Dita Parker

Friday, December 28, 2012

Come one, come all*

Just wanted to let you know that All Romance Ebooks is having a 50% rebate promotion for Ellora's Cave books, including mine, through December 31st. 

Go! Before it's too late!! Tell a friend!!! Surprise a friend!!!! Send more exclamation marks, I have now officially used up this year's allowance.

*Pun totally intended. The girl can't help it. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Any dream will do


We have a winner! If you took part in my Lucky 13 XXX-mas giveaway, Santa's sexy helper may have something naughty yet nice waiting for you... Go check it out!

We're getting ready to start celebrating in earnest up here on top of the world. Christmas Eve is reserved for Santa, who visits most every family. (How does he do it? For one, he lives close by. The rest is Christmas magic, I guess.) Eve evening is also when we open gifts, so there's no waiting for Christmas Day, which is reserved for baby J. Both gents have a day of their own and everybody's happy. Except those who hate both gents and all that they represent. They're never happy. Or any fun. Boxing Day, in turn, is when we meet up with friends and/or family we didn't get to see on Christmas Eve or Day.

A full schedule but a fun one. Good food and good times with loved ones. Sis-in-law's family is visiting with the in-law's so the kids get to play with their cousins. My sister sent her love from roasting Rio and my mind goes back to the Christmases spent in the tropics. Then I look outside where it's a winter wonderland and think how life is a strange thing. And how to be an artist maybe you shouldn't have a family or even friends, pets or even houseplants, a past or even a future, nothing but time to indulge your passion, but would that be the life or even a life worth living, and how sometimes no amount of time is enough and how sometimes time runs out and how sometimes there's nothing you can do about it, about things, about anything.

My mind also wanders ahead, to things to come, and how you should always have something to look forward to, however small. As long as it makes you happy, as long as it's something you know you'll enjoy, anything goes. Hang on to those, sweetie darlings, and hang on to your dreams. I hope you don't get everything you wanted this Christmas, or ever, because that's the day you stop dreaming.

Happy holidays, dearest denizens, wherever you are.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Under the North Star

Temperature: -6/21 degrees

Eating:
egg noodles with chili pepper and sesame seed sauce

Drinking: kefir (that sauce was as hot as the cook!)

Watching: The Story of Film: An Odyssey (directed and narrated by Mark Cousins)

Listening: to Bat For Lashes

Reading: Christmas cards

Writing: yes, as Dita, too,
promise!

Feeling: I plead the 5th

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lucky 13

Happy Monday, dearest denizens! Did you have a good weekend? Hubby and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary and reminisced about that summery winter/wintry summer day in December 2000. The dress was crimson, the flowers were white and the priest had forgotten his glasses. Lucky for us, he knew my husband and he knew our story and he gave a moving speech about the power of love and perseverance. 

I remember my father asking me before the ceremony how could I be so calm. I told him I had no reason to be nervous. I had never been so sure about anything in my life. Twelve years on, I still feel the same. Lucky for me, so does Hubby. *sigh* Sorry to go all mushy on you, but February or Valentine's is nothing compared to December. This is the most romantic time of the year for me and always will be.

To celebrate it to the fullest extent of holiday folly, I held a contest last year, remember? No? Never mind, that was then and this is now. So. I'm at 69 Shades with the Lucky 13 XXX-mas giveaway, open to every smutty adult on the planet! Come toss your name in the mojo bag by December 22 and a $13 Ellora's Cave gift card could be yours!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some writing to do.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Once upon a December


So. December. It will be magic again. But first things first. Finished NaNoWriMo or took part in Movemeber? Congratulations! You may look a little, hmmm, disheveled, but I bet you feel great. I still feel out of sorts. And never ever try to self-diagnose. Just the other day, Google gave me lymphoma, and when there's been cancer in the family, all kinds of malignant possibilities come to mind. But enough about that since nothing is certain either way. On with the show.

What have I been up to then? Not growing a lady tickler, that's for sure. I did have a project with an end-of-month (Nov) deadline, so writing, creatively, had to take a backseat, which is a drag since WIP and I were getting along swimmingly. Now, with the holidays closing in, it's a race against time to get more words on screen and paper. (Yes, I still write on actual paper on occasion. Good for the brain, too, practicing those fine motor skills.)

In other news, winter is here! To stay? We'll see. Fall was rainy and gray to the max so I welcome snow with open albeit tired arms, moving it around is hard work, and while the spirit is willing, the body feels oddly weak at the moment. (Crap. I said no more on that. But it troubles me, sweetie darlings.) My sweet escape to Barcelona feels like a dream but then I remind myself that it really happened, I was there, the sun still exists and one day it will shine on top of world again even if our face is turned away from her for the time being.

In yet more news, many of us at the 69 Shades blog will host a giveaway to celebrate the holiday season. Lots of books up for grabs, that much I know, so bring a friend, spread the word and make sure you stop by regularly for gifts of the smutty kind! I'm up on the 8th, as usual. It's my wedding anniversary weekend, but I'll work it out one way or the other.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm having lunch with Hubby then going back to a discussion my characters were having. His friend is trying to talk some sense into him because she thinks she knows what he should do. He knows she's right. But if he goes through with it...the second he gets what he wants, he has to leave it behind. Hmmm. Hell of a conundrum.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Safe from harm

 
It's World AIDS Day, so you know what I'm going to say, don't you...?    If you can't be good, do be careful, sweetie darlings!

P.S. And I pressed the wrong button. It's tomorrow, December 1. Oh well. Forewarned is forearmed!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Typical male

Mantastic Monday, dearest denizens! Today, as promised, I'm a guest on Cassandra Carr's blog with a post on something we all love dearly: men. So. Is there such a thing as a typical male? You tell me, but some things make me go hmmm... Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Memories of the future


Morning, sweetie darlings. It's November 16 and as you allll remember, right, wink wink hint hint, I'm a guest on Desiree Holt's blog with a post so hot, Blogger decided to censor it a bit and post it in magic ink. (You have to paint over it to be able to read it. Or is it just me, can you tell me? I did try every browser in the house and it still looks odd. Yes, I alerted Desiree, but until America wakes up, not much can be done about it. Off painting you go!)

On Monday, I'm stopping by Cassandra Carr's blog and talking men, and next Friday (the 23rd) it's Dita day once again at 69 Shades. You might want to start sharpening those elbows. Since it is Black Friday and X-mas is a mere month away, I thought we'd go XXX-mas shopping.

Sexcellent weekend, dearest denizens! If you can't be good, be careful.

Friday, November 9, 2012

What's going on

I love our modern times, I really do. But I sometimes feel as if something got severed on the way from the Enlightenment to today, some important connection between body and mind. For all the talk on holistic approaches to health, the body is still the seat of all that is base. Something to be feared, something to be mastered. Controlled. Think of the double standards applied to gender and sexuality. Or think of popular culture. Genres that evoke a physical response instead of an intellectual one (horror, comedy, romance...) have never been valued, awarded or applauded, not like their cerebral sisters and brothers.

And food and eating, OMG, sweetie darlings. It's not a pleasure, is it, it's a project to be tackled calculator in hand and monitor on wrist. Where's the joy? The enjoyment? I know people, most of them are women, sorry but yeah, who look at every bite as if it was trying to kill them. They look at every bite others have as bombs about to be digested, voluntarily, and they look at the individual about to die of living with pity. 

I look at those people, want to shake them, scream, "Snap out of it!" I think of those who have no food. Those so sick they can't eat even if they wanted to. How does all that guilt, all the shame and shaming associated with eating put food on their table or tummies? But it's not about them, is it? It's about you, the one thing, possibly the only thing, you can control in these uncertain times of ours. Which is just another illusion, isn't it?

I take care of my body to ensure, as far as you can anyway, it takes care of me, keeps me going. I know it pretty well, how it functions, its demands. We've been getting close and better acquainted through sickness and health, through sports and pregnancies, and sensual pleasures such as eating and sex. Right now, I know something is wrong. I just don't know what it is yet. Hence the radio silence. (Yeah, I'm usually a motormouth, aren't I, hard to get a word in. Tsk.) 

I will blog as scheduled on 69 Shades plus the guest appearances I've already booked, and leave a note here when I feel the force is with me. I'm not going to talk about it on Facebook, I'm not going to Tweet my medical record. (And I'm not judging. If it's something you do and find helpful, to you and perhaps others, write away!) I'll be out and about if and when I can, but what I really need to do right now is take care of myself while trying not to scare the wee ones. They're already a bit freaked out seeing Mom unwell and she can't explain why.

Here's hoping the something turns out to be nothing. In the meantime, go hang out with your favorite artists and authors, your family and friends. And be good to yourself! Listen to some music. Dance. Watch something that evokes every emotion ever felt. Laugh, cry, cringe. Feel it. Really feel it, without shame. Cook something from scratch. Eat without guilt. Take a long walk in a new direction. Enjoy the sensual world. I know life sometimes feels so senseless, and maybe it has no meaning, no one thing true and applicable to all, but you can always try to make yours a meaningful one. Do you understand what I'm getting on about, what I'm trying to say? It's all right, dearest denizens. I still love you. See you around,

Smooches, D.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Street fighting man

V: It is to Madame Justice that I dedicate this concerto.

  
Evey Hammond: [voiceover] I've witnessed first hand the power of ideas. I've seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them. But you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it. Ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love. And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man... A man that made me remember the Fifth of November. A man that I will never forget.

It's Guy Fawkes', dearest denizens. You know what that means, don't you? It's V for Vendetta night at Casa Dita. Sadly, hubby is working tonight. Will you watch it with me?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fright night

 
'Tis the night - the night
Of the grave's delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they - it is they.
~Arthur Cleveland Coxe
 
Eat, drink and be scary, dearest denizens! Hair-raising Halloween.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I'll stand by you

Sweetie darlings, I'm stepping out of the den tomorrow evening to meet up with two of my very best friends on this planet, or any planet, really. Women I can call at three in the morning. Women I love, admire and respect. Women who know my every hurt and secret, women who trust me with theirs. That kind of friends. We've laughed and cried together for almost thirty years now and if we're very lucky, we're laugh and cry together for thirty more.

I will see you Sunday evening/Monday morning then! Behave!! And don't forget to pop by the 69 Shades blog for the Halloween ditty I wrote starring this gent, The Rake in the Lake.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

'Tis the season

...to be jealous, fa la la la la la la la la. Of what? You'll have to visit Cindy Spencer Pape's blog to find out! Hope to see you there.

 
Free stock photo

Monday, October 15, 2012

No need to argue

Sorry, I'm not in. I'm on Delilah Devlin's blog talking about heroes in romance, why readers love them and authors love to write them. Am I right or am I wrong? You tell me, but I had an epiphany.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It only hurts when I laugh

What. A. Week. I'm sorry I couldn't spend it or share it with you, sweetie darlings. See you tomorrow on Delilah Devlin's blog?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Find you hot, leave you wet

Sorry, I'm not in. I'm at 69 Shades talking about a topical issue. No, not that Genoan lost at sea. That was 520 years ago. Let's talk about this week, Fire Prevention Week, and what you could give a loved one this holiday season. What's in it for you?  Hot firefighters. Oh yes.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Oh, James!


So who's your favorite? James Bond, that is? Mine is Timothy Dalton. Oh yes. 

Timothy, you tugged at my heart-strings in a way that none of those cads ever did or could. I'm not falling for Sean's bedroom eyes or Roger's wit. George I barely even registered and Pierce didn't stand a chance. I could never accept him because he replaced you, Timothy. And they said you were one-dimensional. Please. You were subtle in the way classically trained actors usually are, but they never got it, did they, that you were the perfect Bond, Ian's Bond. Dark and tortured and edgy.

A lot like Daniel is, actually. But a blonde James Bond...? Couldn't wrap my head around that for the longest time, not with the vision of you, Timothy, burned in my brain as my Bond, Ian's Bond, the Bond, but I have to admit he's doing a pretty good job. He'll never have your innate warmth and sweetness coupled with all that raw intensity, he's too hard somehow, but I'm trying to give credit where credit is due. I'd put my life in his hands as I would have yours. Those other James'...I was not so sure about. 

So cheers, Timothy! Nobody does it better, and that's all there is to it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Writers to the rescue

Sorry, I'm not in. I'm at Lissa Matthews' blog talking about reading, banned and challenged writings, and a world without books. 

Can you imagine one?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Let me take you to Rio

Temperature: an unseasonably balmy 14/57 degrees

Eating: chicken tikka masala

Drinking: all in good time, sweetie darlings, all in good time

Watching: A day in Rio de Janeiro (see below), a gem Lynn Viehl, Paperback Writer, posted on her nonpareil blog on Friday. That sunrise in sepia...there's nothing like it anywhere in the world.

Listening: to some samba batucada

Reading: Run the Risk by Lori Foster

Writing: down an idea, yet another book I'll probably never have time to write

Feeling: the first flu of the season coming my way, oh go away!

A day in Rio De Janeiro from Joe Simon Films on Vimeo.
 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Especially on a Sunday, but I want to ask you something related to the war of words that has been raging lately, and whether or not the fate of books is written in the stars. These

 

Friday, September 21, 2012

An eye for an eye

...only leads to more blindness. 
~Margaret Atwood


Docile International Day of Peace, dearest denizens.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A gentle reminder

That today I'll be at Coffee Time Romance chatting with the 69 Shades of Smut authors from 2pm EST until I fall off my chair and my eyes pop. Authors. Ready, willing and able to suffer for their art since time immemorial.

To reserve your seat, click here.  

Hope to see you there, sweetie darlings! Muah!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Whole lotta shakin' goin' on

How are you, sweetie daaarlings? Has your September got off to a good start? Have you had a chance to pick up Perpetual Pleasure yet? All those running for cover...you know what's coming, don't you...bad boys and girls, go to my room!

The new school year has meant peace and quiet during the day. And a whole lot of running around in the afternoons and evenings, but one has practiced so it's ok, and the extracurricular activities are such that it's more fun than work, for everyone. Yesterday, my youngest began karate practice and came back from the first lesson ready to take on Chuck Norris. And Chuck is what, 9th dan? 10th? It was a delight to watch, dearest denizens. The sweetest thing.
 

My social and work calendars are filling up fast. In the spirit of going out more often, I've booked some guest appearances for yours truly madly deeply with colleagues you've all heard of.

My guest blogging schedule so far:

Oct 1, Lissa Matthews

Oct 15, Delilah Devlin

Oct 17,
Cindy Spencer Pape
 
Nov 16, Desiree Holt (The Holt! What shall I wear? What shall I wear?!)


Nov 19, Cassandra Carr

I'm already sketching out those posts. I hate nothing worse than cooking up something at the last minute. It can end well, stellar even, but when it doesn't, when you're not feeling it, it ain't pretty, and one only has oneself to blame for that. (And what's with the transatlantic English today? Shape up, Dita!) I'll do my best to make it worth your while, sweetie darlings. Keep it fun and real, m'kay?

But first, the 69ers and I will take over the Erotic E-loop at Coffee Time Romance on September 19th. There will definitely be book talk and probably men talk and sex talk and who knows what talk! The only way to find out what goes down is to show up, so come on over when you have a moment. My carriage is always the first one to turn into a pumpkin, stupid time difference, so I'll be there early on.

But even before that, I'm blogging at 69 Shades on the 8th, as usual. See you there on Saturday! To pass the time, go pick up the free reads (and check out the discounts!) at Ellora's Cave. Then think how much money you just saved and become a patron of that Parker girl, Dita I think her name is. Or words will be had in my room, where I sent you earlier, remember?

Oh you'd like that, huh? Not when I'm sitting on you and you don't know what hit you. Oh you'd like that even better now? Then I'm not going to excite you any further by telling you what happens next. And I don't know what factors influence your decision to buy a book, but Glenna says, "Loved this book." I know it's all the rage but just so you know, I didn't pay Glenna to say so.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Final destination

I spent my childhood abroad. Or rather the country and continent of my birth was just a place my family visited every summer and the exotic faraway place friends and relatives visited in the winter was home. Travel has always been a central theme in my life. We traveled extensively then and travel is the number one reason I'll probably die with nothing to my name. What money I manage to save up, airlines and B&Bs gobble up with greed. My kids have traveled since birth and I'm afraid I've infected them with my wanderlust. Which is just as well.

Some travel to get away from, some in search of themselves. Some travel to broaden their horizons, some to reinforce national and cultural stereotypes. There's a fine line between patriotism and nationalism, between loving your country and being suspicious of all others. If there's one thing I want to teach my children on our journeys is that the world is not black or white or some skin shade in between, it's not English, Portuguese, Swedish or Spanish speaking, it's not Christian, Catholic or Muslim, it's all of that.

Not many things in this life you get to experience for the first time, but when you travel, you can get in touch with that sense of wonder, that sense of seeing and smelling and tasting and touching and hearing for the first time. (You can achieve the same at home, of course, but too often the daily grind makes us blind to things around us that have no bearing on the tasks at hand.) It's the thrill of adventure. Searching, finding, getting lost and surviving.

St. Augustine said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” What of those who do not read a single page, literally, ever? They're confined to very close quarters indeed, the insides of their head, a very narrow strait through which very few ideas pass and when they outgrow their prison and escape out into the world, they wield the sword of single, simple truth because they never came in touch with some other thought or someone else's truth.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts," Mark Twain said. But maybe you don't have money to travel. You don't need money to travel. You don't have to leave home at all. You can always, you should always, read. I wrote a post that relates, kind of, if you want to have a look. No, you should definitely have a look because be you reader or writer, I want to ask you something. And there's a new snippet from Perpetual Pleasure!

I've liked that book all along. A good thing, liking what you do and the end product. But more often than not, there comes a time in the life of every manuscript when the author curses the day they got it into their heads it would be a great idea to write that book. I never felt that way with this one. I felt for my heroine. I rooted for my hero, hoped he wouldn't give up on her even when she gave him every reason and excuse to do just that.

I also got a kick out of writing the dialogue, and with the exception of a few surplus endearments, my editor didn't touch it. Sooo hard, writing decent dialogue, and if that's one thing I got right, that's what I want to offer you on the days leading to release. What do you say? Tiny teaser trailers, a tasty countdown.

Check in daily! Know someone who loves paranormal but is tired of vamps and shifters? Bring them along!! Starting tomorrow!!!

See you then, dearest denizens. 

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
– Henry Miller

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Try a little tenderness

“Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep…feel it all – look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love.”
 
~Zooey Deschanel

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nightcrawling

Temperature: 10/50 degrees

Eating: had the most amazing salad fresh from the vegetable garden

Drinking: I'm training for...this thing, so laying off the sauce for the time being. Ok, maybe a sip on release day. But just a sip.

Watching: a documentary on the making of Rio (not the computer-animated movie but... Anybody?)

Listening: see above; what a blast from the past

Reading: catching up on some professional literature, gah

Writing: thoughts on travel and the best agency out there, going live on Thursday

Feeling: a bit calmer. But just a bit.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

This ain't a scene, it's an arms race

Andy Warhol once said that "In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." I think it's safe to say the future is here. At least the proper distribution channels are all in place. You don't have to land a contract, know someone in the business or be the next best thing to get your music, films, books or art out there. Just put it out there.

Once upon a time few got published but those who were, were also read. Then more and more authors got published but ever fewer found an audience. Now everyone who wants to be published can be and fewer authors than ever are being read. This is a gross generalization, even a myth in part, but bear with me.

Many author-friends have written about this lately. I think about this constantly. That it's easier than ever getting your voice out there but harder than ever being heard. We're being sucked into a self-defeating cycle where we spend more and more time promoting our work and persona via promo posts and other social media activity alike in the hopes we stand out from the crowd. We do our best but so does most everyone else. Tweet our thumbs numb, update our statuses morning, noon and night and every snack in between, and it seems as if all we've accomplished at the end of the day is a cacophony of voices screaming over each other.

What if we only got to post once a day, be it Facebook, Twitter or some other group? Make it count! Or maybe what we need is some sort of Auto-Tune for Authors, "Turns your coffee cups into timeless nuggets of wisdom!". I enjoy coffee. I appreciate the fact that others enjoy their coffee. But I've rarely had a cup I felt compelled to chat about. Believe you me, when I do, you will hear all about it. Truth is, my coffee is pretty norm, my work days rather uneventful, and yes my kids are really smart and funny but you don't love them like I do so maybe you wouldn't enjoy reading about them half as much I would enjoy writing about them, you don't even know them and let's keep it that way, so how's the weather in your parts?

I know. It's being social, friendly, keeping the lines open and conversation flowing. What am I? Antisocial? No, just European, more straight-talker than small-talker. I just feel that when I do have something really important to relay, or someone else has, it gets lost in a Bermuda triangle of dirty coffee cups, what our kids or pets are up to, and all the funny/cute/appalling/witty things the Internet is full of. In that water we wade, trying to be seen, hoping to be heard, some waving, some drowning.

Not. Antisocial. Really. The cute and the funny and witty have saved my day more than once. So many interesting discussions going on on people's blogs, so many groups I'd love to be a part of and interact with. I'd love nothing more than to spend more time talking to all the lovely people out there, but when I have, that's been the day then. How do you do it? I'd love to hear how you reconcile it, find a balance. It's all so time-consuming. Are we just robbing each other of precious time?

It's probably a good time to be an established author. I don't know. Is it? Meanwhile, back in the jungle, the frog's eye view looks something like this: unless someone's looking for you, you're not likely to be found. Unless you're already fairly rooted, you're not likely to take flight. You can write a good book, a great book, the best book the clitterati has ever seen and never garner much attention.

I can hear the snickering and the sighs, "Oh sweetie, are you just figuring that out? That is so cute!" No. I know that's how it's been in all the arts since the dawn of man, since the day some ancient ancestor of ours pressed his or her hand against a rock and saw their creation. I bet they were appalled as hell that no one paid any attention to their doodle because everyone was so busy surviving. So. Are we just cavemen and women fighting for the chance to tell our tale by the fireside, fighting for survival, a place in the sun, the spotlight?

Is it going to get worse before it gets better? How much worse? Better when? Better how? The Best Authors You've Never Heard of Society keeps growing. Authors made of solid awesome writing pure gold slipping from relative anonymity into total obscurity. Because they can't or won't write full-time. Because they can't or won't promo day in and day out, because it takes you away from the business of writing, a business where you leave self-consciousness and the skin you live in at the door and enter another existence. Because promo is everything but, it's the very antithesis, self-conscious to the max. It's all about you. Not just your book. You. Who are you? Who do you write for? Why do you write? Not everyone wants to answer those questions in public. Not everyone wants to seek an answer to those questions even in private.

I have small children. I have another career. I have a tendency of keeping my feelings and opinions to myself because when I bring them out into the open I have a tendency of saying more than I probably should. (Q.E.D.) I have a book coming out. Only my second Romantica in some 24 months, which in publishing years is something like a decade. (What the hell happened? What usually happens. Life.) I don't stand a chance, do I?

Who does the future belong to? Those who shout the loudest, the longest? Those who can afford to keep at it? Those who write for the sheer pleasure of it, not for money, not for name recognition, not for respect? Those who are content just to have their voices out there regardless of whether or not they are heard? Who knows? I don't. Do you? What I do know is that the happiest people I know are the ones living their dream, doing what they want to do, regardless. I guess that will have to be incentive enough for all of us because for most of us, that is all the reward we have coming.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Winter is coming

We've been saving up for a winter vacation so this summer, we decided to go on a staycation, an inexpensive, laid-back way to spend two weeks, right? Wrong. We've been running around like mad, meeting up with people in amusement parks, water parks, ballparks, park this and that, no free parking, no free time, no kidding. It hasn't been cheap and it hasn't always been rest and relaxation.

So why not just stay put? I know. But this is Scandinavia with its four seasons, and fall is just around the corner. Better enjoy summer and those attractions while we can. Not that it hasn't been fun, don't get me wrong. Some of the stuff we've been doing, some of the places we've been visiting, don't work so well when it's cold. Some aren't open at all. Plus I've been captain of this ship all June and July, so it's wonderful having Hubby with me from dusk till dawn and the whole family together the rest of the day. (Hear a but yet?)

But. Perpetual Pleasure went through edits. Fast. Clean manuscript, good job, thank you very much. My editor tweaked my blurb some, here's your release date, congratulations, your book is about to come out! Which makes me pretty damn proud of and pleased with myself. So what's the problem? I'm supposed to be on vacation! Something the whole family has waited for all summer long. I promised myself I would focus on family and friends, family and friends, only. They deserve it. I've earned it. And where's my head at?

Release day. (Publish or perish!) Promo. (Post or perish!!) Social media presence, or, in my case, absence. (Promo or perish!!!) All the things I should be doing that I'm not doing because I'm on vacation, feeling torn, failing family, failing friends, failing my publisher, colleagues, career, doing a half-assed job of everything, feeling guilty about the fun I'm having because I should be working, feeling guilty about every thought I spare on work because that's not what I'm supposed to be thinking at all.

(And then there's this other thing, a related thing, that has been keeping me up at night because of the things I've been seeing and hearing and experiencing for myself, but more on that some other time, ok? It's complicated.)

My kids don't seem to notice okay my oldest has, but Hubby sees and he listens and he understands. Next week, life will resume normal programming and, oddly enough, Hubby and I will have more time for each other since I work from home and he works the oddest of hours. (We've had a total of two nights all to ourselves this summer. I miss him. Not the father of my children; my husband.) 

And maybe working from home is not the problem, maybe staycationing is. Same chores and errands as usual, the desk that reminds you you have work to do. I know I'll feel differently in the winter, I always do. That's why we opt for a Far Far Away vacay as often as we can afford one. No desk. No dishes. The sun, the sea, the sand. Books to read. And when no one is looking, maybe a book to write as well.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

'Til the cops come knockin'

Temperature: a cloudy 17.5/63.5 degrees

Eating: in a minute

Drinking: not in a while, thanks

Watching: nothing in particular

Listening: to the wind in the trees

Reading: the million emails in my inbox

Writing: a blog post

Feeling: Wilde or Winfrey or Whoever was right. You can have it all. Just not all at once.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mid life stasis

My youngest was lost in thought. Then, 
"I'm so glad I wasn't born in the '80's."
? "How so?"
"I wouldn't have had any toys."
?? "I was born in the 70's."
??? "Were your pacifiers made out of wood?"

My children make me laugh on a daily basis and they make me think, and lately I've been thinking a lot about age and time and aging. We're summer sons and daughters and tomorrow, it's my turn to turn a year older. As I keep nearing my forties, more and more people have asked do I feel some manner of crisis coming my way as well.

I can honestly say that no, I don't. That ship has already sailed. I traveled on it in my twenties, cruising from port to port, casting anchor time and time again because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life, when or where I wanted to disembark, or if I even wanted to. When you're restless and rootless, settling down sounds an awful lot like sinking. I would imagine myself rattling the cages of whatever choice pinned me down, pinned me down to the ground where I would have to be a what and not a who, defined by what I did, where I lived, the company I kept, not by who I was, and shudder at the thought.

I was also, at that peculiar poignant point in my life, very sure I would die young. That certainty didn't come from any kind of death wish. I wasn't self-destructive, quite the contrary. But so much had been squashed into my twenty-something years that the only explanation I had for such fast-forward-living was that I had to live a lifetime in a very short time.

With the melodramatic inclination and foresight of a twenty-something, I would imagine my tombstone. "She could have been many things," it read. It didn't sound right. It didn't sit right. I had to anchor. I had to alight, rein in the restlessness, choose to become somewhat of a what, not just a who, or do the seven seas drift never arriving.
 
Drifting was once a choice. I choice I chose not to make. I used to play a game where I imagined where I would be had I chosen another schooling, professions, certain jobs over others. People. Continents. I found myself in very different places among very different faces. Would I have been happier had I gone down some other path? I seriously doubt it. Some parts might have been easier, some patches much harder. Just as interesting and complicated and bewildering. But happier? I think not.

Contentment is supposed to be detrimental to creativity, tantamount to death. What a bunch of bollocks. Why are people so afraid of being happy? What do they really fear? That they don't deserve it, as if you had to earn it any more than you deserve the bad and the low? Some truly amazing things have happened to a lot of awful people. An awful lot of amazing people never seem to get a break. It's infuriating and frustrating and makes you dream of revenge or even poetic justice but sitting and waiting for life to course-correct is a poor man's deal.

The restlessness hasn't gone anywhere. It's part of my make up; existential, not circumstantial. And so I find myself at a happy stage, a happy age, even if I have no idea how old I am. I sometimes feel I was born an old dame. I sometimes feel I'm just a kid. For me, age is a state of mind. It's not the years, it's the mileage, Dr. Henry Jones Jr. once said. But as the years gather, the less the tripometer seems to mean to me, or matter.

I'm already burying loved ones. My siblings and friends are still having babies. Life goes on. One day I will mingle with the wind and the water and if they need a tombstone they can write it in sand and what it will say I'll never know. I hope they understand I tried to use my time and blessings wisely and that I tried to be kind and if my actions or words were sometimes naive my intentions were always noble and if I caused you pain I'm truly sorry but all I ever wanted was a life based on truth and justice and beauty and freedom. Love.

No keeling over.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tuesday 17th

Ran into some bad luck on a Friday 13th? Try surviving a Tuesday 17th! The range hood broke down, my birthday bash plans went south and since it won't stop raining, the roof is leaking! 

Life felt like a bad blues song today. Edits going nicely though so there's that. Gaah, I hate self-pity with a fire. Better shut up before the blues turns into an opera in five acts.

Drinks with Lucie from Perpetual Pleasure on the 23rd? I sure could use one or three. Stop it. Thanks for listening. I'll just show myself out now. Night, all.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

It's a kind of magic

I'm not really here. I'm in southern Sweden. And the 69 Shades blog. At the same time. Aren't I clever? 

You're not really here, either. You are rushing over there to get the skinny on my entourage and for that stretching break I promised.

Enjoy your exercise, sweetie darlings. I will see you soon.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Fourth of July, or, just another day at the office

How are you, dearest denizens? Happy campers, mehopes! I felt a bit like death warmed over after Midsummer. Way too little sleep plus a cold will do that to you, but I burn brighter every day.

I'm still waiting on edits for Perpetual Pleasure, so no news to relate regarding The Book. I've been working at the oddest hours but such is summer, and I've been doing a lot of thinking, one of my favorite pastimes. I've been waiting for someone to accuse erotic romance authors of cannibalizing and cashing in on That Book, which, all things considered, would be funny as hell. (It has come to pass, sweetie darlings. Take it away, Jaid Black!)

I've been wondering about the male authors who openly label women as a mystery they could never write about. That's like saying they don't know what it's like to be human. Maybe they don't know, they have, after all, openly declared they have a very narrow understanding of what constitutes humanity. And I've been thinking how cool it was that the Mayor of Helsinki flew the rainbow flag in front of City Hall on Saturday as a sign of support and to protest against the protesters and haters, and what a narrow view of what constitutes a human those haters have.

And I've been trying to decide, Astrid Lindgren or Tove Jansson, so I've read both women, women who have a deep understanding of what it's like to be human. Or animal. Or any living thing, really. And I've been enjoying the white nights and riding my bike, bushwhacking in the forest (our everyman's right) and what a great sense of humor my kids have. And it's too bad it's not warmer and if this turns out to be one of those summers that never was that's even worse but waiting and whining won't change the forecast, now will it?

What else? Yes. On Saturday, family Dita leaves for southern Sweden for a visit with my sis-in-law. On Sunday, I'm set to post at the 69 Shades blog, and I do have a little something prepared to kick off your work week and keep the juices flowing. So. Don't make me look bad now. Go check out that post every time you need a stretching break, m'kay? M'kay. Enjoy your July, wherever you are.

P.S. Let it be known that as of a while ago, apart from personal photos, I've bought and paid for all the images I post, and I credit the stock photos I've downloaded for free because a) I can't talk against digital piracy one day and infringe on the rights of others the next, and b) the best way to support your favorite authors and other artists is to buy their work. So become a patron. It will cost you a fraction of what you paid for those shoes. Seriously.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Now there's something you don't see every day

Remember what we talked about one Frisky Friday, how the vulva is a many-splendored thing? Check this out: Changing female body image through art.

No need to start a pussy riot, no vaginas were harmed in the making of this exhibition, they are all in fact vulvas. An important distinction, granted, but we'll let him off the hook, won't we, sweetie darlings? His intentions are good. 

“For many women their genital appearance is a source of anxiety and I was in a unique position to do something about that.” ~Jamie McCartney

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

All quiet on the Northern front

Not! Last weekend was carnaval weekend in Helsinki and next weekend is Midsummer, the biggest party of the year up here. My brother's and sister's families will be with us, which is a total treat, but there's so much to do before Friday I try not to think about it too much, just tackle one task at a time.

Wish you were here! I could use a helping hand... Oh well. For a closer look at Scandinavian solstice celebrations and summer craziness, stop by the 69 Shades blog on Saturday when I'll be talking about these longest days of the year. See you there on the 23rd! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have business to attend to.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hacks and Hemingways, scribes of all genres

May I have the attention of the class, please. Today's lesson: The art of being stealth.

Say you're sitting in a hotel lounge bar, enjoying the above average piano man and the company of friends who smoke. Since they're not allowed to do it indoors, they step out. You stay in to hold the fort and engage in some hunting and gathering. People watching. Yarn-spinning.

In the sofa set across from yours sits a man, a man five to ten years your junior, a man talking enthusiastically with a friend or colleague of his. You make note of his drink, how he's dressed, his demeanor. Imagine what he does for a living. Play around with options and scenarios. Snatch pieces of him. He makes note that you do.

Your friends return and you return your attention to them. When they step out again, and again, you step back into another world, the world of what ifs, with your play date. So the night evolves. His friend leaves but the man stays. And the roles are reversed. He is doing the watching, and suddenly you can't dive into the realm of fiction, you are too aware of the here and now and the fact the observer is being observed.

You excuse yourself and head for the ladies to be stopped on the way back by your watcher. He doesn't introduce himself. He doesn't ask your name. He says you have been checking him out all night. You admit you have. Now. This is where you insert a white lie. "Do I know you from somewhere?" Or, "You look like so-and-so. Are you?" Maybe even tell him the truth.

Think for too long and you may be told that they can see that you're married and so are they but they're not married in this town they're just visiting and staying in that same hotel and maybe you're not married in this town either and perhaps would like to spend the night with him instead of wherever you happen to be staying. Since you were checking him out and didn't even bother to deny it.

His adaptation is so far removed from yours that for another moment you say nothing. Then you regain your footing and find the words, the ones that tell him you thought you knew him but he's not the man you thought he was. Which is only the truth. In your version he was several things, just never a man in town on business who picked up a stranger in a hotel lounge bar, fucked her upstairs then called his wife to say goodnight.

A cautionary tale. Lest you be caught stealing. Do I have your word you will be more careful? I said, do I have your word? G o o d. As you were. As long as you promise you'll be more wily than I was.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The ringmaster

Temperature: a windy 15/59 degrees; what's the holdup, summer?

Eating: just had some very nice Chinese, xièxie

Drinking: Cafe Pilão for dessert

Watching: the kids play garden Yatzy

Listening: to Melody Gardot's The Absence

Reading: what's new at the Khan Academy

Writing: a contemporary Romantica

Feeling: it's Take Your Kids To Work Day. Every day. Oh well.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pillow talk

Ever wanted to know more about the male models that grace the covers of your favorite romances but had no way of asking?

Here's your chance! 69 Shades of Smut will be inviting cover models to be interviewed on our blog and we’d like your help.

We need a huge list of questions for the models to choose from ranging from the personal to the professional. We've posted some questions to get you going but here's where you come in:

Tell us which cover models you’d like us to invite for a smutty interview, and what questions would you like to ask?

Remember, every comment you leave equals a chance to win one of 14 ebooks we’re giving away this Sunday! See you at


Friday, May 25, 2012

She-bop

When I held the XXX-mas giveaway last December, I put up a poll where I asked how satisfied are you with your sex life. Almost half of the votes landed in the last category, "What sex life?". It wasn't a trick question, but I later realized that I was in fact implying that to have a satisfactory sex life, you had to be having partnered sex, when in fact we all have a sex life. Sometimes the only sex we're having is with ourselves. Now there's a till-death-do-you-part relationship worth cherishing and cultivating since it is a life sentence.

We are born sexual beings and we die sexual beings. Some life stages see more one-on-one action than others, but sexual health remains a component of overall health, right up there with diet and exercise, throughout our lives. The strength of the drive varies from person to person, and even within the lifespan of an individual, your sexuality, your likes and dislikes, change and evolve. Nothing is mandatory when it comes to sex. There is no to-do list. But I can't think of a better way of keeping up with your body than keeping in touch with it, hands-on. Exploring how you respond and react, learning how you like to be touched, what turns you on. In that area, you should be expert, the authority.

But it's not just you and your hand anymore, you're in a relationship, you say? Congratulations! But that's an altogether different relationship, one I hope is not interfering with the one you have going with yourself, and I'd hate for that connection to be severed. I'm glad if you're having hot sex with someone eight days a week, but it's not like you're cheating on them if you go for a tug or rub one out every now and then. More like you're being unfaithful to yourself if you never do!

Statistics indicate that up to 89 per cent of women and 95 per cent of men masturbate. It's not a substitute for sex but a foundation on which you build, through life. A complement, a supplement, even while you're having hot sex with someone eight days a week. I hope they make you happy and you make them happy too, but I also hope you don't exist for each other in the sense that you're each others only source of joy, happiness, or pleasure. That's not love, that's codependency.

I submit to you that it's hard to be a masterful lover if you haven't mastered the art of self-love. If you're uncomfortable with yourself, how could you be comfortable with someone else? If you find no pride or pleasure in your body, do you expect to feel it in someone else's hands? If you can't give yourself an orgasm, is it fair to expect someone else to give you one?

Sorry about the Spanish Inquisition. There certainly has been enough of that to go around through the ages. Even the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Sumerians were more enlightened in these matters. And then the Church Fathers decided God hates wankers. Doctors joined the hate parade. In the introduction to Mark Twain's essay on masturbation, there's a passage from a century-old medical text clearly condemning self-stimulation as self-abuse, a sin worse than theft that destroys both body and soul and paves the way for diseases and mental disorder leading to suicide. Victorians may have treated female hysteria by getting women off, but men wasting their life force were offered pills, chastity belts, and clamps and cages sure to make men writhe, and I don't mean in pleasure. A mere century ago.

Fast forward to 1971 when The Sex Book: A Modern Pictorial Encyclopedia by Goldstein, Haeberle and McBride boldly stated that masturbation was and is the most common form of sexual activity. No one was struck by lightning. The sky didn't fall or the seas rise. Forty years ago. Only forty years ago. It boggles the mind my generation is the first guilt and shame free generation in a very long time, if they choose to be. It pains me to think of all the kids growing in a culture or within a religious community that applies the ostrich logic or openly maligns self-pleasuring as a one-way ticket to hell, illness and insanity.

Myths, taboos, old wives' tales, prejudices and warnings associated with the awful consequences of masturbation still linger. At the very least, it's a selfish act. Before you know it, you're watching porn or reading those trashy, filthy books, erotic romances, all day, or both!, while your balls shrink and hair falls out, and besides only nasty, dirty teens do it. The. Horror.

You are entitled to your opinion, religious groups to their beliefs and cultures to their norms, but doctors had a change of heart after some extensive research into the matter. Modern medicine men and psychologists have come to the consensus that masturbation is not only healthy, it comes with health benefits.

Unless you're up to something illegal or unsanitary, it's the safest sex you'll ever have. Maybe you're abstaining from partnered sex, maybe you're in between partners, maybe you're not ready for penetrative sex. The itch still needs to get scratched. Release brings relief without the risk of pregnancy or STDs and helps you familiarize yourself with your body, be comfortable in your own skin. You'll be glad you did when it's time to partner up and get it on.

You'll understand your responses and responsiveness better and that can only improve your performance. If you're a sprinter looking to run a marathon, or vice versa, masturbation can help increase stamina and manage delayed ejaculation. Practice makes perfect.

Masturbation is a natural way of combating insomnia, anxiety, pain and stress. Upon arousal, epinephrine levels spike. Another feelgood hormone, dopamine, runs riot on your way to orgasm, and the calming hormones oxytocin and endorphin grant us that sweet afterglow. Other beneficial side-effects of release: the release of cortisol, a hormone which regulates the body's immune system. Masturbation boosts your mood and your metabolism. The more satisfied you are with your sex life, solo or partnered, the more likely you are to enjoy life and good health.

Gentlemen! Regular release keeps the prostate in shape by cleaning out the plumbing. Not a foolproof prevention technique, but a pleasurable way of lowering the risk.

Ladies! Have you ever felt the urge to masturbate when you felt a UTI coming on? Don't fight it, the body knows what it needs, and what it needs is for you to listen to it. Female masturbation provides protection against cervical infections. Orgasming opens up the cervix and the increased friendly bacteria produced move old fluids from the cervix into the vagina. You're not only being lubricated, you're flushing out possibly unfriendly bacteria that can cause infections. Orgasms also strengthen the pelvic floor by giving the entire region a workout during orgasm.

The bad news: with age, vaginal walls thin and become drier due to a decrease in estrogen. It can result in cracks and tears, which in turn can make you susceptible to bacterial infections. Urination and intercourse can become painful, sometimes impossible. Vaginal atrophy can become a problem after or even during menopause. The good news: older women are just as able to become aroused as younger women are. Masturbation keeps the blood circulation in the genitals going strong, strengthens those thinning walls via pelvic workouts and lubricates the vagina.

Many women find that masturbation alleviates premenstrual tension. In a number of studies, women who experienced more orgasms, alone or with a partner, displayed greater resistance to coronary heart disease and type-2 diabetes. A cause for celebration, surely.

Mind, body, and soul. Now there's a holy trinity well worth cultivating since you're stuck with them for life. Leaving even one of them out of the equation leaves you wanting. Each component needs nourishment, each deserves attention and respect, and every single one of them promises pleasure and fulfillment. As long as you take pride in and honor them all, equally.

Your next week's mission, should you choose to accept it, is a self-love date with yourself. Do whatever brings you the most pleasure, as long as it involves the emotional, the intellectual and the physical level. Together or separate, your choice. You're the expert of you. Do whatever you feel would strengthen your relationship with yourself. Confidence is sexy. So is self-awareness of the calm, collected kind. Go get connected.


Lonnie Barbach (2000, 1976). For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality
Betty Dodson (1996). Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving. 
Martha Cornog (2003). The Big Book of Masturbation: From Angst to Zeal.
Komisaruk, Beyer-Flores and Whipple (2006). The Science of Orgasm. 
Thomas W Laqueur (2003). Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (2002). The White Paper. Masturbation. From Stigma to Sexual Health.
Joann Ellison Rodgers (2003). Sex: A Natural History.
Mark Twain (2009, 1879). Some Thoughts on the Science of Onanism.

Friday, May 18, 2012

This must be the place

Hi, my name is Dita, and I'm the self-appointed Head of the European branch of the 69 Shades of Smut authors. (It's a smutty job, but somebody's gotta do it.) The who in the what now? Come find out!
 
Today is all about short introductions. Starting tomorrow, each one of us will host an introductory post of our own, and you do not want to miss those either, each comment you leave by midnight PST June 2, 2012 equals one chance to win a book of your choice from a long list of romances and erotic romances penned by yours truly madly deeply and my partners in smut. So visit daily! Bring a friend!! Spread the word!!!

We are a very diverse group of authors ranging from the multi-published and award-winning to the just-getting-my-game-on (yes, that would be me), writing everything from cowboy and contemporary to historical and paranormal stories. What we do have in common is the passion to write on the wild side. There is something for every reader in our midst, so swing by regularly to get all the latest deets and get to know us better.

And if you stumbled upon this page via the 69ers, hi, my name is Dita, welcome to my Den!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Objects of desire

High time for another installment of Frisky Friday, don't you think? I think we'd pick up where we left off and talk fetishes. No, don't go! If you've read even one of my FF posts, you know this may very well concern you, too. Spice up your sex life. Give food for thought, at the very least.

But when I said fetish, you saw a dude in latex licking lady-toe like mad. Some of you did, admit it. Because admittedly, the more mainstream the imagery has become (see e.g.: every other music video these days), the more exposure even the most hardcore branches have gotten and the more misunderstandings have ensued.

The thing is that when it comes to fetishes, everybody has one, or two, or a few. The problem is that when the word comes up, others often follow, words such as bizarre, deviant, taboo, perverted, kinky. Fetishism, like so many other sex-related terminology (see: post on porn), has become a blanket term for everything from a clinical condition where your sole source of sexual stimulus/satisfaction is sucking that toe/watching someone suck toe/thinking about sucking of said toe to the simple fact you find feet the most erotic part of the human anatomy.

A sexual fetish is a fixation ranging in degree from playful to paraphilic on a body part (e.g. breasts), an object (e.g. a bra), a medium (lace), an individual (lingerie model) or situation (insert favorite fantasy starring lingerie model) that is a prerequisite for your arousal. But since anything can and has been eroticized, is it any wonder the word fetish comes with baggage of the overweight kind.

Let's rummage through that case, shall we? First item, a prominent one: clothing. There are loads of clothes in that bag, Special Mention: shoes, uniforms and lingerie, leather and latex, and transvestic items. We could of course wear most anything that protects us from the elements. But most of us pay attention to things like colors and textures and tailoring, fabric and feel and function. Fashion. We dress to impress and we dress to attract. We emphasize and exaggerate. Some garments we simply find pleasing, some a pleasure, on ourselves or on others. Underwear, high-heeled boots, gloves, tight skirts, short skirts, military apparel, stretch fabrics...

Next to come out of that case: body parts. Partialism is an intense focus on a specific body part, a part some find as or even more sexually attractive as the genitals. So lots of hands, fingers and fingernails in that case. Plenty of legs and feet. Lips, breasts and buttocks, too. Many overlooked erogenous parts feature: the navel and knees, ears and armpits.

What else have we got in there? Hair, or lack thereof. Many a woman fancy a hairy chest or a shaved head. Many a man drool over certain hair colors, lengths or dos. For some, it's all about tattoos or body piercings. For others, it's an age thing, the knowledge they are much older or younger than you are. Some find there is no turn-on greater than a certain shape or size; a really tiny/large woman, a truly muscled man, a pregnant belly.

Impregnating that belly. Exhibitionism, voyeurism. Power play. Authority figures. (Which brings us really close to a related issue, BDSM, which deserves a post or seven all its own.) Sexual arousal may occur from anything. Anything can travel in that bag. But that anything is such a subjective, personal issue, it can be hard to understand why your turn-off is someone's turn-on, or why not everyone finds pleasure in the things you do.

Who's holding that bag? Someone for whom fetishes replace true intimacy and/or cause distress. Someone for whom fetishism is an integral part of their sexual identity. Someone for whom fetishes are a casual prop, an occasional spice, a playful form of intimacy and variety. Most everyone has some setup, person, personality trait or body part that turns them on more than any other they can imagine. Some have fun with it in the bedroom, alone or with their partners. It can be something so simple not everyone acknowledges it for what it is. It can be something you consider so atypical, extreme even, you'd never tell a soul what it is.

We agree, mehopes, that taste is a subjective issue. What lies within the boundaries of normal (now there's a word I find disturbing) sexuality varies not only by individual but time and place as well. Yesterday's horror is tomorrow's ho-hum. Don't be too hard on yourself. So your fetish borders on the unconventional (one of my favorite words). If it doesn't affect your life or relationships, if you're not hurting anyone with it, physically or emotionally, it should be a source of pleasure, not shame!

Sex is too important to be left drifting in the fogs of confusion and misunderstanding. It's a positive, pleasurable thing, is it not? At its best, sex is not only a source of physical satisfaction but a window, an exploration into your psyche, relationships and relationship patterns. Your next week's mission, should you choose to accept it, is to give it a think. Is there a certain type of person/personality you find especially attractive? Certain settings or scenarios you find super arousing? Specific body parts or paraphernalia that really turn you on? What lies at the root of them...that's not necessarily for me to know, only you to find out. I hope it helps you understand your preferences better. I hope it helps you enjoy sex and your sexuality more.

Until next time, dearest denizens! Keep thinking sexy thoughts.