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A Festival of Sexual Revelation

Pagan FestivalThis week I’ve noticed how the angle of the sun and the quality of its light are changing as we approach autumn. It brings back sense memories of a special time for me: my first pagan festival.

This was a little over twenty years ago, not long after I discovered the neo-pagan community. The Northwest Fall Equinox Festival was held in a rural part of Oregon at a site that combined sprawling meadows with shadowy evergreen forests. The weather was sunny and warm during the day, the air crisp with the change of season, and the night cold but not freezing. I was in a sort of honeymoon period with my exploration of this new spiritual path, blossoming, breaking free of the strict religious upbringing that had caged and confused me all my life. And as my spirit expanded, so did my sexuality.

I had many revelations that weekend, but the most significant one came during the main ritual on Saturday night. I don’t recall the details of that ritual now, just vague impressions of moving from place to place through the campground, surrounded by wild and uninhibited people, being guided by priests and priestesses who took us on a spiritual journey. We finished with a spiral dance, and that was when my personal bit of magic manifested.

Lovers kissingHolding hands, over a hundred of us formed one long chain that snaked about in chaotic curlicues, going faster and faster until the momentum broke us apart. I clasped the hand of a gorgeous young man, slim and lithe, with curling black hair, and oh, my, did I want him. In the euphoria of the moment, self doubt and self consciousness lost their hold on me. As our chain of dancers disintegrated, I pulled him close and kissed him. And he kissed me back. With enthusiasm.

Before long, we were in his camper, giggling in the small bunk, and we made love for the rest of the night. I had never felt such joy in that act of pleasure. It was only later that I understood why.

I had chosen him, instead of waiting for him to choose me. Until then, I had always taken an indirect route to get what I wanted sexually. If I desired a man, I flirted, angled to get noticed, examined his every glance, and waited to see if I could coax him into making a move. But not this time. This time, I took simple, straightforward action. I claimed my sexual power without artifice or manipulation. And the result was pure magic.

I never saw him again, don’t even recall his name. But every year at this time, as the breeze carries the first hint of a chill, and as the afternoon light takes on a cooler hue, this memory bubbles to the surface. Whatever is weighing me down falls away in that moment, and I pause to close my eyes and smile.


Smut? Yes, Please

sexy woman reading eroticaSometimes you just want smut.

I love a good story with a complex plot and rich characterization, but sometimes I find myself leafing through the pages of a book trying to find the “good stuff.” You know. The sex scenes. So while many of the books on my shelf are classics, there’s a little section next to my bed that has lots and lots of “good stuff.” And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. Not a damned thing.

Human beings are sexual creatures. It’s hardwired into our DNA. Instead of denying or suppressing that, I choose to celebrate it. Our bodies are made to enjoy sex, including self-stimulation, so it seems silly to me to act as if there’s something wrong with that. As long as I’m not harming myself or anyone else, I’m going to do what pleases me, and that includes what I read. And what I write.

Most of my stories start with a single sexual fantasy that’s been haunting my imagination. From there I build a plot, bring the characters to life and give them some depth, and hopefully tell a rich tale that goes beyond the fantasy that sparked it. But when I decided to write a short story for the Underground Erotica Anthology, I thought, what the hell, let’s have some smut. Thus was born Lord Lucien’s Lessons.

Man comparing erotic books to porn moviesThe original fantasy was a voyeuristic scene set in a tavern in the early 1800s. The main characters were a barmaid and a notorious rake who agrees to teach his friends how to please a woman. Of course, he needs someone on whom to demonstrate the techniques, and the barmaid is more than happy to help. So his friends sit back and watch while he shows them what’s what.

That scene was a bit too short for my taste, so I decided to have a few more lessons. You don’t get to be a notorious rake without having a wide range of tricks up your sleeve, after all. Since I didn’t want it to read like a letter to Hustler, I fleshed out the characters enough to make them fun and added a wee bit of plot. Just enough to make it an actual story. (Plus, a decent starter’s manual for satisfying a woman, at least from my point of view. Which may tell you more than you need to know about me, but I figure that’s true for what anyone writes, so what the hell.)

Giggling woman writing on a laptopIt was a nice break from what I usually do. I squirmed in my seat most of the time I was writing it, and had a lot of fun. I figure there must be others out there like me who occasionally (or perhaps frequently) just want some smut, so when the mood strikes, that’s what I’ll write. Life isn’t always heavy, deep and real. Sometimes it’s light, shallow and silly.

Viva la smut!

Gia about to get a spanking

Today I’m pleased to welcome fellow erotica author Ann Mayburn to talk about the more sensual side of BDSM. Ann’s writing is extra spicy, so brace yourself before reading the excerpt of her latest novel, below! Take it away, Ann…

When I first tell people that I write BDSM themed romance, the first response is wide eyes and a scandalized whisper of ‘you write that?’ I know right away what kind of BDSM they are picturing. The whips, chains, hardcore stuff that seems to dominate every media depiction of BDSM out there. While there are a great many people who practice, and love, the hardcore stuff, I’ve always been drawn to the more sensual side of BDSM. That’s not to say it isn’t freaky or kinky, but the kind of BDSM I love is more about trusting and exploring boundaries than breaking someone’s spirit.

As a woman I fell in love with the ‘scene’ for many reasons, but the main one being that in BDSM a great deal of the seduction and sexuality happens in your mind. Oh yes, your body is involved as well, but a really good Dominant is as interested in what is going inside of you as well as outside. Since women’s sexual response is more connected, in my opinion, to her mind than her body, this can lead to some really remarkable sex and intimacy. BDSM forces both partners to connect with each other during a scene, to pay attention to each other’s responses and forge a trust that allows for greater exploration. When that wonderful trust is established, amazing things can happen.

Ivan's Captive SubmissiveWhen I wrote Ivan’s Captive Submissive I wanted to show a woman who was ready to explore her sexuality, a woman who wasn’t afraid to be as kinky as she wanted and wasn’t going to let society dictate what her private sex life should be like, and I did this with Gia. No matter what the situation, she gives herself over to the moment with all of her heart because she trusts her hot Russian Dom to lead her safely to previously unexplored aspects of her sexuality. Because of her confidence in herself and her needs it not only allows her to enjoy herself, but also allows her Dom to give her the experience of a lifetime.

 I wanted to write a Dom who is not only rough and at times scary, but so achingly romantic that even when he is pushing his woman far beyond her limits there is never any doubt that he is doing it for their mutual pleasure as opposed to just for his own fulfillment. Ivan, the hero of the story, doesn’t just use Gia for sexual purposes. He finds a connection with her like nothing he’s ever experienced and quickly becomes addicted to his spirited American submissive. I’ll let you in on a little secret among Dominants: we get off because you get off. We want to give you the best sexual experience you’ve ever had because the joy, the pleasure you give us in return is a high like no other. It’s hard to explain it to those that haven’t experienced the high from a healthy BDSM relationship, but it is certainly addictive and when done right, can open a person’s soul to love like nothing else. Now, here is a little taste of Ivan.

Excerpt (by clicking this link, I verify that I am 18 years or older)

Cover art for Ivan's Captive SubmissiveWhere to buy Ivan’s Captive Submissive:
Barnes & Noble

Where to find Ann Mayburn:





The Internet Made Me Kinky

sexy girl at computerIf it weren’t for the internet, I might never have learned about BDSM. At least, nothing beyond the mainstream pop culture nonsense.

Remember the 90s, when chat rooms were popular? Remember DALnet and Undernet? That’s where I first dipped my toes into the wonderful world of kink. I’d always been curious about it, but had no idea how to learn anything or where to find people who actually practiced it. Then I started hanging out in chat rooms and discovered that several of them were dedicated to kink. I jumped into the deep end head-first and, fortunately, managed not to drown.

My first attempts at cyber-scenes showed how clueless I was. I actually started out thinking I was a Domme. Ha! It didn’t take long for me to realize just how wrong I was about that. But the more I hung around and paid attention to the experienced people, the more I learned.

Book cover Tarnsmen of GorI’m not one to sit on the sidelines. What I wanted was good old cybersex, BDSM style. I wanted to play, experiment, and experience, albeit virtually. I ended up gravitating toward the Gorean rooms because they had the most active role playing. (Goreans are a sub-set of BDSM practitioners who base their lifestyle on the Gorean novels by John Norman.) For a while, I was totally into the Gorean scene. I had the books, knew all the poses and proper techniques for serving, and how a slave was supposed to talk. But after a while I got tired of the rigid rules (no pun intended) and the sexism. All in all, though, it was great fun, and I learned a lot. I’ve always had a tendency to live in my own fantasy world, and BDSM chat rooms allowed me to play out my fantasies with other people.

Some of the folks I played with had no idea what they were doing. Some were experienced, and taught me what real world BDSM was all about. It took me a while to figure out which were posers and which were the real deal. At that point, I was ready to leave cyberspace and try it for real.

I met my first r/l BDSM partners in chat rooms. We progressed from cyber space to phone calls, and finally face-to-face. A lot of my friends gave me dire warnings: he might kill you! You could disappear and never be seen again! All of which was true. But by then I was so eager to try that I took the risk. And, of course, I took precautions. I gave my friends info on where I was going to be, the name of the person I’d be with, and arranged check-in calls. (If I didn’t call to check in and let them know I was ok, they were to call the cops immediately.) I’d like to think it was a result of my good character judgment, but I suspect it was just as much luck that kept me from getting into trouble.

Movie Secretary

The Secretary, starring James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal

As you might imagine, I got a mixed bag. Some of them were only so-so (like the r/l Gorean party I attended. Eek. No offense to you Goreans out there, it just isn’t my bag.) But most were good, and some were even great. I was particularly lucky to have a good first experience. I’d been having phone sex with a guy who had a voice like Sam Elliott, which turned me into a gooey puddle. I happened to be in his part of the country on a business trip, so we hooked up and he eased me into the scene in an absolutely delicious way. I never saw him again, but am grateful for his skill and sensitivity.

I think the internet is why BDSM is coming out of the closet, so to speak, and entering mainstream culture in movies (The Secretary) and books (50 Shades of Grey). People have better access to accurate info, can read about real life experiences of people who practice it, and learn that they aren’t freaks. That other people out there get turned on by “weird” things, too. It’s much easier to find local clubs and play parties if you want to give it a try. So here’s to the web: thanks for opening up a whole new world to me.


A woman submittingSubmission is a soft feeling. When I sink into that head space, everything melts away but the desire to please and be loved. Perhaps that need to be loved is what makes the desire to please so strong. It is a child-like state in which I have no responsibilities other than what my Dom tells me. I give up control, and that’s very freeing. The only thing I have to worry about is doing what is asked of me. My body and mind become pliant. I want tenderness, reassurance: am I doing it right? Did I make you happy? Do you want me? That last isn’t necessarily sexual. It can simply be a wish to have me close, to touch me with affection.

At its core, my submission is about the need to trust. As a child, my trust was betrayed in a way that scarred my mind and soul. Some psychologists believe that those who were abused at a young age constantly seek to re-create that dynamic. Sometimes as the victim, sometimes as the abuser. Subconsciously, we are trying to re-do what happened and resolve it in a better way. By taking a similar situation in the present and turning into something healthy, we deal with the wounds of the past and take back the power that was stolen from us.

I think that’s the key to it for me. I am giving myself over to someone, but this time it’s someone who respects my boundaries and listens to my needs. I willingly make myself helpless to this person, and trust that he or she will not betray that.

woman submitting to a male DomAm I always successful? No. Sometimes the Dom will ride roughshod over me, perhaps without intending to. When I go into that head space, I go back to a time when my feelings didn’t matter. I have trouble stating my boundaries, or even recognizing when they’ve been crossed. Because of this, I find it difficult to completely submit. I hold back for fear that I won’t be able to say no, either because I don’t realize that I need to, or because I’m afraid of failing to please. I require a Dom who will coax me to honestly think about what I feel and need, and will listen without judgment when I tell him. It takes an awfully special person to have the patience and persistence to help me let go.

Deep, true submission is rare for me. When it works, the sense of peace and well-being that fills me is beyond description. It’s not a place I want to be all the time, but once in a while can be sweet and healing.

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