Archive for October, 2012

Unsuspected Kink

I’ve always been kinky. I just didn’t know it.

Kinky Star Trek

Whips and chains and Captain Kirk

I dove into the world of BDSM about 17 years ago, and as I explored the things that turn me on I realized these were the same things that fascinated me as a child. Remember the original Star Trek? There was an episode in which Captain Kirk was whipped by an alien species. I was enthralled by this. I imagined myself being whipped, taking the pain and defying my torturers. Then there was the time I asked my dad to tie me up because I wanted to see if I could get loose. (I’d been reading Nancy Drew books in which our heroine got tied up, and I thought surely I would be able to escape if that happened to me.) I never connected these childhood fantasies with sex. The first few years of my sex life were completely vanilla, or so I thought.

But then I remembered Brian, and I realized this wasn’t entirely true.

Brian was fun and sexy, and the kind of guy that always seemed to get into trouble. We saw each other on and off my senior year of college, and had a great time in bed. It was purely vanilla stuff, except for one time. We were lying naked, talking and snuggling in the aftermath of sex, and he started tickling me. I tried to squirm away. He pinned me down and kept tickling me until I was shrieking with laughter and begging him to stop. I was gasping for breath by the time he had mercy. Before I could recover he rolled on top of me and I discovered that we were both incredibly turned on. We had sex again, giggling and passionate and deliciously hot. It never occurred to me that this might have been kinky. But now I look back and think here’s a guy who dominated and tortured me, and we were both aroused by it. That’s what we writers call foreshadowing.

Brian died not long after we graduated from college. I had moved away, and we hadn’t really stayed in touch, so I heard about it from a mutual friend a few months after the fact. I’ve always felt that there was something unfinished about that loss.

Last night I participated in a Rite of Release, a pagan ritual that takes place at Samhain (known more commonly as Halloween). The purpose of the ritual is to mourn those we have lost, and honor and remember the dead. Some of us wrote messages to the people we mourned, and those scraps of paper were thrown into the fire, sending them on to the next world. As I contemplated the people in my life that have died, I remembered Brian. So I wrote to him, thanking him for the laughter and pleasure he’d shared with me, and for my first kinky sex. Watching that scrap of paper burn, I felt that I’d finally been able to say goodbye.

So here’s to you, Brian. I miss you, and I’ll always remember that first innocently kinky experience.


Intimacy and BDSM

Last night I was at a BDSM club having a little fun, and as I looked around the room I was struck by the tenderness of some of the scenes.

I watched one man take a woman to a whipping post where they stood together kissing and talking quietly. When he bound her to the post and BDSM intimacyflogged her there was no change in the emotion between them. The sense of gentleness and caring remained. He stopped now and then, moved in close to talk and kiss some more, then resumed. Their body language was open, their expressions full of warmth. I don’t know anything about their relationship. I don’t know whether they’re “in love.” But the love I saw expressed between them during that scene was truly touching.

In a different part of the room, a young man suspended a girl so she was stretched out on her side, dangling several feet above the floor. He held her up high with the rope taut, like you might with someone on a swing that you want to give a push to start them off. He kept her up there for several moments, teasing her, then let go and watched her swing back and forth, occasionally giving another push to keep her going. They laughed and played like a pair of goofy kids, and when they were done he loosened the rope and lay on the floor as he lowered her, so that she ended up lying on top of him. They cuddled and giggled a while before he finished untying her.

People who don’t know much about BDSM are often surprised to learn how intimate it can be. When doing something so intense, you have to be totally focused on the person you’re with. You pay attention to his or her body language, listen carefully to what they say, and never discount it. It requires a high degree of honesty and openness, even before you start to play. You have to sit down and talk about what both of you do and don’t want, and must be able to give and receive a great deal of trust.

Not all BDSM scenes are as intimate as the ones I witnessed last night, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But between people who have an emotional bond, BDSM can take the relationship to new depths. To focus so completely on giving the other person what he or she wants is a powerful thing. Seeing that in action was an honor.

Halloween Heat III paranormal erotica anthologyThis week I’m very happy to welcome Paranormal Erotic Romance writer Antonia van Zandt, author of Serena, one of the stories in the Halloween Heat III anthology published by Etopia. Thanks for coming by to talk about yourself and your writing!

A. Thank you for inviting me. It’s great to be here.

Q: Antonia, I loved Serena. I was particularly intrigued by the mysterious relationship between your two main characters, Serena and Marianne. It reveals some secrets while hinting at so much more. Do you plan to leave the answers to the reader’s imagination, or will you write more about these two?

A: I’m glad you found them intriguing. They got to me too! At the moment I am happy for readers to make up their own back stories for them but as for future ventures featuring these two – well, never say never.

Q: Your bio says that you have a collection of family paintings. Was it one of these that inspired Serena?

A: There are quite a number and I find many inspire me to write stories about them. One painting features someone – not a relation – who is stunningly beautiful, with amazing eyes that seem to follow you around the room. A little spooky to be sure but I find her fascinating.

Q: Your bio also mentions that you’re descended from European royalty. Can you tell us more about that?

A: I can’t really say too much about the family connection as I don’t think some of them would approve of what I do.

Q: Understandable. Have you been published before?

A: Serena is my first published story but I have written two novellas which are under consideration.

Q: Having read Serena, I’m confident your novellas will get picked up. I can’t wait to read more of your work. So, tell us a little more about yourself.

Home town of author Antonia van ZandtA:  I was born in a lovely old English city called Salisbury which has a beautiful cathedral and is full of history. Some years ago I came to live in Vienna and, for many reasons I regard this as my spiritual home. I adore fine dining, going to the theatre, museums, art galleries and Vienna is the cultural heart of Europe so I’m spoilt for choice. It also has some lovely parks where I love to wander in Spring and Summer. I also adore cats and have a houseful.

Q: When did you start writing?

A: I’ve dabbled for years but a friend finally persuaded me to look for a publisher a few months ago.

Q: What does it look like when you’re writing?

A: I have a study where it is quiet, peaceful and quite often I burn perfumed incense to create a certain mood – sandalwood, vanilla or white musk. One or more of my cats will wander in and settle down near my chair. Often the only noise is the sound of their purring which I find helps me to concentrate (strange as it may sound). I also find it reassuring. In the wintertime, when the days are short, I like to switch on table lamps rather than the main light. With the light from my laptop, I can see perfectly well to type but the room is full of shadows and it helps create the right kind of spooky atmosphere. This is an old building and it tends to creak a lot.

The Lonely CountessQ: What are you reading now?

A: The Lonely Empress by Joan Haslip. It’s my favourite biography of the tragic Empress Elisabeth, wife of Austrian Emperor Franz Josef. I’ve read it a number of times but I’m planning on writing a story involving her, although she won’t be doing anything naughty. Others around her will!

Q: Pick one of your favorite authors, and tell us what you find most interesting about their work.

A: I love Anne Rice. She broke new ground in the field of paranormal erotic fiction and I love the dark atmosphere she creates – a menacing erotic sensuousness.

Q: Do you have any current projects?

A:  I am just putting the final touches to a novella set in Vienna and featuring two gorgeous hunks called Karl and Franz and a beautiful woman called Magda. What those three get up to with my main character, Andrea, I cannot say here, but it’s VERY naughty! There is also something different about those three, as Andrea is about to find out…

Q: How tantalizing! Now one last question, just for fun. If someone made a movie of your life, what would the title be? And what genre?

A: Gracious! There’s a question. Definitely drama because I’ve certainly had my moments over the years. It has most assuredly not been all plain sailing. As for a title… how about In Search of Myself. I think I’ve found me now, but it took a long time!

Sounds like an interesting film. I like journeys of self exploration – sounds like you’ve done a lot of that. It was a pleasure having you here with us, Antonia. Thank you so much!

A. Thank you, C.P. I really enjoyed it!

You can find Antonia at:




Halloween Heat III can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble
All Romance
and other online book sellers

What is Aphrodite’s Writer?

When my first story was published a month ago, I discovered that there’s a lot more to being an author than just writing stories. These days, you have to have a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account… yikes! I set up this blog a few days ago, and have been trying to figure out what the hell to write ever since. I can’t just talk about my stories; that would be boring. But I don’t want to be completely random, either. So I’ve been thinking about what I write, and what I might have to say that’s related to it.

And, as she often does, Aphrodite jumped up and waved her hand.

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, sex, and beauty, in all of their aspects. My relationship with her started about twenty years ago. Well, that’s not exactly true–the things Aphrodite represents have always been at the center of who I am. But twenty years ago, when I was new to paganism, I dedicated myself to her for a year and a day. That’s when I realized I’d been serving her all my life.  That year and a day ended a long time ago, but she and I have never really parted.

So what does that mean? Love, beauty, and sexuality. I’m not talking about the skin-deep version of these things.

Love is more than romance. It’s how we interact with other human beings, no matter how fleeting or shallow the relationship. It’s about respecting and caring for ourselves as well. I believe that we live much happier lives if we look for something to love in every person we meet. That doesn’t mean blinding ourselves to their flaws, or letting them get away with doing terrible things. Believe me, I don’t see the world through rose colored glasses. I recognize the hatred and ugliness that’s there all around us. But that’s why it’s so important to focus on love. It needs to be nurtured.

And beauty? That’s something you find everywhere, not just in a Victoria’s Secret catalog or a tropical island or a rose garden. I see beauty in the rainbow sheen of motor oil floating on water. (Which doesn’t mean I want to spill motor oil in rain puddles, just for the record.) I see beauty in the wisps of smoke rising from a cigarette. Which isn’t to say I like cigarettes. But I refuse to blind myself to what’s beautiful even in something I hate.

Then there’s sex.

I love sex. I fantasize about it, talk about it, and rarely write anything that doesn’t involve it. It’s a huge part of my service to Aphrodite. We’re all sexual beings, so why titter about it like it’s some naughty little secret? And for crying out loud, why tell other people how to do it? Every single person on the planet has their own blend of sexual needs and desires. Even those of us who seem to like the same things still have differences in what turns us on. We need to get over our judgments and fears, and get to know our sexual selves as we truly are, not as we think we should be. In my writing, just like in my life, I want to show people that sex isn’t shameful or weird or evil. It’s just who we are, and a damned fun part of who we are at that. As long as you’re not hurting anyone (in a non-consensual way), embrace whatever turns you on.

So that’s what this blog is going to be about: Love, sex, and beauty. Not necessarily in that order. I do, after all, write erotica.

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