Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jukebox fans, rejoice!

If you follow Jukebox's blog or his stories on the EMCSA (and posts on the associated forums), you might know that he publishes anthologies of his work from time to time. As a matter of fact, the stories in each anthology are ones he plans to post on the EMCSA at a later date - months or even a year after each anthology comes out. In fact, he's told me he already has stories lined up to post well into 2011.

So far, Jukebox has seven anthologies on the market, and he plans to make the eighth one available in a day or two. Coincidentally, that eighth one will have a forward written by me. ;-) Yes, that's right, I've read all those delicious, funny, scary, steamy stories in advance; and now I'm here to tell you about them. Songs in the Attic includes 21 stories, mostly F/f or F/m, and I'm almost positive that only one of them has been posted on the EMCSA so far. I have no idea how long it will be before the others go up, but if you like Jukebox's stuff, you can get the whole book in a day or two. Here's his store.

And here's my forward. :-)

You can’t believe everything Jukebox tells you. Yeah, sure, he blogs about caring so much for his characters that he cries when one of them gets a paper cut; but he also likes to write pastiches of other authors’ work. Darker authors’ work. So for every geekily hilarious yarn in this collection (“Electioneering,” for instance) you have a more sinister tale like “The End Is the Beginning Is the End.” Granted, there’s only one really pitch-black piece here (“If I Only Had a Brain”), but Jukebox can definitely do grim when he wants to.

On the other hand, he can do sweetness and humor like nobody’s business. Witness the profound appreciation for superhero comics that shines through “A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody;” or the love for his real-life hypno-domme, Lady Ru’etha, that’s apparent in stories like “Dirty Laundry” and “I Can’t Wait,” which he actually co-wrote with her. And who else but Jukebox would have thought to use Billy Idol’s signature song as the title for a story about a masturbating belly dancer? (Granted, the Rebel Yeller always had more than one image in mind when he sang about “Dancing with Myself,” but I doubt any of those images involved his swishing around in gauzy skirts and a tiara.)

Then there are the various real-life hypnotic techniques Jukebox demonstrates throughout this anthology. It almost becomes a game, trying to identify them all as you read along. Some, like the title item in “Brand New Key” are pretty obvious; but others, like the methods on display in “Unwritten,” are so subtle that you can miss them entirely if you’re not looking. The one technique you absolutely won’t miss, though, is that of “Zero.” The story is just one long, delicious induction – an induction which, Jukebox says in the “Liner Notes,” some of his fans actually use on their partners. You might hypnotize yourself, too, if you read it in the right frame of mind. I did. ;-)

But even if you don’t allow yourself to be hypnotized, you’ll still enjoy the humor, the inventiveness, and the scalding-hot steam (Don’t forget the steam!) that flows from Jukebox’s brilliant, twisted brain. Read. Enjoy. Hypnotize yourself. The choice is yours…for now.

P.S.: Just in case you're wondering, I don't get a cut of the profits; I'm doing this because Jukebox is a friend and the stories really are that good.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


A few days ago, while I was running my morning Virtual Hypnotist session, I found myself thinking about jellyfish.

Specifically, I was thinking about the jellyfish I saw once in a really nice public aquarium. There were several tanks of them in a large, round, dark room lit by colored lights that filtered in through the tanks, which were set in the wall and viewed through portholes. The tanks were shaped like cylinders turned on their sides, and they rotated to keep the water in motion - and to keep the jellyfish from sticking to the walls as they drifted in the currents.

You might or might not be able to figure out how this relates to my hypnotic adventures, so let me help you out. I've told before that my personal morning session includes a suggestion that I am wearing a mental corset which keeps my thoughts from drifting too far off target. I also tell myself that that my thoughts are like flimsy tissue floating in water. Combine all that with the flickering lights of my Virtual Hypnotist program, and you get a pretty good idea where I'm heading with this analogy.

Still, you don't have the full picture just yet. I often think there are too many jellyfish in my mental tank, even when I'm deeply hypnotized. Honestly, I sometimes wonder if I have a mild case of ADD...but there could be more to the phenomenon than that. Part of me wants to experience true mindlessness, but another part of me keeps asking how I could ever know what true mindlessness felt like, anyway. After all, mindlessness means not knowing anything. And I do want to know what being mind controlled feels like. I want to experience the bliss of being manipulated, to know exactly what's happening to me, and to be able to remember it all afterwards.

That's part of what I was going for with the character of Leigh Holliday in A Tenpack of Trixies. Unfortunately, I was never completely satisfied with her experience because Leigh, as Leigh, didn't get to enjoy the bliss of control; her Trixie persona enjoyed that, and all Leigh got were the memories.

That's why, in my morning session, I've taken a different route. I tell myself that a tiny part of my mind can stick around and watch what's happening to the rest of it: watch and enjoy, but not interfere. Unfortunately, it isn't working out as well as I'd like because I still have too damn many jellyfish. Even in the deepest depths of trance, I'll catch my thoughts drifting to other things, like errands I need to run or ways I might finesse a line of the VH script so the speech synthesizer will read it more naturally. Occasionally I fall into a daze that might be mindlessness but is more likely just light sleep, and anyway, since I don't remember anything about it afterwards, it's not doing my fetish much good.

I suppose I should be grateful my mind still absorbs commands in that state, since the meat of my morning session is in the suggestions to be calm, confident, in control of myself, etc., through the course of the day. But I can't help wondering if there's another way around the problem. Maybe it just takes practice; I don't know.

To be continued...or not.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

She was like this when I found her

Here's another great find from Model Mayhem. The lovely white-eyed lady is Sohui, and the photographer is Felice Fawn.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cephalopods on the brain

As promised, here's a post especially for the tentacularly inclined. ;-) These are all pics I found on Model Mayhem by trawling the various tentacle-themed lists - and believe me, there are plenty of those to choose from! But for the purposes of this post, I've tried to use only quality shots that, to me, have an MC element. I wanted cephalopods that looked alive, and humans that looked aroused and/or enslaved. I hope you like the results.

At left is a shot by DVS, and below are a couple of others by him.

Next up are shots from the portfolios of Tonic Dog Studios, Dutch Dame, and Romy-e.

Next we have images by Nic Bezzina and Mechanical Whispers, whose portfolios I don't necessarily recommend unless you like images a lot more gruesome than these.

And to round things off, here are shots from the ports of Ashley Stuart, Hack the Grey, and Jahrome.

I hope you've enjoyed this tour through the depths of my creepy mind. Browsing my collection to select these pictures has made me realize just how many squicky shorts I have, and not just tentacular squick. I think I'm going to have to do another blog entry somewhere down the road about slime. ;-P

Saturday, March 20, 2010

An an(a)themic prelude to tentacles

Yes, yes, the tentacle-pic post I promised you on Thursday is still coming. But first, I thought you'd like to know how I'm getting along with Neal Stephenson's Anathem since last I blogged about it. I'm not able to read it as quickly as I'd like because things like, you know, life keep getting in the way. But I'm still enjoying it tremendously. As I've continued to read, and as I stumbled across a slightly spoilery review I should not have read, my reactions have progressed something like this:

Aha! I was right about him becoming important!....Huh, I was completely wrong about that being important....On the other hand, it looks like I'm right about him....Oooh, I'll bet the mystery object is ____....Oh, hey, maybe that really is going to be important after all!....Wow, I sure didn't see that coming!....Now, how is Stephenson going to tie this and that together?....Hooray! I was hoping she'd come back into the picture!

As you can see, I'm trying hard not to spoil anything for any of you who don't want to be spoiled. Fortunately, I just ran across a passage that perfectly sums up Stephenson's wry brilliance without giving away a hint of plot. It is also, IMO, very reminiscent of Terry Pratchett:
We crossed the causeway between the twin fountains and entered into the burgers' town. An old market had stood there until I'd been about six years old, when the authorities had renamed it the Olde Market, destroyed it, and built a new market devoted to selling T-shirts and other objects with pictures of the old market. Meanwhile, the people who had operated the little stalls in the old market had gone elsewhere and set up a thing on the edge of town that was now called the New Market even though it was actually the old market.
Now here's another, somewhat more spoilery quote of the kind you might find right inside the front cover, just to let you know what sort of a story you were in for. If you're intent on starting Anathem from a position of complete ignorance, just skip this next block quote; but I have to say that it's not too spoilery, since it still comes only a third of the way into the story:
     "Give me an adventure."
     In the moment that followed, Cord realized that this sounded weird, and lost her nerve. She held up her hands. "I'm not talking about some massive adventure. Just something that would make getting fired seem small. Something that I might remember when I'm old."
     Now for the first time I reviewed everything that had happened in the last twelve hours. It made me a little dizzy.
     "Raz?" she said, after a while.
     "I can't predict the future," I said, "but based on what little I know so far, I'm afraid it has to be a massive adventure or nothing."
     "Probably the kind of adventure that ends in a mass burial."
     That quieted her down a little bit. But after a while, she said: "Do you need transportation? Tools? Stuff?"
     "Our opponent is an alien starship packed with atomic bombs," I said. "We have a protractor."
One more note before I go off to think about tentacles and, um, other stuff. I've said before that sometimes I cast my EMC stories with celebrities. Well, sometimes I cast the books I read, too. Not often, and not every character, but every now and then someone in a story will just become someone I've seen onscreen or read about somewhere else. Thus, Fraa Lio has become a wuxia Thomas Aquinas, and Fraa Arsibalt is Oliver Platt.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Holy crap, look what I just found!

Model mayhem certainly has a lot of "tentacle" lists, and they're full of all kinds of gorgeousness...for those who lean that way. ;-) But this shot really made my jaw drop.

I think I might have to do a little theme post on Saturday. ;-P

The model here calls herself Dutch Dame.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The evolution of a fetish, graphically illustrated

It's been a little less than ten years since I broke down and really started indulging my fetishes, writing erotica for the EMCSA and scouring the Internet for pictures that pushed my buttons. So I suppose I shouldn't be surprised about this, but I am: my fetish has evolved more during this decade than any of the previous ones.

The most obvious change is that I've finally embraced the joy of submission instead of pretending that dominance or feigned submission was hotter. But that's such an obvious change that it hardly bears mentioning.

A slightly less obvious change is how I involve men in my stories. As I noted in this post, my earliest EMCSA stories featured men mostly as rejected bystanders to the MC. I think that was because I was still processing my newly-discovered lesbianism in conjunction with my newly-embraced fetish. My later stories involve men more actively and portray them more frequently as heroic. And as a matter of fact, my portion of the (sadly grounded) three-way mystery collaboration I hinted about last year would have given equal time - and equal MC opportunity - to a hero and a heroine.* In fact, I liked the hero I'd created a lot and was sorry I'd never have the chance to share him with you. Maybe one day, somewhere down the line, I'll ask my would-have-been-co-authors if I can post my third of the story without them. Heck, they could even post their own thirds later, on their own time, if they wanted. The structure we'd worked up would allow for that.

But let's talk now about some of the less obvious ways my fetish has evolved this last decade. When I first started trawling the Internet for pictures, I was focused on three things: robots, women who looked MC'ed, and latex. I wasn't too picky then because I didn't know how very much was out there; and I didn't know how much was free for the taking if I only knew where to look. So I ended up with a few gems and bunch of gaudy, poorly crafted rhinestones. Some were just bad imagealters made by amateurs. Others were teaser pictures from porn sites that featured garish makeup and godawful boob jobs.

Well, thank goodness I've learned to be more selective. Never again will I download a pic that would be hot, if not for the model's horrible bolt-ons. If they look that bad, I'll just sigh for what could have been and move on to something nicer. Something more natural. For instance, the model featured in this blog entry is Ivory Flame, who has an exquisite gallery on Model Mayhem as well as a lovely website. As far as I'm concerned, the picture just above is the most gorgeous, mouth-watering nude I have ever seen in my entire life. This woman is a living nymph.

As you can see, she does occasionally pose for fetish pictures, but most of her work has a more classical feel. And that brings me to the last part of my fetish evolution. When I first started trawling, I was completely hung up on latex because it's so slick and alien and depersonalizing. And, hell, it's just plain gorgeous.

Now, don't worry: I still adore latex today. But I'm no longer so focused on it  that I ignore other forms of beauty, like nudity, corsets, period costumes, or even just a drape of sheer fabric. It's all gorgeous, and I refuse to deprive myself of any of it.

* Note: Please don't confuse that collaboration with my still-perking-along-quite-nicely-thank-you  collaboration with Jukebox. We're well into the second part of that trilogy, and I fully expect us to carry it to the finish line.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Apparently you fine folks need a hint

About this post, that is. And since I'm nothing if not accommodating, I'll give you that hint - and more!

The Count does belong. In fact, he's the most obvious piece of the puzzle. Just ask yourself what quality he possesses that has anything to do with my own pursuits, and it should be blindingly obvious. ;-)

The Neil Gaiman/Amanda Palmer picture also belongs to the puzzle, but you probably won't be able to figure out what about it belongs until much further down the line (Like I said before, you shouldn't get too excited yet, just a little bit excited. And like I said before, that is a hint in itself!). Still, you might do well to ask yourself why I chose this particular pic of the celebrated author...and his fiancée. ;-)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It is with great shame that I am forced to admit...

I have been infected with a horrifying disease. The Lady Gaga disease.

I tried to avoid her for so long. I'd see pictures of her on the entertainment sites I frequent: always pants-less, always wearing something outlandish that never (IMO) actually made it all the way to "cool"...okay, except for that silvery gown with the orbiting satellites. I kind of liked that one. But I digress.

I made a concerted effort not to hear any Lady Gaga music or to watch any of her videos...okay, except for that notorious clip that supposedly shows her dick. But again I digress.

Yesterday, for some reason or other, I read a description of the new video for "Telephone" that actually made me curious enough to watch it. And, slightly to my horror, I ended up liking the damn thing. I suppose it must have been the combination of utter ridiculousness and Quentin Tarantino-isms (Of course, it could be argued the two are one and the same). Oh, and that bit where she's wrapped in yellow caution tape didn't hurt. ;-P Her music isn't entirely to my taste, but I didn't actively dislike it...which is a good thing, since it sticks to your brain like glue.

Well, after watching "Telephone" on YouTube, I read some comments about the video for "Bad Romance" that made it sound even better; so I had to see for myself. And lo and behold, this second Gaga video turned out to be a cornucopia of all my personal fetish fantasies: mind control (with associated sex slavery), latex, depersonalization, vampires, science fiction, sparkly baubles, dolls.... It even has a great "Hah!" ending that completely made up for the mdom elements - which honestly didn't bother me very much because I was too entranced by everything else that was going on.

I guess this means I'm a complete lost cause now. Whatever cool points I once possessed (and believe me, they were never many), they've been thoroughly obliterated by black lipstick and cubic zirconia. But at least I'll be a happy zombie.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One of these things is not like the others

I'm not sure how many of my non-American blog readers are familiar with the children's program Sesame Street, or with this little ditty from a recurring segment on the show:

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Well, "The Count" pictured above is one of the characters from Sesame Street; and he's also one of the things that might or might not be like others in this blog post. If you can figure out what three of these four images have in common, you might begin to get a little bit excited. It's still too early to get too excited, though....and yes, that is a hint. ;-P

Just in case you aren't sure what you're looking at, the images above are the Great Old One Cthulhu, actor Jeffrey Combs playing one of his signature loony roles, and fiancées Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman at the Golden Globes. And yes, I know you can find many things two of these four have in common. But what do three of the four have in common, eh? And even more interestingly, which one is the odd one out?

P.S.: The answer is not that Neil Gaiman has written about two of the others above. That wouldn't put him in the same category as them.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Can you review a book you've just begun?

I don't know, but I'm going to try, because I'm enjoying Anathem so much that I just can't wait any longer to start talking about it.

I've blogged about Neal Stephenson once before, recommending his cult classic Snow Crash in my Cyberpunk Superstars entry. From the moment I started reading Snow Crash, I knew I wanted to find more of Stephenson's stuff; but circumstances  conspired to keep me away from casual reading for awhile. It's taken me until just recently to buy another Neal Stephenson novel.

When I did, I chose Anathem because I'd already read several positive reviews of the book, and I could tell from the plot descriptions that it was right up my alley. The novel is set in a world where secular and sacred are basically reversed: logical thinkers segregate themselves in "concents" and devote their lives to the study of math and science; while the population at large lives in a blissful, superstitious ignorance enhanced by drugs and commercial media.

As the story starts, 18-year-old Fraa Erasmus, who hasn't seen the outside world since he was Collected ten years earlier, is preparing for the opening of the Decade Gate and a brief period of interaction with the outside world. The fraas and suurs of the concent have little idea what to expect from Saecular society since they've been cut off from it for ten years, but centuries of peace have made them complacent. They're curious and wary, but not fearful. On the other hand, Neal Stephenson has dropped plenty of hints about historical "sacks" of the concents, and there's a mysterious new "Warden of Heaven" out there who sends Inquisitors into the concent disguised as tourists. Clearly, Erasmus and his friends are in for some hard times.

All this, of course, really is right up my alley. The beatific, convent-like air of the concent brings back pleasant memories for me; and the description of the "extramuros" world is just barely a parody of the more dumbed-down elements of my own society. Yeah, if you haven't guessed it yet, Stephenson is engaging in some serious social commentary here. But our protagonist is already wondering if there's a way to bridge the two worlds; and my hunch is that by the end of the book, he'll have done just that - maybe founding a new order in the process. I don't think Stephenson is condemning religion in general, just the most irrational, exploitative forms of it. And I don't think he's promoting dry science as the end-all, be-all of life, either. I think he really is trying to find a bridge between these worlds; and if he is, then he and I have a lot in common.

But enough with the intellectual hoo-ha. I don't think too many people will buy Anathem because they're looking for a treatise on modern society. They'll buy it because it sounds like a fun read. And it is. It so is. Stephenson is extremely smart, but he's also extremely snarky. I find something to laugh about on almost every other page. Plus, the characters are such an interesting bunch (especially Lio, who I'm betting will become some kind of hilarious warrior monk in the end; and Cord, who should be a lesbian but apparently is just a really cool tomboy), and the work Stephenson has put into making Arbre a believable world reminds me of Tolkien and Middle-earth. I'm enjoying my chance to stroll around in it - and half anticipating, half dreading, the upheaval that's sure to come.

So there you go: a review of a book nearly 1000 pages long, of which I've read 141 so far. At least you can be sure I haven't spoiled anything for you; I couldn't if I tried. But I do hope I've piqued your interest enough that some of you will check it out for yourselves. As for those of you who have already read it, I'd love to hear from you - just please, don't spoil anything for me!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

gay vampires on ice

For the last several days, my slash-loving friend and I have been discussing gay men, including fierce and fabulous figure skater Johnny Weir (who's so obviously gay and so cool about it that he doesn't feel any need to make an official declaration. Three cheers for forward thinking!). Yesterday I shared this video with her. Have a look, if you can; it's chock full of awesomeness.

Anyway, my friend noted that Weir's attractiveness comes from his physicality and his personality, rather than his face. She said his teeth creep her out because they look like fangs.

Amazingly, I hadn't even noticed this until she said it, but damned if she isn't right. Johnny Weir would make one hell of an interesting vampire. Throw in one of those hockey players he talks about in the interview (challenging them to do what Johnny does for a day "and not cry"), and you've got a perfect cyan MC story! Hmmmmm! ;-P

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

If a Sorayama painting came to life...

...It might look something like the photo/CGI combinations that Bill Reichardt, aka William David Photo, aka Tsubasa, produces.

I first read about Tsubasa in an article on The Fetishistas website; but at the time, I was more intrigued by the concept that the actual product. The digitally altered pictures that accompanied the article just didn't live up to my expectations.

Fortunately, Reichardt's had plenty of time to hone his technique since then (and to buy some fancier software, I'm betting). I rediscovered Tsubasa on Model Mayhem earlier this week, and I liked what I saw there a lot. In my 100% nonprofessional opinion, this guy is really starting to hit his stride. Here, have a look:



If you like what you see, there's plenty more where that came from on the Tsubasa Model Mayhem gallery and the Tsubasa website. The website also has a few videos of varying quality (in my still-completely-amateur opinion, they haven't come as far as his photomanips; but "Midori" is pretty intriguing). Oh, and some of you out there will be very interested to learn about the Tsubasa shoe fetish. ;-P