Saturday, 20 May 2017
“The number of women prosecuted for domestic violence rose from 1,575 in 2004-05 to 4,266 in 2008-09. "Both men and women can be victims and we know that men feel under immense pressure to keep up the pretence that everything is OK," said Alex Neil, the housing and communities minister in the Scottish parliament. "Domestic abuse against a man is just as abhorrent as when a woman is the victim.”
Denis Campbell The Observer, Sunday 5 September 2010
I am not going to go into detail about violent stuff inflicted on guys by women. Most of it is too horrible to think and write about. There is plenty of stuff online if you care to search.
If you share a pint with a mate at the match and he turns up with a black eye, would you automatically believe it if he said he walked into a door?
Look across your row before kick-off. One in five men are a victim of domestic abuse at some stage in their life.
A lot of men suffer in silence, fearing pals will laugh. Most domestic violence help is for women but there are confidential help-lines for men.
“If you are a victim and in danger, the advice given is leave if you can and call police, who have officers trained to help.
Don’t retaliate physically or verbally — you may end up arrested. Keep a diary of incidents and photos of injuries. If kids are involved, seek council help.”
And it isn’t just physical violence. Many men suffer screaming, shouting or controlling behaviour from partners. This can, and I am sure in some cases, go on for years. A woman embarrasses her partner in front of their friends. It might be something that is deeply personal -- his sexual prowess. His habits in the bedroom. Even his habits in the bathroom. It doesn‘t matter what his hobbies are; she will be scornful about those as well. The ring of laughter in his ears humiliates him into silence. Perhaps later, when they are alone, he complains.
“But I was only joking!” he is told. “Can’t you take a joke?”
Or she might say; “I was only being honest!”
It isn’t joking. It isn’t being honest. It’s bullying. If he persists, or complains another time, he is told that he is “whiny, wimpy, uptight, insane, paranoid.”
Any word will do, as long as it demeans, cuts deep, makes him feel less of a human being.
We hear so much about female domestic violence, it seems only fair to redress the balance.
It happens in the pub, on a night out with friends. If the two work for the same company, it may happen in the workplace. It is hardly a surprise that it even happens online, on Facebook! The absolute, venomous control and humiliation is there -- for the whole world to laugh and sneer at.
Here are the details of one help line in the UK. If you search online, there are many more.
The Men's Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic violence and abuse.
We welcome calls from all men - in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.
The Men's Advice Line offers emotional support, practical advice and information on a wide range of services for further help and support.
Our focus is to increase the safety of men experiencing domestic violence (and the safety of their children) and reduce the risk.
0808 801 0327 - free from landlines and mobile phones.
Friday, 5 May 2017
It was the first notorious killing of the twentieth century. July 1910 Britain was gripped by the progress of a huge manhunt. It was on a scale that hadn’t been seen since Jack the Ripper.
The fugitive was Doctor Hawley Harvey Crippen and he was wanted for the murder and mutilation of his wife Cora. Together with his mistress, Ethel le Neve, Doctor Crippen had fled from London. Handbills had been printed and pasted everywhere and distributed to police around the world. Everyone was talking about this case.
The Home Secretary, a certain Winston Churchill had organised a reward of £250, worth £20,000 in today’s money for their capture.
So where were Doctor Crippen and his lover Ethel le Neve? In fact, they had already left the country and were holed up in a hotel in Belgium. They had plans to leave for North America.
Henry Kendal was the captain of a steamship heading across the Atlantic to Canada. But two of his passengers had aroused his suspicions. The SS Montrose had only been at sea for one day when Captain Kendal noticed a father and son behaving strangely on deck. He thought it was very odd that they squeezed each other’s hands immoderately, as he put it, and that they would sometimes disappear behind the lifeboats. The two of them were travelling as Mr and Master Robinson.
What happened next was just like a detective novel, with the Captain playing the part of Sherlock Holmes. Captain Kendal decided to carry out an experiment to try and confirm his suspicions that he had Doctor Crippen on board. He took a newspaper photograph of Doctor Crippen and using chalk he whitened out the Doctor’s moustache and then blackened out the frames of his spectacles and it was a photo fit. Without his moustache and spectacles, the mysterious Mr Robinson was clearly Doctor Crippen.
Captain Kendal had access to a pioneering piece of technology that would speed up the process of twentieth-century crime investigation. It was the Marconi wireless, but the transmitter only had a range of 150 miles. When Captain Kendal made his breakthrough he was already 130 miles from the nearest receiver; he had 20 miles left to get the message out. Rushing along the lower deck to the wireless room he handed the wireless operator the message that would electrify the world.
“Have strong suspicions that Crippen the London cellar murderer and accomplice are amongst the passengers. Accomplice dressed as a boy but with voice manners and build undoubtedly a girl.”
But would the message get through in time?
So what exactly were the events that had led up to this extraordinary situation?
Doctor Crippen, an American, who dabbled in cheap patent medicines and dentistry had been living what seemed a pretty conventional life in a North London villa. His wife, Cora, was a would be music hall artiste. But the marriage was troubled and Crippen had begun an affair with his young secretary, Ethel le Neve. On the 19th January 1910, Crippen visited a chemist to purchase five grains of hydrobromide of hyoscine; an enormous dosage of a deadly poison. He signed the poison book like he was supposed to, with the words “for homoeopathic purposes.”
On the 31st January, the Crippens held a little party at home. Later, Crippen would claim that it had been followed by a terrible quarrel between him and his wife. Cora had said that she was leaving him the very next day. Whatever really happened that night the guests at that party were the last people to see Cora Crippen alive. To explain Cora’s absence Crippen claimed that she had gone back to America and then he later said that she had died out there. Very suspicious Cora’s friends now paid a visit to New Scotland Yard. The case was taken up by Detective Chief Inspector Walter Dew, a veteran of the Ripper murders. He was a member of the Yard’s newly formed “murder squad”. Its members prided themselves on their prowess and their skills in disguises – however unconvincing. Chief Inspector Dew searched Crippen’s house for evidence but found nothing. But he wasn’t quite satisfied. He went back three days later for another look and discovered that Crippen had disappeared. “My quarry has gone,” he said.
Crippen’s house, where a block of flats now stands held a strange attraction for Dew. “That sinister cellar,” he wrote, “draws me to it.” His sergeant began to work away at the brick floor, then to remove the earth beneath. There was a nauseating stench and Dew and his men had to rush out to the garden for fresh air. Fortifying themselves with brandy, they returned to the cellar and soon made a grim discovery. There, in a shallow grave, lay a limbless headless torso. What kind of person could have done this? Surely not gentle Doctor Crippen?
The story caused a frenzy of excitement, with lurid headlines in the popular press. Inspector Dew was now under enormous pressure to catch the killer.
And then, that sensational telegram arrived from the mid-Atlantic.
Chief Inspector Dew now hatched an ingenious plan – he had to take a faster ship to overtake the Montrose before it reached Canada and to arrest Crippen on board. And the press were hard on his heels. Word had leaked out about what was happening on the SS Montrose. Newspaper readers could follow Dew’s pursuit as he closed in on his suspects at the rate of three and a half miles an hour.
This story has it all. As well as a gruesome murder, there is an illicit romance and a chase across the Atlantic. And best of all, the suspects didn’t have a clue that the police were onto them, although every newspaper reader in Britain did. Doctor Crippen had become the most famous murderer in the world.
Dew attempted to evade the journalists by disguising himself as a harbour pilot in order to board the Montrose. But it was no good. Reporters were there to capture the moment when Dew finally greeted his suspect with the words; “Good morning Doctor Crippen.” Can you imagine an actor and director lingering over that line – the pace, the dramatic pause?
Press photographers caught everything that happened next. The crowds waiting at Liverpool docks. Dew escorting Crippen off the boat. The anticipation outside Bow Streets magistrate’s court for the committal of Crippen and Le Neve.
The press had made the couple into a highly marketable commodity. This was a very modern murder.
Bizarre offers now began to come in. If they were acquitted Crippen would get £1000 a week for a twenty week tour. le Neve would receive £200 a week for a performance including a musical sketch entitled “Caught by Wireless.”
On the 18th of October, the trial of Doctor Crippen began at the Old Bailey. This was going to be a huge spectacle. Four thousand people applied for tickets, the court had to issue special half day passes so that double the normal numbers could get in. In the words of the Daily Mail’s reporter;
“…the crowds begged, pleaded and argued for seats in the public gallery.”
Inside there was even more chaos. There was a rowdy atmosphere, like a music hall. People were shouting ‘blue tickets that way, red tickets up here.”
The trial ended on Saturday the 22nd of October. The jury only took twenty-seven minutes to find Crippen guilty of wilful murder. He was sentenced to death.
In his evidence on oath, Crippen said that his wife had often threatened to leave him and had picked a quarrel with him over his behaviour while they were having friends round for dinner. Recounting the last time he saw her, he said:
She abused me, and said some very strong things; she said that if I could not be a gentleman she had had enough of it and could not stand it any longer and she was going to leave. That was similar to her former threats, but she said besides something she had not said before; she said that after she had gone it would be necessary for me to cover up any scandal there might be by her leaving me, and I might do it in the very best way I could. I came back the next day at my usual time, which would be about half-past seven or eight o'clock, and found that the house was vacant.
The trial ended on Saturday the 22nd of October. The jury only took twenty seven minutes to find Crippen guilty of wilful murder. He was sentenced to death.
The jury took just 27 minutes to reject Crippen's explanations for his wife's disappearance and convict him of murder.
Crippen was executed on 23 November 1910, less than four months after his arrest. His last request was to have a photo of Ethel Le Neve in his top pocket when he was hanged. He was buried in the cemetery at Pentonville prison.
Ethel le Neve, at a separate trial, was acquitted and she lost no time in selling her side of the story. A publicity shot shows her in her infamous disguise as a boy. But her fame was short-lived. It was Crippen himself that would be immortalised. Even during his trial sculptors at Madame Tussaud's had been preparing a wax figure based on those snatched court photographs. Within days of the passing of Crippen’s death sentence, Taussaud’s unveiled their new addition to the chamber of horrors. Crippen was on display to the public before he’d even met the hangman.
And over one hundred years later he is still on show.
In the 1912 catalogue to the Chamber of Horrors he takes his place amongst the greats. His fellow doctor, William Palmer the poisoner. And opposite the 19th century murderess, Maria Manning. They have a description of their crimes in the catalogue. Doctor Crippen has none. Everyone knows who he is; what he did.
And a contemporary journalist described this place, the Chamber of Horrors as “the holiest of holies.” These were the people everyone wanted to see. What does that say about the Edwardians?
Indeed; what does it say about all of us? Public hangings are no more; but I bet people would go to see them if they were. I recall watching the Crime channel (I’m addicted to it. It’s my version of a seat in the public gallery at the Old Bailey) there were crowds outside the jail where they’d got Ted Bundy. They cheered when it was announced that his death sentence had been carried out.
It seems that a lurid fascination with murderers and death did not die with the Edwardians.
You can read statements taken by the police and transcripts from the trial here; http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=def1-75-19101011&div=t19101011-75
TV viewers of BBC 4 will recognise that I have plundered parts of “A Very British Murder” presented by Lucy Worsley. The rest of the post has been put together using sources from the web.
Friday, 21 April 2017
Friday, 7 April 2017
For a man in Victorian times there were two kinds of women: 'nice' women of your own class, whom you married; and prostitutes or women of easy virtue, whom you went to bed with. Victorian society looked indulgently on men who sowed their wild oats. For respectable women it was a different story: they were expected to be virgins when they married. This meant that, to gain sexual experience, men would resort to prostitutes. Unfortunately, with prostitutes came the threat of a sexually transmitted or venereal disease, such as syphilis or gonorrhoea.
As well as being painful and deeply embarrassing, venereal disease, if untreated, could lead to sterility, impotence, madness and eventually death. Penicillin would not be discovered until the 1920s and would not be available as a medicine until the Second World War. In the 19th century, the main treatment was mercury, in the form of calomel, ointments, steam baths, pills, and other concoctions. It was crude, painful and largely ineffective, as well as having side-effects such as tooth loss, kidney damage, anaemia, mouth, throat, and skin ulcerations; neurological damage; and death.
Research into an effective treatment for syphilis was controversial because of the perception that a widely available cure would increase “immoral” behaviour.
In Victorian days the official line on sex was that it was solely for the purpose of producing children. It wasn't supposed to be fun. So, however tolerant the Victorians may have been in practice of men having sexual adventures, venereal disease was, in some quarters, regarded as God's punishment - the wages of sin.
This is one reason for the flourishing trade in virgins - for those upper class men who could afford them. They were not necessarily paedophiles; but were protecting themselves by having sex with a woman who had never had sex before. She could not be infected with these diseases.
There was another, more chilling reason, why virgins were so highly prized. It was believed that sex with a virgin could actually cure a man who was infected with syphilis.
By the middle of the 19th century the authorities were increasingly worried about the high incidence of venereal disease among soldiers and sailors. For this reason the Contagious Disease Acts of 1864, 1866 and 1869 were passed. They allowed known prostitutes working in garrison towns or naval bases to be examined, often brutally. If they were found to be infected they could be imprisoned in state institutions.
Women were assumed to be the source of infection and the Acts were deigned exclusively to protect men. The men themselves were not examined, so that there was every chance of a client passing a disease on to a prostitute, rather than the other way around.
However, Victorian society was not concerned about prostitutes who were infected with incurable diseases by their clients. It was the danger of men passing on venereal disease to their wives and families that caused anxiety and moral outrage.
Moral reformers such as Josephine Butler campaigned against the Contagious Disease Acts. They claimed that they were sexually discriminating in that they laid all the blame for 'immorality' on women. The Acts were finally repealed in 1886.
Syphilis first appeared in Europe in the 1500s. But by the Victorian era, it was rampant. Thousands endured paralysis, blindness and insanity from the infection before finally dying.
Syphilis in the Victorian era was known to be an infectious disease that entered the body through a minute cut or small wound. The primary impact of the disease would be a lesion or a sore at the initial “site of inoculation.” Six to eight weeks later, a secondary eruption would flare up, generally first pink in colour and eventually copper. In this second stage of syphilis, symptoms such as depression and chilling in the joints and limbs would often occur and within weeks or years disappear spontaneously. In its tertiary stage, syphilis affected the brain, liver, lungs, and muscle. This disease was most often spread through sexual contact but it also spread congenitally, where mothers would infect the infants in their womb.
As I write, syphilis cases are rising. Some hospitals in major British cities report that they are now treating hundreds of patients a year, compared to none at all just a few years ago. In the past two years, there have been outbreaks in Manchester and London through unprotected sex.
This blog post has been compiled using sources from the Web.
Friday, 24 March 2017
For the younger generation there is nothing so entertaining as shocking their parents and grandparents. This, they always do with a flourish; if they get a reaction, that is wonderful and is definitely worth the effort. In the years of George, the Prince Regent’s rule over London’s fashionable elite, the younger generation, shocked the older generation in a bold, extravagant gesture, with a brand new dance; the Waltz.
The year was 1815, the ending of the time of the Napoleonic wars. The government, led by Lord Liverpool, negotiated a peace settlement. The king had nothing to do with the details. Poor King George III had descended into madness and George, his son, the Prince Regent was too intent on going to licentious parties and generally having a pretty wild time, to be bothered with the politics of foreign policy.
Within the rural and urban counties of England, there was a mood of social and economic malaise, yet the Prince Regent and his entourage of the young aristocracy, exuded a mood of confidence, exuberance and expectation. There was an explosion of outrageously expensive design on an unprecedented scale. New styles were embraced. And then there was this decadent new dance craze.
The Waltz was a couples dance, as opposed to the traditional group dances. The gentleman actually clasped his arm around the lady's waist, giving the dance a dubious moral status. The Waltz was a dance born in the suburbs of Vienna and in the alpine region of Austria. It was foreign, that in itself was enough for the parents of the young, English aristocracy to view it with suspicion.
The shock of the new. Each generation thinks that they are the originators of this phenomenon, but it has been done so many times before.
Before the scandalous Waltz came along, dancing had been civilised. You danced in large groups, only occasionally touching each other. Flirting would be done with eye contact. In the Waltz, you held your partner in an embrace for a whole dance. Touching, whispering to each other; social rules were broken. A strong arm around a slender waist. Long, delicate fingers cling to a firm shoulder. Warm rounded flesh beneath fine, creamy lace, or translucent muslin. White thighs pushed apart with an insistent, probing knee. Breasts, yearning for urgent caresses, crushed against a broad chest. Waltzing was dirty dancing for the Regency teens. The impact of the Waltz would probably have had the same effect on the older generation, as any sweet grandmother today stumbling into a full on swingers party.
The waltz was criticized on moral grounds by those opposed to its closer hold and rapid turning movements. Religious leaders almost unanimously regarded it as vulgar and sinful. Continental court circles held out obstinately against the waltz, seeing depravity in every swaying, graceful move.
In July of 1816, the waltz was included in a ball given in London by the Prince Regent. A blistering editorial in The Times a few days later stated:"We remarked with pain that the indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced (we believe for the first time) at the English court on Friday last ... it is quite sufficient to cast one's eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs and close compressure on the bodies in their dance, to see that it is indeed far removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was confined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice; but now that it is attempted to be forced on the respectable classes of society by the civil examples of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion." (Source: The Times of London, 16th July 1816)
Even as late as 1866 an article in the English magazine Belgravia stated: "We who go forth of nights and see without the slightest discomposure our sister and our wife seized on by a strange man and subjected to violent embraces and canterings round a small-sized apartment - the only apparent excuse for such treatment being that is done to the sound of music - can scarcely realize the horror which greeted the introduction of this wicked dance."
Reportedly, the first time the waltz was danced in the United States was in Boston in 1834. Lorenzo Papanti, a Boston dancing master, gave an exhibition in Mrs. Otis' Beacon Hill mansion. Social leaders were aghast at what they called "an indecorous exhibition."
I thought that the 1960’s generation made a pretty good case for shocking the older generation. It seems that they had nothing on those wilful teens of Regency England.
This blog post has been put together using sources from the Web.
Friday, 10 February 2017
There’s a talented new writer of erotica on the block! I am interviewing C.Allen, (Chris) asking him about his themes and his inspirations for his sexually infused stories. Chris has published “Gone” which has extended into a series of four books. In addition, “Gang Funding; financing a dream, “Pimpin Mom”, “Pro Sub, by appointment only” and “Cuckold Games.”
(BR) When did you decide to become an erotic writer? Why?
(Chris) (I started GONE a couple of years ago, but I put it down for a long while before finishing it last spring.
(BR) How do you get inspiration for your books?
(Chris) My inspiration comes from sexual experiences I’ve had throughout my life. I’ve always been what you might call “oversexed” I think about it all the time.
(BR) You have been published for a couple of years now, with several stories available. What was it that prompted you to begin writing?
(Chris) As I mentioned I’ve always been a very sexual being. I wanted a way to express my fantasies to others. At first I only let my wife and closest female friend read my stuff. They both enjoyed it and saw themselves and some play we’ve all had together, portrayed in my stories.
(BR) Is there any part of your books that is based on your personal experiences? For instance in GONE Serena is bored with the mundanity of her life. When she sees an advertisement offering a new, challenging sexy future she responds. She is also very manipulative. Is that you…or someone that you know?
(Chris) We have a close friend who is probably the only actual nymphomaniac I’ve ever met. Serena’s sexual freedom and willingness to do anything is in part based on her.
(BR) Do your family read your books?
(Chris) My wife reads and proofs everything I write.
(BR) Which authors do you like to read?
(Chris) I love the 3 “Sleeping Beauty” books that Ann Rice wrote a while back under another name which I can’t remember now. I also love July Cumming and of course your work. Billierosie books were among the first I read when I got into this game.
(BR)What would you suggest to people who want to improve their sex lives?
(Chris) 1) Let go of your inhibitions. 2) Get with someone you really trust and set up situations that are exciting to you both, or however many people you’re playing with, and push your boundaries. If you have a significant other, you have to be open and honest with each other, or you will end up lying to each other and ruin a good thing.
(BR)What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
(Chris) I love the character Serena in the GONE series. I admire her self-security and willingness to let go fully into a situation she has decided is safe and satisfying for her. As she goes deeper into it, all her inhibitions and fear melt away until she is only her sexuality. That to me is the ultimate personal freedom.
(BR) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?
(Chris) Hard core sex, I don’t pull any punches when describing sex, instead I want the reader to be fully engrossed in the fantasy and freedom of the story. If you want your erotica tender and glossy, my stories are probably not for you. I want the reader to feel like it is her life she is reading about, so my work is explicit and dirty. If you don’t feel like you can be one of the women in my books, then at least you can have the fantasy. I think my books are like a porno but for the mind not the eyes. I write for women.
(BR) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
(Chris) Write what turns you on.
(BR) We see you on Twitter a lot – some of your Tweets are explicit references to your stories…are you writing to arouse -- are you teasing future readers? Are you aiming to your turn your readers on?
(Chris) I’m aiming to get potential readers interested in the forbidden fantasies that await them in my books.
(BR) Do you get turned on by your stories?
(Chris) Oh yeah, sometimes when I can feel my body temperature rise as well as another part of me. Then I know it’s hot.
(BR) Do you think it is necessary for an Erotica writer to be turned on by the events in a story?
(Chris) Yes, if I’m not turned on writing a story how can I expect the reader to be turned on?
(BR) In Serena’s tale where are you in the stories? Your writing is often brutal; Serena is turned on by the pain and humiliation. Are you the man wielding the whip?
(Chris) Not necessarily I like to feel like I’m free and sexual enough to be in the place these woman are in. Totally free and safe to indulge in the most wild of scenarios. Often the fantasy of a particular sex act is a turn on, even if you wouldn’t put yourself in that position in real life. It’s all about freedom.
(BR) Where does lifestyle experience end and vicarious fantasy begin within your fiction?
(Chris) Over the years I’ve been in a lot of sexual situations that are the genesis of my stories.
(BR) On that note, is there a personal fetish or a fantasy that you have yet to explore in your fiction?
(Chris) I’ll get to all of them. I’ll keep you guessing as to what they are. I love the idea of the unapologetic woman who is completely lost in her sexuality. We often read about men being that sexual and we generally accept that men are run by their sexual desires. I want to portray women who feel the same way. There are many out there, but society has taught that they can’t be free and sexually primal. I want to show them they are safe in my fantasies no matter how twisted they are.
(BR) With reader reviews so crucial to generating exposure, what are some of the weirdest or most wonderful reactions you’ve had from readers?
(Chris) When I published GONE I was afraid that people would think it was too explicit and demeaning to women. I am glad to see a different reaction. Women seem to love the explicit in your face sex that I write. It goes to show that you can lose yourself in the wicked twisted fantasy even if you wouldn’t live it out in real life. The reviews from women to all my books have been fantastic. They clearly get what I’m trying to do and that makes me very happy. I love and respect women more than anything and I want them to be sexually satisfied in life.
(BR) Finally, looking towards a brighter, more fantastic 2017, what can readers look forward to seeing from you next?
(Chris) More twisted perverted fun! Next up is the conclusion of my newest book “Pimpin’ Mom”
Pro-Sub; by appointment only is at Amazon US and Amazon UK and finally Cuckold Games at Amazon US and Amazon UK
C.Allen's Amazon Auther Page is here and you can find him on Twitter
Friday, 3 February 2017
The Tango -- alluring, sexy, provocative. A dance of exotic erotica. It’s a piece of performance art telling an ancient tale. A tale that began with Lilith, Adam’s first wife and her refusal to accept Adam’s dominance over her. Lilith just would not tolerate Adam laying on top of her when they had sex. It is a narrative that has been re -told, re-invented hundreds of times over the millennia. Through the medium of dance and spectacle the Tango tells the enduring tale of the dominant persistence of the male, and the equally powerful resistance of the female.
The Tango is a sensual dance which involves a negotiation of power. The male controls the female; she responds to his demand. Sometimes she responds with resistance and rebellion; she seizes the power for herself for a few brief seconds. It is a slow seduction. He caresses her gently, seductively; sometimes not so gently. His caresses can border on erotic violence.
It is not like the waltz, where the male gently manipulates his partner, telling her with his body where he wants her to go. The female in the Tango has a mind of her own. If he lowers his guard for a second she will devour him, annihilate him with her energy. The observer becomes aware of an energetic field created by the dancers’ inner selves and emotional expression.
In the tango there are smooth horizontal movements that are strong and determined. It is danced in close full, upper body contact. The dancers are very low with long steps and no up and down movements. Forward steps land on the heel; in backward steps the dancer pushes forward from the heel.
There is room for improvisation; sometimes he may accentuate the long line of her body with a caress of his hand. Her fingers may glide over the breadth of his shoulder; they are intensely erotic moments. Their audience draw a hiss of a breath. How do they dare behave so flagrantly with the party looking on? And the Tango, of course can be danced, for brief moments alone; the two dancing for their own seductive pleasure. The dancers respond to Terpsichore the Muse of Dance and Music. Their response is physical, emotional and intellectual.
Tango is a fluid dialogue where the bodies talk and surprise each other step after step. He bends her body into impossible positions, shaping her, forming her, teaching her. She retaliates and swirls furiously away from him.
“Historically, the Tango is a dance that has influences from European and African culture. Dances from the candombe ceremonies of former slave peoples helped shape the modern day Tango. The dance originated in lower-class districts of Buenos Aires and Montevideo. The music derived from the fusion of various forms of music from Europe. The word "tango" seems to have first been used in connection with the dance in the 1890s. Initially it was just one of the many dances, but it soon became popular throughout society, as theatres and street barrel organs spread it from the suburbs to the working-class slums, which were packed with hundreds of thousands of European immigrants, primarily Italians, Spanish and French.
“In the early years of the 20th century, dancers and orchestras from Buenos Aires travelled to Europe, and the first European tango craze took place in Paris, soon followed by London, Berlin, and other capitals. Towards the end of 1913 it hit New York in the USA, and Finland. In the USA around 1911 the word "tango" was often applied to dances in a 2/4 or 4/4 rhythm such as the one-step. The term was fashionable and did not indicate that tango steps would be used in the dance, although they might be. Tango music was sometimes played, but at a rather fast tempo. Instructors of the period would sometimes refer to this as a "North American tango", versus the so-called "Argentine Tango". By 1914 more authentic tango stylings were soon developed, along with some variations like Albert Newman's "Minuet" tango.
“The Tango consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions and areas of Argentina as well as in other locations around the world. The dance developed in response to many cultural elements, such as the crowding of the venue and even the fashions in clothing. The styles are mostly danced in either open embrace, where lead and follow have space between their bodies, or close embrace, where the lead and follow connect either chest-to-chest (Argentine tango) or in the upper thigh, hip area (American and International tango.)
Paragraphs in quotes from WIKI.
For more on “The Embrace in Tango” click here
“Bora Toska, a Tango dancer, interviewed Javier Rodriguez Javier Rodriguez an important figure in today’s tango world. Ever since his glorious partnership with Geraldine, he’s captured the minds and hearts of tango aficionados around the world, even achieving cult-like status in some places.”
“Above all,’ he said ‘ you have to have the embrace. And the embrace is one only. It can be more open or more closed, very tight or at one meter distance and you can still be embracing another person in the perfect connection. If you know how to embrace and take into you another person’s body, everything else can be fixed.”
Here are Patricio Toucuda and Carla Chimento dancing their version of the Argentine Tango.
Friday, 27 January 2017
Italian, c. 1490 - 1576
Venus with a Mirror, c. 1555
oil on canvas
National Gallery, London
“From the man after whom "masochism" was named comes a sexual fetish novel inspired by the author’s own life.”
Venus with a Mirror, by Titian is the image from which Severin gets the idea of Venus in furs.
“Slavery is a vocation comparable and equal in everyway to any religious calling.”
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836 – 1895) was an Austrian writer and journalist who embraced utopian thinking; socialism and humanism were the ideals that human beings should aim for. Von Sacher-Masoch was born in a province of the Austrian Empire and studied law and history. He became a man of letters and an editor of a progressive magazine. He is best known for writing a series of short stories that expressed his fantasies and fetishes. The term ‘masochism’ was derived from his name by the psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing.
Venus in furs is the best known of his works; it is the only piece of his work to be translated into English. The novella was intended to be part of an epic series that Sacher-Masoch envisioned called Legacy of Cain. Venus in Furs was just one part of “Love”; the first volume of the series. It was published in 1870.
Sacher-Masoch’s novella reads like an instruction manual for Dominants and submissives. The narrative concerns a man who dreams of speaking to Venus about love while the goddess wears furs. The unnamed narrator tells his dreams to a friend, Severin, who tells him how to break his fascination with cruel women by reading a manuscript, Memoirs of a Suprasensual Man.
Severin, the protagonist of the manuscript, is infatuated with Wanda von Dunajew. Wanda is not only beautiful, but wealthy. All that Severin asks of her is that she treats him brutally. He wants to be abused emotionally and physically. Throughout the novella Severin encourages her to treat him in progressively more degrading ways. He is routinely whipped and humiliated.
At first Wanda does not understand or accede to the request, but after humouring Severin, she finds the advantages of the method to be interesting and enthusiastically embraces the idea, although at the same time she disdains Severin for allowing her to do so.
Severin describes his feelings during these experiences as suprasensuality.
Leaving the Carpathian mountains for Florence, Wanda makes Severin dress and act like a common servant, forcing him to sleep in disgusting quarters and keeping him isolated from her company unless needed to serve some whim or another. These changes make Severin feel the palpable reality of his desires. They are a reality that he was in no way prepared for; while he loathes his detestable new position, he finds himself unable to resist, and to keep from requesting new humiliations. At times Wanda offers to put an end to their game, because she still has feelings of affection toward him, but those feelings fade as her mantle of power gives her free rein to use Severin for her increasingly twisted device. In Florence, Wanda recruits a trio of African women to dominate him.
"To be the slave of a woman, a beautiful woman, whom I love, whom I worship - !"
"And who mistreats you for it," Wanda broke in, laughing.
"Yes, who ties me up and whips me, who kicks me when she belong to another man."
The relationship arrives at a crisis when Wanda herself meets a man to whom she would like to submit, a Byronic hero known as Alexis Papadopolis. At the end of the book, Severin, humiliated by Wanda's new lover, loses the desire to submit.
Sacher-Masoch makes it absolutely clear that Severin’s life has no apparent shape or meaning unless he is able to express his desire for a commanding, withholding woman. The electrical charge that Severin feels when he kneels at a woman’s feet, sensing her anger and the bristling of the furs she wears, gives him his identity; a presence to be trampled on.
Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch drew from his own masochistic experience with Baroness Fanny Von Pistor. He agreed to be her slave, and renounce all claim on his own life; she could even kill him if she wished, and this is reflected in Venus in Furs. The "contract" gives Wanda, or "Mistress" free rein to make Severin suffer in a variety of ways; whipping him regularly, kicking him around, starving him, torturing him emotionally. And Severin is in his element. In fact, he begs her to punish him "I want to be your dog". As long as she wears her furs whilst doing it, he is happy and fulfilled.
I enjoyed Venus in Furs. I had to keep reminding myself that it was written in 1869. Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch’s prose style is relaxed and he deals with intense needs and desires in an impersonal, matter of fact manner. Submission was Sacher-Masoch’s own fetish and he voices startlingly modern sentiments. It is a passionate and powerful portrayal of one man's struggle to enlighten and instruct himself, and others in the realm of desire.
As writers of erotica I think that there is a lot we can learn from Sacher-Masoch. He places the darker side of desire unequivocally at the heart of any discussion about sadomasochism. In writing about his own fetish he is stating his position quite clearly. This is what I am; get used to it!
He manages to convey an erotic experience, an erotic journey without a single prick, cock, cum, pussy, cunt, fanny, erection or genitalia. He has a unique sense of imagery; he writes in a visual way which has made the book accessible to stage and film adaptations.
So should I take Sacher-Masoch’s book as literature or as psychology --or as erotica? It doesn’t matter; there’s no question that this book, has left a distinct mark on my own imagination. Highly recommended!
'Venus in Furs' arrived at my home, delivered by mail. A gift from my dear, sweet friend Jan Vander Laenen! Thank you Jan!
Friday, 20 January 2017
Do relationships suck too?
Just in time for Valentines’ Day, I am returning with the long-awaited sequel to my novel MONOGAMY SUCKS entitled RELATIONSHIPS SUCK which poses this provocative question.
My novel RELATIONSHIPS SUCK, which is available on Amazon and Smashwords, continues MONOGAMY SUCKS’ protagonist Jake Dalmas’ naughty and hilarious swinging and casual sex adventures while also depicting his issues and frustrations with relationships, particularly open relationships.
Jake is not alone. Recent surveys and studies indicate that all is not well with the world of relationships. A recent study presented at the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention found that being single could be more fulfilling, due to greater personal growth and development.
A recent Pew Research Center study about the state of romance in America indicated that “most young singles in America do not describe themselves as actively looking for romantic partners. Even those who are seeking relationships are not dating frequently. About half (49%) had been on no more than one date in the previous three months.”
So many struggle with relationships and yet we keep looking for happiness just as Jake does. Even with an open relationship, Jake encounters the same difficulties. I believe this book is funny and intriguing like my first novel, MONOGAMY SUCKS, and even sexier and naughtier in parts. RELATIONSHIPS SUCK moves Jake’s story forward in cool and sexy ways.
Juliette, Jake’s sexy Asian artist girlfriend, returns for the sequel, as do a couple of other nefarious characters from the first novel. The sequel introduces a new character named Simone, a beautiful African American art gallery manager and a friend of Juliette.
Jake, Juliette, and Simone explore some scintillating erotic intercolor encounters together that are among the novel’s naughtiest scenes and some of the hottest and sexiest writing I have ever done. I am looking forward to the response from readers.
As Jake finally begins to discover the tantalizing adventures of his wild fantasies – threesomes, orgies, wild couplings with beautiful, uninhibited exotic sexy women of every size, shape, and background – he continues to question whether he should be in a relationship at all.
Can his open love with Juliette survive the temptations of the swinging world?
Will jealousy and possessiveness break their daring bond?
This next chapter of Jake’s naughty diary promises the frank humor and naughty swinging adventure that characterized the original novel, but also provides a clear-eyed view of swinging lifestyle and relationships and the limits of each for him.
I am very happy with how my sequel to MONOGAMY SUCKS has turned out. I have recaptured Jake’s sardonic, humorous voice from the original novel while also showing how he has grown as a person through his experiences. It has been a long journey as I started this book seven years ago before my former publisher originally launched MONOGAMY SUCKS.
I am thankful for the help I received from fellow author Billierosie, known as @jojojojude on Twitter, who gave my novel one final copy edit.
Many thanks also to book cover artist Dancinee Jennings who worked with me to put together this book’s cover as well. She also helped me previously with the cover for my indie version of MONOGAMY SUCKS.
What’s next for me?
Soon I will be working on a science fiction novella based on a short story I wrote when he was 18, and later this year, I will republish my novel DEAR HEF, which explores online dating and sex and has a provocative celebrity angle, on Amazon and Smashwords.
Until then, I am thrilled to share the return of Jake’s naughty diary and hilarious journey.
Dear reader, I am looking forward to your response as always.
Saturday, 7 January 2017
TOPPING FROM BELOW, by Laura Reese, is not for the fainthearted. I started reading it with trepidation; the book at arms’ length. I had a good idea where it was going -- and I didn’t know if I’d be able to handle it. I’d written a feature for my blog, on bestiality in literature. Why was it so taboo; it’s in classical art and literature, so why are editors and publishers so fearful of going anywhere near it?
So there I was, with the real thing in my hand -- and I was scared. I’d been quite brave in my essay -- at least, I thought I had. I’d had a lot of intelligent response; one in particular from Neve Black, who’d recommended TOPPING FROM BELOW to me. What was there to be afraid of?
I knew the book contained the real act: yes, bestiality. Neve had told me. So with chilly uncertainty nipping at my fingertips, I opened the book and started to read.
I’m tempted to describe this book as a ‘decline and fall,’ story. But it isn’t really that, because there is no fall. There’s no retribution, because the narrator doesn’t recognise that she’s done anything wrong. No sin has been committed. By the end of the book, she understands that something has been drawn out of her; something that should have remained hidden.
Nora knows who killed her sister, Franny. She knows without a doubt. The culprit has been questioned, but no charges have been made.
Nora is determined to prove his guilt and have him brought to justice; it is how she goes about this that elevates TOPPING FROM BELOW, from dark pornography, to a powerful, beautifully crafted story.
Nora’s suspect is a charismatic sadomasochist. Franny, her murdered sister, had fallen under his spell and Nora sets about taking Franny’s place. She learns of Franny’s degradation and humiliation and learns how Franny embraced one perversion after another, just to please the man she believed loved her. The difference between the two sisters, is that Franny’s actions filled her with self loathing. Nora accepts each perversion as a new way of life.
In her closing chapter, Nora, the narrator, tells us;
“M awakened in me passions I didn’t know existed…”
But she is reconciled within herself. Nora continues;
“A year ago I would’ve said there was a clear line separating the good from the evil. I would’ve said that evilness belonged in the netherworld and that evil men existed beyond the peripheries of decency. Now I’m not so sure. I believe that there is a dark side that belongs to us all, lying beneath the surface of our humanity, twisted extreme and savage in some of us, less severe in others, but always present and always at struggle with the civilised soul…”
There are dark places in our hearts; those secret doors that are best left closed.
I’m glad I read Laura Reese’s book and I am so glad that Neve Black recommended it to me. As I said TOPPING FROM BELOW, isn’t for the fainthearted. It’s challenging and confrontational -- but it’s also a damn good story I definitely recommend it, and I shall certainly be reading it again. When Neve first told me about Laura Reese’ book it was out of print, but I was lucky enough to get it via a private seller. Thankfully, it is now back in print.
Published in 1995, TOPPING FROM BELOW is available at Amazon UK and Amazon US in hard copy and as a Kindle e-read.