Saturday, October 26, 2013

BortN66: Used with permission
Everyone has talent. What's rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.  Erica Jong

Friday, October 25, 2013

Hush! Words we can't utter anymore...

Another Friday has arrived... and it's time to post. There's been a lot on my mind this week, not just as an erotica author but as a publisher as well. 

This post combines my personal rant on banned erotic words with an introduction and excerpt from the most 'vanilla' novel in my catalogue of erotic titles. Oddly, the two subjects seem to fit, at least for the focus of this blog post. So here goes...

One of the benefits of being semi-retired is the opportunity to fill in my days with a whole mess of projects left undone during a period in my career when I was just too busy to do it all. Suddenly, this doesn't feel like retirement at all! Not when it's my goal to bring some of my older titles out of the dark ages and into the present, to replace out-dated covers with snazzy new ones, and breathe new life into some very good but forgotten stories. This is becoming a full time job! And maybe it's not all bad either. Keeps me busy and out of trouble.

I wrote the novel Hush! in the mid-1990s at the beginning of my writing career. I was penning spanking novels and stories, and then embarked on a series of general erotic romances (no kink involved...imagine that!) Oddly enough, you'll see in this teaser from the novel the same kind of dominant/submissive theme that has become the centerpiece of my erotica. I couldn't get away from it even then. No surprise that BDSM erotica became my favorite sub-genre in the wide world of erotic fantasy.

Getting on to my rant... one odd quirk in this novel: I deliberately avoided using some of the cruder terms for genitalia like cock, dick, cunt and pussy. It was a noble effort, and I managed to get through the story with lots of euphemisms for sexual body parts, sprinkled with a few penises and vaginas. Thankfully, I've never attempted such a project since. I honestly love writing my erotica with a full breadth of language choices at my command, and after twenty years, they are pretty much a common part of my vocabulary ... in the right company of course

In the years since Hush! was written, the world has seemed to catch up with words that have been so much a part of my erotic vocabulary. It's all about context, when the words are used and with whom... but cock and cunt and all the rest just aren't that taboo anymore. Maybe that's good and maybe not when it comes to public discourse. Not going to debate that. But remember, it's all about context, and within the erotica world a graphic and descriptive vocabulary is one of the tools that an author relies on to bring a story to life and make it feel real to the reader. A book title is one of the most important choices an author can make when it comes to marketing a book. The description of a story used for marketing purposes should accurately convey what the book is about so that the reading audience can find the books they want to read. But now those basic and very necessary writing and marketing tools are being jeopardized.

Suddenly, in the 21st century, a new wave of propriety is sweeping the erotica publishing world, through the efforts of large ebook sites that are running into "issues" that these "easy-to-publish-your-book" sites have created themselves in failing to provide adequate guidelines and screening for the titles that get uploaded to their sites. 

In a ruthless and arbitrary fashion words are being banned from titles and book descriptions, seriously compromising the efforts of many authors. In the last couple weeks, at the biggest of the ebook giants, there's been purge of titles with words like slavery and slave. Slave Ranch becomes The Ranch. Kingdom of Slaves becomes Domain. Slaves of the Circle T becomes Submission at the Circle T. You can imagine the creative and sometimes hilarious ways authors are attempting to get beyond this ridiculous word ban. You'd better not try using words like spanking, BDSM, femdom and lesbian in a book's title, they may get banned as well. (these are just a few of the words and terms being targeted). Since I founded the company, it has been the policy of Pink Flamingo to give an accurate and descriptive picture of the titles we published just so readers won't get a title they don't want to read. Now, book descriptions are being watered down to the point that the public can no longer be certain what they are getting in a title they choose. Which is the better option? Full disclosure or vague references to the book's story and content?

How long will it be before even the texts of novels will undergo the scrutiny of censors, too? Makes you wonder how far the censors will go fucking with English language. I don't have an answer to this latest blow to Free Speech. For now, I sit back, take a deep breath and shake my head, then go back to playing with my books, making them the best erotica I can make them, and hope that erotica readers will be patient until this latest flurry of silliness finally goes away...and some sanity returns to the wild world of erotica publishing.

In a related issue, self-published and indie authors are being targeted by some large retailers for the "sins" of a few. With no regard to content (vanilla to extreme), indie erotica is being stripped from the same sites that previously encouraged their efforts. If you'd like to offer your support to the independent publishing world, please check out the petition below:

Support Indie Authors

So, enough for now! On to the fun stuff...

About Hush!: Journalist Dana Padget, on assignment to photograph erotic art, is seduced by the art as well as the museum's mysterious curator, Lucian Broussard. As the sexual passion builds, Dana finds danger lurking beneath the surface of their affair—in the secrets of Lucien's perplexing house and in the ghost of his deceased wife, Ariel, who haunts its corridors by day and its bedrooms by night. A passionate and disturbing tale, this novel drips with suspense, and a romance that blooms with mystery.

Excerpt from Hush!

He spoke in hushed tones. She felt their knees graze against each other’s under the table. They’d been doing so all night. As he cradled her face in his hand, she watched him, mesmerized by the sight of his changeable eyes. She felt his other hand beneath the table move to her knees and gently part them. Not that he would actually reach up between them, he simply wanted them open.

“Why are you doing that?” she whispered, as his firm hand pushed her legs even wider.

“Hush,” he said sweetly, with a smile. “You’ve been too wary tonight, too pent-up. When you part your thighs, I can feel your inner energy soar. Just relax, you have nothing to worry about from me.” Saying that, he pulled his hand out from underneath the table and picked up his fork to eat the chocolate torte in front of him.

Dana gazed at him stupefied. He was right about her sexual energy, the unexpected demand reminded her that his over-powering effect on her was primarily sexual. He brought out longing, and steamed heat, and dormant desire, and something very raw. Even though her skirt was short, riding high almost to her crotch with her legs spread out, she held the pose, relishing the surge of sensation that moved from her to him.

“You have me baffled, Lucien,” she said, taking a bite of her own torte. “And feeling like a loose woman.”

“Isn’t that wonderful?” Lucien replied. “Since I met you at your door tonight, you in that lovely dress, I could think of nothing all through dinner but the picture of ou sitting with the skirt bunched at your thighs.”

She blushed, unable to hide her embarrassment.

“I wooed another woman just like you,” he said.

“You mean Ariel?” She thought again of the tales from the museum, and the phantom presence that haunted its corridors.

“Of course I mean Ariel.”

Lucien owned an old Mercedes with broad seats, and dark windows, and locks that snapped tight after he pushed Dana into the back seat of the vehicle. His body descending to hers. They didn’t undress with the seats so cold, the snow beginning to pile up around the car. But they were warm where it mattered, in the middle of their crotches. Without saying a word, without even thinking of protesting, Dana lay back against the leather seat, and opened her thighs again, just as they’d been in the restaurant.

She was ripe, her aromatic fragrance so strong she smelled it, too, when he pushed aside the nylon panties and pressed a finger inside the warm wetness. His hand turned firm again, changing like the countenance of his face changed so frequently. With fingers driving deeply inside, she moaned, tears coming to her eyes as she felt the almost painful thrust of his hand moving against her. In the dark she could hardly see his face, but a shard of light from an overhead beam penetrated through one window, revealing a determined look. She was scared but aroused by his remarkable expression. She invited him with her arms outstretched, and he withdrew the pounding fingers and opened his pants, the heavy hard thing inside unseen, pressed against her thighs. She could tell it was enormous, more enormous still when he penetrated her.

“My, my my god,” she gasped softly.

They moved, the rhythm easy, a sure steady lovemaking. His lips covered her face with dozens of kisses, while he murmured things she could never remember. Her mouth whimpered faint replies. Lucien finished inside her with his erection exploding so she could feel his wild jerking cum all through her body. And because she did not jerk herself, or gasp enough, his fingers returned to her steamy center once he’d withdrawn, and he stroked her tenderly there until as her arousal crescendoed and she climaxed, too.

There was wet cum from Lucien’s penis on her thigh, feeling cold after he moved off her body.

“My god, I did this right here!” she gasped. She looked aghast as her mind returned reality. 

“Did someone see?”

“You wonder that?” Lucien remarked. “And not why?”

“I know why. We were overcome by the moment.”

“Then that must happen to you often,” Lucien suggested, already knowing that it didn’t.

“It has never before,” she admitted. She pulled up to sitting, pushing her skirt down over her thighs as far as it would go. There was likely a wet spot on the back of the dress from their combined juices that flowed from her well-used hole. Her hose were soiled, her panties too, but she liked it that way, for the first time in a long time feeling something this deliciously naughty.

“You needed to be wooed, Dana,” Lucien said. “Now perhaps I’d better take you home.”

They drove to her townhouse in silence. She had nothing to say, and then a whole discourse suddenly appeared to her, but not making up her mind, she ended up saying nothing.

“I will see you tomorrow morning,” Lucien said, once he walked her to her front door.

“No. Not tomorrow,” Dana answered. “I have other appointments Monday.”

“Then Tuesday,” he said. “It wouldn’t be a good idea to wait any longer.”

“No, I suppose not.”

“And plan on spending the night Thursday. I think we’ll be ready to through the attic pieces then.”

There was no negotiating the deal, times, days or her rapt attention to his project. He was decisive and authoritative, just when she was thinking that she didn’t need that kind of man in her life. But then too, he wasn’t like her husband. His assumptive manner was only a small aspect of his personality. So vague and mysterious were the other elements of his character, and erotic – compellingly erotic. She wondered if she could ever know him well. He was on the verge of something all the time, but unlike her husband, who could be like that too, there was no agitation, just an abiding peacefulness about him, during which she was left to speculate what about what he would do to her next. 

 Copyright (c) 1995 by Lizbeth Dusseau, all rights reserved.