Pre-Valentine’s Day Preparedness

Whether you’re single, in a relationship or an “old married couple” there’s something about the Hearts and Flowers holiday that brings out the need to love and be loved.

As it turns out, I’ve got some people who just might be able to help with that!

First, we have my dear friends at Go Deeper Press, Lana Fox and Angela Tavares, hosting a 3 day event for FREE called The Mermaid Voyage. This is all about erotic self discovery. These lovely women are in touch with their sensual sides and are offering their assistance to help YOU get in touch with YOURS!

Next, here’s some help from Love Experts, Chuck and Jo-Ann Bird for those of you who feel like you’re in a sexual “rut” with your partner. Nothing like a little Role Play (and the right rules) to help bring back the spice. These guys are fantastic.

Then there’s my dear friend, August McLaughlin and her GirlBoner radio (available to view FREE HERE on iTunes). She’s all about frank, honest talk about the joy and beauty of human sexuality. I love her Sex Positive outlook on the world (which is actually probably one of the first bonds we shared). Care to know more about what it means to be Sex Positive? Read this post…I felt pretty awesome that she enjoyed my first book enough to mention it as part of this post. What an honor!

Finally, for those couples looking for something more “obscure” to spice things up….Here’s a post from one of my buddies, Anna Cade, of Herding Cats and Burning Soup that lists some of the more unique toys…including a “fleshlight.”

Now it’s your turn. Have you recently found a post that you think needs to be shared in preparation for Valentine’s Day? Are you a Valentine’s day hater? Do you have some great/funny opposing views to share?

Four One Night WEBSITE USE

My contribution to Valentine’s Day this year is my newest release, Four One Night. Did you miss the excerpt I shared on Emma and Loni’s pages a couple posts ago? Here it is, one more time, just for you guys.

Excerpt:

I nodded my head, an idea taking hold in my mind. “You know, I decided I needed to blow off some steam about three hours ago. You’re coming with me. You need it even more than I do. We’ll call it medicinal.”

“That sounds exactly like the kind of distraction I need,” she said, a smile flitting across her face.

“Good. Because it’s too freaking cold to be standing around. My nipples are pointing all over the place for all the wrong reasons!” We hustled to my car, heels clicking a rapid staccato against the asphalt. “All this pent up energy has me in the mood to play. It’s time to call in reinforcements.”

“Ooh!” She looked at me over the hood, her baby blues full of mischief. “That means Michael’s coming. Think he can handle both of us?”

“We’re about to find out! If not, there’s always you and me.” I laughed and yanked my phone out of my purse pocket.

“Danielle Monroe! You are such a tease.” She tossed her dark gold curls over her shoulder.

“Am I? You’ve never seen my bad girl side.” My eyebrow raised, daring her to take me up on the offer.

“Now that sounds promising.” She said, batting her eyes in the worst parody of exaggerated flirtation I’d seen in a while.

Shaking my head and smiling at our antics, I dialed Michael. With the receiver to my ear, the muted strains of “My Cherie Amour” floated through instead of a ring. The frigid air whipped through the thin cotton of my shirt causing a shudder to ripple through my curvy frame. I grabbed for my key fob and quickly pressed the unlock button.

“Hey babe,” his dark, raspy voice came on the line. “What’s up?”

“Well, that all depends on you,” I purred as my hands motioned Candace to get in the car. “Work was nuts and Candace and I need to blow off some steam. We’re headed over to Club Heat for ladies night. Will you join us or do we need to find some other sexy men to play with?”

“Ooh, someone’s feeling feisty.” I could practically see his smile through the rumble in his voice. “I love it when Miss Dani comes out to play.”

“Then you’re gonna love me tonight.” Grabbing the handle, I tugged my door open. Finally out of the chilled air and in the driver’s seat, I slammed the door shut and shoved my key in the ignition.

“Two wild women looking to unleash themselves after a bad day?” The little beep of his car alarm being released sounded through the receiver followed by the slam of the door. “That may be more than I can handle alone.”

Tipping my head against my shoulder to cradle the phone, I turned the key in the ignition, quickly followed by the heater. “Michael Gallo! Afraid you might need reinforcements?”

Music flared in the background as he started his car. “Afraid is such a strong word. I prefer to think of it as being prepared for any eventuality.”

“Well, you know how I feel. The more, the merrier. Hot men and alcohol make everything better!” With one last look in my rear view mirror, I shifted into drive, leaving our bad day in the dust.

Halloween Brings Out the Rocky Road in Vanilla

Isabella, my Skele-pup wishing you a Spooktakular Halloween

Isabella, my Skele-pup wishing you a Spooktakular Halloween

Before I get to talking (cause we all know I can do that quite well), I hope you all had a Boo-tiful day. Also, I won a writing contest on Marcia Richards’ blog! Ya’ll should check her out. She’s awesome and uplifting, both.

As holidays go, this one is a fun one. In fact, next to Christmas, it’s my hubby’s favorite holiday and with good reason. Halloween is FUN! What’s not to like? You suspend reality for a while. You get to pretend to be someone else, hang out with supernatural characters, knock on strangers doors and expect to receive sweet treats!

And then it hit me! Halloween is the holiday where Vanilla people get a chance to explore their inner Rocky Road. If those of us who don’t tend to live on the vanilla side of the bed think about it, this isn’t really a shocking revelation.

Let’s look more deeply at this holiday for a little bit. The obvious place to begin is in the sexy costumes that allow you to be someone else. To role play. Become your inner bad girl or sexy vamp. Heck, there are visual encouragements everywhere these days! Here’s an ad from Party City. Click the link! Take a look for yourself…

Sexy costumes from Party City

Sexy costumes from Party City

Playful, flirty…. And not much different than the sexy, flirty role play costumes that Fredericks of Hollywood offers! Well, except for the Fredericks ones are usually a bit more risqué and better quality. Hey, I know, thereof I speak. What can I say? I couldn’t resist their sexy French maid costume eons ago. Check out some of what they have to offer!

Sexy Fredericks of Hollywood Costumes

Sexy Fredericks of Hollywood Costumes

Even the vanilla folk have been known to become sexy witches or cheerleaders or harem girls. Me? I’ve been a China doll, Pocahontas, Tina Turner, Catholic Schoolgirl, and Hawaiian hula girl!

So that one’s easy. We all know how I love masks…

Yes, that's me... in a mask...

Yes, that’s me… in a mask…

Consider the impact…. Look at those costume parties and masquerades that happen. Tell me that part of the fantasy isn’t the opportunity to be completely anonymous and maybe mistaken for someone else prompting some sort of illicit behavior, excused away by “mistaken identity”. Maybe it hasn’t actually happened. Maybe it has! But isn’t that part of the fantasy?

I know what you guys are thinking… But Kitt, what about the scary part?

Decoration at the front of my house

Decoration at the front of my house

Things like decapitated vampire heads or spooky houses….

The bloody lady (triggered by motion sensor) that crawls out from under my car

The bloody lady (triggered by motion sensor) that crawls out from under my car

Or Haunted Houses or theme parks like Halloween Horror Nights by Universal or Howl-O-Scream by Busch Gardens and Sea World.

What makes them so popular with men and women alike? For a lot of guys it’s pretty simple. They enjoy that one time of year where they get to bow up and prove what manly men they are by A) not being scared B) by protecting their lady loves and C) women (sometimes strangers) squeal and jump into their arms.

But there’s another aspect… When a person becomes scared or excited by real or imagined threats, they experience an adrenaline rush. Most of us have been there at some time or another. We remember our accelerated heartbeat, our muscles tightening up, our elevated energy levels as our fight or flight responses are triggered. On a technical level? Adrenaline is another word for the hormone epinephrine, the same epinephrine that’s triggered by exercise and can help the metabolism as well as mood.

So what does this have to do with the not so Vanilla, you ask? Do you REALLY think it’s a coincidence that capture fantasies including women being chased by burglars caught in the act, barbarians, werewolves or other things that go bump in the night are so popular and known to induce the same general feeling as those haunted houses? Heck, it’s actually not that uncommon to take it a bit further toward the submission/dubious consent fantasies as August McLaughlin discusses on her blog. There, she interviews a doctor who explains how this can be beneficial and healing.

Another aspect of the Rocky Road (the word I’m choosing to represent the non-Vanilla folk) that is explored during this season by folks who don’t usually dip their toes into this end of the pool? The “mind fuck”. This can be something simple.

For example. Picture a bedroom set up for romance. Imagine being tied to a four poster bed, then smelling the sulfuric smell of a match being ignited and the scented candle at the side of the bed being lit. Maybe you’d talked about hot wax, so you expect to feel that slight burning drizzle against your skin. Your anticipation is heightened. When you finally feel the burn on your skin, it takes a moment for your brain to register that what you’re feeling isn’t hot at all, but the intense cold of an ice cube. Yes, that’s a fairly tame one, but it gives you the idea.

Isn’t a spooky haunted house where you expect someone to jump out at you….and then no one comes…until you let your guard down and get comfortable again pretty much the same thing? By the way, if you decide to experiment with a couple of the above mentioned scenarios, talk to your partner first. Set some parameters. Make sure there’s a safe word in place. It will keep you both from going too far out of your comfort zone into something you’ll regret. After all, often, with dubious consent, part of the fun is “fighting back” and saying “no”, though you really don’t mean it. It’s important for you both to have a word that lets all parties involved know you’re serious and that you either need to stop and discuss or completely end the scene.

Yes, Halloween is the holiday for exploration of our darker, wilder, baser sides with minimal judgment…

What do you guys think? What kinds of costumes have you worn over the years? Ever had something scary, sexy or downright naughty happen to you unexpectedly on Halloween? Anything else I may have missed? (Hey, it happens!)

3 Years, Leather and 50 Shades

My husband and I have a quirky sense of fun. From prior blogs you know that on our second anniversary (cotton) he bought me a “gag” gift of cotton balls. By the way, I kept those cotton balls. They’re useful. So this year it was my turn to get quirky. How appropriately funny that as I’m delving back into writing (and I have romantic and erotic tendencies in my writing) our 3rd anniversary lands on leather.

First thought that came to my mind? Buy him a leather cock ring. Adjustable, of course. Great gag gift…and who knows…could even be fun! Hey, we’re married and can play that way. Now most of the time if I were looking to buy a toy I may go online or host a pleasure party. Less awkwardness and embarrassment for women this way. But this was a last minute, spur of the moment “gag” gift idea.

So here’s the thing about Florida…and those of you who live here can attest. I have never seen so many strip clubs, adult book stores (aka porn shops) or bail bonds places as I did when I moved here. In Chicago there was a Starbucks on practically every corner. Around here, it’s these kinds of places. In fact, once I moved here I was helping a friend search for a job. It was in Florida that I saw “dead beats need not apply” for the first time in a want ad. (I know, I know. And I’m still here, right?)

Being female, I’ve found it’s less awkward if you bring a male friend with you to an adult book store, so I called up a buddy and he came with me.

The guy working the desk was the typical perv you’d expect to see at one of these establishments. He was large, with a rotund belly, stained shirt, balding and with one of those big hooking piercings through the center portion of his nose. Not exactly someone I’d be asking for sex toy advice from unless I wanted to take 10 showers after. Then again, he fit his environment. The place was dark and seedy looking. Nothing about the place said classy or inviting.

When we walked in he ignored us, allowing us to shop. Their selection in leather products was extremely limited. They did, however, seem to have a large quantity of blow up dolls or body parts that claimed to be replicas of porn stars. No big deal. I was kind of relieved. He didn’t even check for ID.

Not thrilled with my search, I was about to head out when I saw two women walk in. They were giggling together and talking. He stopped to say hello to them. He asked what they were looking for. I was surprised! This was the first sign from him that he knew what customer service was! I almost felt sorry for the women. The one lady admitted that she was buying her friend a toy as a gift for her birthday. He asked if she’d read 50 Shades Of Grey. He then proceeded to tell them that they had a special promo where if you bought all 3 books from the series you got 50% off a paddle.

When they mentioned that it wasn’t what they were looking for and that they’d already read the book he proceeded to get inappropriate. “Come on,” he cajoled, “You know you want to get spanked. It’s every woman’s fantasy! I’ll even help you pick it out.”

Ok, he’d just stepped past the creepy line to obnoxious. That poor young woman was disgusted and embarassed. It was written all over her face. She would never be stopping there again. Fortunately, her friend was much older and put the guy in his place. Irritated, I took this as my cue to leave…before I said something equally offensive to this guy.

As my friend and I started to walk for the door, he finally spoke to us. “Not buying anything today?”

My mouth tightened over what I wanted to say. I opted for a very safe, “Nope.” and continued to head for the door.

“What were you looking for?” he asked, suddenly persistent.

I rolled my eyes at my friend as I pushed the door open, “Nothing you have here.”

It finally occurred to me. He hadn’t spoken to me or anyone else in there initially because we’d come in with guys. The two women came in sans men…that was why he’d harrassed them. Well, on to the next adult shop we went.

This one had a woman working the desk. She greeted us the moment we walked through the door despite the fact that she was on the phone. The place was brighter and less seedy looking. In fact, despite the fact that the windows were blocked out to protect the privacy of the shoppers, it was decorated like a nice little boutique.

Immediately I noticed they had a better leather selection. They several different leather floggers, different crops, leather collars along with the cock rings. One of the little paddles even had naughty carved into it. 😉 This place seemed more fun!

The lady on the phone got off her call as quickly as possible and stepped around the counter. “What can I help you find today?” she asked in a friendly voice.

I explained that it was our leather anniversary and I was trying to find a fun gag gift. She immediately got into the spirit of the search. She thought it was great that we played these games. When I commented about how she had a lot of leather, she said she was actually running low. In fact, she said that due to 50 Shades Of Grey the floggers and paddles were selling like hotcakes. We laughed.

I mentioned that the guy at the store down the street had been trying to peddle the stuff to his last customers and that he’d mentioned some sort of bundle promo.

“Well,” she said, “he probably overbought on the books after he heard about how popular they were and now he can’t get them sold.”

I nodded.

Cocking her head to the side she asked me, “Did you read the books?”

I shrugged. “Nope. By choice. Especially after several of my friends told me about it.”

She raised an eyebrow, curious. “Why not?”

“I have issues with the message the book sends,” I answered. “Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with BDSM. I love authors like Cherise Sinclair and Joey W Hill. They are very good about getting the Safe, Sane and Consentual vibe across while maintaining a strong story with Alpha males and strong, vibrant females.”

She nodded. “Yeah. When all the hoopla started about 50 Shades I was curious and decided to check them out. I bought 2 copies of each book. One was supposed to be for me. The second was for sale. I took it on vacation with me and read it on my flight. I didn’t like the message either.”

I laughed. “You mean the one where the guy loses control, spanks his girl and …voila! Kink?”

Nodding, she said, “Exactly. And that girl was a wuss! A pushover. They don’t have any concept of what true BDSM is about. And with all these people out there suddenly exploring this stuff I should be happy. Instead I’m concerned. They don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t understand that this could get dangerous. Worse, they don’t know about safe words. It was never mentioned in the book.”

I shuddered. “I knew about the whole girl had only been kissed twice till her experience with Grey. And that she had 5 orgasms during her first time.” You could hear the scoffing disdain in my voice loud and clear. “And that he managed to give her those orgasms with no oral sex.” Yeah…we both snickered at that one. “But I hadn’t realized that safe words were never even discussed. I did know about the losing control bit. I wasn’t ok with that, either. A Dom MUST be in control. How else can he take care of you?”

She nodded. “Exactly. I own 3 adult shops. I’ve participated in some of the BDSM shows and events up in Tampa. Believe me. It’s not a game. It’s hot as hell…the real deal, but done incorrectly it can be downright scary. I keep encouraging these 50 Shades experimenters to try their hand at light bondage and blindfolding first before they go for the paddles and whips. Especially since they usually get the cheap stuff. It’s safer. And this way they can figure out what they like with minimal danger.”

The funny thing was, she’d already grabbed the adjustable cock ring I’d been looking at and walked me to the counter while we had this discussion. She was a fantastic sales person. I really liked her. She wasn’t in it strictly for the bottom line. She cared about her customers and her safety. I knew I’d be recommending friends to visit her store….especially my female ones.

And then, as only an aspiring writer can, I networked…LOL! I explained to her that I was working on writing, and someday down the line I may need her expertise. I asked if she’d mind if I stopped in and picked her brain sometime. She laughed and welcomed me with open arms. She’s usually in that particular store on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. So now, if I have questions on sex toys, BDSM or other areas, I have a fun source of info!

Oh, the things I do to hone my knowledge of this craft… Such a hardship! LOL!

Role Play Games

20120819-002404.jpg

I guess there is no age limit on ‘dork’.

My husband took me to brunch this morning. As a gesture, I thought it was sweet. Until I found out why.

He told me that he wanted to take me to a place called “Dark Side”. When asked why, he told me that he’d seen a role play game online that he wanted.

What comes to mind when you think role play? For me, images of naughty nurses, Catholic school girls, French maids, and maybe masked robbers or cowboys come to mind.

Reality were board games including zombies, vampires and werewolves. Only two of three sound the slightest bit sexy. Care to guess which two? Unfortunately, this was nothing like my imagination. This was more like Dungeons and Dragons from back in my youth…except in this store the had full grown adults battling at long plastic tables. Thankfully, he just bought some board games to take home.

I firmly believe in making the best of every situation. So when we got in line for the cash register I laughed when I saw they had rules for their customers. When I saw rule # 17, I knew I had to take a picture.

If only I didn’t feel like I was going to end up playing these games to entertain my man. What do you do to humor your significant other?