Monday, March 31, 2008

A Gentleman's Wager's US re-release

by Madelynne Ellis

Tomorrow marks the US re-release of my Georgian set historical ménage-a-trois, A Gentleman's Wager. It's been out of print for years, so naturally I hope you're all going to rush out and buy a copy, read it, leave me lots of Amazon stars and tell all your friends how wonderful it is too. All in time for the release of the next part of the story, Phantasmagoria, at the end of the month.

Failing that, I hope you'll stick around to read the teaser excerpt posted below. And maybe stop by the comments and tell me which two men you'd most like to see making out. If you already have pics and video clips, so much the better. Gimme links.

Personally, I'm rather fond of this pair.


Lucerne closed his eyes and offered no resistance to Vaughan’s intimate caress. So it had all come down to this. He could sometimes deny his attraction to the other man, but he didn’t have the willpower to force him away. The muscles of his stomach tightened and his mouth opened, but he didn’t make a sound. Vaughan’s thrilling attention was worth the risk of weathering discovery here or gossip at Court. He reached out to Vaughan and met his friend’s desire with an urgency of his own. Outside, the muted hubbub of the inn went on. He hoped the latch was firm.

They clawed at each other’s clothing and ground their pricks together, rubbing and kissing, while Lucerne tried not to think too hard about what he was doing. He slipped his hand inside the waistband of Vaughan’s figure-hugging pantaloons, touched his sensitive glans and heard him gasp. The sound gave him a surprising sense of satisfaction, and he allowed Vaughan to pull away long enough for the marquis to pull his black cambric shirt over his head.

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 gave 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.

‘An unpleasant scrape,’ elucidated Vaughan, as he tilted his head forward to watch Lucerne. A fiery gleam showed through the shadow of his dark lashes, while his lips curled into an aggressive smile. ‘Deuced Italians. I swear they’ve fire for blood.’

Lucerne smiled and pressed himself against Vaughan’s warm body, glad that whatever implement had caused the wound hadn’t done more damage. He felt Vaughan’s arms snake around him and pluck at his coat. Lucerne shrugged it off, for once letting it fall to the floor. Then he unknotted his cravat, while Vaughan drew the curtain across the small, grimy window.

They fell upon each other again, as if mere closeness was not enough. Lucerne sank to his knees, then felt Vaughan about to follow suit and stopped him. He eyed the erect penis before him uncertainly. This would be a first. He cautiously closed his mouth over the head. It tasted salty against his tongue.

Vaughan inhaled sharply and sagged against the panelled wall for support, holding Lucerne’s head to his cock as he moved. He didn’t speak, but Lucerne didn’t need him to. He knew how this felt, knew exactly how incredible such focused attention was. What surprised him was the pleasure he was deriving from the friction against his lips, and the addictiveness of having his mouth repeatedly filled.

Vaughan’s fingers tangled in his hair. His hips rocked slowly. Lucerne knew he was resisting the urge to thrust deeper. He tried to take a little more, but felt the tip brush the back of his throat and had to fight back the instinctive cough that threatened to explode. He circled his fingers over Vaughan’s cheeks, and then moved one hand to cup his friend’s balls. Vaughan stiffened. He gave an emotive sigh and his whole body flexed as he came, shooting his seed into Lucerne’s waiting mouth.

Lucerne released his hold and kissed him once, intimately. He watched Vaughan’s prick continue to twitch as the afterglow of his orgasm washed over his body, and saw a contented smile spread over his face. Vaughan’s eyes flicked open as Lucerne stood; they were dilated and unnaturally bright. They fastened on the trickle of come at the corner of Lucerne’s mouth.

‘Come to me,’ he beckoned.

‘No.’ Lucerne wiped away the evidence of their encounter. ‘Later,’ he soothed, when he saw anxiety cloud the joy in Vaughan’s eyes. ‘Somewhere more private.’ The risk of discovery suddenly felt very real.

Vaughan smiled and nodded. He rose to his feet and dressed quickly. There was a fresh glow to his skin now, and he positively radiated sexuality. Once he’d buttoned himself, he turned to Lucerne and caught his wrist, then forced a kiss on him. This time Lucerne accepted it without question, then they went out to collect Charles.

More excerpts available at my website.

Madelynne Ellis

Addendum: Read Bev's new review of A Gentleman's Wager at The Good, the Bad & The Unread.

Credits: Film clip: Velvet Goldmine. Photo: Anthony Gayton.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Coming Attractions

by Janine Ashbless

All hands on deck...
It's a busy old week coming up on Lust Bites: with books being published all over the place we're going to have something for you every day.

On Monday Madelynne Ellis will be reminding us about her period novel A Gentleman's Wager, which is seeing its American re-release.

On Tuesday Mathilde Madden will be celebrating the US publication of the novella collection Possession and her werewolf novel The Silver Cage.

On Wednesday Teresa Noelle Roberts will be interviewing Sacchi Green, writer and editor of lesbian anthologies (Who could resist a volume entitled "Rode Hard, Put Away Wet"?!) - with special emphasis on the new femme-themed collection Lipstick On Her Collar. (And don't forget, if you're in the Oxford area, Olivia Knight will be at Oxfringe)

On Thursday Portia Da Costa will be bouncing about the place because her new novel Gothic Heat and her classic Gemini Heat hit the stores at the same time.

And on Friday Mat will be returning to mark the completion of her werewolf trilogy - all three books now available on both sides of the Pond.

Expect hot excerpts and book giveaways all week. I'm exhausted already!



Winners: Lady Sun Has Risen by Teresea Noelle Roberts goes to the mysterious Michelle – please email your address to lustbitesladies[at]yahoo[dot]com. Angell, you’ve won Gwen Master’s One Breath at a Time – your details to gwenmasters[at]yahoo[dot]com for your prize!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Return to GothicWorld...

GOTHIC HEAT by Portia Da Costa

Ten years ago, I wrote a paranormal erotic romance called Gothic Blue. It did quite well and a lot of people said that they really, really liked it... and one or two said they'd love to read a sequel. At the time, I felt that I'd wrapped up the story pretty well, and I couldn't quite see how I could return to the setting and the characters, so I moved on and wrote other books and forgot about the sequel notion altogether...

Then, last year, when our Black Lace editor was urging us to give him some paranormal ideas, I very whimsically suggested that it might be fun to do a Gothic Blue sequel, not really sure he'd take me seriously, mainly because I wasn't all that serious about it myself... but lo and behold, shortly after, there were contracts and delivery dates and whatnot, and I was committed to it!

Luckily, there were a few loose ends in Gothic Blue, and one of them was a character called Paula. She had a serious brush with the evil sorceress Isidora Katori, that turned out to have pretty far reaching consequences... and Gothic Heat became the story of those consequences.

In the clip below, Paula is visiting her new friend and lover Rafe at the therapy centre where he works. But unbeknownst to Rafe, Paula has a little problem that she's not yet had chance to tell him about... the possessing spirit of the wicked seductress, Isidora.

Rafe gripped the oil bottle tightly, fighting for breath. He experienced a disorientating sense of doubling that made him giddy, and for a second, he seemed to see two women on the couch. It was like a drug trip, as if someone had loaded his massage oil with peyote and he’d absorbed it through his skin. Paula’s dark hair looked silkier, longer and lusher; and her eyes were slanted and imperious, assessing him as if he were sexual meat for her delectation. Her body was simply sublime, full of breast and sumptuous of hip. Her serviceable black knickers were gone, discarded on the floor to reveal the perfect, fragrant triangle of her bush. She held out her hand to him like a queen, and he walked towards her.

‘Mmmm…’ Taking the bottle of oil from him, she pulled the stopper and sniffed deeply, smiling to herself. Then, in a sudden violent gesture, she hurled the thing across the room, laughing as the oil arced from it, flying like a pale yellow ribbon. ‘A pretty scent,’ She adjusted herself on the table, slithering around until she was perched on the edge, ‘but artificial, my Rafe, too artificial.’ Parting her legs, she offered him something that was both natural and beyond nature instead.

Rafe gasped, dragging in both oxygen and the odour of Paula’s genitals. The room was filled with lavender, but it seemed to come from a distance, and through a filter. Only the essence of woman had real truth, and real meaning.

Staggering slightly, he fell to his knees and pressed his face between her thighs, aware of great well of tightly focused heat, emanating not from her sex but the white curve of her belly. He tried to lift his head and search for a visible mark or glow, and for a moment he imagined he saw a slight, raised pattern on her skin. But before he could get a closer look she pressed down hard on the top of his head, forcing him to pleasure her.

She was hot, fragrant, and intoxicatingly delicious. A million impressions crowded his senses, both ordinary and unusual. The taste of Paula was like power itself, infinitely greater than his own puny gifts. Supping at her earthy juices, his mind seemed to expand and a rainbow of twenty thousand colours exploded in his head.

‘Yes! Yes! That’s marvellous. More of that!’ she goaded him as he flicked his tongue over her. Swift, deft hands dug into his scalp, cramming his face against the juncture of her thighs. Rafe felt as if he were drowning, drowning so fast and hard that he’d probably expire just at the moment of her extreme pleasure. His cock was a rod of agony that seemed to belong to another man.

Harder and harder he licked, covering every bit of her sex, licking her clit and her lips, and sipping at her entrance. She writhed against him, sultry and serpentine, groaning and shouting, praising him with a string of lurid profanities, language even fouler and more extreme than even he’d ever comfortably used himself. Her heels bashed against his back and his entire head felt as if it were on fire. His eyes were shut but somehow he seemed to see a burning, setting sun, searing his vision and extinguishing his self control.

When he sucked hard on her clit, she howled like a banshee. But instead of falling back and surrendering herself to orgasm and pleasure, she surged off the massage bench and knocked him backwards, so he sprawled on the wooden floor and slid in the spilt oil. As he lay there with the wind knocked out of him, dimly away of shards of glass digging into his shoulders and back, she climbed astride him, and knelt over his pelvis, her dark triangle hovering tauntingly over his loins.

‘So, sex-god, do you have a condom in you pocket?’ she jeered. Then without waiting for an answer, she inclined over him, feeling around and under him into the pocket of his yoga pants. Her fingers felt hot through the thin cloth, and with deadly accuracy, they secured and prised out the contraceptive he’d might have used if he’d been able to bring himself to fuck Barbara Butcher what seemed like a century ago.

In a swift sharp yank that had him bouncing and swinging up to slap his belly, she dragged down his trousers and handling him ruthlessly, she rolled the latex jacket onto him.

Then with no further ado, she sat down hard, taking every bit of him into her with one voracious lunge.

It was like plunging into the heart of a black star, burning hot, yet at the same time utterly dark. He’d never felt anything quite like it, not even with this same woman, last night in the alley.

GOTHIC HEAT is published on the 3rd April in the UK and on the 27th May in the US and is available from and

Happy reading!

Portia Da Costa
Fourteen long years at the Black Lace coal face

PS. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Gothic Heat.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Art of Procrastination: CHAT

by Janine Ashbless

As a writer, I have this great job, see. I get to work from home and make my own time. I can sleep in on a morning. I get to spend all day with my dogs. I can wear whatever I feel like. I can buy porn and offset it against tax…

Of course there is a downside to this. If I want to get anything achieved I have to be disciplined – and believe me, doing that to yourself is a whole lot harder work than getting someone else to do it to you. (Cue dirty joke about discipline...)

So I set myself a goal of a certain wordcount per day. Then I go out of my way to do anything – anything – that will stop me achieving that. I am the Queen of Procrastination. It’s not that I dislike writing, oddly. I love writing: I am addicted to writing: I get a physical high from a good day’s work and if I’ve done nothing I go into self-loathing sulk. But I am scared to start. I am scared that yesterday’s work will, like fairy gold, have transmuted overnight into a pile of steaming horse-manure. I am scared that I will not be able to express the pictures in my head. I am scared that for some reason, without warning, today the words will not come.

So I procrastinate. I have this routine: I check my e-mail and deal with matters arising. I look on Lust Bites. I check the other blogs and websites I like to lurk on. I play a game of Spider solitaire. I check my MySpace. I update my blog or my website if there’s something new to say. I play a game of Spider solitaire. I check my e-mail and deal with matters arising…

On a bad day I can keep this up for hours.

The horrible thing about the internet is that it can be updated at any time, so hanging on the refresh button becomes habitual. But my nemesis is Spider. It used to be Alchemy, and Sudoku, in their time, but the pattern is the same whatever the game. I like Spider because it is a simple logical battle with a win-or-lose outcome. If you win you feel good about yourself. If you lose there’s no consequence, so you start the next game. Spider focuses the mind and leaves no room for worries about nuances, plot-lines, or the struggles of interacting human personalities (fictional or otherwise). It is clean. It is solipsistic. It allows you to taste triumph on a short time-scale – something very much missing from a writer’s life, where all real victories take months and months, even years, to win.

So tell me – what are your procrastination vices? What tricks do you use to put off that fatal moment of confronting your creativity and forcing it to do your will? Do you read other erotica authors “just to get in the mood”? Do you eat? Do you power nap? Do you make a nice cup of tea? (Yes, I do all those things too!)

And I will leave the last word on Working From Home to the magnificent Mitchell and Webb:

Monday, March 24, 2008

L is for Leather

Line up, Lusties and leather-lovers everywhere, the Erotic Alphabet series has reached the letter 'L' and yes, yay, yes, L is for Leather.

L is for Leather

Oh look at the precious little book! As I said to editor Alison Tyler when I laid eyes on A-D, "Purty on the outside, dirty on the inside." What is the bodacious cover tramp wearing? Oh! I believe it's a Little Black Dress, which just happens to be the title of my story in this collection. But! First things first.

Oops! A photo of L Word hottie Shane made slightly less gratuitous by the fact that she's in a leather vest. L Word...L is for Leather... no?

This slim anthology begins with a bang. Our own Kate Pearce invites us to "Meet a cowboy after church who understands your deepest desires and knows a few good tricks with his leather belt," in her story Sunday Service.

On the second Sunday, she'd waited until the preacher hurried home for lunch before turning to find the cowboy behind her. He pushed her up against the shadowy side wall of the old wooden church and undid the buttons of his long duster coat to reveal a coarse denim work shirt, jeans and a low-slung gun belt. Then he opened the pearl buttons of her thick winter coat and leaned into her, his Stetson carefully angled over her head, his big body aligned to hers from shoulder to knee.

When he touched her lower lip with his tongue, she'd opened her mouth for him. He tasted of strong coffee and cigarettes and his kiss was as fierce and dark as she'd expected. The press of his erection against her stomach made her melt, her sex pulsing and eager for the first time in over a year. Without releasing her mouth, he picked her up until her legs came around his waist. His jeans-covered cock ground against her core. She came for him - even through the layers of her Sunday-best dress, petticoats and panties.

He smiled for the first time.

"Meet me in your father's barn after lunch."

And she had.

OK so Kate's contribution is simply one of the hottest short stories I've ever read. I'm not going to give anything away, except to say that there's lots of leather in this piece, including fringed leather chaps, an old leather belt, a new leather belt, and a saddle horn, and they're all put to terrible good use.

In Little Black Dress, written by Madeline Moore, aka me, a submissive woman interrupts her Dom's plans to abandon her by making the extravagant, guilty, blush and rush inducing purchase of the little black leather dress (part one) and then donning it to make a bold statement at his Bon Voyage party. (part two)

1) The invisible zipper rasped, then the leather was lowered over her head. The saleswoman started talking about the designer's triumphant show in Paris and how he'd recently selected just three shops in all of North America to carry his merchandise. Melissa half-listened but she was grateful for the background noise. It made the hammering echo of her heartbeat inside her head less overwhelming. She stood with her arms up. It had to fit. For a moment everything went black, then her warm body was welcoming the sheath of cool leather, eager to make the hide live and breathe again.

2) Melissa wore no jewelry whatsoever - her skin was the only accessory she needed with this dress, and vice versa. Did he really think he would ever find, anywhere, skin as soft and pale as hers? As if to prove her point, her throat pulsed blue with every breath. That wasn't it, he'd sworn up and down. "I couldn't ask you to give up everything," he'd said. As if he'd ever asked her for anything.

His jaw dropped when he saw her, though her arrival wasn't a surprise. He was caught mid-pontification, his index finger stuck midair.


She sank to her knees. The dress slithered up her stockinged legs with a hiss.

Gratifyingly, the crowd parted. He stared. She raised her face and stared right back...

..."Master?" She was trembling and she knew she'd paled to a ghostly white but she caught his gray glance and held it with hers.

"What do you want?"

"Take me with you, or kill me, please."

As if these excerpts aren't enough to make you want to buy the book, there are also stories by a host of other fine writers, with Alison Tyler, as always, contributing the final piece, appropriately titled, Hide.

Leave a comment and maybe you'll win the copy of L is for Leather we're giving away today on Lust Bites. Yeee-haw!

(All photos are from Photobucket except the tattooed cowboy, who comes to us courtesy of

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Coming attractions

Interior monologue of a naked man:

Damn, I should really rewire this place. That plug's a bloody death trap. I'll sort it out now ... or maybe I'll just try on those new leather trousers first ... should probably sand this stool as well, man, talk about splinters! ... but Portia gave me that book, if I didn't read it she'd be really hurt, it's not just being indulgent ... God, is that the time? Okay, I'll just make a coffee and have a cigarette then I'll get started...

On Monday, Madeline Moore introduces L is for Leather (edited by Alison Tyler), from lederhosen to leather straps.

On Wednesday, Janine Ashbless gives us some midweek procrastination. If she gets around to it, that is... The delicate art of time-wasting is one replete with creativity and ingenuity.

On Friday, Portia da Costa parades the pleasures of Gothic Heat for our last-Friday-of-the-Month slice of erotica. But if you can't wait till Friday, you can look for the whole list of monthly bliss in the right-hand bar, or just click here to read your fill.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Meet the author

by Olivia Knight

“You should never meet your heroes. Paul Newman... I was so excited about meeting him, but he turned up in shell suit bottoms, slippers, and a jumper.” – Alan Carr

“Reading is like the sex act - done privately, and often in bed.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

You shouldn’t believe what comedians say, they’re only doing it for effect (unless they’re Marcus Brigstocke) and anyone who says “the sex act” is automatically consigned to “advice for the previous century”. Nevertheless, reading is private, like sex – you’re allowed to talk about it, but doing it in company is frowned upon. Unless, of course, the company’s joining in. I still remember the guilty pleasure of that first evening when, instead of ripping each other’s clothes off and leaving bite marks on every fleshy body part, my new boyfriend and I lay on my bed and read together – both fervently hoping no-one would catch us in the act. With reading so private and heroes so disappointing - do we want to meet the author?

Since Roland Barthes announced the death of the author in 1977, the author’s been buried, dug up, framed, meta-framed, deframed, defamed, contextualised, deconstructed, most of which seems to me to miss Barthes’s very clear point: what we have is the book. It’s not the author. You can tell, because the book is rectangular and full of printed pages, whereas the author is fork-limbed and hairy in patches.

A bookA person

It’s not reality, it’s not the author. It’s a book. More than that, it’s my book. What the author meant hardly matters, when I have what they wrote. And in reality, you don’t want the author there while you read. Trust me on this. Because the author’s sitting there hugging her toes, eyes glued to your every passing expression, querying every frown or chuckle, saying “Where have you got to?” and “What do you think?” every time you get your flow of concentration back, then wandering into the kitchen, supposedly to make coffee, but actually to glance surreptitiously at the page number and nod knowingly.

I don’t want the author in my living room and I don’t want to see them in the book anymore than I want to see the boom swing into shot in a film. Meta- and pomo- be damned; I know this is fiction, now shove off and let me enjoy it. Authors have a duty to maintain a discreet absence, like excellent waiters. Let our anguish enrich our characters’ inner lives, let our hangups provide fuel, let our treasured anecdotes be picked at for raw materials, but the original anguish, hangup, or anecdote should remain strictly off-page. When you’re making magic, you don’t break the spell.

In erotica, you really, really don’t want the author there while you read. In fact, you don’t even want to think about them. I love Tilly (Mathilde Madden to you), but when I’m reading The Silver Werewolves I’d rather think about Alfie. Contrariwise, if I meet Tilly for coffee, I try not to think about Alfie, because my tongue would hang out. Book-readings and signings are even stranger. You stand in a queue to shake the hand that wrote the words that put your own hand firmly between your legs, and in the best British tradition, everyone pretends it’s a recipe book and nothing to do with sex at all, of course not, a-ha-ha-ha… When really, you all want to go nudge-nudge, wink wink, know what I mean, eh? Eh? Even for authors who don’t habitually make their readers masturbate, it’s a fraught encounter. Ten seconds, thirty seconds, a brief chat over the drinks at the end – how can that ever compete with the fabulous beast that is the book itself?

All of these firmly held opinions (and I know no other kind) go towards explaining why I travel for miles and queue for hours to meet my favourite authors (whether or not they inspired a quick one off the wrist, and some surprising ones do). I gaze wide-eyed, hover breathlessly, and leave – unlike Alan Carr – surprisingly satisfied. They were real. And while they’re not the books, and can’t necessarily explain the books, they’re where the books come from. It also goes towards explaining why, wide-eyed and breathlessly, I’m taking the plunge myself and appearing at Borders as part of the Oxfringe Literary Festival. Anyone who wants to shake the hand that wrote the stuff that – well, yes – you, me, 2 April, 6:30 onwards, it’s a date. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

So – apart from me, obviously – which authors do you most want to meet? Which have you met? And did you ever accidentally insult them, like I did with Wilbur Smith?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Yes, Sir and Yes, Ma'am

by Dayle A. Dermatis and Teresa Noelle Roberts (aka Sophie Mouette)

Once again, the talented editor (and writer, but we’re talking about her editing genius here) Rachel Kramer Bussel has pulled together amazingly hot collections of erotic stories. This time, the focus is on dominance and submission from the sub’s point of view. Yes, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission and Yes, Ma’am: Erotic Stories of Male Submission are packed with juicy tales of play and punishment, pain and pleasure.

And if you look at the tables of contents, you’ll see some familiar names…. What a shock, that Lusties and their friends might write about pain, pleasure, and power exchange!

Yes, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission Table of Contents:
Introduction: Ready to Say Yes (Sir) by Rachel Kramer Bussel
“The Art of Darkness” by Alison Tyler
“Dear Professor Pervert” by Donna George Storey
“A Necessary Connection” by Debra Hyde
“The Editor” by Amanda Earl
“Ribbons” by Kathryn O’Halleran
“The Day I Came in Public” by D.L. King
“Lunch” by Elizabeth Coldwell
“When Penny Met Harry” by Stan Kent
“The Power of No” by Teresa Noelle Roberts
“In The Corner” by Sommer Marsden
“Stuck at Work and Late for a Date” by Chelsea Summers
“Running Wild” by Shanna Germain
“Pink is the Enemy” by Jocelyn Bringas
“Sitting on Ice Cream” by Lisette Ashton
“Under His Hand, I Blossom” by Nikki Magennis
“Make Me” by Rachel Kramer Bussel
“Body Electric” by Lisabet Sarai
“Reclaiming the Sofa” by Maddy Stuart
“How Bad Do You Want It?” by Gwen Masters

Yes, Ma’am: Erotic Stories of Male Submission Table of Contents
Introduction: “Giving It Up: Letting Her Rule” by Rachel Kramer Bussel
“Zero Sum Game” by Alex Mendra
“Secret Desires” by Ellen Tevault
“Tea for Three” by Lee Ash
“Exhibit A” by Chris Cooper
“A Different Kind of Reality Show” by D. L. King
“Secretary’s Day” by Rachel Kramer Bussel
“Wedding Night” by Dominic Santi
“Flash” by Alison Tyler
“It’s Cold Outside” by Stephen Elliott
“An Invitation to the Dance” by Sylvane Alistair
“Sticking with You” by L. E. Bland
“i 1t u 2 do sumfin 4 me” by George Cross
“Rope Burn” by A. D. R. Forte
“His Lady’s Manservant” by Andrea Dale
“Taming the Unruly” by Debra Hyde
“The Big What” by Michael Hemmingson
“The Mean Girl” by Teresa Noelle Roberts
“Connection” by Kristina Wright

In Teresa Noelle Roberts’ story, “The Power of No,” a newbie bottom who thinks she’s just enjoying new and different sensations discovers her sexuality is more complex than she realized while playing a new kind of game—orgasm denial:

“When you’re about to come, say ‘edge,’” he commanded. “I’ll let you know if you may. Now don’t move. I want to see how well you hold position. And don’t come without permission.”

Too nervous to laugh this time—and I was convinced, too anxious to need to worry about coming—I took a deep breath and waited for my ass to catch fire.
Instead, I felt the flogger glide across the skin of my back, a sensual caress. It didn’t feel like the stiff strands I’d been anticipating, either, but something softer, suede perhaps.

That bastard had switched floggers on me! I itched to turn around and see which he’d chosen. I hadn’t seen even a fraction of Enrique’s toy collection, and curiosity was trying to get the better of me. Those falls felt so velvety as they brushed across my back, making my skin twitch like a cat’s in their wake, sending shivers deep into my core. Maybe they were velvet, or perhaps fur? I wanted to know…

But I couldn’t make myself turn around.

I told myself it was because I didn’t want to spoil whatever game he was playing. I wanted to know, but I certainly didn’t want him to stop, and I risked that if I turned around, since he’d told me to told still.

That was what I told myself, anyway.

In Shanna Germain’s “Running Wild,” the wife in a marriage that’s going amuck meets a man who can help her get back in control by giving up some control:

“Saw you riding the barrels in Sisters last year,” he said.

“Yeah, what’d you think?”

He looked up, crooked grin a little higher. “Thought you could have given up some control, trust your mare a little more. She would have gone faster ’round that second barrel.”

I didn’t say anything. I’d finished second in that run, just behind the top rider in the state.

He hung the bridle up and wiped his hands on a rag.

“And I think you’re not standing there just to ask me what I think about your riding.”

I cocked my head. “Really? Why am I standing here?”

With his easy stride, he was at my head in a second. He put the flat of his hand against my cheek.

“Because you’ve been running wild all summer long, and you need someone to put some reins on you and put you in check.”

I tried to think, but his hand moved down, grasped the back of my head and held me in place.

“Who told you that?” I asked, once I could think again.

“Your husband,” he said.

I laughed. “Right.” Like he cared.

Bobby moved my head forward until his lips pressed against mine. He didn’t kiss me; he talked to me, moving his lips so I could feel every word like some kind of Braille.

“He didn’t hire me to break your horses,” Bobby said. “He hired me to break you. I’ve been waiting all week for you to get your ass out of bed and show up.”

I didn’t believe him, but it didn’t matter.

In “His Lady’s Manservant,” two actors working at a murder mystery weekend stay in their roles of lady of the manor and butler even after they’ve retired. Andrea Dale is one of Dayle Dermatis’s many pseudonyms.

It was when I was unlacing her corset that it struck me: as I essentially freed her, my actions were binding me to her whims. Not forced bondage by any means—it was entirely by my choice.

She lounged back on the bed, wearing only lace-trimmed bloomers and a matching sleeveless silk camisole and sheer stockings (probably not Victorian-period, but oh, so sexy), and told me to undress.

I shucked my clothes, again wanting to leave them where they fell but instead folding them neatly. Melina’s eyes never left me, even as she idly circled one nipple with her finger until the nub blushed dark and hard against the silk.

She was stunning. I wanted to worship her. When she beckoned me to her, I was thrilled that she hadn’t found me wanting.

At her command, I suckled her breasts through the silk. The fabric grew damp and see-through, and when I blew on it, she arched her back and mewled with pleasure.

I tugged her drawers down—they were damp, too, with her musky scent—and couldn’t resist running the silk across my turgid cock, the fabric excruciatingly soft between my fist and my sensitized flesh.

“We’ll have none of that.” Melina plucked the bloomers out of my reach. “You’re here for my pleasure.”

These collections are full of hot d/s sex. But as the excerpts show, they’re also full of emotion. Fear and catharsis, cruelty and tenderness interweave in complex ways. And one thing that’s clear in these stories is that submissives, whether male or female, aren’t frail little flowers (except when that scenario is amusing to all concerned). They’re fierce in their desires and needs and sometimes stronger than they realize themselves, even as they yield to someone who’s gleefully taken the power they offer up.

P.S: The winner of Niki Flynn's book Dances with Werewolves is Crystal Adkins. Congratulations Crystal! E-mail me your postal details to janinineashbless[at]fsmail[dot]net and we'll send you your prize.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An Interview With Mary Anne Mohanraj

Just thinking about Mary Anne Mohanraj makes me tired (in a wildly impressed way). Is there anything this woman doesn’t do? She’s a writer, editor, founder of online magazines with works in erotica, literary fiction, speculative fiction, poetry, and even recipes. She’s an academic. She’s doing all this while juggling several long-time partners, a new baby, a blog, and (from the pictures she posts) a gorgeous home where she frequently entertains, serving mouthwatering dishes to her guests. She has one of the longest continually running blogs on the ‘net. She’s an artist. She…

Oh, the hell with it! I’ll just introduce her and let you meet this amazing woman yourselves.

How socially acceptable is it to be poly in the environment in which you live and work (i.e., academia)? Does it have real definition in people’s minds yet or is it still just treated as swinging?

I wish I could answer that question, but the truth is, I don’t think most academics we deal with on a daily basis realize that we’re poly. That’s mostly due to the nature of our current poly status; Kevin isn’t involved with anyone else right now, and my other sweetie, Jed, lives in California, so I only see him a few times a year. As a result, the subject just doesn’t come up very often. It feels weird, to be “passing” for monogamous—but it also feels weird to pass for straight (I’m bi), or for married (we’re not). Especially now that Kevin and I have a child, most people we meet assume that we’re straight, monogamous, and married, even though we don’t wear rings.

I’m still trying to figure out the best way to deal with that socially—it feels rude to be constantly correcting people. “So, will your husband be joining us for dinner? Does he like Chinese?” “Actually, it’s partner, not husband. We’ve chosen not to marry. And we’re not monogamous; we date other people. Sometimes boys, sometimes girls. And yes, he loves Chinese food.” See? It feels rude, not to mention awkward.

What usually happens is that eventually we get to know people better, and the poly/bi/married stuff comes up, sometimes six months or a year after we’ve first met. Academics seem usually more accepting than the general population of “alternative’” practices, and certainly there are plenty of bi and unmarried-in-long-term-relationships academics. (Maybe especially in the fields we’re in, creative writing and mathematics, ‘cause writers have license to be bohemian and artsy, and mathematicians are expected to be a bit weird.) No one’s ever given us any grief, but sometimes the poly conversation does completely derail the rest of the dinner party conversation, and it can turn into a little mini-lecture on Poly 101.

I don’t think most folks are familiar with the term “poly,” but I think they also don’t know much about “swinging,” so it’s not as if they automatically assume poly = swinging. They just want to know all the details of how we manage it, who gets jealous (or doesn’t), where does everyone sleep, etc. The usual thing.

On a similar note, how does the academic community handle your relatively “out” presence not just as a poly/queer woman, but as an erotica writer and a writer and editor of speculative fiction (which isn’t always considered “literary”)? Is there any conflict, or is your not entirely fitting the stereotypical academic profile part of the attraction?

There was a tiny issue when I was teaching in Utah—the department got a nasty letter from the parent of one of the student, “outing” me as a smut writer and demanding that they fire me. They called me in, but just to tell me about it, and to reassure me that they of course supported my academic freedom to write and say whatever I wanted. They did ask that I be sure to keep the material in the composition classes I was teaching appropriate to the course, which seems totally reasonable to me. Especially given what a religious environment Salt Lake City is (there was a notable case while I was there of a drama student who refused to perform various monologues because they involved speaking obscenities; she won that battle with the department on the grounds of religious freedom), I think my department did a great job of standing behind me.

Aside from Utah, I’ve never had any issues at all with the erotica or other sexually explicit material. Some of my students were a little shocked by some of the things I asked them to read for class, but some students are just easily shocked. They pretty much all got over it, once I explained my reasons for having them read sexually explicit material. (Again, in Utah, some of the students didn’t want to watch Pretty Woman for the Cinderella segment of the class—we found an edited version that their church permitted them to use, which seems a reasonable workaround.)

The speculative fiction is handled a little differently—it’s true that in some of my departments, some of the faculty more focused on traditional “literary fiction” had a bit of trouble with the spec fic at first. But it’s pretty easy to make the case for well-written spec fic vs. badly-written schlock, so as long as I’m focusing my courses on that end of the spectrum (LeGuin, Delany, Chabon, Link, etc.), everyone’s happy. And of course, there’s a whole branch of academic now that focuses on pop culture, and they don’t care at all about whether something’s “literary” or not. As long as it’s important in popular culture, it’s fair game. That’s not the area I focus on, but it’s becoming a pretty respectable field. If you want to write books talking about Spike vs. Angel in Buffy, that’s the place for you, and at least some academic departments will welcome you whole-heartedly.

Academic departments are also always looking for courses the students will be excited about, because that keeps your class enrollments up (which makes your department have a bit more weight in the university overall, and justifies more funding sent your way). So there’s definitely a gleam in a department head’s eye when they hear that I write about sex, or teach science fiction. :-)

How would you distinguish between literary and genre erotica, or it is fluid?

I’m not sure I know what you mean by those distinctions. When I use the term “literary,” I usually mean any work that’s striving towards artistic excellence. Well-developed characters, beautiful prose, complex structures, thematic depth—all of those can be elements of strong literary fiction. I’d apply the term “literary” as a modifier to pretty much any genre; i.e., you can have:

  • • literary erotica (Anaïs Nin, The Story of O, Nicholson Baker, Pat Califia, hopefully my writing :-)
  • • literary science fiction (Samuel Delany, Thomas Pynchon, Iain Banks...)
  • • literary fantasy (Kelly Link, Ursula K. LeGuin, Michael Chabon...)
  • • literary romance (almost anything by Jane Austen...)
  • • literary westerns (Ledoyt...)
  • • literary comic books (Sandman, Persepolis, Watchmen, Castle Waiting...)
  • • literary mainstream (I imagine you can fill this one in)
  • • literary horror (I don’t read or watch horror, because it gives me nightmares, but I hear Stephen King is a great writer...)
And with all of these genres, there’s plenty of writing that doesn’t aspire to any artistic value—it’s just mildly entertaining schlock, often churned out pretty quickly to feed the public’s hunger for more-of-the-same (and feed the writer’s pocketbook). And there’s nothing really wrong with that either—I have a weakness for books-with-dragons-in, for example, and will read almost anything with a dragon on a cover. There’s a place in life for light airplane reading (or little stroke books) too.

We often hear about writers who “move on” from erotica, or use erotica as a stepping stone to “better” things. Do you feel like this? Would you say you’ve left genre erotica behind? What about literary erotica—is that different from your literary fiction? Do you wish you could do both?

I worked primarily in erotica for about seven years, I think? I don’t think turning to mainstream immigrant fiction was a shift in literary quality—I was always trying, when I wrote erotica, to write as beautiful and artistically as I could. It’s a bit embarrassing to look at some of my early efforts, but that’s not because it’s erotica—just because I was such a beginning writer, and I knew almost nothing. I wrote erotica because I was deeply interested in sexuality and the human heart, in the interactions both between people, and between people in relationships and a wider society.

Around the time I turned thirty, I started being more interested in race and ethnicity, and specifically, the interactions between sexuality and ethnicity in a cultural framework. So that’s what I started writing about. But even with Bodies in Motion, my most recent and “literary” book, there’s still a strong focus on sexuality throughout the book, in almost every story. One of the stories, “Seven Cups of Water,” was first published as erotica, in Aqua Erotica, and then republished in Bodies in Motion as mainstream fiction. I didn’t change the story at all—only the marketing and audience changed.

Tell us what that transition to more literary fiction has been like. Do you feel as though you’ve carried your erotica writing experiences with you? How does it inform your present work?

For me, learning to be a better writer has been all about adding layers to my writing. At first, I focused on the sexual and romantic layers. Then I added ethnicity and race, with arranged marriage issues, interracial dating, desires to connect with one’s cultural heritage, etc. I started exploring generational issues, the way parents (and grandparents) and their grown children interact around sexual and other issues. The desire to have children of one’s own. And now, I’m starting to become more and more interested in the broader political landscape, in national identity, in war, and the way all of those issues intersect. I carry everything I’ve written about before with me—it just gets deeper and hopefully richer as I go.

Another way to think about it is that when I was writing pure erotica, it was a narrow focus (which perhaps allows for a certain depth)—as I continue as a writer, my focus has been growing broader and broader. The struggle is to try to maintain as much sharpness and depth as possible, on a wider playing field.

How does you feel that your readership perceives you having done both?

I’m not sure any writer can answer that question—you tell me! How’d I do?

Although I do admit to being a little sad that some of my erotica readers haven’t followed me to the immigrant fiction, thinking perhaps that because it has a South Asian focus that they won’t be able to relate to it. I’d like them to trust that if they liked my erotica, there’s a good chance they’ll like what I’m doing now. But I suppose that if they were mostly interested in the arousing aspect of the erotica, that it’s true they won’t find nearly as much of that focus in the mainstream fiction. It’s there, but it’s not the focus anymore.

You’ve also written a cookbook of Sri Lankan recipes. What role does food play in your fiction? Can you address food and cooking as “identity”? And how about the intersections of food, sex, and culture?

My characters tend to be a little obsessed with food, I think, maybe because I love it so. But truly, you’ll see a lot of food in most immigrant fiction, and I think understandably so. For many immigrants and their children, food is such a primary sensory connection to the homeland. The tastes (and scents) that you miss (the curry leaves that for years, my mother couldn’t buy in America, the exact blend of spices she used in her sauces, the coconut-milk hoppers that she couldn’t make, because they required a particular small hemispherical pan) become icons of home—and when you do finally taste them again, after perhaps years away, they explode on your tongue, a sensory overload that connects directly to your heart. Food is one of the primal needs—right up there with sex in its importance to our most primitive and powerful selves. What I don’t understand is how any writer can not write about food!

Let’s make a brief turn down the editing road. You were the founder of not one but two online magazines: Clean Sheets, which publishes erotic fiction and nonfiction, and Strange Horizons, which publishes speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, etc.). Both are highly respected and still going strong. Do you have different criteria for editing erotica than for editing speculative fiction (beyond the obvious “erotica must have erotic elements and spec fic much have spec fic elements”)?

Actually, yes. The way I usually think about it is that there are really two different types of genre definitions. Erotica and horror are what I’d call genres of mood—they aim to arouse a specific emotional/physical response in the reader. If an erotica story doesn’t arouse you, if a horror story doesn’t horrify you—it’s failed its task. Of course, not every story will work for every reader—we all have different tastes. But as a writer of erotica, my primary goal is to arouse—that comes first. It doesn’t matter how artistic and literary a story is, if it doesn’t arouse someone, it’s not really erotica.

As opposed to that, science fiction and fantasy don’t aim for any particular mood. Oh, maybe a bit of “sense of wonder,” but that doesn’t need to be the primary focus of the story, or even present in every successful speculative fiction story. Most genres aren’t genres of mood, but genres of convention—and I’d include “realistic fiction” as a genre by this definition.

Do you still read erotica (whether genre or literary) for pleasure? If so, can you name some of your favorite authors?

I named some above, although to be honest, I don’t read so much anymore. In part that’s because I’m scrambling to keep up with my other reading—I’m teaching an Asian-American literature class this spring, so I’m trying desperately to get up to speed on East Asian and SE Asian literature at the moment. And I’m working on a few books that focus on nationalism and war, so I’m reading a lot of military memoirs and history texts.

The other part, to be honest, is that since getting pregnant and having a baby, I’ve just been too damn exhausted to be very sexual lately, so the interest in reading about sex isn’t really there at the moment. (Someone asked me what my sexual orientation was recently, and I told them my sexual orientation was “tired.”) Hopefully the sex drive will come back, maybe when Kavya finally starts sleeping through the night!

You had your first child last year—congratulations! You’ve said in your blog that you had a pretty traditional upbringing. What are your thoughts on how you’re going to raise your own daughter and teach her about the world, particularly in the area of sexuality?

Heh. Well, I certainly now understand the desire to lock up your daughter until she’s 21! (Although I’m a lot less worried about sex than my parents were, and a lot more worried about drugs—they seem to have much more potential to actually ruin your life these days, and be much more pervasive in schools than they were when I was a kid.) I hope that Kevin and I will be able to be pretty open and honest with her about sex, including explaining to her why we hope she waits to have full-on sex until she’s old enough and mature enough to deal with any physical, mental, or emotional consequences. Gosh, I sound like a stuffy old parent already, don’t I? :-) She’s probably going to be sneaking out the basement window at fifteen to go meet boys, just like I did…

It’ll be interesting seeing how we handle the poly stuff with her; it’ll probably depend to some extent on what kinds of poly relationships we are or aren’t involved with as time goes on. I think the basic plan is to answer her questions as they come up. Hopefully we’ll have a good long while to think about our answers before she actually starts asking questions!

Mary Anne, thanks for spending the day with us! You’ve given us so much to think about and discuss. For anyone wanting to know more about Mary Anne, you can visit (and lose hours in the process) her her website. Meanwhile, though, let’s all go discuss in the comments!

(Note: Photos of author taken by Suzette Bross.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

K is for Kinky

By Mathilde Madden

We're on K. And K is for Kinky. I don't know why they asked me to do this write up, I really don't.

Oh yes, it's because I have a story in the book. And I do, along with Lustie Shanna Germain and lots of special kinky Lust Bites pals like Emily Dubberley, Sakia Walker, Donna George Storey and Jeremy Edwards.

Plus the wonderful Alison Tyler herself, who appears in each alphabet book and here excels herself with hot knife action in Blades:

I like the challenge of working when there are people present. Security guards. Overly attentive shop girls. And other customers. Especially, other customers. Those housewives who trundle along after a new paring knife, one with a handle that won’t break off this time, thank you very much. The atrocious newlyweds exchanging a set of butter knives for a fancy blade that will cut through the slimy seaweed skin of homemade sushi.

“We’re making it ourselves,” they gush in saccharine-sweet voices, eyes on each other rather than the prices of the expensive weapons displayed before them.

But my eyes are focused on the razor-sharp edges that can do such damage in the hands of those less experienced, and even more damage in the hands of those who know what they’re doing. I like the high-end knives, often imported from Europe, with black handles made of heavy-duty rubber. Usually, these blades are trapped behind glass. You have to ask for permission to touch.

“That one,” I nod to the helpful pink-cheeked salesgirl. “The small one.”

I get wet as soon as the slick rubber meets the flesh of my palm. My thumb works up the edge slowly, to dance lightly over the ridge of the blade. It’s a tango between steel and flesh, and flesh, I know, will always lose.

My own story is a simple one. Nothing more than a heated conversation between a woman who's not in the mood tonight and a man who's keen for his weekly kinky fix:

He cocked his head and fixed his coyest expression. He lived for Wednesday nights. Work had been hell these last few months and he didn't think he could bear to trudge back into London without some kind of tension release. 'You don't have to do anything,' he said, very gently, 'I'll wait on you. Please.'

'I said "No".'

He swallowed and moved closer to the desk until he was near enough to rest his palms on the top. 'But why? You know you want to.'

She held his gaze. 'Don’t tell me what I want. You are really pushing your luck now.'

'Am I? What are you going to do about that?' He lifted one knee onto the desktop and lowered his gaze, deferent and needy and hard. Ready.

Her expression was unreadable. 'Oh do you take me for some kind of fool? I told you. Now leave.'

'Make me,' he hissed, hoping that this banging heart wasn't audible as he raised his other knee, and gingerly climbed up to kneel on her desk.

She fixed his gaze with flashing eyes as their faces drew level. 'No.'

So there are lots of kinks in the world. You want to tell me yours? Or try and guess mine? (Like that's hard.) One lucky commenter gets a copy of the book.

Mat x

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Coming attractions

On Monday, Mathilde Madden gets Kinky with a Kapitol K – the latest in Alison Tyler’s alphabet series. The difference between ‘erotic’ and ‘kinky’ being, of course, the difference between using a feather and using a chicken (or to put it another way, paltry).

Exhibit A
Exhibit B

On Wednesday, Dayle Dermatis meets the author Mary Anne Mohanraj – a post-colonialist, polyamorist and professor, who has in addition a host of writing projects including two erotic “choose-your-own-adventure” books.

Then on Friday, Olivia Knight puzzles about the pitfalls and pleasures of meeting authors, from spending ten breathless seconds in front of your heroine to the oddity of shaking the hand that wrote the stuff that made your own hand do - well, whatever it did. Turn the page, for instance. And she announces she'll be coming out of hiding in April - your chance to meet the author!

WINNERS! A copy of Donna George Storey's Amorous Woman goes to rlr260 and J is For Jealousy, edited by Alison Tyler, goes to Angell. Please email your details to lustbitesladies [at] yahoo [dot] com.

The competition winners round-up is updated - check the link on the right-hand side or click here to look for your name.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Niki Flynn: Spanking Model

by Janine Ashbless

Every so often we at Lust Bites like to venture to the wilder shores of sexual fantasy (see Kristina on Erotic Degradation for example), before scurrying back to the safety of our writing spaces.
Today I’m delighted to welcome as a guest interviewee Niki Flynn, spanking model.
An American now based in the UK, Niki works in corporal punishment (CP) films, getting spanked, paddled caned and whipped for the pleasure of her many fans. She is an "inmate" in the online "prison" Bars and Stripes. She models vanilla photos too -You can find some stunningly beautiful pictures in the gallery at her website. Her memoir, Dances With Werewolves, has now been published by Virgin Books (tiddly little review below).

And I have just spent two days looking at pictures of her bottom and muttering "Ooch!"

"I don't like BEING punished;I like having BEEN punished."

[Janine] Hello Niki – Welcome to Lust Bites! What brought about the writing of your book, Dances With Werewolves? Did you enjoy writing it?

[Niki] I’ve been lucky enough (and exhibitionistic enough) to be able to live out my fantasies on camera and I wanted to share my story with the world. I’ve spent my life exploring the dark side of female sexuality. Tentatively expressing my desires to judgmental partners who called me a freak, testing the waters with kinky guys I met online and finally diving straight into the world of spanking movies. I want my book to reach others who have similar fantasies, but who always thought they were alone.

I had a Yahoo group at the time and several members suggested writing a memoir. (The group has since been banned by Yahoo: Thoughtcrime!) I was pretty hesitant at first and my editor had to tell me to stop writing as though my parents were reading over my shoulder. Once I let go I found the whole process incredibly liberating, if a bit scary.

[J] Bars and Stripes describes you as the "ever lovely but slightly mad inmate Niki Flynn". Is this because you’ve suggested virgin sacrifices to Great Cthulhu? Should we be worried?

[N] The only sacrifice I’d suggest would be me, though I’d have a hard time pulling off the "virgin" act. Incidentally, the "slightly mad" refers to my Bars & Stripes character: a pyromaniac who carries a teddy bear and doesn’t speak. After an amorous affair with my cellmate, a prison riot and some shock treatment from the evil Matron, I tried to murder the governor and was sent to the prison dungeon to be thrashed by the guards. Yum!

[J] Do you consider yourself a porn star, or is CP a different thing altogether?

[N] I get a kick out of calling myself a porn star, yeah. My films are "intended to arouse" just as mainstream porn films are; it’s simply a different genre.

[J] What makes you want to reach out to the vanilla community?

[N] Is anyone truly 100% vanilla? I think that most people want some variation on plain old married missionary sex for procreation. Kinky people generally know what it’s like to feel alienated because of their fantasies. I certainly did. I want my book to reach the demure housewife who feels guilty about her rape fantasies or her wish to be spanked. The simple act of owning what turns you on is empowering. I realise I’m at the more extreme end of the spectrum, but I hope my experiences will offer encouragement to others who have felt isolated by their unconventional desires.

[J] Explain to us, please, what the lure and reward of being spanked is for you.

[N] Fear is intensely erotic for me, so a lot of the appeal lies in the anticipation. The pain itself isn’t the focus; that’s really just a vehicle to get to the sense of achievement on the other side. Anxiety, exposure, vulnerability, surrender, pain, endurance, bliss… What I enjoy most is the afterglow, the tingling and exhilaration of having suffered and survived. It’s the culmination of a journey requiring absolute trust.

[J] You’ve said you’re not Bi. Does it make a difference to you whether you’re being punished by a man or a woman?

[N] Oh, definitely. I enjoy playing with women, but it doesn’t have the sinister sexual undercurrent that being topped by a man does. Even if it’s a purely non-sexual scene (like a school scenario) there’s still an erotic subtext lurking beneath the surface. The hottest thing for me about erotic fiction is the setup and anticipation. I’m not half as interested in the actual sex as I am in the predatory tango that led to it!

[J] I think a number of Lusties would agree with you on that! Outside your CP work, how would you characterise yourself? Are you naturally submissive or is this a role you take on and off?

[N] You know, I always used to say I’m not submissive at all. And in day-to-day reality I’m not. But I’ve learnt that there IS a natural submissive in me – someone who does want to give up all control. So I suppose it’s a facet of me. Certainly not a role, but not my everyday self either.

[J] How important is the roleplay in a CP situation for you? Is the pain enough, or does it have to take place within a fantasy powerplay situation?

[N] The roleplay is almost more important than the CP. In fact, sometimes pain isn’t even necessary. The headiest thing of all for me is psychological domination. For example, I’m just back from a weekend of school roleplay – a boarding school scenario where everyone was "in character" the whole time. The focus was on creating the authentic experience of being at a school where CP was a real option. Of course there WAS punishment, but it wasn’t the sole purpose of the roleplay. I loved being subject to the authority of the teachers, even when I was being good and doing my homework. I loved the structure: formal lessons, set bedtime and lights out, uniform inspections, etc. It was total immersion in fantasy powerplay; the CP was really just a bonus!

[J] For those who prefer to see a male bottom being spanked, is there a parallel industry of male sub films? How about gay spanking films?

[N] There is a parallel, but it’s a smaller market. (Actual sessions with dominatrices are probably far more popular than films.) I suspect the gay male film market is larger, but I don’t know any of the players. I know lots of vanilla girls love M/M sex scenes and lots of spanko girls – myself included – love to see M/M discipline scenes. There’s no shortage of CP slash fic, either!

[J] The main problem with hardcore CP for an outsider is that by its nature it does not look consensual – we wonder if the "victims" have been bullied, drugged, forced or trafficked into taking part, since after all these are established facts within the wider sex industry. What is your experience within the CP industry? What producers can you recommend to us that are trustworthy?

[N] I can certainly vouch for all the ones I’ve worked for. I’m sure there are disreputable companies out there, but I haven’t encountered them. It’s a much smaller industry than the mainstream sex one, so it’s very incestuous and if there’s a bad apple out there, word gets around pretty fast. In general, if a company has a large Internet presence and a big stable of "regular" girls (especially familiar names), they’re probably pretty safe. I get lots of emails from girls who want to break into the industry and don’t know where to start. Based on their limits and experience, I usually know who to recommend for a first shoot.

[J] Do you think you’ll carry on with the schoolgirl stuff indefinitely, or does it have an age limit?

[N] I can’t see ever losing my love of schoolie stuff in private roleplay, but it definitely has an age limit as far as films go! And really, I’ve had more fun playing spies and political prisoners than schoolgirls.

[J] What will you not do on film? Where are your hard boundaries? Have they changed over the years?

[N] They’ve changed in general, but my film limits haven’t. People often ask me if I’d ever consider doing mainstream porn and it surprises them when I say no. There are lots of things I’m comfortable doing in front of the camera (and indeed some are made more exciting by the camera), but actual sex is something I keep private.

[J] "No one knew where I was. Not even Cameron. I was completely at the mercy of five self-proclaimed sadists I’d only met that morning. I was outnumbered, bound and blindfolded." This particular encounter in Germany seemed to me insanely risky, and I thought you were very lucky it didn’t go badly wrong. (I will add that I’m genuinely pleased you have no damaging experiences to report in your book and I hope that continues to be the case.) Is real risk part of the thrill for you?

[N] Ouch. That’s a tough one. I take "safe" real risks, if that makes sense. I wouldn’t have gone to an abandoned factory to meet a total stranger, but I felt reasonably secure meeting a known fetish photographer and his friends. The thought of a "Hostel" scenario in the moment you quoted from in my book was strong enough to enhance my fear of the situation, but deep down I don’t think I honestly believed I was in genuine danger. If I’d got any sort of creepy vibe from anyone, I wouldn’t have gone along with it. It’s tricky to have the right balance when it comes to fear. I’m a bit reckless, sure, but I’m not self-destructive. Frankly, I think hurtling down the Autobahn afterwards was the most dangerous thing about that shoot!

[J] Do you really believe that the graphic titillating portrayal of violence against women is harmless? That it doesn’t legitimise and normalise those fantasies, or blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality?

[N] There’s a huge difference between violent criminals and fantasists. Fantasists know the difference between reality and fantasy. People who commit violent crimes have violent tendencies and they will commit violent acts with or without porn. The same argument has been made against TV violence, video games, horror movies and rock music. Putting the focus on external factors like porn shifts the burden of proof to our free expression, marginalises our sexuality and ignores the fact that the vast majority of us DON’T commit violent crimes.

It’s human nature to want to believe that violence must have a tangible cause. Eliminate the cause and you eliminate violence. But violence arises from far more complex psychological factors; they aren’t created by dirty pictures. Think about Japan, where rape fantasy porn is very popular and widely available and yet they have one of the lowest sex crime rates in the world. Think about Middle Eastern cultures where porn is strictly illegal and yet violence against women is condoned and supported by law. And where do portrayals of violence against male subs fit into the argument?

[J] I love your website/blog – could get lost in there for hours. How much time does the website, reading and answering fanmail etc take up in your day? Are you a keen techie?

[N] Oh, it takes up way too much of my time. I’m not all that technical, but I CAN type 120 wpm!

[J] Do you think kinky people are born that way, or is it result of pivotal youthful experiences, or is it something you can just drift into?

[N] Theories vary on just what "causes" a fetish or a kinky inclination. Some people have some major defining moment they can pinpoint, but others (like me) don’t. I personally feel I was born kinky and my interest was nurtured by all the horror films I saw as a kid. I learned to eroticise the dread and suspense.

[J] You seem to lead a bit of a double life. Do you think you’ll ever be able to proudly tell all your vanilla friends and relatives what you do for a living? Will CP ever be mainstream?

[N] CP is already becoming a little more mainstream with films like Secretary out there. But I doubt if any fetish will ever be accepted in the wider sense. As to telling vanilla friends and relatives – I do dream of living in a world that could accept it without judgment, but I’m realistic enough to acknowledge that it will probably never happen. For all its exposure, sex still frightens people.

[J] If you could get one thing across about yourself and/or CP to our vanilla readers, what would it be?

[N] Don’t be afraid of your fantasies and never be ashamed of them.

[J] Do you read erotic fiction?

[N] Oh yes. And you can probably guess the kind that pushes my buttons! Got any recommendations?

[J] Well, I have a strong feeling you’ll like anything by Kristina Lloyd! You’ve written erotic fiction for yourself. Tempted to get some published now you’re a famous name and have a non-fiction book under your belt?

[N] It would be fun, but I fear the guidelines on consent would throw a wrench into most of my story machinery. There are disclaimers in erotic novels saying "In real life practise safe sex", so why can’t there be a disclaimer saying "In real life only do this in consensual roleplay"? Maybe I’ll write mainstream horror instead; I can get away with a lot more that way!

[J] Coffee or tea? Cats or dogs? Cthulhu or Nyarlathotep?

[N] Tea, dogs and Nyarlathotep, definitely. Far more charismatic than Cthulhu, hot images of tentacle bondage notwithstanding.

[J] Me too. Thank you Niki! Hope it wasn’t too much like being tied down and questioned by the military police. Oh, er, right, hold on …

Janine adds: I read Niki’s book for this interview and I have to recommend it as an absolutely fascinating read. She covers a wide range of topics: childhood influences, behind-the-scenes at the different shoots she’s been involved with (ranging from straightforward caning-the-bad-girl stuff to extremely gruelling and political films for the notorious Czech company Lupus), her relations with her fans and her own love-life. It’s an insider glimpse in to a world most of us can only speculate about, and it’s brave, funny and articulate. It also, as you may be able to guess, made me suck my teeth and shake my head sometimes. It made me re-assess my own boundaries, and think about why I set my limits in particular places. And any book that makes you think is a good thing by my reckoning.

Niki is kindly offering a signed copy of Dances With Werewolves to one lucky winner today! So comment below for your chance to win – even if all you can say is OUCH!


Picture credits: 1 Virgin Books. 2 3 Steve Yates. 4&8 5 6 7&9 Ben Marcato.