When I deem something creative you gotta know that it is. After all, I’m the one that will bring home a lampshade and installs it upside down on one of our lamps. I drove Honey crazy one summer because I wanted a bird feeder fountain and you know? No one sold them, so I was determined to build one myself. But, um, there was a good reason no one made them. ‘Nuff said on that expensive debacle. Anyway, getting back to my point.
Honey has lived with me long enough to know that yes, I may have the occasional hair-brained scheme that’s a bust, but usually my wacky reinvention of an old convention works. Oh, I might have to fight tooth-and-nail to get him to tweak it for me. Like the time I brought home a four and a half foot antique wood carved candle stick and told him I wanted it for a lamp base. He took one look at it and said, “Have you been drinking? You actually think I have a drill bit long enough to channel out the center of this for the electric?” At which I did my patented shrug. What did I care about drill-bits? All I wanted was a lamp. When I said as much to him, he did the long drawn breath through his nose and took the piece in question out to the garage. There it sat until I complained loud enough for him to have a good look at. When he did, he shook his head and said, “You are the luckiest little…I drilled down half inch and wouldn’t you know it? There’s a metal bar right through the center.”
Meh, I didn’t want to rain on his parade or anything, but in truth, he was the lucky one because I wasn’t the one who was going to have to come up with an alternate plan if there was no hollowed out center to be found. I kept that little fact to myself. Some things are better left unsaid, you know? Anyway, we’ve lived comfortably all these years with me being the creative one. Which brings me to the crux of the matter today.
This morning when I reached for the soap to wash my face I noticed something. The soap dish in my master bath was different. Yes very different, but familiar. Where had I seen this…? I slammed off the tap and stood straight up.
“Hey,” I called to him. “Did you change my soap dish for a reason?”
Honey’s tone was chipper. “Yep, you like it? I’ve been waiting for you to notice.”
I pluck the soap out of it and pick up the dish. Sauntering out of the bathroom I walk over to him. “Yes, I do like it and you do too.”
He frowns. “I know.” When I do nothing, but hold it up in front of him, his frown deepens. “What?”
“Not that it matters but, you usually like this when it’s on the table at Thanks Giving.”
“Yeah,” I turn it around. ” Did you miss the stylized turkey as the handle? This is my “Thanks Giving” china butter dish.”
He scowls and goes on the defensive. “How was I supposed to know that’s what it was? It looks great as a soap dish.”
“Hm. Well, aside from the fact that I don’t keep bathroom accessories in my china cabinet and um, a turkey isn’t a popular bathroom motif, I can see where you might have made that mistake.”
He walks off shaking his head and I’m left thinking, that either he’s far more creative than I’ve given him credit for or my taste in serving dishes sucks the bag.
This occurred to me yesterday when my honey and I had a difference of opinion. I asked him to hang a mirror in our hallway. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but when I want a mirror hung it’s usually because I want to be able to see myself it in. *shrug* I could be wrong about this, yet no matter how many times I stood in front of the darn thing when he’d launched it so high on the wall I could only stare at the top two inches of my head, it was hard to get excited. Conclusion? Well, my hair part was straight and I may have to look into Botox if those forehead creases get any deeper and for a certainty, if I wanted to look myself in the eye I’d have to get a ladder out.
Sheesh! Seriously? I pulled him next to me so we’re facing the mirror. Think American Gothic picture without the pitchfork and a woman that’s a foot shorter than the guy. Hence, the only things reflected in the mirror are Honey’s frowning features and my perfectly parted hair. So the problem should be obvious, right?
Honey grumbles, “Any lower and the mirror won’t be centered between the floor and ceiling.”
Hmm… the ceiling is higher than average, so I’m wondering how many giants he’s expecting to the house that are going to want to groom themselves. “Who told you to center it? I thought we marked where you were going to hang it?”
“We did, but when I held it up to double check I couldn’t see myself in it.”
Huh. He had me there. “I see. Well, it needs to be lowered.”
“I can’t lower it. I hung it with anchors.”
Um, at this point, I couldn’t have given a rat’s ass what he hung it with. “So, change them.”
“It’s not that easy. The drywall is compromised. It won’t be strong enough to hold the weight if I move it.”
I’m thinking, Really? Because I can always tell when he’s trying to dazzle me with installation mumb-jumbo. He once tried to tell me that fifty-eight degrees was too chilly an outside temperature to use exterior paint. I’m blonde, but I get it from a bottle, you know? Anyway, I know where this is going so I do the forward retreat. Instead of arguing about what came before because an alpha will never admit they made a mistake, I appeal to his need to be right and go forward. I simply nod and walk off. Which kills him. He hates it when he doesn’t know what I’m thinking. As planned he follows.
“Hey, where are you going? Why are you putting on your shoes?”
“I’m going to the hardware store. I’m going to explain to one of the guys there about these anchors that compromised the drywall and maybe they’ll have some suggestions about how to fix this.”
Okay, imagine his jaw clenching and his teeth gnashing and him letting out a really, REALLY big sigh. “I didn’t say it couldn’t be fixed. I SAID, it couldn’t be lowered because it was on anchors.”
“Oh,” I kick off my shoes, shrug, and saunter past him. “Okay, then.”
“Okay then, what?”
“Don’t lower it. Fix it.”
Ah, you gotta love the forward retreat! It works every time.
‘It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.’Marquis de Sade
I believe this to be true, but I don’t believe the main attraction is the pain or bondage. Those things are the catalyst that will propel the individual to their ultimate pleasure which I’d define as knowing someone has complete control over you, deciding what you’ll do, hear, touch, taste, smell and feel. It’s this kind of catharsis that brings the coveted euphoria.
Meh, don’t worry. I’m not going to go all Freud on the topic, I just think it’s interesting that some people literally have to be tied up to be truly free. Anyway, *shakes self* where was I? Oh yeah…
I want to talk about bondage as it’s a simple and tangible action that draws out a very emotional or intrinsic response. By being restrained, held captive and corralled an individual’s choice and reason is removed from the equation. Intellect is powerless to war against long repressed desires. Quite simply, the individual is free from the self that has held them back.
This aspect of BDSM is what I love to explore with my characters. Bondage that actually opens the mental prison cell of an individual, freeing this person, which ironically leads them to the most poignant sexual epiphany they’ll ever experience if it’s done right. It’s the how to do it right that I focus on because there is a lot that can go wrong if you’re not paying attention. Communication is the key. Honest communication no matter how embarrassing.
This is why I say bondage is good for the soul. It allows you to bare that soul to your captor/dominant/lover and when that trusted person embraces this most precious part of you there’s no feeling more empowering in the world.
To set this up, Colin Reneaux has just asked Ethan White how he makes the D/s concept of BDSM seem acceptable -normal even, and he puts a question to her. He asks her who gets to define normal? When she’s stuck for an answer, because it was a darn good question, this is what he tells her:
“My normal is as follows. I like to spank, suck, fuck, cherish, challenge, discipline, correct, entice and control my woman. You may think that seems demeaning. I know you like that word, but I’m smart enough to know there’s no honor in degrading a girl who thinks she’s worthless. I make sure my woman knows her value because I don’t do all these things to her, I do them for her. There’s a vast difference between the two.”
Crapatola! You got to know, that when a funny person has a choice between anger or defusing the situation with laughter, they will always choose the latter. In this scenario you may assume I’m the funny person and my writer friend isn’t. So here goes…
A self-proclaimed, unfunny writer friend and I got into a heated debated over what’s humorous and why. Hm. Shall I say that the idea that she should be the expert on this was a sticking-point with me? I mean, let’s face it, she’s not funny and we both know it. And yet for some reason she decided to school me in the art of being funnier when I write.
Hey, I’m all for learning and growing. I’ll even take advice when I deem it useful or sage but, her thoughts on the subject? Well, they were so far afield I was speechless.
Here’s her list of taboo subjects a writer must stay away from if they hope to make a reader laugh.
Or a weakness of any kind
And, here’s my list of subjects to explore and make a reader laugh.
And a weakness of any kind
Hm. How could we be so far apart in our thinking? I love her to pieces but, she’s wrong and to prove it here’s my tossed gauntlet example…
Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod! “Jethro! JETHRO! You can’t be dead.” Trudy frantically examined his ghostly complexion and wanted to die too. “Holy fucking shit!” She jumped off his stiffer than usual pleasure stick and cried, “This is just great and so not fair. How was I supposed to know you meant it, when you said the only way I’d get off before you did, was over your dead body?”
Here’s and excerpt OF RELUCTANT SURRENDER. To set this up, Ethan’s explaining to Colin the rules of the BDSM Tapas scenes he’s planned for her. Here’s the two of them going into the first scene…
She hated that his tone was calm and reasonable.
“Look at me.”
How could she refuse? Tilting her chin up, she stared right at him. “Yes?”
“Are you saying no because you’ve tried it and didn’t like it?”
She wasn’t going to lie to him. Even though every fiber in her being wanted to because a lie in this instance would be so much easier than the truth, she couldn’t. “I have never tried it, nor do I care to.”
“Let’s see about that, shall we? Second rule, are you ready?”
She knew what he was doing. Pushing ahead. This was probably a good thing, given that she was ready to run, so she wasn’t going to complain.
“You have to share information with me. Give me feedback and speak truthfully about the experience afterward.”
That didn’t sound too hard. She let go of her grip on the chair and was just settling back when he added, “No matter what.”
If he was trying to freak her out it was working. “Are you purposely trying to scare me?”
“No. Just the opposite. I want you informed, capable and ready to explore. Are there any things you’ve tried before and you don’t like? Anything that’s been done to you that instantly turned you off?”
She didn’t realize she was drumming her index finger on the chair arm until she noticed him staring at it. Meh, he could have been staring at her leg that was crossed over her other one, because that was bopping up and down too.
She stilled and a spurt of nervous adrenaline made her confess. “I’m not going to spank you, even if you have a blindfold on. And I don’t like pretending to be a parent. I’m not anyone’s mother, okay?”
“I’m relieved to hear that.”
“What? That I don’t have any children?”
“No, that you don’t want to spank or blindfold me. That would be a deal breaker.” He gave her a pointed look. “You do realize that.”
Searching his face, she let out a breath. “So you never want a woman to do those things to you?” He shook his head. “Never?” He continued shaking his head. “Ever? Wow.”
“That surprises you?”
“Yeah, because John said all guys liked these kinds of things so I just assumed.”
“Are you disappointed?”
Hardly, it was more like impressed. Just the thought that there were guys out there who didn’t ever want a woman to baby them was encouraging.
“No I’m relieved.”
“I’m glad.” He stood and offered her his hand. “Let’s begin.” Walking her to the door, he explained, “You’re going to go out into the hall and stand there. I want you to slowly count to a hundred. When you reach a hundred take three deep breaths and then knock on the door. I’ll say ‘you may come in’ and once back inside here I want you to listen to what I’m saying and I want you to put yourself in a place—a believable place—where you can react to the situation I create. You need to relax and let your imagination take over. Okay?”
“I’ve done this before.”
“What did I say about rolling your eyes?”
Realizing her attempt to be cute was a bust, she swallowed. “Sorry.”
“I won’t tolerate that kind of behavior here. It ruins it for me.”
Hearing that, she wanted to crawl under a rock. Her stomach somersaulted and she nodded. She’d try. For him. So when he left her standing in the hallway counting out a hundred, she concentrated on keeping her nerves in check. She’d almost lost her count twice because all she could think about was how boring and stupid those playacting scenes were with John. Would this scenario Ethan called a scene wreck how she felt around him? She really liked the sexual hum she’d been experiencing since meeting him and she didn’t want to lose it. Not yet.
Three deep breaths later she knocked.
She fully expected him to be sitting behind his desk, ready to be the bossy-boss to her meek little secretary. She should have known better.
“Sit down, Ms. Reneaux.”
He hadn’t turned around. He stood with his back to her, staring up at the twin Irish setters in the painting over the fireplace. Boy he had a nice butt. She wasn’t going to examine those broad shoulders. They always made her sigh.
Figuring this was her move, she seated herself and asked, “You wanted to see me?”
“Yes I did.” He spun around to face her. “I know what you’ve done.” He started to come toward her and then veered off. Twisting to look over her shoulder, she saw him go to the door and lock it.
“I haven’t done anything.”
“Security tapes don’t lie, Ms. Reneaux. I saw you take that portable scanner. I know how hard times are getting, but that was company property.” He stood close, just behind her and made a tsk, tsk sound.
“I didn’t steal it.” She scooted forward in her seat to get some distance between them. “I borrowed it. Just for the night. I brought it back the next day, you can check.”
Suddenly this game was looking up. If she paid attention, maybe she could outsmart him. “A lot of things have gone missing in my company lately.” He put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed. “Computers, scanners, security tapes…possibly even the one that proves you returned the item. Not that the return cleans the slate by any means.”
Darn, he was good. “I’m sorry. I wouldn’t have taken the machine home if I had enough time to finish scanning all those copies for you during regular work hours. If you’d given me the extension like I asked for I wouldn’t have—”
“And why do you think I didn’t give you enough time to do your work, Ms. Reneaux?” He let go of her shoulder and came around, leaning his hip against the desk. “No ideas? Can’t you guess?” He stared right at her. Heating her up until she shivered.
“Undo your blouse.”
“What? I will not.” Automatically her hand went to her collar and she shot back in the chair.
“Undo it.” His voice was steady. His eyes penetrating.
The game had taken a turn and she had a choice to make. Either she relaxed and went with it or—
She never took her eyes off him. Undoing the buttons, she shook her hair behind her shoulders and let the blouse slide off to pool around her bottom. “Happy?”
“I will be.” He crossed his arms over his chest and ordered, “Now the bra.”
She made as if she were going to comply and then stopped. “You know that I returned that scanner.”
He didn’t blink. “Yes, but no one else does. So, if you want to keep your job with the company you’ll take off that bra. Now. Without complaining.”
She blushed, averted her gaze and reached for the clasp at her back.
“Look at me, Ms. Reneaux.”
“Shhh, keep your eyes on me. That’s right. Take off the bra and starting tomorrow I want you to wear only ones that do up at the front. I prefer cream color over white. It will go better with your skin tone.” His eyes roamed over her, appraising her. “I think a lace push-up would suit you. Eyes on me and take it off.”
The clasp undid with a snap and her arms locked against her rib cage, catching the sides of it before it fell forward.
“Come on. Don’t get shy on me now,” he whispered. Coming away from the desk he towered over her. “Do you like what you see, Ms. Reneaux?”
Ugh. Caught eyeing the growing bulge in his pants, what could she say? She was just ready to tell him her gaze had been locked on the floor when he smiled. A real sinful smile that melted her fears and stroked her from the inside out, causing her to boldly change her planned answer. “Yes.”
“Give me the bra.”
She hunched her shoulders and let it slip down her arms. Carefully she folded it before she handed it over.
“Now the shirt.”
The second she gave it to him she was utterly conscious of her partial nudity. Totally aware that her breasts were tight and heavy. That her nipples had hardened to stony peaks while the sexual hum played a fine tune, zinging in her belly and lower, making the muscles between her legs clench and squeeze in anticipation.
He went around the desk and sat. “Gather your hair in a ponytail with both hands and twist it up.”
She was halfway through doing as he asked and realized how vulnerable and open this position made her. There was no way to accomplish the task and maintain any modesty.
“You have beautiful breasts, Ms. Reneaux. Round and full. No, keep your arms up. I want to look at your tits.”
She was sure she was blushing right down to her navel.
“Even your nipples are gorgeous. Small and tight.” His chair creaked and she shivered. “They’re a delectable peach color. I’m going to enjoy them.”
She closed her eyes and when she opened them, he was right in front of her. “You can put your arms down now.” He helped her and took his time tucking her springy curls behind her ears. “So soft,” he murmured, dragging the backs of his knuckles across one breast, down into the valley and up over the other one. “So pretty.”
He paid close attention to one breast. Rubbing, plucking and pulling at her nipple until her insides turned to jelly and she wished he’d kiss her or touch her more. “I think you like this, Ms. Reneaux.” He gently tugged once, twice, on her nipple and her toes curled inside her shoes. “Too bad I don’t have more time today to see just how much you like it. Here.” He handed her the blouse. “You can put this back on, but I’m keeping the bra.”
She wasn’t going to question him. She was hot, flustered and ashamed of herself because somewhere along the line she crossed it and this wasn’t a game to her anymore. Nope, she truly wished in her heart of hearts, that she was the Ms. Reneaux who stole the scanner with a hunky boss ready to blackmail her for sex because of it.
“I better go.” Her voice sounded husky. Low. Unsure. “Please.”
He leaned down. His mouth was at her ear as he said, “I want you to buy a new bra. One that does up at the front. Just as I told you. Cream. Lace. Push-up. I also want you to buy a new lipstick. A red one. Bright red, Ms. Reneaux.” He rubbed his cheek against the side of her head and she almost fainted. Her heart skittered and raced. “I want you to wear that lipstick every day. For me. As a reminder that your lips no longer belong to you. I own that mouth now. And soon, very soon, I’ll show you how I intend to put it to good use. Frequent use. I can’t wait.” He expelled a sigh that rocketed though her so fast she was glad she was seated.
“Go on, little girl. Go back to work.”
The moment he moved, giving her room, she shot up. She was nearly to the door when he called, “It might be prudent to buy the cream lace panties that go with the bra. You don’t want to disappoint me tomorrow, do you?”