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Review: The Killer Wore Leather

With the advent of the 50 Shades of Grey movie looming, the interwebs are abuzz; once again calling attention to this deplorable trilogy. (Apparently, the movie isn’t any better than the books. Ya don’t say?) To counteract this virus real alt-culture folks are trying to direct our attention to books and authors that better represent life on the sexual fringe. Why, there’s even a ‘which book should you read instead’ meme springing up amongst those of us who care about good erotica and authentic power play. Here is my contribution.

Just so you know, I wrote this review for a print magazine awhile back, and I thought now would be an excellent time for me to share an updated version with you here.

The Killer Wore Leather is Laura Antoniou’s new murder mystery with a fictitious international leather competition, Mr. and Ms. Global Leather and Bootblack, as its backdrop. Think IML (International Mr. Leather)… no, don’t think IML. Oh forget it; go ahead and think that if you want, because this fictional competition is clearly a very thinly veiled replica of that alt-culture institution.

Full disclosure: Laura was a guest on The Erotic Mind Show. (Look to the Podcast Archive, right here on my site, to find these great shows. You’ll find Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE!

These interviews were a great way to get to know Laura and hear the delicious back-story dish on the novel. Laura is wickedly funny and astonishingly subversive. Interestingly enough, these are the very same characteristics that I liked most about her novel.

In Part 2 of our conversation we chat about:

  • James Lear’s quip on the back cover: “A murder mystery with a fresh, funny take on the fetish underground.”
  • I ask if The Killer Wore Leather is her first murder mystery.
  • I ask how she happened upon this genre?
  • We talk about her main character, a lesbian homicide detective, and two of her delightful supporting characters, the boys Jack. They’re adorable.
  • I ask if these characters are based on real people she knows.
  • We discuss the very unique slice of society that is the gay leather/kink subculture and her insider connection to it.
  • I ask if how she was able to add the refreshing comedic aspect to the otherwise hardboiled murder mystery.
  • And how she got away with making light of it all?

The Killer Wore Leather opens at the Grand Sterling Hotel, NYC. Thousands of people are arriving for the annual leather killer wore leather covercompetition and fetish ball. Anyone who has ever attended one of these fêtes in real life will feel right at home. Most of the main characters and all of the supporting characters are right out of (fetish) central casting. There is even an Antoniou-esque, rabblerousing gadfly who makes regular appearances throughout the novel just to stir the shit. So unlike Ms. Antoniou, don’t cha know.

Don’t think this will spoil the plot, but the reigning Mr. Global Leather, Mack Steel, who is also one of the contest judges, is soon-to-be deceased. He is—how shall I put this—a real dick, and not in a good way. Just about everyone hates him, which makes for loads and loads of suspects once he is found dead in his hotel room. Mr. Steel is stabbed to death with a trident-shaped weapon and left wearing only a pair of frilly knickers. Oh, the delicious scandal!

Enter Detective Rebecca Feldblum and her new partner, Dominick DeCosta. Rebecca is a lipstick lesbian, and Dominick is a hot, straight, black guy. Both detectives are way out of their comfort zone surrounded by all the freaks and perverts. The convention/contest promoters decide the show must go on, so despite the murder, Feldblum and DeCosta have to do their sleuthing amidst the fetish circus.

The Killer Wore Leather is a good, old-fashioned whodunit. And Antoniou lays on the detail; we are treated to a baffling array of characters from the sexual fringe and a barrage of alt-culture jargon. But don’t let this deter you. The two detectives and another surprising character, a savvy newspaper reporter, act as a Greek chorus of sorts. Through them we are treated to a delightful exposé of some of the more fascinating nooks and crannies of the fetish and kink underground. It’s all great fun.

Antoniou’s writing style is sharp, witty, and smart. She lovingly skewers everyone and everything. I hasten to emphasize the word “lovingly,” because there are no cheap shots here. There’s never any doubt that Laura loves this slice of life and those who inhabit it. Her portrayals are hilarious, but respectful. However, she makes no bones about the fact that some of the minorities within this minority are being marginalized, and sometimes that gets ugly. Discrimination is rife, even here.

The thing that struck me most about the book is, as I mentioned earlier, Laura’s brilliantly seditious streak. She’s well known for her biting essays on alt-culture, sexual roles, and gender politics. And I am delighted to say that her keen observations bleed—you should pardon the pun—into her narrative. I loved it! And I know that you will too.

Buy The Killer Wore Leather for the mystery story; stay with it for the subversion.

I want to say another special thanks to Cleis Press, the publisher of Laura Antoniou’s The Killer Wore Leather, who sent me a copy of this book to review.

PS: This book would make a fantastic Valentine’s Day gift for any adventurous reader.

Brit Babes

Brit Babes

 

Yours truly makes an appearance on the Brit Babes website to talk about The Erotic Mind series.

I am so honored to be featured on this site because I’ve had the pleasure of welcoming the cream of British smut to my show (both Brit Babes and Brit Dudes).  Among them — Kay Jaybee, James Lear, Ashley Lister, KD Grace, Lucy Felthouse, Mike’s Bliss, Bootbrush, Stan Keetley, Alexander, and most recently, Stan Cole.

Thank you all for acknowledging my work as I celebrate yours.

Look for the article HERE!

Geoffrey Knight Returns — Podcast #161 — 10/19/09

Hey sex fans,

I’m back with the charming Australian erotic novelist, Geoffrey Knight.  This is Part 2 of our discussion for this The Erotic Mind
podcast series.GeoffreyKnight 2

Did you somehow miss last week’s show?  It’s ok, because Part 1 of our chat is archived right here on my site.  Simply use the search function in sidebar to your right.  Type in Podcast #159 and voilà!  But hey, don’t forget to use the #sign when you search.

Geoffrey and I discuss:

  • What inspires the sexual situations in his novels.
  • Building erotic tension and plot development.
  • His female audience.
  • The work of James Lear and Jessie Fox
  • The wonder that is a guy’s balls!
  • Topics he gravitates toward, topics he avoids.
  • What he looks for in the erotic art of others.
  • His efforts to humanize his characters.

Geoffrey will once again share a delectable morsel of the fruit of his Erotic Mind.  And this week, it’s even more yummy than last; if that’s even possible!

For more of Geoffrey, be sure to visit him on his blog HERE!  or his Facebook page HERE!

Click on the book art below to purchase Geoffrey’s novels.

The Riddle of the Sands_final5 1 Fathoms Five Cover

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for all my podcasts on iTunes.  You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by:  Sex In A Can.

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The Erotic Mind of Jesse Fox — Podcast #117 — 04/27/09

Hey sex fans,jfox

I have a really swell show in store for you today.   My guest is an award-winning erotic author who represents a very popular strain in erotic fiction.  Her work is rooted in the romance tradition and it represents a departure from the more hardcore erotic fiction penned by of some of my other guests.  I am so pleased to welcome Jesse Fox.  And in doing so I also introduce you to a mighty-mite of and online publisher, Dark Roast Press.

In my quest to bring you diverse perspectives on The Erotic Mind, I’ve been chatting with erotic artists of every stripe from all over the world.  Our aim, as you know, is to uncover something of the creative process involved with this specialized art form.

To that end Jesse represents the fascinating world of Slash.  Don’t know “slash-fic” from a hole in your head?  Well, neither did I.  At least not until the renowned author, James Lear introduced me to the topic back in February.  (Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my conversation with James HERE and HERE.)

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You’ll also want to visit Jesse online HERE!

Jesse and I discuss:

  • Her nom de plume.
  • Her writing career and how it began.
  • Fan-fic, Funny-fic, and Slash-fic.
  • The birth of Dark Roast Press.
  • Writing erotic fiction that comes out of the Romance genre.

Jesse will also treat us to very delectable selection from the fruit of her Erotic Mind.

lumiere shadowsbeneath

adarkroastedxmas darkroastval

(click on the thumbnails to get more information about these volumes)

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for my podcasts on iTunes.  You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe.  I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by:  Fleshlight & FleshJack.

Fleshlight Sex Toy

Ace In The Hole

Name: Kevin
Gender: Male
Age: 22
Location: Toronto
I’m just out of college and have a ton of bills and no real job prospects at the moment. A friend suggested I do some escorting to make ends meet. Guys tell me that I’m hot and I like sex, but I don’t know if I could pull it off. Suggestions?

You betcha I have suggestions…a lot of ‘em, don’t ‘cha know.

Being hot and liking sex are great assets if you decide to turn pro, but you’ll need way more than that. Being a sex worker is not like having sex for love or even having recreational sex. You will be exchanging sex for money and that makes it a business proposition. Therefore you’d be wise to approach this with as much forethought as you would any other career move. It is, after all, the world’s oldest profession.

abs.jpgIf you do decide to set up shop, so to speak, you’ll need the capacity to have sex with a much wider range of people than if you were looking for a date. And probably just as important, when there’s an exchange of money, the john becomes your customer. And you know what they say about the customer always being right. The truth of the matter is that all pro sex is client directed. It’s not about you even when it looks like it’s all about you.

So let’s say you’re a really great fuck, fun to be with too. You’ll also need the emotional distance and psychological resilience to cope with the intimacy issues this line of work creates. This is precisely the point where most fledgling sex workers flounder. They either give too much or not enough. Some actually resent their clients for renting them. I know, this is totally absurd, but it happens all the time. This lack of clarity will cause you to have trouble establishing healthy boundaries between you and your john.

Regardless if you are a cheap street hustler turning tricks to support a drug habit or an expensive rent-boy who is servicing the rich and famous, the pitfalls are the same. A lot of sex workers are self-destructive or have huge unresolved sex issues that they try to compensate for by making people pay them for what they usually give away.

If you still think this is a line of work for you, Kevin, be aware that your mind and body are your greatest business assets. Take care of them. Nurture them. Keep them clean, fit and toned. Hygiene, both physical and mental, is a must. Body awareness, not the narcissistic type, and safe-sex practices are your frontline defense against STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Make it your business to be tested for HIV and the other common STIs on a regular (every 3-6 months) basis.

Stay clean and sober while on the job. More sex workers get busted for drugs rather than hustling. Know how to handle a drugged out client. You’ll probably see a lot of those. Know that they can take forever to get off, and can sometimes be paranoid and dangerous.

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Speaking of getting busted; you know this line of work is against the law, don’t you. That of course doesn’t stop lots of people from plying their trade. But the successful ones will have their wits about them, particularly in terms of how they market themselves. Never suggest, in any forum — written or spoken, that you are offering sexual favors for money.

Be fiscally responsibility. Plan for the lean times…and there are always lean times. You’ll probably be a hot property at first; ya know the whole “new meat” phenomenon. Don’t let this go to your head. Count on there being cuter, younger, hotter competitors getting off the bus tomorrow. Try to cultivate a number of regular clients. Have a thought to how and where you will market yourself. And I fully encourage you not to do this full-time, at least not at first. If you find it difficult to meet your financial goals, you’ll be tempted to do more and more risky things just to make ends meet.

Sex work is often more about being psychologically present than a sexual performance. Your clients will often be more lonely and isolated then they are horny. Treat them with respect. Improve your mind. Make yourself interesting. Stay abreast on current affairs and the popular culture. Develop other skills like massage and bodywork.

You should have at least one trusted friend who knows your whereabouts at all times, or who has access to your appointment book. Protect yourself: use a pager or cell phone and never make a date with anyone who won’t share his/her phone number with you. Always make a call back before you head out. Keep an appointment book, in code if you must.

Carry a travel bag or backpack with you to all your “dates”. This should contain the basics: condoms, lube, massage oil, handi-wipes, toys, etc. But you should also have an extra shirt and mace (or other protective equipment). Keep all your belongings — clothing, phone, watch, and wallet — together and near your bag. Know where that bag is at all times and be ready to pick up and leave if there’s trouble.

I also suggest that you connect with other sex workers in your area. There is strength in numbers. Other rent-boys will provide you with essential information about troublesome clients and help you get the lay of the land, so to speak.

Finally, here’s a few of great resource for all sex workers — The Sex Workers Outreach Project, BAYSWAN, AIM and St James Infirmary.

Name: Clare
Gender: Female
Age: 40
Location: St Louis
My best friend can’t bring herself to sever her ties with her ex-boyfriend. Even though their last attempted reunion ended in a very violent fight. My friend has this weird nostalgia for the relationship she had with her ex at the beginning. Back then, before he started drinking and drugging, they did have a couple of good years, but that was a long time ago. I’m very concerned for my friend. She’s often depressed and she is pulling away from her friends. I think she is seriously considering getting back with her no-good, two-timing ex. I know that my role as a friend is to love and support her, but her ex is not to be trusted. I fear as much for her safety as for her heart. What’s a friend to do?

So many things are going on here, Clare. It’s hard to know where to begin. Your friend can’t sever her ties with her ex because she doesn’t want to. Even if she wanted to end it once and for all, it’s not an easy thing to do.

Anyone who has been there will tell ya that quitin’ a bad relationship is as difficult as quitin’ booze or dope…maybe even harder. Most folks in poisonous relationships can’t extricate themselves because they are part of the toxicity. Bad relationships, like the good ones, are completely dependent on the participation of both individuals in the couple. Each one feeds off the other and each one’s bad behaviors rewards and facilitates the pathologies of the other.

domistic_violence02.jpgThere is no such thing as a good, psychologically healthy person in a bad relationship. There may be one in the couple that is less culpable, or less abusive, or less self-destructive, but there is never one that is without blame.

Like all junkies, your friend is hooked. Her depression and withdrawal are outward signs of the pathology. Nothing is gonna change this for her until she acknowledges that she is caught in a downward spiral. Domestic violence — and we ought to label the nature of your friend’s relationship for what it is — will escalate. It always does. Will your friend get out in time? There’s no guarantee. Is there anything you can do? Well that, Clare, is a more difficult question to answer. If you do too much you are at risk of supporting her habit. Or worse, you could be co-opted into the pathological dynamic of the relationship.

The best you can do is to tell your friend how you feel about her predicament. Speak your mind in no uncertain terms. If you decide to confront your friend with an intervention, I suggest that you have some well-considered resources to hand her while you are doing so. For example, you could do some legwork and find a some local domestic violence resources — a hot line, a shelter, counseling referrals and the like. Once you make this intervention and it’s over; drop it. Drop it for good. This is the hardest thing a friend has to do, but constantly badgering someone in your friend’s condition is counterproductive. If you can’t stand to witness the self-destruction, take your leave of the friendship and hope for the best.

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However you play this, don’t hold your breath for a happy ending. They happen sometime, of course, but real life is so not like the movies.

Name: Dena
Gender: Female
Age: 32
Location: NYC
I love my cunt. In fact you could say I have a cunt fetish. I love to stuff my cunt with really big toys. My current BF introduced me to fist fucking and I love it. I guess what I want to know is can this be dangerous?

I love it, a chick who refers to her pussy as a cunt! You go, girl!

But what’s this…you’re just now gettin’ around to askin’ if fisting is dangerous? Not before, but after you’ve had a fist in your cunt? Well, so much for being proactive. I’d be willing to guess that you probably already have some data on the advisability of this form of extreme sex play. You clearly have enough information to declare that you LOVE IT.

hanball2.jpgOk, for everyone in my audience who hasn’t heard of fisting (both those with a cunt and those who are cunt-less), let’s start at the beginning. I trust you know what fingering is, right? Whether it’s fingerin’ a pussy or an asshole, it’s loads of fun to diddle someone’s innards. We already know that fingerin’ a dude’s hole will stimulate his prostate, which even non-gay men are finding to be way fun. And fingering a pussy will stimulate a woman’s G-spot. Ok sex fans; take that fingerin’ concept and multiply that by 5. That’s right, fisting is inserting a whole hand/fist into cunt or asshole.

For all you folks who haven’t fainted away, yes, it is anatomically possible, and yes, it CAN be EXTREMELY pleasurable. I hasten to add that gettin’ a whole fist inside a pussy is somewhat easier than gettin’ a fist in an asshole. But for folks like you, Dena, those who are into massive penetration, nothing is a bigger turn-on. Fisting aficionados say that handballing is the most intimate and complete way to touch another human being. This kind of extreme penetration has to be worked up to slowly and gently.

To your question if this practice is harmful…well not if ya do it right. First off, the fisting top does NOT make a fist and ram it home. Trust and communication between partners is as essential as is tons of lube. Some folks swear by Crisco, others the legendary J-Lube — a handy-dandy concentrate for veterinarian use. They believe this product stand apart from the rest because it’s more slippery and gooey. You can find J-Lube in Dr Dick’s Stockroom. See the My Stockroom tab right there at the top of this page. How freakin’ convenient is that?

The fisting top must, of course, respect his/her partner’s limits and pain threshold. Safe fisting is happy fisting. And to that end, keep the following concerns in mind.handball1.jpg

First of all, the fisting top must cut and file all his/her nails until every finger is as smooth as it could possibly be. Your fingers will be in some very delicate places — places that may not have pain receptors. You’ll want to insure that you minimize all chance of causing injury.

Make sure your partner is relaxed, comfortable and turned on. When a woman is aroused, her pussy lubricates, relaxes, expands and lengthens; all of which are very important for accommodating a fist, don’t ‘cha know.

Even the wettest cunt in the world will need lots and lots of lube during fisting. There’s no such thing as too much lube, so prepare for a big fat mess. Lube your hand, the back of your hand, between your fingers. Keep applying lube as you go. Push the lube into the pussy (or asshole) with your fingers. Remember if you’re using latex gloves, oil-based lubes will dissolve latex.

Start with one or two fingers and work your way up to three and then four. Most people need some time to further relax their muscles, and some may require several stretching sessions, over weeks or even months, before they can actually accommodate a whole hand.

Tops, be sensitive to your bottom’s feelings. You are trying to finesse part of her body to open and to admit part of your body deeply inside her. If you take your time, the energy exchange between you and she will move you both into an altered state. Communication and relaxation is key.

handball_self.jpgOnce you’ve reached a five-finger insertion, you’re almost there. But it’s at this precise point that the handballing top needs to be the most attentive. Your partner’s pussy is being stretched to its near limit. Your partner is going to be riding a wave of pain/pleasure. If you find her cunt has reached its limit for the time being, respect that and pull out slowly. But if your partner wants more, then slip your knuckles inside. Be sure to fold your thumb under your fingers, so that your hand will form a duckbill wedge shape. This will allow you to gradually stretch your partner open as you press on. Apply steady but slow pressure.

Your partner should tell you when to push and when to back off. Careless fisting can cause muscle and tissue injuries. If the top goes too fast or too hard there’s gonna be more than discomfort, there will sure enough be injury. Listen to the owner of the pussy; she will let you know the difference between hurts so good and hurts really bad.

Your knuckles are the widest part of the hand and the most difficult part to get past the opening of the cunt. If there’s gonna be resistance to the insertion of the fist, it’ll probably be at this point. Wait until your partner is ready before making the big push. She may be able to help by bearing down (like if she were birthin’ a baby, or taking a big dump). Once your knuckles slip past the ring of muscles around the vaginal entrance, the pressure will ease off. Now you can gently roll your duckbill shaped hand into a fist.

At this point, the owner of the pussy or asshole may want a gentle pumping movement with your hand. Fisting can produce extremely intense sensations; so ask her what feels good to her.

When the session is done, make your hand into the duckbill wedge shape once again, and gently slide it out slowly.

Good luck ya’ll

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