Product Review 2: Lubricant, and “A Tip About the Tip”

Tip-tipOne of the most basic products for safer sensuality is water-based lubricant. It reduces friction by providing moisture, and because it’s water-based, it does not damage latex. That’s latex condoms, latex dental dams, or latex gloves. Some condoms come with their own lube, and unlubed condoms are useful for performing oral sex on a guy.

Another option is silicone-based lubricants which are also useful and can retain their “slipperiness” longer than water-based lubricants but can also be more difficult to wash off the body and other materials or objects. No matter which you choose, definitely choose one. Research has shown that lubricants can enhance pleasure in relationships, whether or not you have to practice safer sex.
One of the most popular safer sex tips I give is just that: pay attention to the tip. Place a small amount of latex-friendly lubricant into the tip of the condom before placing it on the head of the penis. It returns that “natural” feeling to the condom experience, as many men have told me who tried it. And when a partner places the lubricant on the sensitive head of the penis before placing the condom (an alternative) or the condom on the penis with the lube inside, it’s a nice experience for both partners.

Affordable Caviar Dish and Days 9-11 Recap

One of my best friends gave me this recipe for the misnamed caviar pie, but don’t be deterred by the name, it’s delicious and no graham cracker crust is involved. Take a container of caviar, such as those small jars you can probably still find. (I opted for an $18 container of caviar from Whole Foods.) Chop white or yellow onions very finely. Mix with 16 ounces of mayonnaise (I went with homemade aoili but you can use Hellman’s) and a dash of Worcestershire. Take a perfectly boiled egg and blend in the blender or food processor until minced extremely finely. Then add finally chopped parsley (Italian or curly, it makes me no difference, although I go with the Italian growing in my garden.) Serve on toast points or your favorite whole wheat cracker.

And don’t forget that Song of the Balalaika is available for sale on Amazon and Smashwords. Availability in the Nook store is forthcoming in the next few days, hopefully by the time our launch party ends.

Now for the recap:

Day 9: I’m wearing this Alexander McQueen because Song of the Balalaika is about a woman who is torn between two lovers AND her career as a professor of art history and her desire to be an artist. The dress reminds me of doodles.

Troy My Pool Boy has set up a very popular game of Pin the Tail on the Man Dressed as a Donkey who seems to be enjoying the competition and is actually encouraging the women to be particularly accurate.

 

Day 10: I’m in leather. Because I can.

Stop at the make-your-own steak tartare table with Troy there to provide technical assistane. Wines are a couple of nice reds: Dolcetto and Beaujolais.

Due to numerous requests from the masses of people here, I again read this excerpt from Song of the Balalaika.

 

Day 11: After a week of celebration, this dress says it all: Young, fabulous and broke

You don’t have to be wealthy to eat caviar. (See the recipe above.) We killed off the expensive stuff the first day and a half. Have a nice refreshing cucumber martini.

After eleven days, Troy is still going strong, taking naps on the air mattress during the infrequent lulls in frivolity. He was very gracious when Brad and Angelina arrived, or who turned out to be Glen and Viv from down the street. I have cut back substantially on my alcohol consumption.

What Sandro’s Parachute Really Revealed

**Read only if you are over 12 years old**

I don’t like to be superior, but aside from the perpetual practice of naming women’s lower regions after small furry animals, I get most frustrated at how we mislabel the female anatomy. More specifically, the misuse of the word “vagina.”

On Project Runway, when one designer’s design revealed his model’s external genitalia, several commented that her “vagina” was showing. Unless Sustainable Timothy had his model in stirrups and wheeled onto the runway instead of dancing, including special lighting and a speculum, it would be impossible for anyone to see a vagina there. And it seems that few of us use the more accurate “vulva,” for the external genitalia preferring to let vagina do double duty for that.

But, in reality, what the designers and judges saw on Sandro’s model were likely (and I’m only speculating since we got that lovely little electrical tape placed over the offending part) labia majora, or the “major lips” which actually hide and protect the female vulva. So the next time a designer decides his/her model should reveal that pillowy part of the body, take in a sharp breath and whisper, “Oh, no, the big lips!”

Recap of Days 6-8: The Continuing Adventures of Troy My Pool Boy

Need to catch up on Days 1-5? Click here.

Day 6 of the Book Launch: I’m wearing a dress like Cilla would have worn to her friend Michael’s New Year’s Eve party where she tries to get over Peter:

Is it possible? Here is is a Sunday and this virtual space is filled with even more people than previously. I just gathered my courage, had a double Crown Royal and coke, and read another excerpt of Song of the Balalaika, the one when Peter comes to Cilla’s office and they find themselves in an intimate moment together for the first time. Troy my pool boy rescued me by bringing over a damp handkerchief after I swooned. Troy surprised us all by attempting to play a balalaika, although I believe it was, in actuality, a ukulele.

Day 7 of the Book Launch: This dress makes me look like I’m wearing an x-ray. Help yourself to a little amuse bouche, one bite hors d’ouevre and even a wine named amuse bouche. When I hear the name I have to giggle as I interpret the French to mean “tickle the mouth.” So apropos for a party for an erotic romance.

I so enjoy having other romance writers come and go. I won’t name names because so many of them like to remain incognito so they can let their hair down. This has been a week of celebrity sightings. Isn’t that George Clooney? No, I’m sorry, that’s my neighbor, Blaise. Unfortunately, I already sent Troy my pool boy over for an autograph. Oh, well.

Day 8 of the Book Launch: In honor of the country of Peru (a country not mentioned in Song of the Balalaika, which is set just outside Houston with a French-Russian male protagonist but is about anthropologists who often go to study cultures in Peru) something with an alpaca accessory.

In honor of Peru and all the royal baby hoopla (welcome to the world, little George), Troy My Pool Boy is wearing a diaper and is serving pisco sours and cold pureed soup.

Recap: Day Three of the Book Launch Party

First, Song of the Balalaika is now available on Smashwords as well as Amazon. If you’re 18 years old or over, read an excerpt here.

By Mai Le [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mai Le [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

As promised, this is what I’m wearing here. My musing on the drink of the day and love of lemons and limoncello is here, and the promised recipe of another delicious way to serve caviar that is a favorite of friends and family will come tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this pate and toast points. You know you want to.

As for the promised celebrity sightings: I expect to see some special guests in the next three days. In the meantime, enjoy my pool boy Troy who is still treating us with his medley of George Gershwin and Justin Bieber tunes on piano

And don’t forget that July 18-21 is the Hot Summer Romance Giveaway Hop. Check out what I’m giving away and hop to the next writer by clicking here.

Recap of Day 2 of the Book Launch Party

Book Launch Party, Day Two!

Without trying to be too demanding, just a reminder that Song of the Balaika is now available on Amazon! Other platforms coming soon. (Which is why the party is extended.)

Welcome back. I’m dressed in this lovely Kate Spade, greeting you at the door with a tray of hors d’oeuvre and cocktails. Tonight I’ve opened another bottle of Veuve Cliquot, one of my favorite champagnes. And if you’re 18 or over, here’s another particularly hot excerpt from the book. Please open with only an asbestos mouse. In honor of the book’s Peter Kirov and his Russian ancestry, we’re having Russian Osetra caviar served on a little creme fraiche and blini, across a little savory custard served in an egg shell (very dramatic presentation, I must say), and possibly used in other creative ways with no embellishment.

My Love of Lemons and Limoncello

LimoncelloOne of my favorite alcoholic beverages is limoncello,  an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy. It is sweet and lemony and can be used in so many ways to satisfy my love of lemon. No real need for a cocktail recipe; put as much as you want into a glass, top it off with sparkling Prosecco or any sparkling wine, or with some chilled sparkling water, a twist of lemon and some simple syrup (equal parts water and refined sugar heated until dissolved, then chilled).

I love lemon cocktails, and even though I’m not sure that the sweet martinis (appletinis, etc.) truly constitute real martinis in martini drinkers’ eyes, I relish a lemon drop if done well. As everything with lemon, refreshing to drink. Side note: though I sometimes hesitate when ordering a lemon drop martini, I find it far less embarrassing than a former favorite drink, the banana banshee. The last time I ordered one of those, the wait staff laughed at me.

Although limoncello costs a little more, it can be a nice basis for many, many lovely summer lemon drinks. So while you’re here at the launch party, make sure you have one of each version.

Product Review 1: Honey Dust

Honey DustOne of my favorite sexual products is honey dust. I like the smell, the way it makes your skin feel. And, if that weren’t enough, it’s edible and actually made of honey.

And if you’re using latex for protection, honey is okay. (I plan to post soon on what you can and cannot use with latex to avoid damage; honey is on the safe list.)

So a splurge of between $20 and $25 can get a nice addition to lovemaking. Who could ever resist a feather duster against the skin, applied liberally and by the right person?

Enter for a Personalized Romance

Cover - Song of the Balalaika

Cilla Asher, a professor of art history, is living what she believes to be a perfect life, until the mysterious Peter Kirov appears in her office one evening with a request that she does not refuse.

Peter’s words to her.  “For the time we are together, I will direct what happens.” He lets those words settle into her before asking, “Do you agree?” Cilla says ‘yes,’ and everything changes.

Peter, born to a French mother and a Russian father, is a visiting professor of anthropology, the department headed by Cilla’s lover, Tom. Peter still bears the torment of a lost love—a woman caught up in the sex trade, the focus of his research. When Cilla opens Peter’s book, she finds the words, “For Katrina.”

Does Cilla choose the security of life with Tom? Or does she embrace the dangerous passion she experiences with Peter?

Buy the book on Amazon.

 

Are you 18 or older? Read an excerpt

HERE FOR THE HOT SUMMER ROMANCE GIVEAWAY HOP?

Grand PrizesTwo grand prizes. #1 is a Kindle Fire. #2 is a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate. Click on the button or return to the hop by clicking below for more info.hot_summer_romance_giveaway_hop_graphic (shrunk)

My prize: Personal erotica (see details below) for one winner and five free copies of the book Song of the Balalaika.

 

Hop back to the hop and on to the next author by clicking here.

In recognition of the July 16 release of Song of the Balalaika on Amazon, anyone who follows me on Twitter or likes me on Facebook, and leaves a comment on any blog post (other than this one) will be eligible for a personalized romance short story. My blog is Moonlight and Velvet. Here are the details:

  • Leave your email in the comment or email me directly at the address on the right and refer to your comment.
  • The story will be 1,000 to 1,500 words and will be sent to you as a PDF
  • You provide the details: names, setting (countryside, Paris, etc.), level of sexual explicitness (absent, implied, mildly explicit, very explicit) and types of sexuality portrayed.
  • While I retain the copyright, as I might want to incorporate some of the writing into my own, I will not reproduce it using the same names and will likely make substantial revisions so that the story is still yours.
  •  No brutality. No serious bodily harm should be done to a character and no non-consensual acts. Like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography, you know it when you see it.

Complimentary e-books will be given to the winner and five others. The contest ends at midnight ET on July 21, 2013.

Questions? Use the comment section for questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Fifty Shades and Women’s Sexuality “Manifesto”

Fifty Shades CoverAs a women’s health and sexuality educator, I spend lots of time working with women on how to be more assertive sexually. Communication skills are important when telling a partner what you want. No beating around the bush (unless that turns you on). No assuming he/she knows what it is that makes you aroused. Saying it isn’t easy, but once you get the hang of it, you’re in much better shape.

When Fifty Shades of Gray made it big, there was a plethora of essays by female writers I respect (I won’t name names because I’m commenting in general) about how the female curiosity about and interest in being submissive to a partner as a sexual practice meant that we’re all willing to return to the bad old barefoot and pregnant and “lie back and think of England”* days. Why is it, then, that many powerful men enjoy being dominated. Is there something about that surrender to surprise and enjoyment of the link between pain and pleasure that appeals to both genders? Of course there is, but why should we be ashamed of it while men are just “exploring,” even those who return to their day-to-day work dominating others.

Are there some practices that some women embrace that trouble me? Sure. (More about that later.) But as human beings we more often than not embrace a range of sexual feelings about all kinds of things we never thought we’d be into. And that’s okay. As long as our sexuality takes place in a safe, consensual space, we have nothing to be ashamed of. And it’s about time.