Friday 4 September 2020

This blog has moved!

 Hi! I'm Etta Stark.

The blog you are looking for has moved to big shinier premises at

Come and visit me there for sex-positivity, kink-positivity, tea-positivity and lots of blog posts about books, spanking, tea, feminism, sex, tea and BDSM. Also tea.

Saturday 22 August 2020

Book Review - Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyers

Two Stars

Beware! There will be spoilers for this book and the original Twilight Saga aplenty here!

Look, I don’t actually hate the Twilight books. I think I need to make that clear upfront because I suspect that I am not going to have a lot positive to say about Stephanie Meyer’s latest book Midnight Sun, a retelling of Twilight from the point of view of Edward Cullen.

The original four books were fine. The story arc actually made a lot of sense once the reader reached the end of the story. Bella Swann was born to be a vampire. Literally. That’s why she was so klutzy as a human, she’d been living as the wrong species for seventeen years. She was somehow already imbued with the supernatural spooky woo magic and nobody really realised until she got to Forks. A place where presumably there was enough residual werewolf/vampire magic sloshing around to ensure that Bella – hitherto nondescript and ignored by the boys at her Arizona school - was even a desirable siren to the muggles.

And she was of course irresistible to Edward the brooding vampire. They fall into a love that is deep and wide and heavy and all-consuming and stuff and a whole bunch of dangerous hi-jinks ensue before the happy couple (and their magical offspring) get their happy ending and go skipping off into the sunrise.

Which is all well and good. But we did that already. Why the need for the new book? Why, specifically did I feel the need to spend £10.99 on a book where at least 50% of the text is exactly the same as a book I’ve already purchased? There should have been some kind of discount for people who bought the original book, surely? I’ve already paid for this dialogue!

And, while we’re questioning the wisdom of me buying this book in the first place, why am I reviewing it here on a website that is usually focused on fiction which a good deal more sexy, spanky and salacious than this high-school-based apparently doomed romance? I don’t really have a good answer to that. I feel that Twilight does fit in quite happily amongst my usual sort of romantic fare. The tropes are the same, there’s a flawed hero and a submissive-yet-feisty heroine, obstacles to be overcome and (eventually) a happy ever after that will literally go on for ever in this case. There are lines like “She gasped in reaction, her lips parting against mine, the fever of her breath burning my skin”. And, of course, Twilight famously inspired the Fifty Shades of Grey books.

The story begins with Bella’s first day at her new school. Edward – in whose brain the reader will now live for the next 671 pages – is all too aware of the arrival of the new girl. This is because he is besieged with the thoughts of all the other students and they all seem to be thinking “There’s a new girl starting today, wonder what she’s like?”

The way in which the innermost thoughts of the local human population are depicted is my first real problem with this book. All the thoughts that Edward eavesdrops on seem remarkably tidy. People apparently think in full sentences as though they’re composing their daily journal.

I really don’t think people think that way. I certainly don’t. I have no idea how I would begin to write down the jumbled, cacophonous noise that makes up my continual inner monologue; the snippets of songs, imaginary conversations, berating inner critical voice and the Tourettes-like mental blurtings running through my head – usually all at the same time.

You can see why Meyers doesn’t try to render this sort of stream of consciousness into words in Midnight Sun. It would turn the whole thing into some kind of sub-Joycean gobbledegook. And, really, everybody else’s thoughts are only there as a plot device. Edward’s head-hopping is one of the many creepy ways that he can keep a metaphorical eye on Bella.

I can accept that the vampire characters have tidier more organised thoughts than the rest of us. They know that they’re being listened to, for one thing. Also, vampires are Weird and Not Like Us Humans. I think that’s the one bit of vampire canon we can agree on.

Not Like Us

The most original bits of the book – and therefore the most interesting – are when Edward takes trips down memory lane and we discover more about what he was up to during his early pre-Bella vampire years. Why couldn’t we have had more of that? A Twilight prequel would have been a lot more fun than a scene-by-scene re-telling of an existing book.

The first half of this book really drags. We’re way past the halfway mark before Edward even does his sparkly skin party trick. (And the build-up to that goes on forever. It’s tedious having to listen to Edward worry about how Bella is going to find him repulsive and disgusting once she finds out e can look like he’s made of diamonds. Because, yeah, humans hate sparkly things, obviously. The whole nature of Edward’s hideous skin aberration is kept coyly under wraps during Edward’s prolonged mithering. We already know that he glitters like a Claire’s Accessories headband in the sunlight! There can’t be a single person reading this book who hasn’t either read the books, watched the films or seen at least one of the hundreds of Twilight Tinkerbell memes


The minutiae of Bella’s mostly humdrum life is fascinating to Edward. Not so much for the rest of us. Did everything take so long to happen in the original book? Quite possibly. I think I have compressed all four Twilight books into one narrative in my head so I’ve forgotten how much of the first book was just spent faffing about.

Like the original book, it all kicks off later on with perilous mortal danger and whatnot. But it isn’t improved any by being narrated by one of the undead.

He might be over a hundred years old but this glimpse into Edward’s psyche just demonstrates that he is in fact a whiny little seventeen year old at heart. At one point Edward says “I wished … I wouldn’t have time to obsess over and over again about the same problems”. So do we, Edward. So do we.

This book was twelve years in the making. I’m sure Twilight’s many fans are pleased that it’s here. But really, there was little point in it existing in the first place. If there are any new insights into Edward’s character, I’m afraid it was all rather lost in the relentless teenage existential angst. Edward Cullen is literally a mythological creature, you think it would be fun time to spend time in the head of a monster. Sadly, Meyers has demonstrated that it isn’t.



Wednesday 19 August 2020

The Joy of Wet Ass Pussies


A lot of people seem to be weighing in on Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s song WAP so I may as well add my own voice to the chorus of ill-informed opinion despite, like so many other commentators, having literally no qualifications to do so.

At least, unlike Ben Shapiro I am not going to smugly tell people that vaginal lubrication is an indicator of a medical disorder. (It isn’t, Ben and if your wife is telling you that’s why she’s not getting wet during your marital intimate time, I think she might be sparing your feelings.) Nor am I like Russell Brand  who can join the large and ignoble group of supposedly woke menfolk telling women that they’re doing feminism wrong. Bitches love it when you mansplain feminism to them, Russ. Always a winner, that one.

WAP is not the sort of song I usually listen to. My Spotify playlists are mostly full of music from the 60s and 70s which is odd because I was only six when the seventies ended.

But my newsfeeds are full of people celebrating women celebrating sex and other people (presumably time travellers) expressing horror that a lady might do anything in the bedroom but lie back and think of England. And that pushes it into my particular area of interest.

I like sex. I like sex-positive people. I also rather like it when people who want to shame women for liking sex get upset and then get their arse handed to them on a plate.

So here we go, the Good, the Bad and the Sexy about Wet Ass Pussy.

The Good

The Video

Just all of it, really. From the opening shots of lactating pond statues to Cardi and Megan’s almost slapstick exit and everything that happens in between. It’s fun-packed theme park of light-hearted erotica and they all look like they’re having a marvellous time.

“Macaroni in the pot”

In a whole song full of bonkers lyrics, ‘Macaroni in the pot’ in the bonkerest. But hell, why not? I suspect that Cardi B took a bet that she could make anything sound dirty in the right context especially if she did that hand gesture at the same time. “What’s the least sexy thing you can think of?” “Um, macaroni?” “Challenge accepted!”

“Swipe your nose like a credit card”

A wonderfully evocative image. I am including this in my come-hither bedroom banter forthwith.

“Bring a bucket and a mop”

Yes, this list of the good stuff is just mostly a list of my favourite lyrics because, well, they’re great. With this, our bad-ass ladies are both informing their gentlemen friends that (a) there’s going to be a lot of pleasurable excretions when they’re together and (b) if anyone is going to clean it up, well it’s not going to be them.

The Bad

Whores in this house

I’m a middle aged white woman from one of the whitest, most middle-class, most conservative areas of England. I am not this song’s intended audience. Which is probably why I’m baffled by the Al “T” McLaran’s “Whores in this house” sample from which is used throughout this song. Is it being used ironically? Have young cool women reclaimed the word ‘whore’ in the same way that LGBT people have reclaimed the word ‘queer’? I’m probably missing something important but to my ears, having a male voice refer to the women in this video as whores in the midst of their female empowerment sounds very jarring.

Transactional Sex

And again, this is my middle-class white Englishness shining through like a big shiny beacon, but I am a bit puzzled by the number of references to transactional sex in this song. Like “Pay my tuition just to kiss me on this wet-ass pussy.” Hold up ladies, are we talking about having sex for the sheer unashamed joy of it or is it about having the sexy times for material benefit? I think those two things don’t necessarily overlap all that often.

Big cats

OK, I know the leopard and tigers featured in this video were added afterwards with CGI. But that doesn’t excuse using actual wild animals as a shortcut to “ostentatious wealth” in the song. Those big cats were being held in captivity and filmed by someone. Give the beasts some dignity. Has Tiger King taught us nothing? And the snakes shouldn’t have been there either.

The Sexy


There are a lot of references to kinky shit in this song and it’s great. Megan Thee Stallion sings about whips and leashes and tell us that she’s “lookin' for a beatin'”. I appreciate that a beating in this sense might be referring to vigorous penis pounding from an enthusiastic sex partner. But whenever I’m talking about beating, I’m talking about spanking so that was how I interpreted this lyric. And because I want there to be references to spanking everywhere I’m sticking to that.

The outfits.

This video is just a dream for lovers of fetishwear. From Cardi and Megan’s day-glo corsets to their latex and fishnet swimsuits, the whole thing is kinky as fuck and all the better for it. The celebrity cameos in this video showcase some great outfits too. Special shout out to Normani’s latex houndstooth bodysuit. Smart and practical! You could wear it literally anywhere.

The full-on unashamed enjoyment of sex.

Let’s talk about sex. A lot. In enthusiastic detail. And let’s not spare of the blushes of anyone who doesn’t think it’s ladylike to talk about gushing. That’s the message I got from this video. It’s a wonderfully empowering message to girls and women everywhere.

Sense of humour

Everyone knows that a sense of humour is the sexiest thing there is. And Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion clearly have that in spades. Sex might be sexy but it’s also fun. WAP embraces its over-the-top silliness, enjoys itself thoroughly and invites everybody watching to join in the fun.

And for that, ladies, I applaud you.





Friday 24 July 2020

Book Review - The English Professor by Rachel de Vine


Five Stars!

You know that feeling when you finish a book and then you're a bit sad because it means you can't read that book any more? There's probably a term for it - Reader Drop, or something. Anyway, that's exactly how I felt when I finished Rachel de Vine's The English Professor.
This is a wonderful book. The story spans twenty years and envelops the reader so completely that by the time you reach the last page, you don't want to leave.

Eleanor is in her final year of university when she meets English professor, Dan Jamieson. His admiration for her as a talented English student develops into something more and their feelings for one another develop over a mutual love of literature, classic erotica and, eventually, kinky sex.

This book has a lot to answer for.

Their brief love affair is beautifully described and scorchingly hot. Unfortunately, it is also inevitably doomed. Because he is her professor after all, and recreating scenes from The Story of O with one of the students in your class is generally frowned upon by University authorities.

The book begins with Eleanor expressing regret for the mistakes of the last twenty years and tells the reader that 'having met up with Dan again', she wanted the opportunity to tell both their stories. This serves as warning from the very first page that the paths of these two protagonists isn't going to be a straightforward journey to sexy, kinky true love.

And, my god, it really isn't. This book will tie your heart up in knots, then break it and then put it all back together again. In a good way.

Alongside Eleanor and Dan, there are a host of wonderfully realised supporting characters. The best of which is literary agent, Betty Conway, a no-nonsense lesbian with a fantastic line in dry humour and caustic comments who is nevertheless an understated champion of Eleanor and Dan's love.

The cover of this book - although very pretty - almost does it a disservice. This isn't a "Seduced by my Sexy Professor" XXXX bit of porny fluff (although to be fair, I do like a bit of porny fluff too sometimes).

This is a story of love, of life, of missed opportunities and a message to the reader that something that has been lost does not have to stay lost forever.

Rachel de Vine's The English Professor is available on and

Sunday 19 July 2020

Book Review - Alpha by Sara Fields


Four Stars

When Doctor Dawn Lowe is forcibly removed from her laboratory by high ranking government officials to work on top secret project, she has no idea what is in store for her. She certainly couldn't have expected to discover that she was the chosen Omega for a shape-shifting wolf Alpha. Because, who would? That's not the sort of stuff that you schedule into your five-year career plan.

We readers know that something like that was bound to happen because this is a sexy spanking shape-shifter romance with a half-naked man on the cover. And luckily, Dawn is brought up to speed with everything pretty quickly when she meets a Beta wolf, Rebecca, who she has been assigned to study. Rebecca tells her that she is the Chosen One and that the Alpha is on his way to free the shifters and to claim her as his own. So at least she gets a bit of warning before it all kicks off.

Kiba, the Alpha, formed apparently from the very earth itself, is a marvellously sexy example of leadership and pure unadulterated Domminess all wrapped up in a body that is sometimes human and sometimes a bloody great wolf.

Bloody great wolf.

When he comes to claim Dawn, he claims her very hard indeed. After some initial reluctance on her side (because of course she runs and of course she is unsuccessful), he beats her for her insubordination and then fucks her very thoroughly into submission.

The scene is brutal. If you like your spanking scenes soft and fluffy, this is not the book for you. I am not one of those people. I loved the overwhelming relentlessness of the initial punishment and sex scenes. There is a lot of great sex and spanking in this book but the first scene between Kiba and Dawn is, without a doubt, the best. You may need a cold shower afterwards. I sure did.

Dawn responds quickly and enthusiastically to Kiba's domination. It is after all - according to the mythology of the story - the role she was born to. And, happily, this whip-smart scientist doesn't become a doormatty drudge just because she's pledged her complete subservience to the sexy magic wolf-guy. With her brains and his, well, everything, Kiba and Dawn make a great team.

The fast-moving plot manages to cover evil scientists, shape-shifter emancipation and secret government skulduggery and still manages to find plenty of time for hot as hell sexy stuff. I've never before considered that my dream lifestyle might involve running around naked with a shape-shifting wolf pack but Sara Fields' The Alpha has made the idea seem quite appealing.

Thursday 9 July 2020

Boris and the Spanking Ban

When the UK Government introduced 'Support Bubbles' in England on June 13th, the Daily Mail ran the headline "BORIS LIFTS SEX BAN".

It wasn't classy, but it wasn't wrong exactly. The Support Bubbles were to intended to ease the isolation for single adult households who hadn't been able to so much as shake hands with another adult in three months.

And it, of course, meant that couples who didn't live together could finally get together and touch one another genitals, provided that at at least one of them didn't live with any other adults.

Since the fourth of July and the pubs reopening and everything, then suddenly we're all allowed to fraternise with one another (well, with one other household at at time) indoors, in pubs, in hotel rooms and in well-sanitised brothels (possibly).

You're still not supposed to touch one another though. This is rather pertinent to my situation. Gentleman friend and I couldn't bubble up due to the existence of adult children and elderly parents in our respective households.

Thanks to @Darren_Dutton, every time I say the word 'bubble' now, I think of this.

It's been FOUR FUCKING MONTHS since we've seen one another. Well, four NOT-fucking months. That's rather the point.

We're going to spend this weekend together in a hotel. And, you know what? There will be touching. All the touching.

I've been patient, I've been good since the middle of March. I am observing strict social distancing and not-leaving-the-house-unless-it's-really-necessary rules in every other regard.

But right now, I really really need to have my bottom spanked by someone who loves me. And in less than twenty-four hours, that's exactly what's going to happen.

I just hope Boris understands.

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Book Review - Cowboys for a Cause: A Western Romance Anthology


Five Stars!

Is there anything better than a book chock full twenty seven (27!) sexy spanky Cowboy stories? Well, yes there is, as it turns out. It's a book full of sexy spanky Cowboy stories which is raising money for two amazing charities - Direct Relief Coronavirus Response and Feeding America Covid 19 Response Fund.

Dozens of fantastic authors, including Vanessa Brooks, Alta Hensley, Piper Stone, Stevie MacFarlane, Maggie Ryan and Alyssa Bailey, have contributed this anthology collection and really is a lot of fun indeed.

I couldn't possibly review all of the books in this collection - I haven't actually finished them all yet. But I couldn't resist giving you a quick rundown of my three favourite stories so far.

Schoolteacher Verity Lasse is new to her job and new to the town of Elmo, Colorado in this delightful historical romance. When she meets the recently widowed father of two of her students, there is an instant attraction to the (frankly delicious) rugged rancher, Jake Calhoun. There's just one problem: she thinks that he's the man she saw committing a murder a few days earlier. There is enough doubt over the identity of the killer and enough chemistry between the pair of them that a friendship grows between the two of them that builds into something more despite the small minded gossip of the townsfolk. 

She must decide whether she wants to commit to spending the rest of the life with the man she loves, knowing that he might well be the person she saw taking another man's life. This is a wonderfully engaging story with plenty of sex and spanks nicely woven into a fully fleshed out storyline which builds towards a satisfying denouement.

Verity is my absolute favourite kind of historical heroine. She's intelligent, independent and a pioneer of rights for women. She also gets regularly upended and spanked by her dominant cowboy. As a well-spanked feminist myself, I heartily approve.

Mountain Blue by Alta Hensley

The hero of this beautiful and emotional historical story, Rem Langston, isn't actually a cowboy. He's an Ice Harvester so I'm not quite sure how he snuck into this story collection but I'm very glad that he did. He's a tough, rugged, powerful man who, when he finds a woman attempting to sleep rough in the freezing snow and winds, brings her home with him in an act of gentlemanly compassion.

Birdie Bluebell is a woman without a lot of options in life. She has a violent drunken father whose behaviour makes it necessary for her to risk camping out in sub-zero conditions rather than return home. She accepts Rem's offer out of necessity but it turns out that it was the very best decision she could make.

The romance that inevitably blossoms between Rem and Birdie is artfully and sensitively written. There are some wonderful supporting characters in this book, most notably Rem's widowed mother who provides some stable maternal support that Birdie has been lacking in her life for so long.

The road to the couple's happy ending is a difficult one as the dangerous and dark machinations of the Bluebell family threaten to take everything that Rem and Birdie have managed to build together. Birdie is a resilient woman who deserves a Happily Ever After. And happily, Rem is the very man to give it to her.

Dangerous Ride by Piper Stone

Set in the present day, Dangerous Ride is a wonderfully hot and sexy story. Right from the very start of the story - astonishingly soon after they have met - the two protagonists, Butch and Falcon indulge in the steamiest sex possible with a wonderfully generous amount of BSDM-y punishment. And while they carry on this fashion for the whole of the story, it's the first sex scene which is undoubtedly the best. There is just enough dubious consent in the initial set up to make it as breathtakingly hot as hell while still keeping it very firmly on the side of being something that both parties are very happy to participate in.

There's a tightly plotted story about horse thievery to keep the whole book ticking along nicely. After an initial misunderstanding, our two heroes find that they are very much on the same side which is good because Falcon and Butch are falling for one another hard. There is some wonderful dialogue, a nail-biting climax and did I mention that this book is HOT? Because it is. It's very hot indeed. Absolutely scorching. 

Cowboys for a Cause is a wonderful collection of different and diverse stories. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It will only be on sale for a limited time so ensure that you snap up your copy as soon as possible. Sex, spanks, romance and the chance to help two amazing charities, what's not to love?

Buy it at:

You can find out more about the charities they are supporting and the work they do here:

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Netflix recommends... Erotica

I watched 365 Dni recently. It wasn't great but as I said in my review, I do want to see more of this sort of thing. So what other erotic, kinky delights does Netflix have on its virtual video store shelves for the girl who's already seen the infamous Polish bonkbuster and all the Fifty Shades films?

There's no actual 'Recommend' feature as such on Netflix. You can't count the little cluster of programmes that pop up when you've finished watching something, which are always whatever new thing Netflix is trying to promote. Those are often amusing in their incongruousness. My favourite 'thing to watch next' was Sex Education after gentle theological drama The Two Popes.

However, if you use the search function, Netflix finds the film you've searched and also includes a bunch of other films that it considers to be the same genre.

I searched for 'Fifty Shades of Grey', and watched the four films that Netflix also included on the list. Which is why I have been watching arty modern-day polyamourous romance Newness, lesbian love story Below her Mouth, sex addiction drama Addicted and, most incongruously of all, Stephen King's psychological horror Gerald's Game.

Here's what I thought of them.

Newness (2017)

Dir: Drake Doremus

Nicholas Hoult has come a long way since he appeared as gawky twelve-year-old Marcus alongside Hugh Grant in About a Boy. If Newness is anything to go by, he's a lot more American now, for one thing. Also, a lot more naked.

Hoult plays Martin who meets Gabi (Laia Costa) through a Tinder-like hookup app. They're a pair of concupiscent young things who fully embrace the easy come, easy go, casual shagging of strangers off the internet. In fact Gabi meets Martin almost immediately after having an unsatisfying shag with another chap. There's an instant chemistry between the pair though and in no time at all they are all love's young dream, enjoying happy romantic montages, deleting the dating apps off their phones and moving in with one another.

But then the joys of mutual monogamy start to pale and infidelity happens. In fact, in a massive stroke of luck, Martin and Gabi cheat on one another on exactly the same night. What are the chance of that? It makes the fall-out easier to deal with, I guess. After a bit of couples counselling, Martin and Gabi decide that the best way to deal with it is to open their relationship right up and embrace a polyamorous way of life.

Which all works fine for a while. They try threesomes. They shag other people. They tell one another about shagging other people. And then they shag one another. Happy days.

But this is a Hollywood movie and polyamory is never going to be anyone's happily ever after. Even for people who aren't doing it for voyeuristic reasons.

Everything inevitably goes horrible. Feelings get involved. Martin feels betrayed and tells Gabi that he was never up for the whole swinging lifestyle in the first place which is very unfair of him because he totally was. And, predictably in the end, true (exclusive monogamous) love wins the day.

Have there ever been any films where polyamorousness has been portrayed as a positive lifestyle choice rather than a dangerous disaster-ridden deviation from the right-and-proper monogamous norm? I honestly can't think of one.

Below Her Mouth (2016)

Dir: April Mullen

Below her Mouth is the most porn-like of Netflix's recommended movies. And I don't mean that in a disparaging way. I was looking for sex and there is a lot of lesbian sex in this film. It looks very real. I'm not sure if the actresses are doing the things to one another that their characters are explicitly indulging in. The actual practicalities of realistic-looking sex in non-porn art-house films are a mystery to me. Although I do know in the other popular mainstream lesbian romance Blue is the Warmest Colour, the actress wore 'prosthetic genitalia' for the sex scenes. So that was a distracting thought.

The film, set in Toronto, is beautifully shot and exquisite to look at. Its two leads, Dallas (Erika Linder) and Jasmine (Natalie Krill) are wonderful as the awkward realistic protagonists of their own tiny love story. Especially Linder whose breath-taking androgynous beauty and piercing blue eyes are hypnotic to look at. You can see why Dallas would have no trouble getting absolutely any woman she wants into bed with her, without the need for clever chat-up lines or indeed demonstrating any kind of emotion whatsoever. Which is good because Dallas really doesn't do either of those things.

There isn't much plot here to speak of. Jasmine is passing as straight and has a cosy life with her male fiance. She meets Dallas at a lesbian bar. The spark is there from the start, Dallas pursues her and given that the pair of them fancy the pants off one another, they manoeuvre themselves into a pants-free situation as quickly as possible. Set over only a few days while Jasmine's fiance is away on business, the film fizzes with lustful encounters and a very realistic portrayal of two fairly awkward people getting to know one another.

There is rather more smooshing together of vulvas than I would have expected in a lesbian sex scene. I mean there's fingering, oral and strap-ons to be enjoyed as well but the characters do seem to spend a lot of time just pressing their pelvises up against one another and banging in what looks like a simulation of heterosexual sex. Is that a thing? Given that both the writer and director of this film are gay women then I guess, yes, vulva-smooshing is totally a thing.

Erika Linder had no acting experience before Below Her Mouth and well, you can kind of tell. There's no great dialogue in the film and the actor's delivery is often stilted and awkward. I rather like that though. It adds to the realism. This isn't a slick Hollywood romance. This feels like two real people falling in love and dealing with the messiness that that can cause.

Addicted (2014)

Dir: Bille Woodruff

Zoe Reynard (Sharon Leal) is a wife, mother and successful businesswoman. She is also a sex addict. Her therapist seems very quick to diagnose sex addiction given that at that point in the film, she just seems to be having a common-or-garden extra-marital affair.

She cheats on her husband with an artist, Quinton Canosa (William Levy) who tries every seducer's trick in the book up to and including a tragic family backstory. Zoe is already a big fan of his work so that makes his job easier. That and having a chest that looks like is was sculpted from marble by a sculptor who was really, really into abs.

(Oh, and Quinton? That chat-up line you've got where you tell a woman that you want to paint her so you can hang her picture above your bed and wank to it every night? Pure class, mate.)

Having a nice-and-sexy husband (Boris Kodjoe) and a creepy-yet-sexy lover isn't enough for our Zoe though. And soon she's frequenting dodgy bars, banging strangers in the toilets and going to BDSM sex clubs.

This is the only film in the list which has even the tiniest glimpse of spanking. In the sex club scene, there's a quick glimpse of a flogger being wielded in the background. This is in no way a positive endorsement of BDSM, obviously. It's included to demonstrate the seedy, depraved depths to which Zoe has sunk.

As a member of the original and oldest twelve step programme, I really shouldn't be dismissive of the idea of sex addiction as an illness but I am a bit, sorry. It does come across as a very convenient excuse for being caught with your pants down. The film does seem to take the addiction part of the narrative seriously. Zoe's mum who spends most of the film looking pursed-lipped and disapproving, is very supportive of her daughter's addiction and recovery by the end of the film.

Mirroring alcohol and drug addiction, Zoe loses almost everything to her addiction including her job, her family and her sanity. But unlike a film about alcoholism, all of Zoe's sexploits are depicted in the most raunchy and titillating way possible. It helps that every single person in this film is almost impossibly beautiful.

It makes for a bit of a confusing message. Sex addiction is bad, folks. But meanwhile, looks at all these tits and bums!

Gerald's Game (2017)

Dir: Mike Flanagan

This creepy psychological horror story based on a Stephen King book doesn't really belong on the list. However, it does start with a premise which must be a recognisable fear for most BDSM enthusiasts.

What would happen if you were handcuffed to a bed and something unexpected happened and there was no-one there to release you?

The bondage scene in Gerald's Game doesn't get off to a good start given that married couple Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) are first-timers who haven't really planned the whole thing properly. They haven't established a safe word, let alone discussed how they want the scene to go.

If Gerald had properly explained to Jessie beforehand that he was planning a creepy, uncomfortable rape fantasy, then she probably would have taken a swerve on the whole endeavour. Communication really is key here, would-be kinksters.

Not that it really matters, as it turns out, given that Gerald dies of a heart attack early on in the proceedings, leaving his wife handcuffed to the bed, on her own, in a lake house, miles away from anyone. In Fairhope, Alabama, no-one can hear you scream.

This all happens in the first fifteen minutes or so. For the rest of the film, poor bed-(literally)-bound Jessie's only companions are the visions she sees in her increasingly weakened state. There's imaginary Gerald, her own imaginary self, Scary Demon Guy and Dead-husband-eating Dog.

What with that and the child-abuse flashbacks, this film really inst a fun-filled kinky sex romp by any stretch of the imagination. Which is fine. It's a great film and not every story which involves someone tied to a bed needs to be a turn-on. (I bet hardly anyone cracked on out to James Caan being tied to the bed in Misery either.)

But given that Netflix suggested this as a Fifty Shades of Grey alternative, they might want to do a bit of work on their algorithms.

So overall, over the last couple of days I've learnt that polyamory is a bad idea, lesbianism leads to infidelity, BDSM clubs are only attended by people with psychological illnesses and if you indulge in bondage, you'll probably end up with a dog eating your face.

I'm either going to have to rethink my lifestyle choices or possibly look further than Netflix if I want to find some kink-positive cinematic sexiness.

Or maybe I should just stick to books for this sort of thing.

Monday 22 June 2020

Book Review - Claimed by Daddy by Vanessa Brooks


Five Stars!

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself transported to a parallel universe where everything was different? You have a different home, different job and instead of being single, you discover you are actually married to a sexy tall American guy who shares all your kinky preferences?

To be honest I would probably behave exactly the same as Penny West, the heroine of Vanessa Brooks' Claimed by Daddy when this happens to her: whirling through a merry-go-round of emotions including incredulity, fear, panic and - what with the sexy 'new' husband - lustful abandonment.

Given such an outlandish premise, it's really rather relatable.

The book starts with Penny flying back from New York to London. The plane is caught in turbulence, she blacks out and then suddenly everything has changed. Well, not everything. She is still herself. Her face is the same, her family history is (almost) the same but suddenly she is in the middle of a life that she has no memory of.

Time slips are a tricky business. To everyone around her, Penny's story seems wildly implausible. To everyone else, including her husband, she looks like the same person doing the same thing as she always done. But to Penny, it must feel like starting a movie halfway though with no memory of how the first half went.

I found this diagram relating to multiverse time slips. Hope that explains everything.

Finding yourself a sexy husband who likes to practise Domestic Discipline and calls himself Daddy has its benefits, that's for sure. David, the books hero, is pretty damned perfect, make no mistake about it. But it's hard for Penny to get onboard with the situation when she not only has no memories of meeting and marrying him but also has her own perfectly clear memories of living a completely different life during that time period.

Luckily Penny has the support and acceptance of not only David, but also her sister, her sister's partner and her Dad (who is actually dead in her own timeline). Once they are onboard, it becomes possible for Penny to accept her situation and focus on adjusting to her new reality.

Parallel universes explained in Superman.
Note, in neither of the universes in Claimed by Daddy, are any of the characters "ape-like beings".
And it's a pretty amazing alternative reality that she finds herself in. She and David are clearly not short of a few quid, they run a successful business together and own a fancy house in an expensive part of London. Alternative-Reality Penny has the Submissive/Little lifestyle that Protagonist Penny had only ever dreamed of. She has her own special playspace and everything that a Little could wish for. And she has a husband who absolutely adores her.

Except there's the problem. David adores his Penny. The one he married, the one with whom he has five years of shared history. Can he accept this interloper who doesn't know anything about it, has no recollection of their wedding day, their favourite restaurants, their shared experiences and their in-jokes?

Can Penny allow herself to love David knowing that simultaneously she both is and isn't the woman he loves?

Well, happily, they have a jolly lovely time of it finding out. The sex and spanking scenes in this book are absolutely delicious. Poor David has to adjust to a role which is outside any expectations that he might have had when he signed up for life as a Daddy Dom. That of negotiating a relationship with a woman who is both the person he knows both inside and out and who is also, in every meaningful way, a complete stranger that he needs to woo all over again. Given that Penny is physically exactly the same as his Penny, it does make it a lot more straightforward for him to give her the most earth shatteringly amazing orgasm that she has ever experienced. He literally knows which buttons to press.

Kind of like this.
They don't just stop at the one earth shattering orgasm obviously. There's lots of that sort of thing.  Penny gets a very thorough lesson in everything that she has been hitherto missing out on.

There is a strong age-play element to this story. But there is also a lot of grown-up Dom/sub stuff as well. David and Penny draw a distinction between their age-play and their grown-up time. David actually tells Penny off at one point for using her "little voice" in the bedroom.

I wouldn't describe myself as a Little (although there is definitely a Daddy Dom dynamic in my relationship with Gentleman Friend even though we would never use the actual 'D word'.) I quite like Penny's little lifestyle though. I'm quite jealous of all the Disney stuff she has, for one thing.

I would be quite happy with a bedroom like this.
Claimed by Daddy is a highly original take on the Daddy/little genre. Cuddles, spanking, sex and the multiverse Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. It's got it all!

I really, really hope that Vanessa Brooks writes a companion book to this one telling the story of the Other Penny who switches lives with our Penny at the start of the book. What does she do when she suddenly finds herself in a universe where she never met David? As Penny says to David, "I honestly believe that she would try to find you." I think so too. How do you persuade a man who has never met you that he's actually your tried-and-tested perfect Daddy Dom? Sneaky seduction or just fling yourself over his lap and be done with it? It would be great fun finding out.

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.