Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Congratulations and Merry Christmas to Tracy Manderson, who won the grand prize in our Twelve Books of Christmas blog hop. Along with the box of munchies from Swiss Colony offered by contest instigator Tory Richards, Tracy gets a book from each of the twelve authors who participated.

My book prize was PUNISHMENT AND MERCY. In case you haven't read it yet, here's the blurb:

by Cris Anson
Widowed Mercy Walcott is too wanton for the repressive Massachusetts Bay Colony of 1694, so when she gets flogged in the village square for sexual congress outside matrimony, her father forces her to marry the blacksmith, Seth Burroughs. Strong, virile, dominant and insatiable, Seth tames her. Up to a point.

The young acolyte, Adam Putnam, falls hard for the delectable beauty he’s forced to subdue while the Reverend doles out her punishment. Watching her bare ass getting redder and her delectable thighs wetter, he experiences his first orgasm under his churchly robes—in full view of the citizenry.

Mercy remembers the feel of him as she squirmed away from the whip and against his sinewy body. She inveigles Seth to indenture him as an apprentice. Adam is torn between his carnal desire for the woman he’s coming to love and his innate scruples. How can he withstand temptation when Seth encourages his wife to make love to Adam? And how can Adam look his friend in the eye after he does?
* ~ *

And don't forget, the sequel to PUNISHMENT AND MERCY is coming soon. Look for MERCY AND REDEMPTION from Ellora's Cave on January 9.

For all my readers, I wish you a peaceful, joyous and wonderful Christmas season. When all the gifts are unwrapped, toys played with and discarded, food eaten and drinks consumed, remember the real meaning of Christmas.

Figures and stable hand-painted by my sister. Photo by Cris Anson

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Thanks so much to Cris for having me today!  My fellow Ellora’s Cave authors have been really supportive and enthusiastic about my latest release, Bound with Pearls. I swear, we have the best team!

Bound with Pearls started with a simple idea, let’s explore the Dominance and submissive dynamic. I’ll admit, I’ve always been a sucker for a really, super alpha hero. Stepping into the BDSM arena, my ideal Dominant embodies those ideas. Disciplined, creative, strong, demanding, the list goes on, but at the core, you’re dealing with another human being.
The power dynamic is  as unique as your finger print. It’s different for each person, every couple. There are people who want a strict relationship where every part of their life is followed to the rule, and then there are those who just want it in the bedroom, and it’s all D/s.
In Bound with Pearls I wanted to write a couple establishing their dynamic. Both the hero, Daniel, and heroine, Christine, aren’t strangers to the D/s dynamic. They’ve met, they’ve played together at a club, but what does power exchange look like to them in the daily life?
Daniel’s something of a control freak, but in the nicest way possible. The question I had to answer as I wrote was: How would a heroine as strong and independent as Christine react to their new relationship?

Relationships rooted in BDSM fail outside of the kink scene all the time because though a person’s desires might match up, their lifestyles might not. As in Bound with Pearls, many people will have BDSM scenes, or play, together before they hang out or spend time with each other. Ideally they will spend time together before their scenes in the club or at another private location, but that’s not always the case.
That was the uncertainty I started with when I sat down to write Bound with Pearls.
Would these two strangers be able to click beyond attraction to something more?
I’ve all ready mentioned that I’m a big fan of the Dominance and submission aspect of BDSM. What’s yours?
It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life.  She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.
Bound with Pearls, purchase from Ellora’s Cave or Amazon today!
The last thing Christine wants to do is another favor for her sister, but Lucy always gets what she wants. This time it’s Chris playing sub to a demanding Dom. Their relationship begins with a power exchange and progresses to time spent between the sheets. Now emotions are getting complicated and the Dom isn’t just a hunky guy in black.
Daniel’s expectations are turned upside down when he meets Chris. She’s more than a well-trained submissive. She’s a woman with a body he wants to memorize. He’s willing to spend as much time as it takes to learn her, because she might be his match and his muse. He’ll make her come so hard he’s imprinted on every inch, and then he’ll offer her the most precious thing he can, himself.
Christine’s mouth closed with a snap. Her jaw hurt from clenching. Her hands ached from gripping her wrists. Blinking rapidly, she looked at the Dom’s broad back. He was getting ready to leave.
She’d failed, completely blown it, and he was right. Her attitude sucked. This wasn’t like her. She’d hit a low point and didn’t know how to dig herself out of this one.
Pinpricks of pain stabbing the backs of her eyes heralded tears. Screwing things up seemed to be her specialty today, from the reports at work to forgetting her entry fee for the charity race, and now it was going to cost her. Lucy wouldn’t give her the pearls when she found out the Dom had left, rightfully disgusted with her.
The muscles in her chest constricted until she was panting for breath. Her vision blurred with tears she had to dash away.
“Wait,” she said, her voice sounding strained and too high to her own ears.
The Dom glanced over his shoulder, unmoved. It shouldn’t get her off, but the idea of a man with such control was a turn-on. She’d been ready for someone big and scary or maybe on the scrawny side with a penchant for pain. Finding him a fairly normal guy unsettled her.
Fairly normal was an understatement. Sure, most women might not notice him. He had nondescript brown hair and his features were handsome enough. It was something else about him that drew her.
“Why should I?”
She took a deep breath to calm herself. “You’re right. My attitude sucks.” Another deep breath. She couldn’t think of a good reason to give him, except the truth. Her shoulders slumped. She hated airing the dirty laundry between Lucy and her. Sisters should be close, they should have a bond. All she and Lucy shared was a last name and some DNA.
“I’m not involved with Nate. Lucy’s my sister and she—she’s afraid of you, so she probably whined to Nathan until he suggested trading me for her.” She could feel her cheeks burning. “I wasn’t going to do it. I-I don’t know you, I’m not entirely comfortable with this, and Lucy knew that. When I said no, and I meant it, she—”
Her throat constricted around her words, cutting them off. Squeezing her eyes shut, she balled her hands into fists and let the wave of emotion wash over her. She was angry and upset, hurt that her sister cared so little, but it was no different than any other time Lucy had conned her. The only person she could blame for this situation was herself. She drew in another slow, deep breath. “She told me if I’d come here, she’d give me our mother’s pearls. She’s dead, and they’re one of the only things we have left of hers.”
Her gaze locked on the floor. She knew she should stop talking. This man was as disgusted with her as she was, but her mouth kept working. “I loved them. I wore them to prom and graduation. I’d borrowed them for luck every now and then. Lucy never wanted them. They didn’t sparkle enough, they weren’t flashy. But when I wore them to her funeral, Lucy started yelling and crying about how I got everything. I gave them to her to shut her up and I’ve never seen them since.”
She hiccupped around her words. No doubt her face was red and splotchy. She didn’t cry delicately. No, when Christine cried her nose turned red, her eyes got big and puffy and she turned into a fountain. She hated crying and dumping ugly family business on a stranger. She couldn’t wait for him to leave. She could curl up on the bed, cry herself out and slink home where she could camp out on the couch with a pint of ice cream.
Hands gripped her shoulders from behind. Her stomach dropped right before the ground disappeared from under her. The Dom picked her up effortlessly.
“What are you doing?” She gripped his shoulders, expecting to land on her ass any second.
He crossed to the chaise and sat down with her cradled in his lap. She tried to slip onto the bench, but his hand clamped on her thigh. It was natural to obey the unspoken command. This close she could see the deep blue of his eyes, the strength of his jaw and feel the power of him. There was no doubt under the black t-shirt and jeans he was every bit as strong as he looked.
“What are—?”
“I’m the one who gets to ask the questions here.” His voice was stern, but unlike his reprimand from before there was a warm quality.
She relaxed against the curved arm of the chaise, comforted by his commanding nature. Let someone else call the shots for now, she was too tired of it all.
“Here.” He handed her tissues from an unknown source and she snatched them up.
Bowing her head to let her curls fall over her face was as much privacy as she could get to clean herself up. The Dom didn’t touch her except where their bodies nestled together, which was one small relief.
She hated crying, but she was better for getting it out. It felt good to be honest, even if the recipient of her words didn’t care what she said.
Tossing her head back, Christine met his gaze. Her breathing was shaky and her eyes and nose raw.
“Feel better?” His voice was the deep, rumbling kind that spoke directly to her pussy. The whole situation would have been easier to write off as one huge mistake if he hadn’t been attractive. Now it was salt to a wound.
She nodded.
He quirked a brow and her blush became more intense.
“Yes Sir,” she mumbled. How could she already be blushing on command for the man?
“You agreed to take your sister’s place because she has something of sentimental value you want, correct?” He looped his arms around her waist, settling his hands at her hip and thigh.
“Yes Sir.”
“I’m going to be frank with you. Would you prefer I wasn’t?”
“No Sir. I’d prefer the truth.” She braced herself for a pat on the head and a goodbye.
“I don’t care for your sister. She’s spoiled. I was, and still am, a little apprehensive you’re too much like her—”
“I’m nothing like my sister.” Memories of cold Thanksgiving meals and waiting for Lucy to show up at Christmas with their father stabbed her. All the times when Lucy should have been there but never was. Their father made excuse after excuse for her—she was busy, being young and carefree. Christine knew better.
The Dom quirked a brow at her again. Her blush felt as bad as a sunburn, stretching across her cheeks, down her neck and gripping her chest.
“Sorry, Sir.” The urge to lean into him and kiss his jaw in supplication was strong.
“I don’t think you’re sorry about that admission.”
She shook her head. “No Sir, I’m sorry for interrupting you.”
“That, I believe.” The hand at her hip swept down to her knee, treating her to the first sensual skin-to-skin contact.
“Sir?” Christine bit her lip and focused on the collar of his shirt.
“I don’t know your name. I just—”
He squeezed her thigh and she shut her mouth. Another unspoken command she read perfectly.
“Daniel,” he growled. “Christ, she didn’t even tell you?”
She shook her head, curls sweeping over her shoulders. His anger didn’t scare her, though she would be lying to herself if she said some part of her wasn’t pleased someone recognized her sister for who she truly was.
Daniel. Dom, Master, Sir Daniel. It fit him—understated and powerful.
He swept her hair over her shoulder and pressed a kiss to her neck, not quite in the sweet spot, but close enough to make her shiver.
He wound a stubborn curl around his finger and leaned back against the cushions, pulling her against him. She wasn’t accustomed to being handled, but in comparison to him she was small, which didn’t happen often.
“So how did your sister and you get involved in the scene?” The hand at her knee stroked up her thigh and back down, distracting her from his question.
She had to marvel at how well he managed her. She probably wasn’t what he’d expected, and still he pulled pertinent information from her. Something about him put her at ease, which, considering his size and what she wanted him to do to her, was a questionable assessment.
“Um, I had a boyfriend in college who, who liked to tie me up. It was fun.” She lifted a shoulder. “After we broke up I did some research and decided I would try to meet someone new who could—could teach me.”
“How does your sister fit in?”
She wrinkled her nose, wishing he would drop that particular line of conversation. She looked down at his tanned arm. The muscles and veins she could trace with her fingers made such a stark contrast to her pale skin.
“Lucy has always done what I do. Same schools, degrees, even where I used to work. She has to do what I did and try to do it better. When she found out I was into BDSM, she got into it.”
“Did you mentor her?”
Her gaze leveled with his. “Have you met my sister? She showed up one night in a slutty cocktail dress, whined her way through the orientation meeting and attached herself to my Dom.”
“What did he do?”
“Brandon and I were not in an emotional relationship, so he was free to do whatever he wanted. He tried to help her for about a week before he washed his hands of her.” It had been one small victory following many losses. “Lucy attached herself to someone new, and here she is today.”
Nodding, he continued to stroke her leg, his fingers edging higher, disappearing below the hemline of the romper.
“So what happened to you? I’ve never seen you here before.”
She took a deep breath and fought the urge to open her legs and push his hand against her pussy. Any man could be attractive but it took a special man to dominate a woman with a look.
“I’ve been busy between work and our father, and it hasn’t been worth it to compete with her here. I know how people look at me when they know I’m her sister.”
“Are you seeing someone?” His question was casual but his hold on her knee was not.
“Of course not. I wouldn’t be here if I was.”
His hand continued its lazy caress of her leg. Her stomach fluttered. How could she be embarrassed and turned-on at the same time?
“Relax,” he said, jostling her with his legs.
“I’m heavy—”
“What did you say?”
“Uh, that—that I was—um,” she continued to sputter, her mind going blank.
He sighed, his hand rubbing against her knee in a circle. “I’m going to have to punish you for that. I’ve been generous, but I’m not your therapist. Stand up, take off your—” He pinched the hem of the romper. “Take this off and lie over my lap.”
Heat flooded her body, emanating from her pussy. She loved her figure, but baring all in front of a man she’d met fifteen minutes ago wasn’t normal for her. But he wasn’t sending her away. She’d willingly take whatever punishment he wanted to give her.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Author Tory Richards came up with a cool idea for a Christmas contest –twelve authors offering one of their books as a prize, plus a grand prize of a gift box of yummy munchies from Swiss Colony. Look for this graphic on each blog.

For my part, I’m offering a free download of PUNISHMENT AND MERCY to one commenter, because the sequel, MERCY AND REDEMPTION, is coming out on January 9 from Ellora’s Cave and I want to highlight this series. But they don’t have to be read in any particular order to enjoy both books J

How to enter? It’s simple. Between December 17 and December 21 (Monday through Friday), visit each of the 12 participating authors and answer one question pertaining to Christmas that each author will have on her blog that contains the Twelve Books for Christmas graphic. Here are the other authors and their blog sites:

My question is:

What ornament on your Christmas tree brings you the happiest memories? Feel free to tell us the memory as well as the ornament.

Mom's crocheted ornaments
  My favorite ornaments were handmade by my Mom. She’d sit out on the front porch in good weather (or in the parlor otherwise) with her crocheting or needlepointing until only a few years before she died in her 90s. She fashioned snowflakes, stars, Santa and Mrs. Claus, gingerbread kids, candy canes and other eye-catching designs.

Mom's needlepoint ornaments

She also created one-of-a-kind cottages, complete with reindeer and Santa’s sleigh on the roof, to make a village under the tree.
Mom's crocheted angels
Mom's needlepointed cottage with reindeer

Swiss Colony goodies
Before I get too wrapped up in my memories, here's the Swiss Colony part of the grand prize. Don't forget to visit all the authors for your chance to win! The winner will be announced on December 22.

Have fun blog-surfing, and have a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Ellora's Cave has totally revamped its website, making it easier than ever to navigate. And totally sexy *grin*. (Sorry, I'm not computer-savvy enough to link up the graphic with the url, so click on the underlined words to get there).

Not only that, but they have a smokin' hot contest to celebrate their new look -- a great grand prize for a great site.

Also new is a ginormous search engine. Know the name (or most of it) of a book but not the author? Type in the word or words you know and you'll find it. For example, I typed in "Redemption", part of the name of my latest book, Mercy and Redemption, to be released January 9, and I found it in the list of titles that included the word redemption. If you knew it wasn't released yet, you could also sort it by relevance, i.e., there's a "coming soon" option.

Mercy and Redemption by Cris Anson, coming January 9, 2013
As it says on the site, if you want "an erotic romance suspense book that's on sale featuring a male-male interracial couple set in the future with medieval overtones", you can find it with just a few keystrokes.

So if you're looking for a great book to read, no matter the genre, it's easier than ever to find something that will tickle your fancy. Try Ellora's Cave's new website and see!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Support the Troops: Operation Paperback

Writers love to read. Moreover, we have to read. We read to see what genres and tropes are selling, we read to evaluate our peers (i.e., our competition), we read to absorb how others write with emotion, brevity, impact, style. We subconsciously dissect structure, plot, point of view and other tools. Only rarely can we afford to read solely for pleasure.

The result of all this reading? Books and more books, in every nook and cranny of our homes. Sure, we avail ourselves of the local lending library and are more and more often buying digital editions, but we also buy tons of print books. What to do with all those books once we’ve read and digested them?

A while ago my friend Tara Nina, whose son serves in the U.S. Armed Forces, steered me to Operation Paperback and I’m always happy to mention it to other folks.

As a result of some boxes returned to me this week as undeliverable (more on that later), I’ve learned new things about shipping to the troops. Information below came either from the U.S. Postal Service or Wikipedia.

Military Post Offices (MPOs) operated or supported by the Army or Air Force use the city abbreviation APO (Army Post Office or Air Force Post Office), while Navy and Marine Corps use the city abbreviation FPO (Fleet Post Office).

Diplomatic Post Office (DPO) was added as a valid overseas address in 2009. As of March 2009 there were sixteen U.S. embassy locations known as DPOs. The other approximately ninety overseas U.S. embassy post offices fall under the management oversight of the Services and so are known as either APOs or FPOs. However, many will be switching to the DPO address.

Three "state" codes have been assigned depending on the geographic location of the military mail recipient:

* AE (ZIPs 09xxx) for Armed Forces Europe which includes Canada, Middle East, and Africa
* AP (ZIPs 962xx - 966xx) for Armed Forces Pacific
* AA (ZIPs 340xx) for Armed Forces (Central and South) Americas

All mail must be addressed to someone specific; addressing mail to “Any Service Member” is no longer permitted.

Military mail between the U.S. and overseas locations is subject to customs inspection in the country of destination, and customs declarations must be attached to packages and larger mail pieces.

For APO/FPO/DPO shipments you pay domestic prices, even though items are shipped internationally. If you pack only books, you can send them at lower cost via “Media Mail” rather than “Priority Mail”.
Ready for Operation paperback
A 12”x10”x8” Ready Post box will hold 25 to 28 books; 12”x12”x6” Priority Mail boxes fit about 20-24.

Now for my tale of woe.

Having received a name and address from Operation Paperback, last week I shipped four boxes of paperback books to a DPO AE address, carefully following all directions and double-checking my printing. Two boxes were returned within 3 days marked “undeliverable.” A couple of days later I received an email from my addressee thanking me for the receipt of ONE box. Two days after that, the fourth box was returned to me, lighter by half and rewrapped with lots of see-through tape.

Turns out that the box was damaged and hastily repacked with
(a) 11 out of the 25 books;
(b) 2 small ceramic frogs that had apparently been involved in the collision and scooped up inadvertently;
(c) a wad of brown kraft paper to fill the spaces formerly occupied by books;
(d)  a form letter of apology from the Atlanta Mail Recovery Center. I will contact them to see if there’s a snowball’s chance in Hades that the 14 missing books will be recovered.

I don’t mean to bash the Postal Service; they do a fantastic job in the face of budget deficits and competition not only from private carriers but instant electronic communication. And my local carrier, Eileen, is wonderful. But it seems to me that maybe not everyone in the U.S.P.S. knows about DPO and they didn’t know how to route it.

My local postmaster suggested putting my return address inside the box as well as on the label. Unless he meant “affix it to each item inside”, I’m not sure that would have helped in this instance.

I will continue sending books as I accumulate them. I also take home any unopened shampoo and soap packets from hotel stays and, along with travel-size grooming items I add to my grocery list every now and again, to ship them as well. Small toiletry items are as much appreciated by the troops as reading material is.

If you support our troops overseas, thank you. Please share your stories here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What I'm Thankful For...

 My health, most of all. Having buried two husbands too soon (one from colon cancer, the other from emphysema), I’m all too aware of the fragility of life. I’m thankful that I have the health and strength to participate in Zumba and Silver Sneakers classes, to walk along the riverbank or in the woods, to ride a bicycle, to dance like no one’s watching.

I’m thankful my sister survived the fire that inflicted first-degree burns over her face, neck and chest and incinerated her shoulder-length hair. (She looks better in a short ‘do anyway.) Twenty-one days in intensive care, more than a year of physical and occupational therapy, five separate skin-graft operations and a laser cut on her throat have returned 60 percent mobility to her head and neck and a smile to her face. Her role model? DWTS winner J.R. Martinez.

I’m thankful for my brothers, who, while on opposite ends of the “different” spectrum, both play a vital part in my life. I’m grateful that my parents had long and fruitful lives before they died in their nineties.

Friends, both in day-to-day life and online, those I meet once a year at conferences and those too far to meet in person, sustain me more than I can say. Neighbors who come together during emergencies and help each other, who shovel my snow in winter and share their excess zucchini and lettuce in summer, are priceless.

I thank the United States Armed Forces who protect us, guard all our precious freedoms and sometimes give their lives for us, and preserve the power of the vote, no matter who your candidate is. This is a right that too many nations deny their citizens.

My publisher, Ellora’s Cave, my wonderful editor, Jilly, and the inimitable Cavemen, who not only are delicious eye candy but as nice as anyone you’d ever meet. Thank you to my readers, who buy my books, who comment on my blogs, who share my enjoyment of life and fun and dancing during conferences. Thank you to other authors, who give me hours of reading enjoyment.
Forest photo by Cris Anson

Warm sunshine, snow-capped mountains, tall shade trees, clumps of wildflowers with their attendant bees gathering honey, babbling brooks, the smell of the ocean, red caverns and striated cliffs in Canyon country, exploring forgotten byways to see the delightful surprises around the next turn. I appreciate Fresh Jersey corn and ripe peaches and the farmers who still grow crops that sustain us. Cold milk and warm cookies, Moonstruck chocolate truffles, Maine lobster roll or home-made vegetable beef soup with freshly baked bread. Hot mulled cider after a romp in the snow or fresh lemonade after a day pulling weeds.

I’m thankful for classical music to soothe the soul, whether the intricate perfection of a Mozart sonata or the uplifting strains of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. The beat of a Sousa March or a Joplin Rag, the sonority of Domingo singing an aria from Turandot, the hippie wail of another Joplin, Janis by name. Or the Boss who was Born in the U.S.A.

Peony photo by Cris Anson

Oh, and did I mention flowers? My garden, both the perennials that appear every year and the ones I plant every spring, delight the eye, the nose and the soul.

May you have a Thanksgiving full of love and peace and good food.

What are you most thankful for?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

BDSM Therapist & Sexpert Talks about Work & Romance

My guest today, Dr. Charley Ferrer, is a Clinical Sexologist, Educator and TV/Radio Host and Producer known as “the Latina Dr. Ruth”. Her first book won the Literary Hall of Fame Award for Best Self-help Book 2002 and since then she’s written eight more books on sexuality and relationships.

First I’d love to say thank you for having me on your blog. I enjoyed meeting you during my 3-day BDSM for Writers Workshop in New York City in August. I’m so pleased the workshop and the experience at Paddles was a memorable one. I hope other writers join us for next year’s workshop.  I’m also conducting a few workshops for readers and anyone interested in learning more about Dominance and submission.

As you know, I’m very open about myself and my participation in the D/s community. I love to help educate others and help men and women feel comfortable with whatever sensual and/or sexual connections they make.

I’m often asked how I found the BDSM lifestyle and whether or not I actually “practice what I preach” so to speak. The answer is, yes I do.  If you’ve read my books, BDSM for Writers or BDSM The Naked Truth, you will know that I “outted” myself in an attempt to help others accept themselves and bring factual education to the medical and clinical community as well as law enforcement agencies concerning the truths about Dominance and submission.  It was never my intent to out myself since there’s still so much prejudice and misconceptions in the world regarding D/s. And let’s face it, I have to make a living as well so coming out was a huge consideration. Yet, I hoped that by coming out I would encourage others to do the same and help further normalize the community. I’m still not sure if I should have, but then, as the adage goes, the cat’s out of the bag now. 

How has coming out affected your private practice, your professional life, and your relationships?

Well as you can imagine, coming out as a D/s practitioner has been a toss-up between good and bad effects. I’ve lost several friends and business associates as well as work contracts when individuals found out. Not everyone is ready for a BDSM therapist or college professor in their midst. I even had a colleague tell me I was doing harm to my patients because I approved of their D/s lifestyle. My only response to her was, “why should I judge my patients and their desires? That’s not my job. As a therapist, I’m there to help them find new avenues to improve their life, and if that means help them to accept their BDSM desires then I’d be glad to. Sometimes I’m the only one they can turn to who will accept them for who they are not what “I” want them to be.

As for my private practice, that’s actually increased, and over 70% of my clients/patients are seen via phone & Internet consultations as many are outside the NYC area.

Relationship-wise, well that’s always a hard one. Many want to know what I do with my partner and specific activities I perform. Tsk tsk…such voyeurs. *chuckles* I look at it this way, I don’t ask about your bedroom activities, you shouldn’t ask about mine. Unfortunately, dating is a bit hard at times since my partner is outted by association. 

What makes your BDSM books different from any others?
Well to start with, my books are non-fiction. Unlike most books on BDSM and the D/s lifestyle, mine aren’t focused on the “how-to” but on the emotional and psychological connections individuals make when engaged in these activities as well as the respect and love many share when embracing the BDSM lifestyle. That’s not to say that there isn’t information on how to “train a slave”, merely that that’s only one aspect of my book.

What’s it like to be a practicing Domme in a vanilla world?
This question makes it sound like I’m a Dominatrix, which I’m not. A Dominatrix is someone who engages in BDSM and power exchange activities for money. I do it because I’m a Dominant woman and that is the role I take in my intimate relationships. This doesn’t mean the men I’m with are weak or aren’t dominant in their own right, it just means that I’m the boss. Most of the men I date are military or in demanding jobs. The difference is when they walk through the door, they surrender to me. Imagine how beautiful it is to have all that manly essence at your fingertips.

Do you believe power exchange relationships are healthy?
Absolutely! In fact, we experience power exchange relationships in various degrees from the day we’re born and continue them in varying degrees till the day we die. Here are a few examples:  parent – child; boss – employee; leader – follower.  Who said power exchange relationships had to be sexual?  In fact, most of them aren’t.  It is merely one person being in-service to another, helping make their life better. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?

How do you plan to continue your educative efforts of BDSM?
Starting January 2013, I will be conducting workshops on BDSM in various states not only for writers but for the general community as well.  Some of the workshops will include trips to local BDSM clubs, providing writers and readers with the opportunity to go on a “field trip” as it were with me—someone knowledgeable and safe. It will be a night to write about.  Please review my website www.bdsmforwriters.com or www.bdsmthenakedtruth.com for more information. Or email me directly at doctorcharley@bdsmthenakedtruth.com. 

As always, it was wonderful sharing with you and I look forward to seeing you on one of my future “field trips”. 

Live with passion,

Doctor Charley…

Note from Cris Anson: The cover for BDSM The Naked Truth posted here is brand-new. So if you click on the Amazon buy link and see a different cover, it's just that Amazon hasn't gotten around to changing it yet.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Life Among Predators - Part II

I’m happy to host Dr. Matthew Scrivens for a return visit. Dr. Scrivens has a Masters Degree in Psychology and a DD in Religion. Last week he talked about his personal experience in treating teenage male sexual offenders, especially a singular predator-to-be. Today he delves more deeply into their criminal minds. 

Let’s just be clear. BDSM and fetishes are not criminal behaviors nor do they—unto themselves—represent any type of pathology. That said, there are two sides to every coin.

Take a term like sadism. In psychiatry, sadism is defined as a person who takes gratification, sexual or otherwise, in causing pain or degradation to others. A friend of mine self-identifies as a sadist. She is not however, a predator. Let me give you a recent example. My friend and I were attending a demonstration of fire play at a local BDSM club. After the demo, we went outside and discovered that her car had been towed. As you can imagine, she was very upset and angry. Jokingly, I said, “I know you’re upset, why don’t you go back in the club and take it out on one of those subs.”

“I never play when I’m angry.”

You see, she understands boundaries and safety. She knows herself well enough to know that she could go too far and hurt someone if she is too emotional.

As another Dom said, “If you break your toys, you can’t play with them any more.”

My friend engages in her sadism in a healthy and consensual manner. A pathological sadist would have gone back in that club and vented their frustration on someone. A villain would be a pathological sadist, someone whose needs are paramount and lacking in consideration for their playmate.

In my line of work, I dealt with a lot of pathological people—human predators, people that seemed devoid of all compassion and empathy. A few were as close to evil without being the Devil himself.

If there is a devil, I’m positive that he or she is gorgeous, charismatic, and sexy because no one with horns, hooves, and claws is going to successfully seduce me down the road to rack and ruin. However, put a sexy, beautiful man in front of me and I probably won’t be thinking with my rational brain.

This principle is particularly effective when it comes to villains. Very little can be as deadly or as effective as beauty to lead someone to their doom. Do you recall the famous last line of the classic monster movie, King Kong? As the beast lay dead on the pavement, a reporter says, “Oh no. It wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”

Beauty has delivered many a person into catastrophe. One has only to look at the iconic femme fatale in Film Noir—from Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity, Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven, and Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice, to Kathleen Turner in Body Heat, Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, and Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, to name just a few—beautiful women using seduction to lead men into danger, mayhem, and murder.  Yes, an attractive villain can get much further along than one that looks scary.

A good real-life example of deadly beauty was Ted Bundy. He was both charismatic and handsome. He feigned weakness by wearing a fake arm cast. This engendered sympathy and a false sense of security in his potential victims. If he’d looked like a crazy, homeless person, I’m willing to bet that the majority of his victims wouldn’t have been so willing to engage with him.

In my novel Sole Survivor, the serial killer Todd Eldin sees his muscled body as a lethal weapon for seducing and killing. Ironically, I’ve had several readers confide that they were extremely aroused by Todd. He stimulated feelings of both desire and repulsion.

Another attribute of an effective villain is confidence. Have you ever been so clear about the rightness of an action, that all the naysayers of the world could not convince you otherwise?

A common link between all the various perpetrators that I’ve worked with is their conviction that at the time of their crime, they felt justified in the actions they took. One has only to remember the relentless Inspector Javert in Les Miserables to see an example of this twisted conviction at work. There is no mercy or deliberation or contemplation; there’s only the fulfillment of the desire.

In other words, a lion doesn’t consider the impact on the herd when it kills and eats a gazelle. The lion knows what it desires and takes it. The shark does not worry about the feelings of the seal.   The spider doesn’t pity the fly. The same applies to the human predator and his/her victims. They want, so they take:

“The bitch had it coming.” “The fag looked at me.” “If she hadn’t opened the door, I wouldn’t have raped her.” “She said ‘no’ but she really wanted it.” “Nobody disrespects me.”

All the perpetrators I’ve dealt with have reported an absolute conviction in their actions, a single-minded focus. So, everything my villain, Todd Eldin, does directly supports his hedonistic and narcissistic endeavors. His belief, like many of the real-life predators, is based on a perceived innate, God-given right to enjoy the world and its inhabitants in whatsoever manner he desires—for he is superior.

Like most serial killers, Todd sees himself above and beyond society. Throughout the story, he manipulates, taunts, and kills with seeming impunity. An interesting question for the reader is, “Will Todd’s hubris be his ultimate undoing—like it is for most human predators?”

You see, within the inflated sense of entitlement and superiority lurk the seeds of self-destruction. The criminal gets lazy, from too much success (getting away with it) or over-confidence in his or her own abilities. They might begin to believe their own hype. Most common of all, they want credit/acclaim for their actions and reveal (brag) to others of their conquests. This can result in writing letters to the police or media, leaving clues, or just getting sloppy.

For those interested in a more in-depth exploration, in 2013 I’ll be releasing a book through JMS Books the working title of which is Inside the Criminal Mind: a writer’s guide to creating believable villains.

Also, take a look inside a serial killer’s mind in my gay erotic thriller Sole Survivor,  also published by JMS Books:

Two men want Adam Huntington. One wants to love him, the other wants to kill him.

Five years ago, Adam survived an attack by one of California’s most horrific serial killers. The experience scarred him, both inside and out. So to create a new life—one without the world-known moniker 'Adam, the Sole Survivor'—he moves to New York City, where he can be just another face in the crowd.

NYPD Detective Jake O'Malley takes the motto of “Serve and Protect” very seriously in all things, especially in matters of the heart. He’s had enough of cheating lovers and believes in monogamy, respect, and romance. His first date with Adam is a disaster. But when their paths cross ten months later, he asks for a second chance. Despite his large and physically imposing frame, Jake hopes Adam will come to trust and eventually love him.

Todd Eldin sees his muscled body as a finely honed tool, perfect for seducing and killing. When the police begin searching for the killer in a series of sexually sadistic murders, Todd successfully operates below the radar, until he spins a web to catch a more prominent prey—Adam, the one that got away.

Has Adam finally outrun his luck? Can anyone survive the horrors of being caged, beaten and tortured for a second time? Or will Adam be able to use what he learned in California to save himself and his lover? Who will survive this deadliest of love triangles?

~~ Dr. Matthew Scrivens

My deepest thanks to Matthew Scrivens for a chilling look into the mind of a serial killer. Imagine how horrible his villain will be when you read Sole Survivor!