Saturday, 21 September 2019

Entwined: The Art of Rope Bondage

Last night my Gentleman Friend and I went to a salon at Coco de Mer in London called "Entwined: The Art of Rope Bondage".

In a rather blatant example of buying gifts for people that you really want yourself, the tickets for the event had been a present from me to Gentleman Friend for his birthday. But, you know, I didn't buy it just for me. He did seem pretty happy about the whole thing.

Coco de Mer is a sophisticated, swanky - and some might say outrageously overpriced - sex shop in Monmouth Street near Covent Garden in London. They run several of these workshops each month and they call them 'salons' because they are fancy and a bit french.

The name Coco de Mer translates as "Sea Coconut". Which is something that looks like this.
I'm now intrigued by how some of these salons work because ours was very much a hands-on affair. Our instructor, Mistress Scarlet, showed us how to do something and then all the attendees had a go. I don't think the same model is appropriate for, say, "Back Door Bliss: An Anal Masterclass".

Entwined was very much aimed at beginner-level rope enthusiasts. And while Gentleman Friend and I aren't quite beginners, we were very happy to be instructed at beginner level. I really do like being tied up with rope. I've dabbled a bit in Shibari and the like over the years. I like all kinds of bondage - there's a nice assortment of cuffs and other restraints in the toy bag - but rope is in a classy league of its own. For a start, it takes real skill to do it. It takes effort and time to learn. And of course it looks so darn pretty. There is a certain amount of creativity required and there's also something reassuringly geeky about it.

It's a skill which is eminently well-suited to Gentleman Friend who is practical, methodical and very good with his hands. (And not just in that way, you filthy devils.) He is also a man who likes to do things properly. And that's what the evening at Coco de Mer was all about - being taught to do a few basic ties properly so that we can take what we've learnt and build on it.

I say 'we', Gentleman Friend was doing all the work here. There were five or six other couples in attendance and most of them were very democratically taking it in turns to ties one another up. We didn't do this. There is no point in me learning to do the tying. Not because I wouldn't be able to do it - although, honestly, I am cack-handed to the point of probably being dyspraxic - but because Gentleman Friend is my Dom and I am his submissive. He does the tying and I get tied up. He gives the orders and I try to obey. He gives the spankings and I get the bruised arse and a grin like the Cheshire Cat. We are very comfortable in our roles. (Emotionally comfortable, I mean. Sometimes I am not physically comfortable at all.)
Swanky place. Swanky tickets.
I do always feel like I get the better end of the deal because I would, wouldn't I? I have to accept that Gentleman Friend and I are wired differently and that's what makes it so wonderful. Personally, I would be utterly bored if I was spanking somebody's arse for several hours but Gentleman Friend does it quite happily - if a little sternly.

So there was no taking turns when it came to trying out the rope ties at Entwined. Instead, I got to just enjoy being tied up in several different ways while Gentleman Friend busied himself with ensuring that the knots were well executed, secure and didn't restrict any bits of me they shouldn't be restricting.

We were shown a single column, a double column and a basic harness and then a few different ways that all three could be combined.

At the salon in my simple harness.
Mistress Scarlet was a great teacher - delightfully down to earth and funny. She had brought along one of her submissives, "Boy", to be tied up and I loved all her comments about how she is rough with her boys and how she expects them to behave.

The session was two hours long; it was well-structured and the time flew by. At £90 a ticket, it certainly wasn't cheap but as well as Mistress Scarlet's instruction, you're also getting a classy setting, seemingly limitless drinks and the wonderfully attentive staff at Coco de Mer.

The salon price also includes 20% off any purchases that you make in the shop that evening. But because the prices are insanely expensive (over £200 for a flogger, for example),  Gentleman Friend and I did not take advantage of this offer.

Besides, we already have our own rope. And after this very instructive evening, we have become very enthusiastic about using it.

I hope Mistress Scarlet would be pleased with us.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Book Review - Freedom in Submission by Alexandra Noir

"I don't mind you hitting me," she said simply, hoping it would be enough to make him truly see her.

Four Stars

Freedom inSubmission takes place in seventeenth century Massachusetts during the time of the Salem Witch Trials. Before things take a bit of turn towards the kinky, the story paints an absorbing and accurate picture of Puritan family life at the time.

Nice respectable married couple, Ezekiel and Martha, have some secret hidden kinky BDSM desires burning away under their modest puritan garb. In Ezekiel’s case these desires are so hidden that he didn’t even know he had them.

Martha is a bit more experienced in the whole BDSM business having got up to all sorts in her previous marriage and with a clandestine kinkster society in the village. She’d shelved all thoughts of such naughtiness during her seven year marriage but when events bring it all back into focus, she has to admit to herself that her masochistic submissive self is who she is.

Puritans. Sex-mad bunch of kinksters, apparently.
And, happily, after a bit of understandable reticence, Ezekiel realises he is totally on board with the whole Driven-by-one-lusts Dom business. The sex and BDSM scenes are pretty hot and it’s great to read a book where it’s the Dom who’s the newbie rather than the other way round.

Frustratingly, this is only the first part of the ‘BDSM and Magic in the Colonies’ set so the story doesn’t really get a chance to develop. The ongoing witchcraft trials are mentioned but are not really part of the story. A slightly sinister turn towards the end of the book suggests that Ezekiel and Martha are going to be drawn further into this world of devilment and hysteria.

It’s a bit unfair of me to complain about this just being the first part of a larger story as I appreciate that this is the way the author chooses to publish. It’s probably quite a good business model – get readers hooked and ensure sales for the next instalment. Most of the books I read don’t follow this format though and come with a beginning, middle and end. Stuff happens, stuff gets resolved, sex ‘n’ spanks happen and then our hero and heroine live happily ever after. I felt a bit short-changed when I reached the end and found myself with more questions than answers.

Why did you spend so long talking about Goody Nurse at the beginning only for her never to be mentioned again? What's the deal with the witchcraft trials? Is it all just distortion and disinformation? Or is everyone actually worshipping Satan in their spare time? Is the Minister a Good Pervert or a Bad Pervert?

Bad Pervert
Well, there you go. Clearly Alexandra Noir knows what she’s doing. I’ll be buying the next instalment as soon as it comes out. I’m hooked.

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.

Monday, 16 September 2019

She's back!

Image result for Writer

I am very happy. I finished a book. I submitted it for publication. And it's been accepted! Now I am just impatient for publication to happen.

I took a break from writing for several years. My brain was not in a great place. I am a lot saner now and the one of the ways you can tell that my brain is functioning as it supposed to is that writing smutty spanky fiction has become a pleasure again.

It will probably be a while before my new book - The Liberation of Miss X - hits the virtual bookshelves. In the mean time, enjoy the little snippet below.

William fixed his eye on Flora. “Rewarded, eh? Well, I must say that now she’s got you in this room, it would be a shame to waste the opportunity. Come here. Let’s get that dress off you.”

A few minutes ago, if she had been asked, Flora would have said that she wanted nothing more than to explore this well-equipped room with William. But now, for some reason, she stood frozen to the spot.

“I do not expect to have to repeat myself, Flora. Come here.”

Still Flora did not move.

“Very well. I shall count to ten. If you are not standing in front of me by the time I finish, then I promise that you are going to be one very sorry little girl. One, two, three…”

Something about the act of William counting spurred Flora into action. She hadn’t meant to disobey William but the situation was so unusual that she had found herself unable to act. But she found that she did not want William to reach ten in his counting. She did not want to disappoint him. His clear orders and stern threat ensured that her legs started working properly again.

“Good girl,” said William approvingly once Flora was stood in front of him. His words filled her with a warmth that she could not begin to describe. She so wanted to be his good girl.

Friday, 13 September 2019

Pretty Little Thing: I try to get my head around modern fashion

I have been walking past this advert on the London Underground on my way to work every day for months now and, quite frankly, it's been confusing me.

What is going on here? What exactly is going on with this young lady's trousers? There seem to be bits missing. I'm not bringing this up out of prudishness, you understand. I'm all for women being able to flash as much skin as they feel inclined to. I'm always happy to see fetishwear, for example, influencing mainstream fashions. It appeals to both my inner kinkster and my inner goth.

But this particular outfit looks so very impractical. There's gaps and chains and stuff. How on earth do you get it on? How, more importantly, do you go to the toilet when you're wearing it?

So in the spirit of scientific investigation, I have researched exactly what is going on here. And am happy to share it with all of you in case any of you have been walking past the same poster and wondering the same thing.

This outfit comes from the PrettyLittleThing Ashanti range and you'll be pleased to know that this isn't just one complicated garment with difficult to navigate leg-holes. The model here is wearing four separate items. Plus a hat.

So breaking it all down, we have:

A crop top...
Bikini bottoms
A belt
And chaps.
The chaps are clearly what makes this outfit a bit special. They're basically a pair of trousers for people to want to avoid that tedious crotch-covering business that usually comes with trouserwear.

The fact that they're being teamed with bikini bottoms suggests that this is beach/poolside-wear. Something to pull over your swimsuit once you've got out of the water. Let's face nothing says "relaxing by the pool in hot weather" quite like a pair of 95% Polyester 5% Elastane skin-hugging leg coverings.

I'm just showing my age here, though. Clearly nobody would be buying this outfit for comfort in mind. It's all about the visuals. And the view of the outfit from the back does show a very arresting visual indeed.

So there you go. While I was spending the summer commuting to work on the hot, sweaty Waterloo & City line, the hotels of Ayia Napa, Magaluf and Malia were no doubt full of young people showing off interesting framed bits of themselves in coordinating snakeprint.

Good for them. Just hope they remembered their sun block.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Book Review - King of Hearts by Carolyn Faulkner

Image result for king of hearts carolyn faulkner
Look at that smoulder.

Four Stars

Carolyn Faulkner’s ‘King of Hearts’ is a delightfully old-fashioned love story set in the 1970s. Lettie is a journalist who snags a highly sought-after interview with Alek, King of the country of Kyenn.

Almost as soon as she gets there, Lettie is caught up in a violent attempted insurrection. Happily, this doesn’t seem to put her off either the country or its ruler. The two become closer the more time they spend together. Alek admires Lettie’s professionalism and independent spirit and Lettie – who is unimpressed by Alek’s title and lineage – is able to truly see the man beneath the crown.

Oh, and Alek gives Lettie a spanking the first day they meet. That certainly helped their romance blossom even if Lettie was understandably outraged at the time. The sex and spanking in this book are great. Alek exudes a lot of sexy man-not-to-be-argued-with charm.

It would be nice if this book had made more of its 1970s period setting. I enjoyed this aspect of the book in the first few pages – typewriters in male-dominated newsrooms, the burgeoning Women’s Lib movement, Lettie’s friendship with Elvis Presley and references to Prince Charles being one of the world’s most eligible bachelors. Unfortunately, this tails off fairly early on in the book and for most of the story, apart from the absence of mobile phones, there’s not a lot to indicate that it isn’t taking place in the present day.

The 1970s. Different times.
It is certainly a great story though. There are some wonderful secondary characters, most notably Kyenn’s charismatic Queen Mother, Margaret, Alek’s American-born mum, who is wonderfully forthright in her approval of Lettie.

The romance between the two characters is believable and builds nicely throughout the story. The scene in the hospital with Lettie’s first declaration of love to Alek is utterly adorable.

King of Hearts is a sweet story of a woman discovering that she has what it takes to win the heart of a King and the subjects of his country. It’s basically a grown-up ‘ThePrincess Diaries’ with sex and spanking. And what’s not to love about that?

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.