Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Nightrunner Series: Bridging the Gap Between "Gay" and "Mainstream"

Recently, I've been lucky enough to encounter the work of the ultra-talented and rather popular Lynn Flewelling.

Let's be honest: while the vast majority of queer folks are comfortable reading about straight characters, a lot of straight folks aren't comfortable reading about queer characters. Consequently, in genres dominated by straight male authors and straight male readers, gay characters simply don't exist. Or, if they do, they are side characters; their relationships fail; their lovers die; their sexuality is a constant source of pain, and they rarely (if ever!) are shown in normal and healthy relationships.

There is some protection in the romance genre, where m/m literature is steadily growing more and more popular. But, unfortunately, not among other genres.

Lynn Flewelling's books are the exception.

She's well known for her award-winning Nightrunner series. The books aren't what I'd call romance -- they're hardcore fantasy, complete with wizards and swords and dragons -- but they do feature loving gay couple as the protagonists.

Let me stress how awesome this is.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

BDSM: What Is Subspace?

A man in a suit is blindfolded with his tie as another man also dressed in a suit holds the back of his head and leans down to place his mouth near the blindfolded man’s ear.
This is a fantastic photograph for all the reasons soft-core erotica can be sexy: the narrative exposed by the picture rather than the visual stimulus of the image itself. This picture is great in all the ways artsy-fartsy photographs are not. (And look, no monochrome necessary!)
Another noteworthy point in this image is the use of the man’s suit tie as a blindfold. I own three ties, and though I ostensibly purchased them for work I would much rather use them as sex toys. Many facets of menswear can be extremely useful bondage, ties and belts chief among them.
well dressed lovers
BDSM seems to be a popular topic these days, so I thought I'd tackle an often-asked question.

What is subspace? 
Subspace is the mindset a sub sometimes goes into during a scene. It is often described as a floating sensation, as if you are detached from your body. It is a pain-induced high.

What does it feel like? You become loose and relaxed. You stop struggling, because you no longer want to move. It becomes nearly impossible to think or act on your own. Speech becomes difficult or impossible.

When does it happen? Think of subspace like an orgasm. It requires a certain set of physical and psychological stimuli to happen. Subspace requires that you are (1) comfortable (possibly restrained) and (2) being hurt.

(Read more under the cut!)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What You Need to Know About BDSM

A man’s wrists are bound using a simple belt.
I like the focus of this simple photograph: a man’s torso, hands loose and held in front his body, tied with what is presumably his own belt. Perhaps moments ago that belt was encircling his waist in the belt loops of his jeans. Now that it’s binding his wrists, are his pants going to be removed next? I’m a very big fan of pervertible toys like these. They’re not only inexpensive, effective, and often very comfortable, they also embody the spirit of freedom and accessibility that I hold so dear.
This picture is also an interesting one because it clearly demonstrates a very fundamental aspect of human desire: it’s simple. Ritual, tradition, or ceremony need only be associated with sex if you want it to be. It is okay for desire to just be; there’s nothing wrong with a desire devoid of reason or morality, desire that merely exists. No matter what authority figures in your life want you to believe—be they your religion, your parents, your government, or your teachers—human sexuality, desire, and emotion doesn’t have to adapt to its surroundings.
If you maintain a basic respect for others, there’s nothing wrong with adapting your surroundings to fit your desires.
(via eugiee) 
Getting a little pissed about the whole Fifty Shades of Gray thing, and other "BDSM" novels.

Some straight-up facts from a real-life sub: 

The vast majority of us are not psychologically damaged. No mental disorders, no child abuse, no child neglect, no unstable personalities. We're regular people. 

Collars are not fashion statements. They are a sign that a sub is taken. (They are also handy for attaching subs to things.)

Yes, a collar is often like a wedding band. Both symbolize commitment. But most of the time, a collar is just a collar. 

Subspace is a pain-induced high. Once, I read a story in which the main character claimed to fall into subspace while five minutes into a session, without experiencing pain or bondage or any sort. This is about as unlikely as having an orgasm without being touched. 
In other words, it takes a while to happen, and it pretty much requires the submissive to be hurt, be they spanked, whipped, flogged, caned, slapped, or what have you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Victoria Foyt Hates Metrosexual Men

You've probably heard of Victoria Foyt, author of the appallingly racist Revealing Eden: Save the Pearls Part I.

Today, I was interested in what else Foyt had to say, wondering if she was as equally delusional when it came to things other than racial issues.

The answer is yes, by the way.

She wrote this piece on how guys who where makeup and care about their clothes are, like, totally icky. This is what she had to say:
Several years ago, as I sallied forth with a hot prospect on a date, he pointed out with great interest the make of his Junya Watanabe coat. I murmured my appreciation--its beauty was indisputable; and I appreciated the absence of khakis or a T-shirt. 
But as he waxed enthusiastic about the cut and fabric of his fine apparel, I felt my libido plummet, and the lens through which I saw him turn from hot to cold. I felt he had encroached on my domain; the road between us had tilted askew.
I didn't know it was possible to be so insulting to both genders at once.

(More ranting under the cut!)

Monday, August 20, 2012

How To Write Gay Romance

"Anytime you put on the mouthpiece of somebody that you're not, there's a professional responsibility to get it right."
-- Jodi Picoult

As we know, most readers and writers of m/m romance are female. And, because of this, most gay romance follows a very heterosexual pattern: one person is intensely dominant and handsome; the other is passive and pretty. This is pattern is troubling enough in heterosexual romance. In gay romance, it's just plain wrong.

Links and advice under the cut.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Webcomic: Enthrall

Normally, I'm not a fan of vampire storylines. They've a bit trite. But every once in a while, someone manages to make it interesting again.

Today we have Enthrall. Enthrall is told from the point of view of two men -- both human, both living their entire lives in a world that enslaves their kind to serve vampires.

Scarrow is a free man, the leader of a "terrorist" group of abolitionists; the comic begins with his capture, and he is sold into slavery as punishment for his crimes. The story deals with Scarrow's increasingly desperate escape attempts, and his conflicted affection for the vampire who got him caught. Meanwhile, Arin -- a ex-slave - must struggle to adjust to his newfound freedom.

I love, love, love this comic. There's no non-con, which is both a shock and a blessing for a story that is part of not only the m/m genre, but the vampire genre as well.