Power Of A Name

Ever have someone ask you something and the first thing that comes to mind is…”that’s an epically bad idea?” That’s what happened to me this week, and it was all around names.

Who knew I could have such a visceral reaction to something so simple?

But it makes sense, right? I mean, names help to define who we are expected to be by the world as well as who we feel we can become, right?

And as writers, haven’t there been characters you’ve agonized over, trying to find just the right name to suit their appearance and their temperament?

So what name set me in such a tailspin it shoved me back onto my blog (which I’ve missed, by the way, and I’ll go into where I’ve been another day)? The name Judas. One of my sweet co-workers asked me what I thought of that name for a little boy.

I admit it. I was pretty horrified.

Me: Why would you do that to a child?

Her: What do you mean?

Me: Do you have any idea of the connotations behind that name?

(She gave me that confused head tilt thingie that all dogs have down pat when they hear strange noises)

Her: Huh?

Me: Dude, Judas betrayed Jesus and got him killed! For 30 pieces of silver.

Male Co-worker chimes in: I think it’s a cool name.

Her: (looks over at me) She’s right, though.

Guy: But who was Jesus back then? A nobody. Why should he have cared? It was for money.

Me: (gasping in shock) Uh…even if you think back then Jesus was a nobody (and I definitely had no plans of getting into a deep theological discussion with two kinds I suspected weren’t very versed in that subject or history), he was supposed to be one of his best friends. They were together non-stop for 3 years! And he betrayed that friendship for 30 pieces of silver.

Her: That’s true. They were best friends.

Me: And, he felt so shitty afterwards that he committed suicide. Why would you want to put all that on a kid? Don’t you know that even to this day, when someone calls someone Judas they’re calling the person a traitor? And that happened a long time ago.

I didn’t even go into how much more time had passed compared to Benedict Arnold’s and how the negative connotations never disappeared.

As I thought back on that chat I got to thinking about all the effed up names out there. And I’m not just talking some of the sillier ones celebs come up with like Apple, etc. I mean, a good friend of mine in healthcare was telling me that she’d seen several people come in and write this ‘La-a’ one admission paperwork for their little ones. Unsure how to pronounce, she asked and was told (with a look telling her they thought she was stupid) “It’s La-dash-a!”

Am I the only one not cool enough to know that the proper words for punctuation marks are now to be part of the name?

And what names do you feel give bad juju anyone with the misfortune of having it? Are there certain names you feel predestine people for questionable career choices? And are there ones you absolutely love? How did you get your name? I’d love to hear from you!

Advertisements

@NBlackthorne on The Victorian Era and Sex Disorders

After writing my masturbation post a week or so ago, my awesome pal and fellow author, Natasha Blackthorne, reached out to me to let me know how much she enjoyed the post & that her upcoming new release had strong ties to the miseducation surrounding masturbation. I was THRILLED! Of course, considering I absolutely adore her historical erotic romances, I invited her to come over and play in my sandbox for a while. So, without any further ado, here’s the lovely and talented Natasha Blackthorne!

  
First, I’d like to say a big thank you to Kitt, for inviting me to her blog to discuss some of the history that underlies my upcoming release, The Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne. Kitt has one of the most interesting and engaging blogs on sexual positivity and I am always honored to be a guest here. 

The Regency period is fascinating to me for many reasons. For me, it’s the psychological pressures and the resulting changes that took their society from the relative sensual indulgence of the Georgian era to the more, at least outwardly, restrictive and repressive Victorian era. To explain where the darker aspects of my story came from, I’ll give a little historical background information. 

The History

During the late Georgian Era, the emergence of the industrial age and the continued expansion of enclosure (the consolidation of formerly small and plentiful landholdings and farms into a smaller number of large estates owned by an elite group) the pressure on resources and jobs reached maximal levels.  

By 1789, Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, wrote an essay on “the Principle of Population”, painting pictures of humanity overcome by a population boom that drained all resource and led to mass starvation and suffering. He believed this population explosion would be fueled by out of control carnal lusts and proposed universal self-control and chastity as a preventative measure. 

The upper class wanted to conform to behaviors and self-control that would separate them from the increasing encroachment of upwardly mobile middle and lower classes. If mere birthright no longer guaranteed that a person was “worthy” of being privileged, then they would prove that they were morally superior and worthy by their behavior. 

Of course, uncertainty regarding overpopulation and shifting socioeconomic status was only one of the many anxieties swirling in the general psychological undercurrent. The Regency generation had already grown up under a cloud of anxiety due to the uncertainty caused by the Napoleonic Wars. It was a generation plagued by so-called fragile nerves and anxiety disorders. In response, doctors, both the well-intentioned and the unscrupulous, stood ready to prescribe the cures. 

This undercurrent of anxiety over health, both physical and mental, led to a push for more control over the human sensual animal. Unfortunately, the ladies bore the larger brunt of the pressure because men continued to have their sexual outlets in secret and away from normal, socially sanctioned family life. The human body became seen as a closed system of sexual energy, orgasm began to be referred to as a draining; a sort of “spending” instead of as a healthy release. Emotional disorders diagnosed in girls and women were tied to “inappropriate” sexual expression and desires. Female masturbation became a primary focus/target.

We associate the idea that “misuse” of sexual energy leading to mental debility most strongly with the Victorian Era, but the roots for these attitudes began earlier. Famous physicians with interests along these lines were men like Dr. Thomas Beddoes. He believed that sexual reading materials could lead to gluttonous desires and ruin young people’s nerves. 

Dr. Samuel Solomon, who published A Guide to Health in 1795, blamed frigidity, nervous disorders, general physical debility and infertility on early masturbation in females and called it the “foul pollution” among other names. He presented his “cordial balm” as a cure all for such excesses and likely sold a great deal of it to lonely, awkward young people who lived hard lives with little solace except a solitary one. These are just a couple of examples of the types of thinking that were beginning to circulate in the late Georgian period. 

The Delicate Matter….

In my story, The Delicate Matter of Lady Blayne, Catriona is a young widow who has already gone through some experiences that have prevented her from expressing her true self. She’s trapped in a role that she has long outgrown and shamed for some very intimate sexual behaviors that were no one else’s business. But those around her want to control her, to prevent her from achieving her adult independence. And her sexuality is one area where they have invaded her privacy in an attempt to suppress her. 

Under pressure, she becomes distraught. Desperate. Others see her deep depression, not as a cry for help, but as a sign that she needs to be fixed so that she can return to her former, girlish role.  

Her late husband’s mother contacts a well-respected physician, Dr. Meeker, who is said to have an excellent track record with “handling” out of control and deeply disturbed ladies. This doctor believes that female sexual energy is a potentially destructive force on a woman’s mental and physical health.  

His prescription is to attempt to control and redirect Catriona’s exceptionally self-indulgent sensuality and to tame her sexual desires. His dark eyes and coolly intelligent, charismatic manner, fascinates Catriona at first, while his sympathetic understanding overwhelms her. He promises what she needs most. 

She is quickly trapped in a relationship of manipulation and abuse of trust. She becomes the subject of the most invasive and abusive experiments at his hands, with emotionally destructive consequences. She’s driven the ends of her ability to cope and, at the start of the story, she is battling in the only way she knows to overcome the manipulation and brainwashing to which she has been subjected. She’s fighting for her sanity. 

The hero, James Blayne, is her late husband’s cousin and the new Baron Blayne. A former naval officer and hero of the Napoleonic Wars, he’s a highly self-controlled gentleman, determined to protect her against any further abuse. He’s disconcerted by her alluring, sensual nature even while he experiences an overwhelming temptation to follow her lead and indulge in both sexuality and other sensual pleasures. His life has been one of duty, honor and obligation. Now his interactions with Catriona makes him question, for the first time, what is really important in life. 

When Catriona reached out to him, she did it out of self-preservation, a desperate chance to escape. But will she end up saving him as well? 

Wow, Natasha, it sounds like you’ve really outdone yourself this time & I can’t wait till your new release! What do you guys think? Is it any wonder I’m so thrilled to be one of the many authors participating in your Online Release Party on Facebook? All are welcome to join the party and WIN FREE STUFF, by the way. Just click the link to join. 

And if you’d like to learn more about Natasha, here’s where you can find her:

Blog: http://natashablackthorneblog.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Natasha-Blackthorne/217388964952800?ref=br_rs

Twitter: @Nblackthorne

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4878430.Natasha_Blackthorne

Google+: https://plus.google.com/109806914738068189660

O is for Oral Sex and Orgasms

Doing it wrongThis is going to come as a shock to a few of you, but….. I’m not perfect.

I know. I know. Take a breath. It’s okay. I promise. You’re going to need it because I’m about to really blow your mind.

Not only am I not perfect, but I was also not always all that great certain aspects of sex. In fact, although I was amazing at receiving oral sex (talk about orgasms galore), I was not so great at giving it.

I had a gag reflex. I could work my fist around the base, knew how to twist with each stroke to enhance sensation, but when my head bobbed down…. Well, let’s just say that yacky, gaggy sounds aren’t really all that sexy, and it didn’t take much to hit that trigger.

Oddly enough, it was a lesson learned from years of dental and orthodontic works that helped me overcome.

What did I learn? If you don’t want to gag, breath in and out through your nose. It sounds so simple it couldn’t possibly work, right? But it does. Trust me. Try it.

The other thing? Well, to be fair, I knew I had this in me. I just didn’t realize how it would impact my cock sucking skills. I’ve got an exhibitionist streak a mile wide. For me it translated into the ability to give some pretty great road head minus the gag reflex because my sense of excitement overruled my usual issues.

Other things that I discovered that helped? There are actually gels, pills, and sprays that can be used to help numb the back of your throat/gag spots. The down side is that if you apply too much, it can also numb the dick you’re trying to pleasure… Which kinda defeats the purpose, right?

Finally, I had a fear of swallowing. I was afraid it would taste gross, maybe make me puke, or spew out so fast I’d choke on it. I was completely unwilling to try at first. But like I said, the possibility of being watched or caught? Brings out my inner wild child/Goddess. Not to mention the helplessness of the man, especially during the time of his release. He can’t think, he loses track of his surroundings, and becomes unable to think. He can only feel….

And that loss of control, along with my part in it?

Huge turn on, of course!

It was one such situation that allowed me to swallow the first time. I was enjoying my power, his helplessness….and feeding off his fear/excitement at the possibility of being caught. I pushed him past that limit and swallowed every drop. And discovered it didn’t taste at all like I feared. (I also later uncovered that different people and foods can change that flavor as well.)

Once I overcame that fear I became quite the skilled mouth. Which turned out to be a very good thing since many of my friends will randomly come up to me and ask me for sex advice. A lot. About a lot of subjects. Guess it’s a good thing I’m open to talking all things sex, huh?

I know I’m probably not the only one who’s ever run into sexual challenges… Please feel free to share some of yours. You never know who else may be going through the same thing…or who may be able to help you overcome.

And now I leave you with a clip on oral from one of my all time favorite shows, Queer as Folk.

Celebrating Originality this Holiday Season

I’m such an Ella Fitzgerald fan that I couldn’t let this holiday go without sharing her magnificent, fun self.

Rudolph’s story has always had a soft spot in my heart because he was different, picked on, and laughed at….but his beautiful originality was what wound up saving Christmas. Just goes to show that being unique is a gift, not a curse. We need to better learn to embrace it.

A Perilous Risk With @NatashaBlackthorne is One Worth Taking!

 

PerilousRiskTeaserNblackthorne

Let’s be real….. When an excerpt starts like this, someone like me is very interested! My uber fabulous pal, Natasha Blackthorne, has a passion and knack for historicals with a twist of kink. But you know what blew me away? She asked ME to help host part of her launch party this weekend! My time slot is today at 9 pm EST, and I’d love for you guys to stop by and show us some support! This will be my first time doing hostess duties, so I really appreciate it.

In the meantime, here’s a little bit about this fabulous new release.

unnamed (1)

Blurb
Heartbroken and disillusioned, Rebecca Howland is done with all men. Especially noblemen. Past a certain age, she knows her previous life of carnal indulgence and grand adventure is over. Or so she thinks. Back at home, whilst working in her family’s shop, a moment of compassion entangles her in an old battle between two powerful, bitter enemies. A commoner, Rebecca finds herself falsely accused of a heinous act by a vicious member of the aristocracy. In grave peril, she turns to the one man she thinks can help her.
Stephen Drake, now inexplicably Baron Drake, has always desired Rebecca. When she turns to him, he vows to protect her at all costs, especially from the dangerous life he lives. The stakes are high and time is running out for her … and for him as well. Stephen finds himself driven to ruthless actions that threaten to kill the fragile bond between them.
Years ago, Rebecca forbade herself to love Stephen Drake. Now he’s back, no longer the young man she remembers but a dark and dangerous stranger. When he demands a fortnight of her complete submission in return for his protection, his sexual dominance ignites carnal passion that makes her feel alive like never before. But … dare she trust a man with too many secrets?

©Copyright Natasha Blackthorne 2014

For Adults 18 years of age or older only. 

Excerpt from

Perilous Risk

Regency Risks, Book Three

By Natasha Blackthorne

 

She opened her mouth to deny him.

He brought his mouth down on hers, cutting off her protest. He thrust into her mouth, the taste of his hot, wet tongue more fiery than the best whisky. She shook, not with fear but with anticipation for the next stroke of his tongue against hers.

It came and delicious shudders quaked through her. Another stroke and another. Ruthlessly, he gripped her head and angled it, thrusting deeper. Taking her breath. Sucking her very soul and taking everything.

She didn’t care.

Every inch of his long, lean body pressed hers. She could feel the whipcord strength of his powerful muscles. Could feel his trembling as though he were holding back his ardour. His erection throbbed against her stomach, huge and hard. Heated.

A feeling of letting go, as though a tremendous weight had suddenly lifted from her. As though she’d been waiting forever for this moment. Tenderness burst within her. Her limbs went weak. Her fists unfurled and she grasped his shoulders, learning his feel, breathing in his scent, glorying in his taste, his strength, his forcefulness.

Stephen.

Her Stephen.

If she could, she would simply melt into him. She clung desperately to his hard body, surrendering herself wholly.

He tore his mouth from hers.

She cried out in protest.

He swept her up into his arms then lowered her. Her backside touched the table and the rickety wooden frame groaned and creaked.

He swooped down on her then gripped her chin in his large hand, gently yet firmly holding her in place. His eyes bore into hers, predatory, determined. “Now, tell me that you don’t know me.”

Buy Links

Isn’t she fun? So, on top of doing a blog party and a blog tour, she’s also got a giveaway going on… Busy woman, isn’t she?

Go ahead. Click it! It’s a Giveaway. (Pssst! It’s an Amazon Gift Card!) Entry-Form

Anyway, I hope you check out her book, sign up for her giveaway, and/or show some love at her FB party! There are a lot of fun, fabulous giveaways going on at her event.

Lessons in Life and Love from Once Upon a Time

I wasn’t the girl who was hooked on Once Upon a Time from the beginning. I’d recorded it with the intent to watch, but somehow, I never did. Until the end of this last season. What I found was brilliant script writing, fairy tale characters I remembered, but spun to be virtually unrecognizable in the coolest way possible….and some awesome lessons in living and loving well if you paid attention.

If you know anything about fairy tales, you know that there are certain inalienable truths.

According to Shakespeare, “The path of true love never did run smooth.” The folks in Storybrooke, Maine would agree with that. In fact, they don’t even know it, but they’ve been trapped by a curse placed upon them by the evil queen to gain her revenge on Snow White, a local school teacher. Yes, when she activated the curse, she moved her world of magic into our world, a place where magic didn’t exist. In this world, no one remembered who they were or got happy endings…well, not until the “savior” arrived and the curse was broken.

Lesson: True love takes a lot of work, faith (both in yourselves and each other), and sacrifice. Problems and challenges don’t just disappear because you’ve found your true love. In fact, there will be times when you will lose sight of what’s important. In those times, the other part of you will rise up to the challenge–to believe and fight enough for you both.

Charming said it best. “I will always find you.”

Then there are the villains, Regina, the Evil Queen, and Rumplestiltskin…and even, to an extent, Regina’s mother, Cora. They’ve made some terrible, hateful decisions in the name of anger and revenge. But they are capable of love…and when they embrace that rarely used part of their souls, amazing things happen.

Lesson: With the power of love, no one is irredeemable. Flaws are there, and seen, but true love is acceptance, warts and all. Love means letting go of hate and anger, sometimes sacrificing yourself, to put someone else’s happiness and well being above your own.

Sometimes people will lose their way, forget who they are. In Storybrooke, this has happened quite literally. Charming lost his memory, for a while the entire town had no memory of their life in The Enchanted Forest, and Belle literally lost all her memories of Rumplestiltskin and their love. Sometimes losing their way can also be metaphoric. Snow lost sight of who she was in her quest for revenge, Pinnochio forgot his path and his responsibilities, even Red (yes, that’s Little Red Riding Hood) lost sight of the true meaning of family and acceptance when she met her mother.

Lesson: Those who love you will remember who you are and hold on to you. They won’t let you stay lost for long. They’ll remind you of just how important you truly are.

In life, we’re all bound to make mistakes. They don’t have to define us. In Once Upon A Time, Emma had given Henry up for adoption, thinking she had nothing better to offer him. He found her, and she fell in love. He was adopted by Regina, the Evil Queen, who had cast a curse of vengeance against Snow and Charming, Emma’s parents.

Lesson: Everyone has an opportunity to redeem themselves if they’re brave enough to take the chance. Love means owning your mistakes and moving forward. They don’t have to define who you are.

And finally, the most important lesson of all– “True Love is the most powerful magic of all.”

Yes, I’ve definitely got a soft spot for fairy tales. Always have. I love the way these ones are being told and blended into this beautiful tapestry. Are you a Once Upon A Time fan? Are there any lessons from the show that you’d like to impart? Is there another show that’s gotten you hooked? What life/love lessons did you catch?

 

Loving and the Holidays

There’s something pretty amazing to me about a capella. To be able to blend voices well, to make voices sound like instruments while maintaining the purity of clean, pared down lyrics always blows my mind. It takes amazing control, great listening skills and a lot of teamwork. No enhancements. Just voices. Wow.

Straight, No Chaser is probably one of the best in this genre. I absolutely love their arrangement of this Colbie Caillat holiday song.

Nothing like celebrating love and romance during the holidays and every day. Have you told the folks you love them today? Why not take them by surprise… Walk up to your lover with no warning and plant a hot, wet kiss on their lips for no other reason than they add joy to your life. See where it leads… Hopefully to shared body heat. 😉