Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Fify Shades of Bum Cheek Red - A lighthearted extremely serious review of Fifty Shades of Grey....

Most people, certainly most writers, will know by now, that for much of this year, one of the top selling novels in both the US, Canada and the UK, is an ‘erotic’ work, part of a trilogy which is now known affectionately as ‘Fifty Shades..’ by EL James – a first time, middle aged female novelist, who said of her success,

“I could have divorced my husband or bought a car in my forties, instead I wrote a novel.”

It’s the story of a twenty-year-old virgin – obviously it isn’t set in the UK – who begins an affair with, ‘the most beautiful man (she has) ever seen’ – a tycoon, who also (sigh) pilots his own helicopter. Let’s face it though, most tycoon’s can appear pretty attractive, huh girrrrls?
Although, your average, local lad, Ron, once a proud, fit ‘ banger-in-of-rivets’ at the local shipyard, and now on the checkout at Tesco, due to the ‘Back to Work’ campaign by the Coalition government, does appear to lose a little of his appeal beside such obvious glamour – especially when he’s filling you in on the latest BOGOF deal, or wondering whether you’d noticed your Coronation Chicken still had feathers.
Anyway, Ron, sadly, isn’t in ‘Fifty Shades’, which is the tale of the rather strange relationship that develops between the twenty year old virgin, and the tycoon. At this point I’d like to be able to say it involves many aspects of bondage, domination and submission, sadism and masochism but I am not sure that a couple of over-the-knee spankings really qualify it.
Masochism may be stretching it a little far actually, given the fact that the twenty year old virgin does not appear at any point to have any sexual fantasy of her own at all,  let alone the desire to get her nipples chewed off and spat out like a couple of Coco Crispies the dog got hold of, but didn’t much fancy.  No, our heroine simply goes along with what the ‘weather events’ in her knickers are telling her – wet patches in one particular area, and it’s not Wolverhampton. In any case, he buys her an expensive sports car, an apple Mac and, Oh God knows what else – does that sound like suffering to you?  No, me neither.
Anyway, as well as having ‘dark copper eyes’ and ‘steel grey hair' – oops, that may have been the other way round – though do we care? Really? No, thought not. As well as those particular features, he has, it would appear, just the one teensy little character flaw…. It’s so small you almost don’t notice it, but then at about page thirty-nine it hits you…bam!  Right between the eyes, the man is, quite simply…..unbelievable. Oh and he’s also a ‘pervert’, though stood against a twenty year old virgin my eighty-six year old Auntie Lil could look somewhat shady…
Yes, Mr Billionaire Tycoon Grey (he of the Fifty Shades) or BTG as we shall now call him, has had a bit of a raw deal in life, a heavy cross to bear.  He’s a sexual dominant, who does not like to be touched…. ever.  Ain’t life a bitch?!  Not only does he have to suffer his sexually perverted desires, but he also cannot have ‘normal’ sex, (whatever that might be these days), because, having ‘normal’ sex would mean being touched, wouldn’t it?
G0sh, it used to be so simple; meet a prince in the forest, sing nicely, stroke a few furry things, kill a couple of witches, get married…
Back to BGT and let’s see if we can get to the ‘bottom’ of the problem – he certainly does himself, on Page 124, Page 138, and Page 564.
He has this ‘Red Room of Pain’ in his house which is where he takes the twenty year old (sadly no longer a virgin at this point) to punish her.  I sympathise, really, I do.  I have a ‘room of pain’ in my house too.  It’s where my eleven year old sleeps and throws clothes, toys and books, all over the floor. Believe me, I know about pain.
‘But why?’ I hear you cry, ‘What has the Twenty Year Old No Longer A Virgin done to deserve punishing? Has she crashed the car he bought her?  Oh God, not the helicopter!
No, none of the above.
She ‘rolled her eyes’. Yes, that’s right, she rolled her eyes.  Now, there was one point, early in the story, where it occurred to me that all this ‘eye rolling’ and the subsequent punishment spankings it produced, might not be the sort of ‘eye rolling’ familiar to most people.  I wondered if perhaps, the hapless TYONLAV (Twenty Year Old No Longer A Virgin) had performed some sort of revolting ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ type stunt, taken her eyes out from their sockets, and rolled them around a bit – maybe on his new rug or something?
It’s feasible though, isn’t it? I mean, I might want to spank her for that myself, especially if I slipped on one and broke my neck or something, but no, it was just good ol’ eye rolling as we know and love it.
Especially when our teenaged children do it. In front of their friends. Bless them.
So yes, our heroine keeps getting in his bad books and getting herself a red bottom, in the red room of pain.
Naturally, I found this very odd behaviour, but not quite so odd, as some of her other behaviour. Like, for instance, the fact that she says “Holy crap” every third paragraph, or worse “Double Crap”, progressing to “Holy Shit” and even “Oh fuck” but that is only when ‘He blows gently up the length of my sex’… yes, really, that is just one of the delicious lines to ponder, wonder at, and maybe, just maybe, roll your eyes – but watch out for passing billionaire tycoons..
For you see, right at the end of this wander down Debauchery Lane, the Twenty Year Old… oh you know who, gets Six of the Best, across the arse cheeks, with his belt.
Yes his belt, and apparently he doesn’t ‘hold anything back’ – I guess that’s the job of a belt -  but does she say ‘Fuck’ at this point, or even, and here you can call me a spoilsport if you like,
‘Fuck Off before your trousers fall down BTG’
No, she says….
‘One, ouch, two, scream, three, Holy Mackinoly’ (oh alright she doesn’t but you get my point!)
Anyway, I’m not one to spoil the ending so back to ‘the ‘length’ of her sex.. really?  Really? I thought girls had funny bits, maybe some are a little more ‘sticky out’ than others but lengths?  All this time me and the girls sat around discussing our new shoes we shoulda bin getting out the ruler and measuring our lengths..
I have to say I had to suspend a little disbelief with this novel. I know fantasy is very popular among the young but twenty-year-old virgins who get Apple Macs and fancy cars in exchange for having their bottoms spanked by beautiful billionaire tycoons? I mean, what is this ‘The Story of O (h I Wish I Had A Billionaire Helicopter Pilot To Spank Me Although I Wouldn’t Like It, But Oh Well, What Can You Do, No Billionaire Is Perfect?' Well, yes I suppose it is.

It an awful shame though, that this novel has so misrepresented the subject of Sexual Dominance and Submission, which is already greatly misunderstood in the public sphere.
Dominants thrive on the understanding that their submissive partner finds their sex life together just a little more than ‘hawt’, and beating someone as an act of anger is not the deal here. Beating someone and being beaten is viewed as an expression of mutual desire, one need complementing the other, each need fulfilled. Fulfilling your partners needs and desires? Hey that’s a little radical!

It’s about allowing women to finally grow up as sexual beings with desires of their own – even if you don’t share, or approve of those desires – BDSM is an area where women really do choose, and those choices should be as respected as any other, shouldn’t they?  (Fact is, there are plenty of submissive men out there and it’s not discussed alongside the issue of violence against women. Instead sexually dominant women are merely a joke.)
And that’s the real shame of this book – for in my experience the BDSM ‘scene’ is about partnering and giving, and absolute honesty – for if you can’t be honest about your desire to either give or experience sexual pain, then somebody is going to get seriously hurt.  What a shame the BGT had to go and turn out to be emotionally disturbed instead of a man who recognised his needs and was honest about them, and went and found himself a grown up gal who had a few of her own.  Mmm, maybe that's another story....
Though, quite frankly Ms James I wish you’d bought the car, and if you ask me, just for the ‘length of your sex’ you deserve a sound spanking!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

A Late Summer Plum...

When you first came calling for me, you knocked softly on the front door and if it sounded at all, it was a mere whisper that may have been heard on the ground floor but would never have echoed through the hallways and reached up to my apartment.

The doorbells could never be relied upon, so I guess that gentle ‘tap, tapping’ was an indication of your initial ambivalence, as though even then you wondered about the wisdom of being with me.

After a while you knocked loud and grew bolder, and banged on that door until a shudder went all through the house, and everyone knew you had come a calling. 

Boy I liked that. I used to swagger down the stairs; careful to see who else had come out onto the landing to watch me leave with you, and maybe smile, maybe just stand there, arms folded in the half dark of the hallway, staring at our backs as we left.

I wanted them to want to be us so very badly.

One time, as I reached the bottom of the stairway I heard a whispered warning from the shadows.

"Take care, girl."

She was an old woman, with wisps of white hair that made an unruly frame around her head, like an oddly shaped halo.  She wore glasses with frames too large for her tiny face, and thick lenses that distorted her eyes, making them huge. They were  'swimmy' like old people get, though they were still a bright, cornflower blue.

She stood there a moment, said nothing more, blinked a few times as we faced each other, and then turned back into her apartment, shutting the door hard behind her.

Would I have stopped and listened? Sure I would! Even then, in my fire years, I was polite and cheerful in my nature, though truth be told, I had no concern for danger, or a life of misery, or anything untoward.  So I listened, then dismissed her warning, and went about my business, thinking her typical of the old, the out of touch, unable even to recall the carefree days of their youth. 

Secretly I wondered as to her sanity; as to whether she had begun the kind of tragic decline that would, in time, leave her unable to remember her own name.  I pondered her strange appearance in the hallway, thinking that perhaps it was an early indication of things to come.

So, I left with you that day, and again and then again on subsequent days, hanging on your arm and onto every clever, funny word that tripped off your tongue.

Later I would close the door softly as I left your apartment, after that salty tongue had snaked its way around my mouth and down the length of my body.  I would shudder remembering how it had slowly made its way to the place from where all of my existence sprang, from where the heat of me lay simmering.

That tongue had licked and flicked at my reddening, swelling heat, until I had boiled over, spilling like the sticky juice of a sweet, late summer plum.

Leaving you sprawled in the creased sheets, snoring lightly, I would smile at our secrets, and carry them carefully, all the way home to my own bed which waited empty, it’s sheets cool.

I rarely saw the old woman after that day. Perhaps from time to time I would catch a glimpse of her, entering her apartment or leaving by the front hallway, but she never spoke to me again or came to her door when I banged down the stairs in reply to your knock. 

I had no time for her anyway, for I could give little thought to those who were not like me, with my urgent need to live, to exist only in the moment, to ride and then ride again on the high rollers.

The summer wore on, and a sudden blistering heat made the hallways smell bad.  It was as though the years of boiling and stewing, roasting and frying, on all the stoves in those tiny apartments had created one god almighty smell that sweated through the walls and hung stinking in the air, leaving a stain on the shabby, peeling paper.

Nobody left their apartments much then; to go about their daily business or visit friends for mid day lunches or meet for cocktails before a theatre show, or a late supper.  They lay helpless on their beds in dark shuttered rooms, waiting it out, waiting for the big warm drops of rain to fall and cool the sticky air. 

Others, too impatient, left the city and headed for the coast with its sea breezes and big hotel rooms with double doors that opened onto balconies overlooking the ocean.

As time went by you called less and less often, and eventually I too lay on sweat creased sheets, tossing and turning, the fire in my belly unstoked, and a terrible dread in my heart.

When after two weeks, you did not call at all, I began not to eat, but to drink instead. Endless glass, after endless glass, of clear cold water, no ice, whilst I listened to the hum of the refrigerator and watched the flies dance a listless, doomed tango around the broken ceiling fan.

The old woman’s words ran over and over in my head. 

'Take care, girl.'

Each time I closed my eyes I saw her own once again.  They were still cornflower blue, but this time I recognised the grief that lay deep within them, and realised that her words that day had been a warning to the girl she had once been, even though it had come too late for both of us.

Finally, my eyes were open and I understood.

Some weeks after that I packed up my things and left the faded, forlorn apartment building.  I made my way to a small town nearby to stay with a friend, for company and to recover my senses, before I headed for the wider roads of the West Coast.

I did not return to the city.

Sweetie Sometimes - Chapter 1


Sweetie is approaching forty, single and wanting to give colour to the fantasies she has only sketched so far....

From the corner of her eye, she watched as a fully clothed man, across the far side of the room, stood beneath a classic oil on canvas, rhythmically thrusting himself into a woman bent facedown over a plush velvet Chesterfield sofa. The subject of the portrait; a blush-cheeked maiden, her modest bosom tightly buttoned, looked down upon the room with a formal disdain, as though bearing witness to the scene before her. Her skirts showed only the tips of her tiny feet, encased in delicately buttoned boots.  On the side table next to her sat a bible.

The woman being ridden below her, was naked apart from a tightly laced, flesh-pink corset, and a pair of 0ld-fashioned bloomers, which were draped around her ankles.  Her breasts, the nipples swollen and dark, dangled and danced with each thrust, and across her trembling buttocks, lay an artful arrangement of perhaps eight, maybe ten red welts, raised on the skin. All had been delivered with an expertly wielded crop some while earlier in the proceedings, and each had been received with a howl, followed by a most polite ‘Thank you Sir’.

Sweetie – not her real name – looked away from the couple, feeling it was somehow rude to stare. She rested her gaze on the shuttered window, willing herself to concentrate on the mundane, the everyday.  Her thoughts turned to home; they needed toothpaste, and her shoes could do with being re-heeled.

The span of the window seemed huge, and the light from several lamps cast odd crooked shadows across it.  She traced their outlines with her eyes, to give her mind something else to focus on, but each led her back to where she had started.  She tried looking around the room, admiring its antique elegance despite the decadent air.

The house was stately, august; like a grand, if elderly duchess. From the outside it had seemed a little ‘Miss Havisham’, appearing slightly dishevelled, and now well past what must have been a glorious heyday, as bright, shiny London traffic swam around it like a slow-moving shoal of silver fish in a castle moat.  She wondered if behind it lay a hidden, secret garden, wildly overgrown, with crumbling red brick walls, the mortar turned to dust, fitted with antique latticed iron gates, which were rusted now; the keys long since lost.

It was not quite Belgravia, not quite Mayfair but an elegant address nonetheless; one in a row of large terraced buildings, finished in the Italian stucco so fashionable of the period.  Numerous wide steps led up to double-width, glossy-black doors. Stone lions sat on either side, in the shade of each portico, but over the long years, layers of grime had settled into the cracks and crevices of their flamboyant manes, and snarling faces.  Here and there, the paint had bubbled and curled.

Intricately patterned black iron railings almost concealed the shorter flights of steps that led down to the basements, and what had been the servant’s entrances.  The doors here were much smaller, narrowed to reflect the tradesmen’s status, and fittingly, the average adult would need to bow their head on entering. 

It would be easy to imagine the baker’s boy dallying on those steps to waste a little of his working day.  She could picture him clearly, whistling, running his fingers absent-mindedly along the railings whilst nearby a blinkered carthorse waited, snorting steamy breath from it’s nostrils, in the early morning turn-of-the-century air.

The unmistakable roar from the diesel engine of a bus brought her back into the present.  From the top deck it would be possible to see right into this room, were it not for the shutters across the windows. On seeing inside, the passengers might stare, sit upright, and pretend to be transfixed by the droplets of rain, or look shiftily around to see if anyone else had noticed the goings on.

Perhaps though, as cynical city dwellers, they would look, shrug their shoulders and return once more to their preoccupations, seeing only the globules of water shivering as the engine vibrated, and watching transfixed as they trickled down the outside of the glass.

Maybe in moments, the whole bus would be in uproar, the passengers outraged, a baying mob calling for blood.  Perhaps it would turn into a farcical scenario, like an Ealing comedy, with uniformed ‘Bobbies’ arriving in a swarm, and blowing sharply on their whistles, whilst dragging half-dressed, and most indignant souls into Black Maria vans, accompanied by the wailing of sirens.

“They call this the ‘Great Room’ Sweetie,” whispered Angel, suddenly appearing at her side.

“It’s quite public as you can see.”

Sweetie felt the weave of the heavily embroidered curtain and fingered the silk tassel of the tie-back, taking in the plump feather cushions of the classic sofa and the old, classic prints on the walls.

Wanting to feel the embossed rich wallpaper beneath her fingers, she made to step closer to the wall and stumbled in her heels. As she did, a hand reached to steady her, catching her elbow.

“My old mum would’ve said ‘You’ll do yourself a right mischief in them heels’.”

As he said it he didn’t smile, but perhaps raised his eyebrows a glimmer, perhaps he didn’t, she couldn’t be sure, but he met her eyes nicely with his own, and then he was gone.  She steadied her position, balanced the tray carefully and lowered her head just slightly, to appear less noticeable.

‘Just think of yourself as literally part of the furniture;’ Angel had said when she had given her the job, ‘they’ve got all the fanny they could possibly want and it’s more available than Cod in a fish and chip shop, so you don’t have to worry, they won’t give you a second look’.

They hadn’t either. She had been standing there in her costume for almost an hour, ignored by everyone accept Angel who busied herself to and from the bar area fetching and carrying implements as they were demanded. The rules were definitely the rules in this room and as she had given no consent to be touched, so she was ignored.

The men, either Masters or Dominants wore suits, with the exception of one or two who wore breeches with shirts that sported flounces down the front.  She was reminded of ‘Mr Darcy’ although she was pretty sure that Miss Austen would have swooned at such a scene.  Mostly, they would not have looked out of place in the office, which she guessed was where they had come here from, and where no doubt some would return to after the games. That, or a dash across town to catch trains back to the suburbs, or further out to the Home Counties, perhaps even beyond.

The women, the willing submissives, wore corsets, petticoats, bloomers, and stockings, or else very little of anything.

Sweetie had been intrigued when a giggling Angel told her before she agreed to the job, that the party theme would be ‘Wicked Masters Punish Their Disobedient Servants’ – though there was a distinct lack of young, wan-looking footmen getting their just desserts.

Greg, who was knelt on all fours opposite her, with the feet of a Master resting on his back, was surely a submissive, but then it was very easy money. Either way, she didn’t much care, it added both to her ‘portfolio’ of adventures and her pocket.

She returned to unnoticed, persona non-gratis in the corner by the window, whilst another layer of underwear was removed and the giggling women, clearly not very ‘sorry’ for their misdeeds, were laid over furniture or laps, and their buttocks soundly spanked, paddled or flogged.  It was oddly disconcerting, and yet, at the same time, delightful to observe.

“You should try not to smile. Someone might wipe it off your face for you.”

He was back!  The man from earlier who had steadied her as she stumbled. She looked him in the eye.

“You? Will you wipe the smile off my face?”

“I don’t play here.” He replied and she was immediately disappointed: He didn’t like her.

“A watcher.” It came out like a statement of fact though she had meant it as a question, but her disappointment leant it an air of disapproval that she hadn’t intended but found she could not conceal.

“Actually a drinker, an occasional afternoon drinker who can’t stand the stink of the public bar and the late-lunch heave of people. And yes, someone who quite likes his art ‘alternative’, his cinema ‘independent’, and his ‘frantic antics’ with females flavoured a shade richer than vanilla. You can get me another one of these please, when you’re ready.”

He swilled the last of the liquid around the glass and drank it down, then held out the glass to her. She took it and turned from him.

“Manners I like though.” She turned back to face him, smiling at the reprimand.

“That was an Irish whisky with two blocks of ice.” He held two fingers up to confirm his order.

“Yes Sir.”

He smiled briefly. “What do they call you then, apart from ‘Bitch’?”

She grinned at him, there was no trace of malice in his words, they both understood the joke and anyway, he had kind eyes.


“So you taste good then, right? His head was shaved where he was balding, and he loomed over her, stooping to hear her from his height. His smile was wide, his teeth dazzling white against a tan gained in the sun rather than from a bottle.

“You have lovely teeth!” She laughed at her awkwardness. He studied her a moment, allowing a smile to play over his lips before he looked at his watch and looked serious again.

“Sweetie, get my drink and get it quick.”

She turned and tottered to the bar. She was just about to ask the barman for the order when he placed the drink on a clean napkin in front of her.

“A regular then?” She said. He did not even glance at her and turned back to polishing glasses at the sink.

She liked the man, had liked the feel of him as he’d steadied her. She had no idea quite why, but of all the people she had met on this rather crazy journey, he was perhaps the first who had really piqued her interest.

She thought about how his hands might burn her, how those teeth might nip at, and bruise the tiny folds of skin at her throat. How his fingers might snake through her hair and bunch it into a fist, pulling it just enough to make her dizzy with pleasure, a sizzle of warmth searing her belly. She realised she already knew his smell.

She began the long walk back across the room in her treacherous heels, trying to balance the tray on one hand, as Angie had shown her earlier. When she looked toward where he had been sitting, he was no longer there.

Scanning the room, she saw him standing beside the fireplace deep in conversation, one hand resting on the mantelpiece. Had he moved deliberately? Again, she walked the width of the room in the heels, her tray in one hand. She had a sudden vision of herself falling spectacularly just as she reached the fireplace, showering the men with liquid, and ice and shards of glass as she tumbled to the floor. She coughed to stifle her laugh at the thought, and he glanced at her as he took the drink from the tray but did no more, in fact, he seemed to turn away from her.

For the first time, on this strangest of days she felt foolish and awkward.  She really was the invisible servant they had employed her to be, paid very highly, to disappear into the background of the scene, her discretion valued, her discomfort enjoyed.

How utterly mad that she took pleasure in imagining him physically bruise her, yet having him ignore her bothered her greatly.

A good psychologist would no doubt question her lack of self-esteem, or think her perverted, but then a psychologist would do their learning from books. Sweetie had long concluded that people were just not so easy to read.  They always had secrets, fascinations, obsessions, and the kinks and twists, even when they were never acknowledged, were always there; deeply buried perhaps but there, never the less.

She went and stood in the position Angel had shown her first, and listened to the moans of the women who were being humiliated, exposed, and beaten.  Sweetie thought them most beautiful, as the punishing hands of others pleasured them, and their faces shone with the blissful honesty of their desire, and the sweet fulfilment of it.

Around the room, in couples or threesome’s they were sprawled on the furniture, or else they stood over the sprawled. She gazed at the bodies; real bodies, shaped and sized differently to each other, some showing signs of the process of decline, others still holding onto the gorgeous bloom of their youth. All of them were carried without shame, as though to be naked publicly, to behave in such a way was perfectly normal without any need to cower or conceal.

She watched their hands groping, and gripping at soft white buttock cheeks, and thrusting themselves hard into the heat of the women. Some stood and stroked their cocks, smiling, and holding them over open, eager mouths. Faces either frowned in rapt concentration, or were contorted with the agony of their coming ecstasy. Grunts and cries, moans, and streams of filthy words echoed around the sumptuous room, and finally, sighs of blissful pleasure.

No longer able to help herself, her eyes searched the room for the man from earlier, but she couldn’t see him anywhere.  She looked beyond the players, beyond the bodies still writhing, or those convulsed with gentle laughter at a well-timed joke, and those simply prone, sweat beading on their skin, sated, stirring occasionally to stroke or caress an admired curve.

Sighing and suddenly dismayed, she rested her gaze once more on the shuttered windows, and thought again of the buses that passed just beyond them. She imagined the collective weariness, as the passengers swayed in their seats, whilst the bus lurched, navigating the sharpest corners of the narrow London streets. The air would be filled with the fizz from their headphones, or the vibrant buzz of their many conversations. She could almost smell the damp of their clothing, the waft of fast food, the diesel fumes.

In the background the late afternoon traffic, would hum as it began to build toward the evening rush.

She looked again toward the lovers dotted around the room. Perhaps, next time, if she were invited back, she would find the courage to join them in their pleasures. Why not?  It had been a strangely unsatisfying journey so far, and the more she thought about it, the more it seemed like the natural next stop along the route that was taking her toward her own destination, perhaps to the end of the line.