by Madeline Iva Hola Chicas! I’m baaaaaaaack! and here today to talk to you about Donald Glover, TV’s most interesting man. Yeah, I didn’t see him coming either. 915 more words

via Donald Glover: TV’s Most Interesting Man — Lady Smut

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A Dirty Job Calls For Dirty Sex…Heroes Who Drive a Tractor — Lady Smut

by Madeline Iva Men who drive tractors kinda get me hot. I like their competence combined with patience and persistence. I’ve worked on a farm. I’ve shoveled shit, stacked hay bales, emptied ice out of water buckets with a hammer. Hard muscles come from daily physical labor, and a soul-aching beauty from the quiet surroundings. […]

via A Dirty Job Calls For Dirty Sex…Heroes Who Drive a Tractor — Lady Smut

“Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? — Lady Smut

by Madeline Iva I do. I do feel lucky. I’ve got two new TV actor obsessions this summer. AND WE’RE CELEBRATING Elizabeth Sa Fleur’s new book release LUCKY. (See more below.) Todays post is about two weird punks, among other things. Thankfully people rarely toss around the term ‘punk’ anymore. Some older man or jock […]

via “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? — Lady Smut

Horrifically, Perversely Romantic: Madeira Darling After Party

madeiraHello my sweet kittens! I’m snuggling up next to the space heater on another snowy day after posting a blog on LadySmut.com about Madeira Darling. I am still pondering the rapture of our mutual interests.  This is like an after-party to my post, because I am just so frickin inspired.  I want to celebrate a gothic erotic revival going on — if only in my own brain.

I got to ask Madeira, a professional dominatrix who’s interested in writing erotic romance/erotica, about her own sexual fantasies.  What a private a topic to share – but share she did and I was just fascinated with what she had to say.

She knows what she likes.  I like it that she knows what she likes.

I like a lot of what she likes myself–especially in terms of gothic tone, hot androgynous men, cross-dressing men and all over pluviophile joys.  I want to write a hot gothic horror romance just for her.

Boy? Girl? Glam.
Boy? Girl? Glam.

I get angsty now and then about my own writing because it’s a bit off the beaten track, but Madeira is all about reveling in what you like and licking your fingers clean when it’s done.

She mentioned Poppy Z. Brite & I *LOVE* Poppy Z. Brite.  There’s just so much perverse goodness out there, people.  I want to knicker and scream for joy sometimes at all this good stuff.  And it’s not just in novels — or would-be novels either.  I think that TV is a part of this gothic erotic revival as well.

I wonder if Madeira likes AMERICAN HORROR STORY? AHS is a new obsession of mine, though as always, I’m way late to the party on this one.  In general I am more of a fan of creepy sexy suspense than I am a fan of true horror. I’ll admit to fast forwarding through great swaths of AHS the first season as well as season three: Coven.

With the first season, for me it was all about the young love story.  I liked the he’s-not-a-bad-boy-he’s-just-misunderstood story line in season one.

Evan you heartbreaker.
Evan you heartbreaker.

Whups! Turns out he really *is* a bad boy, but we know exactly why and how he got turned along the way, and at the end he is as redeemed as he can be given his situation.

With Season Three, Coven,I like the way that they bring back the same actors in different seasons–making it a theatre ensemble.  That is so cool.  Season three is my favorite if only because it’s all about girl power/women’s power and that really turns me on when you make it witchy and wonderful.  Jessica-Lange-Emma-Roberts-Jamie-Brewer-Taissa-FarmigaGabourey-Sidibe-American-Horror-Story-CovenI think it was a little less squicky overall–perhaps because they knew that they’d have a younger teen audience tuning in?  Again, the romance story hooked me hard. There’s something just so good about the sweetest romance ever that falls like an egg off the counter, and there it is, cracked, the sweetness leaking out all over the ground, marred and un-fixable.  It’s the best thing EVAH!

Then there’s Bates Motel.  Another wonderful mash-up of tension, suspense, sex, and shame–with a glittery sprinkling of innocent curiosity over the whole.  Yum! I could eat it up with a spoon.

Love your mother, Norman, just don't *love* your mother.
Love your mother, Norman, just don’t *love* your mother.

What brings you perverse fragrant joy in this spam-in-a-can society?  Share with me your fav cult books that celebrate young love gone splat in a world gone dark.  Bonus points for romance titles. Here are a few culty-favs of mine below.  Warning: this is difficult reading hour presented to you — none of these are glossy romance titles.  These are cult-hugs sent to you like a late valentine on a blizzard-y winter day.  Mmmmmwhaa!

xo, Madeline

The Secret History — mystery novel about why a group of beautiful friends kill their buddy

Boarderliners — young Danish love in a wicked prep school

Jamestown — post-apocalyptic romance between Pocahontas & Capt. Smith

NP — Japanese incest wrapped up in a minimalist ghost story

 

 

 

 

Boys Don’t Cry – Unless They’re REALLY Cute

James 1
Don’t cry out loud — or, well, okay, go ahead and cry buddy.

Have you been watching the World Cup this hot July? The conclusion of the semi-final and the final are Saturday & Sunday.  I will be glued to the set.

One thing to note–aside from how fit and attractive 9 out of 10 soccer players are—is the bursts of unfettered bromance happening at the end of games. Men embracing, men sweating, then crying, and laughing—and then embracing some more.  I’m making little chittering noises, like the cat watching at the window while the birds flutter about.

James 2I haven’t watched many World Cups before – is all this emoting new? Is this the rise of a new generation of men much more in touch with their feelings? Are foreign men just more emotionally expressive? I’m not sure, but I know one thing: it’s kinda hot.

James 3There was one moment last week that had me absolutely transfixed. James Rodrigues*so cute* was on the Columbia team which was matched against Brazil in the quarter finals.  Then Columbia lost.

Brazil's Luiz and Marcelo console Colombia's Rodriguez after their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals soccer match at the Castelao arena in FortalezaAfter the game, David Luiz came over to James (Are they normally teammates on a soccer team? Players unscramble from their normal teams for World Cup into national teams.)

Brazil's Marcelo and David Luiz console Colombia's Rodriguez after their 2014 World Cup quarter-finals at the Castelao arena in FortalezaSo I’m only half watching the end of the game UNTIL: Luiz embraces James, consoling him as James experiences a burst of emotion.  But then after a really long hug, they take shirts and exchange them (Okay, I know that they often do this in various sports.)

Brazil v Colombia: Quarter Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilYet bare chested, then they continue to embrace some more, as emotion overwhelms James again.

Brazil v Colombia: Quarter Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup BrazilAt this point I’m riveted? We’re seeing a lot of man-flesh pressed together in a long sweaty embrace, of tender consolation….and….

James 8Luiz continues to embrace James, exhorts the audience to cheer James as a winner, and then helps to escort him off the football pitch. Other guys are popping around to console James as well.

EPA BRAZIL SOCCER FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 SPO SOCCER BRASomewhere I know gay men are still transfixed by the memory of this moment. Also readers of m/m romances.

I recently did Q&A interview with Ellis Carrington where we discussed the popular queer romance trope of hurting/caring. Check it out here. This seems to be a real life caring/hurting moment…I’ll let your imagination drift with the players back to the locker room and fantasize about what comes next.

Meanwhile, we’re in countdown mode over at LadySmut.com.  Our anthology, LADY SMUT’S BOOK OF DARK DESIRES, is releasing in August.  Stay tuned for more updates on the release in less than one month!

Dyson, Dyson, Dyson…Staying Satisfied Over the Holidays

If it's not Dyson on the screen...then why am I watching?
If it’s not Dyson on the screen…then why am I watching?

Ladies, these days staying sane means daydreaming about Dyson and the TV show LOST GIRL.  I mean, what are you going to do during that long span of time when there’s only football on TV and re-runs? Lost Girl is a great TV show to watch around the fall holidays.  Those fae folk are just naturally festive and there’s a ye olde harvest-solstice-spirit-y vibe that just emanates from the show.

I first saw a glimpse of LOST GIRL on Hulu.com–but they only had clips, not a full episode.  Then I was on holiday batting around the remote control and came across a scene where Dyson was “healing” Bo the succubus by having sex with her.  Yes, yes, and more yes! Yet it seemed that was just a kind of one time-y thing.  I frowned and moved on to other channels. Until Kiersten Hallie Krum joined Lady Smut, and she had this post about wolves.

Beach glass
Okay, maybe her eyes are really blue? I don’t know, but it’s a really cool look.

So I just had to take another look. I started watching the show and I was bitten–bitten hard.  Yes, there’s a lot about Lost Girl that people love in terms of world building.  And yes, Kenzie, the side kick is so fascinating and fun to watch with her eyes that look like green beach glass.  But really, the alpha and omega of that show for me is Dyson.

There is Bo’s character arc, (yawn) and the arc of what’s going on in Fae land (meh), and then there is Dyson’s feelings for/being there for Bo (!).

healingHe’s got a voice that’s like a black bear licking honey.  He’s got a body that does not stop, despite being forced to wear dorky fae vests.  He’s a long cool glass of water, and he makes me thirsty.  His character and how the actor embodies the character is like the relaxing sensations of a vibrating…foot massager.

Why doesn't Bo go for Kenzi? I don't get it.  Why doesn't Dyson go for her either? Really don't get it.
Why doesn’t Bo go for Kenzi? I don’t get it. Why doesn’t Dyson go for her either? Really don’t get it.

However, if you haven’t watched the show yet, you should brace yourself.  At one point they pull the rug out from under you.  I’m squinting with one hand in front of me while looking ahead for Season Two.  Part of Lost Girl’s unique niche is that Bo is bi.  I’m thinking season number two is all about giving her a lot more girl time…which is okay…I guess…It’s just that for me the only reason I’m watching the show is Dyson, so I’m hoping that whatever he’s doing while kicking his heels as Bo gets it on in Lady Land is as good as the stuff in Season One.

HardMeanwhile, here’s something for your Xmas wish list.  I’ve been reading HARD AS IT GETS a romantic suspense book that’s coming out by Lauren Kaye.  Sounds like an erotic romance with that title–but it’s a little more trad romance.  Loving it — even if you’re not so into tattoos (and I’m not), Kaye will keep you zooming through the pages with her taut hero and his gritty world.  It’s available for pre-order here.

I’m also squealing over the fact that I just got ONYX by Jennifer Armentrout in the mail — this is the follow up to OBSIDIAN — the first book in her Lux series.  While the books are ostensibly Y.A.-ish, they are hawt.

OnyxThey really sit on that line between Y.A. and New Adult. I whiffled through Obsidian.  Now I am drooling over the amethyst cover and can’t wait until I can start reading it later tonight.  In the meanwhile, back to some new chapters for me!

So go over-indulge with a big glop of romance on top of your pecan pie next week. I’ll see ya around the time we start to deck the halls.

Just say no to Xmas creep! — and follow my blog, plz.

The Warrior Dude

I’ve been reading an interesting book on empathy by Simon Baron-Cohen.

(In case the name sounds very familiar, Simon is the cousin of Sasha Baron-Cohen, from Borat fame.  Who is kind of hot, btw. Tho he seems like he tries his best to hide it–which just makes him MORE hot.)

At any rate, Simon, the scientist cousin, says in his book that some male test subjects are much less empathetic than the general population when it comes to strangers or people they don’t like.  These low-empathy men sound like the “cold, arrogant hero” guy in a romance novels.  You know this guy.  He cares for nothing and nobody until–he meets the right girl.  Suddenly, he actually cares about someone for the first time, ever.  This guy actually exists in real life. I’ve met him–he’s completely selfish and shameless about it.  Except for his beloved & children, he only thinks of himself.  Yet for them he will annihilate the rest of the world to meet their needs.  They are an extension of himself.

Meanwhile, Simon says there’s speculation that some people are born with a gene that can possibly affect their levels of agression.  It’s a so-called “warrior” gene mutation.  I looked it up. It’s complicated, but basically, the idea is this: we all have a certain chemical in our brain that help break down other chemicals.  It’s called MAO.  Think of this MAO chemical as the barkeep who at the end of the night says to all the other brain chemicals in the bar, “Folks, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” This barkeep chemical (MAO stands for monoamine oxidase) then sweeps out the other rowdy brain chemicals (neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.) These chemicals keep you pumped full of energy, focussed, and in a state of arousal.

If the MAO doesn’t sweep out the rest of the chemicals bumping about in the brain, aggression is much more likely to occur in the subject.  So folks with this genetic mutation can be much more aggressive because their genetic mutation causes them to have naturally occurring lower levels of MAO.  This was good back when warriors were fighting huns, not so good if you’re a male living in our modern society.

Now, as someone who just can’t seem to stay angry for a long time, I can see how this might be an extremely useful trait.  After all, I’d be no good in a fighting situation against evil beings.  I’d fight for awhile, but soon I’d be like, “Hey guys, can’t we all just get along?” The bad guys would say, “Sure, let’s all just put down our weapons,” And I’d be like, “Oh, good, ’cause I’m tired of fighting.” Then wham! — that’d be the end of me.  However a person with the warrior gene wouldn’t want to put his weapons down. Someone born with this mutation could just keep fighting, and fighting, and fighting…a very good warrior quality to have.

Yet, as I was reading along, things started sounding strangely familiar.  I was thinking about WRATH from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. (A series with which, as you must realize by now, I’m completely obsessed.)  Wrath cares about nobody.  He stomps people he doesn’t like, and he could give a damn about the rest.  He can fight without rest, and without mercy.  Someone who seems so aggressive and without empathy in general can, according to Simon the cousin, still have empathy towards another.  Thus, when he meets Elizabeth, he’s drawn to her.  Their instant intimacy and super-hot sex bonds them together so that very soon she’s not a stranger anymore.  He feels a huge amount of empathy towards her–an anxiety over any suffering she may experience–but he still could give a rat’s ass about almost anyone else. (Sorta. Things can get sentimental occasionally amongst the brotherhood.)

It seems like science is catching up with what romance authors and paranormal romance authors especially have known for quite awhile now.  Feminists may be clutching their buzz-cut hair at these retrograde alpha-male portrayals, but up until about five minutes ago historically speaking, we needed warriors to prevent rape and pillage by invaders.

We also needed to have babies with these warriors to pass on their genes to our sons so that we could continue to be safe from rape and pillage in future years.   A guy who has no empathy and is all aggression would be a good fighter, but a horrible husband and father.  He wouldn’t pass on as many genes if he was bashing around wife and kids as the guy who can fight the live long day–but still have this one little notch in his brain helping him be Mr. Good Hubby to his beloved and practice restraint around his offspring.

The thing that science hasn’t figured out yet is this: do we women have a corresponding gene in us that’s looking for Mr. Warrior Dude? I bet there is.  I mean, it’s a lot of women out there buying J.R. Ward novels.  Most of us can get quite steamy and curious only thinking or reading about a warrior protecting his heroine and loving only her.  In historicals this is the cold rake who marries the woman who “wasn’t his first lover, but will definitely be his last.”

And I wonder a lot about female aggression too.  Is there a version of this gene in women?

Meanwhile, I wonder if this gene going to disappear from men? Think about cops.  Yes, sometimes they have to be aggressive, but it seems that these days they spend most of their time doing paper work or trying to talk folks down in order to keep the peace.  Meanwhile, think of how technology driven war is these days–and getting more so all the time.  The place for warriors is shrinking down rapidly.

Yet in the world of paranormal romance, there will always be a place for someone who can stomp the bad guy without thinking twice, but who can be tender and empathetic with that one special woman.  A man who can quell evil with one hand tied behind his back.  A man who can last, and last, and last.  If you know what I mean.  And I think you do. (Smirk.)