Saturday, 30 August 2014

Saturday Spankings - "I'm too angry to do this"

There's no need to look so surprised, missy. This happens every week.

Happy Saturday, spankfans! And happy Labor Day to my American readership! (And my Canadian readership, of course. You guys even spell Labour Day properly).

I have no idea what Labor Day entails but if it gets you the day off work and maybe some cake then it's got to be worth having.

I just whipped these up.
I am going to eat them one after another until I feel slightly sick
and am sweating blue frosting in support of you guys.

This week's spanky snippet comes from my first book, His Lordship's Apprentice.

Former scullery maid, Violet Plover has been promoted to the position of magician's assistant to her employer, Lord Hardcastle. She's remarkably talented, agile and a quick learner. Unfortunately she's also hotheaded and prone to jumping to the wrong conclusions.

When Lord Hardcastle tentatively brings up the idea of the two of them embarking on a relationship, she assumes that he means to dishonour her and responds by shouting insults at him and hefting heavy items at his head. Lord Hardcastle is not amused.
His face was set as hard as granite. He grabbed a leather strap which had been used to secure one of the props trunks and took several swift strides towards Violet grabbing her forcefully by the arm. He pulled her towards the desk and pushed her over the desktop so that her face was pressed against the wood and her bottom was raised in the air. His hand pressed down heavily on the small of her back so that she could not move from her position. 
Violet heard the noise of the strap swishing through the air and held her breath waiting for the thick leather to make contact with her body.

But the contact never came - instead the strap forcefully struck the side of the desk to Violet’s left.

Lord Hardcastle threw the strap away from him and let go of Violet. “I’m too angry to do this” he said softly. “Just go.”

Don't worry folks! He calms down later and the spanking still happens.
Remember to check out the rest of this week's Saturday Spankers on the list below.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Plagiarism, Theft and Buy My Completely Original Book The Boss- , no, CLOWNman.

Author Aubrey Rose wrote on her blog last week about her book City Girl, Country Wolf being plagiarised. Basically, someone went through her original story and made just enough changes to sneak past any filters and then passed it off as their own work in much the same way that schoolchildren have been 'rogeting' their homework assignments since the invention of Wikipedia.

My first thought on this was, naturally, "What the actual fuck?" I mean, it's one thing to submit a half-arsed essay on oxbow lakes because you accidentally spent the evening making out with your boyfriend when you were supposed to be studying. But if you're pulling the same shit with somebody else's work because you want to sell books on Amazon and can't be bothered to go through all the tedious 'writing your own book' business first, well that's not on. In fact, and I don't think I'm exaggerating here, it makes you a contemptible parasitic shitty little excuse for a person.

It's theft, obviously. Although, if you think about it, it is a crime that can be carried out in one's home, without any heavy lifting or need for human interaction. And that led me to my second (slightly less noble) thought: "I wonder if I could do that?"

It wouldn't be hard would it? All I have to do is find an existing book, change the character names, a few plot details and then just keep right-clicking and selecting the 'synonyms' option until I get a cramp in my right arm. Then boom! Shiny new book for Amazon and I'm one step away from rolling around naked on banknotes.

You know when employers say "Where do you see yourself in five years time?" I just show them this picture.

I'm going to give it a go.

For my first foray into the dark side, I have decided to use Renee Rose's The Bossman. This is because it's brilliant and sexy and far better than anything I could write. And if I am going to embark on a new life of criminality I want to be doing it for the right reasons - bitterness and jealousy.

The Bossman is about a massage therapist, Sophie, who embarks on a relationship with Joey, a Capo in his brother's Mafia family despite having massive reservations about the Mafia.

Obviously, I am going to need a credible replacement for the Mafia here if my book is going to successfully fly under the radar. What's like the Mafia? Circuses! That'll work. Instead of being a Capo, Joey can be a clown.

Now to business. Excerpts from the original book are in blue where excerpts from my new knockoff version are in red. Just in case there's any confusion,

Utterly unique. Srsly.

In the follow scene from the original book, Sophie tells her aunt that she has been asked out on a date by Joey.
“He asked me out on a date.” 
Marie gave an exaggerated gasp. “That’s wonderful! Oh he’s perfect for you, don’t you think?” 
“Um…” 
“ He’s the brains of the family. They say he’s more of consigliere than Carlo. Don Alberto gets his advice on things first.” 
“Yeah, well…” She realized she couldn’t tell Marie her reservations - that she could never be in a relationship with a mobster - without insulting Marie and her choice in her husband, Sammy. “I just don’t know if he’s my type.” 
“Of course he’s your type! He’s every girl’s type. Do you think he’s too old? He can’t be more than 10 years older than you.”

Just a few minor tweaks and here's the cunningly altered version for my book.
“He wants me to go on a date with him.” 
Her aunt, the Amazing Acrobatia gave a larger-than-life intake of breath. “That’s fantastic! Oh he’s just right for you, don’t you feel?” 
“Er…” 
“ He’s the comedian of the family. They say he’s more of a top banana than Boffo. Mr Chuckles says he does the best pratfalls and can throw a custard pie better than anyone.” 
“Yes, um…” She comprehended she couldn’t inform Acrobatia of her doubts - that she could never be the girlfriend of a clown - without offending Acrobatia and her preference of  spouse, Sammy Sparkles. “I just don’t know if he’s my sort.” 
“Of course he’s your sort! He’s every girl’s sort. Do you think he’s too funny? He can’t be more than two times funnier than you.” 


Man, this is a piece of cake. I will have a bestseller on my hands in no time. This next bit is from a scene where Joey gives Sophie her first belt spanking. Clowns don't really wear belts of course, favouring as they do, colourful comedy suspenders. No matter, I've got the perfect belt substitute in mind.

Original Version:
He rubbed her swollen bottom. “Good girl,” he murmured and she ground her hips on his lap wantonly. 
She needed release, desperately. 
She felt him move and heard the jingle of his belt buckle and thinking he was going to give her what she wanted, tried to get off his lap. He held her fast with an arm around her waist. 
“I’m going to spank you with my belt now. I want you to know what it feels like, because it’s what you’ll get if you lie to me again,” he said.


Ripped-off version:
He massaged her inflamed backside. He honked his red nose and she rubbed her general lady area on his lap in a provocative manner. 
She needed sexy shenanigans. 
She sensed him shift and perceived with her ears, the thwap of his massive clown shoe and thinking that this was in some way a prelude to sex, tried to get down from his lap. He restrained her firmly with his upper limb around her middle area. 
“I’m going to spank you with my massive clown shoe now. I want you to know what it feels like, because it’s what you’ll get if you criticise my balloon animals again.” he said.

Well, I'm on a roll here. Just a few tens of thousands words more and Etta Stark's "The Clownman" is going to be ready for publication. A thrilling sexy tale about love in a world of custard pie and squirting flowers.

And no-one will ever know how I did it. Ah. Well, except you of course. And anyone else who reads this which now I come to think of it might actually include Renee Rose herself.

I think I have unfortunately misunderstood one of the basic tenets of pursuing a life in crime which is 'don't tell anybody what you're up to'. It's a tricky one to remember. It's why I never became a terrorist, you know. I knew I wouldn't be able to handle those forms they give you at the airport.

Yes! Wait, I mean NO! God, this is hard.

Should I have a disclaimer here? Let's have a disclaimer. For the avoidance of any kind of doubt, plagiarising other people's books is DEFINITELY NOT OK. I am not really planning on releasing a counterfeit version of Renee Rose's The Bossman. Although I may revisit the idea of clown shoe spanking because, seriously, who wasn't turned on by that?

My existing published books are all original works in my own words. And by 'my own words' I don't mean words that I created. The words already existed. The readers wouldn't be able to understand what was going on otherwise.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Book Review – The Gardener by Rachel de Vine

Want to know more about the book review star rating system? Or find out what other books I've reviewed? Check out this page here.

Ridiculously hot.


Five Stars!

On a scale of ‘mildly pleasant’ to ‘need to stop everything and enjoy an immediate bit of Me Time’, Rachel de Vine’s The Gardener totally delivers at the ‘me time’ end of the scale. This book is ridiculously hot. 

Not in a graphic x-rated explicit way, you understand,  just in a ‘fulfils my every fantasy’ way. I could barely get through a chapter without coming over all hot and bothered and in need of some kind of relief. I’d advise against reading on public transport for that reason. Bus drivers frown on that sort of thing. (It makes the seats sticky.) It’s also probably best to avoid thinking about the book while operating heavy machinery as well - just to be on the safe side.

The gardener from the book’s title is Will Barnes who works for the heroine Kate Winters’ aunt and uncle. We can see what an irresistibly sexy charmer he is from the first scene in the book which involves  Kate spying on Barnes through the bushes as he enjoys a 19th century style ‘Diet Coke’ moment. She knows her surreptitious stalking has not been as been discreet as she hoped when he tells her: “You can come out now, Miss. Your aunt has left.” I fell in love with him at that point, I reckon. Even before he asked Kate whether she liked what she saw and threatened her with a spanking for fibbing. Although that helped too, obviously.

This sort of thing. But 200 years ago.
I have no idea where Barnes trained to become a servant but, frankly, the man hasn’t got a clue. He clearly has no time at all for the traditional rules for servants like ‘never beginning a conversation with one’s employers nor ever expressing an opinion’. Instead he favours starting multiple conversations with the master of the house’s niece, making  flirty suggestive comments, being caught swimming naked in the grounds, spanking her naked backside and giving her several  earth-shattering orgasms.

Personally, as an approach to service, I’m all for it.

Not on Barnes's bookshelf.
Unfortunately, well-brought up ladies of the nineteenth century can’t just going running off with one of the servants no matter how good looking, well-muscled and prone to flipping you over their laps for a spanking they are. Poor Kate has no choice but to go along with her Aunt and Uncle’s plans to find her a suitable husband, regardless of her growing feelings for Barnes.

It would have been nice if the heroine was just a bit less passive with regards to her situation, to be honest. She never comes across as master of her own destiny, relying on instruction and help from other people and the occasional bit of startling good fortune. It’s the ‘Cinderella’ approach to finding your happy ever after.

Actually, the more I think about it, the more the Cinderella comparison totally holds up for this book. All the characters are here. We have Cinderella (Kate), the wicked stepmother (her Aunt Miranda], the fairy godmother (friend and neighbour, Lady Fitzwilliam) and the handsome-ish prince (the Earl of Beechdale who becomes Kate’s husband).

There’s even a role for Barnes the gardener if you include  Buttons,  the pantomime charcater who works as a servant for Cinderella’s father and is completely in love with Cinderella. (Note to our American readership: pantomimes are theatre productions put on in every theatre in the UK around Christmas time. They combine minor celebrities, thinly veiled penis jokes, song and dance numbers and men dressed – hilariously – as women. It’s odd but it’s necessary.)

I always want Cinderella to marry Buttons instead of the prince because he’s funny and nice and usually played by a more famous celebrity than the prince. But, of course, Cinderella goes off with the prince and poor Buttons is forever friendzoned.

Back in the kitchen with you, Buttons
The Gardener is the retelling of Cinderella where Buttons (eventually) gets the girl. Of course, the pantomimes I’ve seen haven’t included scenes where Cinderella and Buttons give one another hand jobs in the potting shed but maybe they would if Rachel de Vine wrote them.

The secret assignations between Kate and Barnes are all as hot as hell and given the nature of the story, almost all their interactions have to be secret assignations. Rachel de Vine masterfully constructs a believable relationship between the two of them both in terms of their physical relationship and their emotional attachment to one another.  Every time the heroes met it was hotter, lovelier and usually more heart-breaking than the last time.

This is the second book I’ve read by Rachel de Vine - the first was One Wife, Three Husbands. Much as I enjoyed that one, The Gardener knocks it out of the water both in terms of storytelling and in creating a delicious near-perfect hero in Will Barnes. He really does have a way about him, you know. I can’t wait to read whatever Rachel de Vine writes next. Meanwhile, I think I might give The Gardener a re-read.

If you need me, I’ll be in my bunk.


Friday, 22 August 2014

Saturday Spankings - "No finer sight"

Saturday Spankurday!

Following on from last week, here is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Lord Westbrook's Muse, a sort-of sequel to Lady Westbrook's Discovery. Lord Westbrook is taken aback by the words "You could punish me" from Cass, the young lady with whom he is talking.

Robert’s memory had immediately taken him back to his days in the army. Robert’s commanding officer – when he was in his cups – would often regale Robert with stories of the discipline that he administered to his young wife whenever he was at home on leave. 
There was no finer sight he said than to have a beautiful girl bent over your lap with her bare buttocks presented to you awaiting a vigorous spanking with a leather strap. 
It was a conversation that Robert had given much thought to over the years – particularly on those occasions when he was on his own and in need of... relief. 
His mind had immediately conjured up an image of Cass laying across his lap in such a fashion, awaiting whatever punishment he would choose to administer to her exposed backside.

Lord Westbrook's Muse is a standalone book and you won't need to read Lady Westbrook's Discovery first to enjoy it. But you should read Lady Westbrook's Discovery anyway, you know. You'd like it.

Meet Lord Westbrook here. He's the grumpy one.
Check out the rest of the Saturday spankers here.


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Book Review - How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

Want to know more about the book review star rating system? Or find out what other books I've reviewed? Check out this page here.
"Part memoir, part rant"



Given that this is a spanking romance blog, I have so far kept all my books reviews spanking and romance related. Caitlin Moran’s How To Be a Woman however is neither of those things.

I know what you’re going to say. You’re all “What gives, Etta? Are you just going to start reviewing every book you happen to read here now? Is that how it is? Can we look forward to your scintillating insights into SQL Database Programming next?”

I hear what you’re saying. Though frankly that attitude of yours could do with a little work. But, you see, in one particular important respect How To Be a Woman ties in very neatly with the aims and objectives of this website: There’s a surprisingly large amount about masturbation in it.

My business model is all about masturbation. In fact if Etta Stark Enterprises had a Mission Statement (and now that I think about it, it really should) it would be this:

Delivering first-class masturbation-based solutions to all our customers via the medium of spanky romance.

Caitlin Moran’s initial introduction to self-love came as a teenager when she first acquired her adult library card. This allowed her to check out from the previously forbidden shelves of the public library. She borrows Jilly Cooper’s Riders and reading it has a profound effect on her life.

Three hours later and I cannot believe what I am reading. My first day of getting adult books out and I have struck filth gold. Absolute filth gold. Riders by Jilly Cooper is more than I could ever have dreamed of – there’s cocks, tits and shagging everywhere. Clits falling from the sky. Arses two feet deep. A hurricane of nipples, blowjobs and muff-diving.


Cocks, tits and shagging everywhere

Moran’s discovery of the racier side of the public library is a turning point. It is, she says, “the key text that will translate ‘new and unusual feelings’ that I have into ‘masturbating furiously and compulsively for the next four years’... This new hobby is amazing. It doesn’t cost anything. I don’t have to leave the house and it isn’t making me fat.”

It is a joyful account of the awkward amazingness that comes with one’s adolescent discovery of wanking.
Not that Moran approves of the term ‘wank’ – “it sounds like cranking a handle, or some difficult handling of chunky machinery.” No it doesn’t! It sounds both charming and pleasingly Middle English. I refuse to let you bad mouth my favourite word. Not just my favourite word for masturbation, you understand. My favourite word ever.

Moran’s fond reminiscences about self-pleasuring lead her to consider the role of pornography. As a member of the pre-internet porn generation she was dependent on cobbling together her wank fantasies from Dennis Potter dramas, Jennifer Ehle’s tits in The Camomile Lawn, naked Jenny Agutter in Walkabout and terrible post-pub magazine show Eurotrash.

Inspirational tits
She worries about today’s young people getting too much exposure to standardised porn on the internet. She doesn’t have a problem with porn itself (“It’s just some fucking”) so much as the porn industry:

“The whole thing is as offensive, sclerotic, depressing, emotionally bankrupt and desultory as you would expect a widely unregulated industry worth, at an extremely conservative estimate, $30 billion to be.”

I found myself getting annoyed by Moran's assessment. Not just the “we was poor but we was happy” attitude which dictates that anything that happens in one’s own childhood must automatically be better than what’s happening in the current one.

It’s the immediate assumption that exposure to porn is a Bad Thing for teenagers. The current crop of teenagers – the ones who have grown up thinking that the internet is a normal and indeed necessary part of their lives -  seem to be turning out remarkably well. Teen pregnancy is at its lowest since the 1960s and drinking and drug-taking are down compared to previous generations.  Compared to my generation of messed up teens in the 1980s, young people today seem to be doing OK. I’m not saying this is because of internet porn or the fact that half of them had probably watch Two Girls One Cup by the time they were fifteen. But internet porn certainly doesn’t seem to have broken them.

Not that Moran is looking to ban it. She wants to encourage more of it in fact. More diverse porn. She wants boys to have the chance of seeing sex as “something two people that two people do together rather than a thing that just happens to a woman when she has to make rent.”

It’s a battle cry for more women to become involved in the porn industry as the writer and the creators of the stuff not just the people providing the convenient orifices.

“I suspect that female pornography, when it really gets going will be something other: warm, humane, funny, dangerous, psychedelic, with wholly different parameters to male porn. Imagine if pornography was not this bizarre, mechanised, factory-farmed fucking, bloodless, naked aerobics, concerned solely with high speed penetration and ostentatious ejaculation. Imagine if it were about desire.”

And I know it’s not quite the same thing, but I wonder whether in all Moran’s frantic searching for porn with heart, she is even aware of the pages and pages of easily accessible erotic literature that our brave new digital world has made possible. Given her delight at finding cocks and tits and shagging in Riders as a teenager, you would think a world of even raunchier sexplorations and kinky romance would be just up her street. Especially given that it’s a million miles away from the male-dominated, exploitative, impersonal, industry that she dislikes so much.

Smut writing is literally a cottage industry (well for those of us who literally live in cottages at any rate). Anyone with a laptop and a filthy imagination can share their fantasies with the world and nobody gets exploited. You don’t need to worry whether  the girl getting tied up and face-fucked is enjoying herself or just doing it to send money back to her family in Liberia. You know she’s having the time of her life because you wrote her that way.

Maybe men are still running the show over on Pornhub but at the amazon kindle store, the sisters are definitely doing it for themselves. Caitlin Moran ought to check it out. The combination of feminism and filth is right up her street.

Like this one, for example.
How To Be a Woman isn’t all about masturbation and porn, obviously. Although don’t get too excited by the title and think that Caitlin Moran actually has all the answers on how to be a woman. Not that any of us need an instruction book. I think the only criteria to being a woman is having a vagina and everything else, provided you’re the one doing it, is comfortably within the acceptable parameters of womanly behaviour because you’re a woman. In fact, even having a vagina isn’t a non-negotiable part of being a woman, come to think of it. There are, happily, a lot of fuzzy areas.

This book is a collection of anecdotes and opinion pieces loosely tied in with Moran’s life story. We begin with her childhood in Wolverhampton living with her parents and seven siblings in a three-bedroom council house then follow her through university, work, marriage, motherhood and anything that pops into her head.

There’s a great bit where Moran having just interviewed Lady Gaga goes with her to a sex club in Berlin.

“To get to the dance floor, you had to go through a maze of corridors and past a series of tiny, cell-like booths, decked out with a selection of beds, bathtubs, hoists and chains.
‘For fucking,’ a German member of our entourage explained – both helpfully and somewhat unnecessarily.”

However, while How To Be a Woman is often very funny, it is also in equal parts contradictory, slapdash and smug. It reads more like a collection of hastily cobbled-together blog posts than a well-thought out structured book. In the acknowledgments Moran says that she wrote the book in a  couple of frenzied months and you know, you can really tell.

The number of poorly researched and downright incorrect things made me almost as cross as Moran’s often lecturing tone. She talks about her love for the film Wish You Were Here by describing a couple of scenes which totally didn’t happen.

Nobody gets shagged against a wall in this film. 
If you watched it because Caitlin Moran said they did, you may be disappointed.

It mightn’t be a big deal but it keeps happening. It’s just sloppy and to be honest, I think a British Press Awards Columnist of the Year should do better.

In fact, maybe there weren’t even as many clits in Jilly Cooper’s Riders as she said were. Some of them probably weren't even falling from the sky.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Book Review – A Taste of Loving Discipline by Abigail Armani

Want to know more about the book review star rating system? Or find out what other books I've reviewed? Check out this page here.



Way back during the crazy time that was the June A-Z Spanking Blog Challenge, I featured Abigail Armani’s romance, A Taste of Loving Discipline as the blog post for the letter ‘T’.

I started reading the book at the time the blog post went up, but due to the pressures of work, life, the universe, me getting distracted by shiny objects and my not always remembering what I have downloaded onto my kindle, I have only just got round to completing it.

It’s a bit of a dangerous game, that. Promoting books when you don’t entirely know what’s inside them. What if the rest of the book had been full of material I couldn’t possibly endorse? I would have had to expunge T from the whole alphabet. Maybe I would have replaced the post with a stiffly worded apology stating that I could no longer support the author due to the revelation that she supported eugenics, illegal dog fights and putting the milk in the mug before the tea bag.

Not that she does any of those things, you understand. Or at least if she does then she’s keeping it pretty quiet in A Taste of Loving Discipline. I’m definitely sure she doesn’t though. She’s not a monster.

A book, it turns out, that I would be perfectly happy  for my wife or servants to read.
The story itself is a sweet, contemporary romance which tells the story of artist, June Jackson and her burgeoning romance with her father’s solicitor and godson, Alexander Stewart. June doesn’t think all that much of Alex at the beginning of the story, she finds him smug and irritating and is quick to rebuff any interest he shows in her. (The fact that her father clearly wants the two of them to get together must be more than a little off-putting as well.)

Happily,  June’s opinion of Alex starts to change pretty soon after he flips her over his lap and gives her a thorough spanking in order to curb her ‘rudeness and bad manners’ and provide a much needed attitude adjustment.

It’s a risky strategy but luckily for him it pays off and although June doesn’t capitulate immediately she certainly seems to make a lot more effort around Alex after her session over his knee.

Their relationship blossoms into fully-fledged romance when June moves to Norfolk to live permanently in her father’s holiday cottage only a few miles from Alex’s home. Meanwhile, in the books non-romancy storyline, there’s some dubious goings on involving the shifty nephew of June’s elderly neighbour, Hilda which provides a thrilling finale.

June and Alex’s relationship doesn’t always progress smoothly with June’s hot-headed nature and tendency to fly off the handle at the least provocation. Luckily Alex is on hand to set her straight and calm her down again. There are some great spankings and plenty of very erotic sex scenes between the two of them. June likes it pretty rough and Alex is pretty adept at giving her what she wants.

I love Abigail Armani’s writing style. It’s fresh and funny and hurtles along at several million miles per hour. She flips around the story’s points of views in quite unexpected ways, shifting the focus during the key hot spanking scene to June’s next-door  neighbour eavesdropping through the wall and enjoying the sounds of June getting ‘her naughty bottom smacked’. There’s a strong seam of physical comedy here as well - plates of food are thrown and sofas collapse under the weight of multiple visiting suitors.

The author’s quirky writing style does occasionally throw out the odd wtf moment, mind. During a passionate make out session, we are told that June “tasted of wild honey and lavender – which was the exact statement on the label of the shower gel she had used!” Wait, what? Surely the shower gel just smells of honey and lavender. All it will taste of is soap. And why does her mouth taste of it anyway? What on earth is she doing with the stuff? And – I think this is the most important point here - why are you making me think about this when I should just be enjoying the kissing?

Not food.

I also want to mention a line that made me laugh out loud with its incongruousness: “Alex raised his hand and carefully delivered a second resounding thwack of light to moderate force.”

I think I can safely say that the phrase ‘light to moderate force’ should never be used in a romance book. This isn’t the shipping forecast.

All nitpicking aside, this is a lovely story with a good cast of well-drawn characters and a well executed central storyline to keep everything moving along. The ‘taste’ part of the title, I presume comes from June’s enthusiasm for cooking – there are some mouth-watering descriptions of the meals she prepares. Don’t read this book if you’re hungry. There is also – as the covers suggests - a fun blindfolded sexy food session. Although probably not as much of that as I was expecting, sadly. More sexy food action, I say! Frequently. It gets me some very odd looks when I’m out and about I can tell you.

All this. All the time.
Not that you could accuse Abigail Armani of short-changing her readers. In every aspect whether it’s sexy Scottish heroes, bratty heroines, steamy sex or light-to-moderate spankings, A Taste of Loving Discipline totally delivers.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac

The posters were a lie, by the way. You only get to see about 30% of these people's cum faces. Tops.

Nymphomaniac is an epic four hour film by avant-garde director, Lars von Trier. It was split into two parts when released at the cinema presumably because there’s a limit to how much artily directed wall-to-wall sex your average cineaste can be expected to sit through even when there is a naked Stacy Martin on screen half the time. Naked Stacy Martin might actually be reason enough to watch Nymphomaniac.  If there was some kind of Arse Oscars recognising the onscreen contributions of artist’s naked bottoms then she would be an absolute shoo-in this year.

Another excellent performance by Stacy Martin's bum

There is something oddly nostalgic about watching Nymphomaniac. It wears its avant garde credentials on its sleeves – it’s all split screens, incongruous soundtrack choices and carefully placed shots of inanimate objects - while delivering handsomely on the sex action which reminds me that back in the 1980s, I used to get all my smut this way. Back then the very best chance of seeing any kind of sex or full-frontal nudity was late at night on Channel  4. You had to know what you were looking for of course, the TV listings weren't going to just come out and tell you that a film would contain, say, a semi-erect penis and a woman being rogered over a writing desk. But you looked for the clues. Anything French was a good bet, obviously. Also anything described as ‘provocative’. The word ‘bacchanalian’ was an excellent recommendation to a horny teenager.

Anything written by Dennis Potter was your best chance of seeing shagging on the BBC in the 1980s.

Of course, horny teenagers don’t need to go to those sort of lengths these days. No sitting through hours of tedious existentialist dialogue in the hopes of the occasional glimpse of a French penis for them. They’ve got their ‘pornhub’s and their ‘two girls one cup’s now. They don’t know how lucky they are, frankly. Yet you try telling that to the teenager serving you in Sainsburys and they look at you like you’re mad.

Nymphomaniac would have been absolute godsend back in the 1980s. In fact, I’m not sure it would have been allowed. It tells the story of Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who is found beaten up in the street by passing mild-mannered pedestrian Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård otherwise known as the one who wasn’t Colin Firth or Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia).  He takes her back to his for a cup of tea and a bit of a lie down and she tells him her story. Over the next eight chapters, Joe tells her rescuer every detail of her absurdly busy sex life from her first unsatisfactory sexual encounter through her thousands of sexual partners and experiences  including affairs with married men, a lesbian lover, threesomes and a spot of BDSM.


Seligman is without a doubt the best thing in the entire film. He listens to Joe’s life story with a wide-eyed innocent impartiality. His contributions to the storytelling are baffling segues into fly fishing or mathematics or the history of the Catholic Church. They’re a great double act – Seligman and Joe. Like when Joe tells him that she and her friend walked through a crowded train trying to fuck as many passengers as possible, Seligman tells her how their actions were pretty much exactly like an angler trying to read the river.

Wide eyed impartiality and an ability to link everything back to fly-fishing
Joe tells Seligman of her first sexual encounter with a young man called Jerome. Young Joe is played by ridiculously beautiful Stacy Martin and Jerome is the bafflingly cast Shia La Beouf. “He shoved his cock inside me three times. Then he turned me over like a sack of potatoes and humped me five times in the arse”. Seligman immediately gets a bit excited by this story. “Three and five? Those are Fibonacci numbers,” he says enthusiastically.

Frankly if there’s a better way to top seeing Shia La Beouf’s penis for the first time than a discussion of mathematical integer sequences then I don’t want to hear about it.

Phwoar, Look at the numbers on that,

Shia La Beouf is a mesmerising addition to the film as Joe’s recurring sexual partner, Jerome. It’s nice to see the lad off Even Stevens doing so well for himself, obviously. There’s a vaguely maternal feeling of “Ah. You’re all grown up and takings ladies roughly up the arse, now? Doesn’t time fly?” Fuck knows what’s going on with the guy’s accent though. It’s like literally nothing on else on earth, meandering as it does via English, Australian, Danish, French and probably taking in a number of countries that only exist inside Shia La Beouf’s head.

Strange things probably lurk inside Shia La Beouf's head.

The film seems to be nominally set in England but there’s an odd 'Through the Looking Glass' feel to everything. Nobody speaks English like it’s their first language. At one point Joe and her friend, ‘B’ have challenged one another to fuck as many strangers as possible during a single train journey.  The prize for racking up the largest number of dirty shags in the train toilets is “a bag of chocolate sweets.”  Only nobody would ever say ‘chocolate sweets’. You’d say ‘chocolates’ or ‘sweets’ or, most likely, ‘M&Ms’ or something. The whole thing’s like that. Nothing’s wrong exactly. It’s just ever so slightly off.

There’s a sweetness to Stacy Martin as young Joe which adds rather than detracts to the believability of her character as an indiscriminate fucker of hundreds of random men. One can’t imagine that any man would want to say ‘no’ to her.

In fact, everyone seems terribly flattered to be asked.

By Nymphomaniac vol 2, Joe has grown up to become the character who is narrating the story (Gainsbourg) and the story takes a much darker edge. The second instalment starts with Joe trapped in an unhappy relationship with Jerome and suddenly unable to achieve orgasm.

The parts of the film featuring sadist, ‘K’ are the ones are of most interest to a spanko. Joe visits him in a  “last desperate attempt to rehabilitate my sexuality”.  Jamie Bell (another “Aw look how much you’ve grown! I remember when you were little Billy Elliot” moment there) plays the sought-after Dom quietly delivering lines like “I just want you to sit, completely relaxed, while I hit you in the face.”



K tells Joe that “there is no safe word. If you go inside with me there is nothing that you can say that will make me stop any plan or procedure.” That’s the sort of thing that annoys BDSMers who complain that their lifestyle is never correctly portrayed in the mainstream media. But, hey, given that absolutely nothing else in the film is particularly realistic, it would be asking a bit much for the film to suddenly start behaving responsibly at this stage.

If you’ve been thinking about adopting a BDSM lifestyle, don’t be looking to this film for inspiration, is my advice. Leaving your subs waiting for you in a grubby waiting room, calling them things like ‘Fido’ and stuffing a glove full of coins before hitting a woman round the face with it, might be the techniques favoured by K, here, but you know you might want to check it with your partner first.

Not that there isn’t plenty of straightforward Charlotte-Gainsbourg-being-spanked-on-the-arse action to enjoy. K spends an inordinate amount of time getting her into the exact position he wants over the sofa using a combinations of buckles, ropes and gaffer tape before soundly thrashing her with the riding crop he instructed her to buy.


Even if you like that sort of thing (and, you know, I do like that sort of thing) Von Trier seems determined to ensure that you’re not going to enjoy it on his watch.

All these scenes are set against a background of ongoing parental neglect by Joe who leaves her toddler son, Marcel alone in her apartment as she goes to visit K. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a mood-killer quite as comprehensive as child endangerment caused by shit parenting. So thanks, for that.

In Joe’s last session with K, she reaches orgasm just from the thrashing she receives. Von Trier doesn’t stint on the depiction of the whipping, the shots of Joe’s arousal or the close-up shots of her punished bottom but over the whole scene hangs the huge shadow of Joe’s failure as a parent. She has walked out Jerome and Marcel knowing that it means she will never see her son again. I don’t want fictional characters to have to choose between parental responsibility and being on the receiving end of a brutal spanking. It’s the 21st century, godammit. We can have it all.



Things never really perk up again for Joe after that and the rest of the film is a fairly dispiriting slog through Joe’s new career on the distinctly criminal side of the debt collection industry. It is during this time that she adopts a teenage apprentice, ‘P’, who seduces and then eventually betrays her.

Seligman continues to give good value with his barely-related-segues throughout the second half of the film. When Joe mentions K’s rope-tying skills during their bondage sessions, Seligman quickly grabs the opportunity to tell a story about a mountain climber escaping certain death by inventing a new knot. Rather unfairly, Joe dismisses the story. “I think this was one of your weakest digressions,” she tells him. Seriously, Joe? You thought it made less sense than the recurring Fibonacci references?

Anyone looking for a happy ending would probably do well to avoid this movie which does its level best to be as bleak as possible by the end. I’m not sure who I would recommend this film to, to be honest. In a Venn diagram depicting ‘Fans of Arty Farty Movies’ and ‘Fans of things where lots of shagging happens’, I would be very firmly placed in the overlappy bit and yet I’m not even sure this was my type of film. The film is very clear that it isn’t a romance. And other than enlightening viewers about the Silent Duck, it doesn’t seek to provide answers. I’m not even sure it asks many questions.

Still, if you like Rammstein, Wagner, close cut montages of oddly wonky looking penises,  cum faces, attractive women wanking themselves off on public transport, contrived sexual analogies, fishing anecdotes and hearing that guy out of Transformers do the worst English accent ever committed to film, well then you’re in luck. Seriously, if you are into all those things, this is the film you have been waiting for your whole life. There is literally nothing else like it.




Saturday, 16 August 2014

Saturday Spankings - "You could punish me."




Happy weekend, fellow spankophiles. Time for another Saturday Spankings.

This week I have an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Lord Westbrook's Muse which is a sort-of sequel to Lady Westbrook's Discovery. It's set four years after the end of the first book and Margaret's grumpy son Robert is grumpier than ever. What he needs is the love of a good woman (and the opportunity to spank her) but he doesn't know that yet.

He has just met Cass at his mother's garden party but her insistence that he participate in some very silly Victorian parlour games has led to him storming off in a huff. Later she comes across him as he walking in the grounds of his manor and apologises for her involvement in the earlier incident.

"You have apologised and I have accepted your apology. There’s seems little point in discussing it any more. I don’t know what you expect we can do to draw a line under it further.” 
“You could punish me,” Cass said quietly. 
Robert did his utmost not to respond in any way. For the next 30 seconds, every ounce of his energy was dedicated to keeping his face neutral and his breathing natural. While inside, her provocative words had lit a fire within him that he felt barely able to control. 
Punish her? Had she intended it the way that it had sounded?

Cass is a supporter of the Victorian Rational Dress Movement and wears aesthetic dress
which makes her look a bit like the heroine from a pre-Raphaelite painting.
Hence John William Waterhouse's painting of Ophelia, here.
Also, it's really pretty.

Check out the rest of the participants in this week's Saturdays Spankings below:


Monday, 11 August 2014

Book Review - Safe in his Arms by Renee Rose

Want to know more about the book review star rating system? Or find out what other books I've reviewed? Check out this page here.

Watch where you're putting that hand, missy


Five Stars!

A while back I posted about Renee Rose’s steamy vampire romance, Deathless Love and I mentioned that  I hadn’t read Renee’s ‘Black Ops’ story Safe in his Arms because I thought it ‘sounded a bit weird’.

Well, fellow writer Megan Michaels wasn’t standing for any of that nonsense. “You need to read Safe in his Arms! Get that off the bottom of your list!” she admonished, and accordingly I did. Apparently I obey every single order that’s given to me in my blog comments. You should all take advantage of that in the comments section below.

Safe in his Arms introduces us to Becca who meets marine, Zac at her sister’s wedding and enjoys a weekend of spanky sex which results in her becoming pregnant. Believing Zac to be killed in action, Becca raises the kid on her own.  That is until the day when Zac casually saunters back into her life as though nothing had happened. Well, OK, not so much ‘casually sauntering’ as ‘heroically battling an undercover villain in order to save both their lives’. And not so much ‘as though nothing had happened’ as ‘as though something really massive has happened that he wants to help her deal with.’

But still. You see where I’m coming from. This was the reason why I had put off reading this book for so long. I’m a single mum. I don’t have much truck with absentee fathers. Oh so you work for a secret undercover organisation which means that you don’t officially exist? Well, that’s very convenient isn’t it? Where were you last parents’ evening, huh?

Some parents make time for their kids.

 Still as a fictional absentee father, Zac is definitely one of the good ones. You can’t accuse the guy of not caring. And as excuses go, “I am sworn to secrecy to protect the safety of every man, woman and child on this planet” is a pretty sound one. The bond between Zac and his son, Parker, is forged pretty quickly largely due to some cool telepathic super-powers that Parker seems to have inherited from his father. Becca, though initially understandably freaked out, begins tentatively to accept Zac back into her life accepting his responsibilities as a Black Ops ‘ghost’ and appreciating the hot, sexy spankings and Zac reintroduces to her life.

The story zips along pretty nicely with lots of action and some great plot twists. At the heart of the story is Zac’s dilemma about how he can remain a part of Becca’s and Parker’s lives. It’s pretty hard to maintain a work/life balance when your employer’s first directive is that its employees don’t get a work/life balance.

Renee always writes meticulously drawn and believable characters and this includes any children that are included in her books. Parker is just lovely. (The kids in ‘Pleasing the Colonel’ were great too.) It’s a tricky business including children in a spanking romance novel but it when it works it gives a whole new emotional depth. Romances don’t just happen in a bubble. Often they have to work alongside a lot of other equally important aspects of a person’s life. I’m not sure how well Becca and Zac were at keeping their spanky shenanigans from the kid though. I mean, sure, sticking him in front of the iPad with some headphones in might seem like a pretty good plan but this is a kid who can read his own dad’s mind, don’t forget. There’s potential for a whole bunch of awkwardness.

I don't get it. Why don't you just give Mommy a time out?

The spankings are of course marvellous. The best bit is when the characters first get together and, over margaritas, Becca confesses that she wants a guy who will “bend me over and spank me!”

He reached over and cupped the dewy rocks glass, sliding the margarita out of her grasp.
“I’m down,” he said with a flick of his eyebrows.

So. Damn. Sexy. No wonder she gave him another chance. I would too.