naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Haaaaay, everyone!  I was all set to do a great big super-duper awesomesauce entry about the ebook release of Fox's Tale, but I'm sick as a dog, so that ain't happening.

Instead, I will just show you the new cover:



Sweet.

I'm calling that finished.  I think it looks pretty good.  So, now you can go grab a copy!  I wrote a bonus scene, too.

I know folks were waiting on this.  Sorry it took so long.  I have to do everything myself, so it sometimes takes a while for things to work their way through.  I'll try to be quicker about it in the future.  Again, doing it all myself, so no guarantees!

Best.  Hoping I feel less like leftover roadkill tomorrow.  Good lord.  I feel like I'm trying to give birth to a snot elemental through my skull.

Also!  Friendly reminder!  If you grabbed an ebook last week, leave us reviews on Smashwords and/or Amazon!  It's quick, it's easy, and it actually helps a lot.  So if you have a minute, think about it, yes?

naamah_darling: Close cropped image of a blonde ponytailed man with a woman pulling a black stocking tightly around his neck. (BDSM)
Or, to put it another way: FREE PORN. And some not-porn stuff that is equally fun.

Now through the 9th, you can get a bunch of our books on Smashwords free for the asking!

For ALL of these, enter code RW100 at checkout to get them free.


Adventurotica Titles:

Pride and Prostitutes
Wild West shenanigans! To save the town of Century from bandits, brawlers, and mad science gone awry, the sheriff's wife and the town's most infamous madam must both assume the identity of the Black Lash! Sargon and I collaborated on this one. It's our best seller.

Witches' Mark
This one got 5/5 paddles on BDSMBookreviews.com. Prepare for sex magic, double-crosses, and sexy sacrifices as gifted but inexperienced witch Stormy must defeat Thomas Winter, the hot, manipulative, and very powerful warlock who murdered her grandmother. This one contains some of the most intense BDSM scenes I've ever written*. It's primarily het but there is some pretty freakin' awesome M/M and M/M/F sex. I'd really appreciate downloads and reviews of this one.

Hour of the Gryphon
A novella! In a time of war, the restless Avelia places herself on the front lines by impersonating a boy. When her secret outs, the honor of her family and her future as a warrior are placed at stake, and she must convince her general that she is no traitor. This, of course, involves a fair amount of BDSM. An older piece, but one I am still really fond of.


Short stories by me:

Wings
When Sara finally works up the nerve to get the tattoo she's always wanted, she finds that the intimacy of pain is a fine prelude to the intimacy of pleasure. Appeared in the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, so I must've been doing something right. I think it's the cock jewelry, myself.

The End of Memory
More erotic than explicit. Small talk over absinthe leads to intimacy of the body, and of the mind. What would you give anything to remember? What would you give anything to forget? This story originally appeared in the guest quarters of Jennifer Brozek's Edge of Propinquity website.


Awesomeness by Sargon:

Union of Heroes
Not porn! This is an awesomely hilarious superhero novel. If you have any affection for the genre at all, you need to read this one. Worth it for the superhero recruiting scene alone. Tears. There were tears.

Cold Lady
Once upon a time, Sargon decided to see exactly how scary he could make a scary story. I dare you to read this one at home, alone, at night, and not get a terrible case of the shudders. I'm still kind of angry with him for how bad it freaked me out the first time I read it.


Download 'em all! You literally have nothing to lose.

If you have read our stuff and liked it, pass the links to your friends and they can get a free taste. And, if I can ask a major favor of those of you who do download and read, review us on Amazon and Smashwords? It helps us sell, and obviously we are in favor of that.

There are also a ton of books by other authors available at various discount levels. I suggest checking it out!

You can take a look at what other authors are doing here.

TW: Bloodplay. Not loads, but it's there. I personally think it's super-hot. Also some quasi-consensual/coercive sex.
naamah_darling: Picture of a treasure chest with a skull and crossbones on top. My art! (Artistic)
Long story short, the printer we were using won't take adult material, and we need to find someone else, stat. They charged $5 a book, we currently have a place that runs $12. That's a big kick in the pants, and we would really like to find something better if we can. So if you can help us find a place that can produce a 6x9 trade paperback with 500 pages, we'd be really super-duper grateful. We're anticipating a run of 25 or 30 as a minimum order.

I'll be posting about this again, once people have had a chance to get back online after the weekend, but I wanted to get the ball rolling now.

Long story long, the publisher we were originally going to go with for The Golden Mask apparently does not take adult material. We did not find this out until we were in the actual process of trying to get our book uploaded, whereupon a fucking popup window appeared saying that they don't take erotica -- information, I'll add, that was nowhere else on their site.

They were, unfortunately, a very inexpensive publisher. So now we can't use them, and we're stuck with way higher production costs than anticipated. I'm . . . to say I'm upset about this is to completely ignore the fact that I would like to chew someone's face off.

What we're doing is running another Indiegogo campaign, a short one, to print up copies of Pride and Prostitutes and charge some extra to make up for some of the shortfall. We have a publisher we're looking at that charges about $12 a book -- it's a big book at 500 pages and trade paperback sized.

Obviously, if we could find someone cheaper, we would make up more of the money we basically lost because people are dicks and hate our genre for no logical reason, and lump what we do in with hate speech, material encouraging criminal acts, and materials depicting minors in sexual situations.

We're desperately searching for another publisher who is low-price and who will take explicit adult material.

This is where you come in.

I'd like to enlist your help finding an appropriate publisher. We're combing the net, but we haven't found anyplace with prices as good as the first place, which was around $5 a book for a 500 page 6x9 trade paperback. Right now we're looking at a place that's about $12 a book. Any place we can find that can beat that would be fantastic.

A lot of you have said "anything I can do to help." Well, this would be something you could do that would help a lot. If you have any self-publishing friends, maybe ask where they get their stuff done.

Just FYI, Sargon will be moderating comments on this entry and responding to stuff, since I've delegated this part of it to him.
naamah_darling: Glass of tawny port on a table branded with a seven-pointed star. (Port Wine and the Morning Star)
Chapter 1

The Red Winter Queen, Chapter 1

We're starting something new! It's not typical for us, it's dark and weird and lyrical and literary, but I think that it's probably the best thing Sargon has ever written. I'm gonna let Sargon speak for himself, here, because I think he does a better job of it than I could:

So today we begin posting the new work, entitled The Red Winter Queen, my dark, dark retelling of a kind-of sort-of Snow White. Seems like everyone from Hollywood hacks to Cat Valente is working this one lately, and I don't know how I feel about that. I've never been much for trendy.

This has been a terrible time, this last week. It seems somehow appropriate that this story begins in a time of sadness, weakening, and pain. I had been feeling the pinch of the work we normally do here. I love our stories so much, yet the more bare-bones style we use for them had me feeling constrained. I wanted to push myself, work at the limits of my abilities for a change, and really go for it stylistically. Thus this story is darker, heavier, and far more florid in style than our usual works. I don't know if people will like it.

It was hard, even at the length it is. I resolved early on to illustrate it chapter by chapter, and to do it my way: paper and pen, only minor touch-ups in PS afterward, mostly to hide the pen-strokes. What you see is 95% what I did. Working on a chapter and an illustration every two days was exhausting, I won't lie.

Eleven chapters, no compromises. I was well into working on it when the whole Smashwords/PayFoe thing hit, and I found it suddenly amusing that here is a work that is not only, I think, the best thing I have written in years, but that also crosses every line drawn in that battle. Here we have incest, cannibalism, bestiality, rape, and even necrophilia all wrapped up in the best prose I can produce. To paraphrase de Sade, here you will find no act uncolored by some infamy.

And yet I did not set out to write something "transgressive", or try to make it horrific or gross or discomfiting. Here is myth, or rather Myth. Here is the primal story of the Dying God and the Eternal Goddess - devouring and immortal. Here is my tale of the passing of one legend and the birth of another. Here. Taste it.

Thus saith Sargon. He cut deep to get this one, and the results are extraordinary. I hope you'll give it a try.
naamah_darling: Close cropped image of a blonde ponytailed man with a woman pulling a black stocking tightly around his neck. (BDSM)

This is an article cross-posted from Adventurotica.com! Come on over and comment on the original post!

"Fetish Farm" '50s pulp novel cover with a dude in a green gimp suit.

Look, I’m not saying it’s Great Art. I’m just saying it spoke to me.

It bothers me when people ask questions like “What purpose does erotica serve?” or “Why do you read/write erotica?” because it’s like asking me to justify the existence of something that I don’t really think needs justifying.

I feel that the value of it is apparent, but it’s unfortunately not apparent to most people.  If it were, there wouldn’t be this tremendous hostility toward it culturally, or this sick antipathy that causes non-erotica writers and publishers and so on to give us the cold shoulder, to pretend not to notice when we get shoved around, I can only presume because, like schoolkids ignoring the bully beating up on the weird kid, they either don’t care or don’t want to draw attention to themselves or create even a tenuous connection between what they do and what we do.

I can’t say if it’s this way elsewhere, but we Americans like things to have a clear-cut purpose.  We want to be able to justify the things we like by saying that they are good for us.  We feel this need to justify and defend everything, to make everything that makes us happy into something that is necessary and therefore respectable.

And to Americans, sex is just not respectable.  It’s filthy and it’s dirty and it either leads to babies and everyone knows parents never have sex because having sex with kids around somewhere is just W-R-O-N-G because they might see it and be traumatized instantly or worse, would get the idea that sex is fun …  or sex leads to not having babies, which leads to people just fucking willy-nilly all over the place, on public transportation, in the waiting area at the Olive Garden, in the jury box in the courtroom, in the aisles at PetSmart, popping Plan-B pills like Pez and penciling in abortions between orgy night and the homosex recruitment dinner and talent show and spending government money on unnecessary birth control that they wouldn’t need if they weren’t slutty, slutty, sluts.

I mean, we love sex, culturally, we’re crazy about it, but when it comes down to people actually having it, or making accommodations for that in our society, we have all kinds of fucked-up hangups.  So pleasurable things are considered “luxuries.”  As in, not something you need, but something in which you indulge.  Things that are unnecessary, and therefore not respectable.  Erotica falls squarely into that category.  It’s seen as wank material, and that’s all, and there is nothing respectable about it.  The standard view is that nobody needs it.  It’s something you read for pleasure, it’s related to sex, it’s just not something most folks want to admit has value.

But erotica is more than wank material, so much more than that.  It’s an entire genre dedicated to exploring an area of the human experience that many writers explicitly exclude from their works.  Like any other genre, it can illuminate things about us that we might otherwise only glimpse.  It has many purposes, not just to arouse; it can be there to challenge, to push, to provoke, to alarm, to disgust, to horrify, to elate, to explain, to bridge gaps and increase understanding.

Is all erotica valuable in this way?  Well, no.  Not all erotica is as transcendent and artful as The Story of O.  Certainly not all of it is important on a literary scale.  Boffy the Dick Slayer: Boffy’s Magic Dildo* is not going to pack the same punch as Venus in Furs, and will likely not be remembered with the same fondness.  Yes, I do absolutely believe that some books are better than others.  Even the bad books, though, have some value.  They’re part of human expression, a product of our unique consciousness.  Many of them, maybe especially the bad ones, are manifestations of our innermost fantasies; to produce such a thing, even if you never show it to another human being, is an act of great courage.  If we’re looking for a reason to justify its existence, surely all of that counts for something.

Perhaps no other genre deals so nakedly with the desires of the human body and heart, and perhaps in no other genre do our finer qualities coexist so closely with our grossest animal urges.  The erotic tale, even on a level as unrefined as a Penthouse Forum letter, possesses extraordinary power to repel or compel.  Erotica stands with horror and humor as a genre with much greater depth than it would at first appear, a genre that deals baldly with our most visceral responses, and I think it’s no coincidence that horror and humor are also oft-maligned as trash and swiftly repressed as dangerous … or that there is so much overlap between the three.

A genre shouldn’t be judged by the worst of it.  Some genres have more “worst” than others, and erotica/porn is one of them.  So much of what is produced and published by respected erotica publishers would not stand up if held to the same standards as regular fiction.  I would argue that this is partly because people don’t treat it with the respect it deserves.  They don’t expect much from it.  They have lowered standards, reduced expectations.  I’d also argue that it’s also partly because people have an enormous appetite for it, and an apparently equal appetite to produce it.  I find the lack of quality quite frustrating, yet those things are virtues, too, in their way.  There’s a kind of all-embracing camaraderie to smut, it’s a catholic genre in the truest sense, and belongs to people of all tastes and proclivities.

If a person can’t see the value of a genre that attracts readers and writers to it in such numbers, that so splendidly produces pearls and pig shit with equal bliss and abandon and without judgment, that deals so fundamentally with our most-censured and possibly most potent urge, then I really don’t know how to explain it.  And it’s hard for me, very hard, not to automatically assume that people who dismiss it out of hand as worthless or beneath notice or of no literary value are also dismissive and disapproving of the human sexual urge and its many manifestations, because the cookie really seems to crumble that way.  Show me someone who wants to restrict what gets printed who doesn’t also want to restrict what consenting people can do with one another.

So when someone asks me why I read or write erotica, or what the value of it is, I feel sad, because that’s a question that I don’t know if I could answer in any way that would mean anything to the kind of person who’d ask it.  All I can say is that if you read it, or wrote some yourself, it might teach you a thing or two, but usually they don’t want to hear that.  They don’t want it to be something that cannot be reduced to a simple series of bullet points summarizing its virtues and beneficial effects, they don’t want it to be something they will have to explore for themselves if they are to understand it at all.  They are completely missing the point.

* Actual title pulled off Smashwords this evening.

naamah_darling: Close cropped image of a blonde ponytailed man with a woman pulling a black stocking tightly around his neck. (BDSM)
This is an article cross-posted from Adventurotica.com! Come on over and comment on the original post!
 
sex kitten and the scientist

Using the shit out of the only tool you have is not exercising a special form of power.

article by Amanda Gannon

There's been a whole kerfuffle about this piece on Cracked that, at one point later on, talks about how male horniness is basically the driving force of civilization.

I think Amanda Marcotte really addresses the article itself well here on Pandagon.

So it's not specifically that article I want to discuss, it's the idea that women, because men want to fuck them, have all the power. More, I want to discuss how that idea is used to placate and dismiss genuine concerns about misogyny, and how this negatively affects pretty much everyone.

I'm not denying that attractive women have a potent advantage, nor am I denying that lust is a powerful motivating force. I'm not saying that being desired gives the person so desired no extra hold on the person that desires them. All of these things are true, but they aren't the only truth. Reducing women's power – and really, I just hate that phrase, the very idea of it, as if women have a special power that men do not . . . but I get ahead of myself. Ahem. Reducing women's power to sex is . . . frankly, that's a hostile act that diminishes us.
Acting as though that one power is the most important power we have is not cool. It soft-pedals the stripping away of our sources of real power. We still have our tits and asses, so everything must be fine, right? Only it's not all right, because things are not all right for us. Women have a hard fucking time, and free drinks really can't take the edge off of the horrifying erosion of civil rights taking place in the U.S.
Even if it could, tits and ass power is really available only to a subset of a subset of women.

One, it's only available to women who are attractive enough to pull it off; women who don't match that standard can't do it. That standard is pretty narrow, even at the wide end. A woman can be disqualified from it if she is old, fat, disabled, of a different race, or even just, frankly, not attractive. The number of women who have full access to that power is limited, because our definition of attractive is limited.

Two, it's most beneficial to people who use it, and not everyone is willing to use it. An attractive person will reap the benefits of their attractiveness whether they try or not, or are aware of it or not, but that passive privilege is very different from actively taking that advantage and using it as a lever. Make no mistake, it's a big goddamn lever – and I'm not even saying a person shouldn't use it, I believe that if we are at a disadvantage, using anything that gives us an advantage is good as long as we do it ethically – but it's not issued to every woman at birth, and we only get to keep it until we get fat or old or something like that.

So this pussy power thing is a sop, it's a flimflam job, it's something we're told that we have and it's used to draw attention away from the fact that we aren't taught or sometimes even allowed to use other kinds of power. This leaves us open to manipulation. It leaves us vulnerable to attack. It's no mistake that even though we can't all achieve pure pussy power, we are told that it is the ultimate woman power. And many people, many, many people, really and truly believe that it is.

There are strict limits on pussy power. Limits to how sexual we are supposed to be, and with whom, and in what way. The way I see it, it's a power that is valuable only as long as it is rare. It depends on scarcity. That's why women who fuck a lot are considered sluts or out of control. Women who do use their sexy leverage are seen nearly as negatively, as manipulators, femmes fatale, as cold and calculating heartless bitches. Even when we do use our power, we're criticized for it, labeled and judged.

Making men helpless with lust is one kind of power, but it's not the only power there is.
So what else is there? Only the power that all people have. Our cunning, our bravery, our love. Our passion. Our anger. Our wounds. Our humanity. Reducing women to a supposed ability to either provoke or manipulate men into action is doing women and men a tremendous disservice.
You likey? Throw us a donation!





naamah_darling: The letter A in a compass rose. (Adventurotica)
Holy cats! I mailed out like eight packages yesterday morning. That's a lot for me. After having put it off due to extreme feeling like leftover ass, I feel so much better! And better in general, too, I think. I think. Very much a hurry up and wait and see sort of thing. Mood is so damnably hard to predict.

So everyone should have their stuff in a few days to a week or so, and thank you to everyone who ordered!

In other news, we have a really great sex scene up for free over at Adventurotica, and I think you should go check it out. It's not wild and kinky, it's not crazy-filthy, it's just hot.

Chapter 4: Wolf in the Folds

Her soft thighs closed around him, her body rocked up to meet his, she stroked his shoulders and neck, kissed him lushly, gently biting his lip, sucking on his tongue. She was a truly prodigal screw, and it struck him as a criminal shame that she should have put it off as long as she had. Still, he was reaping the benefits now, her sweet breasts grazing him, eyes fluttering closed, lids dusky with passion, her lips flushed and bitten red. He knew he would wear the perfume of her body on his for the rest of the day. And the other way around. He showed his teeth in a hungry snarl, drove his cock further into her, as far as it would go, intent on spending so deep inside her those twice-damned twins would be tasting him for a week.

Nyvala wasn't a passive little thing, though she did lounge under him like a housecat. The sun was gorgeous on her skin. She sighed and twisted and tossed her head, and worked a hand between their bodies to stroke herself, giving him a little sidelong look of embarrassment that was utterly charming, coming as it did from a girl whose lips tasted like him, and who was currently digging her heel into his backside to spur him on.

He kissed her, tasted her, then simply leaned there and panted, thrust into her eagerly, moaning as pleasure mounted, as the tightness, wetness, began to overwhelm him. And feathers of Aon, the heat of her.

She was coming up fast on another climax, eyes clenched shut, nose wrinkled, head turned to the side, the most unladylike grunts and growls tearing free of her throat. Valbrand didn't think he would be able to take much more, either.

He was so caught up in her that he didn't even notice when the door opened, was alerted only by the satiny swish of skirts. He turned just in time to see Korinn, her eyes glinting like knives, face white with fury. He sat up, startled, and she closed on him like a real dragon.


Hawtness!

Also, I have a new article up that ought to be of interest to those of you who write:

"I Don't Get It": on writing kinky porn for non-kinky people

Even if your reader is kind of a perv, they might not find that particular thing appealing. You have to convince them that it is appealing. You have to actually try to expand their horizons by giving them something new and making it relatable.

This is especially important work, I think, if you are at all trying to be sex-positive or feminist, and are not just exploiting an act for its shock value (it is surprising how much kinky porn does not appear to be made by people who have those kinks). There's a lot of horrible porn out there that makes the viewer or reader feel gross for watching or reading it, and the narrower the niche the more it seems to be clogged with the bad stuff.

What I want to do is create an "A-ha!" moment, where the reader suddenly understands why something is sexy. Where, even if they don't find it sexy, the scene at least works well enough for them to understand what other people see in it. Because one of the things I hate most is people dismissing things not because they are gross or offensive but because they are "boring."


Truly, one of my hugest pet peeves.

In other news, we're still wrestling with commenting issues over there. Totally open commenting, or even commenting visible to non-registered users, would mean that people's names could be indexed by search engines, which is a privacy issue. I'm trying to think of a way around it, but it's really kind of sticky. Suggestions welcome, though we will be raising the issue over on AE proper sometime soon.
naamah_darling: The letter A in a compass rose. (Adventurotica)
Chapter one of The Fox's Tale has launched over at Adventurotica.com!

Chapter One: Fox Country!

And it's free to read! So come on over and join us! Next Monday, once we have three chapters up, I will be starting a promotion to get traffic over there, but for now I just want you to go read and have a good time. This is a really fun story.

Fox's Tale cover art rough

Also, from now until December 5, ebooks are on sale at Smashwords!

Hour of the Gryphon is down 25% to $1.50! Might want to pick this one up, since it's set in the same country as The Fox's Tale, just waaay in the past. Still, it's Captain Lanner's great-grandparents, and he figures sort of prominently in this one.
Coupon code: AB35L

Witches' Mark is discounted 33%, down to $3.00!
Coupon code: XM43Q

Pride and Prostitutes is down 25% to $2.00!
Coupon code: LY35H

I'm so sorry you have to enter the codes individually; Smashwords doesn't have a global coupon option.

Also, if you were thinking about it, now would be a great time to join! Five dollars a month, three updates a week. Can't beat that!

Or, if you just feel like tossing a tip in the tip jar for artist upkeep, here it is:





naamah_darling: The letter A in a compass rose. (Adventurotica)
So, the final chapter of Sky Pirates of the Rio Grande has gone up over at Adventurotica.com, and the adventures of Eden and Zenobia are drawing, for now, to a close. Everyone, a big hand for Sargon, who wrote this one himself, and made it totally kickass.

Next, we will have a little more Sky Pirates bonus content, a break for Thanksgiving, and then a new project.

What is it?



Running from a forced marriage, country witch Shayrin and her fox familiar seek their dreams among the acting guilds of the grand city of Avallon. As captain of the palace guard, Lanner has no time to produce an heir, nor for House rivalries as the succession approaches. Decadent and dangerous from its highest towers to its darkest underworld, Avallon is no place for good girls or honest men.


For those of you who read [livejournal.com profile] fever_dreams way back in the day when I was posting Blades of Desire, this will be a most welcome return to that seething hive of sex, violence, and scheming: Avallon. The setting will be somewhat familiar to those of you who have read Hour of the Gryphon, as well.

Those of you who have been to Avallon, who loved it, will find some small changes. We've smoothed over the worldbuilding (more on that in a moment) and filed off the edges. It won't feel any different, however. It will still be the sticky hive of sin and swashbuckling that you all know and love.

Those of you who have never been, I envy you. I envy you, because you will get the chance to go there for the first time. You will get to share in an adventure that shapes the future of a nation in ways that nobody could have guessed. You will get to meet people I have known and loved for over a decade. You will get to read about hot, hot fucking.

Avallon is very dear to me. Its genesis, I am not ashamed to admit, was as a shared roleplaying setting with Sargon, but it quickly grew outside of those bounds and became something much greater. It became porn paradise. I have written more porn set in Avallon than I know what to do with, and there's no reason it can't have a home on Adventurotica. It will all require rewriting; I never intended anyone but Paul and I to see it. It wound up, quite by accident, very much like Steven Brust's Dragaeran setting, so we've worked to reduce that similarity without losing the things that make Avallon Avallon. Blades of Desire will eventually get the same treatment.

This, The Fox's Tale, is set before Blades of Desire by about twenty years. It's a nice little adventure with a touch of romance and a lot of hot, hot fucking. It features Lanner d'Avelian and Shayrin (Corandin's parents) and more solid parts for several people we only saw in cameo. I think you will love it, and I would love to see you give it the chance it deserves. If it does well, there's loads more that we could release bit by bit, and that's not even counting the pornographic epic that is Blades of Desire . . . 400,000 words of porn and swordfighting.

And by the way, for those of you who remember the Red Red Pony incident, this is that story. You an read an extremely un-edited rough draft excerpt from it right here.

For those of you who don't remember because you weren't there, there's a little taste of what you'll be getting. (I feel obligated to disclose that it's part of a sub-plot, and that most of the fucking is het or bi.)

So, please, if you've been putting off giving us a try, give us a try. The first double fistful of chapters will be free. I'll be posting about them here, since we really need to get our traffic up, and to that end, if you know anyone who likes second-world adventure fantasy with lots of intrigue and fucking and some actual humor, for the love of Aon, tell them about us! We're the only ones doing it right.

Okay. Maybe that's arrogant. But it's true.

(X-posted from Adventurotica.com)
naamah_darling: The letter A in a compass rose. (Adventurotica)
First, Sargon has a really great article up over at Adventrotica called Dirty, Naughty, Nasty, Filthy, and you should go read it.



I'm sure you know all the words: horny, nasty, filthy, raunchy, slutty, dirty - all of these have been applied to sex for centuries as a way of stigmatizing it, a way of saying "this is not ok", and it is perhaps inevitable that these words, like "faggot" or "queer" have been seized on by the oppressed as badges of pride. Nowadays saying that you have produced some "Nasty, down-and-dirty filth" is a way of saying your porn is awesome. After all, who wants clean, polite, courteous porn?

And therein lies a mind-fuck that it's hard to really think your way around. The idea of sex as dirty has become so ingrained in us that it has become part of the appeal, an essential element of the "thrill". I myself have said that there is little interest, for me, in scenes and acts that do not violate some social or cultural boundary. But today I have to ask - what does that really mean for us as a sex-positive counterculture?


Good stuff. Really good stuff.

Then there's what I said in my weekly article, Femdom and Fulfillment, which ends up with this:

It seems funny to complain that the more nuanced, subtle, emotional, gentle, soft, care-giving aspects of fem-dom are ignored, when I am enraged by the way that these traits (lovely as they are) are things that women in most cultures are expected to be. It seems like rebellion against the way women are expected to be would naturally manifest in icy coldness, or anger, or punishment. It seems natural for fem-dom to be about taking the male, the one with power, and casting him as something despised or worthless or worthy only of punishment and denigration. Those fantasies are extremely hot, but as I said, fem-dom is not just about taking the power dynamics of the Real World and inverting them.

It's not even necessarily about playing with the existing power dynamic between men and women, or about playing with the things people expect from women by daring to be different. Some of us aren't coming from that model. Some of us just like what we like, and it doesn't have to relate back to the traditional male/female relationship, even in the context of defying it.

Me? I'm not into beating guys because I want to be different from the chicks who don't. I'm not into it because I think guys need to be taken down a peg, even if that's one at a time. I am doing it because I am attracted to men, powerfully, and one of the ways this manifests is in a desire to deliver unto them some really interesting sensations, or a desire to have custody, for however short a time, of something beautiful that loves me, or even a part of it if that is all I can have . . . an urge that is completely understandable and common to people of all genders, whether they are kinky or not.


So come on over and read! And if you feel inclined, subscribe for $5 a month or just throw us a tip in the tip jar with the button below.

We're moving over to unmoderated comments soon, so everyone will be able to go over and comment there. I know it's been keeping people from commenting, and my original intent to discourage trolls and idiots is going to kind of have to fall by the wayside. We haven't had problems with trolls, we have had a problem with people not commenting, so we're fixing that. It just takes time.





naamah_darling: The letter A in a compass rose. (Adventurotica)
Hey, darling pervs!

If you're subscribed over at Adventurotica.com, it's renewal time for most of you! We will, fairly soon, be moving to a service where you can set up auto-renew. Until then, apologies, you'll have to do it manually. If you're a devoted porn reader, you are probably used to that by now. Heh.

In the meantime, I have a question for you!

Sargon's latest article is up over at Adventurotica.com!

I point this out not just 'cause I always do, 'cause we're awesome, but because we'd actually like feedback. Specifically. . . .

So if I could ask you guys any one thing it would be: what do you think? How much plot do you want versus sex, how much action versus humping? How long is too long to go without sex when the story begins, and how long is too long between scenes? Should the scenes always advance the plot, or are you good with gratuitous scenes so long as they don't cause anyone to break character? We're still trying to get a bead on the best way to do this, because it is actually a lot harder than it looks. Years of writing porn for ourselves had prepared us for some of the obstacles, but the regular update schedule adds its own challenges to the mix.

So sound off! We really want to know what you think.


Normally I do not post the most important part of the article -- we want you to go read! -- but this time I make an exception, because I would loooove it if everyone weighed in. Please, if you like, do that here, even if you aren't a regular AE reader. We're interested in everyone's opinion here. We would love to hear from you!

And! If you would like to become a regular reader, you can donate five bucks and register! Look, here is a link!

Register!

We just had a scene where a mostly-naked tiger woman bronco-busts a goddamn pterodactyl. If you are a fan of naked girls, dinosaurs, peril, or steampunk Westerns, and you are not already reading, I think you should probably check that shit out posthaste.
naamah_darling: The letter A in a compass rose. (Adventurotica)
Do It Yourself, Adventurotica.com's newest article, is up tonight!

Oh, you're going to love this one. You know when you say "There's no porn out there that doesn't piss me off in some way!" and people say "So write it yourself!" and then don't understand why you get mad . . . and even you can't articulate it? Well, I've written that article for you.

You're welcome.

A tiny taste:

If I am making something - even if it's just for myself - then I am not a consumer, I am a fucking entertainer. I am not being entertained. (I resent this for many reasons, one of them being that I am already expected to be the entertainment most of the time. Whether that's by friends, to which I've consented, or as a writer, to which I aspire, or by my culture, which tells me that because I have tits and a cunt, I should be pleasant and attractive – entertaining – at all times, to which I strenuously object. )

Sometimes there is no option, really. Sometimes there just is not something exactly like what you wanted. But I don't feel like the things I personally want are all that outlandish. So why do they not exist? It's not lack of demand, that's for sure, because I am hardly alone. The lack of supply to meet that demand is not the whole problem. It's just the surface. Ask yourself what prejudices and wrong attitudes and sexist thinking are behind that lack? That is the real problem.

It's not a question with an easy answer, which is where the "make it yourself" answer comes in, because it is essentially a way to say "No, you're wrong, shut up. Stop bothering me. I'm trying to watch MILFs In Heat." It is a conversational shutdown tactic by people who are presumably happy that the status remain quo, when the status is not quo at all. And it is so handily disguised as a pep talk, a kind of "Well, you should just take your awesome and go make that stuff. Call us when you're done, 'kay?"

It can be passed off as something intended to motivate, when it is far more often just a way to make you stop talking by people who don't want to have that conversation. Who don't want to admit that there is something wrong. After all, they're getting what they want. Why admit that there's a problem, why admit that what they want isn't enough? Why kick up all that dust?


So, yeah, go read! Tell us about the times people have said that to you, and how hard you wish you could've punched them in the face. (So. Fucking. Hard.)

We will be moving to a different comment format soon, and unregistered users will be able to comment. Hopefully that will encourage folks to go on over there. Although I will point out that you can register for free and comment right now!

Romance?

Oct. 20th, 2011 05:16 am
naamah_darling: The letter A in a compass rose. (Adventurotica)
Bad Romance, the new Adventurotica article in which Sargon explains why romance isn't our thing.

This one is interesting. I agree that it's not what we do, and I am also not a romance fan, but I don't share all of the criticisms of the genre.

I do love this, though, as it applies to the concept of "romantic love" culturewide:

Romance . . . divides people into arbitrary categories. It divides love and feelings into well-defined types that are actually rather hard to identify in real life. We are taught that 'friendship' and 'love' are two immutably different things, and that we will 'know' when we feel them, when this is not really true. "Romance" does not depict the messy, uncertain, fumbling relationships so many of us have. We don't know how people feel about us, we don't know how we feel, and we grope and falter through life trying to split people into 'friends' and 'lovers' as if there had to be a divide.

The romantic ideal chains men to a seeking, aggressive role and women to a passive one. It holds out a two-person, monogamous, hetero marriage as an ideal and by omission derides any alternative. It ties sex to love and teaches that love is a kind of mystical, intoxicating force - like ghost tequila - that is supposed to magically elide past all problems if you have enough of it. It holds up a standard that dooms adherents to disappointment, as no real relationship is ever like that. Romance fades, and when it does you are left with the person you chose. If you chose well, then you have a relationship that can become the deepest, most fulfilling friendship you will ever have, but 'love' is not really the measure of that. 'Romance', as it is portrayed, is a false idol that will not bring happiness.


Indeed. The glorification of the romantic phase of a relationship, without any sort of attention given to the actual hard work parts, does a great deal of harm, I think. And it's sad that more books don't depict solid, working relationships.

Completely off-topic, I have to say that "Ghost Tequila" is either a terrible band or some really awesome shit that will get you so fucked up you start seeing your ancestors. Maybe both.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
New Adventurotica.com article! Not My Thing. Best first line ever.

Rainbow Party Balloons Bouquet


I think I simultaneously sold my soul and achieved enlightenment the day I wrote balloon porn.

On paper, "pornographer" sounds pretty wild. It's one of those "You get paid to do that?!" jobs that people reflexively envy (the way they seem to envy any job that involves talking about sex or doing sexy things, even when that's explaining gonorrhea to bored teenagers). Like any other field, though, there's the low rung on the ladder, the jobs that must be done and nobody else wants to do, the porn equivalent of a fry cook at McDonald's. Those positions are not really enviable.

For over three years I was a porn fry cook. The volume required was very high, but at an hourly rate it paid quite well. At first, most of it was unremarkable. Spankings, horny housewives, high heels, pantyhose, schoolgirls. I reviewed a lot of horrible, horrible porn sites. Over time, however, a lot of weird crap got funneled my way because I was good, I was fast, and I was willing to try just about anything that wasn't barf, poop, corpses, kids, or clowns. "It's only pixels!" was my battle cry. "Bring on your shoe-fucking hairy fratboy fantasies. Locker room sock bondage fisting porn? Throw down the gauntlet, knave! I fear not the cake-sitting splosh porn with a side of BBW creampie and breast-smothering!"

Which is how I fell down the rabbit hole and wound up writing two dozen flash-fiction length pieces about fetishes that I not only did not have, but could not -- at that time -- even understand. I'm not going to list them, because my point here is not to single out anyone's fetish and say "You're weird!" but I will say that balloons was the first I attempted, because it was – to my mind – the least intimidating and yet the most challenging in that there seemed to me to be nothing sexual about balloons at all. Some of the others did kind of repel me, but I wrote them all anyway.

And it was there that I learned something vitally important about what gets people off:

It is almost universally true that even the weirdest fetishes relate back to familiar urges and desires, if you just follow them back far enough. . . .


Go, visit! It's a good one.

Also, Witches' Mark is up over at Amazon, in case you missed that update.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Two announcements and two requests!

Witches' Mark is available on Smashwords!



As soon as it is available on Amazon, I will pop the link in here. They are taking their time about it. Should be another few hours.

The Smashwords page features what is probably the best summary/jacket copy I've ever written, for the long description. Just saying.

The ebook contains a bonus 25,000-word novella: How I Met Your Master. If you want more kinky, dysfunctional, disturbing sex, all gay, the novella is totally for you. That is a lot of extra.

Also, you can now get Pride and Prostitutes on Amazon, for those of you who don't have a Smashwords account!

It's also still available on Smashwords.

The price in both places has been dropped by a dollar, down to only $2.99!

On to the requests: first, don't be shy about reviewing our books! At Smashwords you have to have bought the book from there to review it, but not at Amazon. Anyone can review it at Amazon. So give it some thought! Reviews are really helpful in building buyer confidence.

Second, please, please consider joining the site and spreading the word to friends. Five dollars a month minimum, though you can always give more. I don't like putting it so bluntly, but this and my art are our only income. My art sales are nonexistent right now, and our income has dropped dramatically since we moved off of LJ, so we are basically living off of money from my dad. I would like this to not be the case, but right now we're not even breaking the high triple digits with our own income. So if you'd like to see me continue . . . well, doing anything, really, give it some thought. Or donate! Here is a convenient button:






naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Adventurotica now has a Facebook page!

So go Like us! Tell your friends!

I will be posting a promotion this week for the Witches' Mark e-book just for folks who are following us there, so you'll want to stay tuned! I will also be announcing coupon codes and other contests over there at random intervals.

In the meantime, here's a snippet from The woman in the header: Part II, our latest article:

There are not, the wisdom goes, very many female fans or gay fans. I don't think that's true, but I do think it's true that these fans are far less visible than male fans. And why is that? Why aren't they fans more vocal? Could it be because they aren't being offered anything that appeals to them? Could it be that they feel unwelcome in a subculture that values female sex appeal a great deal, rewards women for being sexy, and encourages women to appreciate the attractiveness of other women, but which doesn't place the same value on sexy men or reward men for being sexy or encourage men to learn what makes guys so appealing?

Would you feel comfortable in a subculture where other fans reacted to images of people of your preferred gender with dismay and revulsion? Or would you find that . . . not just pathetic or gross, but also kind of threatening? If you're a guy and you like women, would you enjoy a genre of entertainment whose fans consistently rejected sexy female imagery, and often did so with slurs that specifically denigrate attraction to women?

The argument is that there aren't enough man-liking fans to justify throwing sexy guys around. I often hear (mostly from male fans who see no problem with entertainment the way it is) that if we want comics or games or movies or porn to change, we should support the medium with our money, to show that we are invested in it . . . which is nonsense. The same flawed logic that produces entertainment that fails to appeal to or actively puts off women, and then says there is no female demand for it, will simply say that if we are giving them our money, there's obviously not a problem.

So people who like to admire hot guys are caught in an ugly cycle of not participating in genres that leave us out in the cold and thereby contributing to the lack of demand, or participating and by our continued presence bolstering the perception that the status quo is just fine.


I'm kind of loving the weekly column thing! Even if I have no freaking idea what I will be writing about next week.

Ideas? Thoughts? Anything you'd like to see me cover?
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
So. I'm getting Adventurotica set up on Facebook, and I am trying to decide between a group and a page.

I barely understand how Facebook works, and don't know how to work it to its best advantage. I will learn, that's not a problem, but I need to make this decision pretty quick here, and don't have the informed knowledge to do it.

I know that pages are a newer feature than groups, and some people don't understand them yet. I'm not really worried about that, though, so I'm not weighing either one based on that.

So, folks who understand Facebook and use it fairly regularly, what would be most advantageous?

I want a tool to increase visibility and allow interaction, but this is a porn-related thing, and so I don't know what people would prefer from a "my parents are possibly going to see I'm into this" perspective. From my point of view, the more people who can see it and get to it, the better! From a reader's point of view, maybe not so much. Groups seem more private, and there's a mass messaging feature (which I would not enjoy using, because I am not a fan of spamming people, to be honest). Pages seem more accessible, and it looks easier to keep up with activity on pages, which is a huge plus for me.

Thoughts? Counter-thoughts? I have to do this Facebook thing, like it or not, so any input would be much appreciated.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Okay! We are coming up on the end of the month at Adventurotica.com, so it's time for those of you who set your renew date at the beginning of the month to renew!

Renewing lets us do awesome stuff like feed The Meringue-outan:

Smooch's Happy Face

Shown here in an attitude of attentive repose. The technical word for his expression is "hilarious."

It also refills my meds and feeds us, which is sort of important to everyone around here.

We have a lot of good stuff up for free, too!

The Woman In The Header (hint: there's not one) is part one of two, and I think it's really pretty good.

It bothers me because naked-men-liking folks are expected to feel included by imagery of sexy women, and heterosexual men are so deeply discouraged from finding men attractive that they specifically feel excluded and disgusted by pictures of sexy men. See, women are encouraged to develop an eye for what makes women sexy, and are often encouraged to explore the idea of this sexiness personally, physically, whether by dressing or acting sexy, or by physically playing around with other women. This is fine, I'm all for it, except the door doesn't swing both ways. Men are not, overall, encouraged to develop an intellectual appreciation for the attractiveness of other men, and the stigma related to exploring it sexually is much greater for men than women, making it blatantly unfair. Being straight is part of the Performance of Being A Man, and lack of appreciation for male attractiveness is part of that performance.

It bothers me that a picture of a woman lolling around nude and looking vulnerable and inviting is likely to be easily recognized as "sexy" by most people, whether they personally respond to it or not, but a man who is similarly naked and vulnerable and lolling around looking like he really wants some friendly attention (and maybe, in that case, a towel and a hair-dryer) is not only not as likely to be recognized as "sexy," but is likely to be considered ridiculous or un-sexy, or worse, "gay." And I don't mean folks think it's as awesome as buttsex, or that it's meant to appeal to gay men, I mean they feel that it's "unnecessarily girly, stupid, pointless, and effeminate" to show a man posing "like a girl" . . . which apparently means "looking sexy."


Yeah. This one really gets up my nose.

Worth clicking on that above link, btw, if you like pretty young dark-haired men who are on the skinny side. Very sweet. Although he looks like he needs some hot chocolate and hot oral sex, stat.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Been a lot going on at Adventurotica.com!

First, maybe my favorite Adventurotica article so far. This one's about writing, not sex, and I think it's one that anyone who writes will find interesting. Here's an excerpt:

Leave it to the imagination.

When you're an author who has worked hard to make your world real for yourself, it's instinctive, I think, to describe important characters in fussy detail to make sure the reader gets it "right." You want to help them create the most accurate image possible, the one that matches your inner vision most closely, because your mental image is by-god important to you . . . and it should be. It needs to be.

However, after years of writing erotica, I've come to a conclusion: the only thing that matters to the reader is what the reader is picturing. Give them the most important physical characteristics and some well-chosen details to distinguish the character in the reader's mind, then give them room to imagine the rest in a way that is interesting to them. The reader can only integrate so many details you give them into their mental image at a time, so you have to space out the rest. . . .

This is why overused devices like the character who pauses to mentally inventory every detail of their appearance in the nearest reflective surface don't work. Aside from being unsubtle and clumsy from a technical standpoint, aside from being jarring because it is something that real people seldom do, these passages often dump way too much information on the reader at once, and most of it is probably information they do not need.

Here's a huge secret: it is actually less effort for the reader to build a mental image around some major attributes and a few well-chosen details than it is for them to create a mental image that exactly matches a detailed and lengthy description. Let them do this work for you!


Earlier, I answered a reader's question:

Do you write yourself into stories?

. . . .I usually answer "no" . . . because, in the sense that the asker usually means it, I don't.

But in another sense, I do, and sometimes I like to acknowledge that.

If we are talking about primary or secondary characters with a major plot role to fulfill, well, some of these characters are a lot like me. Some are hardly like me at all. But they are all me, or parts of me. I created them, I control them, I speak and move and act for them through words and story. No matter how chatty or pushy they are – and believe me, they can be plenty of both – they are still my little puppets, and I'm the boss of them.


Sargon talks about sex and violence:

X-Rated

But most porn is not violent. It may have some icky gender-relation issues, as so much porn does, but actual meat-ax-and-shotgun violence? Not so much. The truth is that most writers of porn just do not seem to be interested, or have a knack for writing violence, and so their stories unfold without one of the staples of narrative - violent conflict.

The fiction we write here, however, is distinctly not that kind of porn. We try to write stories that hold up as stories, and a story needs conflict. Violence is not the only kind of conflict there is or can be, but it is common. Plus when you are telling a pirate story or a wild west tale, for example, then it would be weird not to have all the requisite swashbuckling, gunfights, and brawling you would expect from that kind of setting.

Which brings me to the point, which is that when you write the violence in a porn piece, you have to consider and decide for yourself what kind of violence it will be and how far to take it. In other kinds of fiction, you can set everything at a mental "PG-13" or whatever the story needs to be, and that makes things pretty easy as regards tone and feel of the overall work.


All of the articles are free to read, always. The story content requires a membership. Yesterday, Sky Pirates of the Rio Grande Chapter 18: An encounter with trans-Pecos thunder lizards went up!

Eden looked, peering from under her hat brim into the blazing midmorning sun. She didn't see anything, but the hairs lifted on her neck just the same. "I don't see it."

Then she did. It moved out of a cluster of trees into the daylight and her breath caught, because her first thought was that it was beautiful. It stood on two legs, like a man, but bent forward with a long tail giving it balance, the head was long and the jaws lined with wicked teeth. It was a brilliant shade of red, like the reddest red brick, and zigzagged with velvety black stripes. It turned its head in the sun and the eye glinted a jewel green.

Eden's relentless brain calculated distance and scale and told her it was almost twelve feet at the hip, thirty feet long from nose to tail, two or three tons weight. A massive and formidable predator like she had never seen before, not in the flesh.

"Allosaurus," Eden said.

"What?" Zenobia turned without taking her eyes from it.

"A dinosaur," Eden said. "I heard some were bred and released here, but I never thought . . ."

"Male," Mad Dog said, squinting through field glasses. "Big one too." He lowered the glasses and seemed to relax.

"How do you know?" Eden said, fascinated.

"Males are red like that, females, they are more yellow."

"Will it attack us?" Zenobia said.

"No, the males only fight for territory. The females do all the hunting. He must be a lone male or we wouldn't see him. If he is a rogue he won't attack us in daylight like this."

"Why not?" Eden said, watching the thing move. It was so alien and so graceful, it was hypnotic watching it pace through the high grass.

"Because he must be a wise one to get so big, and that means he knows not to attack guns," he laughed. "The only worry would be if-"

The allosaur suddenly lifted its muzzle and sniffed the wind, then turned and ran southeast away from them. It took long strides and quickly vanished over the gentle rise.

Mad Dog brought up his rifle. "Shit." He waved his hands to get the men moving.

"What?" Eden said, spurring her horse to keep up with him, hanging onto the saddle horn for dear life. If they had to run, she was sure she would fall right off. "What is it? More?"

Zenobia cocked her head the same time Deguello snorted and tossed his head. "What is that?" she said.

"What is-" Then she heard it, and the other horses began to squeal and sidle in impending panic as the ground rumbled and shook. "Buffalo?" she said.

"No!" mad Dog said, pointing. "Cuernos!"

Eden looked. To the right a dark mass appeared and came rushing towards them, its passage shaking the ground, and in a moment she saw it was a herd of massive, dark-skinned animals bigger than a rhinoceros and with more horns. Triple-horned, with flaring bone shields over their necks and razor-sharp beaks glinting like iron in the sun, a herd of triceratops came bearing down on them.


Cheesy? Absolutely. Fun? Absolutely!

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