Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween at My House

Another quickie today, but I just wanted to share some of the sights and tastes of Halloween at my house this year. Above you see a view of the Halloween Village that magically appears on the shelf of our dining room's built-in china closet sometime around the end of September. It's been a feature of our fall celebration for about seven years.

It grew from a single pumpkin stand (center of this photo, far right in the one above) to this well-populated pirate ship port a few figures and buildings at a time over the years--all on sale at Michael's from 30-50% off, of course. My older son used to arrange the figures, but this year my younger son took the baton, and I'd say he did a great job. The village looks especially spooky and mysterious with the lights off so you can appreciate the glowing moon, the gypsy's crystal ball, the weird green throbbing from the graveyard, and the ghosts dancing in the windows of the houses. Some people ask me if I have a Christmas Village, too, but somehow the austerity of the Halloween Village appeals while the candy cane cuteness of the Christmas version just doesn't tickle my fancy. Kind of the way certain erotic fantasies push buttons while others leave you snowy.

On to the tastes. This year, in preparation for the Festival of Lights at my son's school, I tried out a new gingerbread house recipe using butter rather than shortening. The cookies tasted great--rather like speculoos we ate in Belgium--but the dough was much harder to work with and more fragile, so I think I'll go back to my classic recipe. But since I had a couple of Belgian gingerbread houses lying around, I put my kids to work. Here's my youngest's homemade Halloween house which has been attacked by aliens wielding candy corn missiles. Lots of broken M&M shingles on this poor abode. But a worse fate awaited the house in the background. My older son returned home from school and started eating it before he bothered to decorate it. In no time it resembled the ruined farm houses we saw throughout the Scottish Highlands, the legacy of the enclosure movement when the evil landlords evicted the poor farmers to use the land for sheep. The graffiti on the ruins show the farmers' descendants still remember, and so do I, so the sight of the house sort of depressed me on behalf of all who suffer from economic greed. Then again, maybe I read too much history?

Okay, enough doom and gloom. Last but not least, our costumes! Herr Doktor and I will be heading to a party with my younger son, who has an awesome Jedi costume and a very realistic light saber to light up the night. We'll be a masked couple: a creepy corporate drone in a suit and blank white mask and a Venetian Carnivale goer in a black velvet cape with a lovely silver mask ordered from a real Venetian maskmaker! (I can't help thinking about the countless erotic stories set in Venice--perhaps I'll get lucky with a masked man myself?) My older son is off for some mischief with his friends, having outgrown family entertainment. He'll be Garth from Wayne's World and for some reason, the nerd glasses were really hard to find. Afterward, we're all going to eat cheap, trans-fat laden candy until we swear we can't have any more for about a year. Kit Kat, Snickers, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth... so evil, so yummy, so very Halloween.

But enough about me. What are your Halloween plans?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flesh, Fetishes, Sex Clubs

I've been busy writing my November ERWA columns, but I wanted to pop in to let you know about an interview I did for Rachel Kramer Bussel's latest anthology, Peep Show: Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists. You'll learn secrets about my inspiration for my story "Clean and Pretty," excerpted in some length at Fleshbot, and some insider tips about Tokyo's forbidden-to-foreigners sex clubs. Plus you'll get to see a nudie picture of me that's even more explicit than this one (hey, isn't it best to start a good meal with an appetizer?)

I'll be writing a more detailed review of this excellent book soon, but I will confess right now Peep Show is one of my favorite set of pages to nestle in (and I've nestled in quite a few). I'm not sure what this says about me. Actually I am sure what this says about me, but I'll bet you'll find these stories of desirous watching and intimate exposure just as seductive and sexy as I do. Which might be why I'm taking my sweet time reading it cover to cover.

Rachel's also made a fantastic book trailer, which features a few lines from my story and a very wet and juicy shower scene.

Go ahead and take a long look at all of these goodies--I won't tell!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Does Sex Sell?

Well, another library book is due soon, so it’s time for yet another book report! This time I’ll talk about Buy-ology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom, “one of the world’s most respected marketing gurus.” With his spiked hair and his goofy smile, he doesn’t look much like Don Draper, but the man clearly has done his research. Plus he uses expressions like “at the end of the day” all the time, which reminds me nostalgically of Stanford MBA’s.

I picked up this book because I have a special fascination for the how the mind works. Add in my daily role as chief consumer for my family and my now-dwindling side hobby as a book marketer myself and this was an appealing and potentially relevant topic. Lindstrom is a global branding expert, and since branding is what a writer is supposed to do to herself and her work, I figured I might learn something useful. In that regard, I did. For example, here’s the list he uses to help his clients formulate a marketing plan:

What’s the secret of your product?

What makes it stand out?

Are there any stories or rituals or mysteries consumers associate with it?
If not, can you find some?

Can the product somehow break through the two-dimensional barrier of advertising by appealing to senses the company hasn’t yet thought of? Smell, touch, sound?

Is the advertising campaign edgy and funny and risk-taking, or is it as boring and forgettable as every other company’s?

This is not a bad set of questions to ask when you’re wondering how to “sell yourself.” But back to the book report.

Buy-ology was a fast and fairly light read, but I suspect I’ll remember more of this book than most (I find I usually take away one to three main ideas or anecdotes from a book for the long term). Lindstrom’s book is a departure from classic marketing in that it relies on the research of neurologists who scanned subjects' brains while they viewed certain images and TV commercials or listened to jingles. This “neuromarketing” is, according to the author, “the key to unlocking what I call our Buyology: the subconscious thoughts, feelings and desires that drive the purchasing decisions we make each and every day of our lives.” For those who question the ethics of mapping the blood flow to the consumer’s brain either through fMRI’s or a less-invasive bathing cap thingy, Lindstrom argues that we will empower ourselves by better understanding our irrational behavior. I agree. Knowledge is power after all!

Most of the rest of the book discusses specific experiments that shed light on what really engages consumers authentically versus merely attracts attention for the moment. A product needs the former to keep going strong over the years.

Here are a few tidbits that stood out for me:

Consumers preferred Pepsi in a blind tasting due to its sweeter taste, but when informed as to the brand names, they preferred Coke because of their emotional engagement with the brand and its history.

The same parts of the brain light up when we see “strong” brands like iPod, Guinness and Ferrari as do when we see religious symbols like crosses, rosaries, Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary" (I assume this study was done on Catholics....)

Cigarette warning labels light up the craving part of a smoker’s brain, that is, the warning makes them want to smoke more!

When people see an image of a mini Cooper, the part of our brain that recognizes faces lights up, suggesting we see Minis as cute little people--possibly accounting for the popularity of that car.

The success of product placement depends on the way you use it. Bombarding viewers with 100 different brands yields nothing for the advertising dollar, but incorporating the brand into the narrative, as with Reese’s Pieces in E.T. or Coke in “American Idol,” is well worth the expense.

Engaging senses other than the visual makes for stronger associations, but I love this evidence to support the power of music: when classical music was piped over loudspeakers in the London Underground, robberies dropped by 33% and vandalism by 37%.

Thanks to little buggers in our brains called “mirror neurons,” when we watch someone do something our brains react as if we were actually performing these activities, seeing and doing are one in the same. Reading about it triggers the same areas as doing, too.

Which leads us to sex and erotica, naturally. You read about it, it's as if you’re doing it? Depends on the story for me... but of more interest to business types is the following "surprise." Actually, Lindstrom claims that sex on its own does not sell. In fact, it tends to distract viewers, especially men, from paying attention to the product. He does get a bit confusing here, because he also claims that we decide to purchase something based on how much social status it brings, because social status is linked with “reproductive success” (a.k.a. getting laid a lot). Again, without spelling it out, I think he is arguing that it’s how the sex is used that matters. Which makes sense, but I'm not sure most people I talk to about my erotica writing get that. They all seem to think I should be very, very rich if I'm any good. But I digress.

Apparently we need to be able to relate to the advertisement. Studies he cites show that women prefer a wholesome, pretty, more or less “ordinary” woman in an ad to a sexy vixen or gorgeous celebrity. (Makes sense to me, though he didn’t talk about men in this case or makeup ads.) The desire for authenticity is a strong factor in consumers, which suggests why reality TV shows and erotic memoirs are so popular. While we all like a little fantasy escape, “real” sex is somehow more compelling. At least it is for me. It’s all the more thrilling when I feel I’m getting a glimpse into an intimate scene that “really” happened—though we all know that any mediation adds fictionality. But that’s yet another discussion.

I found it interesting that a 2001 survey by Market Facts showed that 53% of people were (said they were?) more likely to buy a product if it showed images of “love” than if it showed images that alluded to sex (only 26%). Again, I’d like a little more definition of what he means by “sex,” but if it’s just body parts colliding, then I can surely understand why some relational context would be more appealing and easier to identify with. Naturally, I’m invested in this because I like to read and write about “real” sex within relationships, so hey, I liked what I read in Buy-ology, too.

Well, I’ve gone on long enough, but again I find myself wishing I could invite you all over for an in-the-flesh erotica writers’ book club. What is your sense of how you respond to advertising? Do you believe sex sells or maybe it's the erotic--sex married to the mind and emotions--that sells instead? Has Martin Lindstrom given you ideas on how to “brand” yourself in terms of hawking your books or your personal (not like in the Story of O--ouch!) So, have a glass of Cotes du Rhone and some baguette with a dab of fromage d'Affinois and weigh in with your opinions on biology and buyology!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Spanking Good Time on Sunday

I had a great weekend starting with three stunning soccer victories by the teams of my two athletic sons (how did that happen from a gym-loathing mom?) and ending with a highly pleasurable reading at Good Vibrations in Berkeley on Sunday evening in honor of the publication of Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories.

This is the first time I "officially" read at my local feminist adult-toy-and-bookstore, so it was a sort of a benchmark in my erotica writing life. I did participate in an open-mike sharing circle when I first started writing erotica maybe eleven years ago during which I read from my first erotic story, "The Blindfold," but it was cool to think about how far I'd come since. Good Vibrations is such a cheerfully buzzing place, and the hospitality was first-rate, including complimentary red wine and dark chocolate truffles, both very good for the circulation and bringing a blush to the cheeks. There was a decent crowd of listeners as well, and they even had to bring out more chairs!

The anthology's editor, spanking maven Rachel Kramer Bussel, opened the event with an introduction to the book and the spanking genre, while seated on an ottoman that would have been the perfect furniture for bending over and baring the buttocks. But the evening was about the power of words not paddles, of course.

I took the podium next with an excerpt from my story "A Thousand Words." You can get a sampling of the story here and a Youtube video will be available soon! I really enjoyed bringing my story to life. There was a lot of dialogue, so my high school reader's theater training came in handy. When the guy in the story talks look left. When the woman talks, look right. Straight ahead for the narrator and deliver the punchlines without looking at the text. I was also fresh from my younger son's school storytelling festival where I got to watch professionals perform, so I tried to channel their positive energy as I spoke, even if the content was rather different.

The next reader was the elegant Zille Defeu who did a very entertaining reenactment of her story called..."Reenactment." In another life, I'd devote all my weekends to historical reenactment, and the witty adventures of the fair lady and her "knight" in shining armor piqued my imagination in all sorts of ways.

Rachel concluded the event with a buffet of tidbits from the book including titillating background information on her story "The Spanking Machine" and a peek into the benefits of art gallery opening nights in Jerry Arthur's intellectually (among other things) stimulating "Ass Worship," which could certainly be seen as the theme of the book: Art meets palm meets buttocks.

Afterwards the three authors chatted a bit about the writing life and historical costumes, then Herr Doktor and I browsed the books, toys and videos. I've always loved Good Vibrations' sense of humor. Too bad the sign above can't be posted for some story collections as well, because we'd all benefit from the preview whether we're inclined to more or less of that damned literary content. It gives a new twist to the title of the Nanowrimo founder's book, No Plot, No Problem!

Anyway, it was a great evening, and thanks to all of you who were there in spirit, warming your buns with us....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Female Poetry

Hey everyone, thanks so much for your comments on my "Female Brain" post. I almost didn't post it--after all it was just a book report--but I'm so glad I did. In this time of harvest, I really appreciate the bounty of your thoughts!

I've always found the idea of a writer's salon romantic, but as portrayed in The New Yorker anyway, the present-day version seems more of a party club where all the cool people drink cocktails together and talk about how much they love each other with a few side whispers about how lesser types don't belong. But I'm coming to realize the type of writer's salon I fantasized about is much simpler. You don't need the cocktails or the swanky pad, nice as they are. All you need to do is share ideas with sympatico creative souls and inspire each other to insights you couldn't reach all by yourself. I've found that with you all and I thank you for it!

Speaking of that, Isabel Kerr has posted a wonderful poem on a related theme at her blog called "At 55." I recommend you pop on over to Italy and maybe you'll get some homemade yogurt gelato to cool off afterward, too!

And speaking of poetry, although I don't really feel part of that club, I came across an idea I liked in a book on American holidays. The author cites anthropologist Mary Douglas who said that "a meal is a poem that is created within certain rules and that expresses much about the family as a group. In this regard, the woman is a poet who cooks the meals." It could be a man cooking as well of course, but this sentiment went a long way toward making me feel more comfortable with poetry as part of my life rather than something a committee of literary magazine editors deigns to recognize as worthy. In fact, today I'm making two different batches of cookies for a school story-telling festival tomorrow, and I will approach the task more self-consciously as poetry (I think on some level I always was doing that!)

So, off to "write" my poems. Happy weekend to you all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Female Brain

A friend recommended a book to me recently, The Female Brain, by Louann Brizendine, M.D., and I found it an interesting read as a writer and a woman--love those books with two-for-one pleasure, kind of like chewing Doublemint gum.

Of course, as I read, I was constantly battling with my natural resistance to generalizations about the sexes which abound in this book. I prefer to think of differences between men and women as closely overlapping bell curves. I read this argument in another book a few years ago, whose title escapes me alas, but the wisdom has stayed with me. In this model, men and women share much, much more in common as human beings than socially exaggerated differences suggest and while a small portion of men do have superior spatial abilities for example, any given woman could have superior abilities to any given man.

Brizendine prefers the racier path of emphasizing differences in colorful transportation metaphors, although of course, her theory that hormones construct our brains seems to call for such an approach.

Anyway, she has convinced me to take a closer look at the benefits of a low dose of estrogen at perimenopause when that time comes, to preserve my brain function, which otherwise would shrink by 40%. Wrinkles, age spots, bring 'em on, but a little shrunken brain, that's scary (if it's true).

She also came up with a few other interesting observations that do ring true to me, although again, it depends on the person.

For example, males are apparently more interested in bonding/fucking under high stress situations than women, who tend to turn off under high stress, whereas men will "mate" with the first willing female after a physical challenge (like war). So says, the doctor, anyway, and history seems to support her argument.

She attributes the longer time required for women to reach orgasm to an extra neurological step required by the female brain. "The impulses can rush to the pleasure centers and trigger an orgasm only if the amygdala—the fear and anxiety center of the brain—has been deactivated. Before the amygdala has been turned off, any last-minute worry...can interrupt the march toward orgasm." But you knew that, didn't you? And apparently science shows that it's easier to conceive if the woman comes after the man does, another evolutionary reason for the differential. "Ladies' first" as birth control?

But here's the one that gets me. Brizendine claims--several times--that 85 percent of (twenty to thirty year old) males think about sex every 52 seconds and women think about it once a day or up to three or four times on fertile days. (Sometimes she gives the ages, sometimes she just generalizes, although I think the ages make a huge difference for comparison).

Jeez, am I a freak? Am I actually a twenty-five year old man with a vagina? I think about sex all the time, and it's not just since that became my career! I love this quote, too:

"Just as women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion while men have a small country road, men have O’Hare Airport as a hub for processing thoughts about sex whereas women have the airfield nearby that lands small and private planes."

Damn, I've always thought 747's were so sexy, too! Guess I'll have to transfer my affections to those empathetic little Cessnas.

I will say it was gratifying to see some of the reviews on Amazon taking the author to task for her sloppy conflation of neuroscience and psychology, her simplification of sex and gender, and her love of pharmaceuticals as a cure-all. Still, I enjoyed the book, as an erotica writer as much as a female (if I indeed am one because now I'm wondering since I just thought about sex like five times as I wrote this), and I certainly recognized enough in her case studies to have the luxury of blaming my own psychology on biology, which is always fun. It's easier to attribute my sensitivity to movie violence to my greater capacity for emotional mirroring rather than a candy-ass wimpishness (a self-accusation). My body literally throbs with pain when I see graphic torture or injury while Herr Doktor just shrugs and says "it's a stupid movie." There's probably also a neurological basis for the effectiveness of beer ads on men versus women, but Brizendine didn't go there--Craig Sorensen did though!

So, yeah, time to take the brain back to the library, but I thought I'd give a book report to fuel that sex difference debate that's been around since the Stone Age!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Getting Spanked at Good Vibrations

Autumn has definitely come to the Bay Area. The gray skies of morning linger on into the afternoon, hinting at much-needed rain. Pumpkins appear on porches, the rich orange hues invoking the plenty of the harvest. The very air seems thicker, as if the year were a soup slowly simmering down to its essence.

Autumn is the time for nostalgia and in fact October brings the one-year anniversary of my New York book tour, the highlight of which was my reading at "In the Flesh" with so many very cool and fun erotica writers (read all about it here). I'll admit I'm relieved I can just take it easy this fall, but I do think back fondly on the experience of standing before a mildly inebriated audience and talking dirty into a microphone surrounded by friends and colleagues. Hey, try it yourself, it's fun!

Fortunately, this coming Sunday, October 18 at 5:30 pm, I'll have a chance for a mini re-creation of "In the Flesh" at a West Coast Rachel Kramer Bussel erotica soiree to celebrate the release of Bottoms Up: Spanking Good Stories (read an excerpt) and Peep Show: Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists at Berkeley's own Good Vibrations.

I'll be reading from my story "A Thousand Words" along with equally scintillating spanking tales by Rachel and Zille Defeu--whose eye-popping website makes me wonder if I should actually wear my naughty schoolgirl costume to fit in? Come on, dare me!

Yeah, I know, most of you can't be there in the flesh, but if you happen to be in Berkeley on Sunday, do stop by. I guarantee it will get your bottom warm and your blood racing.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Beautiful Empty Spaces

Just wanted to pop in with a report on what's going on with me. I've been entertaining visitors all week, before which I was cleaning madly, deeply, and with great passion (which is the way we should all write, too, no?) I mean this is serious cleaning not just of my house, but also of my spirit. I'm trying to get my priorities straight before I head off into the wilderness of a new novel. Or maybe it's just that gazing at the new empty spaces in my life is opening up new insights into my cluttered and confused brain?

Anyway, it feels good and necessary, but it takes time. So I haven't been writing much: no stories, fewer emails, less blog posts.

But I do plan to continue my summer vacation report to its conclusion soon. I've got one more Amish country day, two Washington DC and one entry for Virginia to go according to my picture log, so stay tuned for more musings on history, spies, carb-heaven and other such topics.

In the meantime, I took a picture of this bumper sticker I saw on a car in the parking lot of the Giant supermarket in Gettysburg (I liked the Satan one, but the other one shows a certain kindred spirit as well) and forgot to include it in the geographically correct post. Actually, though, I think this image stands best alone, in the midst of a beautiful empty space.

Be back at ya soon!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Christmas in October--Tell Santa What You Want

Nothing in life is free.

Maybe your mom said that. Or a wise uncle. Maybe you read it in a book of aphorisms (what are aphorisms anyway?). But whoever said that is wrong. At least right here, right now.

Because I'm giving away books for free. That's right. You don't have to enter a contest, or answer a question, or write a flasher or take of your clothes and actually flash someone. All you have to do is email me here at the North Pole and say "Give it to me, baby." I'll send you the book(s) of your choice in order of request received, no postage and handling required. Unless you live outside of the US, and then I'll need postage. (Hey, I've got two kids to put through college).

That voice is still nagging you though. What's in it for her? A whole bookshelf of free space, that's what. These are extra copies I've collected for one reason or another. The books are all awesome erotica collections and I'd never part with my two copies of each (mom's legacy), but hey, I don't really need three copies, right? But you might want to take a look for your own pleasure or simply to research erotica in the mid-golden age. So here's the list and remember, all you have to do is email me at telling me which books you want and where to send them--first come, first served--and they'll be on their way well before Christmas. Btw, these babies all make great stocking stuffers.

Ho, ho, ho!

Best Women's Erotica 2005 (edited by Marcy Sheiner)
Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 4
Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 5

Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories

Naughty or Nice: Christmas Erotica

Foreign Affairs: Erotic Travel Tales

Bottoms Up

He's on Top

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Do You Want "More"?

I wanted to wait until October to announce the publication of a very decadent anthology for a very good cause, Ultimate Decadence, an anthology of elegant erotic tales by renowned authors on both sides of the pond such as Rachel Kramer Bussel, Elizabeth Coldwell, Jeremy Edwards and Maxim Jakubowski. The book is edited by the very cool and very sexy Emily Dubberly (I love that name, Anglophile that I am) and proceeds benefit Macmillan Cancer Support.

And hey, I'm in it, too, with a story that I wrote with the idea of northern California decadence in mind called "More." I may not look like it, and I certainly don't dress like it, but I number among my casual friends quite a number of Silicon Valley multi-millionaires. This is a world I know from a safe distance, just as Lady Murasaki observed the politics of the Heian Court from afar to write The Tale of Genji in tenth century Japan. Well, I'm no Lady Murasaki, but I had great fun cooking up this story about an ambitious (adulterous) couple who are always pushing their limits. The setting is the lovely and pricey Auberge du Soleil, a favorite retreat of my rich friends. The characters are Kendra, the up and coming CFO of a start-up, and Jason, an angel investor with a devilish streak. So, come with me and let's take a peek into their hotel room to see just how they manage to get everything they want...and more!

And now an excerpt from "More":

“How was your massage?” Jason said, as she settled onto his lap.

“Great. It got all the stiffness out.”

“I’m a bit stiff myself.”

Kendra laughed and petted his hard-on through the robe.

“That’s nice, but right now I’m more interested in sampling your ‘internal’ technique. Be a good girl and get us a condom. They’re in the outside pocket of my overnight bag.”

Jason always started off their trysts by ordering her around, as if it took him a few minutes to peel off his “captain of industry” persona like a suit and tie. But Kendra knew that before long, she’d have him naked and on his knees, in more ways than one.

When she returned with the condom, he was ready for her, his robe open to reveal his muscular chest and thick cock, which poked up imperiously from the dark curls of his pubic hair.

“Put it on me.” He was smiling, but his eyes had a steely glint.

She tore open the package and rolled the sheath over him.

“Now take off your robe and climb on.”

Not a moment of foreplay? It was a good thing that hippie masseur had juiced her up well with his magic hands. As Kendra stripped, she couldn’t resist throwing Jason a mutinous look.
He grinned. He liked it when she showed her spirit.

Squaring her shoulders, she straddled him on the chair and took him inside, one inch at a time.
His head lolled back against the chair and he groaned, a rich, sweet sound.

“God, you have the perfect cunt.”

She couldn’t help smiling. Sometimes her promotion from eager apprentice to boss was all too easy, as easy as sitting on his cock. Within seconds, he’d be babbling about how gorgeous she was, how brilliant and ambitious, how she’d leave him in the dust someday when she’d sucked him dry of his meager offerings to a goddess like her.

She liked those words, but she needed more. So she’d pull off and taunt him. You’re lying, Jason. You’re lying to me again. No more pussy until you tell me truth. And he’d swear he meant every word and beg her, near tears, to let him back into paradise. There were even times, after she finally let him come inside her, that he would actually weep and declare his love. She’d say she loved him, too, although what she really loved was the way he made her feel in bed: proud, powerful, perfect. Feelings that almost made up for the vague humiliation of creeping off to meet him in hotels, or sneaking quickies in the empty office by the storage room, or keeping as quiet as a phantom when his wife called.

But other days he made her work for it, relinquishing his power only when she’d proven herself worthy. Like today when he held her hips fast so she couldn’t move and said, his voice soft but stern, “Squeeze me, baby. Give me a massage with your hot, wet walls.”

Kendra moaned assent and tightened her secret muscles, milking him, as if her cunt really were a warm, fleshy mitten, smoothing away the stiffness from an aching limb. She remembered the melting pleasure of Narayana’s hands. He was serving her, yes, but had her in his power, too.

That’s what she’d do to Jason.

“How do you like your massage?” she drawled, giving him an extra squeeze.

This was his cue to start spurting the praise, but to her surprise, Jason only frowned. “Can you work it harder? Too be honest, I don’t feel much.”

Kendra felt her cheeks flush. He didn’t even feel it? She clenched her cunt muscles again as hard as she could, gritting her teeth with the effort.

“Nope, just the barest flutter. I know you’re trying, but it’s not enough. Have you been exercising like I told you?”

Her jaw dropped. What could she say? Of course she remembered the “gift” he’d given her the evening they fucked in a suite at the Mandarin Oriental, a weighted, penis-shaped device that was supposed to make pelvic exercises more effective. But he’d only said, slyly, that it was a way to keep her happy when he wasn’t around to do the job. At the time she thought it was a racy gag gift, nothing more.

Finally, she gathered up enough “spirit” to reply. “Come on, Jason, with keeping up with my job and this insatiable older man I’m fucking, it’s difficult enough to fit in Pilates. How do you expect me to find time to work out with a dildo?”

“I think you should make time,” he shot back, his expression strangely serious, as if he were admonishing an employee. “There’s room for improvement in your performance.”

“But you said I had a perfect cunt.” This words slipped out, her voice quivering, her eyes filling with tears. Apparently he had been lying to her all along.

His eyes softened. “No, now don’t be sad. Your pussy’s beautiful, baby, like you, but we all have to strive for more. In business and pleasure.”

“Does it really make a difference?” Curiosity trumped the sting of his insult.

“You bet. I’ve known women who have pussies like vacuum cleaners. It’s incredible. And they say it feels better for the woman, too. I know you’re a busy lady, but you want to be strong, inside and out, don’t you Kendra?”

“Yes,” she admitted meekly, unable to look him in the eye.

“Then promise me you’ll practice with your little friend every day and when we get together I’ll test you to see how much progress you’ve made. I think we have a win-win situation here. That’s what you always aim for in any deal, right?”

She nodded, unable to speak. It was humiliating to be found so lacking. Yet, down below, her secret muscles tingled as if they wanted to be worked over, tested, proven worthy.

“The female body is capable of so much more than a man’s,” he continued, his hands gliding from her hair to her shoulders then on to her breasts. “If you always reach for more, Kendra, a smart, sexy woman like you will have the world at her feet.”

She nodded again, the perfect student. She did want the world at her feet, but when she pictured “the world,” what she really saw was Jason, so wealthy, so powerful, a king in his little corner of the universe, crouched before her.

Jason hooked his finger under her chin and tilted her head up to meet his gaze. “I know what you want. You’re like me, you always need a challenge, and I have another one for you tonight. Remember that bed-and-breakfast where they let us take a room for a few hours?”

She did remember, hazily. Yet another rented room with a wide, fancy bed. The grand view of the bay sparkling before her eyes as Jason lashed her clit with his tongue, swearing he was so thirsty for her, he’d suck down the nectar of a dozen sweet climaxes.

“How many times did I make you come?”

Her blush deepened. “Four.”

“Four times in an hour and a half. I was proud of you, babe. Is that the most you’ve ever come with a man?”

“Yes,” she admitted, suddenly wishing it were a lie.

“Let’s try to top that tonight. Let’s try for a new personal best.”

“How about you? You’re forty-five, how do you expect to keep up with me?”

“Don’t worry about me. My goal is to hold off as long as I can. This is about your pleasure. You’re in charge all the way. You tell me what you need and I’ll do it.”

Kendra had to smile. This was more like what she’d been expecting from a whole weekend alone with Jason.

“All right, I’m game. Double digits or die.”

“That’s my girl. Let’s start right now."

To be continued....

Okay, admit it, you want to know how many times Kendra comes. You want to know what Jason does to make that happen. And you want to know why, after having more orgasms than most women would think possible in one evening, Kendra still wants more.

So come on, be decadent and treat yourself. Don't you think you deserve "More," too?