TIS THE SEASON FOR UGLY SWEATERS!

My second favorite holiday is Christmas. It used to be numero uno back before I had children, but because children nowadays want electronics that cost a gazillion dollars, I end up paying $6000 in credit card interest due to Christmas credit card debt that never gets paid off.

What I do love about this season is the availability and wide selection of hideously ugly holiday sweaters. They’ve gotten so popular, there are now parties specifically thrown to show off your “ugly.” As with Halloween costumes, this is the time to let your imagination go crazy. Behold some particularly fugly gems…


Everything is so sophisticated nowadays, even sweaters are going 3-D. And if you think your sweater still needs a touch more ugly, you can order LED lights and shove them into various spots on your sweater like on this Grumpy Cat monstrosity below. NO indeed.

 

Never forget your pet. Pets reflect their owners; therefore they must look as ugly as you. This poor mutt appears miserable. Hey, dogs are smart, and they know how ridiculous they look. Be prepared for them to get back at you by leaving something “ugly” on your carpet after chewing the ugly off their sweater.

 

Here’s one for the forever “frat” boy, now middle-aged, with a comb-over and a swelling gut. This sweater says, “I’m the one who’ll order a round of Jager bombs for everyone in Vegas, inappropriately proposition the waitress, proceed to gamble all my money away, and wind up in a pool of my own vomit.” Good times!

Doesn’t matter what religion you are, there are ugly sweaters for everyone. Here’s one brave woman who doesn’t mind appearing wider than she really is.

 

Now, there’s ugly, and then there’s inappropriate. And what could be more inappropriate than 2 reindeers humping?


Why, 3, yes 3 reindeer humping! Oy!

 

I wouldn’t be surprised if this elf surfaces 10 years later with sexual harassment claims.

The sweater below has a lot going on. I can’t tell whether Santa is putting up a star or sucking on the man’s nipple. Is he scratching his own ass or getting it on with the man’s bellybutton? Does the dog want to lick Santa’s ass or the man’s right testicle? So many unanswered questions for this ugly sweater.

Tired of looking at ugly-ass sweaters? Here’s one more.

Upside Christmas trees seem to be the rage this year. Ugly sweaters have jumped on that bandwagon. Would anyone like to jingle his balls?

If your SO is going to be ugly, you must join him or her in the ugliness. Never let your mate be ugly on their own. There’s too much temptation out there in the sea of ugly sweaterness.

And last, but not least, my all-time favorite because it depicts the effects ugly holiday sweaters have on me. These two sweaters worn together scream, “Mexico trip after eating street tacos from a sketchy food cart on the outskirts of town.”

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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THE SUBMISSIVE MUSE

My erotic romance, The Submissive Muse went live on Amazon a few days ago. I’m so excited! She is my book baby, my book bitch, my departure from romantic comedy, that’s for sure. Here’s my sexy cover which Facebook won’t allow in any ads because of the cleavage. I’m beginning to think Facebook is actually run by the Amish.

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The title implies the book is all about sex, but it’s really not. Yes, there are some BDSM scenes in it, but the story is more about grief and loss, mental illness, and learning to love again. Two lost souls saving each other. Here’s the blurb for it:

One man’s misfortune is another man’s destiny.

Elizabeth Wolfe’s husband, John, had been everything to her—protector, provider, administer of pain. Still devastated, one year after his death, she decides to take her own life, but her plan is interrupted when she discovers an unconscious stranger in her barn.

Devan Carthy and John Wolfe agreed to an arrangement before he died—Devan is to seek out Elizabeth exactly one year from his death, and bring joy to her life again, in exchange for a sizeable sum of money.

What begins as a friendship between a grieving widow and a mercurial artist blossoms into love as Devan reawakens her desire for living. His erratic mood swings and her need for pleasure and pain threaten their relationship, but it’s John Wolfe’s hold over them that may ultimately tear them apart.

Publisher’s Disclaimer: This dramatic love story contains graphic sexual scenes, as well as discipline. If either of these offend you, please do not buy the book.

* * *

I went out of my comfort zone for this novel and learned how to create a book trailer in iMovie all by myself. It only took me 728 hours! Check it out.

Considering how technologically challenged I am, this was a HUGE deal. I also made teaser ads all by myself; some worked out and some didn’t. This one wound up being a decent size:

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These two are a bit too small:

A tortured artist. A grieving widow.

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Always check pixel sizes when downloading photos to use on social media and make sure they’ll be large enough.

My next book may very well be called “What NOT to Do as an Author.”

I’ll leave you all with an excerpt from The Submissive Muse:

 

She turned her back to him and began soaping up one of the wine glasses. He reached around and grabbed it from her hands, then threw it against the wall. It shattered into pieces.

She turned off the running water and faced him. “I’m going to start billing you for broken wine glasses. You broke another one the other night.”

It was true, he had. After she pulled away from their kiss, he had smashed his glass against the wall. He had also overturned John’s “sacred, off-limits” armchair in anger.

“Everything you do is my business. That was the deal.” He stood a hair’s length away, so close her perfume tickled his nose.

“We have no deal. What are you talking about?”

Shut up, Devan.

He blew out a long, slow breath in an attempt to calm himself.

“Because you take care of my horses, you think you also have a responsibility to take care of me?” Her voice quivered with emotion.

Yes, he did, but he couldn’t tell her why.
”I can tell you when you’re making a fool of yourself with a kid almost half your age.”

“Screw you.” She made a motion to leave, but he trapped her there with both his arms at her sides. “Let me go, Devan.”

He wanted her so bad he could no longer fight it. If she didn’t want him, he’d have to leave here for good, because the torture of denial was making him lose his mind.

“Tell me you want the college boy and I’ll let you go.”

She turned her face away from him. “No.”

Devan grabbed ahold of her chin and twisted it around to face him. “Look me in the eyes and tell me you want him, and not me.”
Her eyes flashed with frustration while she stubbornly pressed her lips together. She attempted to flee again, but he held her by the shoulders. Her angry breaths flooded his face as she squirmed to get away. “Why are you fighting it? Isn’t it obvious you want me as much as I want you?”

* * *

Interested? Here’s the buy link:

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Hope everyone is having a juicy, sexy summer!

THE ART OF NOT GIVING A FUCK

 

The older I get the less I give a fuck. There’s something incredibly freeing about knowing you have limited time left on this earth. I used to give a fuck. Often. About what men thought, family, peers. And then I realized these people had some very stringent ideas about who I should be. For them.

In my 20s I once dated a man who worked in politics in Washington DC. He continually expressed surprise any time I uttered a big word. “You know, you’re really very intelligent,” he’d say, as if intelligence and beauty were mutually exclusive. I got a subscription to the NY Times for him because he so valued intelligence despite me not giving a fuck about politics. Nowadays, I won’t even consider a date with someone who supports my opposing party.

Another boyfriend of mine was horrified I didn’t know the capital of each state. He gave me a list, told me to study hard, and then he’d pop quiz me out of the blue. Before a movie, before bed, “Psst, what’s the capital of Georgia?” I didn’t give a fuck about the capitals, but I performed like a good show dog does for treats. If I had a man do that to me now, I’d tell him to go fuck himself. In Atlanta.

I’ve been called “crazy” numerous times, because I’m passionate. Because I have a temper. Because I like to fuck in risqué places, because I don’t follow the status quo. My mother recently asked me what I planned to do about the family once I published my erotic romance. “Are you going to tell them about it? What will you do if they want to read it?”

I told her, “I don’t give a fuck whether they read it or not. I’m too old to be ashamed of what I do and if people want to judge me, let them.”

I’m done trying to please people. I’m done making excuses for who I am as a person, as offensive as that may be to those with more delicate aesthetics. I own my craziness, my passion, my sexuality, my uniqueness. For every quality that people shame, they don’t realize it contributes to the whole being. “If you weren’t “this way,” you also wouldn’t be “that way.”

Here’s what happened when my friend married a certain man primarily because he’d be a good father. He’s a great father, but as a husband and lover? Meh. Another friend of mine married a woman he knew would be a great mother and housewife. What a surprise they no longer have sex. Another man I know married someone for her efficient organizational skills in the hope that it would help him keep his shit together. “She’s organized all right, but she’s the meanest, most boring person alive,” he told me, “and everyone else thinks so, too, even our kids.”

My point? You can’t have the good without also accepting the bad. You can’t not marry a woman because you deem her “crazy,” and then a few years down the road want to have an affair with someone “crazy” because your wife is so freaking dull in bed. You can’t marry a conservative, stable man and then complain about him only wanting sex in the bedroom. You got what you bargained for, now deal with it.

OWN YOUR SHIT. And don’t ever let anyone else make you feel bad for it. For every thing that people tried to change in me, I wish I had been strong enough to tell them to fuck off. The right person “gets” you; the wrong person shames you. Be proud of your strengths; be proud of your weaknesses. Embrace everything as part of a whole, a yin/yang thing, if you will.

Those who truly love and respect you won’t want you to ever be something you’re not. I know many couples who’ve suppressed their innermost desires with their mates for fear of rejection or humiliation. At what cost, I wonder. I know a man whose girlfriend is fine with him being with another man sexually, but would flip out knowing he was with another woman. So, he lies about being with other women.

2 nights ago I ran in to this 27-year-old who’s been asking me out since he was 21. Finally, I said to him, “Look, being a mother is my first priority. I don’t date. I don’t bring men around my son. All my energies go toward raising him.”

I didn’t care how weird it might have sounded. I don’t care if people think I’m some crazy spinster who will accumulate more cats the older she gets. I’ll fall in love when I’m done raising my son. Or not.

Despite my vow of remaining relationship-less, I’m very open sexually. I love talking about sex. It amazes me how so many are uptight about discussing anything sexual when it’s as natural as eating or breathing. They wonder why they have problems in the bedroom. When you pull the stick out of your ass and actually communicate about your wants and desires without fear of losing the person, that’s when you’re truly liberated. So what if you lose your partner? Is it easier to live a lie? So many women long to be dominated sexually by their man (or men wanting to dominated by women) and yet, they can’t tell them. They’d rather remain frustrated, resentful, unfulfilled. All because they’re worried about losing the other person who they probably shouldn’t have married in the first place.

Stop giving so many fucks.

One life. Limited time. Think about it.

SEX AND THE INTROVERTED BOOK NERD SINGLE MOTHER

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Kids are the biggest cock block known to man. If you want to have an awesome ongoing sex life 1. Don’t get married (There’s something in wedding vows that subliminally tell women to only have sex on birthdays and anniversaries) and 2. Do not have children. Nothing makes the penis limper and the vagina drier than having to cater to irrational, helpless human beings 24/7.

What’s 1000x worse is being a single mom without every other weekend off to get her groove on (as in my sucky situation). Any single mother I’ve known gets her ass out there right away to ensnare another father substitute, but not me, nope. A man is the reason I’m in the position I’m in, so I no longer trust them as far as I can throw them. I do however, still want to fuck them.

I consider myself more like a stereotypical man than a woman. Sex for me is primarily a physical act, a stress reliever. You will never hear me utter the words, “Make love to me.” I’ll never sprinkle rose petals all over the bed, and I light candles to set the mood only because I know I look better in candlelight. My cuddling limit is about 5 minutes if that, and ideally, I’d prefer to be done with you once the deed is, cough, done.

My ideal relationship fantasy is to be involved with a firefighter, not because they’re built and possess a lot of stamina, but because I’d love a guy who’s gone for 3 days at a time, works 12 hour shifts, comes home exhausted, but still wants to fuck, then rolls over and goes to sleep and is gone by morning.

I (an introvert) used to date nothing but extroverts—lively men who always wanted to do something every minute of the day, and in my 20s it was fine because I had nothing better to do than you know, please them, so relationships consisted of constant togetherness. But now in my 40s, I have too much shit to do; I have books to write and read, rooms to paint, leaky sinks to fix, trees to trim, hair to dye, and I value my alone time like you wouldn’t believe. That’s what happens when you have another being constantly underfoot: you crave alone time filled with peace and quiet like an addict craves his next fix.

I remember years ago in a postpartum group I attended one woman said, “You don’t know how much I miss reading before bed.” Oh, I do, sister,” I told her. It was one of the things I had to give up when I got into a relationship. Yeah, I got sex, but I had to give up reading before bed and I’m not sure the tradeoff was worth it.

So now, I’m in this muddy sort of predicament where I want sex, but I also want to read, and I don’t really want to deal with relationship bullshit or needy men, but meaningless sex does get boring after a while, especially if the person is kinda meh, and it winds up being more trouble than it’s worth. There’s a reason men hire hookers; they want sex without all the hassle that goes along with it. Women are a hassle, men are a hassle, kids are a hassle. Life is one big hassle with the one bright spot being sex, but when sex becomes a hassle, too, it loses its orgasmic charm.

Now I’ll admit I have it easier than some. I can literally step outside my door and find someone to have sex with me within 5 minutes, because the thing is if you’re an attractive female, any male will fuck you once. Really. That’s the only criteria they have: Is she pretty? I’m sorry, guys, but it’s true. I have never had any man tell me, “I can’t fuck you because…” Not a one. So, we women do have all the power. (Men know this, they just don’t like to admit it.) It’s called the Power of the Pussy. I know within 3-5 seconds of meeting a man whether they’re someone I want to have sex with. 3-5 seconds. And If I decide no, then no amount of money, success, or cock size will sway me.

The dilemma the single mother like me has is she values her alone time as much as she’s a slave to her libido. So, when my son decided to have a sleepover at a friend’s house this afternoon, all kinds of possible activities floated through my head so I didn’t feel like “the pathetic female who never goes out at night” like I normally do: I could call my kinky friend and have him take me to a strip club or a dungeon for the first time. I could call my rich friend and have him take me into the city for dinner and a play. I could call my 30-year-old hot friend and go out for beer and a game of pool. I could go 3 doors down and Mrs. Robinson the 25-year-old who made a pass at me last week.

All of these dates would provide me with the sex I want, so that’s a given. It’s almost too easy, but the introverted book nerd that I am sits here on the couch, relishing the peace of not hearing, “Mom, I’m hungry, what’s for dinner?” or rap lyrics blasting and gunfire from Call of Duty. Yes, this introverted single mother book nerd who loves sex, mind you, also painfully realizes she’d have to carry on a conversation with any one of these men for hours and she just doesn’t feel like exerting the energy for what ultimately, won’t be as fulfilling as it sounds.

So, she decides to read a book instead, and eat string cheese and pretzels for dinner next to the cat and dog who could give a crap that she’s wearing sweats and no makeup. And for a short time, at least until the noisy boy returns the next day, all is well in her world.

 

DEPRESSION IS DEPRESSING

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I don’t write much about depression because it’s, well, depressing, and most of the time, I’m trying to run from it rather than acknowledge it. When I’m depressed I tend to hide from the world and embrace my bed like a long-lost lover come home. I sleep. A lot. Because it’s an escape from the disturbing thoughts that obsessively bombard my mind.

The holidays tend to exacerbate this ugly beast of burden. There’s something about them that bring feelings of loneliness and unhappiness to the forefront. Right now, there are many posts on Facebook giving out the Suicide Hotline phone number, urging people to call if they become desperate. But many won’t. They’ll continue to suffer in silence.

For those who don’t have a problem with this illness, it may be difficult to understand the mind of a depressed person. Just like I don’t understand what it’s like to have cancer, or be paralyzed, or lose a child. I don’t pretend to. I would no more tell them to “buck up,” or “look on the bright side,” or “get over it” any more than a “positive” person should to someone suffering depression.

One word: Empathy. A quality many lack, especially when they don’t understand something. Empathy is “the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other being’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s position. Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.”

I personally believe the more sensitive and creative a person, the more prone they are to depression. They see more, feel more, and ponder more. About everything. But this can often lead to a downward spiraling of mood. Depressives are ruminators. They start with a negative feeling or thought, and they overthink it to death. They beat it until it’s nothing but a bloody pulp. Is it learned behavior, a default switch, in a sense? A chemical imbalance? Hereditary? Who knows, who cares? The important thing is realizing how dangerous and serious depression is.

I’ve been dealing with depression for over 20 years. I was never a depressed teen, but then again, I was partying way too much to feel anything. It wasn’t until I came down with CFIDS that I became depressed. Think about it. A healthy, outgoing 26-year-old actress living in NY, doing what she loved. Now imagine her getting sick with mono. Imagine it NEVER going away. Imagine all her hopes and dreams buried in a dumpster full of rotting food behind Denny’s.

Now I know there are people out there who get their legs blown off in Iraq, come home and start a foundation to help people like them, get married, and have a great life. There are others who are raped and tortured, write a book about it, and go on to counsel other survivors like themselves. I get it. Strong people turning adversity in to a positive. Rah rah for them.

But I’m not one of those people. Wish I were, but I’m not. I can blame it on my dad for yelling at me my whole life, telling me what a worthless piece of crap I am or I can blame it on brain chemistry. Bottom line? It is what it is.

So. Here’s an example of how my depressed mind works: I completed the first draft of my novel on Tuesday. It’s 90,000 words. That in and of itself is something to be proud of, right? And I was proud of myself. For the rest of the evening. The next day, I sat in front of my laptop, a little lost because every author says you should wait like 6 weeks before you edit, and I thought, Okay, WTF am I going to do while I’m waiting? So I start researching who I can shop my novel around to once I have a final draft ready.

Now, mind you, I’ve published 2 romantic comedies already, but decided to write a dark erotic romance. Why? I have no idea. I don’t read that much erotica. Hell, I don’t even like erotica all that much. So why did I write it? Come to discover the market is saturated already, and very few agents want to represent it. As for legit publishers, there is 1 for me to choose from. 1.

 

First thoughts: I just spent a year researching and writing a novel that I won’t be able to sell. Why didn’t I stick with my chosen genre, so I could have a better chance of building a following?

Second thoughts: Most erotic authors self-publish. I don’t want to learn how to self-publish. It’s too much work that I don’t have the energy for. I’m such a fucking idiot.

Third thoughts: Just like everything else in my life, I never think things through. Instead of furthering my career, I’ve stalled it. Something I can’t afford to do because I have a kid to feed.

Now by this point, I have a tension headache, my chest is tight because my breathing is shallow, and I start worrying about how I’m going to pay my rent next month. And afford $100 bucks to enroll my son in soccer. And renew HostGator for my website for $150. And pay property taxes. And buy soccer cleats, and…and…

And the worrying starts to spiral out of control. Depressed people don’t just think of the problem at hand (In my case, writing a ms that won’t sell). They remember every. single.  problem they’ve ever had since birth.

If only I were smarter, or married, or healthier, or skinnier, or richer, or my mother had breastfed me…fill in the blank.

And

I shouldn’t have married my abusive bf from high school, gotten into the car with that frat boy, done that line of meth, driven while drunk, picked up that hooker who turned out to be a guy, gotten that awful nose job…fill in the blank.

And

I should have gone to grad school, never quit that high-paying job even though it made me miserable, stayed on the Pill, kicked my husband out 5 years before, gotten my breasts done a long time ago, checked her license to see whether she was of legal age…fill in the blank.

And

My father, mother, old boyfriend, best friend was right. I’m a train wreck, a fuck up, stupid, ugly, fat, a douche canoe…fill in the blank.

And

I’m going to be 80 years old, poor, single, unhappy, fat, my cats will eat my dead body, no one will come to my funeral…fill in the blank.

 

This is how the depressed mind works. Or at least how mine does. Cognitive therapy helps if you’re willing to do the work. Meds only do so much for a while. Many lose the battle, because once that desperate hopelessness sets in, magnifying the feeling that nothing will ever change, that you’re going to feel this miserable torturous mindfuck forever, suicide seems like the only relief in sight. People usually don’t commit suicide because they want to end their lives; they commit suicide because they don’t want to feel the pain anymore. That’s an important distinction, and it truly breaks my heart. Because we’re not bad people. We’re not weak. We’re usually nicer and more successful than we think. And although I’ve had close friends accuse me of being negative (I’ve even lost best friends over it), I believe it’s more about their own self-centeredness in not wanting to be brought down. Again, they’re lacking that empathy factor.

I, on the other hand, because I’ve gone through so much hardship in my life would never berate or shun a person for being down, or negative, or suicidal. I’ve had strangers talk to me for hours, telling me all their problems or admit they’re wanting to commit suicide. Why? Because I genuinely listen, so they feel safe. I don’t judge them or tell them to turn that frown upside down. How many people can genuinely listen to the pain of another without judgment or telling them what to do to make themselves better? I’ve only met one or two.

If you need someone to listen and you have no one to talk to with a sympathetic ear, please, please, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255–24/7. Or message me here. You are not alone.

Happy holidays

WRITING, MEN, INSANITY, AND CHAOS

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It’s been forever since I’ve posted, which makes me feel bad about myself because I used to post much more frequently. On the other hand, I’ve been working on my book and that has taken up all my time and energy. Writing a novel is all-consuming in that it becomes the only thing you think about morning, noon, and night. It’s like having an obsessive crush on someone who feels only Meh about you. If they show you any positive attention, you’re on top of the world (much like one feels when writing goes well), but most of the time, they could care less about you, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and frustrated (much like one feels when they think what they wrote that day stinks, or they haven’t written a single word at all).

I’m not going to lie. It’s freaking tough to write when you’re a single parent. My writing needs to be done while the boy is at school or it doesn’t get done. I remember reading an article about Jacquelyn Mitchard, the author of The Deep End of the Ocean whose husband’s sudden death left her needing to come up with a way to support her kids. She wrote that book sitting at the kitchen table with her kids running all over the place, amidst chaos and confusion.

So I tried it the other night. Writing amidst chaos and confusion. I sat my ass on the couch, Friends reruns on the TV, with my son sitting next to me, constantly interrupting to show me asinine YouTube videos he finds hilarious. The fact that I was trying to write a sex scene is neither here nor there. I wrote 2 sentences and then gave up. Even now, while writing this, the boy is in his room, blasting rap music and shouting at his Xbox. I know I’ll be lost once he gets older and moves out, but at the moment, it’s a picture this lover of peace and quiet is having a hard time imagining.

Sometimes novels and all the research that goes in to them are wonderful for self-realization. One of my main characters is bipolar, so I’ve done a crapload of research on bipolar disorder, only to come to realize I’m 99% sure my father is bipolar, which is why he’s been such an insane asshole all these years. Not that people with bipolar disorder are insane assholes, but left untreated and choosing to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, a lot of their behavior is very asshole-y.

You would think I’d have some revelatory A-ha moment and feel sorry for him for having an illness he can’t help, but I don’t. Truth is, he’s known he’s had a mood disorder for many, many years. God knows his entire family has told him as much. But when he went to his Beverly Hills physician years ago to discuss his “possible” mood disorder, the doctor excused it by telling him he was simply a Type-A personality and intense, and every Type-A person was like that.

He came home so proud after that, like a peacock strutting his colorful feathers, because he had gotten validation from a “physician to the stars,” and therefore, he didn’t have no stinking problem. Hey, here’s a heads up. When family and friends don’t want to be around you more often than not, if your moods go up and down like the strength tester game at the county fair, if your wife threatens to leave you every time you go through a particularly intolerable heinous period, then you got a stinking problem!

But it’s not my problem anymore, plus I’m out of the will anyway.

So, what else is going on? Well, I’m still single. I tried dating someone casually, but that didn’t work out too well. I went in to it stating, “I don’t want a serious relationship” (meaning You will never be my priority), but he took it as, “I hear what you’re saying, but I will eventually wear you down.” Ah, men and their love of challenges. I get it though. The first (and last) time I pursued something with a man who, straight off the bat said, and I quote: “I don’t want a relationship,” I completely ignored those words, too. Because after all, who wouldn’t want a relationship with me? I’m fabulous.

Turned out he did in fact want a relationship. Just not with me. He ended up marrying my son’s elementary school principal, and is now happily living in an all-White neighborhood where everyone makes six-figures (despite him being a tatted-up Hispanic custodian).

Anyhoo, back to this guy. After a few dates, he said to me, “I’m wearing you down, aren’t I? Tell me you’re not falling for me just a little bit” to which I responded in all my blunt honesty (since I don’t know how to be any other way), “I’m really not, and I meant what I said from the get-go.”

But he still kept at it. The situation reminded me of Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoon: What we say to dogs versus What they hear. The owner points to his dog, saying “Okay, Ginger! I’ve had it! You stay out of the garbage! Understand, Ginger? Stay out of the garbage, or else!” But the dog only hears, “blah blah Ginger blah blah blah blah blah Ginger blah blah blah…”

So, since we always seem to refer to men as dogs, I’m guessing what this guy heard was pretty much the same thing.

In all fairness to him he dodged a bullet, because I’m certainly no prize. I have my hands full with an ADD son who randomly sneaks up and attacks me much like Cato does with Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther movies, which has turned me in to a woman “on the edge” at all times, a 6-year-old diva dog who still pisses on the one remaining carpet whenever she feels like it, and a bulimic cat.

Then there’s me who, while you’re talking, is thinking about how to solve that plot problem, instead of listening to you.

 

What’s new with you?

VANILLA, BDSM, WHO CARES?

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I finally started a new novel. It’s an erotic romance, which is a complete departure from the 2 romantic comedies I have written. But my muse writes the story. I find I have very little control over which way it goes.

Unfortunately, the writing has been very slow going because the muse has chosen to add certain facets to the story I am completely unfamiliar with, resulting in me having to do a crapload of research. One of my heroes is an artist, another is a pediatric neurosurgeon. My heroine owns horses. She teaches Gothic architecture at a college. I know of none of this stuff. Write what you know, they say. There’s a reason for that. You get your book written in half the time.

But my muse is stubborn and her ideas are firm. She wants elements of BDSM. I groaned when she first informed me of this. “No, no, no, there are enough Fifty Shades of Grey knockoffs, for goodness sake,” I complained. But the bitch wants what she wants.

Now, researching the BDSM lifestyle is interesting because it has obviously exploded since the 3 Fifty books came out. I understand the BDSM community has felt misunderstood in the past, that outsiders think it’s all about abuse, and Fifty is in no way an accurate representation of an authentic Dom/sub relationship.

I’ve been reading tons of blogs. I’ve talked to both men and women involved in the lifestyle. I’ve joined private groups on Facebook, and followed many pages of Doms, Dommes, subs, and littles. Private groups on Facebook, and even certain blogs on Tumblr portray the lifestyle pretty accurately. Their main objective is to provide accurate information, which is vital so participants don’t get taken advantage of, or worse, injured.

The public fan pages on Facebook mystify me though. Obviously, erotic authors have professional fan pages with provocative photos and/or relevant articles related to whatever they’re writing about, but this is done to sell books. I can’t figure out why any Dom or a Mistress would create a fan page just for the hell of it. Entertainment? A creative outlet? Ego? And they have tons of followers, mind you. We’re talking thousands. It’s like they’re celebrities.

Dommes post erotic photos (within FB guidelines), which are like the clean version of porn stills, so the comments are all by middle-aged to older men wishing it was them being stepped on with spike heels or paddled or walked outside with a leash. “Yes, Mistress,” Please, Mistress,” “I love you, Mistress.” But Mistresses make it clear they’re not to be solicited for business.

Dom pages are even worse, because women as a whole seem to be particularly vulnerable to men who come across as assertively sexy or provocative. Doesn’t matter that these women have no idea what the man looks like. Hell, he could be posting while sitting on a dirty, ripped couch in stained underwear, swigging a Bud, but if they portray themselves as sensitive and in touch with women’s feelings (while being DOMINANT, of course), women swoon like prepubescent girls paging through Tiger Beat Magazine.

“Oh, Sir, if only I could find a man like you.” “Sir, your words hit me right in my solar plexus.” “Sir, Sir, Sir…”

It feels a little cult-like to me. Why should a stranger call someone they don’t know “Sir” if he’s not your Sir. No one addresses a “Daddy” as such. It’s way too personal a title. Another thing I’ve noticed is a lot of middle-aged Doms prefer emotionally-broken 20-somethings. I’m not sure if this is because they feel they can save them or mold them, or what. And FFS, does every Dom have to be a polygamist and an exhibitionist? Seems like their most important pastime in life is going to dungeon parties, picking out a new, young impressionable thing, getting her up on a St. Andrew’s cross and going to town on her.

It’s bad enough practically every single kinky picture involves young, thin, and firm. (Isn’t this what “vanilla” people complain about all the time?) In a lifestyle claiming diversity and open-mindedness, where the fuck is the diversity? Where are all the middle-aged, thick women? Surely, there are plenty. And in a community that preaches non-judgment, they’re pretty freaking judgmental when it comes to a vanilla lifestyle. If a couple wants to have vanilla sex and it’s satisfying to them, who is anyone to judge? Just because someone enjoys being whipped or humiliated or tied up doesn’t make them any more edgy than someone who prefers being vanilla. (Oh, how I despise that banal term.)

I guess what I’m questioning is the need for some people to have their sexuality right out there in the open. Is it really anyone’s business what their kinks are? Why do they feel the need to share them with the rest of the world? If I came out as a lesbian, I don’t think I’d start a public Facebook page and only post things regarding homosexuality. By making it your sole identity, it goes against what gay people ultimately want—to be like everyone else by not having their sexuality singled out.

I dunno. Maybe I’m just a cranky, private, introverted, non-exhibitionist monogamist.

I’d love to hear anyone’s views on the subject.

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