The cover story – free erotic fiction by Fulani

As promised, here’s the story inspired by the cover image of my new story collection. The image itself is in the previous post and this story isn’t in the published collection, obviously, because I first saw the cover myself only a couple of days ago. And I should point out the collection itself is considerably more explicit. Renaissance have tagged it under their ‘extreme’ category…

And the collection, again, is Hanging Around, published by Renaissance Sizzler Editions.

***

The Cover Story

Mariska’s journal was a complex thing. It contained diary entries of places she’d been and stuff she’d done, and musings on fantasies she’d like to act out and fantasies she wouldn’t. It had rants about what was wrong with her life and what was right. It had worked-out arguments about why society was fucked-up about sex, fetish, morals and money. It even included some short stories.
And now, with names changed to protect the guilty, it was about to be published.
Which led to a question.
The cover.
“We could just go with some graphic design, or an illustration or a stock photo,” J said. “But from a sales point of view it would be much, much better if there was an actual pic of you on the cover, preferably doing something kinky enough to get people’s attention but not so kinky it scares people. I don’t suppose…?”
No. She had no such pics.
She did have pics. Tomas, for whom she was muse, had painted and drawn her often enough. The paintings were abstract, the drawings all too graphic. The kind of thing that might scare people. She had photos, shot by Felix. There was, for example, the deliberately soft-focus and grainy black-and-white of her with her hands tied, sucking off Emma’s husband whose name she somehow couldn’t remember. The photo had even been exhibited at one of the city galleries. The memory – of the event itself, and the exhibition – made her warm. But it wouldn’t work as a book cover. The other photos she remembered were far too kinky and explicit. They wouldn’t project the right image.
Mariska was amused, because it was the first time in her life she’d had to worry about projecting the right image. It was a novel situation.
J was characteristically inventive and yet pragmatic. “We need a shot of you in bondage, but clothed. The fast solution is to do it here, in my office. I know a guy who does a lot of traditional shibari work; I know a freelance photographer. The whole thing would take a couple hours. All it depends on is you and them meeting up to see if you’re comfortable working together.”

***

It was strange to be in a regular bar, the kind where the carpet on the floor didn’t stick to your feet, people wore regular everyday clothes and cocktails were served. Mariska had come to associate drinking alcohol with leather, rubber, raw brick and concrete walls, chains hanging from the ceiling. She smiled to herself. Those mental connections told her a lot about how her life had changed in the last year or so.
She’d chosen a severe, businesslike yet oddly gothic outfit: pinstripe blouse with a black tie, stretchy black skirt of a conservative length, but holdup fishnet stockings and boots with adventurous heels. She felt good. She felt like a writer. She felt like she was projecting an image. An image of a slightly skewed and individualistic worldview.
They made an odd trio. The photographer, W, was younger than her. Earnest. Dressed in jeans and T-shirt, the way photographers always are. Trying to make an impression, reach out to her. He was sweet. The bondage rigger, F, was maybe a decade older. Quiet, better dressed, with an air of Zen calmness around him. Didn’t try to play the dominant. “I see myself as an artist in rope and flesh,” he said. “My aim is to create something that looks good on camera. It’s always a pleasure to do that, but in this case it’s strictly business. I tie you up, make sure you’re safe, and take you down again when the pics are done.”
Mariska warmed to them.
“So let’s do it,” she said.

***

It felt freaky, helping F build the suspension frame in J’s office. She was helping to create the instrument of her own bondage, and it was happening in a bland office environment, a desk in one corner of the room, filing cabinets, a calendar on the wall showing publication dates for books – including Mariska’s own.
They moved the desk, set the frame up in front of a sofa. Mariska took time out while W muttered to himself about white balance, went to the restroom. Examined herself critically in the big mirror. Decided that the stockings were fine but panties would show a visible line through her skirt, and removed them. Decided ropes over her breasts would be more comfortable without a bra, and removed it. Touched up eye shadow, applied lipstick. Took three deep breaths and figured she was as ready as she’d ever be.

***

F was quick. And effective. Mariska was swinging in midair inside a couple of minutes. He hummed quietly to himself, checking the way the ropes hung, the distribution of her weight on the ropes. Suspension was tough but bearable. She had to learn a new way of breathing, almost like scuba-diving. Began to trance out.
Began to fantasize.
They were on the third floor, but there were no curtains. Evening light flooded the room. Was someone, maybe in an office across the street, looking out and seeing her exposed and vulnerable?
And what would it be like, now, in this unfamiliar place, to have these two guys rip her clothing from her? Take her, one in the mouth and one in the pussy, swinging helpless between them? Each one thrusting at her, pushing her against the other cock?
Suddenly she was horny as hell, filthy hot and shivering. Lost in a craving for contact, for sex, that was increased by the pressure and restriction of the ropes. Made intolerable by the gentle swaying that resulted from any small movement. A rope running between her labia, across her clit, would be… desirable. She became aware she was whimpering, moaning, with every breath.

***

They didn’t do it. Didn’t strip and fuck her. They were well-mannered professionals, hired to do a specific job. And she’d lost the power of speech, couldn’t articulate her need.
Later, looking back, she thought that was probably a good thing. Fucking would only have complicated the situation. Made her appear unprofessional. It wouldn’t have been the kind of fucking relationship between a model and an artist, or artists; more like a junior exec fucking hired help from the temp agency. It probably happened. A lot. But that still didn’t make it feel right.
Instead, they let her down, wrapped her in a blanket – because when the ropes came off she felt cold. Gave her coffee. Let her come round. She felt light. Ethereal. Yet desperately in need of pain, and of sexual release. In her case, the two were usually intertwined.
Taking her leave of the two men and the office, she took a taxi to Tomas’s studio. He opened the door to his muse, barefoot, wearing scruffy shorts and splashes of oil. She didn’t care.
He admired the rope marks imprinted on her skin. Some other time, he’d probably have wanted to sketch them. But her visit was urgent, and the high roof beams in his studio were ideal for her to hang from, naked and in chains. She received pain and sexual release. Simultaneously. Intertwined.
She slept peacefully in Tomas’s arms, in his bed, warmed by the welts he’d placed on her skin. And she dreamed of another time and place, and two other men.
She had the numbers for the W and F, the photographer and rope artist. Maybe tomorrow she’d make a call. Or the next day. See if they could arrange another session. A more recreational session.

***

The cover photo, when she eventually saw it, was good. Set on its side, it conveyed the impression she was flying. It captured her response to the suspension. It projected the right image. It captured her intentions for the future.

***

And to save you scrolling back to the top of this post: the collection is Hanging Around (link opens in new window).

Now out! ‘Hanging Around’, a collection of short stories by Fulani

After several months of waiting impatiently (because it was accepted back in February) I’m extremely pleased to announce the publication yeasterday of my short story collection, Hanging Around by Renaissance in their Sizzler Editions list.

Hanging Around - cover

Hanging Around - book cover and link

From the book blurb:

It’s two in the morning, and Mariska is dangling from a rope and displaying a lot of flesh to her tormentors. And she giggles. She’s been looking for something new in her life, and being a film extra in a low-budget zombie horror movie is certainly new… Twelve stunning chapters follow Mariska’s journey from barista to member of a group of bohemian artists, actors and others. She’s inducted into their fetish-oriented lifestyle, and along the way she’s tied, whipped, fisted and more in situations ranging from a film set to a lesbian club to an art exhibition. Oh, and somehow she finds time to write a journal about it. Fulani’s erotic stories, often dark and with BDSM-based themes, have appeared in numerous anthologies and ‘zines.

The stories follow Mariska and a group of her friends – artists, photographers, film-makers, musicians and actors, plus a librarian – through a series of scenes that (despite Renaissance tagging the book as ‘male dom’ and ‘extreme’) include straight, lesbian, bisexual and some gay action, a great deal of bondage and BDSM, and of course sex. Quite a lot of that as well.

Contents:

1. The meat-packing factory. It’s two in the morning, in the old meat-packing factory. Mariska is dangling from a rope and displaying a lot of flesh to her tormentors. They’re going to fuck her senseless. And she giggles. She’s been looking for something new in her life, and being a film extra in a low-budget zombie horror movie is certainly new…

2. Elements of lust. That she and Tomas would have sex was, Mariska knew, a foregone conclusion. He was an artist and she was his model. What she hadn’t bargained for was how much she’d have to suffer for his art, and how excited that would make her.

3. Hellebore. Having a stranger turn up unexpectedly when you’re in the middle of a scene can be disquieting. Then again, as Mariska finds, if it’s Hellebore it can be exciting.

4. Cut piece. Kidnapping, S&M and performance art. It’s all part of a birthday party at a lesbian club… But a little bit of street justice needs to be administered as well.

5. Déjeuner sur l’herbe. A picnic turns into a photoshoot based on the famous Manet painting. So why is a big wooden cross involved?

6. Backlash. Mariska feels dumbed-down and dull from too many hours at work. She needs a way to reconnect with herself. A brutal whipping, a maelstrom of pain, is the special ritual she needs to achieve it.

7. The afterparty. Markisa attends the screening of the zombie film in which she’d been a film extra. The afterparty is in a small, crowded club. Fortunately it’s the kind of club that puts condoms instead of peanuts in dishes on the bar.

8. Dear diary. Mariska’s new diary is to record the highs and lows of her life. The interesting parts, not the day-to-day work in the coffee bar. But she’ll make an exception for today.

9. The goddess of fire. Roz likes playing with fire. Literally. Her fire-breathing performance at the party is her way to reinvent herself after a relationship break-up. After it, she feels like a goddess, and the point of being a goddess is that you can pick and choose your sexual pleasures.

10. The power of words. By day, Roz works in a library. Following a discussion with a fellow librarian, Anton, about whether a book is capable of being able to deprave and corrupt a reader, they decide to experiment.

11. Obscenity. A court case against Felix, the photographer, prompts Mariska and Tomas to investigate religious icons—and experiment with obscene sexual acts.

12. Hanging around. Mariska hangs out at an art exhibition. Literally, since she’s one of the exhibits.

Finally, I’ll mention that I first saw the cover a couple of days ago and immediately wrote a short story (which, obviously, isn’t in the book) about the cover itself. I’ll post it tomorrow to save this post getting too lengthy. Oh, and I wrote another one back in February, which also isn’t in the book, that’s a description of the book being published from Mariska’s point of view. It’s in this blog, back here on 14 February.

So please save a starving writer, go buy the book and enjoy!

Go Find Yourself, by Velvet Tripp – now out with Xcite

Wanton Women cover

Wanton Women cover

We’re pleased to announce Velvet Tripp’s short story, ‘Go Find Yourself,’ has just been published in not one but two Xcite Books collections.

It’s in Wanton Women, a 20-story collection of lesbian fiction edited by Miranda Forbes and currently selling at £4.86 or $7.99.

It’s also in the shorter, five-story collection Submission in Silk, which contains stories by Giselle Renarde,  Velvet Tripp, Olivia London, Helen Dring and Alyssa Turner. This is currently selling at £2.23 or $3.67.

Both are available as e-book downloads.

Plot summary of ‘Go Find Yourself’:

Submission in Silk cover

Submission in Silk cover

Lisa’s divorce forces her to re-evaluate her life. Her memories take her back to her experiences and fantasies from her teenage years, when cultural taboos prevented her from following her longing for another woman. She feels she’s denied her real self for too long, and decides to take off on an adventure of discovery. She attends a “camp camp”, the ACCN, where she meets Ross, who captivates her and ultimately seduces her.

Enjoy!

The bondage garden

Inspired by the RHS CHelsea Flower Show getting daily coverage on the television, we thought we’d offer a design for a bondage garden. We designed it on the basis that it would be a small/medium sized urban garden, albeit with the benefit of a reasonably mature tree with substantial branches at the end of it. On a technical note, the height specified for walls is above what is now the permitted height, so installation would need to be in a garden with brick or stone walls built prior to the date of current legislation on such matters. However the effective height of the boundaries could be increased by allowing the firethorn and other coverings to overgrow the tops of the walls.

bondage garden

Bondage garden - plan

Intended principally for bondage, the garden contains a number of sets of eyebolts against the house and garden walls, two cages, a willow structure that’s usable as a cage and an old horse trough that could also contain a submissive/slave/victim with a slightly coffin-like feel. There’s also a stone arch so that a sub could be spread-eagled standing and accesible from front and back. The pergola and the tree provide useful anchor points for suspension and other ties. For spread-eagling a sub on the grass, we thought a raised bed with a camomile lawn would release a pleasant aroma as the sub struggles with their bonds (or more physical activities take place).

The mosaic table would double as a spanking bench. And there’s a fire pit because… well, just because. There’s one in our garden and we like it.

In terms of planting, the bamboo and dogwood both provide material for hitty things (and would need to be periodically pruned anyway) while rose stems could also be used as implements, echoing the title of a well-known book on SM. The rest of the planting is, on the whole, simply there to provide some colour and aroma – though the comfrey and arnica can be used to treat bruising and swelling. Oh, and we deliberately left a nettle patch in there but thought some dock, which is a natural treatment for nettle stings, could be useful as a ‘just in case’ measure.

These are by no means the only possibilities, and many other bits and pieces could be added according to taste.

What else would you like to see in a bondage or fetish garden – either planting or equipment?

Mental and Emotional Safety During a Scene

I’ve been chatting to new friends on the scene while out and about, and the importance of communication between sub and dom has been a topic of conversation that got me thinking.

It has occurred to me that we haven’t so far mentioned the importance of emotional/mental safety during play sessions or scenes. If you’re new to the BDSM scene you’ve probably been focussing on physical safety and practical concerns around this. But it is also important to realise that when playing, especially using role play, you may inadvertently come across a ‘trigger’ that causes upset to the Sub or Dom. It is very important to realise that this can happen at any time, even for experienced players.

Pushing the boundaries can be very satisfying and even healing, but does come with this risk. We nearly all have deeply buried experiences that could be unearthed, and if they are, they need to be dealt with. The first thing to remember is that if, during a session, something makes you feel suddenly or inexplicably upset or traumatised you should immediately stop the scene. Your dom is not a mind reader. He/she may read your body language well, may know you well enough to know most of the time how to handle you or that they need to check in with you, but if you’ve no idea what’s wrong (as happened to me recently) you cannot expect anyone else to be able to read that. So be prepared to use your safe word or gesture then take your time, with your dom, to explore the problem. Doms must do the same. They are human, and if they are disturbed or upset they, too should end the scene and spend time with their sub to sort out what the problem is.

There is no shame in this, and no-one is to blame. It is simply a risk associated with pushing boundaries and the type of intense play we adventurers do. The trigger that sets you off could be a word, a phrase, an implement used or the role play itself. It could even be a scent or sound, a tone of voice, the type of pain or bondage, in fact anything you can think of may trigger feelings you didn’t expect.

So if it happens to you, call a halt. It is your responsibility, even as a sub, to take care of your own emotional well being. If it happens to your partner, you must be prepared to give them the aftercare they need. Either way, get cosy, have a nice comforting cuddle and take a deep breath. From experience, once you’ve opened the box, the lid won’t go back on. You’ll need to talk it out, try and get to the bottom of the problem and deal with whatever you’ve unearthed. Of course what comes up may be too personal or raw to discuss there and then with your play partner. This is fine. You must deal with it in your own way, and your partner should respect and accept that you may want to go away and NOT discuss it, but sort it out yourself some other way.

In my own case, a simple word used during a scene made me feel very upset (in a way we hadn’t intended), yet I had no idea why. It took me completely by surprise. It was only after ending the scene and gentle probing by Fulani that the memory of what was attached to that word was brought to light. At first I felt pretty devastated to have to revisit such an old wound (as mine turned out to be). The good news is that once that whole memory was aired, and dealt with in my own way with his support, I felt, and still do feel, much better. In fact I can cheerfully say that for me this was a healing experience that I know will have long term benefits.

Be prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to sort out the issue you’ve discovered. This is not a time to bury your head in the sand. This might be something you can resolve with one long conversation, or you may need to take more time to process the triggered feelings and understand why you’ve felt as you have. In extreme cases, you might want to get outside help such as counselling. Do what is right for you. If it’s your play partner, you must respect their decisions as to what’s right for them.

As long as you remember the importance of this, party on! Have fun, play safe physically, mentally and emotionally, then you can enjoy pushing the boundaries.

There are couple of books we can recommend for beginners. They are: The New Bottoming Book by Dossie Easton, Catherine A. Liszt, Janet W. Hardy and Fish, and The New Topping Book by Dossie Easton, Janet W Hardy and Fish, both available from Amazon at very reasonable cost (the links on this page will take you to Amazon.co.uk but they’re available on Amazon.com as well).

Velvet Tripp

Nu fetish, anyone?

Discovered through a random accident: Nu Fetish.

Urban dictionary says: ‘An adult genre coined by Directer/Producer Christopher Cumingham, and first seen in his GirlsIMetAt.com project in early 2010. Nu Fetish is a unique and rather young genre of erotica, which snowballed into a form that is defined more by its contributors/creators than by its consumers. It is a form of amateur pornographic film which creatively cycles around the individual’s desire. Often it is created by women, with some exceptions (e.g. Christopher Cumingham), and it has an emancipatory and often artistic quality to it, as the entire production is usually done by one person. Female collaborations within the Nu Fetish scene have been done as well. Who exactly consumes Nu Fetish on the net, is still an unclear demographic as very little information is available. It is assumed that creative people are interested in this form of erotica.’

There’s not a lot of public info about Christopher Cumingham apart from his profile on Vimeo, which says: ‘i produce and direct an individual style of pornographic film. My ever-closer forays into a filmic style that scathes close to the bone of personality in a branch that doesn’t normally go much further than the superficial surface of sexuality have brought me upon a playground of fun experimentation and have opened up new exiting possibilities for the erotic film genre.’ And he has a profile on TED, which says: ‘The porn world is full of pimps and people who exploit girls. I know that sometimes it feels that I am walking on a wire above a quagmire of shit, but I have never fallen in. Instead I have fallen into another world, the one where art, sex and money meet. The one where it is much less clear who is doing the exploiting.’

Christopher Cumingham has his own website at christophercumingham.com; there’s a Vimeo page for his stuff at vimeo.com/gim; and he has the site mentioned above, girlsimetat.com. If you want more, by other people, you’re going to have to look for it yourself – let us know what you find!

The Miami Times has a short article about it, though it doesn’t go much beyond the stuff you’ll see on the above links.

So what’s interesting about this? It seems to be pretty much home made, surreal, and on the whole done by and for the people who appear in the (usually short) videos, possibly as some form of self-exploration. It often speaks to fetishes that seem quite outside the general realm of bondage, leather, whips, or more hardcore-yet-somehow-conventional interests. It seems to cast back to the broader, more psychoanalytic sense of fetish as sexual arousal brought about by an object or situation, without any particular assumptions about what the object or situation might be. It seems to poke at the subconscious in unpredictable ways. And it’s probably going to be huge six months from now.

Go have a look. See what you think.

Collared and Cuffed. New product review by Velvet Tripp

Purple edged restraint set

Purple edged restraint set

I promised you more in the way of product reviews and recently an opportunity came to try out this superb collar and cuff set from Freak Clubwear. Freak don’t go for elaborate product names – these are simply described on their website as a ‘Purple Edged Padded Set’.

We already have a collection of thick, hard black leather cuffs, purchased from various vendors over the last decade or so – they look great, but can rub and cut into my skin on the edges. I’m only small, and so are my wrists and ankles, so I often find cuffs are too big and clumsy, and can’t be tightened enough.

Not so with this set. They have a velcro fastening as well as buckles, making them fully adjustable and Freak take your wrist/ankle size when you order, ensuring your cuffs fit you perfectly. They are very soft yet extremely strong and will take a fair bit of strain and pulling around. I examined them after play as I feared causing any damage to them – we tend to play quite hard – but they look like new. Despite three hours of stress and strain, I cannot see as much as a loose stitch.

These are huge advantages when playing, as there was no unwanted distraction from the play itself coming from any of my restraints, leaving me to concentrate on the good stuff. They’re lined with violet suede which wraps around the trim to the front of the cuffs, so they’re good to look at, too. The wraparound means no hard edges cutting into your skin, however much you’re dragged around, strung up or resisting!

Purple edged cuffs

Purple edged cuffs

The set comprises a collar, two wrist cuffs and two ankle cuffs, but collars and pairs of cuffs can also be purchased as individual items – here’s a link to the cuffs set.

Suede smells, looks and feels good on the skin, and I was very tempted to leave the whole set on overnight. I’m sure they would be fantastic and I’d soon forget they were there. All in all they’re pretty much the best I’ve worn and would recommend them highly to anyone wanting a strong set of great looking, great functioning restraints for long nights of intense fun.

In fact I liked the cuffs so much that rather than hand them back to Freak, I paid actual money and bought them!

Go on, treat yourself.