Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Happened in Vegas

Don't go thinking I'm gonna violate the cardinal rule of Las Vegas (you know the one: what happens there, stays there), but I will tell you some of what we did in Sin City while celebrating the release of Forbidden Fantasies.

We didn't have the tour bus *sigh* so we had to rough it on party night with a white stretch limo. But we're troupers, so we managed. The champagne helped. I don't like to brag, but I did manage to pour 11 glasses without sloshing a drop, despite the fact that the driver's feet seemed so ill-acquainted with both the gas and brake pedals that our ride could best be described as "lurchy." Of course, it was only the first of three bottles, so I was still largely sober.

First stop was the fabulous, spangly, sparkly Planet Hollywood, where we were to supp at Pampas, a Brazilian churrascuria. After traipsing all over the casino, we discovered that Pampas was actually somewhere in Miracle Mile, the adjoining mall that is so huge and confusing, some people who entered it have never been seen nor heard from again. Fortunately, we had two college professors with us, so we did find our way there and back eventually, though it was something of a bushwhacking adventure. Dinner was great, though, and well worth the hunt. The churrascaria is a Brazilian tradition, but fairly new and trendy in the United States. It features round after round of spit-roasted meats brought to table on skewers and sliced for each person. But even vegetarians can find plenty to eat at a churrascaria because it also features a help-yourself food bar with a huge array of vegetables and side dishes.

Next stop was the Thunder From Down Under male revue show at the Excalibur, where we watched a troupe of Aussie hunks (who were almost as hot as our Ellora's Cavemen) shake their moneymakers. The rest of the evening is our secret, as we honor the Vegas pledge of omerta. Let’s just say that despite the fact there was more champagne, we all managed to make it to the early afternoon book signing the next day at Barnes & Noble.

A big thank you to all the people who donned t-shirts and boas to be part of the human Forbidden Fantasies billboard. They are pictured above (minus Darrell King and me) while waiting for the limo, from left: Sherri King, Jeania Uplinger, Ann Jacobs, Jory Strong, Donna Hoard, Kim Nguyen, Joanne Pech, and Tiffiany Howard

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Forbidden Fantasies: What's Yours?

Normally, we don't plug Ellora's Cave books on this blog, even though EC does sponsor it. But we released our first ever hardcover book this week, called Forbidden Fantasies, an anthology with eight of our hottest authors, published by Simon & Schuster Pocket Books and to promote it, we're giving away a free mini laptop computer! To enter the contest to win it (and get discounts on all EC books for the rest of the year), you have to buy the book by October 18. Go here for details.
Also, if you live the Las Vegas area, please join us for our booksigning October 18 1:00-2:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 8915 W. Charleston, Las Vegas, NV 89117. We're giving away lots of goodies and a free Forbidden Fantasies t-shirt with all purchases of the book.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Buzz: Take the C-Train to O-ville

This month we’re going to concentrate on that wonderful little bundle of nerves that brings so much pleasure, the clitoris! Although I can’t speak for others, I can say that clitoral stimulation is where the orgasm is at for me.

There was a time when I thought something was wrong with me because achieving an orgasm from vaginal penetration alone pretty much never happened. Now I know better. Many studies and surveys have been and continue to be done on the subject. Redbook did a survey that showed only 17% of their female readers are likely to orgasm solely from penetration. If you fall in this category as I do, you are far from alone. The question is what are we to do?

I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. We’re going to learn to accept what our bodies can accomplish and we’re going to learn to love our clits…literally. And what better way to do it than with exploration and toys!

Take a bit of time to get comfy. Picture something nice and erotic in your mind. Remember there is no rush and although reaching the land of O is a wonderful thing, it is only half the fun. Don’t forget about the journey in your rush to reach the goal.

Now, stretch those nimble fingers, grab your favorite toy, a partner or better yet all of the above and get ready to reacquaint yourself with your clit. Don’t forget to try different sensations--maybe some heat or cold or a sensation lube—and alternate between rubbing and tapping, vibrations or anything else that comes to mind. The sky is the limit so use your imagination and in the meantime, I will include my thoughts on a couple of clitiliciously stimulating toys for your perusal.

The first is a bullet that packs a bit more bang for your buck and the second is a plug-in massager and attachment that make me drool just thinking about them. I hope you enjoy. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to drop me a line at maggie@maggiecasper.com

Yours in Pleasure,
Maggie Casper

Maggie Casper is the author of several Ellora's Cave books.

Hi Ho Silver: Silver Bullet

Vibrating bullet toys have been a staple in my toy box since the beginning. Simple and inexpensive, Vibe Review’s Silver Bullet is perfect for the inexperienced as well as the seasoned toy user.

Two AA batteries keep it humming along nicely without too much in the way of noise. The size of the Silver Bullet makes it an ace in my book. Its size makes it easy to hide in the bedside table, the glove box or even the bottom of your purse so it’s an easy take-along type of toy.

The only downside to the Silver Bullet is the sliding controller, which facilitates manipulation during play but could create problems for travel. If the controller is bumped, it will turn on so you might want to consider removing the batteries during those transport.

When compared to other bullet type toys, VibeReview’s Silver Bullet wins hands down for the amount of vibrating intensity it produces on the highest setting. The size is just right for external couple’s play or even to add spice to your hallow-base dildos. Add a condom in order to use your Silver Bullet for safe and fun vaginal and anal insertion.

*Tip: Tug the condom not the remote wire for easy toy removal.

The Silver Bullet is made of phthalate-free material, which is another plus added to an already magnificent toy. The simplicity, multipurpose usefulness, wonderfully low price tag and powerful vibrations of VibeReview’s Silver Bullet make it a must have for any toy bag!

Size: 2.25” total length, 1” width
Power source: twoAA batteries
Material: Phthalate Free material and Plastic

Manufacturer: VibeReview
Price (subject to change): $12.95

I’m a Believer: Miracle Massager

Let me start by saying wow! The Miracle Massager is one mighty fine toy. I was skeptical at first. I doubted that the Miracle Massager could really be better than the tried and true Hitachi Magic Wand. Well I am here to tell you I’m a believer now.

I’m a woman who loves masturbating while in the bath, so plug-in toys have never been high on my must-have list--until one dark and naughty night my partner tied me up and erotically tortured me with a Hitachi Magic Wand. My thinking changed a bit after that eye-opening experience.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love playing in the bath but damn there is just something wonderful about a plug-in toy. No batteries to die in the heat of the moment and no worries over lagging or slowing vibrations, they just keep on going steady until you slump over from exhaustion or hit the off switch.

When I first saw the Miracle Massager, I figured it was probably just a Hitachi wannabe but boy was I wrong. It is anything but. Not only is it red and black, making it much more pleasing to the eye but it is lighter than other wand-type toys I’ve tried. That combined with the slightly curved handle make it comfortable to hold, even for marathon play dates.

The Miracle Massager is a bit louder than your average battery-operated vibrator but not as loud as the Hitachi. It also does not seem to get hot. I used it for quite some time during one session out of sheer curiosity about the heat aspect and was pleasantly surprised to note no change in temperature other than that caused by my body.

The vibrating head is smooth and a bit cushy as well as smaller in circumference, all wonderful design improvements in my opinion. The comfortable head sits on a slightly flexible neck, which was something else I found delightful. With both high and low speeds you are able to choose the vibrating intensity that best suits you. And let me tell you, this bad boy sure can pack a punch!

As I write this I am trying to think of any negatives I have noticed about the Miracle Massager and am not able to come up with even one. It is a well-made multipurpose massager that is priced just right.

While its main function is as an external, body, clitoris and/or labia stimulation toy, the Miracle Massager can easily be transformed into a dual sensation toy for internal, G-spot and clitoral stimulation with the addition of the Miracle Massager Attachment.

The Miracle Massager Attachment is sold separately but is well worth the small price for the deliciousness it is able to impart to my girly bits. It took a bit of manipulation in order to get the phallic probe just where I needed it for G-spot stimulation. I think maybe there just isn’t enough of a curve to it, though it might be due to my body shape. I’m fairly new to G-spot stimulation and swear that particular little bundle of nerves is shy and spends half of its time hiding. Thank goodness for the comfortably flexible design that makes manipulating it into the right position part of the fun.

Vibrations resonate throughout the attachment perfectly so you get stimulated both internally and externally with no dead spots. I loved the little nubs on the external clit stimulator part of the attachment. They are to die for. I nestled it right up against my clitoris while the insertable end filled me and made me see stars almost instantly!

The only drawback I found to the Miracle Massager Attachment is the odor. It had a fairly strong chemical smell when I first opened the package. I am hoping that with repeated cleaning the smell will dissipate. Either way, it is a wonderful addition to the Miracle Massager.

If you’ve been considering a wand and/or massager type of toy, the Miracle Massager should be high on your list. And don’t forget the Miracle Massager Attachment to make your new toy a complete party of orgasmic sensation!

Details: Miracle Massager
Size: Vibrating Head
2” total length
6” circumference
2” diameter
Massager: 11” total length
Power Source: 120 Volt AC power cord included
Material: PVC
Manufacturer: California Exotics
Price (subject to change): $43.95

Details: Miracle Massager Attachment
Size: 3” insertable length
1.25” diameter at widest point
Material: PVC

Manufacturer: California Exotics
Price (subject to change): $15.95

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Reclaiming the C Word

By December Quinn

It's a perfect word.

It's evocative. It's short. Its roots go back more than 15,000 years. Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Casanova were among its most famous literary champions. And yet, “cunt” still gets the short end of the stick. So to speak. Studies have shown that women find "cunt" the most offensive word in the English language. (Seriously.) It's forbidden. It's absolutely taboo.

But what is forbidden is often what is most erotic, as well. I never used to write it. I didn't like to read it. Then, thanks to Ellora’s Cave, I found a few erotic romances that did. My dislike of the word changed to--not indifference, because I don't feel a word like cunt can ever inspire indifference--but more like approval. The word was forbidden. The word was direct. The word was a little shocking. In short, the word was pretty hot.

Remember that episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte is trying to woo that painter to her gallery? He's an old man, and he proudly informs her that he's been doing a series of paintings of cunts. Charlotte is, of course, stunned by this. He asks her to sit for him, and you can see she's about to refuse when the old man's wife enters the studio. She's holding a tray of lemonade and says sweetly, "I bet you have a beautiful cunt, dear."

Hey! That word isn't so bad after all! In fact, it's kind of...dare I say...cute? Maybe if we think of cunt as a nice word, a sexy word, a descriptive word, instead of a nasty one, we can replace it in our vocabulary and our books and hold our heads high. Just hearing the phrase "beautiful cunt" made a difference to me, since we so often associate the word with less pleasant adjectives. But if we think of the word--and that which is names--as beautiful…

Chaucer used it in The Canterbury Tales, spelling it "queynte." According to Charles Panati's Sexy Origins and Intimate Things, "Chaucer believed the word was derived from “quaint,” which meant “a many-layered, in-folded mystery.” What better description of a woman's sexual organs than that?

Pre-Chaucer, cunt was a name. There are many families on the rolls in 13th-century England named Cuntles or Clawcunte, or many variations thereof. There were Gropecunte streets and Cunte lanes in medieval England as well. Clearly, the word's meaning was fixed even over 700 years ago. It first appears in written record in 1066 but seems to have had a different meaning then, although "cunt" is derived from early language, when "kuni" or words like it were used simply to mean "wife" or "woman."

I decided to try using cunt. I wanted to see what t felt like to write it, to put that forbidden word on paper. Could I still turn people on when I threw a cunt bomb into my work? Could I still write scenes people would enjoy, even if a cunt bobbed up at them from the page?To my surprise, it worked. And it wasn't too bad. It was actually pretty sexy. And so exact! And it gives the reader a distinct message: This is going to be pretty graphic. This will be pretty hot.

I don't use the word much (and never, ever in dialogue. I know I'm trying to be Miss Open-Minded and Miss Use Cunt, but I don't like it in dialogue. Cunt is a private thing, to be shared only with our readers through our voices, not those of our characters.) But of late I've been abstaining, and I have missed it. All those folds and entrances just can't compensate for the brevity and clarity of cunt.

Isn’t it time we took back that word? Isn’t it time we allowed ourselves to think of our sexual selves as deserving of an adult word (rather than the kittenish “pussy”)? Shouldn’t we be able to see that some words have more than one meaning, and there’s nothing shameful in reclaiming such a rich history?

Say it loud, sisters. I have a cunt and I’m proud.

December Quinn is the author of five books published by Ellora’s Cave, including BLOOD WILL TELL. To learn more about her, visit her website .

Friday, October 3, 2008

Living inside the Imagination

If you're old enough you'll remember a little film titled Flashdance. The soundtrack contained a song Imagination and the lyrics asked "do you really really want it when your fantasy becomes reality?"

Recently I had a couple of models who were willing to explore that question. Did the fantasy satisfy? It sure as heck pleased my camera. As for the models... well we'll leave that to the imagination.