on the FSoG experience.

Hello everyone! I’ve got a bit of a departure for you today. Over the week-end my lovely partner in crime and platonic valentine, Jade A. Waters, and I saw The Movie. We got to talking about it over lunch, (of course), and decided that, in the face of so many proper reviews and opinions, we’d skip writing anything truly critical and record an off-the-cuff conversation instead. We meandered, we drifted, we laughed a lot, (we might have even snorted). Most of all, we had a lot of fun making this recording. A few notes before you press play:

1. We went into this with a particular context in mind – that FSoG is a formula romance, and the kink / BDSM elements were going to be geared for a primarily vanilla, mainstream audience. Also, R rating.

2. We tried to consider it through the lens of the audience it’s intended for, (rather than our own erotica writer / kinky person perspective)

3. The most pornographic moment in this film was the opening credits with Christian Grey’s wardrobe. See #1 on context and rating.

4. We get kind of loud at points so apologies if we laugh you out of your earbuds.

5. There are outtakes at the end! Listen on through if you can!

And now, without further ado, Jade and I talk 50 Shades. Thanks for joining us – we hope you enjoy the conversation at least half as much as we did.

xx.M