Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Metrosexuals Make Bad Fathers?

Gotta love that man leaning against the bar wearing stylish clothes, with a ripped body, perfectly groomed face and hair you’re just dying to run your fingers through…Go ahead girl; take him home with you, but don’t expect him to take care of yo’ kids.

According to new research from Yale, males who put a lot of energy and effort into making themselves appear attractive to females may not be the best suited for fatherhood.

“The peacock's ornate fanned tail — or the primping and posturing of a guy in a bar — are ‘advertisements’ or mating displays that take substantial energy to maintain. When a male's energy is heavily focused on keeping up his appearance, he may have little energy to devote to caring for offspring. But that may be okay, say the researchers — in species where he does not really need to tend to the kids.”

So I guess the question is whether or not human males have to provide parental care. (Species like stickleback fish are forced into fatherhood since females cannot pick up the slack and males who do not provide care risk the survival of their offspring.) I’m guessing evolution would say human males have to care for their kids, while our society might suggest otherwise.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Everything I Know About Good Sex Writing I Learned from Sesame Street

Sesame Street taught me a lot of things, from how to count to 10 in Spanish to how to cope with death (remember with Mr. Hooper died?!) I watched Sesame Street every day as a child and it’s hard to say just how much those urban, carefree monsters had on my life. Most of their lessons were simple: counting, sharing, understanding the importance of friendship, but just because their lessons were simple, doesn’t mean we always remember them. Granted, I could now continue onto self-righteous spiel of the importance of humanity and honoring your fellow man, but this is an erotica blog! So let’s talk about sex, shall we?

In an effort to indulge my nostalgia and at the same time impart some writing wisdom, I offer you:

5 Tips for Better Sex Writing, Inspired by Sesame Street

Give it a Grouch: I haven’t done much research on Jim Henson and his inspiration for Sesame Street and its characters, but I’d venture a guess to say that somewhere in his life, he had a neighbor (or family member or friend) who did nothing but complain. A model for Oscar the Grouch had to come from somewhere! Therein we find lesson number 1: When writing erotica, pull inspiration from real life. Surely, an entire character can be inspired by someone you’ve met along the way, but don’t forget to let real life inspire your scenery or your dialogue. I once wrote a story and coffee while sitting in a coffee shop and set the sex scene on a hefty, wooden table inspired by a friend’s house I had stayed at weeks prior.

Diversify: Sesame Street was revolutionary in its use of diverse characters and its promotion of racial and socioeconomic acceptance. I do believe that Luis and Maria were two of the first Hispanic actors to appear regularly on mainstream, American television without serving only to fill a stereotypical role. When considering “casting” in your erotica, remember to diversify. In one story, write about a sex encounter between a married woman and a married man, or a total stranger. Next time, cast a dominatrix in the starring role. If you’re a man, write from a woman’s perspective and vice versa. Not only will it challenge your skills, but it will keep your readers “coming” back for more.

Indulge your imagination: Big Bird knows best; let your imagination be your guide. Remember that Snuffy, Big Bird’s fuzzy, elephant-like best friend, didn’t exist at all but in Big Bird’s imagination. (Odd choice for an imaginary friend, but then again we’re talking about a giant bird with the intellect of a 5 year old). Despite no one else believing in Snuffy’s existence, Big Bird continued to dream. When writing, don’t forget to indulge your imagination. Write about fantastic seductions that would most likelyfizzle in the real world. Get descriptive with body parts, sounds, movements, locations. Remember that erotica should be creative and unexpected. If we didn’t want creativity, we’d simply watch porn.

Find a theme to carry you through: On Sesame Street, Big Bird was the poster child for silly questions. He always asked “why” and the entire episode would be dedicated to providing him an answer. Granted, they would cut in and out of other clips (a song about the letter “S,” a counting fest with The Count, or what have you), but by the end, Big Bird’s problem would always be solved. When writing about sex, find a theme to carry you through. “Spike” by Rachel Kramer Bussel, which appears in the 2006 edition of Best Women’s Erotica is all about the use of spiked heels in domination. Plan to pepper in some new characters and plot twists, but don’t forget to find a point and get to it by the end. Don’t expect to just sling together random sex scenes and be taken seriously as a writer.

Channel Your Inner Monster: “C is for…” Well, in the world of erotic fiction, “C” could be for a lot of things. But for Cookie Monster, “C is for cookie.” The best thing about this lovable blue muppet is that he knew what he loved and indulged as often as possible. Whenever you can, insert a little bit of your passion into your writing. Does the idea of being tied up secretly get you going? Role playing? Sex in public? Chances are if you write about something that really turns you on, you’re going to have readers who feel the same way. All it takes is one good line or image to get the motor running and like our good friend Cookie “That’s good enough for me.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sperm Packs an Even More Powerful Punch

Men are complex. And so are their sperm. Scientists at the University of Utah have found that a father’s sperm has much more complex genetic material than previously thought.

A particular set of genes that make decisions about organ and tissue development are packaged in a special way within the sperm, a packaging that could help promote healthy development.

Factors such as genetic mutations, age or lifestyle may affect proper packaging, leading to infertility. These findings could potentially lead to a diagnostic test to help couples deal with infertility.

This study appears in the online edition of Nature.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Porn Pubs Get Downsized

Companies are so strapped nowadays (and not strapped in that good way...) that they've got to downsize adult industry mags.

Here's the word from

AVN to Consolidate Print Publications

You know the recession is real when even the folks in porn don't have job security. AVN Media Network Inc., publishers of trade journals for the adult entertainment industry, has announced plans to consolidate four of their six print publications into one monthly magazine. The company hasn't announced which titles are being consolidated, but we're betting on AVN Online and AVN Novelty Business after reading the following statement from Darren Roberts, the company's CEO:

"Retailers, distributors, video producers, webmasters, sex toy manufacturers, lingerie designers, and other adult industry professionals can still rely on AVN to be the definitive trade publication for this diverse and robust industry. However, today's demand to deliver value to the advertiser is greater than ever before, and AVN is in the unique position of being able to leverage its 27 year-old brand in order to significantly expand the reach of its products and services."

Want to Get Married and there aren't Enough Young Men? Wait Until Their 30

A study by a University of Michigan research who studies evolution and how it relates to contemporary behavior has found that in areas in which young women outnumber young men, hemlines rise.

Show some leg, ladies. Sex sells! Well, turns out all it that sex sells is sex. Although the hemlines rise, marriage rates don’t because young men feel less pressured to settle down since there are many more women to choose from. However, when these men reach their 30s they’re settling down. In areas where women outnumber men, more older men are married. But don’t get your hopes up late-to-middle aged women. According to the researcher, the higher marital rates for older men likely benefit women who are much younger since older men still prefer partners with higher reproductive potential.

In a place where the men are outnumbered, ladies? Either vow to beat evolution or move your ass outta there!

The paper “When Men are Scarce, Good Men are Even Harder to Find: Life History, the Sex Ratio, and the Proportion of Men Married," appears in the current issue of the Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Catholic Kama Sutra

A Polish monk has written a sex guide, a book lovingly referred to as the Catholic Kama Sutra. “Sex as You Don’t Know It: For Married Couples Who Love God” has become a best seller in predominately Catholic and conservative Poland. I would attempt to provide some excerpts, but I don’t read Polish.

Read more: Holy Union: A Polish Monk’s Divine-Sex Guide

However, I did find a site for all of your religious loving needs: Its mission: “to help support Catholics enjoy the gift of sacramental love. Our site is tastefully designed and filled with the highest quality products.” The sensual lubricant looks particularly interesting...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Story

I've submitted a new story for publication. I sent it to A Woman's Good Night awhile back for consideration and although the editors said the opening was "delightfully unique" and it was put at the top of the heap, they had to cut their budget and ultimately passed on it.

So, we try somewhere else. I hope to hear back from Fishnet Magazine soon.

I'll admit, it's not one of my most brilliant pieces, but I wrote it on a plane trip back from a conference and it intriguied me enough to keep on writing. Plus, I don't write unless I intend to have it read. (Exactly why I don't keep a journal).

I can't give you the whole piece (in case it gets accepted), but here's a sneak peek. Stay tuned!

...I relax my body and sigh contentedly, appreciating his closeness as he carefully tends my wounds. It has been so long since I’ve had a man kneel in front of me, even if only to apply antiseptic.

He continues his cleansing on the other leg and I lean forward and smooth my fingertips through his hair, around his ear and rest them at the nape of his neck. He looks up and our eyes engage as the healing cotton soaks my skin. He moves from me and my hand drops to the couch as he reaches for two bandages. He opens each then reaches a hand to my calf muscle, uses his fingers to rhythmically massage there and leaning in close, blows a steady stream of air back and forth across my stinging knee. His gentle breath warms me far above my legs.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gender Neutral? Is this sexy story about a man or a woman? Let’s see if you can figure it before I did

Can you be certain earlier than I was whether this story is about a sexy, running man or woman? It took me 330 words before I was sure. Granted, you’ll now be hypersensitive, so this experiment isn’t exactly scientifically sound, but you’ve got to give credit to the fact that it’s not as easy as you think. Not sure if that’s a good writing strategy or not. Nice to see that sex can be gender neutral, but as a reader, I felt a little lost.

You are on your daily run. Swift and powerful arms and legs gliding along -- you make it seem effortless -- but the sweat, oh the beautiful sweat, glistening about your flesh tells me your body is working hard. I love that sweat. Sweet and pungent. The same sweat that shimmers on your collar bones and breasts, the slick of your thighs and the soft hardness of your back and stomach when we make love and our passion rides us along, over mountains and valleys as we drift in out over waves made by our moans and sighs.

You tell me you won't be long on this walk-run. You say, it's okay baby, then kiss me full on mouth. I can't help but follow you in my mind, watching the gentle bounce of you with every stride. You are so focused on your task, ensuring your feet stay sure-footed along the cracks and seams of the sidewalks. You'll be home soon, so I make ready for your return. I light the candles, the incense. Set the lights dim, place your favorite flowers, and have music playing the room like a lover's kiss along an anxious spine. I feel the room -- it's not too hot, not too cool, even though I enjoy your nipples hard. I know you are more comfortable in warm, and I make it so.

You arrive at the back door, slip off your sneakers, hang your jacket on the hook, breathe in and out fully. Your body is still reeling from the adrenalin, shaking a bit. You drink water -- letting it spill out the sides of your mouth, down your chin and neck, wetting your shirt, soaking your flesh, cooling you. I wait for you in the bathroom, a lost scene from a romance novel. The scene omitted because it was too risqué. The shower turned on, soft steam rising, candles lit, smooth aroma lofting about, gentle music, and me in the shower, waiting for you. Water streams over my curves, rivering down my breasts -- waterfalling off my erect nipples. My black hair blacker now, long over my shoulders, down my back, flirting with that point where ass meets spine.
My outline is blurred a bit, so you slide the see-through curtain to the side and see me clearly, smiling, eyes wanting you. You step back and take off your clothes. One piece at a time, slowly revealing your satin shine. I sigh upon seeing your breasts, and sigh louder upon watching you slide tiny panties off your hips, down your legs…

Read it all: Shore Lands