Blind Date From Hell

A blind date is like jumping out of a window when your house is on fire not knowing if you are going to crack your skull on the garden path.

The moment you meet on a blind date, the reason why you are there flies out of your head. You feel tense, a bit stupid, and it’s hard to focus on this stranger with his unknown desires and expectations.

A blind date was traditionally set up by a mutual friend of the daters. In cyber times, with almost as many dating sites as porn sites, love is found stroking the keyboard. You can invent a new persona. If it doesn’t work, change your Gravatar and become someone new, an unceasing quest to find yourself as much as love.

Before I was hooked up, if I wanted to meet someone new, I spent a night in one of my preferred West End bars, usually with a girlfriend, sometimes alone when sleep was the enemy and my notebook was itching to slide out beside a glass of champagne and get written in. There’s always danger, but it’s never dull.

It was under Gemma’s pressure that I succumbed, and my blind date with Mike (real name) provides a list of warning signs that have stuck in my mind liked a tattoo.

Blind Date State of Play

We met at a restaurant – a public place, safe for us both. Mike was at the table and glanced up from my photo on his phone. He looked at my legs, tits and finally my face.

We brushed cheeks and he sat back where he had been sitting looking out with a view of the restaurant. I sat facing him, and the wall, and he snapped his fingers for the waitress. I began with a glass of cava. He asked for house red and tap water.

We ordered, and when the first course came my blind date complained that the walnuts in his Waldorf salad were rancid. ‘It’s just the flavour of the yoghurt,’ the waitress told him, and he told her: ‘Why don’t you taste it yourself if you think I’m lying.’

She took the plate away and brought him the Greek salad, the same as I was having; fresh feta, plump Kalamata black olives, ripe tomatoes and cucumber. ‘I hate it when they try and rip you off,’ he said.

There’s an old joke: a man talks about himself in a restaurant for two hours and then says, well, that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about you – what do you think of me? The joke came to mind as Mike sat there telling me about his job in IT, and just the mention of those two initials were enough for me to swig back my cava and order another one.

Mike moved on from his career as a world authority in SEO – search engine optimisation – to his love of ice hockey, which he played growing up in Maine and could have gone pro. ‘I guess you were meant for higher things?’ I said, and he nodded modestly.

I asked Mike how he knew Gemma and he snapped his fingers at the waitress. He needed another glass of wine to explain that she was a ‘crazy girl’ who ‘ran hot and cold.’ They really had something, he said, but she just blew it. He couldn’t stand ‘ego-mad’ women who only thought about themselves.

He had started to tell me about another crazy girl who’d messed up up his life when his phone rang. He glanced up from the screen. ‘I have to take this,’ he said, and proceeded to explain to a client for ten minutes that SEO doesn’t happen over night. Like love, I thought. He mentioned keywords and alt tags. I wondered if I should ask him for advice about my own blog, but didn’t.

In fact, now that he was on his third glass of wine, he was stroking the back of my hand and telling me I had nice eyes. ‘You should see my feet,’ I said, and he wasn’t sure if I was joking or not. I realised, too, that what attracts me most in men is wit, silliness, fun, and Mike from Maine must have had a humour bypass.

We shared the bill and I paid the tip. He didn’t have any change, and didn’t think the waitress was worth anything. She was gamine with short pixie hair, the perfect blind date, I thought.

10 Blind Date Warning Signs

  1. He looks first at your tits and legs, not your face.
  2. He sits facing out in a restaurant, leaving you to face the wall.
  3. He snaps his finger for the waitress and treats her with impatience – this may be done simply to impress. Don’t be.
  4. He complains about his food as if the waitress is to blame for its apparent shortcomings; a sign that he is probably abusive, even violent.
  5. A blind date who talks incessantly about himself isn’t as interesting as he thinks he is. He’s a bore and bores get more boring the longer you know them.
  6. Men who talk about sport usually aren’t doing any, they’re watchers, not doers, a statistics wonk, not an action man.
  7. Ask him about past girlfriends. If he puts them down, if he blames them for breakups, it’s a red light on the list of warning signs.
  8. He leaves his cell phone on the table, a display of his belief in his own importance.
  9. If he gets too romantic or sentimental and starts stroking your hand across the table, don’t let him keep refilling your glass, and be careful if you go to the loo in case he’s dropped a rape date drug in your drink.
  10. He under tips – or worse.
  • Share your blind date from hell in COMMENTS – 

Words are Never at a Loss for Words

Words love me best when I leave them alone, when I stop poking and prodding and allow them to arrange themselves.

Words have a taste, sweet but subtle, like dark chocolate; the scent of old bookshops; a flamenco rhythm; the feeling of the rain on your face on sunny days. Words are cruel and spiteful sometimes, wise and loving at others.

Words know that there is always the right word and no other word will do. Words believe in brevity – the soul of wit, said Shakespeare, a man never at a loss for words.

Words hate to waste energy. If you can’t find the right word, don’t look for it. It will find you. The right word at the right time stops wars, cures heartaches, mends bridges, sweeps away barriers.

Words want to be sampled, relished, remembered; they need breathing space in the shape of commas, colons, semi-colons and full stops. Words are individual. They are content to string along together in sentences and paragraphs, but remain mavericks, outsiders beyond the crowd, the mob, the gang. A long novel begins with the first word.

Words are forceful but fair, feminine, flexible, yet solid, strong, dependable. Words are multi-cultural, without prejudice. They believe in freedom, equality, equanimity. If a word were a man he’d be a man of his word.

Words Maketh Man

In the beginning there was the word and the word was good. The word was healthy. The word civilized our barbarous precursors. After man had taught himself to make tools, he grew crops to feed himself and stored or traded the surplus. He needed to keep records and used the sharp edge of an axe to mark tokens fired in a kiln to confirm the exchange, a form of writing that started 12,000 years ago in the Zagros Mountains in Mesopotamia, present day Iraq, Syria and Iran. Words have a sense of irony.

It took thousands of years for the marks on clay tokens to develop into pictograms to represent quantities, time frames, commodities. The word was born and the scribes in Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, were crucial figures because they had the gift of words.

Man turned his tools to architecture, painting and sculpture, but we know more of classical civilizations than the ruins they left by the words of the philosophers and dramatists, Sophocles, Euripides, Plato, Virgil, Ovid, Bukhari; the words of the poets that resonate still.

A picture may describe a 1000 words but it will often need 1000 words to describe a picture.

Spread the word and CLICK the links below – 

An Orgasm a Day For A Longer Life

An orgasm a day will help you live longer. Regular sex with plenty of orgasms is healthy, provides pain relief, aids weight loss, relieves stress, feels fantastic and makes you look younger.

People take sex far too seriously. It’s only sex. Do you love chocolate? I know I do. Eat it. Enjoy it. Sex makes your heart beat faster and, according to one study, burns away five calories a minute. Do the maths.

Sex is the best exercise in the world. Try a shoulder and arm work out by standing on your hands with your partner supporting your thighs as he glides in and out. You’ll be achy in the morning, and that means you need your orgasm a day to build up those muscles.

I heard at a recent party one man say to another: Do you play golf? The other replied: No, I still fuck. Men of advancing years who have sex twice a week are less likely to be struck down by heart disease than those who have abandoned the bed for the golf course and tennis court. Sex boosts your heart rate and keeps testosterone levels in balance.

Orgasm brings a surge of blood to female genital tissue, keeping it healthy, supple, refreshed in oestrogen. Forget those medieval taboos, sex during the menstrual cycle wards off endometriosis, a uterine condition that can lead to infertility.

If you have a headache, the last thing you want to do is tell him (or her) that you have a headache. Light some candles and put some sexy undies on instead. Sex increases pain tolerance. Headaches and other neuralgia complaints are often stress related. An orgasm a day ignites the passion hormone oxytocin and all those little aches and worries vanish like smoke.

As an insomniac, the writer’s disease, I find a session between the bedsheets carries me off to the oneiric land of sleep like no amount of pills or ice cold glasses of cava. The oxytocin blast releases a monsoon of endorphins that have a sedentary effect and you wake thirsting for your orgasm a day revitaliser before the fresh orange juice.

Orgasm a Day Studies

To go back to the golfer, the more he knocks those little balls around the course the more he wants to knock those little balls around the course. Sex is like that. If you are lucky enough to be in the orgasm a day club, your libido zooms off the charts, your handicap falls to zero and you need an orgasm a day to stay match fit.

Just as some guys are good at golf, some girls are not good at reaching orgasm. As many as one in three women suffer FSD – Female Sexual Dysfunction. There are treatments available. But the best therapy is the try, try and try again method with a partner devoted to tongue play and relentless dedication to clitoral and g-spot stimulation.

You can assist that dedication, first by giving as much as you get, but also by what you eat. Vaginas have their own scent. Six showers a day won’t change that. If you want to keep your parts as fragrant as Chanel, not as odorous as the English Channel, eat strawberries, pineapple and oranges; avoid vegetables, particularly asparagus and cabbage. Now that I have given up smoking, I can also say: don’t smoke, it’s smelly, unhealthy and chops years off the end of your life.

People in loving relationships are generally healthier than singletons. But if they want to live longer, too, the orgasm a day guidance is borne out by a number of studies.

A British research team over an extended period interviewed 1,000 men in six Welsh villages about their sex lives. In the fullness of time, death records were sent to the scientists, who determined in a ten year study that those men who had two or more orgasms a week had lived significantly longer than those who had confined themselves to a lonely big O a month.

A study at Duke’s University, with 252 participants over a 25 year period, revealed that frequent sex was a ‘significant predictor of longevity.’ A study in Sweden has shown that men of 70 who reached 75 were those on a regular sex diet.

Doubters will say that the studies don’t prove that an orgasm a day is the road to longevity; rather it is the reverse: healthy people have more sex, more orgasms and live longer anyway. But, then, why take the risk? An orgasm is like the big bang, the explosion that creates life and makes life worth living.

Now CLICK & read Katie in Love to put you in the mood!

Professional Authors on Starvation Wages

My new novel Katie in Love came out on 21 March and has reached in four weeks more than 70, mainly 5-star reviews at Amazon.com, with proportionately similar results in the UK, Canada and Australia.

Katie in Love is my 6th novel, the first indie-published. It took 13 months to write. I worried and fussed over ever sentence. I used a professional to design what is considered a rather beautiful, eye-catching cover.

I followed my own Five Prime Rules for Writing:

  1. edit, edit, edit
  2. show don’t tell
  3. if in doubt, leave it out
  4. don’t use a long word when a short one will do
  5. avoid clichés like rat poison 

Though I believe, as do the critics, that this is my best book, the modest sales reflect a disheartening trend highlighted in the current newsletter from ALCS (Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society), a UK campaigning organization for writers that collects money due to members for secondary uses of their work, including photocopying, cable retransmission, digital reproduction, educational recording, royalties from foreign sales and translations.

ALCS commissioned Queen Mary University of London to conduct a survey of 2500 working writers. The Report, The Business of Being an Author: A Survey of Authors’ Earnings and Contracts, reads like a death sentence and includes the distressing statistic that author earnings have fallen by 29% since 2005, with just 11.5% of professional authors making a living solely from writing, down from 40% a decade ago.

The Writing Life and Earnings

  • The career of a professional authors typically begins in the late 20s/30s. The optimum ‘earning age’ for the majority is the mid-40s to 50s, with incomes beginning to decline thereafter.
  • The earnings picture is top heavy: the top 5% scooped up 42.3% of all the money earned by professional authors.
  • The bottom 50% (those earning £10,432 or less) earned only 7% of all the money earned by all writers cumulatively.
  • Since 2005 the typical author has become poorer against society as a whole and now (from self-employed writing) earns only 87% of the present minimum wage (less than £20,000).
  • Nearly 90% of professional authors need to earn money from sources other than writing.
  • 17% of all writers did not earn any money from writing in 2013, despite 98% of these having had a work published or exploited in each year from 2010 to 2013. That means at least 17% of writers work without any expectation of earnings.

Self-Publishing

  • A quarter of authors have self-published a book.
  • Among indie authors, the top 10% of earners made a profit of £7,000 or more.
  • The top 20% of earners among authors who have self-published made a profit of almost £3,000.
  • The bottom 20% of indies made losses of at least £400.

Publishing Advances and Contracts

  • 44% of authors stated that the size of the advances they had received from publishers had declined over the past five years.
  • 46% of authors said they had signed a buy-out contract (where there is a single payment for use of their work without the further payment of royalties), with 30% stating that the prevalence of such contracts was on the increase.

Copyright

  • 42% of authors said they always retain copyright in their works, with most others retaining it most, or some of the time. Only 12% never retain any copyright in their works after publication.

According to Richard Combes, ALCS head of Rights and Licensing: “The research highlights a familiar paradox: at a time when the creative industries are a thriving mainstay of the UK economy, the industry of individual creators is an increasingly undervalued national resource.”

Amen.

It leaves me to thank to ALCS for the sobering numbers, and thank, in advance, to those now tempted to CLICK and READ the generous reviews for Katie in Love.

First Anal Penetration – Steven Josephs Guest Blog

Like so many of my sexual adventures, my first anal penetration by anything other than a tentative finger, happened on the initiative of someone else.

Whilst enjoying my favourite post ejaculation recovery one day, being stroked gently by a woman half my age, she asked me if I fancied taking a strap-­on.

Yes, just like that.

She can be quite direct. I have learned that when a beautiful, intelligent woman suggests something, anything, there can be only one response. So she went out next day and bought herself a strap-on. Life is very simple really.

Next time we were together, we opened our ‘present’ and fixed the straps. I could not believe how sexy she looked in the strap-on, and that itself is a big turn on.

The girl is naturally submissive, which is lovely, most of the time. But I do enjoy her taking the initiative and becoming more dominant. I had been wondering how to encourage her to become that very thing, when she made the suggestion and then followed through by buying the strap-on.

Joys of First Anal Penetration

She ordered me to kneel, and pushed the hard rubbery ‘penis’ into my mouth. She held my head and began gently, but with growing force, to fuck my mouth. Not as pleasant as a cock (don’t ask?) but she needed to do it. And I needed to submit in that way for her. Withdrawing, she pointed to the bed.

Firstly, I went on all fours and she stood behind me. She lubricated my anus with her fingers, added lube to the dildo, then leaned forward and pushed against my opening.

The opening is tight, and there is an instinctive nervous resistance, but she eased gently into me, and I was conscious of being filled. She began to slide in and out and we continued for several minutes. Then she lay on top of me, a very gentle, loving experience.

I laid on my back, ‘missionary’, I guess, and had the experience of observing her determined face as she entered me again. The determination to control and set the pace was a delight to watch. This time she was harder. Soon, a thin film of perspiration covered her face and body, and her skin turned pink. As she took control of me, I had a feeling of overwhelming joy. I loved it. Honestly.

Then I made my masterstroke. I told her to ‘rape me.’ And that was truly dynamic. Her personality seemed to change. She placed her hands on my shoulders and, gripping me in place, rammed and rammed my aching anus until I pleaded with her to stop.

My first anal penetration was a delightful experience and I believe it would be for any man, particularly one who is endeavouring to encourage his lady to be more dominant, even aggressive. She is now threatening to buy a larger strap-on…..

Do you have an experience you would like to share? Write to me at [email protected]

Why Men Like To Watch Girls Peeing

Girls peeing is more fascinating to men than men peeing interests women, except with that splash of envy we feel when, caught short on the way home, he whips it out to spray the nearest wall, while you have to squat down, lower your knickers and wet your new Monolo Blahniks.

Men are obsessed with breasts, they suckle on them as babies, and the allure of bottoms entices their horny hands as if with some celestial force. The appeal of girls peeing comes from some atavistic kink in the male genome. Like canines marking their territory, girls peeing is feral, primitive, earthy.

Freud described the libido as psychosexual energy: the driving force behind all human behaviour. He suggests that for a child, ‘pleasure is derived’ learning to hold the bladder, ‘but a fixation at this stage can result in a personality that is too rigid.’ Put another way, girls peeing for watching eyes is a release from the rigidity of contemporary society, a tiny rebellion.

If we go back to our cavemen ancestors, girls peeing whenever they wanted and wherever they squatted was normal. That feeling of sliding back into your primordial skin is inborn and curiously sensual. It’s like going naked in public, or peeing in the sea. You are doing what came natural before shame and the fig leaf entered Eden.

Girls Peeing on Jellyfish Stings

 I would like to dispel two myths:

  1. Pee on jellyfish stings does not relieve pain. It makes it worse. The only relief is bathing (without touching) the sting with sea water drawn away from the area where the sting occurred. Then go to the pharmacist for some cream.
  1. Drinking your own (or anyone else’s) pee is NOT good for you, except on that rare happenstance when you are lost without water in the middle of the desert. Our urinary tract is layered in bacteria and urine is a secondary waste disposal mechanism removing used blood, toxins and dead cells.

Having said that, across the palette of fetishes from girls peeing on their partner or being peed upon, bathing in pee, watching others wet themselves, wetting the bed and sniffing pee-soaked clothing, while drinking each other’s urine does nothing for your health, it is perfectly acceptable if that’s what floats your boat, although I would suggest champagne, or cava, same colour and a better buzz.

In a world in crisis growing tougher for more people and in more complex ways, baby role play (paraphilic infantilism) has been rebranded as: Adult Babies Wearing Diapers (ABWD) with support and contact groups on Facebook and other social platforms.

Baby suckles from a bottle, cries, wets herself (it’s usually girls peeing their diapers) and daddy gets off on cleaning her up. Note: infantalists are not paedophiles but adults with “altered lovemaps, imprinting gone awry and errors in erotic targets,” says Wikipedia.

The Japanese have a predilection for Omorashi – holding your pee until you are ready to burst in order to give pleasure to yourself and for those watching your discomfort. It takes all sorts.

The ever-inventive Brits have created Pussing – girls peeing in public places like pubs or the office, so their partner but no one else can see, the pleasure being, one assumes, in getting caught out.

Peeing fetishes are called watersports, golden showers and, to get classical, urolagnia, from the Greek ouron, urine, and lagneia, a lovely word meaning lust. Happy peeing…

Got to rush…

Katie in Love – review by India Reid

Opening up Chloe Thurlow’s Katie in Love is a lot like slipping into the perfect bath after a long, hard day. It’s the perfect temperature, warm enough to make you sweat. The water is the most gorgeous shade of lavender– no, not lavender, but instead Katie’s signature pink. There are rose petals floating in the water, candles lit all around; the air is deliciously humid, floral with hints of something darker – leather, maybe, or sandalwood. Best of all, the bath is drawn in one of those gorgeous old tubs with the claw feet, but it’s big enough that your whole body can sink down into it, right up to the bottom lashes of your eyes.

It probably sounds like I’m romanticizing Thurlow’s work – but I’m not. There’s something incredibly intimate about Katie in Love that does all of the romancing for me. There were times when reading Katie left me feeling like I had just seen the author naked – and Chloe, if you’re reading this, consider me seduced. There’s a definite sense of voyeurism to the piece, a floaty realism that leaves one wondering how much of the story is fact and how much is fiction.

Katie in Love is both erotic and elegant, delicate but bold. It’s a hell of a story, in the most classic sense of the word. They just don’t write books like this anymore. Thurlow spins a tale like she’s traveled to us from a classier time to bring fine literature to the masses.

The primary plot is basic – as basic as all love stories are, when you get right down to it. Katie Boyd meets sex bomb doctor Tom Bridge at a New Year’s Eve party and they do the deed; a romance blossoms, a bond is formed, the sex is magnificent and the banter is to die for.

But Katie is no simpering Austenesque regency heroine who can’t step out in the rain without catching a deadly cold. She’s an intellectual, a former Catholic school girl with a naughty side. Katie meets her friends at lesbian bars, writes erotic novels and forms trysts with her tutors that are just as educational in the books as they are naked, on top of them. And Tom is no General Hospital extra, either – he’s running a non-profit for children orphanage in Sri Lanka and running away from the kind of ex-girlfriend that every one of us fears deep down inside.

The thing about this book is that it’s honest, honest in the most fascinatingly baring ways. It’s not just Katie that one feels emotionally entangled in after reading; it’s Thurlow as well, her writing, her poetic patterns of speech and her particular way of teasing out the most intimate of details with her words.

You’ll never read another book like it again – and it’s ripe for a second read.

Katie in Love at Amazon, just click.

Pegging & the Decline of Casual Sex

For couples losing the oo la la in their sex life, pegging is making its way out of the all-girl world of strap-ons and entering the hetero mainstream.

What’s Pegging? It requires girls to buckle up into a harness with a dildo and show their male partner what it feels like to reverse roles – something gay men will often understand, but to straight men is one of the unsolved mysteries of the universe.

According to sexologist Charlie Glickman PhD, a lot of men discover that when sex is about catching rather than pitching, their mood, emotions and connection to a partner can often have a bigger influence on what they want to do and how it feels.

The first thing that men learn is something girls have been trying to tell them forever: that great sex starts with foreplay. With pegging, that means oral stimulus first, fingering and plenty of lube.

Pegging and the Prostate

Pegging is also a learning experience for girls in that, on top, they become aware of the responsibility men feel to give their all. Anal orgasms for girls are a special joy. Similarly, that pleasure has its mirror image in prostate orgasm and requires the same dedication to foreplay.

The prostate gland produces male semen and probing the prostate area (sometimes called the male g-spot) with a strap-on provides a unique sexual pleasure and orgasms to die for.

Pegging crossed my desk thanks to a post by Doris Dawn and it resonated in my mind after reading the results of a depressing study showing that casual sex is on the decline and couples in Britain are having less sex than they did ten years ago.

The findings are from the Third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles just published in the Lancet. It reveals that adults up to the age of 44 in Britain are having sex 5 times a month, compared with more than 6 times a month when the last survey was completed in 2005.

Math is not my speciality, but 6 and a bit times a month sounds tame to me, and 5 times a month makes you wonder what the survey’s going to reveal in another ten years.

The study identifies 4 causes:

  1. fears of unplanned pregnancy
  2. the financial crisis
  3. worries about the financial crisis
  4. computers

It doesn’t tell us anything about people over 44, so I just hope they are keeping their end up. As for one-nighters, sex-buddies, sex with a stranger, and casual sex in all its wonders, people so traumatised by the world’s woes can’t keep their fingers off their keyboards.

The survey tells us couples are taking their smart devices to bed  to check the last whoosh of incoming emails and catch up on  work. Other surveys have shown consistently that we are watching more porn than ever, creating a world of voyeurs too tired and jaded for romance.

The figures are particularly disappointing to me because my posts encourage healthy sex in its myriad possibilities. Sex is good for the heart, the soul, the mind. Sex every day makes you feel happy, and happy people feel and look younger.

Pegging is a long stride into the unknown for many couples but, if Charlie Glickman is right, it is one worth taking.

Share and Spread the Word

Caravaggio Stole My Heart & Led Me To The Abyss

Caravaggio was a drunkard, brawler, probably a murderer, definitely that rare thing: a genius. And he stole my heart.

Caravaggio opened my head to new ideas and haunted my dreams after a school trip to The Louvre in Paris when I was fifteen. All the girls had rushed like moths to the Mona Lisa flame, but I was transfixed by Caravaggio.

I bought a postcard of his painting The Crowning With Thorns. I pinned it next to my bed in the dorm and woke that night in a cold sweat with the image of the suffering, pale-fleshed Christ burnt into my retina. Christ as a man imagined by Caravaggio was very real and very beautiful.

That memory came back to me this week when a friend in Boston sent me links to Visiting Masterpieces – Caravaggio and Connoisseurship, which runs from 12 April to 15 June at Boston Fine Arts Museum with works by Caravaggio never before seen in the city.

Caravaggio Realism

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio is often described as a Renaissance painter. He isn’t. By the time he was born in Milan in 1571, the Renaissance was over and Caravaggio swept the cherubs and idealised landscapes off the canvas and into the gutter.

The Church was one of the few places to seek commissions. Caravaggio was obliged to paint Christian themes, but added his own saucy kink. Captivated by stories of rape, lust, incest and the slaughter of innocents, he restaged biblical scenes in the places he knew best, the bars, brothels and broken streets of the poor. He dressed his figures in the clothing of his day, and used as models the beggars, thieves, whores and gamblers he mixed with.

Caravaggio learned from the masters, but created his own style and carved his own path to exile and perdition. The gritty realism of his portraits captures his models’ every line and defect, their emotions as well as their physical presence.

His theatrical use of chiaroscuro lighting with deep shadows and glittering highlights draws you to his canvases as if to the cliff edge. He looked deep into the darkness, you can see it in his work, literally and metaphorically. Like a great piece of music, or a stunning passage in a novel, you come away from Caravaggio subtly changed. If you have pretensions at being creative, he takes you beyond the cliff edge and into the abyss.

Caravaggio Street Fighter

After formal training in Milan, Caravaggio moved in his twenties to Rome. The Protestant churches springing  springing up all over Europe at the end of the 16th century were more austere, less fussy and overpowering. In order to counter the reformist vision of Christianity, the Catholic Church was seeking fresh ideas for its own new places of worship.

Caravaggio’s naturalism, close observation of his subjects, his ability to illuminate a scene as if by a spotlight on stage, and his method of putting paint on canvas that reminded them of Titian (his teacher’s teacher) made him the right man in the right place at the right time.

From the day he started work on the commission the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, Caravaggio was an overnight success, a fate at times as cruel as failure. He never lacked money, or the facility to keep it in his purse. He gambled, was a steadfast habitué of the whores houses, and swaggered, sword at his side, from one drinking den to the next.

Caravaggio fancied himself as pugilist and many inebriated nights ended in a street fight. He was frequently arrested, usually for brawling, sometimes for vandalism, and was speedily released from jail to continue God’s work. Although God’s work for Caravaggio was always his own work with his own quirks and mischief. When he got his most important commission directly from the Pope, he couldn’t resist sewing the seeds of his own doom.

Charged with creating the altarpiece for St Peter’s Cathedral, he chose one of his whores as a model and painted the provocative The Madonna of the Serpent, with the Virgin leaning down over the child to reveal her abundant cleavage. The painting was hidden from public gaze – luckily it survives, enjoyed at the time, one assumes, by the cardinals and priests  – and Caravaggio didn’t get paid.

In 1606, at the age of thirty-five, he killed a man in a brawl. A death warrant was issued by the Pope, and Caravaggio didn’t wait around to stand trial. He fled to Malta with a price on his head.

He continued the same life: street fighting and creating masterpieces that sell now at auction for many millions of dollars. He was involved in another scrap, fled to Naples and, three years later was brutally beaten up by ‘unidentified enemies.’ He was finally granted a pardon by the Pope for the alleged murder in Rome, and was on his way back to the city when he caught a fever and died aged 39 in Porto Ercole, in Tuscany.

Caravaggio’s fame faded after his death. It was not until the 20th century that his work was judged as being the very foundation stone of modern painting. He influenced the artists Rembrandt, Rubens and Bernini, who followed in his footsteps. The Surrealists owe much to Caravaggio, and so do I.

After my initiation at The Louvre at fifteen, I came to see that if art is to stand the test of time, it must be brave, fearless and break down barriers. The true artist must step outside her comfort zone, open her eyes wide and stare into the abyss.

Illustration shows The Musicians.

Follow the link for Caravaggio’s complete collection

 

 

Blowjobs Golden Rule – Swallow Don’t Spit

Blowjobs are empowering. When you are down on your knees with a warm cock in your mouth, you have the power over pleasure and pain. Great blowjobs are life-affirming, uniquely human, a biblical investment: the more you give the more you get.

When more than 1000 girls answered the Ask Reddit survey: What do you think about when you are giving blowjobs? I was saddened to learn that the majority admitted pondering nothing but the mundane: I wonder if he likes it; my jaw aches; how long before its over?

The secret of giving unforgettable blowjobs is to let go, empty your mind of all thoughts, be in the moment. Fellatio should be a meditation, an opportunity to bring your man to a joyful release that fills your mouth and covers your face with its creamy warmth.

The blowjobs golden rule is swallow, don’t spit. Semen is his essence, his pride, the spirit of life. How discourteous, how banal to cough up the elixir and wretch it out. Kiss him and share the fruits of your labour.

Blowjobs are intensely intimate, for those girls who acquire the pistachio and Greek salad taste, seminal fluid is a wonderdrug containing protein; cortisol, which combats stress and increases affection; oxytocin, which gives you a mild high; the antidepressant serotonin; and melatonin, a sleep aid – and what greater pleasure than to snuggle beneath the bedsheets with the sticky stuff drying in a face masque. Is it good for the skin? I know women who swear by it.

Blowjobs & Penis Envy

Freud’s theory that girls suffer penis envy is largely refuted, although, anatomically, where the female has a space to be filled, we can’t help but wonder what it must be like to have that curled-up sleepy extension that grows hard, bobs about as if with a will of its own and throbs in your palm as the blood pulses through his veins.

Boys love their cocks. They love playing with them. After years of youthful practise, they have a knack of getting themselves off with astonishing ease. Many blowjobs end with him taking over while you wait passively for his load.

The challenge is to bring blowjobs to orgasm by tonguing technique interspersed with massaging the shaft and sucking his balls. Wet the shaft with bold slippery licks, take it down to your tonsils and up again, slowly at first, building in tempo.

Manoeuvre yourself into a position where you can look into his eyes. His deepest desire is to see his entire manhood buried in your throat. Hold his gaze. You grip with your lips and mouth, creating an air-tight seal that adds suction to the sucking motion. And you know what happens when a force is kept under pressure – it builds and builds until it explodes.

Those girls complaining in the Reddit Survey about having an aching jaw simply need to learn to vary the action. After he has seen his cock vanish in your mouth, spend time flicking your tongue tip into little groove – called the meatus – and sucking the soft pink head – the glans – like it’s a lollypop. Like the clitoris, this area of the penis contains clusters of nerve endings that send pleasure messages to the brain.

A word of caution: the glans is softer the silk, the shaft as delicate as tissue. BJs belong to lips, tongues and throats. Keep your teeth to yourself. Some men like to have a finger pushed into their butt for added stimulation. Try it and see. Make sure your fingernails aren’t jagged and use lube.

Memorable blowjobs are a marathon, not a sprint. After fairy licking the glans, aim your tongue tip in delicate stabs around the frenulum (or frenum), the membrane on the underside of the penis that connects the head to the shaft. This area, sometimes called the male g-spot, is a bundle of hypersensitive nerve accelerators.

As the pleasure grows, he snatches for breath. When he closes his eyes, ease the soft outer flesh of the shaft up and down, faster, faster, your hand beating regular as a metronome, cup the head with your lips and mouth and keep pumping until the magical moment of climax. Now swallow. Don’t spit.

Men believe they are getting the most out of blowjobs; that it obeys the natural order. Let them think it. Discover the true joy of giving great head, and remember that investment: the more you give the more you get when it’s his turn to go down on his knees.

You’ll love the BJ scene in Chapter 1 of Katie in Love CLICK CLICK

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Characters Create You – You Don’t Create Your Characters

Characters watch your every move. They know your every mood. They are voyeurs, secretive and cunning. The moment you start to write a story, the characters take control. While you sleep at night, they are plotting; planning. As they grow and change, they change your manuscript.

When a story drops, sometimes unwanted, into the writer’s head, the characters come to life, shadows that instantly take form. Characters are foggy mirror images of the writer. They contain her quirks and mannerisms, often disguised and in another form.

The skinny girl writer invents a fat bully businessman and discovers he blinks twice before answering crucial questions. He’s fussy about what tie goes with what suit. He buys expensive shoes he keeps in boxes. He only uses olive oil shower gel and is jealous of his wife because she attracts people to her, has natural grace and plays the cello.

Once the characters are real in the mind of the writer, they become architects who set about redrafting the plot. Unshackled from their chains, characters grow wings and set off on a journey from one state to a new, often opposite, state. The bully businessman starts a charity to ferry cattle to destitute African farmers. The spurned lover gets the girl. James Bond saves the world. Prudish Anastasia Steele gets kinky.

Writers, now slaves of their characters, set off on this journey because they are driven. It’s an itch they can’t scratch. The monkey on their back. Writers write because they can’t not write.

Characters Don’t Clean Floors

Writers will tell you they would rather clean floors than write. They are not joking. When you clean the floor, you start with a dirty floor and end with a clean floor. There is a beginning, middle and end. Something has been completed and achieved.

Stories likewise require a beginning, middle and end. But finding the precise moment to begin and visualizing the end in that place over the lip of the horizon is a lot more difficult than wringing out a wet mop. One of the key secrets of great writing is knowing where to start and when to stop.

The fact that it tires you physically and drains you mentally makes it an absolute imperative that you love your characters, the evil as well as the saintly. You must know the genre inside out, and write what moves you, what drives you, what you are compelled to share with others.

Like your own gorgeous newborn, christen your characters with a name that feels right for their temperament (or runs contrary to it), a name that resonates when you see their image in your mind and read what they have to say when it emerges on the page – and yes, once they are fleshed out, they will say what they want to say and do what they want to do.

Before the crucial one-third in turning point that governs most stories, there will be endless fights as your characters make their journey. Character drives plot and your heroes and are in the driving seat. Characters begin as your children and become your teachers.

Characters Don’t Tell

Give characters a specific age, physiognomy, place of birth, education, family background, ambitions, interests. Give them a quirk. He’s a lawyer and secret drag racer. She’s a first grade teaches who adores lesbian leather clubs. Think about their height and weight. You don’t have to spell it out: Bob was as broad as a rowing boat and stood 6′ 4″ in his socks. Boring. Show the reader Bob’s tall when Wendy can’t reach the pasta pot on the top shelf and Bob takes it down without stretching his arm.

Give your characters a birth sign: is she a vague compassionate Pisces, he a generous but dogmatic Leo? Are they water and fire, she dousing his flames, he making her erupt in steam? Or air and fire, usually in harmony? Whether astrology grabs you or not, it is a useful tool for fashioning personality traits, and most writers keep a copy of Star Signs on their bookshelf alongside Naming Your Baby.

Star signs, physical attributes, biographies and the objectives of your characters are the skeleton of your story. This information doesn’t have to be spelled out on the page, but knowing every intimate detail of your creations blows air into their lungs. If someone has a habit of scratching their nose, make a note of it, and it will appear on the page when appropriate as if by magic.

Sometimes, writers get to know their characters so well they end up meeting them and putting themselves in the story, a common device employed wittily by Martin Amis in his novel Money.

Once you’ve filled a notepad with background material and written the first draft, you will then have to go back through those thousands of words editing what you have written. If there are three rules for writers: READ, READ, READ, there are three rules for second drafts: EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. My simple rule: if in doubt, cut it out.

Monsoons of crinkly dollars from best-sellers and box office hits don’t come falling out of the sky like the frogs in Paul Thomas Anderson’s inventive Magnolia. Writing is hard work. Harder than cleaning floors.

The post is adapted from my writing guide The Fifty Shades of Grey Phenomena

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Katie in Love – First Night With The Stranger

Katie in Love – Excerpt 2

The stranger kissed my breasts in turn, taking my nipples into his mouth and biting down just hard enough to make them pop out, eager for more. At the same time his quick fingers found the zip on my kilt and the tartan fabric fell about my toes. He rolled down my tights and I hopped from foot to foot as he expertly rid me of this clutter.

Just as I had gone down on my knees, like an echo, he did the same. He took the sides of my panties and pulled at the elastic. He ran the moist fabric down my legs and over my feet. He dropped down and adjusted his head so he could savour me.

I adored the touch of his tongue and he drank from me as if from an upturned cup. I could smell my own scent. I pulled him up and we stumbled to the bed where, in a long kiss, I tasted warm salty seas with a fragrance as sweet as baby breath. I recalled vaguely a boyfriend saying once the stuff was 100 per cent protein and he wanted to try living on my liquids and nothing else for a week.

The stranger slid up inside me, and time wasn’t suspended. It was racing. He was going to come. I didn’t want him to, not now, not yet. La petite mort is as often as not la mort depuis longtemps. The longer you wait, the more you delay, the more you reach the moment of release before receding, the greater the pleasure, the more wonder and mystery that wraps itself around the orgasm.

As he tensed, I let his cock slip from its warm cocoon and sewed kisses over the fine curly hair on his chest. I straddled his neck and lowered my drenched pussy over his mouth as if it were a saddle on a horse. He kissed and sucked, nudged my clitoris and wormed his tongue into the heart of my pulsating vagina.

Liquids seeped from me in a continual stream, piquant and vital, the essence of sex. Tended the right way and in the right places, a girl is an eternal fount that just keeps giving, the milky fluid creaming over the walls of my pussy, over my spread lips, anointing the stranger in a fine spray that coated his face.

My heart was a little boat that had broken its moorings. My breath was trapped in my throat. I rolled to one side and slid across his body. I took his cock back into my mouth, completing the circle, his tongue pushing back into my vagina, my tongue wrapped about his shaft. We rocked to and fro like sunflowers in a field, deeper and deeper while the tree branch tapped like a metronome against the windowpane and we found perfect harmony.

My pussy continued to leak nectar into his mouth. Our bodies were slippery with perspiration. I could have remained in that position for the rest of my life, but the tempo changed, his body tensed and my throat filled with warm sperm that tasted like coconut milk. I gobbled it down, greedy for more. He kept pushing into me, I kept drawing at his cock and, as the last drips drained into my mouth, I grew rigid. I released his cock and gasped as his tongue ignited an orgasm that made me scream. I cried out as if in pain but the pain was an intense, all-consuming pleasure.

From Katie in Love – NOW OUT as a download – CLICK for your copy

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Katie in Love

Katie in Love is OUT TODAY as an eBook and available as a beautiful, matt-finish 9×6 PAPERBACK. If you like my blog posts, you will LOVE my novel. The excerpt below comes from the opening chapter. Please click on the links and get your copy TODAY xx Chloe

Katie in Love – 1

If you add the shadow of death to a moment of passion you are in that instant free of all normal ties, your mind grows still and your body enters a state of non-being. Pleasure and pain, sex and death, yin and yang are mismatched twins, two fish each containing the eye of its opposite.

I wrote that sentence before my morning appointment with the doctor. It means nothing in isolation but I awoke with those words in my head and committed them to paper – the keyboard, the monitor. The winter is cold, bleak, colourless. There are no clouds, no sky, just a grey blanket like a shroud lowering over London.

The little finger on my right hand has a fracture. It is painful. The doctor spent a long time with my hand like a song bird nursed in his palm, his shirt cuff clipped with an onyx link, the gold face of his watch gripped by the strap nesting in a hairy wrist. Broken fingers are oddly intimate.

‘You do look pale,’ he said.

‘Yes, I noticed in the mirror.’

‘Are you sick?’

‘Yes…’

He squeezed my good fingers. ‘Do you want to tell me?’

I sighed. ‘I write, you know, books…’

‘Ah,’ he replied.

He nodded wisely. He understood. Writing is a sickness, an ailment, an addiction. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about what I have written that day and, when I do go to bed, I lie sleeplessly thinking about what I am going to write when I get up and start again the following day.

I am a night person, an insomniac, the girl at the bar who looks like she should have gone home and maybe has no home to go to. A false image I cultivate. I am thin, theoretically attractive, in an abstract sort of way. I have hollow cheeks, high cheekbones, long legs, perhaps too thin, lips dry with cold, clotted with gloss. I have stopped being promiscuous and compose my work in the dead hours between two and six while London sleeps and the night planes follow the Thames into Heathrow carrying businessmen and migrants hoping to make it in the greatest city on earth. When you are bored with London you are bored with life. That’s what it says along the side of the number 19 bus Mother takes to Peter Jones.

When I do sleep, I sleep badly, in spite of the magnets under my mattress that are supposed to orientate my body north to south so the lay lines and dragon lines pass through the invisible portal at the top of my skull and down to my feet, my best feature, I would soon be told.

I have worked as a tutor, in marketing, and for a women’s magazine, which involved writing captions for interiors and combat with photographers fixated on depth and apertures. Regular working doesn’t suit me, it interferes with writing, and now I earn my rent as a waitress at corporate events where the high priests of the City banks congratulate themselves by drinking buckets of champagne and falling over. The change of job meant a dip in my salary, so I moved, from West London, where rents cost the earth, to East London, where the cost is broken streets, a fall and a fractured finger.

It was the finger that saved my life.

The story begins on New Year’s Eve. Having dumped Julian, an actor with floppy hair and lots of good teeth, I went with a girlfriend I don’t particularly like to a tartan-themed charity ball in a kilt too short and my little finger bound to its partner in blue tape. There is something oddly poignant going to a ball with another woman and she must have felt the same way, abandoning me, as she did, for the first hairy-kneed faux Scotsman to say och aye the noo over the long candle-lit table.

After dinner consisting of haggis, which I didn’t eat, I danced alone on the fringes of the swaying crowd like a stray swallow chasing the migrating flock.

A man appeared. They usually do.

Click for Katie in Love eBOOK

Click for Katie in Love PAPERBACK 

How Do You Know if You Are Falling in Love?

Falling in love is like standing in the middle of a burning bridge. Which way do you run? Back into the smoky ruins of the past? Or forward into the heat and passion of the unknown?

Love grabs your heart in a clenched fist. It’s hard to breathe. When you are falling in love, you are afraid of falling out of love. If you are in love, you are petrified that the object of your love doesn’t love you.

Falling in love makes you feel instantly vulnerable and ecstatic. Food tastes better. You eat more without getting fat. You drink champagne and your head doesn’t so much spin as waft you into a trance.

When you fall in love, everything is impregnated with new meaning. It is as if you suddenly have borderline personality disorder. Falling in love is a fantasy, a riddle, a puff of air you can’t pin down, you can’t name, you can’t see. Love is invisible, indefinable, as inscrutable as that moment between sleeping and waking.

Falling in love is like skydiving the first time from a plane afraid that your parachute isn’t going to open. You tug the rip cord and send a prayer to Eros. Falling in love is like falling into a black hole in space, a vacuum where time stretches and bends.

When you are falling in love, you suffer a weird neuralgia. Your teeth ache. Your fingers tingle. Your armpits prickle. You need to go to the bathroom all of the time. In the mirror’s reflection you see a different version of yourself. You can’t sleep. You laugh for no reason. You walk into doors.

Love is like the universe, not more mysterious than we understand, but more mysterious than we can understand.

Is Katie Falling in Love?

In my new novel Katie in Love, Katie Boyd feels soon after she meets Tom Bridge that her entire nervous system has gone out of sync. She struggles against this feeling. She didn’t expect to fall in love, she doesn’t want to fall in love, and believes that falling in love will steal her freedom to continue her life as a London party girl – the way she sees herself.

Having rashly chucked her floppy-haired actor boyfriend, she meets Tom at a party on New Year’s Eve and love between the sheets that night is everything a girl every wished for.

During the next 21 days, before Tom returns to his post as a doctor overseas, the forward action is threaded through with Katie’s reflections on her past until the present and future intersect at that point when life-changing decisions have to be made.

Katie in Love is out in paperback – CLICK for Amazon Books

eBOOK release next Saturday, 21 March, for pre-orders CLICK for Amazon Kindle

Giving Lip – Tips For The Best 69er

Giving lip creates a seamless fusion, the 6 and 9 of two coiled bodies in mutual pleasure the perfect mathematical equation.

Einstein’s calculation E = mc2 shows that matter and energy are not separate but different forms of the same thing, that energy (heat, movement, motion) can be converted into mass, the disparity reducing the faster you go. Doesn’t giving lip prove the same thing? Einstein’s theory also explains why you cannot go faster than the speed of light. But that’s another story, and I would rather explore that immortal line from Hamlet:

“There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.”

Shakespeare’s borrowed the line from Greek dramatists fond of silken nights of bacchanal, multiple partners and giving lip. The maxim implies that things can still go wrong, even when the outcome of something seems certain. But rascally old Shakespeare would have enjoyed the saucy cup-lip interplay.

We must not forget that 69, a 69er, or 69-ing, comes from the French soixante neuf, the digit duo pirated to describe mutual simultaneous oragenitalism first used in the delightfully titled Whore’s Catechisms, published circa 1790.

The series of pamphlets are attributed to Théroigne de Méricourt, a woman who wore a sword, carried a riding crop and was an active organizer of the French Revolution. Spurned by her aristocratic lover, she went naked in the streets, was flogged in public and died in an insane asylum in 1817 – forgotten, except for the soixante neuf.

Giving Lip Tips

Giving lip is uniquely human and crosses all barricades, man woman, woman woman, man man. There is an old joke: if you like 69, try 138, it’s twice the fun.

The numerals 6 and 9 are inverted mirror images. In the yin yang matrix, each swirling, sperm-shaped figure contains – like an all-seeing eye – the seed of the other, a reminder that we all carry characteristics belonging to the opposite sex, that no man is wholly man nor woman wholly woman.

The fundamental tip for giving lip could have been written by Einstein himself: DON’T STOP. If the pleasure becomes unbearable, don’t pause to enjoy it, but sustain the gift of unbearable pleasure and return the gift to your partner until you reach critical mass.

In the act of giving lip, the passive yin fits best over the active yang. Start slowly (what’s the rush?), up the tempo to the point when motion (energy) converts to mass (pleasure) until, nearing the speed of light, the sun and moon of joined bodies explode and stars are born.

Giving and receiving synchronised pleasure moves beyond pleasure to the trance-like state of ecstasy – particularly for women, doubly so for lesbian couples. When lowered over your partner, you reveal the broad landscape of your pelvic region and provide unrestrained access, not only to the bud of the clitoris, but the blood-gorged clouds of your vulva, the delicate folds of the derrière, and that mysterious diamond: the perineum, the neglected erogenous zone between the vagina and the anus.

Men are prone to premature ejaculation. Women on top can use their passive (yin) power to direct the boisterous boy force until reaching mutual orgasm, and smart girls can let him think this serendipitous moment is down to his good timing and brilliance.

Alternative positions are: swapping from top to bottom, one side and the other. Gymnasts and fans of the Kama Sutra can try the cascade position: him standing with her legs over his shoulders while she clings to his bum with her palms and his penis with her teeth. It provides girls with the unique experience of receiving his orgasm with their head facing downwards while he, as Shakespeare would have put it, laps from your cup.

Women prone to quick orgasms must remember at the magic moment not to lock their jaws. This capacity clarifies, or equalises, the entire yin-yang, negative-positive, moon-sun, passive-active matrix conceived in Ancient China: that the first law of the universe is balance, and harmony in the game of the sexes requires is that men imagine they have the power and women let them think it’s true.

Katie in Love can be preordered as an ebook

And is now available in paperback

Orpheus and Eurydice – A Story of Undying Love

The secret of a great love story is that the lovers are drawn together like magnets, then torn apart by circumstances. Or, as the Greeks would say: Fate. Orpheus and Eurydice were meant for each other, but they had to go through Hell to be together.

Orpheus was a musician and poet, a sort of Jim Morrison of the ancient world. When he played the lyre, birds stopped singing in the trees, wild beasts fell under a spell and Eurydice felt as if her heart was fluttering like an angel in her chest. There are no words to describe the beauty of Orpheus’s music; to do so is to diminish it. The only comparison is the beauty of Eurydice.

Young Orpheus was an adventurer and explorer who brought back to Greece mystic ceremonies and orgiastic rites discovered in Egypt. He was ready to settle down and Orpheus and Eurydice fell in love the moment they met. They married, made music, and made love every day. They felt blessed and their joy tempted Fate. Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make beautiful and happy.

One day when Eurydice was out walking, the herdsman Aristaeus was so struck by her beauty, he was overcome with lust and pursued her into the forest. He planned to rape her, according to Virgil, the Roman poet, but Eurydice trod on a viper, saving her virtue, and died instantly from its poison.

Orpheus and Eurydice in the Underworld

Orpheus continued to play his lyre, his music so mournful, the nymphs and deities wept. Orpheus had thought his travelling days over, but was urged to set off to the Underworld, to try and liberate Eurydice by the power of his song.

The Gates of Hell were guarded by Cerberus, the beast with three heads, a serpent’s tail, a mane of snakes and lion’s claws. Unfortunately, the hellhound had no ear for music. But Orpheus found unexpected allies in Hades and Persephone.

Hades, the God of the Underworld, whose very name is Hell, was the brother of Zeus, the ‘Father of Gods and Men.’ When Hades fell in love with Persephone, the spring goddess, he persuaded Zeus to split the earth beneath the maiden so that when she slipped into the Underworld, she landed in his arms.

Like Orpheus and Eurydice, Hades and Persephone had found eternal love. They were so moved listening as Orpheus sang a love song, they gave him the chance to take Eurydice back to the world of the living – with one condition: that he, Orpheus, must walk in front of Eurydice and not look back at her until they had left the portals of the Underworld.

The ‘don’t-look-back’ mythology is also contained in Genesis, when two angels urge Lot, that man without sin, to flee the disaster about to engulf Sodom. They are told to “Flee for your life. Do not look back, lest you be swept away.” They made it to the hills overlooking the city, but Lot’s wife couldn’t resist a peek over her shoulder at Sodom and was turned into a pillar of salt.

Orpheus was smarter than that, but made one miscalculation. So desperate was he to cast his eyes on the beauty of Eurydice, that upon passing Cerberus, he glanced back from the sunlight before Eurydice had crossed the threshold. She vanished like a shadow back into the depths of the Underworld, dying a second time on the point of getting a second chance.

Orpheus and Eurydice: Final Act

That would have been the end of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. But Love stories need a third act – boy meets girl, boy loses girls, boy gets girl again.

The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice reaches its last turning point when Orpheus comes up against the Maenads, crazy girls disposed to ‘wearing snakes’ (it was a viper that killed Eurydice), wild orgies and violence.

Orpheus and the Maenads were followers of Dionysus, the busy God of wine, ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy. But they fell out one inebriated night, perhaps it was a BDSM thing, Virgil doesn’t explain, and the crazy girls set about the musician with gnashing teeth and steely knives.

Orpheus died in the mêlée but his demise had a providential outcome. His soul was swallowed up by Hades and he was reunited in the Underworld with Eurydice, where they lived a long happy death.

There are four morals to be found in the story of Orpheus and Eurydice.

  1. If the Gods tell you ‘don’t look back,’ then don’t look back. You can’t change the past, and you lose the present.
  2. Beauty is a burden as well as a gift.
  3. Beware of crazy girls prone to orgies.
  4. True love wins out in the end.

If Orpheus and Eurydice is a downer, may I suggest Katie and Tom’s romance in Katie in Love, my new novel?

20 Ways to Spot Crazy Girls

Crazy Girls Checklist

  1. She’s beautiful
  2. She has crazy eyes
  3. She’s charismatic
  4. She’s great in bed
  5. She says: I’m not like other girls. And it’s true
  6. She runs hot and cold
  7. She totally changes her appearance – often
  8. She calls and texts too much, then not at all
  9. Arguments turn into fights and she hits to hurt
  10. She says: I hate dramas
  11. She says: No one understands me
  12. She’s a fantasist
  13. She makes guys wonder if they are going crazy
  14. She has a martyr complex
  15. She walks around the house naked
  16. She flirts with friends of her boyfriend
  17. She’s jealous of ex-girlfriends
  18. She is unable to be alone
  19. She’s insecure
  20. She’s an insomniac and takes sleeping pills

Crazy girls don’t seek attention. It comes to them as the tide comes to shore. Crazy girls have an aura of wildness and sexuality. When men meet crazy girls they fall instantly in love with them.

Crazy girls are audacious. Narcissistic. Thoughtless. She knows the man she is with has to get up at seven to be at work at nine, but still she wakes him at four because she craves hot bagels as they come from the oven at the bakery across town. She wants to drink grappa at the bar where the sailors go and people are still dancing as the sun comes up. It’s fun for guys the first time it happens.

Crazy girls see the world as a giant mirror reflecting themselves and their desires. In crazy men, this produces dictators, bankers, psychopaths. In women, it creates hysterics, paranoia, drama queens.

Crazy Girls Burn Brightly

A girl at school I shall call Anna was like that. She seduced the nuns, in every way that seduction means. She was automatically cast in lead roles in school plays and asked to give thanks when guest speakers came on prize-giving day.

Anna knew instinctively how to surround herself with an air of mystery and intrigue. All the girls wanted to be Anna’s friend, as if a sprinkle of her magic dust would fall on them. Girls wanted to be with her, be seen with her, dress like her; Amazon has a line of clothes designed for crazy girls, but, of course, crazy girls have their own style and don’t shop at Amazon.

Anna lost her virginity before anyone else. Crazy girls have a profound psychological need to be loved, to be noticed, to have cameras flash when they smile, and clean handkerchiefs unfolded every time they break down in floods of tears, the latter occurring more frequently with the passing of time.

Crazy girls only feel alive when they are the centre of attention, which means that, most of the time, they are depressed, unable to be alone and unhappy to be themselves. Crazy girls are shooting stars. They burn brightly and fade quickly.

Anna married a man much older than her at 19. She was divorced at 23 and married again at 24. That marriage dissolved Christmas 2013, and Anna died six weeks later on 14th February, St Valentine’s Day. I shed a tear when Gemma called to tell me.

Anna had taken an overdose of sleeping pills (N° 20 on the crazy girls checklist) and left a note that said: I am just like my name, the same backwards as forwards and I just can’t go forwards one more day. She signed it anna.

If this is a downer take wing with: Helen of Troy: The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships.

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Spanking and Bondage at a Cinema Near You

Christian Grey, billionaire, mysterious, sexy, suffered a childhood trauma and can only get off on spanking and bondage.

Anastasia Steele, virgin, falls for the billionaire, and is caught between Christian’s spanking fetish and her resistance to submission. She wants love. He ‘doesn’t do romance.’

Fifty Shades of Grey, EL James’s tale of BDSM and nouvelle erotica, has sold 100 million books, and revived the career of the Marquis de Sade. The long-awaited movie opened February 11th at the Berlin Film Festival and on cinema screens across the world this Valentine’s Day weekend.

I went with three friends on Friday 13th to the Curzon, Chelsea. We had all dressed in spiky heels, a coincidence, if there is such a thing. We drank champagne – one of the few cinemas in London catering for such extravagance – and were surprised on entering the auditorium that it was only one third full.

Of my friends, Gemma is a fan of Fifty Shades and all things spanking and bondage; Helen, a copyright lawyer, dropped the book in the bin on reading Christian Grey’s discipline contract (Anastasia says no to nipple clamps and has no idea what butt plugs are); and Bella has been too busy the last three years to read anything except Hello!

In a scene reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin, we open with Ana entering Christian’s office and falling over; cue laughter. She is there to conduct an interview for the college magazine and has forgotten her pencil; cue empathy. Ana is an English lit major. Christian guesses her passion is Thomas Hardy; cue a spike in sales for Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

Ana gets drunk after her graduation. Christian rescues her from a swarthy photographer about to kiss those plump lips he will later tell her not to keep biting, and takes her to a hotel where they platonically sleep in the same bed – the first time he has ever shared a bed with a woman.

Christian pilots his own helicopter to take Ana for a flight over Seattle at night and Danny Elfman’s subtle score reminds us that at the grey heart of Fifty Shades, this is Romeo and Juliet for the sexting, nude-selfie, mommy-porn generation.

Spanking and Bondage on Screen

This was never going to be an easy film to make: too many expectations, censors and critics grinding the sharp edge of their knives. The opening montages are predictable, sometimes tedious. But that is not why audiences will go to see Fifty Shades of Grey. They will go to see how the scenes of spanking and bondage have been translated from the page to the screen – by all accounts with author EL James watching from the flaps.

Director Sam Taylor-Johnson was taking on a gargantuan task and has made the best film she could have made; perhaps the best film that could have been made from the source material. She navigates the script from Anastasia’s point of view and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia grows as the story unfolds. She conveys her desire to submit in Christian’s ‘red room of pain’ world, while retaining her inner strength of character; her disinclination to be dominated. She likes the sex (once Christian ‘rectifies’ the problem of her virginity). She isn’t into pain.

It is not easy to like Christian Grey. He’s too rich, too spoiled; it’s not easy to believe he is the orphaned son of a crack addict who became a sex-slave to an older woman at fifteen – thus his penchant for spanking and bondage. Is he really working on a business project to help feed the hungry in Africa? I do hope so.

Jamie Dornan, last seen as a serial killer in BBC2’s The Fall, makes a convincing, if slightly inanimate Christian Grey, but does perk up in the play room while threading red rope through metal rings to bind Ana for a thrashing, leisurely, softly-lit sequences that remind us that erotica’s purpose is not orgasm, but the suspension of orgasm.

Taylor-Johnson follows the simple rule: nudity is erotic, genitalia pornographic. The bondage scenes, elegantly shot by DP Seamus McGarvey, are intercut between racks of spanking devices and the naked Anastasia in a way that recalls Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland in Nicolas Roeg’s lovemaking/dressing montage in Don’t Look Now.

When Christian puts Ana over his knee and pulls down her white knickers to spank her bottom, it is merely playful. She squeals, less in pain than delight. But as the discipline gets more intense, so Ana’s misgivings grow until she decides, no more. Fade to black – look out for the sequel.

We had pizza at The Pheasantry and the girls gave their reviews:

  • Gemma 2** – not enough spanking and bondage
  • Hellen 2** – better than she hoped
  • Bella 3*** – watchable, a lot of fuss over a little spanking
  • Me – 4**** – the secret of a good movie is to take audiences into a world in which they are unfamiliar – and the film does exactly that.

Read Fifty Shades? Try another perspective with Katie in Love, my new novel, just out in paperback.

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Girls on Top a Danger to Men

Girls on top is dangerous!

After 2000 years on all fours with our bums in the air doggy style, or spreadeagled for missionaries, research published in Advances in Urology claims that girls on top are responsible for ‘half the penile injuries suffered by men.’

The Daily Mail diligently sent its ‘penile’ correspondent to Brazil where he discovered in the town of Campinas, 42 men in hospital with bandaged wangs, their distraught Latino girlfriends tearfully at their sides. Girls on top, he reported, is the ‘most dangerous position for men.’

Dangerous? Absolutely, dangerous for men terrified that girls are taking the lead in the bedroom, the board room, sports reporting, news casting. The crystal ceiling was always sugar-glass and girls on top has switched – after 2000 years – from metaphor to a social trend that just keeps gaining ground.

Can men damage their precious peniles with girls on top? I am sure they can. And with girls on the bottom, sideways, and swinging from ropes suspended from the ceiling. Sex can be a risky affair. So is skiing. That’s why we do it.

The researchers suggest that a man is most at risk for pecker injuries in this position because girls on top have more control over the movements. Half the damaged chaps who spoke to the research team reported hearing a cracking noise at the time of the injury. The majority endured ‘a great deal of pain,’ they said, and two claimed to have suffered long term erectile dysfunction.

Girls on Top Positions

The cowgirl position is described as the most precarious for men and is, as irony would have it, the position girls on top like most, straddling your prone guy like he’s a saddle and you’re riding a bucking bronco. In this position, women control the pace and depth of penetration, a psychological perk that results in easier, often multiple orgasms.

The reverse cowgirl is riding him backwards. Rather than your breasts and rib cage in view, he’ll see the toggles of your spine, tossed hair, your butt rising and falling to the rhythm of a flamenco dancer with the slapping sound effects of maracas as the moment draws nearer.

Reverse cowgirl has the same intensity as doggy style, except in reverse, girls on top without making eye contact and pleasuring themselves with a singularity of purpose rare in the bedroom. Well, some bedrooms.

Another soothing, more sensual position is stretching out flat, chest to chest, legs to legs, and using his insteps like levers to push in and out, the swaying waves massaging your vulva and clitoris. When girls climb on top, they are in a better position for G-spot stimulation. By switching from deep to shallow thrusts, every part of the vagina is tended to, massaged and coddled.

Finally, try sitting him down on a straight-backed chair without arms, climb aboard, grab on to the back of the chair and, with his hands clutching your bum, move up and down, then in a circular motion, round and round, faster and faster, until you are both giddy and fall off the chair in a volcanic orgasm. Now, that is dangerous.

Why Kinky Sex Bondage Girls Love BDSM

Girls like kinky sex. Girls like bondage. Girls like a whispering hint of BDSM. Why do you think the Marquis de Sade is still being read and Fifty Shades of Grey sold 50 million copies?

I’ll start again. Girls like the idea of kinky sex. Girls fantasise about being tied up and bent over a broad pair of knees. Girls dream of being dominated and worshipped. Girls adore dressing up, role play, changing roles. Yes, that’s right, perfidious submissives are itchy to switch to the Domme and grab the whip handle.

So what’s the problem between sex-seeking consenting adults?

It is this: men don’t know how far to go – they either go too far, or not far enough. And girls are often too timid to take the lead. They lay back, legs open like a cyber doll, when what they really want is to slip into the stilettos, the mask, the velvet-lined handcuffs bought secretly online, and lead that man (or woman) out on the diamond highway to kinky sex nirvana.

Next time you’re on the beach, grab a handful of sand. Every grain is similar and every grain is different. Sexual desire exists in us all. That desire is for completion, fulfilment, satisfaction. It is how you reach that state that makes you different from the next grain of sand.

Kinky Sex & BDSM Rules

In the right hands (better said: right hand), girls delight in the supreme of BDSM recreations: spanking, that metronome beat of rhythmic smacks that send warming sensations coiling through the silken freeways of the vagina until the nerve endings sizzle and sing. Can you orgasm during spanking? Absolutely.

Zen masters with a student lost in contemplation will, when appropriate, give them a good hard slap. At that moment, they stop thinking and reach satori – awakening, a fleeting view of their true nature, a sort of cerebral orgasm.

BDSM – bondage, discipline, sado-masochism – is not about inflicting and suffering pain. It is about ultimate sexual pleasure sourced from a scintilla of pain. The seed that grows into a tree. A glimpse of that certain indefinable something you know is there but can’t quite see or grasp.

When sex turns stale, love fades and loving couples will only revive the corpse of their relationships by pushing back the bedroom walls. Games of domination and submission can be a new lease of life and, with ‘safe words’ like a safety net, they will rediscover on the highwire the unexplored desires within themselves and each other.

The handcuffs, latex suit, vibrator, costume (dominatrix, nurse, schoolgirl, monkey) and white silk rope tie them together like conquistadors on a voyage into the unknown. They quickly learn how far they are prepared to go, and know, too, that however far you go, there is always a kink in the road that will take you further.

Put on a mask and you become someone else. Yourself. Domination is meditation. Wrists bound, ankles tethered, the mind stills, your senses spring to life and you feel more alive than you have ever felt before. Your body is a buzz of miracles and wonder, a caravanserai of carnal ecstasy. Submission is liberating. It’s like growing wings and flying, or floating in a warm sea,

BDSM and kinky sex for some is a lifestyle, as golf is for other grains of sand. How do you start? Where do you get lessons?

It’s not like that. The desire is innate. It finds you. Keep your eyes wide. Read. Be open. Kinky sex is fun.

Did I say read? I did – try reading my new novel Katie in Love. Just CLICK.

Remember fortune favours the brave.