Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Pain-Studded Absolution of Those Boys


"I will set you free, but I won't let you go."

Rarely have I read a more shiver-inducing statement of what BDSM is all about. That sentence I quoted has plenty of impact on its own, but it's got even more embedded in the yearning, emotional, dead-sexy "Those Boys," Alison Tyler's latest novelette from the fabulous Go Deeper Press.

Readers of the previous novelette, "Those Girls," will welcome the return of Sandy, the cocky but not too perfect bisexual dom who starred in that outing. We've also been treated to the return of Vanessa, the titular girl.

The new addition is Rem, a silver-haired, tattooed, Western-shirt wearing rocker who Sandy sums up this by telling us what kind of boy he is. Rem, Sandy says, is one of "those 'I need your approval of my outfit, and it will take me six hours to choose a shirt' boys."

What ensues when these three collide is a tale of desire. Sandy wants Rem, Rem wants what Sandy can give him, and Vanessa wants to enjoy them both. With everyone wanting so much, the reader might ask what holds them back from satisfaction—but where sex comes into play, the answer is all too clear. What holds many of us back from satisfaction is ourselves, and that's no less true for the conflicted Rem.

The emotion between Sandy and Rem is intense, and the sex scorching, but I especially love that Tyler doesn't neglect Vanessa. Her relationship with Sandy remains nuanced, and is advanced by the story, and there is palpable chemistry between her and Rem.

I've read dozens of Alison Tyler's BDSM stories, and Those Boys delivers what fans of those stories are looking for—heat, attention to the psychology of BDSM, the search for an understanding of this drive but an ultimate refusal to apologize for it.

As she's discussed on her blog, Those Boys is different in a very important way—she's writing from the perspective of a male dom rather than the semi-autobiographical female "I" that's common to much of her other work (such as Dark Secret Love). That girl is still present in Those Boys (Vanessa, like many Alison Tyler narrators, has a preference for diaphanous dresses and a love of anal play), but it's fun to see her from a different perspective. And it's exciting to read the flip side of Tyler's kinky world. Sandy delivers the sure sexiness of a dom without becoming so certain of himself that he turns into a caricature (I feel as if I said something very similar when reviewing Those Girls, but it's true in both novelettes). His desires are front and center, and they're interestingly distinct from those of his subs.

Tyler's general exuberance about BDSM is on full display here, as fresh and strong as if this were the very first story she'd written. And Sandy's voice has a breathtaking intimacy to it. He speaks of his own desires, but he knows his subs so well:

"I know that a real, true sub requires more than pain. There's the understanding that accompanies the desires, absolution above all else."

I might appropriate that sentence to describe what I need as a reader. I want the pain and the sex, but I also need the panoramic view of kink that I've gotten from this series. I need to travel into Sandy's mind because I need that absolution, too. Tyler has said that she's at work on a prequel called Those Days, where we'll be introduced to Sandy's origins.

I am one of those boys. I am one of those girls. I can't wait to travel back with Alison Tyler to those days.

(Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Those Boys in exchange for an honest review. I have also written for Go Deeper Press and Alison Tyler. I've also spent untold sums of my own money buying books from both sources...)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Website!

I've got a new website, and it's beautiful! It was built for me by the fabulous Angela Tavares at Here Booky Booky, and I couldn't be happier with what Angela has done.

I'm very excited for the possibilities at the new site. It's self-hosted, so I can post things without fear of sudden changes to blogger's terms of service and the like. I've got a cool podcast up there already, and I plan to post video of me reading excerpts as well.

That means, though, that I'm going to slowly phase out this blog. For the next several months, I'll be double-posting, both here and at the new blog, because I'm lazy myself about changing bookmarks and I don't want to leave anyone behind. Eventually, though, updates will only go to the new site. I'll post again when I'm preparing to make the change final. I won't maintain my publications list here, so if you want to see my latest stuff, please head over to the new site.

In the meantime, please change your bookmarks to annabetherotica.com

<3

Crunches



This Monday, Rachel Kramer Bussel's newest anthology of hot short-shorts released! The Big Book of Submission is a spiritual successor to The Big Book of Orgasms, except this time Bussel has focused on BDSM from the submissive's perspective.

My story, "Crunches," is about a personal trainer who takes control of more than her client's workout routine. Here's a clip:

One day, after she’d put me on the adductor machine and had me squeeze my thighs together against heavy resistance, I gave in to the urge that had been building. I rushed home, ripped off my sweats, and jumped into the bathtub with my vibrator in hand. I held myself in a half crunch (careful to pretend I had an orange under my chin for proper neck position), and stayed that way until my pulse pounded like a jackhammer and it felt like every drop of blood in my body had gathered just below my tightened abs. I shoved the vibrator deep inside my cunt, switched it to maximum intensity, then clenched every muscle in my body until I came. As I gasped and shuddered, hot water splashing around my shaking thighs, I could have sworn I heard Shira’s voice, counting off the spasms.

You can pick up The Big Book of Submission at lots of great bookstores—there's a good collection of links here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Moment Things Went Awry

Today, at The Grip, I've got a post up called, "What I Did Before I Knew Better." We're remembering the 90s for the current topic cycle, and I wound up talking about the sexual identity I was forming, and how I wound up betraying that as the decade ended.

In all my confusion, when I ask myself what I honestly want, or what my identity actually is, it doesn't hurt to think back to how I acted then, when I didn't yet know better than to be myself.

You can read the whole post here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Evelyn Gets Ready


Last night, a great thing happened: I received my contributor copies of She Who Must Be Obeyed: Femme Dominant Erotica, D.L. King's latest anthology. Basically, anything I planned to do last evening got put on hold. No gym. No extra writing.

I'm not always so hot and ready for an anthology. Was it that cover (reminiscent to me of a kind of lost hippie girl that I'm, sadly, never going to get to meet)? Or was it the memory of how hot I got writing my story, and the expectation of 20 more like it...? Yeah, probably the second one—let's be honest. This concept is a rare and special one, and it's really up my alley, and it's not every day that there's a whole book about something so wonderfully... specific.

I petted the book all evening and even managed to read it. Maybe I petted myself, too.

OK, now I'm going to stop reminiscing and give you an excerpt. I'm going to post the opening of my story, "Evelyn Gets Ready." Often, when I write, I've got a big philosophical idea—not so much here. This time, I was remembering how turned on I got the first time I went to a BDSM con and attended a workshop on "objectification," without quite knowing what that meant (Thank you for enlightening me, Percy). I remember sitting on the floor at my partner's feet, shifting uncomfortably, stunned in that way that happens when you discover you're really into something you didn't know you were into.

Writing this story extended that thrill and horror of discovery. Last year, I had quite a crisis as far as my sexual identity. It would take a long, long time to explain all the ins and outs of it, but it was both delicious and difficult, and there are a few things I wrote in the thick of it that still carry those feelings for me. This is one of them. Heated Leather Lover is another. Untouched is a third.

But let me not distract myself. Today, I'm here to celebrate She Who Must Be Obeyed. (And how much I love that the title actually includes the period. Statement made. Full stop.) Without further ado, here's the intro to "Evelyn Gets Ready":

When Evelyn gets ready, it takes an army. Saturday night, the first time I was included in her entourage, she left instructions for me with Beau, her "concierge" and date for the evening. Dressed in a pinstripe suit, Beau met me at the front door of Evelyn's modest but lavishly decorated two-story home. "The safeword tonight is 'red.' She wants you to be the makeup table."

"A table?" I echoed, blinking. I'd been ready for "foot servicer" or even "mirror holder," but being an inanimate object hadn't really been on my personal menu.

I glanced down at my own suit, thinking about how carefully I'd gotten ready, slicking down my hair, packing something special for Evelyn. The table idea made me feel a little affronted. Beau was handsome, sure, with sweet, baby-blue eyes that promised plenty of favors, but I couldn't help sizing her up. I clocked more hours at the gym, had a couple inches on her, and felt a lot of confidence in my ability to handle a cock. I managed not to ask why she got to be the date while I got stuck being the table, but just barely.

Beau clapped me on the arm. "You're a strapping young butch with a broad back, Al. She wants to see how strong you are." I didn't miss the way Beau said she—the word carried the full force of Evelyn's fearsome femininity, but was also laced with enough proprietary intimacy to rub in the fact that Beau, not I, would play the part of Boi Charming that evening.

I ducked my head and nodded. I may not have known how exactly I could be a makeup table, but I wasn't about to lose my shot at being part of Evelyn's preparation. The club night we were supposedly getting her ready for was only a victory lap for her—everyone knew the real party was right here, right now.

"Rita will take care of setting you up," Beau told me before leaving the foyer, straightening her cravat as she went.

Rita showed up seconds later, an elegant, curvaceous brunette who would have made my mouth water if not for the thought of Evelyn. She led me to a room with no furnishings aside from a floor lamp, a thick, soft carpet, velvet wall hangings, for God's sake, and gold and crystal chandeliers. I hadn't thought real people actually liked stuff like that.

Catching my glance toward the lamp, Rita grinned, giving me a glimpse of the white teeth and delicately pointed tongue behind her full, pinup-red lips. "Be glad she didn't cast you as the lamp tonight." Her appraising stare caressed up and down each of my arms. I succumbed to ego and flexed under her scrutiny. "You might have the muscle to hold your arms out straight for her for three or so hours, but as a table, you'll be closer to the action."

Rita stepped toward me, and her perfume flooded my senses with the burnt-sugar bite of my favorite liqueur-laced dessert. She landed one impossibly soft hand on my arm. The more she looked at me with her big, brown eyes, which were passionate and warm despite the metallic colors that glittered on her face around them, the more I started to think that maybe Evelyn wasn't the main event after all. Rita was getting me achingly hard, making me constantly aware of my favorite cock lying against my thigh.

As if sensing the turn my thoughts had taken, Rita rewarded me with another slow, sly smile. Her fingers tightened on my arm. "As the table, you'll have to be good for me, because I'm the makeup girl."

The book is on sale now in paperback, and I'm told a Kindle edition is on the way in August.

In the meantime, if you can't get enough of this book, D.L. King has started a tumblr for it. You can read plenty of excerpts there.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

MakerSex Resources

I've gotten a few requests for resources people can use to research what I'm looking for in my MakerSex anthology. Good news! I've got you covered!

I've got you so covered that I've made a whole Tumblr about it, called, unoriginally, MakerSex!

I've also made a post of basic resources to get you started. I hope you find those links as fascinating as I do. And, seriously, watch the Tumblr, because I'm hoping to put a lot of inspiring stuff there (and when the book actually comes out, I'll be posting excerpts from the, um, results of that inspiration...).

Monday, July 7, 2014

Call for Submissions: MakerSex

Computer Circuit Board MOD 45153623
I'm editing an anthology for Circlet Press!!!! And I would love for you to write a story for me!

Here's the call:

MakerSex: Erotic Stories of Geeks, Hackers, and DIY Projects
Edited by Annabeth Leong

Deadline: September 30, 2014

Maker culture mashes together technological enthusiasm and a DIY punk ethos. It is about learning and doing, shaping the world, getting around the system, and making strange new things because you can. Skill is powerful, subversive—and sexy. Send me stories infused with the scent of hot solder, the flash of fabric sewn with conductive thread, the thrill of ingenuity, and the hotness of all things becoming possible. Your DIY stories could be near-future science fiction or cyberpunk, but they could also take place in far-flung galaxies, in the garage of a ham-radio enthusiast, or in the shadowy workshops of hacker mages. I want to believe in the plausibility of your DIY world, but that doesn’t require a technical manual. Give me a story that’s as much driven by hot sex and changing characters as it is by compelling projects and technical acumen.

All sexualities and gender expressions are welcome. Kink is welcome. I would particularly love to see worlds that recognize people of color and people of all genders as participating in Maker culture.

This e-book anthology is being edited by Annabeth Leong for Circlet Press. Annabeth has written stories for many anthologies including Circlet’s Like A Trip Through the Mirror, Like a Chill Down Your Spine, and What Lies Beneath.

For submission details, read on.

Length: Preferred length for this book is approximately 3000 to 6000 words, but we will consider the range from 2000 to 8,000 words. Query if you have something outside those ranges that seems otherwise fitting.

How to Submit: All submissions must be made via email to Annabeth Leong, editor, at the following email address: Annabeth.Circlet@outlook.com

Submissions sent to other addresses/other editors at Circlet Press will not be considered. Standard manuscript formatting rules apply even though sending as an attachment (MS Word .doc or .rtf preferred). Please note that this means your name, address, and email contact must appear on the manuscript itself and not simply in your email message. (If you’re not sure what a standard short story submission format should look like, Google is your friend.)

No simultaneous submissions (that is, don’t also send your story elsewhere at the same time, and don’t send it to multiple Circlet editors, either), and no multiple submissions to the same book. One story per author per anthology, thanks.

All stories must include explicit sexuality and erotic focus. Romantic content is welcome, but in a short story remember to keep the details on the action and its effects on the main character’s internal point of view. We favor a strong, singular narrative voice (no ‘head hopping’ or swapping between different character’s points of view within a scene). For more details on our editorial preferences, see the general submission guidelines on circlet.com. We highly recommend reading the guidelines, especially the “do not send” list, to increase your chances of sending us something we’ll love. Try to avoid cliches. Fresh and direct language is preferred to overly euphemistic. Sex-positive, please, no rape/nonconsensuality/necrophilia or other purposefully gross topics. We do not publish horror.

Originals only, no reprints. We purchase first rights for inclusion in the ebook anthology for $25, with the additional rights to a print edition later which would also be paid $25 if a print edition happens. Authors retain the rights to the individual stories; Circlet exercises rights to the anthology as a whole.

Are you tempted? Give in! I can't wait to hear from you!

Photo: Harland Quarrington/MOD [see http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Computer_Circuit_Board_MOD_45153623.jpg for license], via Wikimedia Commons