Friday, July 29, 2016

Phallic Friday - "do you want to have sex?"

Subtlety and I aren't well acquainted. I'm quite direct, or I go for complete avoidance. I've never perfected the art of subtlety, which leaves me in a bit of a pickle when you're supposed to be clever and subtle in stories.

I also use that "insta-love" thing that lots of romance readers hate - because with insta-love, you don't need to explain. The guy and the girl dig each other, so they get down and dirty.

But I'm in need of a bit of subtlety. I didn't use it in Deep Diving with Cooper and Sam being direct in their interaction - she wolf whistled to signify her attraction; he asked if she wanted holiday sex. Direct, easy, straight forward.

I don't really want to be known as the most unromantic writer ever, so I thought I'd try a more subtle approach this time...but it's not working all that well. It's still pretty much, "Hey, do you want to have sex?"

So, how do you go from eyeing each other up to the horizontal tango?

I'm okay with the cliche bar scenes, pick up lines, those sort of conventional pick up places. I know the signs and body language that show interest. But what if there are signs but no action? What if I need more than signs to go further? What if the situation is more than the usual boy-girl one?

Let me give you a few scenarios that I've been puzzling over -

What if you've been friends-with-benefits for years, and you want things to become more serious. How does that conversation work?

What if you're female and you want in on your two best friends' male-male relationship - how do you subtly infiltrate and widen a relationship?

What if you've been hitting on a guy in retail for months, and you want more than just chatter and smiles? How do you know if chatter and smiles are part of the job, or actual interest in you?

How about a celebrity you rescue from a crazy crowd - how can you get that to turn dirty?

Direct questions and insta-love can work in every one of these scenarios, but should I be trying for something more?

I'm hoping you might have some gems for me! I'm always up for learning new things - but be warned, whatever you share I might use (but I'll thank you profusely!).

Friday, July 22, 2016

Phallic Friday - clothes we wear

I just saw this headline on the website "Dressing like a wh*re. Anchor slammed over top" and it got me thinking. Here's the article if you want to read it and check out the top in question (all you can see are black spaghetti straps of a halter top).

From a young age, women are told what is and isn't appropriate to wear at certain occasions - more so than men I think, but that's only anecdotal/observation, no hard facts.

As a kid, I argued all the time about having to wear skirts and dresses because for the life of me, I couldn't manage not to show my undies. Skirts/dresses all too easily blow up in the wind, they get caught up on things, they flap when you run, get in the way when you climb and sometimes even walk.

My Mum seemed to give up on me too. I'm not sure if that was because she had no arguments to offer me, or if she wasn't really sold on the appropriate clothing bit herself. Her mother had been a 'proper' country lady who dressed for town in gloves and hat. I don't think I ever saw Grandma in anything but a dress. Certainly never trousers or shorts, even when she was at home. Mum liked jeans and shorts and often wore them, especially around the house. So I suspect Mum was a bit rebellious herself.

I worked in a male dominated field, and a lot of my early motivations for going into science were that I could work outdoors, which also meant I could wear normal clothes. But I know what's considered appropriate clothing for women - I got told so many times I've long forgotten to be ashamed by it! Plus people (usually other women) comment incessantly about everyone's clothing choices.

There are age appropriate clothes. Colour appropriate choices. Certain things for certain events. Other things for various times of day/night. There are power clothes. Clothes suited for every occasion - not to mention accessories. And if you wear the wrong thing, you'll be told!

But why's the world like this? Did it developed as a marketing campaign around the fashion industry and gone crazy?

Who made it so that women are never taken seriously if they don't wear sleeves?

Who made it so that as you get older you need to be more and more covered?

Who decided what constitutes a 'professional' outfit?

I've been watching the ABC news lately (much to my joy, broadcast times have made it necessary even though Mr E would prefer a commercial station news) after not watching it for many years. Do you know what shocked me the most - that there were mostly older women in front of the camera reporting. That's a very sad state of affairs. Why should I be shocked by that - because it's not common on commercial TV and if it is, then they're made up to look younger. ABC has a few au naturals and how refreshing is that to see!? But I wonder how much flak they cop for being who they are - good reporters doing their job.

I hope, one day, that women can wear what we like and be taken seriously for who we are, not how we dress.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wildlife Wednesday - turtle sculpture

Not really wildlife today, well, not live ones, but I saw this gorgeous sculpture in Cairns (a while back now) and snapped a photo for my blog. I had a feeling there was something about them mating too, but that could just be my fanciful imagination!

There are some gorgeous artworks depicting animals around about. Australia's got all those "BIG" things (like the Big Merino in Goulburn, the Big Prawn on the north coast), but sometimes it's the littlest things that are really incredible.

These weren't small, but they had lovely etched details.

Do you have any animal artworks/sculptures to share?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Footy again

After my rant last game, I thought I better write something a little more positive, since NSW managed a win.

I thought some blokes had super games - Tyson Frizel again was outstanding. Lethal when he ran off Aaron Woods, but they seemed to not do that after a Frizel's try - which is weird. If something works, wouldn't you keep doing it?

Josh Jackson and Wade Graham had good games too. They ran hard, made ground and played fairly.

I thought Josh Dugan was doing well until he came off injured. James Tedesco was good - some good runs, solid at fullback. Josh Mansour was good, but he and Tedesco look so alike, I got a bit confused (dark beards, you know!).

The halves made a not bad job of unfamiliar positions.

But hey, those hotheads were still there. Please, please please get rid of them. They unsettle the whole team's ability to play. Once a hothead loses his mind, then it all seems to fall apart and a few others follow and footy gets forgotten for being a dick.

After Greg Inglis hit Dugan in a tackle, that side of the field became niggly and nasty. Jack Bird came on and settled that all down. He was fantastic. Good sportsmanship was shown a couple of times to Inglis and all the niggly nasty settled. More blokes like Jack Bird, please.

I don't think I want to start on the refereeing... but I think that helped the win, majorly!

I didn't see the tackle on Cooper Cronk right in the beginning of the game so I can only go on what the commentators said - pretty sure the TV coverage left the kicker once the ball did. Apparently Tyson Frizel tackled him hard. No idea if it was late or dirty or what, but I'm guessing just a hard hit. But I think it either hurt or rattled Cronk. He just wasn't on his game. Before his sin binning, he seemed to be racing up in defence as if to shut anything down before it got hairy. He's usually a superb reader of the play but to tackle a man without the ball is unexpected from him. I wonder how much of an impact that big tackle early in the game had.

Anyway, those are my musings. I hope a few hotheads are gone for 2017 and we start a culture where we play footy and use talent, not fury/brain snaps. And also show good sportsmanship - not walking away from a trophy presentation. If junior kids did that, we'd be all over them. What a poor example. There's no excuse for that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wildlife Wednesday - seagulls

Seagulls are everywhere down here but I still like taking photos of them! These ones made a good reflection in a shallow rock pool.

I have this strange fascination watching seagull groups for all the interaction and scolding that goes on. Have you ever sat and watched a group?

A few weeks back Dad and I had a picnic, We didn't have seagull food because we had hard rice crackers and cheese, so we weren't sharing but it didn't stop them coming close to try. As one bird came close, another would hunker down, neck lowered and head stretched out and start squawking at the bird who dared to come too close. Then another bird would squawk at the next one to move. I couldn't seem to work out the hierarchy because it seemed different birds did all the fussing. So it fascinates me, trying to understand the un-understandable :)

Have you got the key to seagull behaviour?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Phallic Friday - confronting norms

I read two articles this week, along with Emmanuelle's articles, that have made me look hard at myself, and question what I'm here for.

Emmanuelle's articles we looked at last week and a couple of new ones have been added this week, which you should read too. Her website is:

The new articles were, firstly, this one about a naked swingers festival in the UK, you can find it here.

Maybe it's because it's winter here and I have minimum 3 layers of clothes on, but I was shivering while I read this. The opening line didn't help, which says, "It’s typical festival weather — wet, windy and freezing."

The article then goes on to describe a bacchanal-style festival, complete with naked bodies, freely available drugs, open-air sex, orgies, alcohol, wet undies contests, wet t-shirt contests, races to orgasm, games of cock dribbling and toss the knob.

I was cringing and shivering by the end of the article.

Then I read this more academic article, you can find it here, where Ruth Charnock, a lecturer in English at the University of Lincoln, speaks about her PhD research in Anais Nin. I was almost crying while I read this, my heart was breaking for this academic, who was being made feel a lesser being because of the choice of literature and author she was studying.

It was an article on a larger platform called the Dangerous Women Project. A project to highlight what it means to be a dangerous woman, and each article I've read has touched something deep inside me. It's been a tough week.

I started to think about my reactions, and in turn the societal expectations or 'norms'. I have a swirling jumble of thoughts in my head that aren't being expressed, so I'm going to blurt lots here and see where I go. Pretend we're having a D & M over coffee/tea :)

Humans don't like change, as a rule they like to maintain the way things are. Change requires effort and it causes instability, fear of the unknown, a loss of a safety net (however imaginary that may be). For change to occur, something dramatic has to happen so that people take notice and change slowly occurs. In the 1980s, particularly in Tasmania with the threat of damming the Franklin River and causing widespread damage to large tracts of unspoiled land, a huge movement with many larger-than-life characters brought about change in the environmental laws of the land. There was always an environmentally-aware segment of the community, but this needed a larger base for change to occur and an over-the-top campaign brought about the results they were after, and a stronger environmental movement (or maybe I was at an age when this seemed to be what occurred).

At present, we have Brexit (UK) and Trump (US), and at home an election so close to call because both major parties have lost a lot of voters' faith. There's been disquiet in the community for a while, but these huge events will most likely lead to change - because the over-the-top manner of the protests have demanding something be done.

Maybe sex needs something over-the-top to bring about the change needed to make it more acceptable in society. Maybe a naked swinging festival isn't an awful cliche of distorted party games, but an over-the-top display to ensure change happens. It's certainly confronting, something the media are likely to pick up on, and something that people will talk about.

I'm not only cold, but an introvert, so nothing about being naked in a crowd is comfortable for me. As for party games, even clothed, those require a lot more alcohol than is possible for my body to absorb! So to me, this is scary... but if it brings about awareness and change, good on them.

After having these thoughts and working my way through my reactions, I've realised that I'm not only cold, and an introvert, but I have become exceedingly passive. In my youth, I used to go on crusades to change things that annoyed me - but my crusades were in the manner of letter writing, voicing my opinion to an authority figure, or arguing with a parent. I was never overtly passionate, I never tied myself to trees, or bucked the system to bring about change.

These are the things I was passionate about while growing up - I wanted to be an altar boy but wasn't allowed, I wanted to play football but it wasn't allowed, I wanted Australia to work together to pick up litter and wrote to the PM suggesting it but I got no reply, same when I suggested a huge celebration for Australia Day rather than the non-event we had. I wanted a fair go for girls in sports so they could play the games boys played, I wanted women to be allowed to be priests and not just relegated to being nuns (you can see the Catholic upbringing here, hey?). I didn't get to do any of these things. I've always felt like I had great ideas but never benefited from them, or my fight.

But if I look at each of these points...most things have changed now. Girls can serve on the altar, girls can play football, there's Clean Up Australia Day, and huge Australia Day celebrations. Girls are still not paid the equivalent of men in sport, but the coverage women get now is a huge increase on what they used to get. Catholics still don't have female priests, but other religions have female ministers.

Changes have been happening. My ideas have come about. They haven't been something I can take advantage of, but they have happened. I'm sure many suffragettes never actually got the opportunity to vote - yet today I benefit from that.

I'm not saying I'm going to the next naked swingers festival, but I think I need to become more pro-active in the fight to have erotic literature recognised in the mainstream market, and in academic circles.

I'm going to put on my thinking cap to see how this could happen... I've always toyed with doing a PhD, maybe I need to become more active in that pursuit. Maybe I need to do some guest talks as an author of erotic fiction. Maybe write some articles for magazines or newspapers.

I'll have to think... but more importantly, I need to act, even in my tiny little way.

I've brought this discussion up before, or at least something similar, so it's plaguing me. I just need to do, instead of think. Or at least think faster about what I can do...and then get to action.
If you have any ideas for me, please let me know.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wildlife Wednesday - frog

A while back I did a frog post with a photo of the frog that wasn't all that great for ID. I thought it was a striped marsh frog. I'm not sure that this image is great for ID either, but at least the frog isn't in a bucket of water and you can see the markings!

This is the website I found for my ID, and I think they still look alike - and the sound was perfect :)

Does it sound like I'm trying to bolster my confidence? You betcha :)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Phallic Friday - erotic authors' thoughts

One of the erotic authors asked a bunch of other erotic authors to answer some questions for her. 130 people responded, which I think is completely incredible.

But what's more incredible are the posts from this Q & A of authors. So far there have been 6, but there's another half dozen planned and I'm loving reading them.

So let me point you to the place to find these gems: it's the website of author, Emmanuelle de Maupassant, which you can find here.

But if you aren't inclined to go and read, let me pull out some of the things that have blown my mind.

Men Reading Erotica
Over 50 male readers also took a survey and the results (in the above link) were really interesting. Owning your sexuality was a theme that came through. As was finding themes that validate you/your choices/your sexuality. Some liked to read about things that they would never do in reality, or that are unable to be done legally, or that stretch the realms of sanity. Some readers found it enhanced their understanding of female sexuality and others found it more realistic than porn. It's a fascinating article if you're interested in who reads erotic fiction.

Men Writing Erotic Fiction
This one was a real eye-opener for me. The major thing I took from this article was that male authors suffer the same 'stigma' that female authors do. I thought that men would be less judgemental about males writing about sex, but apparently this isn't so. In a way I was glad that it wasn't a gender-specific issue, but in another way, I'm sad that sex is such a taboo subject that no one can write it easily.

There's a lot more in this post than what I took out of go read :)

Writers of Erotic Fiction
This post gives an overall intro to who the sort of people are who write about sex. Their ages range from 20s to over 70s.

What inspired you to write
Many were inspired by their own experiences, while others couldn't find what they wanted to read.

Why do you write erotic fiction?
I was interested to see that many authors wanted to explore - their fantasies, real events, human nature, a particular act. Some authors particularly write erotic fiction to tap into emotions - fear, arousal, desire, lust. Others want to own their sexuality, have a place to write what's important, without fear.

Fantasy and Reality
I found this quite fascinating from the post - "Just over 40% of the writers surveyed stress that they draw significantly on their own real life sexual experiences to inspire their writing. The majority mention doing so in addition to, rather than instead of, exploring imagined fantasies. Only a handful write primarily from a position of recalling their own sexual history, or drawing heavily on events witnessed/related to them."

And this - "The majority of authors note that, although their fantasies do, to some degree, inform their writing, storytelling tends to take over, adding embellishment and new direction."

I think these blog posts are a really interesting look into what happens behind a book. What thoughts people have as they write erotic fiction. It's certainly opened my eyes and made me think.

And separate to these articles, is one trying to see if you can pick the male/female authors. I'm eager to see if I got any of them correct because I found it incredibly difficult to pick!

A brilliant body of work from Emmanuelle. Thanks!!