We’re back

It’s been going on two years since our last post. Surprisingly it looks like all that time, people have been viewing the blog and reading stuff on it, which is pretty cool, and thank you all.

The reason for the long absence is simple. Repeated hospital visits and tests. The kind of discussions with the consultant where you’re advised to put your affairs in order. We went through a long period where blogging wasn’t a priority given what  else was going on in our lives.

What else has happened? Sweetmeats Press published Wanderlust: Five Erotic Tales of Women on the Move. The link is to Amazon UK but it’s on Amazon.com too. It contains a steampunk-influenced story by Fulani. The story is also available individually: Love Gun. Ditto with Amazon.com, it’s there if you look for it. Like many stories it weaves elements of biography with elements that are completely imagined, but you probably don’t need to know that. And it was written in late 2014 before the health thing came up, and the book came out mid-2015.

Upcoming in October 2016 – Head of Zeus publishers in London contacted us to ask if they could include Fulani’s first-ever published erotica, ‘The Phenomenology of the Whip’, in a new collection. Actually it looks like it will be in two separate collections, one themed collection of about 30 stories and the other a complete collection of 100 stories. The news blurb for it is on the Head of Zeus website. The story is exactly what it says in the title. And if you need to know what phenomenology is, Google will tell you it’s ‘

the science of phenomena as distinct from that of the nature of being’, and ‘
an approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience

‘.

Fulani’s starting to write erotica again. If anything it’s darker and more offbeat than before, and grounded in issues ranging from modern philosophy to a sharp awareness of human mortality. It may not be the kind of stuff erotica publishers would want to publish. We’ll see in time. Maybe the next blog posts will include extracts.

 

Twerking and slutdrops

One of the things we try to do is keep an ear to the ground for new trends and terms that emerge in relation to sex. Nothing happens for a while and then we hear about two in the space of a couple of days. You probably already know this but…

‘Twerking’ just hit the headlines because Miley Cyrus twerked someone or other in her performance for the MTV Video Music Awards, and thus in front of a large TV audience. And it got a lot of complaints about unwarranted raunchiness, and ‘not in front of the children’ type comments. You can read more about all this at the BBC website. Part of the issue was to do with her wearing a flesh coloured costume that suggested nudity (though apart from the color it’s relatively conservative) but if you want to see the twerk, there’s a 39-second clip on Youtube where the twerk comes at 18 seconds in. It’s basically bending forward and waggling your ass, but for maximum effect a woman stands with her back to a guy and bends forward to grind her ass into his groin.

It doesn’t actually look like a very committed and positive twerk, just a hint of one. But if you really want to know the detail of how it’s done, there are instructional videos including this one on Youtube. We can see the attraction of it – but we’re just left wondering whether, since it’s billed as a ‘club dance move’, many people do it in clubs – and indeed whether if you went to a gay club you’d see guy-on-guy twerks. If anyone knows, we’d be interested to know.

And is the name just random, or is there any proper etymology there?

[Edited to add: on 28 August we discovered that twerking, along with terms such as ‘omnishambles’ and ‘selfie’, has made it into the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary. The term seems to have been around in hip-hop culture for around 20 years though only became visible in the cultural mainstream in the last year – which probably means it’s been a known as a club dance move in your local nightclub for a bit longer than that. More on this from your all-seeing cultural authority, the BBC.]

Now for the slutdrop. This is a twerk (optional) followed by a squat, and if it’s done right – that is, with the woman standing in front of a man and facing away from him, the result is that most of her spine makes contact with his groin. It’s probably been around as a solo dance move for quite a few years (and maybe starting in places like strip clubs?) and there are some Youtube clips now that are a couple of years old. But in the UK it was popularised by a TV programme called ‘Geordie Shore’ . Here’s their explanation/demonstration.

And no, we’re far too staid to do this kind of thing ourselves. Though if anyone want to come over and give us a live demo…

A 1950s household fetish?

For some reason the ‘1950s household fetish’ has been turning up on my radar recently. I don’t know whether it’s becoming more popular, or more people who are into it have been looking at my blogs, or what – but there it is. A fetish for the kinds of styles, culture and domestic and sexual relationships of the 1950s.

People who are into this often go deep into it. They furnish their house in a 1950s style and banish any devices (except possibly their PC) that wouldn’t have been available at that time. Books, magazines and newspapers of the time might be on display.

They dress the part, with full skirts and polka dots, elaborate hairdos and time spent baking things in the kitchen – that’s the women, of course, because the men would wear suits, waistcoats and ties, and smoke a pipe. They may listen to radio broadcasts of that time or watch 1950s TV programmes (for which they would, these days, need internet-ready TV or a DVD player, so technological compromises have to be made).

I can see the attraction. It was a period shortly after one of the most destructive wars humanity had ever waged, and many adults were simply relieved that it was over and they could get on with their lives. It was a period of fast economic growth, the beginning of a consumerist boom, and in the UK, a period in which government had responded to social need by creating the beginnings of the welfare state in order to make people more secure – free health care at the point of need, for example.

But it was also still an era of ‘traditional’ relations between dominant men and subservient women, with strongly defined roles and responsibilities. For many people this both echoes and reinforces the dom/sub roles of BDSM.

It’s an obvious point, but it’s a selective re-invention of the 1950s we’re talking about here. It’s based on middle- or upper-class homes, people who have comfortable lifestyles. We’re not talking about dingy 1950s council flats or the ‘prefabs’, temporary shed-like structures built to house those returning from war or who had lost their homes in wartime bombing raids. We’re not talking about couples where the role of the woman in the home excluded her husband, who spent most of his leisure time in the local pub. And we’re not talking about the era of food rationing, introduced in 1939 at the veginning of the war and not fully lifted until 1954.

Nor are we talking about the kind of society in which women could divorce their husbands for adultery only if it was proved (for example with a private detective and a photograph) or for reasons of drunkenness, insanity or desertion. The law was only changed and made more equal-handed in 1969.

Other negative aspects: the contraceptive pill hadn’t been invented, though the ‘upside’ of this was that a fairly sophisticated set of ‘petting’ activities were well-known so that sex that didn’t need contraception – handjobs, blowjobs and other forms of rubbing and mutual stimulation such as frottage using a range of materials – were widely practiced (and appreciated).

There was also widespread homophobia: the Wolfenden Report in the UK, which recommended a limited decriminalisation of homosexual acts, was published in 1957 and laws not enacted for another decade.

And in political terms, remember the Suez Crisis, the Korean War, the Hungarian Revolution and MAD – Mutual Assured Destruction in the event of a nuclear war? Yes, all in the 1950s and matters of worldwide anxiety at that time.

As best I can gather, those who follow what they think of as a 1950s lifestyle play with the idea of it to a large degree. In some cases it’s based on the fantasy that the husband goes off to work and has an affair with his secretary while the housewife entertains the milkman (remember them?) in the marital bed. I others, the household is female led and female-dominant, with the roles fully or partly reversed. In these latter households, sissification appears to be a strong theme as well.

Contemporary aspects BDSM such as highly technological toys are likely to play little part. Tease, bondage and spanking may be more common, even though the John Willie and Irving Klaw styles of heavier bondage were known in the sexual underground of the day. Oh, and rubber might play a part – rubber underwear was widely sold in the 1950s, ostensibly as an aid to weight loss because it encouraged perspiration. Though how people used it was of course up to them. This was the subject of some ribald comedy routines of the times.

For whose who engage in it, I suspect the value of the 1950s has something to do with the sense of retreat from troubling aspects of postmodern society (which I guess me might all want from time to time) and encapsulation in a more positive worldview. It might also be to do with a more rigid set of standards, values and expectations that some people may find comparatively easy to live inside. And there are aspects of 1950s fashion, design and style that remain alluring, from rocket fins on cars to stockings on women (yes, I know some men look good in stockings too, but it was a sexist era).

Don’t knock it. Just imagine for a second that in 2050, a ‘twenty naughty’ fetish might exist in which all the things we regard as troubling today – for example neoliberalism, economic recession, a struggle for non-discrimination and LGBT rights – is fetishised as being a comforting retreat from whatever world people are living in then…

 

Some sources for you:

A short, Christian-based account of the 1950s household fetish

The URGE (Ultimate Resource Guide to Explorations) page on the subject

The LPSG discussion group on 1950s household fetish

A Pinterest board on 1950s household fetish

 

 

 

 

Fact vs fiction

It’s history – but if you wrote it as fiction, I doubt anyone these days would imagine it had a basis in fact.

I’ve been reading law recently, for a number of reasons some of which are loosely connected with the second of a series of three paranormal novellas (the first one should be out in the next couple of weeks, I’m waiting on a cover image and publication date). But while doing so I came across Argyll v. Argyll, or to give it its full legal reference, Duchess of Argyll v. Duke of Argyll [1967] Ch302.

That case is about a legal injunction, but I’ll try to tell the whole story chronologically.

Ethel Margaret Whigham – known as Margaret – was born in 1912. Daughter of a Scottish millionaire with interests in both the UK and US, she was brought up in New York. She had several youthful romances and in 1930 became a debutante (and noted society beauty) in London. In 1933 she was married to Charles Sweeney, an American golfer, with whom she had three children (one was stillborn, two survived).

In 1943, she was visiting her chiropodist in Bond Street, London, and had a forty-foot fall down an elevator shaft that left her very seriously injured, including a blow to the head. On recovery, her friends reported that she had lost her senses of taste and smell due to nerve damage, but had also become ‘sexually voracious’. How accurate that claim was remains debatable – not so much in terms of her sex drive, but in terms of whether the fall and blow to the head had caused it. There were claims and rumours about various romantic liaisons in her past that suggested (I quote Wikipedia here) that the injury had resulted in a ‘change of degree rather than basic predisposition’.

She and Charles Sweeney divorced in 1947. She had a few affairs, but then in 1951 married Ian Douglas Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll. She was his third wife. However, while the ancestral home of the Argylls was Inveraray Castle, about 60 miles north-west of Glasgow, she – now the Duchess of Argyll – apparently preferred to live at 48 Upper Grosvenor Street in London, a house that had been in her own family since at least the 1930s. There she conducted a string of affairs with men in the upper echelons of British, and indeed international, society.

In 1959 her husband filed for divorce and the legal hearings ran until 1963. In that year, the Duke raided her house, seizing private diaries and Polaroid photographs which were used as evidence in the proceedings and led to separate hearings for an injunction to restrain him from publicly speaking or writing about these materials and other ‘marital secrets’, or allowing or enabling them to be made public. There was also an interlocutary injunction against the editor and publisher of the People newspaper to restrain them from publishing details, including the allegations made in the petition for divorce.

The key part of this debate concerned what came to be known as the ‘headless man’ photographs. These were a series of Polaroid photographs taken, according to the dates printed on the reverse of the pictures, in 1957. They’d been captioned in handwriting: ‘before’, ‘thinking of you’, ‘during’, ‘oh’, ‘finished’. And they showed a woman, naked apart from a distinctive pearl necklace, performing oral sex on a man whose head was not in shot while another man, whose face was also obscured, apparently masturbated in the background. The fact it was a Polaroid camera, and the handwriting on the pictures, became significant later on.

Diaries and the photographs were both used in evidence in the divorce proceedings. The former enabled the Duke to produce a list of 88 men with whom, he alleged, the Duchess had had sexual relations – the 88 were reputed to have included two government ministers and three royals. The latter rather graphically illustrated these relations and there were issues about, ironically, whether their explicit nature meant they were suitable for production as evidence in open court (they were, eventually).

Matters even reached the point at which Lord Denning, just appointed as Master of the Rolls, was asked to conduct an enquiry to determine the identity of the headless men. (Denning, incidentally, was asked to lead another enquiry into sexual matters in mid-1963: this was into the ‘circumstances leading to the resignation of the former Secretary of State for War, Mr J. D. Profumo’.)

The original list of 88 men was reduced to five headless man ‘suspects’, two of whom were Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Duncan Sandys, in 1957 Minister of Defence and by 1963 the cabinet minister responsible for the Commonwealth Relations Office. Sandys was exonerated by Denning on the basis of a medical examination that compared his pubic hair to that of the masturbating man in the photograph; Fairbanks was believed to be one of the men involved based on a comparison of his handwriting with that on the Polaroids.

As a footnote to that, the divorce court didn’t proceed with the claim that the Duchess has committed adultery with 88 men – that would have been overkill – and took evidence in relation to three, one of whom was Fairbanks. He denied his involvement to the end of his life. Sandys was dropped as a suspect ‘headless man’; but towards the end of her life, the Duchess pointed out something interesting to a friend of hers: ‘Of course, sweetie, the only Polaroid camera in the country at this time had been lent to the Ministry of Defence’. Erm… who had been the Minister of Defence at that time? (There’s more discussion in a Guardian article from August 2000, reporting on a TV documentary about the affair: ‘”Headless men” in sex scandal finally named’).

The end of the story is rather sad. The issue about injunctions and non-publication of ‘marital secrcets’ rolled on for several more years (hence the reference above to the 1967 court hearing). The ex-Duchess, as she became, never remarried, continued to live somewhat beyond her means and became increasingly poor, and died in 1993 in a nursing home in London.

So, on reflection and in conclusion, imagine someone (perhaps me) writing a piece of fiction about a woman in her forties whose sexual appetites had resulted from a serious injury and a blow on the head; that involved 88 lovers with whom she committed adultery, including group sex; that at least one of those lovers would be a government minister; that a scandal would unfold when compromising pictures came to light by an aggrieved husband raiding his wife’s London home; and that those pictures were taken on a camera that the minister’s department was secretly testing. You’d think that was a pretty far-fetched piece of erotic fantasy, wouldn’t you? You’d think it was the product of a sick writer’s imagination and some tired plot turns – please, not that stupid bang-on-the-head idea again.

Enough said.

***

In addition to the sources sited above, you can read more at the Fascinating History Blogspot blog. And probably a bunch of other places as well.

And the other court case that attracted my attention, and that I might actually use in the paranormal novella I’m writing, was a French case from 1858 – the ‘Rachel affaire’ – which concerned the rights to privacy of deceased persons.

Celebrate Difference – Be Yourself!

Differnet people all posing together, one in a wheelchair, one gay, others Goth or transgender

Difference. What does it matter?

I’ve been musing on this subject for a while now. Then Bisexuality Day came along to remind me just what a challenging word this is. We live life as though all is set in stone, and anything ‘outside the norm’ seems to provoke a lot of negative reactions from  people.

That’s always seemed alien to me. I love the different, the strange, the unusual. I think I was born that way, and grew up that way because I had parents who raised me to accept difference. We lived in an area of high immigration in the days when we needed people from other countries to come and work in our mills and factories. I played with Muslims, Sikhs and Caribbean children. They accepted us in their homes and we reciprocated. At school I had a friend who was a thalidomide victim. She had a stump for a hand. I never commented on it, and held ‘hands’ in the playground without acknowledging it. I knew it embarrassed her, and I didn’t see the point of bringing it up. In later life I had a polio victim friend. I’d known her a year when she asked my why I’d never mentioned her limp and clumsy footing on occasion. I replied it didn’t matter to me. What mattered was that we liked each other and were friends. She was thrilled and said she’d never met anyone who had resisted asking before.

I’ve never seen the need to reject, insult or judge anyone on the basis of their looks, health issues, sexual preference, sexual orientation or relationship arrangements. Who am I to tell someone else how to live?  Of course, there are completely unacceptable behaviors such as murder, pedophilia, rape. They are harming others, and no-one can or would want to condone that kind of behaviour.

I live by the credo ‘Do as you will and harm none.’ Harm none includes myself.

All that said, why are human beings so afraid of difference in each other? We divide and subdivide ourselves into little groups that war with other little groups. Why? I suppose it’s buried deep in the lizard brain to suspect anything we don’t understand and see that as a threat to our survival. We have to work at acceptance. Reason with ourselves. Think before making snap judgements. Remember that underneath that hoodie might be a nice young man who is cold and hungry. We spotted one hoodie getting all excited and concentrating hard on what he was doing at the edge of a roundabout. We watched suspiciously. It turned out all he was doing and getting excited about was photographing a rainbow. How cute is that? So what if someone is into kink or is gay or transgender? Or Black or yellow or whatever. What matters is the personality of the human inhabiting that body. What people do with their sex lives, personal taste and dress code is up to them. You might not like what they wear or do, but tolerance is needed. After all, they might not like what you wear or do, and you expect tolerance at the very least, if not acceptance from the world around you.

I thrive on those differences, use them in my work. And I’m here because I want to write and share some of the contents of my mind, which as you can see is pretty open. So I write. I have a fair whack of experience to draw on, and I think the contents of my mind might entertain people who enjoy BDSM, kinky sex, sex with more than one partner and lesbian sex and more. Who knows where my imagination will go next? I’m working on a new novella right now, and enjoying creating characters who are different. Who like to buck society’s constraints and find their own way to enjoy their kinks. Who have the bravery and strength of personality to be themselves.

Difference gives the opportunity to learn from each other. We can broaden our horizons, learn how different difficulties affect other people and learn solutions for problems we might not have understood previously. Speaking for myself and Fulani, our lives are richer for the people we have met and interacted with.

If I was to meet you, I’d accept you until you did something unacceptable, like treating me badly, abusing my trust or behaving badly to someone else. In other words, I’d be nice to you as long as you were nice to me. Celebrate difference, enjoy meeting interesting-because-they-are-different people, and have as much fun as you want in your sex lives.

I hope you come back to us, enjoy our stories, make use of the information we can gather for you here and enjoy being yourself, a unique individual who celebrates being different!

Whatever or whoever you are, you’re welcome here. Just be nice, please!

VelvetTripp xx

If you’re interested in stories that ARE different, that tickle your imagination in the sex arena, you might like the novellas Fulani and I wrote in Naked Delirium, an anthology of five stories out in illustrated paperback or on Kindle now. They’re tales of sex during altered states, all wildly different to each other and all, we hope you think, great reads. All of our other published work can be found here.

Guest posting from Randy Wornhole: Man and the Higher Self?

I have recently realised that where my boyfriend is concerned, if he can’t fuck it, eat it or disassemble and try to rebuild it, he isn’t sure what to do with it.

I realised after talking to several female friends, I seem to have accidentally discovered the TRUE NATURE of men. Simples!

We all have our needs and desires, but at our core is some primeval voice leading us to fulfil our basic drives in order to survive, then when these are met, we allow room to fulfil higher functions. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs backs up this theory. Sometimes I realise that it is easier to get to the first two or three basic levels of need, and stick there, satisfying the animal within, not progressing to the more human traits and needs.

I like the way in which the Chinese try and fulfil basic needs with a higher spiritual fulfilment… A fortune cookie, tries to teach you about the higher self and YOU CAN EAT IT! Pure genius.

Fortune cookie

Fortune cookie

Maybe this is why people now have sayings tattooed on their body, as a way of trying to enlighten their sexual partners while fulfilling sexual need. But this hypothesis does only hold up when the tattoo’s message is of the right calibre. Having the phrase “This entrance welcomes all cummers”, across the top of your bum would not count as higher thought.

In order to completely and utterly help your man attain a greater level of consciousness, you need only combine the hierarchy of needs:

  1. Tie yourself naked to a coffee table.
  2. Spell out on your body using French fries, some deep philosophical saying.
  3. Add a glass of beer with philosophy written on the bottom of the glass.
  4. Make sure that the football is on the TV, and pay to have adverts around the pitch, re-iterating the message you want to get across.

This may work out an expensive, time consuming approach, but hopefully it will get through, at some stage… maybe… well… probably not, but hey at least its worth a shot.

Finally I’d like to finish with a joke, just to clarify the inner workings of the male brain:

ANAL

For the whole 5 years I’ve been with my girlfriend, I’ve been begging her to try anal.

Until one day recently she gave in and said “Right! We can either do anal and spend the rainy day fund on those curtains I want, or, we don’t do anal and we buy the 3D TV you want. Which is it to be?”

At this point I remembered something my Dad told me once. He said “Son, if you just can’t decide, listen to your heart.”

Taking his advice, I found my stethoscope and held it to my chest. My heart’s answer was a resounding ” BumBum BumBum BumBum BumBum… ”

(Anon.)

***

This is a historic occasion: the first time we’ve had a guest post on DelDev. Randy Wornhole is a gay comedian whose dress sense ranges from the glamorously goth to the OTT outrageous, and whose humour isn’t so much dark as bizarre, bloodcurdling, corrupt, demented, disturbing, foul, grisly, infernal, malignant, morbid and panic-inducing. It is pretty funny though.

Randy Wornhole

Randy Wornhole

Here’s a link to his blog.

Newly listed with Love Boudoir

Good news. We’re now listed on Love Boudoir, a web page that lists, selectively reblogs and links to several hundred erotic and/or spanking and/or kinky blogs and bloggers. For whatever reason we’re on their kinky list. It’s worth looking over the site, you may find things that interest you.

Meanwhile, the big news story of the week is that PayPal is causing a storm of controversy at the moment due to its decision to withdraw transaction processing from some erotic publishers and threaten to do the same to many others. In principle the decision relates only to certain categories of ‘extreme’ erotica, though commentators have been quick to point out that (a) no one is saying the books themselves are actually unlawful, (b) only ‘erotica’ is being targeted, with many of the same themes and descriptions appearing as substantial chunks of horror, crime and general fiction and (c) the enforcement seems spectacularly hamfisted, with some publishers reporting being blindsided by bans when their books don’t in fact contain any of the themes that PayPal is worried about and others are getting away with continuing to publish works on those themes because they have less explicit covers and blurbs.

Companies offering adult-themed material, products and services of all sorts have a tangled relationship with banks and card processing agencies, and have had for years. The new issue, really, is that erotica publishing is suddenly being faced with the same transaction issues as, for example, escort services and massage parlours. And it may follow on from similar actions by credit card companies in the US last year. Those most affected, of course, are the small independents and those who self-publish via sites such as BookStrand and Smashwords, who aren’t in a position to move easily to alternative marketing platforms or payment methods.

There’s a post just up on Fulani’s blog linking to a string of Forbes articles that trace some of the history of the relationship between adult sector and financial institutions, and over at justineelyot.com you’ll see her take on the situation (plus a copy of the email she got from Smashwords about what the PayPal decision meant for them), plus links to other similarly-affected authors and their views. The Huffington Post also has an article setting out what’s going on.

Thus far, at least, our own publishers and titles aren’t affected as far as we know. But given the way the policy’s being implemented nothing seems certain at this point. It will no doubt be a while before new transaction methods (of which, actually, there are quite a few) are taken up by the publishers to get around the problem.