Saturday, May 17, 2014

In the Desert of the Porcupines - Chapter One (NSFW)

Okay - before you start reading a few warnings. This is transgressive homoerotic fiction - it contains BDSM, self-harm, dubious consent, blood play, breath play and anal sex. If these things bother you, please don't read. If you do please, no flames!! Any other comments will be lovingly answered ;)

Desert Dreams

He dreamt of the desert, endless expanses of emptiness, the hiss of the wind on the dunes like the insomniac porcupines in his attic, quills shshshing on the floorboards as they listlessly paced away the hours of the night. Thoughts spun in the glittering pinprick the world had closed down to. When the silken choke hold loosened, the sound of waves lapping on the desert shore deepened, thickened, into his lazy heartbeat, and the shshshing of grains of sand dancing in the taunting wind, and the quills of the porcupines skritching their way into his consciousness.

That was very nice.” Master's praise was important and he nuzzled into the warm flesh as his body began its usual litany of complaints. But master was happy, so they were pushed to the back of his mind. An embarrassing near purr escaped his lips when that rich baritone once again addressed him. “Are you ready for more, pet?”

Truth be told, he was always ready for more. It was something master knew all too well, and the reason he found himself here. Before this, before Master and his carefully balanced games, he had almost died. No was a concept that eluded him, and the consequences had been horrific. Where everyone else saw a flaw to be exploited, master had seen the seeds of greatness.He shifted slightly, relishing in the sticky warmth oozing down his legs, proof of Master's pleasure, proof of his devotion, proof of the bond they had forged outside of society's boundaries in the desert of the porcupines.

Have you eaten?”

He turned and fixed his lover with a beatific grin. “Does Master wish me to eat?”

Of course I wish you to eat. If you don't you will grow thin and pale. That would not please me.” The handsome face grew stern, thin lips quirking downward ever so slightly. “You are mine. I will not allow anyone to harm what I have claimed, even you.”

Yes, Master.” The reverently purred response seemed to mollify his owner. He was proud to have such a generous and caring master, grateful for the heavy collar that strong hands were once more fastening around his neck.The supple leather band was thick and wide, just tight enough to serve as a reminder that Master controlled even the air that he breathed. 

His thoughts slipped back to the first time those hands had touched his throat, long fingers brushing over fading bruises in a near caress.Master had paid dearly for him. Too much, really. He was, after all, scarred, bruised and most assuredly broken. He tried to remember a time before he had made friends with pain, but thinking just confused him. As always, too many related memories swirled up at once, the hidden curse of an eiditic memory. At least, in this, the choice was easy.

Such a familiar scene, silver blade, red blood. Just the thought slowed the panic threatening to claw its way out through his skin. Rooting him, once again, firmly in the world. He studied the landscape of his inner arms, intricate crosshatched scars that seemed to shift in the low light, turning and twisting like an M.C. Escher etching.

I will be very angry if you hurt yourself.”

I don't need to,” he murmured, eyes never even flicking up as he traced the intricate patterns with a calloused fingertip. No explanation was given or expected. In this, as in all else, Master's wishes were law. Besides, why disobey Master? He, alone, understood what was needed, balancing the pain with pleasure, and never, ever, going too far.

The first time had been an accident, the ragged slice welling crimson until it gained critical mass, sliding in a bright, glittering stream down the pale flesh to drip, unheeded. He bent to suck at the wound, the sharp sting of pain and the taste of copper flooding his mouth, clearing his mind of the traitorous thoughts threatening to topple it.Before long it had grown into an elaborate ritual, his favorite silver blade cleaned and prepared as every cell in his body began to thrum under the pressure. The sight of his skin parting in its dancing wake blurred the cacophony of competing thoughts, granting him a few moments peace. First the right arm. Five cuts, no more, no less. The left arm was trickier, it took years to train his weaker hand to the precision required.When the scars became too interwoven he moved to his thighs. The deeper, sharper pain proved even more addictive, and all too soon the traces of his escape wound their way over every inch of skin easily hidden from prying eyes.

His scars are what caught the eye of his first master. Out of school, and firmly ensconced in the working world, he could no longer disappear inside an oversized sweatshirt. He wasn't aware of the way his cuff rode up, exposing his secret to the world. But he couldn't help but notice the way he was pushed up against the wall, the boss's thigh between his legs and a firm hand on his throat. The relieved acceptance that rushed through him at that moment was the closest he'd come yet to the bliss of his secret addiction.

What are you thinking about?” Master's stern voice pulled him back from the wasteland of his memories.

How much I adore you, Master.”His lover laughed, a warm, husky sound that sent electric pulses dancing over his synapses. Then he found himself lifted to sit astride the welcoming lap, strong arms wrapping tightly around his chest to pull him close. The feel of the thick shaft inching its way inside him as he was pulled down to sit flush grounded him in the present, forcing his traitorous mind to concentrate solely on the sensation.An index finger looped through the ring on his collar, pulling his head back to rest on master's shoulder. 

“Who do you belong to?”

Only you, Master.”

I'm not sure I believe you. I think you need to show me.”His eyes popped open, locking briefly with Master's intense grey before slamming shut again. A nervous tongue flicked out to lick at his suddenly dry lips.

Did you just look at me?” The amused tone did nothing to put him at ease. A rule had been broken, now he would be punished. Master couldn't afford to go easy on him, he was willful and needed a firm hand.I'm waiting for an answer.” Master's voice was firmer now, but not harsh, never harsh.

I'm sorry, Master.” He hung his head, thoroughly ashamed by his own lack of obedience. Such a simple rule. One of the very first he'd been taught, and he still couldn't get it right.

You're thinking when you should be trying to get back into my good graces.”Distraction bled away, his thoughts blurring into the soft susurration of his desert, all his power and energy focused, like lightning, on this one man, this one moment. The tapestry of scars decorating his thighs came alive as muscles bunched and he slowly slid upwards, hovering for a long moment before dropping hard into Master's lap.Fingers twisted in his collar, stopping the flow of air into his lungs. “You can do better than that, pet.”

Pinpricks of light in the darkness. The scratching of quills on a hardwood floor. He was alone in the desert of his mind, the tiny sips of air Master allowed him only enough to fuel his body, leaving his perception in the calm eye at the center of the raging sands. It was only in these moments of perfect clarity that he was ever, truly, at peace. This was Master's gift, the reason for his devotion, the chance to let go of his control and just experience, without his convoluted thoughts getting in the way.The collar loosened imperceptibly, chapped lips parting, body struggling to fill the void his lungs had become. 

“I love you, Master.”

Then why do you disobey me?”Again the slightest loosening of the band around his throat. 

“Because you spoil me, Master. I need punishment.”

No, you want punishment. You're manipulative, boy, and willful. I don't know why I bother with you.”

No, don't say that, Master.”He found himself being lifted up and away from the warm lap, and his mind wailed at the emptiness that filled him when that thick length retreated. Then he was dumped unceremoniously on the floor. 

“Perhaps I'll wait until you can behave.”

Master, please, I'm sorry.” His tears wet the floor where he lay, but Master steadfastly ignored his pleas.He shivered and shook on the cold floor, knowing better than to turn and look at the man who ruled his world. When a hand fisted in his hair and pulled, though, he couldn't stop the smile that tugged at his lips. 

“Proud of your disobedience?” Master dragged him across the room, yanking first one arm, then the other, over his head and clipping the cuffs on his wrists to the hook on the wall. “How many strokes have you earned?”

Ten for looking without permission and ten for talking back, Master.” The muscles in his back fluttered, tensing and relaxing in waves as he tried to anticipate where the first blow would fall.

Keep the count. If you lose your place we'll start again.”He tensed slightly, preparing himself for the first impact. The crack of the strap on his inner thigh caught him off guard, and he barely managed to squeak out his response. 

“One, thank you, Master. I love you, Master.”Time and again, the lash seemed to somehow find the place he least expected and send a trail of fire licking across his skin.Seventeen, Master. Thank you for my punishment, Master.” The words came automatically, his voice calmer and more certain with each count. When he shut his eyes he could see the porcupines frantically racing to nowhere while their quills bounced and rattled. The steady hiss blotted out the fears and doubts that had plagued him. How foolish to doubt Master, who always knew what he needed.

Feeling better?”

Yes, Master. Thank you for your correction.”Master didn't answer, carefully freeing his slave's hands before scooping him into his arms. 

“Enough for now. Let me get you cleaned up.” Long legs carried them into the bathroom while he stayed curled up against Master's chest.His hair was washed, blunt nails scratching against his scalp before his eyes were shielded and it was carefully rinsed. His body was washed next, gentle hands lingering on the marks of his punishment, stroking and pinching before a wet tongue soothed the sting.He remained unresponsive as he was dried and his teeth brushed, concentrating on the shshshing the atoms of his body made as they raced endlessly to nowhere. 

Dark eyes blinked in surprise as he was slipped between silken sheets.You please me very much, boy. You'll sleep in my bed tonight.”

Thank you, Master. I love you, Master.”He knew this was Master's favorite time, although he tried not to let it show, pride could lose him his hard won place. He looked his best like this, warmly pliant from their play, his satiny skin enticing in the flickering light, like a rich damask, the scarred ridges giving shape to the whole. 

Strong hands ran down a twitching flank, spreading muscular cheeks to gaze at the rosy pucker.Gods, how you tempt me.” He barely heard Master's muttered complaint. Every hair on his body stood on end when that thick cock pushed inside, filling him beyond the point of words.Then Master's mouth was on his neck, nipping and sucking as he pounded into his willing body. A calloused hand wrapped around his hardening cock, plucking at the thick rings adorning the head before smoothing down the silky flesh, twisting the barbells studding the underside.And he could only sigh and press back, opening himself totally to this most intimate assault. 

“Pinch your nipples for me.” Master's command had him twisting the heavy gold rings until they throbbed. A sharp line of pain stitched together his excitement, from neck to nipples to cock to anus, binding him as surely as any shackle.What do you have to say for yourself, boy?”

Fuck me harder, please, Master.”

Any harder and you'll be able to taste me.” Despite Master's protest he sped up the pace, roughly twisting and folding his lanky lover to achieve the deepest possible penetration.

Please, please, may I come, Master? I'm so hard for you.”

Not until I give you permission. Do you need your training repeated, boy?”

No, Master.” Dark hair stuck to his cheek as his shook his head in vigorous denial.

Are you sure?” The conversational tone was at odds with the hard thrusts steadily targeting his prostate.

Yes, Master. Anything that pleases you, Master.”The hands wrapping around his throat left him struggling not to come. He could feel his heart beat in his cock, see the tiny droplets splatter from the tip as the world slowed down to a crawl around him. He twisted and jerked when the hot jet of cum hit his prostate, crying out soundlessly as the world greyed out around him.

Come for me, boy.”The whispered command had him screaming his adoration, thrashing spastically as his seed shot over his chest and his oxygen starved brain tried to decipher which way the world was turning. 

“Thank you, Master.”

Clean up your mess. Then thank me properly.”He gratefully bent to suckle the salty trickles off Master's skin, dropping his head to swallow the soft cock and balls, laving them thoroughly with his tongue before reluctantly moving on.

That's enough. Now get some sleep.”

Thank you, Master.” He shut his eyes and almost immediately drifted off, unaware of the confusion now painting his lover's face. Content in the peace he had once again found, however brief the respite might be.

Banned Book Week - Why I Write About Sex

I'm in a confessional sort of mood, so I'll start by saying this topic has had me floundering for weeks. I must have written fifty pages . . . and then erased them. Then it hit me, the one word that derailed me each and every time, relevance. Only one person can decide whether or not sex is relevant in a piece of literature, and that is the author. Anything else is merely one opinion. You may like or dislike a piece, but only the author knows the story they are trying to tell. Whether it succeeds or fails is always a matter of debate. Art is, after all, subjective. I definitely don't believe anyone has the right to censor an author's words, no matter how offensive I may find them. Yes, there are things I find offensive (seriously, there are . . . just not much), and I exercise my right to choose not to read those topics. Once you allow censorship it opens a dangerous door, who knows what will next be considered inappropriate? I certainly don't want my writing constrained by any limits other than my own.

Since relevance is in the eye of the author, all I can really talk about is why I think sex is an essential aspect of my own writing. Now, before you start screaming about 'the children, the children' – nothing I'm going to say is intended for anyone under eighteen, although, frankly, I don't have any problem with children reading about sex. I live in a city full of pregnant teenagers and, believe me, they did not have sex because of something they read. That honor goes to the media that bombards them daily - television, music, advertising, video games, those are the most powerful influences on today's youth.

I should come clean – I write erotica, explicit gay erotica. Before I go any further, let me clarify. I'm talking about sex in all its permutations, from barely consensual sexual torture to tender lovemaking and the entire gamut in between. My only real boundaries are no children and no women. I write about men exclusively because of the wonderful shifts of power and control possible in a same sex relationship . . . and because I love men. No offense to the ladies, but I don't think I could explore the same boundaries of pleasure and pain without seeming overly abusive, and that is at the core of everything I write. Beyond that, there is something wonderfully vulnerable and revealing about the decision to relinquish power, and the potent eroticism of two strong, powerful men being tender with each other.

Remember the old ads in the back of comic books for x-ray specs? For me, sex is my x-ray specs. It strips a character down to his core truth and spotlights who they are with far more accuracy than pages of exposition ever could. Sex is the ultimate act of trust. Who we trust, why, and to what extent reveals much of our psyche that we would normally keep hidden. Sex is the catalyst for revealing hidden baggage, all the events and experiences we think are safely buried but which bubble to the surface under pressure. Our kinks highlight our transgressive natures, throwing into clear definition the whys and hows of our alienation from society in general. In short, it's the knife I wield to cut to the truth. What knife do you use?

Geisha - The First Feminists

When westerners think of Japan they conjure images of fierce sword wielding samurai, secretive black masked ninja and, most iconic of all, geisha. Unlike the samurai and ninja, whose time has long passed, the delicate, kimono wrapped women with white painted faces can still be seen in the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Tokyo. Sadly, the once vibrant geisha culture is slowly dying out – soon it may be no more than a memory.
Although to those of us in the west geisha seem to be timeless, like all things, the tradition had a beginning. Women traditionally held one of two positions in Japanese society, wife or prostitute. Marriages were arranged to cement alliances between households, clans and fiefdoms. Love seldom, if ever, played a part. Wives ran the household and raised children, men looked elsewhere for passion. In the late 1600s the shogun decreed prostitutes confine themselves to walled pleasure districts. These flower and willow worlds existed in most major cities, the most famous being Gion in Kyoto and Yoshiwara in Edo (now Tokyo). The first geisha were actually male performers known as geiko, who entertained men while they waited for prostitutes. Gradually women began to take over these positions, dancing, singing and playing music to entertain the waiting customers. The pleasure districts became more than just a place to go for sex as the most highly accomplished of the courtesans entertained clients by dancing, singing and playing music. Gradually they took over the duties of the male geiko and became full time performers.
Female geisha were not allowed to sell sex, in order to preserve the business of the courtesans. Then, as now, a geisha's sex life and her professional life were kept separate. The one exception to this rule was the practice of mizuage, where a maiko's first sexual experience was sold to the highest bidder. The mizuage marked the transition from maiko to geisha. In this modern age the practice of mizuage no longer exists. Now maiko transition to geisha two to five years after they begin their apprenticeship in a ceremony known as erikae, or turning of the collar.
The word geisha is made up of two characters – gei which means art, and sha or person, so a geisha is actually an artist. They study and perform with traditional instruments, like the shamisen and shakuhachi, calligraphy, ikebana (flower arranging) and dance. Traditionally a geisha began her journey at the age of three years and three months, although many remained with their families until the age of nine or ten. In these modern times compulsory education comes first. The geisha of Tokyo and the hot springs towns like Akemi now begin their training at the age of 18. Kyoto, which holds most closely to the old ways, allows them to start at the age of 15.
It might surprise most in the west that the instantly recognizable white painted face and elaborate kimono belong not to geisha, but to their apprentices, the maiko. A mature geisha wears more natural makeup and a much simpler style of kimono and obi, only donning the heavy makeup for rare special performances. The easiest way to distinguish between them, though, the the color of the collar of the under kimono – maiko's collars are red, a geisha's collar is white. In both cases the collar hangs low in the back, emphasizing the nape of the neck, considered an erotic zone in Japan. The two or three strips of natural skin visible through the makeup at the back of the neck are also intended to highlight this area.
Maiko are apprentices contracted to their okiya. A considerable investment is made in their training, food, lodging, as well as kimono, obi, hairdressers and ornamentation. Only when this debt is paid off is she free to leave the okiya and work independently. Every maiko has an oneesan, an older sister, who is a full geisha. During her apprenticeship the maiko accompanies her oneesan to banquets and engagements, sometimes to perform, but often just to watch and learn. While maiko go to school to study dance and music, the other business of a geisha, serving tea, making conversation and keeping a man's attention, are learned from her experienced older sister.
The society of geisha is female-centric. Although men are occasionally employed as hairstylists, dressers or accountants, the world of the geisha is, primarily, a world of women. Some of the most successful businesswomen in Japan run the teahouses on which the geisha depend. In fact, the geisha industry has always promoted the independence and self-sufficiency of women in a society in which they had few other outlets for such success. Many women chose to enter the world of the geisha to avoid marriage and control their own destiny. The pinnacle of such success ended in owning a teahouse, or an okiya, where a group of geisha and maiko would live and work together.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rise of the Goddess Anthology and a Chance to Win a Kindle Fire

A fantastic new anthology, and a chance to win a kindle fire! After the book feature be sure to check out the rafflecopter to enter! And, check out the links to the other participating books.

The Goddess: a female deity who represents strength, love, dignity, sexuality, motherhood, wrath, peace, the elements, and so much more. She is the symbol of every woman who has ever been or will ever come to be. She comes from a myriad of places and beliefs, her image always changing, but her presence always there. In this collection of fourteen beautifully written stories and three lovely original artworks, the Goddess rises in many unique forms to remind the world of the strength and beauty that is woman and the connection she has with all things. 

Stories and Artwork Include: 
Warrior Goddess ….. Rebecca Poole 
Down came the Queen of Heaven ….. Aubrey Diamant 
Bia ….. Samantha Ketteman 
Carmaterdea ….. Sinead MacDughlas 
Goddess of My Heart ….. Michael Cross 
Her ….. Rebecca Poole 
A Goddess’s Revenge ….. Catherine Stovall 
Love, Lust, Beauty ….. Jackie McMahon 
Hunting the Dark ….. Marion C. Lanier 
Mother of Monsters ….. Andrea L. Staum 
Goddess Touched ….. Elizabeth L. Lance 
The Cast Iron Skillet ….. Shebat Legion 
The Weaver ….. Zoe Adams 
Shield of Light ….. Beth W. Patterson 
Beautiful Secrets of the Sea ….. Jackie McMahon 
Vanquish ….. Mariana Thorn 
Falling For You ….. Cecilia Clark 

****All proceeds from the Rise of the Goddess anthology will go to benefit the Elliott Public Library**** 

Buy it now on Amazon