Monday, September 24, 2007

Bloody men

by Madelynne Ellis

A few weeks ago, Kristina Lloyd teased us all with her love of wet men; well I have a similar fascination for bloody men. I’m not all that hot at analysing my own reasons for liking things, mostly I prefer to accept that something is and not delve to deep, but for the purposes of this collection I’ve done a bit of prodding and poking and made a few discoveries.

Let's get a few things straight: I'm talking cuts and bruises here, nothing more visceral, no gaping wounds and missing body parts, and I don't particularly enjoy watching men knock nine shades of hell out of each other, so it’s nothing to do with them being macho and fired up on testosterone that makes me tremble with delight. Maybe it’s a teeny bit to do with the knowledge that they can handle themselves, should the need arise, maybe not…

So what is it about a black eye or a bust lip that grabs my attention? Generally, I like pretty men, a bit of polish, even a hint of make-up, but add bruises to the mix and you instantly add layers of interest. How did he end up with blood smeared across his shirt? Why? Just one flaw in all that perfection adds a whole history.

"Vaughan’s body was lean but muscular and tapered neatly at the waist. His arms and shoulders were strong from his love of fencing, the same sport that had given him his oft-admired thighs. However, the most striking feature of his near-nakedness was the pale silvery line across his left side that marred the surface of his skin. Lucerne traced its length curiously with his fingertips, and then with his tongue. It appeared to be a duelling scar.

There’s a maternal aspect to my fascination to. “Are you all right?” I long to ask. “Here let me look at it? Let me kiss it better.” As well as a darker, sadistic one. “Does it hurt if I press it?’

And bruises are such pretty colours, all those purples and blues with a hint of green and a splash of yellow. I’m the child that given a present of eye shadow for the first time proceeded to make my sisters look as if they had black eyes. Actually, that same fascination lasted into adulthood, faking injuries is still my favourite bit of Stage Make-up. I’ll quite happily while away an hour or two painting bruises onto my knuckles, or faking taut silvery-white scars.

"A smile of satisfaction spread across his ruined visage. The skin across his left eye was creased into a web of red and silver lines. The eye itself was milky, while the rest of him was undeniable handsome. Once he’d have been painted, admired, celebrated, but the fates had turned a cruel hand. Thea clasped her fist to her chest. Stark turned his head to one side, then the other, showing her his flawless profile, then ruined one. The widest of the scars was the same breadth as her finger. It overwhelmed her with such a terrible urge to touch. He knew he was making an impact.

I love the fact that blood is so red and shiny against the skin, and the way it flows, drips and splashes. The way it runs inside a collar, just like a bead of sweat or a drop of water, but blood is
far more erotically charged than sweat or water, it's very essence tied up in the symbolism of life. It's forbidden imagery too in our post-HIV world, where its presence can mean danger to more than the injured party - although I'm not into blood play myself. Ms Jolie can keep her knives and her vials of her lover's blood to herself, thanks. Mine is a purely voyeuristic pleasure.

"Asha tentatively pressed her tongue to the first of the ten long gashes and licked. The mixture of blood and poison tingled on her tongue. It tasted bitter, although the ripple of pleasure that flowed down her throat was sweet. She licked again, her tongue delving into the wound, and the taste became acrid. She spat it out, then returned to the wound and began to suck. Beneath her, she felt him tremble, and his spine stiffen. ‘Shh!’ she soothed before tending the next gash.

So folks, tell me, am I alone in my obsession or do bloody men do it for you too? If so, have you a favourite image to share? I'm rather taken with Mr Sharpe's smile up top. You can check out a few others who didn't quite make it into the post over on my blog.

Madelynne Ellis

blog : website

Excerpts from i) A Gentleman's Wager ii) Desperate Measures (work in progress) & iii) Broken Angel.


Anonymous said...

*gibbers incoherently*

Kate Pearce said...

I hate loathe and despise the smell, color and taste of blood. I pass out quite regularly if any of the above happen-and with 4 kids, 3 of them boys, I've seen my fair share of blood.

was that a little negative?
the post is lovely, by the way, especially the excerpts.

In a bad mood because some thieving b*****d stole my shopping in the mall-including my brand new hard to find size bra!!!

Portia Da Costa said...

Well, I thought... I don't like blood stained men, so what am I going to say?

And then you immediately present me with Sharpe, covered in blood, and I realise I *do* like some bloody men. Poor old Sharpey routinely gets wounded and covered in blood, and I think he looks fab all battered and knocked about. :)

Oh Kate, so sorry to hear about your shopping. Hope something horrible happens to that thieving git!

Janine Ashbless said...


I hope you're watching the Rugby World Cup Madelynne ... Oh, no sorry - you like 'em willowy and sweet don't you?

I never used to be interested in sports until I happened to catch a rugby match a month back and suddenly had a Road To Damascus Conversion. Suddenly I saw the light... Huge sweaty bloody rugged men colliding with each other, fighting tooth and nail ...

As someone said on Mock the Week recently: "Rugby players should drop all the pretense and just take to the field naked, covered in lubricant, to a pounding techno beat."

And I say Amen to that!

Ally said...

I like bloody,
Van Damme

I like bloody and dirty even more,
Russel Crowe

Did I mention dirty?
Ally licks chops

Good night for now, oh what sweet, dirty, bloody dreams I am going to have.

Janine Ashbless said...

Oh. I know you said you weren't interested in the actual thumping each other bit, but my vote for Best Bloody Men fight ever is the one in Blade Runner where Harrison Ford gets seven bells kicked out of him by Rutger Hauer. Really beautifully filmed in a derelict apartment block and with the most perfect ending.

Melissa Heywood said...

"Rugby players should drop all the pretense and just take to the field naked, covered in lubricant, to a pounding techno beat."

*Falls in a heap of pure excitment*

That vison is going to be stuck in my head all day now! It's a good thing because I have some pretty boring people I work with so I can quite happily drift off into a little daydream and make my day at work go a lot quicker ;P

Deanna Ashford said...

I like macho men yes, and bloodstained men on TV and movies but then I know it is fake. Fake battles great, real ones no way.

Loved the Sharpe picture and enjoy the vision of two muscular men battling it out on the screen, preferably with swords in their hands. However, the cold reality of it does nothing for me.

Great post however, very thought provoking.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Oh no, Kate. I hope they catch the thief! No problems about being negative, I understand that people see things in different ways.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Hi Wendy, yes Sharpe does get rather battered doesn't he, poor lamb, but somehow he always manages to keep smiling.

Madelynne Ellis said...

No rugby for me, too bulky. Yep, I like them willowy, but I'm not so sure about the sweet.

Darn, I forgot about Blade Runner... I know I said I don't particularly enjoy watching them knock each other about, but that doesn't stop me watching rather a lot of martial arts films, and triad films and... oh you get the picture.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Ally, that's a very nice picture of Van Damme. I'm impressed. Ta muchly.

Deanna Ashford said...

Addendum to my comments. That's not to say I don't like writing about it.

Was reminded of your post when I just typed - as she recalled the bruised and battered sight of him....

Thinking on it there are quite a lot of fights in my books. Maybe I just haven't realized the true extent of my feeling as yet.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Oh I know what you mean about reality, Deanna. Real blood and bruises I just want to mop up as fast as possible, but my poor old characters are made to suffer.

Janine Ashbless said...

When did Van Damme get crucified?

kristina lloyd said...

Nice post! And a dirty David from Ally too. Thank you both.

I have to say, I go for bruised and battered rather than lots of the red stuff. Cuts, grazes and blood-smudges are nice but when it trickles I'm not so keen. Although I did just write a vampire novella which had a fair amount of trickling so I'm not squeamish.

But, um, I'm mainly wondering about Kate's rare bosoms.

Alison Tyler said...

Ah, bloody men. Well done, Madelynne!

And here is a bloody woman for those on the other side of the fence.


Madeline Moore said...

Well, you got my attention and you got me thinkin'. When I first heard about this post I thought, 'Fight Club,Fight Club' I'm happy to see a bloody Brad in your pics.

Yes, I loved the movie 'Fight Club.'
I get a kick out of the moment in a movie when the woman is tending to the man's wounds and then, SURPRISE! they start making out.

My favourite scene in 'Jaws' was when the guys were drinking and showing off their scars.

And I agree, bruises are beautiful, from the beginning, through the middle, and to the yellow, fading end.

So, like others who have posted comments on this topic, I will have to think about the topic before I say something like 'Oh I have no fascination with bloody men.'

Of course, if I were to see a couple of guys involved in a brawl I'd be horrified and afraid that somehow I'd end up getting hurt. I think I'd be repulsed, too, and consider it a very childish way to resolve an issue. I admire boys for the forthright way they deal with dislike for each other, as compared to the soul-sucking, devious, ultracruel way girls do. But I don't envy the rough and tumbleness of boyhood. It's scary.

That's why we're writers, though! Or one of the reasons! We can have the guys beat the ever lovin' bejeezus out of each other if we like, (and if our editor permits) and still be personally safe and sound in our own little homes, if not, entirely, in our own minds.

Madeline Moore said...

And p.s., Madelynne, this is a wonderful post. It's beautifully written, the excerpts are titillating to say the least, and the collection of photos is breath-taking. What a rare and beautiful jewel you are in the Lust Bites crown.

Kate Pearce said...

Kristina, put it this way, my bra size makes me sound like a potential porn star but I'm so...not.

Love rugby players!

Love Blade Runner (one of my fav films ever)

t'Sade said...

I love bloody men, pure and simple. And lovely post, lovely pictures. I also like the evil guys too, imagine that.

Ally said...


I am sorry I didn't take the time last night to tell you what a great post this is and I really enjoyed doing those last minute searches for bloody, muddy men, Mmm just before bed. I am glad you liked the Van Damme picture.


I liked the video, wet and beat up, now there's a good morning thought. Van Damme was crucified in the movie Cyborg and guess who saves him, yes... a woman.


Thankyou for telling me Mr. Muddy's real name is David. I prefer to scream out my lovers real names when I am, um, thinking.


Violet Blue rocks. I love reading her, she has the most interesting and bold opinions. She faces opposition with such strength. Love it.

Another beat up man I always loved to look at was Mel Gibson in the Road Warrior, that image made me all gaga when I was a teen. I couldn't find the picture though. :(

I like watching real fights, get rid of the gloves. I also love to see fear in their eyes and terrified faces when confronted with danger in the movies.

Cool word varification today, ckhty.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Madeline I'm immensely flattered by your comments. The collection of photos took some acquiring (large stack of DVD's and screen caps).

I love that scene in Jaws too!

Sarah said...

Oh, um, wow. This hits every button I've ever had. On a much milder scale there's this picture with the remains of a black eye.

But the blood. So lickable. For me it's about what they can take. It's about the transgression of the fluid of life. It's about the smell and taste and pain. And, yeah. Mmm.

Madelynne Ellis said...

Hi Sarah,

That's a cool picture. Thanks for sharing it with us. And I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who likes the red stuff.

Anonymous said...

So much right-click-saving!

And, ooh, Sarah, lovely, lovely Helo.

I love this post!

jothemama said...

I have a little care-taking fantasy about getting to tend to the wounds of unatainable men - celebrities for example, htat I find in trouble on hte roadside and rescue, bringing them home to bathe their gashed in stingy alcohol, dabbing at them with a bundled up warm cloth, smearing on ointment na doh so tenderly kissing their bruised mouths as they swoon wiht gratitutde and vulnerability!

Is it a Florence Nightingale complex?

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd add to your "bloody men" pics. This is from, model "efini".