By J.S Wayne
*Cue tranquil music*
When I hear the word “cartoon,” it takes my back to my misspent childhood of He-Man, Transformers, and GI Joe, and the associated toys and action figures. I think about the cumulative years of imagination that contaminated me to the point where I’m wholly unsuitable for a 9-5 desk jockey’s job and that helped create a neophyte writer STOP THE MUSIC!!!
The first inkling the American mainstream had that cartoons were not solely the province of children and emotionally-stunted adults was the wildly imaginative animated movie Heavy Metal. Featuring a hard-driving metal soundtrack and incorporating nearly every genre from sci-fi horror to erotica to fantasy, Heavy Metal was a wake-up call for a generation. I remember it because it was the first cartoon I ever saw featuring exposed breasts and nipples, which as a healthy nine-year-old male made it a REALLY BIG DEAL to me. (Yeah, the caps are intentional: I’m amazed my palms aren’t furry because of the chick with the white hair.)
The way the women were dressed, in a whole lot of not much mostly consisting of a complicated series of straps that barely covered the essentials, was echoed in most of the comic books I started reading around the same time. The women either wore form-fitting bodysuits that in the real world would be so snug you could see their labia or a few wisps of leather or latex not a great deal more modest than the gauzy material that some jurisdictions require exotic dancers to wear around their hips. Don’t believe me? Go over to your local Mecca of Geekdom (aka the comic-book store), grab a random comic book, and open it up. If there’s a woman in the story, 9.9 out of 10 times, she’s wearing this kind of outfit, give or take a cape, a crown, or some kind of accessory designed to do thoroughly unpleasant things to anyone in its path and featuring an elaborate semi-divine back story a la Excalibur.
Now, let me back this bus up for a second before it builds any more momentum and someone gets all the wrong ideas. I’m not saying comic books are bad or are loaded with subliminal messages; far from it! Comic books and movies like Heavy Metal were specifically intended to cater to the budding sexuality, natural curiosity, and feelings of social isolation that plague adolescents. (Oh, yeah, there’s plenty of eye candy for the girls, too. All the guys look like they’ve been dressed by dommes or are so ripped they look like they can bench-press refrigerators.) Comic books offer that little thrill of the forbidden, wrapped up in heavy morality tales and liberally peppered with punches, kicks, slashes, and blasts from various exotic weapons to make them palatable. “It’s a comic book! Little Timmy won’t learn ANYTHING about sex from this.” (Although I myself had some fairly “torrid” fantasies about Marvel Comics’ Psylocke. I say “torrid” because while they were pretty randy for a thirteen-year-old, they were positively pedestrian compared to what I write on a daily basis now!)
And now, here’s the kicker: The point of this little diatribe is that if you read between the lines with a knowing, adult eye, you’re likely to find all kinds of little kinks and fetishes hidden in comic books. The meaning and metaphor will most likely be wholly lost on the kiddies, who just see a good or not-so-good story. They’re not as likely to focus on the exposed “naughty bits” as they are the number of explosions or “Hey! Did you see how Wolverine/Superman/Batman sliced up/blasted/beat up that Sentinel/rogue missile/bad guy?” Thinking on Batman: The whole joke about what REALLY happened behind the scenes with Bruce and Dick has become a little shopworn, but still bears consideration.
A disclaimer: Everything that follows is off the top of my head and the ones I am aware of from personal experience and knowledge. I’m sure that I’ll miss some, but this is by way of example, not the encyclopedia. Any fetishes that I didn’t give specific references for, you can find online with a little research, but trust me: They’re out there. Also, I’m not weighing the relative “goodness” or “badness” of any particular fetish or proclivity; I’m merely acknowledging their existence.
In the broad sweep of the comic book world, you’ve got shadings or blatant mentions of BDSM (Batman, Spider-Man, Wonder Woman), GLBTQ (subplots of The Green Lantern, Superman), necrophilia (Not touching this one), voyeurism (Spider-Man, Superman, Batman. . . need I go on?), an entire host of bestiality fetishes (Batman again. . . what’s up with this guy?), and sado-masochism (Insert your favorite comic villain here. If they weren’t getting off on getting pounded on, why would they insist on pissing off the people most likely to push their faces into their brainpans?).
So what does it all mean?
Comic books are a great medium. They have layers to appeal to their nominal target audience, and the messages they convey, of tolerance and justice and being the one to stand against the darkness, are timeless parables written to be accessible to the tween and up set. But if you scratch the surface and take a closer look, somewhere in the colorful costumes and explosions, you can find yourself looking back from the eye-catching pages.
And in the grand scheme of things, that’s the entire point of ANY medium of writing: To see ourselves in a glass, darkly, either an idealized or debased reflection of our own personas, beliefs, and desires. No matter how extreme or well-tolerated, we ultimately just want to be accepted for everything we are, and a truly good book will leave us feeling, at the end, a little less isolated. And that includes our own peculiar kinks, too.
Thanks to Bianca, and all you terrific readers, for letting me come by again and shoot my mouth off. It’s been fun! I look forward to seeing YOUR takes on this notion.
Until next time,
How he lost his . . . I sucked in air through my teeth and could almost taste the blood lingering on his breath. He was that close. Close enough to do a lot of damage. Or other things.
Would it really be so bad to indulge in a little naughty fun?
You're damn right it would. You know what he's done.
"Ah. Yeah. Tell them." Biting my lip, I shoved at his chest. Didn't do much good. I dug into my pockets, found a pen, and then brought it up under his chin. "Careful, Cyrus, I know how to use this."
He roared out a laugh and retreated with his hands up. "That you do." Sweeping out his arm as though to shift the cloak he wasn't wearing, he gestured with the other towards the street. "Very well. Shall we go for that drink?"
Once we were out of the alley, I felt a little safer, but not much. No one was looking at us. He'd made it so we couldn't be seen. Right here, right now, he could throw me on the sidewalk and ravish me while crowds parted around us, completely oblivious.
Why in the world did the idea of him doing just that appeal to me?
I stopped short and scowled at him. "You don't want to screw with my head. Get deep enough and you might see exactly how you're going to die."
"Sooner rather than later if I upset you?"
"Well, I wouldn't want that." His eyes narrowed into slits. "I still have a few loose ends to tie up."
Loose ends. I nodded slowly, feeling a little sick. "This bar will do. I need a drink. Now."
"Naturally. You couldn't very well let me have my way with Nicole if you were sober." He pulled open the door to a small, run down bar. The kind of place criminals went to make deals. Pretty fitting. "However do you sleep at night, Bianca?"
Who says I do?
But all I said was: "Fuck you."
We took a table at the back of the bar, one of three. A waitress came for our orders. I got whiskey on the rocks. Cyrus ordered a shot of Golshlager, smirking at me when I hunched over, trying to block the memories that came along with that drink.
"Lydia's favourite." He took the shot from the waitress and brought it to his lips. "I still think of her . . . every day. My dreams are filled with her screams, with how far I'd have to push her before she'd make a sound. Will you ever give me another woman like her?" His fingers skimmed the back of the hand I'd rested on the table. "I'd be eternally grateful."
"Enough bullshit." I took a gulp of whiskey and then took a small notepad from my pocket. Pen posed, all business, I prepared for the task at hand. "So, you were saying your first time would fit the topic of the week?"
"Yes." He waved to the waitress for a refill and leaned back in his chair, his eyes becoming glazed, as though seeing another time, another place. "I was born into wealth. Nobility. My father only held the title of Lord, but he was second cousin to the king of France and had several vast holdings. He was privy to all the most scandalous intrigues of the court, which meant he could use the information to blackmail powerful men and assure his own standings. I learned at a very young age how to play the same game. Every servant in our household was afraid of me—of what would happen to them if I let their secrets slip. My step-mother was the first and last to stand against me. I . . . found evidence that she was a witch. On my tenth birthday she was burned at the stake."
"Nice." So much for picturing him as a cute, innocent little kid. The man had been born a monster. "But what does that have to do with dubious consent? Or should we just be honest and call it rape?"
"Believe it or not, I know the difference," he said, dryly. He rubbed his hands together, then propped his elbows on the edge of the table and his chin on his fists. "I learned that one of the king's illegitimate daughters had become something . . . unnatural. Rosali was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen. Fragile, sweet, sheltered. He governess turned her—the woman was an abandoned fledgling with no control. The king hoped her death would destroy what had 'infested' his daughter, but of course it didn't. So he hid her in his castle, using his enemies as fodder, desperate to keep her true nature hidden from the nation. He had to keep her safe, whatever the cost. He'd truly loved her mother."
I drained my whiskey and started on another. "I'm guessing you threatened to expose them both?"
"You know what happened, Bianca." He gave me one of his wicked smiles. "Your readers will be disappointed if they can't enjoy the experience with us. Show them."
Show, don't tell. Basic rule. He was right, the bastard.
So here it is:
Pure innocence. Cyrus plunked himself down on the princess' bed, observing her childish decor with amusement. Tapestries with unicorns and faeries covered the walls, white fur covers the cold stone floor, sheer silk curtains fluttered over her windows and around her bed like wispy clouds. In essence the room housed an angel. In reality a hungry demon slept here. One he was anxious to meet.
'Give her to me and I will protect her. Otherwise, I will caste her to the suspicious fools who watch your every move, seeking a way to bring you low.'
'You will be gentle with her?' The king clung to his robes, flimsy velvet trappings of his rank, unable to shield him from his desperation.
'That is none of your concern. She will live, that is all that matters.'
Be gentle with her? A jest, surely. Her body was his to use and use it he would. In the most twisted, deprived ways a man could use a woman. And with his guards standing vigil outside her door, he needn't worry about interruptions, no matter how loud she cried or screamed.
Just the thought of fucking her to tears made Cyrus hard. At a score and five years, he had more than his share of experience with women. Virgins, whores, he'd bedded them all. And come to an interesting conclusion. They were all more fun to fuck while they writhed in agony. He stroked himself through his braise and groped around the side of the bed for the bottle of wine provided by the king. To make it easier for the princess.
Perhaps being sauced would spare her some of the pain of losing her innocence.
He uncorked the bottle with his teeth and laughed. As if I'd allow that.
One of the guards tapped on the door. "My Lord?"
"The Lady Rosali."
Cyrus grunted and gestured at his man with the bottle. "I'm here to pound the bitch's cunt, not court her—get in here, girl!"
His crude words, his detached tone, hid his eagerness quite nicely. Neither the guard nor the girl could guess how the mention of her name quickened his pulse. He'd only seen her twice, from afar, and the vision of her had hazed his mind ever since, as though just thinking of her intoxicated him.
God willing, he'd screw her out of his system. Once, twice—he'd keep her in this bed until he was sick of the sight of her.
But the second she slipped into the room, he knew that would never happen. His mouth went dry and he choked on the wine he used to wet his tongue.
White robes fluttering around her, Rosali strode across the room, grey eyes flashing like lightning in storm clouds. The sweet, demure lady known for her beauty and composure was gone. Had the demon given her the spirit she hadn't possessed before?
Her ebony hair spilling over her face, she came to the bed and aimed a slap at Cyrus' face. She hissed through her teeth when he blocked her swing with his forearm. "How dare you threaten my father? Have you the slightest clue of what I could do to you?"
A clue? He was fairly certain she'd fractured his damn arm!
He bit his tongue lest any weak sounds escape and then sneered at her. "You may be stronger than I, Rosali, but I am much more powerful."
She let out a tinkle of laughter, but uncertainty dimmed the light in her eyes. "You are a fool if you believe that."
"Am I?" Cyrus sat up, set the wine bottle by his feet, and then reached out to tug at the ribbon at the base of her throat. Her cloak came loose and fluttered to the floor. Not once did she attempt to stop him. "Then do to me what you do to all the other men who come in here. Maul me like an animal, tear my heart from my chest, we both know you can."
"Yes." A single tear spilled down her cheek as Cyrus went to work on the ties lacing the front of her dress. She clenched her little fists at her sides. "But you knew the risk. You must have done something to keep yourself safe."
"I have. If I don't return home within a fortnight or send one of my guards to assure my valet that I am well, he will deliver a letter to my father, detailing everything I know about what you are." Cyrus used the front of Rosali's dress to pull her closer until her quivering breasts were level with his face. "Do you have any idea what my father would do with the knowledge? You should thank me for accepting you in exchange for my silence. I could have demanded so much more."
Rosali covered her breasts with her hands and pressed her thighs together as Cyrus slid her dress over her hips. Her whole body shook as he ran his hands down her legs in the same manner he would his horse's flanks. Like she was no more than a beast he'd purchased, one he planned to ride long and hard.
So long and hard these pretty, pale thighs will bare the marks of my use for weeks. He slapped her thigh, grinning when she yelped and tried to back away from him. Her step parted her thighs enough for him to shove his hand between them. He stood before she could wrench away and wrapped one arm around her waist. Prodding with his fingers, he found her hot slit and pressed against it until the tips of two breached her.
"No." She sobbed and put her hands on his shoulders. "Please don't. I will give you anything else—"
"You will give me everything . . . ." One digit would have been easier, but the gaspy little sounds of pain she made as he stretched her were lovely. He twisted his fingers, and, feeling a bit of moisture at the tips, thrust a little harder. "Ah, there we go. You're starting to enjoy yourself."
"I'm not!" But the way her hips tipped forward betrayed her. She hadn't even attempted to close her thighs again or shove him away. "I want you to stop!"
"Then stop me, Rosali." His fingers moved easily in and out of her slippery cunt. He loved the way she winced as the wet sound of his palm smacking her got louder. "Stop me or my dick will take the place of my fingers."
His thumb circled her clit and she whimpered. "No . . . ."
"No what?" He lifted her up, then lowered her to the bed. "No don't use my dick?"
Her lips moved, she shook her head. Then she arched up and moaned. "Don't."
He spotted something on the floor by the bed and smile. "As you wish, My Lady."
To be continued...
Flickr Attribute Jan Willemsen
A romance novel must always have a happy ending or at least the promise of one. Always. No exceptions. No ways around it.
The very idea of never, can't be and shouldn't be done, rankles. My muse glowers at me every time I try to force him to conform, to deal with rules and limitations. I can almost hear him saying 'I could make you write a romance and kill everyone'.
Scary thing is, I bet he could.
Maybe my idea of romance is different. Plays like Romeo and Juliette, like Othello, which I always considered romantic, are called 'tragic comedies'. One of my favourite books by Barbara Michaels, Black Rainbow, is gothic suspense. Any other book I'd list is probably not a 'real' romance.
What about Phantom of the Opera? Or actually, any opera? Aren't they all tragic? And the stories romance, no? Then there's movies like Titanic, Ghost, Pearl Harbor...
Flickr Attribute Professor Mortis
I could probably go on and on and you could probably shut down my every argument by simply saying either, 'that's not really a romance' or 'But that had a HEA'.
Can you have a HEA if one of both of the main characters die? Does the great love they experienced, and the closure of saying goodbye for now, knowing they will be together again, someday, meet happily ever after criteria?
Flickr Attribute Lily Warrior
I think it could. Then again, to me a romance isn't definied by how it ends, but by that moment when, as a reader, I truly feel that what's between the hero and the heroine is real. Nothing can take that away or make it something less—not death, not betrayal, not competition. What happens after is irrelevant. I would say a 'romance' that lacks that precious moment doesn't deserve the title. Let the hero and the heroine marry and grow old together, resolve their predictable misunderstandings, never ever stray. How sweet. Without either of them touching on that purest form of love, something we can all identify with in a raw, basic way, they're just a couple with a story.
Flickr Attribute Elyce Feliz
To me anyway. But I intend to take writing 'dark erotica' (a label given to books that might have romantic scenes and love but don't meet HEA requirements) to a whole new level. Might take me awhile, but one day I'm going to write a gothic romance and trash convention. And no one will be able to debate that the story is a romance.
If I can pull that off, my next goal is learning to fly ;)
Note: I was really bad assuming everyone would get the acronyms, sorry about that.
HEA- Happily Ever After
HFN- Happy For Now
GMAFB- Gimme a Fucking Break
By Cari Silverwood
Is erotic romance any different?
In my first novel, the heroine is woken from a sexy dream by her cocker spaniel, Killer, slurping
her on the face. To me this was just an adorable thing to put into a story. It helped me make
my lady, Danii, real and three dimensional. If I want to engage the reader and get them to dive
into the story and wiggle their toes in the wet sand as the waves sweep toward them, smell the
lemongrass in the Thai meal, or maybe even, hell, get carpet burns off the rug, I have to put in
real stuff. Pets are part of that, and children too.
But one of my readers disagreed vehemently. Killer was the worst thing in my story and from the
sounds of her review, yanked her from the story. Being a little concerned with this, I did a poll of
readers of BDSM and erotic stories. To my relief most readers seem to love stories that have pets
and children in them.
A few didn’t want children in there due to getting worried about the virtual children, as they
called them, but almost everyone wanted pets. Some of their real life anecdotes about cats and
the male dangly bits being latched onto during sex may even make their way into a story. Ouch.
Sorry guys but they were funny in a tears-in-my-eyes way.
Some publishers do specifically demand no children in stories but they seem to be in the
minority. I’m not talking pedophilia here of course; the sex scenes get nowhere near the children,
just as in real life. But letting your heroine have a baby somewhere along the line, or maybe a
children’s party in between all the sexy shenanigans is perfectly okay with me. If it serves the
story, adds something, makes everything clearer and realer, I say go for it.
One proviso that a reader pointed out is that if the pet gets killed off they automatically throw
the book. I’m a bit that way myself. After reading several books where the dog or whatever died
at the hand of the villain, one day I consciously said to myself, no way am I doing that in one of
my books. I hate it when I read about a pet and find I’m making a mental note along the lines of:
Oh-ohh, this author’s put this in just so the death of the pet will make the villain come across as
meaner. Hate hate that with capital letters. HATE.
So if you kill a pet in your story at least give me another happy pet to pat while I sob. And be
prepared to run, real fast. I may be rummaging around in my closet for my antique sabre. I keep
it for burglars and authors that rile me.
Raised from childhood as an assassin, Claire finds her world knocked off kilter when Theo Kevonis, a rich, ex-Air Corp nobleman, rescues her from an airship crash. Being a soldier of a hostile nation she cannot reveal her identity, but Theo sinks his steely Dom fingers into her heart and soul, showing her the pleasures to be found in surrendering to his touch. Captivated, Claire cannot help but bind herself in lie after lie rather than risk losing the one man who’s ever loved her.
When her loathsome commander returns from the dead, her deceit is uncovered. Somehow, Claire must find a way to win back Theo's trust and destroy the man who threatens them both. And Buy Link:
“Stay there,” he said.
She could smell him.
She almost opened her eyes to say something, but instead balanced there. Why she obeyed him, she wasn't sure but it satisfied something primal, something deeply sexual. And letting go like this, made her feel safe.
Anticipation strung her insides tight. She yearned for further caresses. Her cleft swelled.
“Here. Raise your feet.” An article of clothing, both silken cloth and something harder, slid with muffled clicks up each leg. Theo arranged it about her torso, cool beads shifting across her breasts until the garment fitted snugly on her body. Something narrow settled between her legs. She gasped at a throb of pleasure as his fingers played in her moisture. A few more adjustments and he led her off to one side. A light flared on. “There. Open your eyes.”
In a tall mirror, she saw herself, dressed in a black corset paneled with satin. Coming down from a halter, pearl ropes fanned out over each breast with her nipples peeking out between. A tiny skirt of chiffon, divided at the crotch, barely made it as far as her upper thighs. Lines of seed pearls undulated down the satin and a string of larger pearls dove deeply between her legs, emphasizing the split lips of her sex. She could feel it run up between the cheeks of her bottom at the back. Even as she looked, she felt a renewed throb, for every movement she made, from breath to heartbeat to shift of feet, moved the line of pearls and rubbed against her clit.
In the reflection, she saw Theo beyond her shoulder, bare-chested, the ringlets of his black hair stark against his forehead. He raised a satin and pearl choker and positioned it about her neck, clicking it into place. “And these,” he said, holding first one wrist and then the other to snick matching black satin bracelets on her wrists. “They suit you.” From the hardness, metal lurked beneath the black cloth.
Where the choker and bracelets rested on skin, her pulse rose, thumping, to the surface and reminded her of where she was, who she was with, and especially, how dangerous this could be. But…she trusted him.
First, I want to officially welcome you all to my new blog! And my new website! Isn't it pretty? <g> Did it all by myself!
Now then, just to get you all up to date since I haven't been posting much, I've decided to do a theme every week. Part laziness and part practicality. If I know this weeks is enema week, I won't have to drive myself nuts to come up with something interesting to say. Enemas are plenty interesting! I bet I could fill posts and posts on that topic alone!
We'll save that for another day.
This week, the theme is kids and pets in erotic romance. Oh don't ew me! Perv. That's not what I'm talking about and you know it. Seriously, get help.
Any good book has realistic characters. With realistic lives. Which means they have families and houses. And sometimes those families and houses are infested with kids and pets. Happens to the best of us. No way around it.
But wait a second! There's a whole lot of other stuff that happens in real life that I don't want to read about! Think about it! My sex is disrupted often enough with 'Mommy, I had a nightmare. Can I sleep with you?' Must my action between the pages of my favourite novel be interrupted as well?
Of course, you know, that rarely happens. Because the hero and heroine have perfect little babies or nieces or nephews. They are all well behaved and only act up when the nurturing woman or protective, yet stern man, need to prove themselves. Which makes me hate them. Really, truly hate them. I am not that patient when I'm interrupted. Bad enough these fictional people are already having more sex than me! Must they have endless patience too?
So yeah, I'm not longer turned on. Or enjoying the story. I'm aggravated and about to toss this book at my not so perfect kiddies.
And then there's the animals. Sorry, but it's not cute when Rover watches the hero giving it to the heroine. His little grunts make me think he's wondering when he gets his turn. Just plain nasty. Put the dog outside! And the cats...jeezum, don't you have a door?
Well, that's it for now. Sorry this post is short—to tell you the truth, I really don't mind kids and pets in any stories...like anything else, it's just gotta been done right.
Swing by again in a couple of days to get my dear friend, Cari Silverwood's, take on the subject. She's also going to share an excerpt from her new release Iron Dominance.
But don't wait—don't read the excerpt. Go get the books now. http://www.loose-id.com/Our-Authors/Cari-Silverwood/ This is only the second book ever to be given a bottle by me...okay, I haven't given it a bottle yet—officially anyway—but this book is worth the good stuff. When you get it, get yourself some extra batteries. Just do. You'll thank me ;)
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