Wednesday, February 27, 2013

At the Movies: Boobs vs. Cocks



Did you feel uncomfortable listening to that opening number at the Academy Awards on Sunday night? I’d never heard of emcee Seth MacFarlane before then, but he came across as a sexist, misogynist (is that redundant?) idiot when he and a bunch of grinning, dancing guys sang “We Saw Your Boobs”. As though the baring of female breasts in the named films was gratuitous and not an organic part of the evolving plot.

That unfunny farce made me want to write the Academy to suggest that next year they feature Boys and Their Butts. But I guess male butts are ho-hum these days. How about Males and Their Members. Or People and Their Penises. Right, like that will ever happen. Hollywood is run mostly by men.

I don’t spend a lot of time at the movies (I’d rather read)—although I did see Magic Mike twice—so I Googled “male nudity + movies”. Boy, were my eyes opened! List after list of lists itemizing which flicks showed male penises. And I’m not talking about porn movies. These were all mainstream flicks and I even recognized a number of the titles.

Many of the articles I read addressed individual flicks. Unfortunately, in every case when a photo was offered, the dangly bits in question were blurred; I don’t know if they were blurred out in the movies as well.

So if you’ve been as unenlightened as I was (and sheesh! I’m an erotic romance author!) about the caliber of movies today, the following movies were mentioned as some which display naked penises. The comments from various sites discussing their “Top Ten” choices are listed; I have no opinions since I didn’t see the movies.

One of the earliest (1980) was American Gigolo. Richard Gere was considered pretty brave as a male prostitute standing naked (in a long shot so you didn’t see much) while arguing how meaningful his job is.

Color of Night, Bruce Willis. Nighttime naked shenanigans with a woman where his manly bits bob around in a swimming pool, the scene was labeled extraneous to the plot.

Wild Things, Kevin Bacon. Just out of the shower, too far away to see much.

Borat, Sacha Baron Cohen. Apparently famous for the nude wrestling scene with a really fat guy.

Kinsey, Liam Neeson and Peter Saarsgard. Love scene between the two men but only *ahem* Peter gets screen time.

The Brown Bunny, Vincent Gallo. Also credit Chloë Sevigny on this one, as she provides “unsimulated” oral sex to Gallo in a car. One blogger actually called it porn.

Ben Stiller in There’s Something about Mary, famous for catching his testicles in his zipper. In closeup.

Two stars were singled out for a plethora of naked-penis-shot movies:

  • Ewan McGregor, playing a junkie who snapped off a condom in one of his movies. But it was only in silhouette. Does that count?
  • Harvey Keitel, who bared his all in no less than seven flicks.

Also mentioned were Alexander Skarsgård in True Blood and Jason Segal in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Thomas Jane in Hung. Jake Gyllenhaal in Love and Other Drugs. Michael Fassbender in everything. Apparently we can’t count Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights, because he supposedly used a prosthesis.

Topping it off, I found a number of lists naming dozens of films that feature male nudity just in 2012: Flight, Cloud Atlas, Anna Karenina, The Paperboy, The Dictator, and on and on. Okay, wow. Do I even dare admit how far behind the times I’ve been? Never mind live penises, the only male butts on the big screen that stayed in my memory:


  • The locker room after a football game in Any Given Sunday.
  • The crew of The Full Monty.
  • It’s Complicated, with Alec Baldwin bending over to pick up something in view of Meryl Streep’s boyfriend via a laptop’s webcam.
  • The pusher in Traffic who let Michael Douglas’ daughter pay for her drug buy with sexual favors.
And last year there was Magic Mike. *sigh*

So how about it, readers? Which is your favorite naked-male-sexual-parts scene in a movie? And the more pressing question, would you like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to satirize, er, glorify male appendages at next year’s Academy Awards?

--Cris Anson

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

BDSM: What Happens at Private Play Parties



Some readers of this blog know that last summer I took an intensive three-day BDSM for Writers Workshop and I’ve attended Paddles, a public BDSM club in New York City (see here and here for details). As a result of folks I met in the lifestyle, I recently attended two play parties, one in a high-rise-building apartment and one in the dungeon basement of a single-story home, both within a half hour’s drive from Penn Station in Manhattan.

Both began as any vanilla party: people greeted each other, updated their friends on travel, health, kids, etc., sat around with munchies and drinks. At both parties alcohol was available but seldom imbibed. These were Play parties, not drink-fests. I didn’t get to talk with everyone, but among the guests in the two groups I met a surgeon, a college instructor, IT specialist, day trader, little-theater manager, opera singer, retired grandmother, nurse’s aide, and radio technician.

Let me give you thumbnail sketches of some of the participants. And by the way, all pseudonyms were chosen alphabetically from my Character Naming Book to protect the guests’ identities.

First, the male Dominants (an asterisk * indicates more info below):

Angus*, mid-thirties, the most Alpha (and loudest) of the Dominants, is married to his slave, Belva. Aggressive to the nth degree, he seemed to be the head of a loose group; he also considered Dottie his sub/plaything, although she and Carlos were together. The dynamic among the four almost seemed to be a family group with Angus its patriarch.

Carlos, slightly older, tall and soft-spoken with graceful hands, proficient in shibari, was fairly new to the scene and being mentored by Angus.

Emmett, short and stout, genial and avuncular, was the oldest Dom there, always with a smile on his face, more of a kinkster than a Dom. He spanked Flora off and on during the evening (and intermittently jailed her in a cage) because she needed to be punished for some infraction in her life.

Galen*, mid-fifties, quite a raconteur during the how-are-you stage, displayed his expertise in fireplay with Heloise as the oh-so-willing subject.

The female Dominants (or Dommes):
The highly Alpha Imelda*, older and coolly sophisticated, walked (I should say strutted) as if she owned the room. She treated Jack as he apparently wished to be treated—as a pain slut. Their session lasted the longest by far.

Katrina took charge of Lawrence, who was by turns handcuffed to the ceiling and splayed against the St. Andrew’s Cross. It was a loving dominance, lots of eye contact and caresses, whispers and light kisses interspersed with the flogger and a fur mitten with coarse sandpaper on the other side. They seemed to be in love as well as in play.

I might be wrong, but this latter couple plus Angus and his wife/slave were the only ones who lived together. The others, while emotionally connected and possibly exclusive to each other, lived separately and hooked up eagerly for these events.

But you want the nitty-gritty, right?

Several scenes stand out in my mind. First, Angus was a sadistic flogger, beating Belva (sometimes with two floggers, Florentine style, swooping and dancing around her handcuffed-to-the-railing, thong-clad body) until she could no longer suppress her forbidden tears. I had to hold my breath on occasion to keep from interrupting, but on chatting with her afterward, she said she welcomed the pain because the endorphins brought her to a state of forgetting. I wasn’t so gauche as to ask what she was forgetting, but it was obvious she loved her husband, who provided a needed service.

When Galen and Heloise set up their portable massage table and unpacked their gear, I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch fireplay (some of you know that my sister’s face and neck are scarred from a kitchen fire and she was in intensive care for 21 days and in occupational therapy for half a year). So I chose a vantage point between two rooms, so I could watch the whippings in the Hard Room and just glimpse the fireplay now and then.

At the latter, Heloise eagerly offered her totally naked body to Galen’s alcohol-soaked wand, cooing and smiling and writhing on the massage table as flames licked her skin wherever Galen swabbed her, both front and back in turn, with 70% isopropyl alcohol. He followed the flames with a cupped palm to wipe the flame out of existence, and even fisted the flaming wand to douse it. Amazingly, neither reacted with so much as an “ouch”. To me it seemed almost like a magic show. Safety features —fire extinguisher, damp bath towels, hair bound out of the way—were evident. Oh, I should mention she was flogged earlier to get her blood flowing and body heated. That apparently mitigated the ouch factor.

Imelda, on the other hand, showed muscle and stamina in putting Jack through a pain regimen which included a cock cage, ball gag, vicious paddling, heavy handcuffs and the like. Yet he seemingly thrived on it, accepting every blow with a blissful smile, even when he flinched or cried out. Wearing my research hat, I spoke to him and he avowed he loved the pain, had been receiving it for twenty years, and even allowed (or rather, Imelda allowed) me to try my hand on his already-reddened butt with a double-thick leather slapper. I had a way to go to match Goddess Imelda: He deemed my hardest whack a 6 on the pain scale of 1 to 10, and I didn’t hold back. Research, you know; I’m not really a sadist.

The spectrum between almost-vanilla and hard-core 24/7 Master/slave is almost endless, as I observed at these two parties. It’s a fascinating lifestyle, but not for everyone.

In my current Work In Progress (the sequel to Mercy and Redemption, out now from Ellora’s Cave), my characters will experience many of the scenes I saw as they explore where they are in the BDSM spectrum. Look for Redemption and Glory (tentative title) later this year.

Have you ever been tickled until you had to yell “uncle”? Been blindfolded during sex? A wrist or ankle tied to the bedpost? Maybe bent over the kitchen table and playfully spanked? Liked being roughly handled? Been forbidden to come until your partner allowed it? Congratulations! You’ve entered the world of BDSM. I’d love to have you share your not-quite-vanilla scenes here. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How I Met My Husband



On a Friday the thirteenth at the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, I was at a singles club’s monthly dance in my mini-dress and heavy eyeliner and teased hair. And I loved to dance! I was always out on the floor. During the band’s intermission, I sat at a table of ten to meet ‘n’ mingle. When the music started up again, almost everyone stood up and partnered off to the dance floor. All except me and a long-haired, bearded, hippie hunk. 
“Well,” I said, “are you going to sit here or are we going to dance?” Turns out he was quite a dancer, and he danced his way into my heart. I knew after three dates that he was The One. We married six months from the day we met, on a Saturday the thirteenth (we didn’t want to wait for the next Friday the thirteenth). His name was Fred and my friends called him Fredbeard (channeling Redbeard the Pirate—his beard did have a red tinge to it).
Alas, Happy Ever After only lasted twelve and a half years, and he died of cancer.
Nevertheless, lightning did strike me twice!
I don’t even remember meeting Ed, he was just…there. My husband had given me a single-reflex camera for our fifth Christmas together, and I joined a local camera club to make sense of its bells and whistles. Eventually I became that club’s newsletter editor and I became aware of Ed as a fellow officer and board member. When Fred and I held parties, Ed joined the fun. When we hosted a photo outing at our farm, Ed was part of the group. When my husband was dying, Ed came to visit him in the hospital.
Afterward, Ed knew how much I was grieving, so several months later, to get me out of my I-want-to-be-alone mind-set, he offered to teach me how to use the new macro lens I had in my camera bag. He helped me with yard chores, he shoveled snow, drove me around searching for photo ops. He never pushed, never made a “move”, he was just…there. He’d merely say, “I know you’re hurting.”
One evening he drove me to a nightclub an hour away where a 17-piece Big Band played Forties music a la Glenn Miller and we danced. And danced and danced. And I knew I had found another True Love.
This one lasted almost twenty-three years. Ed’s gone now, and I’ve grieved again. I miss them both, remember them both with a heart full of love, but I’m looking for more lightning. Because people die, but romance lives on.
Is it any wonder that I should WRITE romance? And that I put bits and pieces of each of my husbands into my fictional heroes?

* * * * *
The above excerpt was taken from a free book entitled “How I Met My Husband.” In it, 25 authors tell how they met their One and Only and each offers an excerpt from one of her books. Oh, did I mention it’s free? Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Valentine's Day is the perfect time to reminisce about love. How did you meet your sweetheart?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

EARLY VALENTINE’S DAY PRESENT


I’d forgotten how BDSM my “Quickie”, Discovery, was until I reread it in honor of Valentine’s Day. So, a week early, here’s a taste of Becca’s Valentine weekend of discovery. Becca is a plus-sized 40-year-old whose life is boring. Her friend sets her up with a Dom to explore her latent desires. Here’s an adult-rated excerpt.

* * * *

“One of my assistants will be assigned to keep track of your punishment. And who knows? Maybe to dole it out.” He turned. The man to his right took a step forward and nodded, the ghost of a smile just visible in the soft lighting.

“Please continue disrobing,” the giant said, returning to his throne.

You can do it, she urged herself. For years you’ve dreamed of flaunting yourself before a roomful of men. She would never have admitted it to anyone, but she admired strippers and go-go dancers, women who displayed their perfect bodies so as to arouse lust in their audience, sexpots who allowed men—and women—to stuff bills in their G-strings, giving them the opportunity to surreptitiously fondle them in public. But Becca’s daydreams had stopped there. She’d never had the body to be really sexy. Never had the guts for it either.

That’s why you’re here, she reminded herself. To see if she could be a sub who fired a Dom to lust.

As she unbuttoned the fourth and fifth buttons, she let her gaze creep up the legs of the assistant who would keep track of her punishment. Was it her imagination, or did it seem his cock had grown to push against the leather at his groin?

At last the blouse was free of its restraints and she slipped it off her shoulders and let it slide down to her feet in a puddle. She could feel her nipples harden beneath her plain white nylon bra, knowing that three pairs of male eyes were watching. Sure, some men might like the abundant top of her—she wore a 38-DD—but her waist and hips also held the same kind of extra padding, making her less than runway-model caliber.

The giant raised the hand holding the whip, its flexible length gripped along with the long thick handle, tail skimming the floor, and flicked the resulting loop of leather up and down over one nipple.

Becca gasped as the sensation shot straight down to the point where her legs met.

“Now the bra. The whip wants to feel bare skin.”

Her throat dry, Becca reached for the front clasp and unhooked it. She could feel her cheeks burning as the cups fell to the sides, exposing her soft skin. Her breasts were full and round, swaying gently as she moved. She slid the straps down her shoulders and let the bra fall on top of the blouse.

True to his word, the giant nudged at her breasts, back and forth from one side to the other, raking the edges of her nipples to hard points with the looped whip.

Both assistants took an interested step closer. The one counting her punishments dared to lift a gloved finger and make a lazy circle around her areola. Becca arched her back, felt her chest swell out to him, thrusting her breast closer to his stroking.

“Go ahead,” the giant said. “Give it a kiss.”

The man made a deep sound in the back of his throat. Becca could see the brown flash of his eyes inside the mask before his head dipped and his tongue gently lapped her hard nipple then closed his mouth around it. Becca shuddered at the feeling. She wanted to cradle his head close to her and keep him there. But all she could do was close her eyes and tremble at the feel of his moist tongue, the inner softness of his mouth as he pulled and suckled at her with other men watching.

“Enough.”

The man stepped back. Becca felt somehow bereft.

“Now the rest of it,” the giant said, impatiently gesturing with the furled whip.

* * * *

This is the blurb for Discovery:

Something’s missing from Becca’s life. Maybe she needs—a Master?

A friend arranges for her to spend a weekend with one, to see if she’s cut out for the life of a sub. The man who answers her knock makes her uneasy. He’s huge, bald, leather-clad, and every inch a Dom.

But she gets more than she bargained for. Three Doms, to be exact. Three sexy, lusty males who each turn her on in different ways. How can she make the giant understand which Master she wants when she’s forbidden to speak?

* * * *

Discovery can also be found in the anthology CandyCravings, also published by Ellora’s Cave. 

Hope you’re planning something special for your Valentine…maybe the same way Becca did?