Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What you miss when you only look at stick figures

We all know the model stereotype: tall and thin as a stick insect. And we all know that most fetish models don't meet the stereotype. For one thing, they tend to have huge, fake boobs. ;-/ But you already know I don't like those. Give me someone with a body that at least looks natural any day. I don't care about height or hair color or tattoos; I just want human-looking curves, like the women in this post.

Meet Io and Zoetica Ebb. They each have Model Mayhem pages, but if you like what you see here, you can find more pictures of them by name-searching on Deviant Art or by visiting Plastik Wrap, where they've both modeled; Artifice Clothing, where Io has modeled; stuntkid's blog, where Zoetica (along with Mosh and many others) has modeled; or Zoetica's blog, which has tons of pictures both professional and amateur. And yes, folks, Zoetica is every bit as cute in the amateur candid shots. I am so in love with this woman. ;-)

Ms. Ebb is also a cofounder of Coilhouse Magazine, which is entertaining in its own right, but sadly lacking in pictures of her.

There are plenty of pictures of both these ladies out there, if you're willing to hunt for them. I've just tried to select a few that represent the taste of my audience. I hope you like them as much as I do.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How to do it right, in my not-so-humble (not to mention completely unprofessional) opinion

Say you've got some pretty good graphics software, a smidge of talent, and a great big MC/robo kink. How do you turn out the kind of images you and others like you really want to see? After all, anyone can make a bug-eyed manga girl or a stiff-limbed Barbie doll. How do you come up with stuff like the images at left and below (which I hope you enjoy as much as I do)?

As you know, I spend a lot of time on Deviant Art and Model Mayhem; and I've seen a lot of good digital art and a hell of a lot of bad digital art. Here are a few observations I've made in the process.

First, if possible (and I realize it might not be), you should get a really good, versatile graphics program - or more than one. The image above and the first two rows below are by Valentina Kallias. As you can see, she makes enough money with her art to afford programs that can produce rust and crumbling stone effects - important for realism, especially since we all know how computer graphics tend to look too smooth and regular.

BTW, doesn't the second image below remind you of a certain Tabico story? ;-)

Of course, Kallias is a professional, and not everyone has the money to afford top-shelf graphics software. So what else can you do? Well, how about working with the "smooth and regular" effect, rather than against it? After all, we're talking about MC/robo fetishism here. You want your subjects to look depersonalized. So hide their faces and/or make it look like they've had all their humanity and individualism stripped away. That works so much better better than trying to give a Barbie doll realistic expressions.

If you explore Kallias' whole gallery on Deviant Art, you'll see plenty of cases where she did try the Barbie doll approach...and IMO failed miserably. So if you're determined to show your subjects' faces, the best route is to start with a live, expressive model rather than a computerized one. Michael O, another professional digital artist who has galleries on both Deviant Art and Model Mayhem, has been fortunate enough to work with some very talented models, including the spectacular Mosh. Even roboticized as they are, there's nothing Barbie-ish about any of these women.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy holidays! Here are my gifts to you.

Last week I discovered a new latex fashion designer, Artifice Clothing.There's lots of yumminess to be found on that site, but I was particularly struck by these three pictures. Placed in this order, they seem to tell an interesting little story, don't they? A little something to brighten your holiday mood, especially with all that green and gold. ;-)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Merchant's Daughter: Get it while it's hot!

You know that new vampire hypnosis session from Lady Ru'etha that I reviewed on Sunday? Well she's got it up on her blog for free, for a very limited time, right here. Grab it now if you can, or come back for it later when she puts it on sale. It's so worth it!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vampires! Vampires everywhere!

Not too long ago I was talking with Lady Ru'etha about her upcoming vampire-themed mp3, "The Merchant's Daughter." She's given me a preview copy, and I've mentioned it on my blog before; but I told her I wanted to wait and do a proper review when she made it available to the public. However, she encouraged me to go ahead and post it whenever I liked.

Now I know why. This morning I got an e-mail update from the Realm of Bliss Yahoo Group (Not a member yet? Well, get on it!) in which Lady Ru'etha announced her newest podcast. Wouldn't you know, it's all about vampires? Just the thing to put you in the holiday spirit! Of course, as she notes, December does include the longest night of the year...which leads me quite naturally to think of the great recent vamp flick 30 Days of Night, but I digress.
In the podcast Lady Ru'etha recommends several classic short stories that are available online, and she reads some of the best passages from them - without spoiling too much, I hasten to add. Then she goes on to give you the links in her show notes so you can read the full text for yourselves. She also recommends the Penguin Vampire Anthology, which I actually used to own (I traded it in at a used bookstore during a fit of temporary insanity; so if you bought yours there and it had star ratings beside the stories in the table of contents, you might well have gotten my old copy), and would love to own again. Nice to know it's still in print. Maybe I'll check Amazon and buy it again. Heh, maybe I'll even find my own book still floating around out there. ;-)

But back to "The Merchant's Daughter." This is the first in a series of vampire-themed hypnosis sessions that Lady Ru'etha has in the works. It's f/f, but I wouldn't be surprised if she makes other combinations available when she puts it online. Anyway, the session begins in the usual "Safe Space" and "Room of Doors," then leads you through a portcullis into a nonspecific past-time and past-place where you stop overnight in an unfamiliar village and run across a beautiful young lady...who does some decidedly unladylike things to you before it's all over with. She can be very convincing, you see. But don't worry; all the compulsions evaporate once you're back in the Room of Doors, so you can relax and just enjoy surrendering your will. Completely, if you like.

One of the coolest things I've discovered about Lady Ru'etha's mp3's is that every one you listen to feeds into every other one. Obviously, "Safe Space" prepares you for the adventures beyond the Room of Doors; but "Voice" prepares you to experience those adventures on an even deeper level; and I have a hunch that, if you let yourself really be bound to the Merchant's Daughter, you'll find it even easier to submit in other hypnotic circumstances. We'll see about that one. ;-) When I listened to the session again a little while ago in preparation for writing this post, I went very, very deep. It was lovely.

Lady Ru'etha has crafted a story here that's both brimming with traditional vampire tropes and completely original. I can't wait to see the response when she shares it with all of you. Be on the lookout for it.

[Edited to add a screencap from The Vampire Lovers, a movie based on the short story "Carmilla" that Lady Ru'etha talks about in her podcast. I'm currently trying to download the movie from YouTube, where it's broken into nine chunks; but, dammit, parts 4 and 5 are nowhere to be found! I hope the scene above didn't come from one of those two parts; I just found it via Google Images.]

Saturday, December 19, 2009

How could I resist?

This isn't what I planned to blog about today. I planned to blog about a preview Lady Ru'etha shared with me of an upcoming mp3 called "The Merchant's Daughter." It's a vampire fantasy, and totally delicious. But I'll have to do that entry later today or else sometime tomorrow. When a certain mysterious e-mail friend shared this link with me, I knew I just had to pass it on to all of you fine folk.

My gosh, how could I not? Just look at that picture! That's an actual airline ad, and this page is full of this stuff!

Okay, actually, it's supposed to be a gallery of vintage stewardess pictures. But since when do stewardesses wear kinky fetish gear? Or miniskirts cut high enough (or slit high enough) to flash hot pants? Oh, and don't even get me started on the chick in the bolero. ;-)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Peek Beneath the Duct Tape: "Union, Reunion"

First of all, as many of you noticed, Allie is very much me. Yes, all of my protagonists are more or less me; but Allie is me to a larger extent than any of the others because a lot of this story is based on fact. More than you might think.

I really did belong to a sorority in college, and I really have had a few reunions with some of my former sisters. I came out to a couple of them before the first get-together because they were the two I knew would accept me, and I came out to the whole group at our final gathering. I didn't know then that it would be the final gathering; but for some reason, after it was all over, we agreed that we were beginning to feel awkward with each other and didn't care to meet again. To this day, I have no idea how much of that awkwardness was due my revelation; but it really hurts to think that might have played a part. I'm sure you can see that hurt, and that anger, playing out in my story.

Dianne was based on two different sisters, only one of whom came to the real reunions - and that one was totally supportive of me, I hasten to add. I made story-Dianne's reactions ambiguous just to heighten the drama. I don't know how my readers interpreted the things she said and did, but to me, they were ambiguous. I like the women she's based on far too much to make Dianne a "bad guy." I wanted her to be someone whose opinion really would matter to Allie, someone you could root for to escape.

The idea of Dianne's escaping, by the way, occurred to me well after I'd begun the story. I think it's a much better ending than the one I'd originally planned, which was the one you would all have guessed ahead of time. ;-) I hope I gave you a pleasant surprise when Allie let her go.

Of the other characters, only Tonya is based on a real person: someone I hope really did mellow later in life. Shannon and Mary Katherine represent different parts of myself, as I'm sure some of you realized. After all, I've explained many times how my fetish ties in with my growing up as the "good little girl" and wanting both a way out of that trap and a way deeper in.

Speaking of good little girls, some of my readers will have noticed that "Union, Reunion" might as well have been titled "Raging Id." This story gave me every chance I could have asked for to let my darkest passions fly free, and they really enjoyed it.

And now it's Easter egg time again. Looking at the artwork that accompanies this blog entry, I'm sure you can see where I got the idea for the vines around the cabin...but do you recognize the artist? I've blogged about him a couple of times before: Zdzisław Beksiński. There's a reason that road sign in the first chapter was missing a letter. ;-)

Of course, I've dropped a few other Easter eggs into the story, too; but I'll let you find those on your own. ;-P

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Things you find when you're not looking

The other night I was poking around in my folder of saved Kumi Monster photos when I came across the image at left and wondered why the hell I didn't remember it, since it's just so freaking gorgeous.

Well, naurally, I then had to flip through all the images in that folder, just to see what other goodies I'd forgotten about. Below are a few of the best. Fortunately, each one already had a URL on it (though you have to look closely to see the one on the gel-head pic) so I don't even have to provide you with any extra links.

Just think of this as a little something to tide you over till the finale of "Union,Reunion" next weekend. ;-P

Sunday, December 6, 2009

quickie fun

Last week, when I had a few minutes to spare and a burst of sudden inspiration, I cooked up a new grok session for Virtual Hypnotist. It's just five minutes long, but I promise, you can do one hell of a lot in that amount of time! The intent of "Grok Quickie" is to give you just a tiny taste of the "brainwashing machine" I've been talking about on my blog lately...which I'm still not going to share in full. Sorry. If you want to know how that one feels, you'll have to learn how to create your own. I have given you all the tools. ;-)

But in the meantime, head over to Ono Udont's Virtual Hypnotist Files to download the"Grok Quickie" and try it out for yourself. It's explicit but gender neutral, and you can use it with or without a toy. You might also want to record yourself chanting whatever mantras excite you most and use that as a background track.

Have fun!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

mind change

Last weekend I said I'd finished the rough draft of "Union, Reunion," and that I intended to send Simon the first chapter this week and post another chapter each week until it was all online. Well, now I've changed my mind...but I think you'll like the new version better.

A few days later I realized that since I'd already posted the rough draft of the first chapter on my blog (twice, actually), my regular readers would have to wait two weeks to read anything really new. Plus, posting a chapter a week would mean my finale debuted right before Christmas, and a lot of people might be on vacation and not have any computer access. So in the end, I decided to send chapters one and two off to Simon for posting this weekend. Chapter three will go up the weekend of December 12, and then everyone will be happy.

BTW, has anyone else noticed that I tend to start my titles with letters near the end of the alphabet, like S, or in this case U? It's not a big issue, but it does mean that my stories are always near the bottom of the "What's New" list and don't get read very quickly. And I do like feedback. ;-P