One thing I adore about J.K. Rowling, who wrote the quote that is pictured on the left, is her understanding of love. She understands that if love was magic it would protect a parent’s child from being killed by a curse. And she understands that true love is the choice to act on the light, rather than the darkness. I think she also understands the importance of the shadow. We only have to look at Severus Snape to see how deeply Rowling cherishes his darkness and how he channels it for the good of the world. That is love indeed.
If I’d have understood earlier in my life that love, like magic, can flow in all directions, including towards the self, I’d have been happier far sooner. Thinking of love as magic helps me. Why would you deprive your own life of spells? Why would you only shower others with the gift? Surely performing magic in your own life means you’ll be more capable and able to help others. Love, like magic, isn’t something that should only flow in one direction. Neither does it change one life then fail to touch another. But when you first learn that you can love yourself, it can be scary to do so, especially if you’ve been taught that self-love is selfish.
Fear, however, is the anti-magic. It has a habit of blocking our light.
In Maddie Aflame! (the erotic fantasy series is launching in September), which is humbly conceived as a Harry Potter for readers of erotica — humbly is the word — I really wanted magic to be fueled by love. Maddie’s mother, who visits her as a spirit, teaches her the true nature of magic, while Maddie and her polyamorous friends are trapped in a magical mansion that is being used to experiment on queers. Maddie’s mother tells her:
“Fear is the anti-magic. Fear only creates itself. Love and peace, on the other hand, make magic faster and bigger.”
What Maddie’s mother has truly been trying to teach her, however, is that Maddie is magical. But as a sufferer of Combustion Syndrome, a condition in which she explodes into flames, Maddie can’t see the magic in herself — the magic in her fire.
“Love is magic,” says her mother. “And so my dear are you.”
When Maddie finds out what that truly means, she becomes more powerful than she’d ever imagined.
And, by loving ourselves, my friends, so can we.
As I wrap up my final drafts of Maddie Aflame!, I’m thinking in all sorts of ways about fire. I love that this element can be destructive, but also inspirational, lighting, warming, protective, cleansing. Fire is often used in rites of passage — walking or leaping through fiery hoops has been a part of many traditions, including the Celtic festival of Beltane, partly because it is thought to purify and leave the old behind. More than that, without fire, would we have survived as a species? And without passion, which is so often synonymous with flames, how deeply would our lives be changed? One thing I know for sure: many years ago, at a time in my life when I couldn’t feel passion for anything, I considered ending my life.
Fire, of course, often refers to sexual passion, and it intrigues me that folks also literally play with fire during sex. Fire play isn’t something I’d ever want to try (I suffered from second degree burns as a teenager and that’s enough for me!), but I love that there are those brave souls who choose to deal with Kevlar floggers and pens. Check out this intriguing post from SehAnru at SubmissiveGuide.com.
The following quotes challenge me to think about fire in all sorts of ways. Enjoy, and let me know if you’ve any fire quotes of your own, okay?
“What is to give light must endure burning.” –Viktor Frankl
“To hell, to hell with balance! I break glasses; I want to burn, even if I break myself. I want to live only for ecstasy. I’m neurotic, perverted, destructive, fiery, dangerous — lava, inflammable, unrestrained.” –Anais Nin
Picture credit – Oracle of the Shapeshifters (Lucy Cavendish) – click here or on pic to buy.
When I was eleven and living in England, I was sent to boarding school. I didn’t want to go, but at my previous school I’d been bullied ceaselessly for having extremely bad acne. For two years, I had begged my parents to take me away. The school — a private girls’ school — had a great deal of bigotry in it, and every time a student of color arrived in our year, or a student with a disability or a deep sense of shyness, I made friends with them. But they would only be there for a term because their parents took them away from the bullying. And then I’d be left alone.
What’s more, my parents were Christian Scientists who taught me it was sinful to defend myself against bullies, because they believed this “dragged me down to the bullies’ level.” So, being afraid of being “bad” in the face of God, I bore cruel words with tears in my eyes and never told anyone to leave me alone. Naturally, this only made it worse.
Then, one day, my parents gave me a choice. “Either you stay where you are,” they said, “or you go to Christian Science boarding school.”
I chose the latter.
“Erupting into flames really sucks, Maddie. I don’t know how you cope with your condition. To go up like tinder when you feel things strongly? The very idea slays me. But sweetheart, in a world where so much is iced over, where rejection can make us freeze and shatter like ice in a jar, warmth has to be worth the risk, doesn’t it? When we feel, we’re alive. When we don’t, we’re numb. And numb’s useful sometimes, but it’s no way to live. The flames have to be worth it — they are, aren’t they? Tell me the flames are worth it, Maddie. Tell me. God, please.”
The above words are from Aud to her friend and lover Maddie in Maddie Aflame! Obviously, I can’t promise Maddie Aflame! will be as amazing as Harry Potter (!) but it’s an exciting aim to write a sex-positive Harry Potter for queers and our allies, and also for poly folks, sex-positive folks, those who suffer from chronic illness, and all who know how it feels to be different. It feels important to try and write this. So I humbly continue, with JK’s inspiration firmly in mind.
I know life is hard for so many of us right now. I know there’s a lot to face. But you are beautiful.
The flames are worth it. This I believe.
Love them any way you can.
P.S. Yesterday was the Orlando shooting. (I’m updating this post today). I am sending love and light to everyone who has experienced or been touched by the pain, the horror, the tragedy of those terrible events. So much of this world is in need of healing. If only our flames could purge the hate.
Image: Angel Dreams Oracle Cards (Doreen Virtue). Click here or on image to purchase deck.
I was overjoyed that Cream: An Erotic Romance became an Amazon bestseller last week, reaching no. 2 in both Erotica and BDSM categories, and no. 4 in romantic erotica! Thank you, kind reviewers! Thank you, all who bought the book! Thank you, BookBub, who offered me the deal that got Cream out there!
Anyway, it feels like a while since I posted anything from Cream — in fact, this will be the first time I’ve shared an excerpt on this blog. Here, jazz singer Caroline’s is having sex in her dressing room after a performance, but her jealous ex, Marcus Sir, is hovering nearby….
When Luke’s hand caressed my buttocks through the satin, my body remembered how horny it was, and I knew I had to get him alone. That’s why, a couple of minutes later, we were tumbling into my tiny, unkempt dressing room at the back of the bar, with Luke’s mouth hot on mine as he kicked the door shut behind us. He couldn’t get me over my messy dressing table fast enough, and my body, thirsty from Marcus Sir’s stare, tingled all over when he touched me. In less than a minute, he yanked my dress up over my hips, and I could hear him unzipping his flies. “You were so fucking hot,” he was telling me, his voice growly with lust. “Every man in that audience wishes they were inside you right now. And who gets to screw you? Me, the lucky dog.”
With Luke, I was always “fucking gorgeous” and always “his” and he always said that everyone else “wished they were fucking me.” There was something enjoyable about feeling so claimed, but I often wished he’d be tender, too.
“Jesus, Caz, you’re wet,” he groaned as he pushed into me. And I was. I was dripping. That’s what Marcus Sir did to me, even when I was on a fucking stage, even when I was performing for a whole damn room.
Luke started to thrust into me, with his gorgeous, sumptuous rhythms, and I was starting to really heat up, my climax in sight. But then suddenly, the door swung open to reveal Marcus Sir standing tall, his stare blazing. I saw him first because Luke was still pumping away when I asked Marcus Sir, “Oh my God, why are you here?”
He stared at me, an unspeakable horror in his dark eyes, and he looked so vulnerable, so utterly astounded, his mouth opening to speak, then snapping shut again, that I realized in an instant what he was feeling.
Marcus Sir was insanely jealous.
Luke had noticed him by now, but had only slowed his thrusting to say, “Who are you, perv? Get out of our faces.”
Marcus Sir didn’t pull his stare from mine as Luke thrust into me again, and I could feel the emotion pulsing between us. I could see this much: he was shocked and hurt to see Luke fucking me, and he wore this suffering all over his face.
Sir clasped the door frame as if he might stumble towards me, as if finding us together had taken the air from his lungs. “Caroline,” he said softly, “address me properly.” Then he added on desperate whisper, “Please.”
Luke was fucking me harder now, and I hate to say it, but it felt sublime. Without missing a beat, I gasped, “Always, Marcus Sir,” because in that moment, I knew who my master was—nothing had changed.
I saw affection glint in Sir’s eyes, and a smile hovered at the edges of his lips, as if he’d never expected me to be so true.
“You’re sublime,” Sir told me under his breath. For a moment, the room seemed to lose its air.
“Wait,” announced a panting Luke. “This is your ex?” he asked me. I said nothing, but his voice filled with a full-bodied triumph, as he told Sir, “Oh yeah, watch me fuck your sub like a maniac, old man!” Then suddenly, he was thrusting so hard that my pussy could hardly contain him—he was plowing me, fucking me deep, groaning with abandon, and I was coming oh so hard, the dressing table shuddering against the wall. As my pussy filled with pleasure, something crashed to the floor and shattered—my perfume bottle, as I’d find out later—and my orgasm clasped me, like pure white light. Luke came, too, with a primal roar, filling me with a force I’d never yet felt from him, and in a moment, my witless body was climaxing again, clasping hard around his cock, making me gasp and mew. When I recovered enough to think of Marcus Sir—and what I could tell him to make up for this shit show—I saw the door had closed.
Marcus Sir had gone.
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Pic from the Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck – click the image to view on Amazon.
Sex can be hard to define if you look at it deeply. I first became aware of this thanks to Greta Christina’s wonderful post “Are We Having Sex Now or What?” in which Christina elegantly shows us that what is sex for one person might not be for the next. I have a theory that one reason sex seems so easy to shame in our society is because many of us have a twisted idea of what it is — and what it “should” be.
So what would a building do if it was sexual?
It’s an honest question and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. In Maddie Aflame!, my forthcoming erotic fantasy series, a group of polyamorous, queer British teenagers are swallowed by a mysterious mansion that turns out to be conscious and alive, and capable of creation. It transpires that the Mansion is being used to cruelly research and control queer folks in a society where queerness is illegal. But as the friends soon find out, the Mansion can be communicated with from within — more with feelings than words.
“I finally decided to release the erotica for publication because it shows the beginning efforts of a woman in a world that had been the domain of men.” –Anaïs Nin in her preface to Delta of Venus
When I first read Delta of Venus, I didn’t read the preface. That’s why I had envisioned Anaïs Nin as a brazen rebel with no shyness, no fear. I was stereotyping of course, because it helped me to deal with all the feelings of shame that I held all those years ago, especially around sex — in a way, I needed to think of Anaïs Nin as fearless. Years later, however, I’d realize that she first wrote her stories for just a dollar a page, and believed that by getting her to “leave out the poetry” her client was really stripping her work of her true woman’s language.
This post is part of the Beauty of a Woman Blogfest run by the delightful and talented August McGlaughlin. Check out the official blogfest page to read other posts and enter to win some fabulous prizes. Picture credit: “Watercolor beautiful girl. Vector illustration of woman beauty salon.”
Why do I wear a mustache during sex? Because I’m playing with gender. Because I’m being me. And because I’m also being Steve-O Bing.
When my partner Jacob came out as transgender last year, I didn’t realize how deeply it would affect my own identity — I was simply too focused on helping him live his truth. But my own gender identity started to shift, and it continues to do so. As our therapist so wisely told us, “Coming out as trans can queer the whole family.”
“If you’re negative, you’re going to find causes for negativity. You will yourself build a case. Because we’re very clever. We’re much cleverer than we think we are. We build cases for our own moods. If you are convinced that you can’t make it, and you want to drop out, you’re going to find reasons for it. You can always build a case. There are all kinds of things lying around. But if you want to build a case for life being worth living then you build that too.” —Anaïs Nin in ‘The Artist as Magician’ (A Woman Speaks)
As I keep writing about Maddie, the hero of Maddie Aflame, I remember all those who helped inspire her. Today: thank you, Rumi for the beautiful words above. And here’s a sensual snippet from Maddie Aflame, when flames really are being fanned:
While I licked Aud’s right nipple, making her moan as it stiffened, I held her left breast in my hand, which was now only slightly sore and pink from yesterday’s flames. Her cool skin soothed my palm, and feeling the weight of that smooth, taut flesh was enough to make me throb between my thighs.