Thursday, October 12, 2017

All I Know

 Last post about this, I swear (if just for my own sense of sanity). But someone mentioned something that got stuck in my head.

Admittedly, I am kind of a passive person—I’m generally up and ready for whatever; I’m a uniquely capable person who can handle most situations, as one friend likes to put it—but I’m not what anyone would label weak or permissive. I’m likely the last person people would think of as a victim. A survivor, maybe, if you know a bit about my past. But, even then, I think “victim” isn’t usually a term people would associate with me. Hell, it’s not a term that I’m terribly comfortable with myself.

Which is weird, isn’t it?

Because, yes, I am a survivor.

I have survived domestic abuse, relationship abuse, workplace harassment, street harassment, online harassment, racial profiling, and probably more that I don’t really want to think about right now. I have survived.

Which kind of logically necessitates that, before I became a survivor, I was a victim.

There’s just not really a way for that not to be true.

No matter how tough or resilient or capable I am, I’ve been victimized. By parents, partners, friends, employers, strangers, and authority figures.

And the only reason why I think people, including myself, think of me more as a survivor than a victim is because I never needed help to get out. I was tough or resilient or capable or—hell, let’s be honest—lucky enough to find a way out.

Which sounds really admirable and courageous.

But, looking at it, it’s really just sad.

Because, in truth, I got out without help, not because I never needed help, but because I can’t remember a time where it felt like there was help. Because I, like so many of us, was raised with the idea that “the sad truth is, no one will help you in this world but you.” 

Which is a fucked-up notion, isn’t it?

To expect the most courage and action from the person with the least amount of power in an abusive situation? To ask a person who’s being beaten down to rise up and do what the rest of us don’t seem terribly inclined to do? For god’s sake, we require women to risk their careers and security to report harassment. We expect wives to risk their lives to leave abusive husbands. We ask minorities to be able to somehow navigate generations of racial tensions with supposedly trained and often armed authorities. We require children to report on parents who abuse them. All because of this terribly defeatistly pessimistic notion that you can’t expect anyone to help you in this world but you.

You might as well ask why a drowning person can’t just learn to breathe underwater. I’m sorry I couldn’t respond to abuse the way you think I should be able to; I was too busy surviving.

And I suspect it’s worse for those of us who are seen as tough or capable. Because, of course, no one ever thinks we need help. We’re tough. We aren’t victims; we’re survivors. If anyone could breathe underwater, it’d be us. 

Made worse by the fact that, if you’ve never been offered help, never received help, never seen what help looks like, how can you be expected to know how to ask for it? To be entirely fair, even when I’ve been offered help, I’ve never known what to do with it. After a lifetime of relying only on myself, it feels uniquely unsafe to rely on others. Because I’ve been taught that it could disappear or even turn on me at any time.

I’ve learned my lessons too well, it would seem.

Like I said, I don’t have any of the answers. I don’t know what should or shouldn’t be done. I don’t know how this all ends.

But I do know that it’s unfortunate that we’ve created a culture that discourages people from seeking help while simultaneously blaming them for not doing so fast or well enough. That expects solutions from people stuck in no-win situations who are just trying to survive. That seems to expect nothing better from abusers (hey, it sucks bad guys exist but that’s just the way of the world, right?), while demanding everything from victims.

I don’t have answers, but I know that that solves nothing.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

You Think You Know

Just like with Cosby & O'Reilly, I'm seeing a lot of people be suspicious or dismissive or even derogatory toward the women and men coming forward to talk about their experiences with Weinstein, often asking "Doesn't it seem odd that they're coming out NOW?" 

No, it's really not.

People ask why victims or people who knew about the abuse didn't come out before.

You want to know why?

This.

People turning it around and blaming and questioning them. Having it used against them. Not being believed or even being maligned. 

This is why.

I used to work at an animation studio and, from my interview, I knew that the president of the company, whom I'd be an assistant to, had an Asian fetish and was interested in me.

But I was young and needed a job and really wanted a career in a creative field. I was even promised that, in time, I might be able to move into the writing staff. Looking back now, I'm ashamed of how much I was willing to put up with for such small promises.

And it wasn't an office secret. Everyone knew. He wasn't subtle. From creepy comments to making me fetishizing mix-tapes to invading my personal space and boundaries. Even getting to the point where any male employee who talked to me too much or too often was punished, reprimanded or even taken off projects.

It was incredibly alienating.  

It got to the point where no one really talked to me, or even came around to our end of the office. Leaving us alone all day.

No one did anything.

And it continued.

Because who was going to question or report the guy with the highest position at the office? Who would you even report him to?

It didn't stop until the company had to layoff people--turns out he was as good at business as he was with women. I remember him inviting me into his office to apologize to me personally about the layoffs--something that did not happen with any of the other now ex-employees. He knelt on the floor in front of me and grasped my hands, tears in his eyes and apologies and promises of re-hiring me if he could get another contract lined up on his tongue. He kept telling me that he knew how disappointed and crushed I must be.

In truth, I was relieved.

I went home that day feeling freer than I'd felt since I'd accepted the job.

It's the thing they don't tell you about "dream jobs;" you will--without meaning to, without in the moment knowing you are--give up so much for so little. You will do what you must to stay; how could you not, when it's your dream at stake? 

And those in power, they know that. They know how rare it is for people to make it into "dream" fields. They know how how much sheer luck it takes to break in and how hard you have to work to make it. They know that they hold your chance in their hands.

To see people take that power and abuse it...

The last people you should be pointing fingers at are the people that power is used against.

The whole thing bothers me. But what bothers me most is that there are people who both believe the victims AND still blame them. Who ask why they didn't speak up, if they knew what he was. Why didn't they come forward, if he'd done it to them. Who ask how many other women suffered because they hadn't acted.

We know.

I never reported my boss. As far as I know, no one else did either. I have no idea where he is or what he's doing. But he had connections. The company, before it failed, had won Emmys. I have no doubt that he, unlike me, is still in the industry somewhere.

And sometimes I think about his next assistant. And the one after her. And the one after her. I think about the other employees who likely had their jobs threatened for talking to the wrong person.

I know I could have done more. Believe me, I know.

That in no way makes it easier to act.

No one knows how they'll react in that kind of situation. You cannot know, until you're in it.

And, even if you think you would have acted perfectly, if you think you would have known exactly what to do--hell, even if you were in that situation and did know exactly what to do and did it perfectly--that doesn't mean that the rest of us would. Or that the rest of us could.

I don't know how to solve problems like this. How to make sure it never happens to anyone else ever again. I don't think anyone does.

But it's gotta lie somewhere in: we just have to be better to each other.

And a lot of the talk I've heard from people this week, from all sides--even and especially from the people who claim to be speaking on behalf of victims--doesn't feel like that answer.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Let's Get Lit!!! - Part Two

Defying Convention - 
An Unbound Donovan's Door Story
Part Two


Read Part One Here


To read the rest of this story, please check out my Unbound Exclusive story “Defying Convention” in their limited-time Fuego Box. As a cosplay geek, there are few places as magical as a convention, where reality is literally held at bay by the sheer will of its attendees. But making all that magic go takes a lot of work and stamina. And sometimes a girl just needs a break! Join my characters, Max Wells and Solomon, for some wet and wild hot tub fun in this Unbound Exclusive story included in this hot, sexy box!


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Get Your Box Here




THINK YOU OWN ME?
Check out more from Max in my novel Show Me, Sir from Sinful Press that celebrates feminist kink!


FORGIVE ME, FATHER, FOR I HAVE SINNED!
Find more from Solomon in my story that explores the taboo juxtaposition of holy and sensual!


LEARNING A NEW WORLD
Please check out my novel The Taming School from Sizzler Editions that explores discovering kink!

LOVE EROTICA? LOVE CONSENT?
Please check out my story in The New Smut Project's anthology and see how consent makes everything sexier!
At Barnes & Noble


GEEK SEX IS THE KINKIEST SEX!
Please check out my story in Riverdale Avenue Books' anthology that proves no one knows how to play better than nerds!


LET'S GET INTENSE FOR THE MEN!
Please check out my story in The Sexy Librarian's anthology that gives us a bold peek into lust and love from the male perspective!
At Audible

HAVE YOURSELF A KINKY, LITTLE XMAS!
Please check out my story in Coming Together's charity anthology that lets your feel-good do some real good!


MAKE-UP SEX MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER!
See what happens after Kat & Peter's happy ending in my story from Deep Desire Press!

REBEL WITH US!
Erotica is an expression of rebellion. Please check out my stories in Coming Together's defiant, charity anthology that celebrates diversity and equality in the face of our uncertain future!

YOU'RE INTO WHAT?!
If it exists, someone’s kinky for it! Check out my story in Sexy Little Pages' anthology that takes a walk on the weird side: you won’t regret it.

PRIDE & PUNISHMENT!
Please check out my story and get ready for some fit-on-the-streets-but-fun-in-the-sheets, pervertable play this PRIDE!




BREAKING THE RULES!
Please check out my story in this hand-held library of erotica & explore to your libido's content!






SEXT ME SWEETLY
Check out my story to dive deep into all the awkward excitement of sexual exploration.

Let's Get Lit!!! - Part One

Defying Convention - 
An Unbound Donovan's Door Story
Part One

Solomon opened the hotel door and stretched. God, she was getting too old for this. She’d been coming to the Plunder convention, celebrating her favorite swashbuckling video game, for five years now. And, Lord, late night parties felt different as a fresh-out-of-college kid than they did now.

How was that possible that five short years could make such a difference?

She flopped on the bed with a huff. She glanced at Max Wells who still had her face buried in the con’s schedule book, high on the novelty of her very first con. “Ooo, there’s a panel on the ethics of fan-made game modding in an hour; do you want to try to make it?”

Solomon groaned softly. How could Max still have so much energy? Envying the other woman’s excitement, Solomon sighed and longed for a time when this all felt new like it used to.

She loved conventions, especially the whole cosplay experience. Had for a very long time. Even before coming out as a transwoman, cosplay had provided a safe, fun outlet to explore gender and identity. From her very first crossplay costume—just some cheap mismatch of thrift-store leggings, a modified prom dress, and a wig—she’d fallen in love with the craft. Over the years, she’d learned so much about herself, her creativity and what she was capable of, through the magic of costuming. How with some fabric, Worbla, and a wig, you could become someone else. It was strange; transforming herself into someone else somehow let her be a little more herself too.

Even now, she still felt its magic. Still loved that, with ingenuity and hard work, anyone could be anything. She’d spent months planning and constructing her Atlantica costume, from stitching tiny mermaid scales on her skirt to forming intricate thermoplastic shells. It’d taken her two hours to get her look just right this morning. But, by the time she was done, she’d walked out of this room feeling like the sea goddess of her dreams.

Yet, as the day went on, all that magic began to lose its luster. She and Max had gotten up extra early this morning so they could get dressed in their costumes in time for the con’s start. Then they’d run from panel to panel, event to event. They’d visited artist alley and the dealer’s room. They’d watched belly dancers and stage sword fights.

It was only the first day of the convention; she shouldn’t feel so tired. It wasn’t even a physical exhaustion. She was just tired of it all. Tired of the crowds, of the noise, of the hustle and bustle. All the things that had felt exciting in her first few years of coming to the convention, just felt...wrong this year.

No, not wrong. Everything felt decidedly not wrong. Though not right either, not exactly. Just the same as always. The same panels, the same events, the same people. The same experience.

Maybe it wasn’t so much that she was getting too old for the convention, but could it be that the con—her favorite event of the year—was, after so many years, starting to feel old?

“You okay?”

Solomon looked up and saw Max sitting on the edge of the bed, looking at her worriedly. Solomon sat up and shrugged. “Just not really feeling the Plunder spirit this year.” She really hated to rain on Max’s first convention, but Solomon didn’t relish the idea of heading back into that people-packed throng. She heaved a reluctant sigh. “Just give me a minute and I’ll be good to go again.”

“Are you sure?” Max gripped the schedule book in her hand and bit her lip. “We don’t have to go back.”

Of course they had to. This was Max’s first convention, she should get to enjoy every moment of it. “I just need a little lie-down.” She was sure that was it.

“I don’t know.”

At the sad hesitation in Max’s voice, Solomon shook her head and pushed to her feet, regretting it almost immediately. She groaned, her soles killing her in her costume’s four-inch heels, and almost sat back down. But, damnit, this was her favorite time of year. It was her geek Halloween, her nerd Christmas. She was not going to spend it passed out on a hotel bed. She flexed her poor feet and gritted her teeth. “Let’s go.”

Fighting a giggle, Max waved Solomon back. “Sit down, you look like you’re about to fall over.” Max unzipped her boots and kicked them off. She wiggled her eyebrows. “How about a hot tub break?” She stood and began to take off the rest of her Captain Jolli Rouge costume. “Might as well take advantage of it, since we paid for it.”

“You’ll miss your panel,” Solomon warned.

Max shrugged and strode naked to the tub. “We’ve got a little bit of time.” She turned on the faucet, filling the tub with warm, steaming water that called out to Solomon. “Come on, badass Mermaid Queen of the Seven Seas, your bubbly berth awaits...”


Read Part Two Here


Friday, August 18, 2017

Look What Came in the Mail!


Look what came in the mail (and with the Not-Safe-For-Amazon sexy cover, yes!); can't wait to dive in!

Please come check out my story, “On the Line,” in this Sinful Press anthology to dive deep into all the awkward excitement of sexual exploration. When every encounter feels weighty and new. When you feel perpetually on the verge of either discovery or humiliation. It’s a wonder any of us survived it at all!

Sinful Press welcomes you to lose yourself in Sinful Pleasures.

Join us as we weave our way from mainstream erotic romance to surreal sex-filled dreamscapes and everything in between, created by some of the best new and established voices in the erotica genre. List of authors: Janine Ashbless Ella Scandal Sonni de Soto Jo Henny Wolf Lily Harlem Lady Divine Gail Williams Samantha MacLeod Tony Fyler Ellie Barker Lisa McCarthy

Available Now On:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Playroom, My Rules! - Part Two

Do Not Disturb - 
Part Two
Read Part One Here


To read the rest of this story, check out this amazing anthology!

The Sexy Librarian, Rose Caraway returns with another Library of Erotica, just for you. From Torrid Literature to BDSM, Fairy Tales to Orgies, Clandestine Military Adventures to Bi-Curious Rendezvous, this adventurous, and fantasy-filled collection is here to turn you on. So grab your partner and peruse the card catalog and see which sexy story catches your interest first. This is your very own, hand-held library! Explore this volume of Erotica to your libido's content.

Featuring: Chase Morgan, Malin James, Silas Bliss, Sommer Marsden, Daily Hollow, Terrance Aldon Shaw, Jordan Castillo Price, Dahlia Lovejoy, Janine Ashbless, Jean Roberta, Emily Bingham, Rose de Fer, Dee Maselle, Rachel Woe, Josie Jordan, Eva Hore, R.A. Goli, Tamsin Flowers, Melina Greenport, Sonni de Soto, Elliot DeLocke, Landon Dixon, Michael Lewis, Janie James, Brantwijn Serrah, Emmanuelle de Maupassant, Spencer Dryden, M.L. Doyle, Brown Sugar, and Dorothy Freed.

AVAILABLE NOW ON:



PRIDE & PUNISHMENT!
For more from Pip, please check out my story and get ready for some fit-on-the-streets-but-fun-in-the-sheets, pervertable play this PRIDE!



LEARNING A NEW WORLD
Please check out my novel The Taming School from Sizzler Editions that explores discovering kink!
At iTunes Books

THINK YOU OWN ME?
Please check out my novel Show Me, Sir from Sinful Press that celebrates feminist kink!


LOVE EROTICA? LOVE CONSENT?
Please check out my story in The New Smut Project's anthology and see how consent makes everything sexier!
At Barnes & Noble


GEEK SEX IS THE KINKIEST SEX!
Please check out my story in Riverdale Avenue Books' anthology that proves no one knows how to play better than nerds!


LET'S GET INTENSE FOR THE MEN!
Please check out my story in The Sexy Librarian's anthology that gives us a bold peek into lust and love from the male perspective!
At Audible

HAVE YOURSELF A KINKY, LITTLE XMAS!
Please check out my story in Coming Together's charity anthology that lets your feel-good do some real good!


MAKE-UP SEX MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER!
See what happens after Kat & Peter's happy ending in my story from Deep Desire Press!

FORGIVE ME, FATHER, FOR I HAVE SINNED!
Please check out my story in Sexy Little Pages' anthology that explores the taboo juxtaposition of holy and sensual!

REBEL WITH US!
Erotica is an expression of rebellion. Please check out my stories in Coming Together's defiant, charity anthology that celebrates diversity and equality in the face of our uncertain future!

YOU'RE INTO WHAT?!
If it exists, someone’s kinky for it! Check out my story in Sexy Little Pages' anthology that takes a walk on the weird side: you won’t regret it.

SEXT ME SWEETLY
Check out my story to dive deep into all the awkward excitement of sexual exploration.

LET'S GET LIT!!!
Check out my Unbound Exclusive story in their limited-time Fuego Box for some wet and wild hot tub fun in this Unbound Exclusive story included in this hot, sexy box!



Also, find out how you can support me and collaborate with me on my Patreon Page!

My Playroom, My Rules! - Part One


Do Not Disturb - 
Part One

“Pop Goes the Weasel” played, the tinny sound filling the room.

Vera Hernadez raised an eyebrow and her fist clenched on the bug zapper in her hand. “Is that your phone?”

She narrowed her gaze at the beautiful, black woman trussed to her whipping post. Pip Jones’s long, lithe body cringed—as much as it could in the ropes anyway. She turned to face Vera and swallowed deeply. 

“I asked,” Vera said over the sing-song ring, pointing the toy at the woman, “is that your phone?”

Pip’s head bobbed in a tiny nod. “I’m so sorry, Ma’am.”

Sorry?

No, she wasn’t sorry. Not yet.

But, by the end of this, she would be.

Vera tsked. “You know my number one rule.” She walked around the post, letting the hatched metal of the toy’s head drag threateningly over Pip’s bared flesh. “No phones.” It was an easy one to remember. And came with a punishment neither of them would forget. “You know what comes next, don’t you?”

Pip’s head whipped back so far it looked like it hurt. Her eyes were wide and her breath wheezed nervously. “You wouldn’t!”

Vera’s jaw clenched as she drew the toy under Pip’s chin, forcing the other woman’s head up to meet her narrowed eyes. She raised an eyebrow at Pip. “So you’re telling me what to do now?”

“No!” Pip shook her head so hard, her whole body struggled against the ropes. “No, Ma’am. No, of course not, but—”

“Then you know,” Vera said sharply, turning on her heels toward Pip’s things, “my playroom, my rules.” She set the bug zapper aside before bending down to root around in Pip’s purse. She found the now silent phone in one of the pockets. Plucking it up, she thumbed the screen to light. “Hmmm.” She pursed her lips at the text message. “Looks like work needs you.” She flicked the screen to the camera. “Well, they’re about to get all of you.”

“Wait!” Pip was struggling hard now, the ropes pinching into her limbs. “Just wait. I’ll turn it off, I swear—”

“Too late.” It was one of Vera’s few hard, non-negotiable limits. At the beginning of every negotiation, she made sure to tell every partner that they were to leave their phones and devices at home or in their car. To ensure out of sight and out of mind, she didn’t even want them in the building.

Every bottom, every sub, was warned, if they didn’t comply, the phone would not only be confiscated during the scene.

It would become part of the scene.

Vera grinned cruelly and pointed the phone at Pip’s gorgeously tied up form. “Smile.”

“Wait!”

She snapped the picture.

Then two more. Making sure to get clear shots of Pip’s cringing face. “Your boss is going to love getting these shots.” She took another. “Not to mention all your friends. Your family.” Her whole list of contacts.

“You wouldn’t.” Pip shut her eyes. “You can’t.”

Vera clucked her tongue. “No,” she shook her head and said, “you’re right.” She lowered the phone and walked toward Pip. She touched Pip’s bound shoulders and back soothingly, reverently. She could see those pretty, slim shoulders heave with relief.

“What fun is it to send everyone pre-scene pictures?” Vera’s smile felt sharp and full of anticipation. She wanted to run her tongue over Pip’s flushed flesh as the woman’s eyes widened sweetly with thick fear. There was something else sparking in Pip’s wild gaze too, some thrilling feeling like reckless lust that made Vera’s mouth water. “It’ll be more fun to send them the post-scene ones...” 



Read Part Two Here